Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6835
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Cheynem »

Hey, I've won several quizbowl matches by tricking my opponents into making mistakes.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger
User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6368
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by grapesmoker »

Cheynem wrote:Hey, I've won several quizbowl matches by tricking my opponents into making mistakes.
Mike Cheyne, saboteur.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance
User avatar
theMoMA
Forums Staff: Administrator
Posts: 5797
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:00 am

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by theMoMA »

Let's just remember that this isn't first amendment law here; we don't need a bright-line standard between "trash" and "academic." Some things are obviously academic, some things are obviously trash, and there is a smaller and more nebulous area of "borderline cases."

I've argued before that there are two important things: 1) no obvious trash questions go in academic categories, and 2) "borderline cases" are kept to a reasonable limit.

Under this standard, there is no need for a rigorously derived and logical divider of the border region. A reasonable distribution of borderline cases can stand in for a strict demarcation.
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum
User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6368
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by grapesmoker »

theMoMA wrote:Let's just remember that this isn't first amendment law here; we don't need a bright-line standard between "trash" and "academic." Some things are obviously academic, some things are obviously trash, and there is a smaller and more nebulous area of "borderline cases."

I've argued before that there are two important things: 1) no obvious trash questions go in academic categories, and 2) "borderline cases" are kept to a reasonable limit.

Under this standard, there is no need for a rigorously derived and logical divider of the border region. A reasonable distribution of borderline cases can stand in for a strict demarcation.
Yeah, this is it exactly.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance
User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6835
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Cheynem »

I would be okay for ICT to eliminate the clear trash questions and perhaps be a little more flexible for "borderline" stuff. This is partly because of what I enjoy as a player, but I like that ICT has a little more whimsy than ACF Nationals in terms of "borderline" stuff popping up like Tom Brown's School Days or Peter Bogdanovich or what have you.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger
User avatar
Geringer
Rikku
Posts: 354
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:10 pm

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Geringer »

I have played at legitimate tournaments that have tossed up John Coltrane and Battleship Potemkin as fine arts. (I have not seen these topics disputed as being fine arts) The difference between those two and say, Black Sabbath and Citizen Kane, is about fifteen years. However, if Black Sabbath were to make my fine arts distro, I'd be receiving death threats and possibly a tempban for defending myself. I will hypothesize that trash is often classified as such on the basis of age.

After seeing some of the crazy stuff tossed up in college tournaments, namely some fringe Japanese literature by authors that are not even read in college Japanese literature classes, I ask myself if quizbowl is really so concentrated on academic importance, or rather just trying to stump the masses. I mean, there are numerous "quizbowl famous" topics that aren't widely read or covered in the academic world. If we're going to rail on NAQT for including trash in their distribution because it's not academically relevant, shouldn't we be putting some of these "canon-expanders" to the same test? And thus, I return to the same theme from before. Is something made academic because it has a wikipedia page, was published X number of years ago, and got included as a bonus part in some experimental tournament? I don't think so. But yet, as evidenced by the development of quizbowl in the last decade, today's third bonus part could very well become tomorrow's stock clue.

I'm not going to advocate huge amounts of trash in academic tournaments (nor should I), but if we're going to objectively call trash non-academic and demand its immediate elimination, I think we need to apply the same objective standards to our entire paradigm and cut away a lot of the chaff that exists for the sole reason of difficulty. If we ever get to the phase where these tertiary world authors and crazy scientific concepts get tossed up, I pity the kid that reads Saro-Wiwa before Achebe.
R. Jeffrey Geringer
Saint Viator '09
Illinois '13, '14
User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6835
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Cheynem »

I'm kind of amused by you labeling Citizen Kane as trash.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger
User avatar
Captain Sinico
Auron
Posts: 2867
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:46 pm
Location: Champaign, Illinois

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Captain Sinico »

