But that's exactly the point! No matter how many times you ask about Diels-Alder, more people won't learn what it is. Hell, people HAVEN'T learned what it is.Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:I think I've identified where our break is here. I think that the reason that this happens is because we observe the empirical data point that more high schoolers choose to put the extra effort into going to that extra level deeper for Respighi than they do for Diels-Alder. So while there's no inherent difference in accessibility, there is in fact a difference in how that accessibility is realized in high school (perhaps because, in part, of the pressures of the canon guiding what new and exciting good academic topics high schoolers are exposed to--or perhaps because there's more of a qualitative separation between learning about terrible subject high school chemistry and awesome subject organic chemistry than between some composers and some other composers). So I guess if one wants to use what comes up in quizbowl to guide people to awesome topics, then points are the carrot. Otherwise, you're right: we have to perpetuate the status quo if we want to hit our ideal conversion targets every time. That's fair if that's your goal.Matt Weiner wrote:You're doing that rationalist thing again where you think you can disprove the proposition "X is true because X has been observed to be true" if you argue against it cleverly/forcefully/deeply enough. You cannot. You can never argue your way into Diels-Alder being answerable in high school quizbowl, or Respighi not being answerable. It is a completely impossible task.
Think of the average high school player here. He doesn't read packets, so what he knows is entirely dictated by his studies and his reading. He has deep knowledge in some areas, spotty knowledge in others. He gets the occasional 30 when he knows a lot about a subject.
Imagine this player is interested in classical music, and he's just missed a part on Respighi:
"Hey, I've never heard of this Respighi guy, but he wrote something called The Pines of Rome. I can intuitively understand what's it's about, so I might listen to it later. It'll definitely be enjoyable, and it'll only take a few minutes. Plus, I'll be sure to remember it next time."
Now think of a science player who's just missed a part on Diels-Alder.
"Aromaticity...pericyclic...what the hell does that mean? This is way over my head. And something called "diene synthesis" is named after people named Diels and Alder? I have no idea what this question is even talking about, so it's just going to go in one ear and out the other. Anyway, I have no clue how I'd learn this stuff, since no class teaches it at my school, and I don't want to spend ridiculous amounts of money and time on an O-chem textbook."
On the off-chance that this player learns to associate the word "diene" with the names "Diels" and "Alder", congratulations! This player has learned absolutely no science. The fact is that high schoolers don't know Diels-Alder, and only the teams on this forum will learn it if you stuff it down our throats.