KHAAAAN please wrote:[The respective time difference between two fairly common fine arts topics, a fairly common trash topic, and a somewhat less common fine arts topic that I apparently think is trash] is small. I will hypothesize that trash is often classified as such on the basis of age.
You've apparently chosen some bad data to adduce your hypothesis. There's some correlation between age and academic character, but not nearly so strong a one as you suggest. Anyway, that's not relevant: anyone with enough command of writing and editing to be in charge of an NAQT tournament or subject has a good idea on the vast majority of topics what's clearly academic, what's clearly trash, and what's borderline. Evidently, even someone abjectly lacking such command is still wrong only about 25% of the time.
KHAAAAN please wrote:If we're going to rail on NAQT for including trash in their distribution because it's not academically relevant, shouldn't we be putting some [unimportant, marginal, hard topics] to the same test?
Of course we should (and can and do) do both. That's why this is an irrelevant alternative.
I guess I'll note for the fourth time in this thread and its progenitor that saying "There are sometimes bad/odd questions" does absolutely nothing to argue about the presence of trash either way. Trash could be eliminated in ICT to a very high degree of precision tomorrow with nothing more than a couple keystrokes. That's not an exaggeration. There's no need to fix everything else at the same time because it's not as easy to fix everything else and because there's no compelling reason not to fix one thing even if we can't necessarily fix all others. Can we please, therefore, toss this red herring back into the sea?

MaS
Mike Sorice
Coach, Centennial High School of Champaign, IL (2014-2020) & Team Illinois (2016-2018)
Alumnus, Illinois ABT (2000-2002; 2003-2009) & Fenwick Scholastic Bowl (1999-2000)
Member, ACF (Emeritus), IHSSBCA, & PACE
User avatar
magin
Yuna
Posts: 975
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:50 pm
Location: College Park, MD

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by magin »

I'll try to offer a kind of defense of trash in national tournaments that's hopefully more reasonable than "I like trash!" or "sometimes other questions are badly written." To my mind, one of the strengths of quizbowl is that it covers a wide variety of topics an intelligent person is likely to find important or interesting. Literature, history, science, the arts, religion, myth, philosophy, and social science (traditionally seen as the most academic disciplines in quizbowl) contain a huge amount of fascinating and important topics, and rightly make up a vast proportion of quizbowl questions. However, I don't think that those topics, extensive though they are, encompass all of the possible interesting and important topics that can be asked about in good quizbowl questions. A lot of interesting and important culture may be ignored by questions on the purely academic disciplines mentioned above; for example, what about a bonus part on Finley Peter Dunne's Mr. Dooley, who to my mind has some significance and could surely be asked about in an academic tournament? I guess you could put a bonus on him in literature or history, but I don't think either classification is really right.

What I'd most like to see is a new category, Culture (that includes significant/interesting cultural answers not quite under the jurisdiction of literature/history/science/arts/RMP/social science). But, until that's implemented, I appreciate the questions currently in the trash category that do ask about significant cultural things with some academic significance. I know that not all of them do, and I suspect that the trash questions with pretty much no academic significance are the ones drawing the ire of many players. So, until there's that 1/1 (in ACF) or 2/2 (in NAQT) Culture distribution per packet, I'm ok with 1/1 or 2/2 total trash/CE/geography per packet that attempts to fill that cultural gap (as long as the questions are well-written and not inane, of course).

I suppose a Culture category would be somewhat difficult to define the boundaries of; I don't think it would include Jerry's soccer blogs or MC Skat Kat, but cultural answers (such as, perhaps, the Teddy Boys or not-fine-art-but-classic movies like The Graduate or Rebel Without a Cause) that surely have academic merit. Thoughts?
Jonathan Magin
Montgomery Blair HS '04, University of Maryland '08
Editor: ACF

"noted difficulty controller"
User avatar
Auroni
Auron
Posts: 3107
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Urbana

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Auroni »

For what it is worth, if I were editing a tournament and received an arts tossup on The Graduate, I would edit it and keep it in that category.
Auroni Gupta (she/they)
UIUC
ACF
User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6368
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by grapesmoker »

I don't have any objections to a hypothetical "culture" category that tried to be a inclusive of things of general cultural merit, but a defense of such a thing is a defense of hypothetical good questions whereas I'm talking about actual dumb things that get written about all the time and that actually for real make up the vast majority of the trash distribution in all tournaments that actually include it. No matter how much you argue, you're never going to convince me that we ought to be asking about fast food chains and irrelevant athletes.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance
User avatar
magin
Yuna
Posts: 975
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:50 pm
Location: College Park, MD

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by magin »

grapesmoker wrote:I don't have any objections to a hypothetical "culture" category that tried to be a inclusive of things of general cultural merit, but a defense of such a thing is a defense of hypothetical good questions whereas I'm talking about actual dumb things that get written about all the time and that actually for real make up the vast majority of the trash distribution in all tournaments that actually include it. No matter how much you argue, you're never going to convince me that we ought to be asking about fast food chains and irrelevant athletes.
Well yeah, if you read my post, I actually agree that we shouldn't be asking trash questions in national tournaments that have no appreciable academic significance; however, there are and have been questions written for the "trash" category that in fact had a reasonable amount of significance, and failing the adoption of a Culture category, it seems that those questions will continue to appear under the name of trash. That's actually why I'd like to adopt the Culture category, since then we could keep those questions and get rid of questions on Wendy's instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Jonathan Magin
Montgomery Blair HS '04, University of Maryland '08
Editor: ACF

"noted difficulty controller"
Rococo A Go Go
Auron
Posts: 2248
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:08 am
Location: Kentucky

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Rococo A Go Go »

Bad questions are bad, including on pop culture. Good questions are good, including on pop culture.

What we need to do is get rid of the crap and start laying down some real parameters on what is and isn't important enough to be asked about. Writers should avoid the the tempation to write about backup QBs and somewhat popular singers with no critical acclaim; instead they should be writing about things that have some sort of impact on the world's culture and will be remembered and studied because of that impact.
Nicholas C
KQBA member
User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6368
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by grapesmoker »

KHAAAAN please wrote:I have played at legitimate tournaments that have tossed up John Coltrane and Battleship Potemkin as fine arts. (I have not seen these topics disputed as being fine arts) The difference between those two and say, Black Sabbath and Citizen Kane, is about fifteen years. However, if Black Sabbath were to make my fine arts distro, I'd be receiving death threats and possibly a tempban for defending myself. I will hypothesize that trash is often classified as such on the basis of age.
Hey, how about you not preemptively make yourself into some kind of precious trash martyr? You wouldn't be getting death threats, you'd be getting entirely justified criticism about the relevance of your answer selection. If you can't understand that Coltrane and Black Sabbath operate on drastically different levels, I don't know what to tell you. This has nothing to do with age, as questions on later jazz musicians or modern composers indicate.
After seeing some of the crazy stuff tossed up in college tournaments, namely some fringe Japanese literature by authors that are not even read in college Japanese literature classes, I ask myself if quizbowl is really so concentrated on academic importance, or rather just trying to stump the masses. I mean, there are numerous "quizbowl famous" topics that aren't widely read or covered in the academic world.
This is sort of a non sequitur. I don't know what would lead you to believe that such things aren't routinely criticized; in fact, at the beginning of the year we had a whole series of threads about this. I don't think it's entirely coincidental that of many of the people who took the position that you're advocating (including me and Mike) are likewise in this thread arguing against trash in national tournaments.
If we're going to rail on NAQT for including trash in their distribution because it's not academically relevant, shouldn't we be putting some of these "canon-expanders" to the same test? And thus, I return to the same theme from before. Is something made academic because it has a wikipedia page, was published X number of years ago, and got included as a bonus part in some experimental tournament? I don't think so. But yet, as evidenced by the development of quizbowl in the last decade, today's third bonus part could very well become tomorrow's stock clue.
Yeah, I mean, this is a serious problem but it's basically orthogonal to what we're discussing. I think it's a bad idea to propagate clues down the difficulty ladder (although something that's a clue at ACF Fall could well be a tossup answer at ACF Nationals) and I strongly object to questions on things that only seem to be asked about because they have names. But this has nothing to do with what we're talking about here.
I'm not going to advocate huge amounts of trash in academic tournaments (nor should I), but if we're going to objectively call trash non-academic and demand its immediate elimination, I think we need to apply the same objective standards to our entire paradigm and cut away a lot of the chaff that exists for the sole reason of difficulty. If we ever get to the phase where these tertiary world authors and crazy scientific concepts get tossed up, I pity the kid that reads Saro-Wiwa before Achebe.
I'm not a fan of the "hey look what's going on over there," argument. Sure, we should do what you say (although I fail to see the basis on which you elevate Achebe at the expense of Saro-wiwa) but this has really nothing to do with the question of trash in national tournaments.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance
Rococo A Go Go
Auron
Posts: 2248
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:08 am
Location: Kentucky

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Rococo A Go Go »

grapesmoker wrote:If you can't understand that Coltrane and Black Sabbath operate on drastically different levels, I don't know what to tell you. This has nothing to do with age, as questions on later jazz musicians or modern composers indicate.
I agree that Black Sabbath is nowhere near the level of Coltrane, but do you believe that other types of somewhat modern music besides jazz are acceptable? I don't think we should be including musical acts like Black Sabbath, but would you be OK with questions on other more critically acclaimed (and still well-known enough that it won't be an impossible question) rock artists?
Nicholas C
KQBA member
User avatar
Scott
Rikku
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:13 pm
Location: Leitchfield KY

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Scott »

I think it is okay to have a small amount of trash at tournaments.
I am a rather legit fine arts player, and realize that "classical" subjects are much more culturally significant than trash.
However, I think it is okay to have limited amounts of "trash" about critically acclaimed modern artists that have had a large impact on culture.
Scott Blain
Grayson '12
Vanderbilt '16
User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6368
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by grapesmoker »

Hilltopper22 wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:If you can't understand that Coltrane and Black Sabbath operate on drastically different levels, I don't know what to tell you. This has nothing to do with age, as questions on later jazz musicians or modern composers indicate.
I agree that Black Sabbath is nowhere near the level of Coltrane, but do you believe that other types of somewhat modern music besides jazz are acceptable? I don't think we should be including musical acts like Black Sabbath, but would you be OK with questions on other more critically acclaimed (and still well-known enough that it won't be an impossible question) rock artists?
I guess? What are we talking about here?

edit: I'm, like, not a good person to ask about music.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance
User avatar
Scott
Rikku
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:13 pm
Location: Leitchfield KY

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Scott »

For a little example, consider these three modern "musicians".

Phillip Glass - mostly minimalism music that is innovative, unique musical styles, yet not typical classical music.
George Gershwin - composed jazz music that was innovate, pioneer of American music, yet not typical classical music.
Mariah Carey - Most number ones of any person on the charts, exceptional vocal range register, very innovative composer and singer, still not typical classical music.

I don't see how Carey is that much less significant to culture than the others.
Last edited by Scott on Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Scott Blain
Grayson '12
Vanderbilt '16
Rococo A Go Go
Auron
Posts: 2248
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:08 am
Location: Kentucky

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Rococo A Go Go »

grapesmoker wrote:
Hilltopper22 wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:If you can't understand that Coltrane and Black Sabbath operate on drastically different levels, I don't know what to tell you. This has nothing to do with age, as questions on later jazz musicians or modern composers indicate.
I agree that Black Sabbath is nowhere near the level of Coltrane, but do you believe that other types of somewhat modern music besides jazz are acceptable? I don't think we should be including musical acts like Black Sabbath, but would you be OK with questions on other more critically acclaimed (and still well-known enough that it won't be an impossible question) rock artists?
I guess? What are we talking about here?

edit: I'm, like, not a good person to ask about music.
Off the top of my head, I'm thinking of artists like U2, The White Stripes, Bruce Springsteen, The Decemberists, etc. who have recieved positive reviews from critics over the years and are generally regarded to have brought something artistically unique to the table. Of course, this extends to other forms of music as well.

Edit: I'm incredibly biased when it comes to music, so if someone with a little more authority and knowledge wants to overrule me I won't complain.
Nicholas C
KQBA member
User avatar
Terrible Shorts Depot
Yuna
Posts: 760
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:05 pm
Contact:

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Terrible Shorts Depot »

grayson77 wrote:For a little example, consider these three modern "musicians".

Phillip Glass - mostly minimalism music that is innovative, unique musical styles, yet not typical classical music.
George Gershwin - composed jazz music that was innovate, pioneer of American music, yet not typical classical music.
Mariah Carey - Most number ones of any person on the charts, exceptional vocal range register, very innovative composer and singer, still not typical classical music.

I don't see how Carey is that much less significant to culture than the others.
Lay off the crack. Mariah Carey is, quite honestly, atrocious. "Typical classical music" is a terrible metric to use, leaving aside the fact that the term "classical" denotes a specific strain of Western Art Music (a much better term). Glass and Gershwin are both WAM, while Mariah Carey is, rather clearly, a pop music act, and one without much merit either. Glass' music is somewhat typical of ultra modern WAM, while it is not at all typical of music from the classical period.

As far as trying to jam modern "pop" music acts into this Culture distribution (a great idea, by the way), we should actually have a bit of a time criterion. As much as I adore Jack White, I don't know if there's enough separation between the release of The White Stripes and now to determine how much influence, if any, they'll have in the future. However, I don't see much problem with tossups on the Smiths, Cream, Sam Cooke, or any of the other touchstones of modern pop. We've given them enough time to be appreciated as far more artistic than Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark, Iron Butterfly, or whatever other group.
Charlie Rosenthal
Shady Side Academy '09
Carleton College '13
University of Pennsylvania '18
User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6368
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by grapesmoker »

Hilltopper22 wrote:Off the top of my head, I'm thinking of artists like U2, The White Stripes, Bruce Springsteen, The Decemberists, etc. who have recieved positive reviews from critics over the years and are generally regarded to have brought something artistically unique to the table. Of course, this extends to other forms of music as well.

Edit: I'm incredibly biased when it comes to music, so if someone with a little more authority and knowledge wants to overrule me I won't complain.
I don't really think so. I mean, I like the White Stripes, and I really, really like the Decemberists, but even though they're critically acclaimed, I don't really see a place for them in a national academic tournament. For what it's worth, I think Stephen Merritt is the best lyricist in popular music over the last 20 years; if every tournament had a Magnetic Fields subdistribution I would own it so hard, but I just don't think that's the right thing to ask about.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance
User avatar
Scott
Rikku
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:13 pm
Location: Leitchfield KY

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Scott »

That is more what I was trying to get at; you said it much more effectively.
I think popular culture deserves a small part in the distribution because it does have a significant influence on society.
I wasn't trying to imply that pop was classical, just saying the line can blur.
Scott Blain
Grayson '12
Vanderbilt '16
User avatar
Theory Of The Leisure Flask
Yuna
Posts: 843
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 11:04 am
Location: Brooklyn
Contact:

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

Ice Warrior wrote:For what it is worth, if I were editing a tournament and received an arts tossup on The Graduate, I would edit it and keep it in that category.
Would you allow an arts question on Simon and Garfunkel? If not, that's a pretty clear double standard.
magin wrote:I'll try to offer a kind of defense of trash in national tournaments that's hopefully more reasonable than "I like trash!" or "sometimes other questions are badly written." To my mind, one of the strengths of quizbowl is that it covers a wide variety of topics an intelligent person is likely to find important or interesting. Literature, history, science, the arts, religion, myth, philosophy, and social science (traditionally seen as the most academic disciplines in quizbowl) contain a huge amount of fascinating and important topics, and rightly make up a vast proportion of quizbowl questions. However, I don't think that those topics, extensive though they are, encompass all of the possible interesting and important topics that can be asked about in good quizbowl questions. A lot of interesting and important culture may be ignored by questions on the purely academic disciplines mentioned above; for example, what about a bonus part on Finley Peter Dunne's Mr. Dooley, who to my mind has some significance and could surely be asked about in an academic tournament? I guess you could put a bonus on him in literature or history, but I don't think either classification is really right.

What I'd most like to see is a new category, Culture (that includes significant/interesting cultural answers not quite under the jurisdiction of literature/history/science/arts/RMP/social science). But, until that's implemented, I appreciate the questions currently in the trash category that do ask about significant cultural things with some academic significance. I know that not all of them do, and I suspect that the trash questions with pretty much no academic significance are the ones drawing the ire of many players. So, until there's that 1/1 (in ACF) or 2/2 (in NAQT) Culture distribution per packet, I'm ok with 1/1 or 2/2 total trash/CE/geography per packet that attempts to fill that cultural gap (as long as the questions are well-written and not inane, of course).

I suppose a Culture category would be somewhat difficult to define the boundaries of; I don't think it would include Jerry's soccer blogs or MC Skat Kat, but cultural answers (such as, perhaps, the Teddy Boys or not-fine-art-but-classic movies like The Graduate or Rebel Without a Cause) that surely have academic merit. Thoughts?

This is exactly what I have always advocated for, with perhaps a bit more emphasis on current events.
Chris White
Bloomfield HS (New Jersey) '01, Swarthmore College '05, University of Pennsylvania '10. Still writes questions occasionally.
User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6368
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by grapesmoker »

grayson77 wrote:For a little example, consider these three modern "musicians".

Phillip Glass - mostly minimalism music that is innovative, unique musical styles, yet not typical classical music.
George Gershwin - composed jazz music that was innovate, pioneer of American music, yet not typical classical music.
Mariah Carey - Most number ones of any person on the charts, exceptional vocal range register, very innovative composer and singer, still not typical classical music.

I don't see how Carey is that much less significant to culture than the others.
I don't know what "typical" classical music is supposed to be, but it seems to me that the level of engagement required to appreciate Phillip Glass or George Gershwin is well above that required to listen to Mariah Carey. Mariah Carey was all over the radio; if you care about Phillip Glass, you need to expend some intellectual effort to become exposed to it and understand it.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance
User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8422
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Matt Weiner »

Please spare me from a bunch of insular white people deciding what artists within popular music are or are not academic based largely on whether they think the bands are good or not. That's just about the worst standard there can be.

I will reiterate my suggestion that the purpose of an academic/trash distinction is to make sure that you are actually being encouraged to go beyond the stuff you do anyway (like watch TV and listen to popular music) in order to succeed at quizbowl. Do we really need all of the effort that goes into tournaments in order to make people aware of Lil Wayne?
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org
User avatar
Scott
Rikku
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:13 pm
Location: Leitchfield KY

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Scott »

I was trying to show that there is no real way to define the line between classical and other genres.
For example, would Lola Astanova (classical pianist with pop-like media) and Escala be considered pop or classical?

I agree, however, that many current trash topics have very little academic value.
The culture category seems like a good idea to improve upon the current trash distribution.
Scott Blain
Grayson '12
Vanderbilt '16
Rococo A Go Go
Auron
Posts: 2248
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:08 am
Location: Kentucky

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Rococo A Go Go »

Since a lot of people are worried about things being so recent that it doesn't take much effort to acquire knowledge about them, should we have a time criteria for what cultural topics can be asked about? If so, when should we deem something too recent to be evaluated and therefore asked about?
Nicholas C
KQBA member
User avatar
Theory Of The Leisure Flask
Yuna
Posts: 843
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 11:04 am
Location: Brooklyn
Contact:

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

grayson77 wrote:For a little example, consider these three modern "musicians".

Phillip Glass - mostly minimalism music that is innovative, unique musical styles, yet not typical classical music.
George Gershwin - composed jazz music that was innovate, pioneer of American music, yet not typical classical music.
Mariah Carey - Most number ones of any person on the charts, exceptional vocal range register, very innovative composer and singer, still not typical classical music.

I don't see how Carey is that much less significant to culture than the others.
Eh, Gershwin's not really what this discussion would consider modern, he died in the 1930s (which means he gets an age-related pass despite being more popular in his day than Carey is today). In any case I'm not even sure "typical" classical music exists post-1910 or so, as the tonal consensus broke down in favor of a welter of styles. There are certainly cultural and stylistic markers which label certain music "classical" and other music "popular", but within those large and ill-fitting baskets there is enormous variety.
Chris White
Bloomfield HS (New Jersey) '01, Swarthmore College '05, University of Pennsylvania '10. Still writes questions occasionally.
User avatar
grapesmoker
Sin
Posts: 6368
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:23 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by grapesmoker »

Hilltopper22 wrote:Since a lot of people are worried about things being so recent that it doesn't take much effort to acquire knowledge about them, should we have a time criteria for what cultural topics can be asked about? If so, when should we deem something too recent to be evaluated and therefore asked about?
We should stop rewarding people for basically being alive and listening to top-40 radio is what we should do.
Jerry Vinokurov
ex-LJHS, ex-Berkeley, ex-Brown, sorta-ex-CMU
code ape, loud voice, general nuissance
User avatar
Auroni
Auron
Posts: 3107
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Urbana

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Auroni »

Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote:
Ice Warrior wrote:For what it is worth, if I were editing a tournament and received an arts tossup on The Graduate, I would edit it and keep it in that category.
Would you allow an arts question on Simon and Garfunkel? If not, that's a pretty clear double standard.
[/quote]

Why?

I'll answer your question anyway, I would allow an artistically written question on S+G into the tournament, but I would not make any extra effort to fill the fine arts category with too many questions such as that.
Auroni Gupta (she/they)
UIUC
ACF
User avatar
Captain Sinico
Auron
Posts: 2867
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:46 pm
Location: Champaign, Illinois

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Captain Sinico »

Please, please, please stop with this non-existent "What, like, is trash anyway, man?" problem nonsense! Everyone who knows how to edit has a fairly good idea what's academic, what's trash, and what's marginal! Non-coincidentally, every experienced editor has taken the same side in this debate*! If you're thinking of posting with that, don't! EXCLAMATION POINTS!
Now, prepare to dine on hat as I tell you all that, in fact, the presence of a trash distribution drives out exactly the kind of culturally relevant things you people want/are claiming to want/are pretending to want questions on. Don't you all honestly think that having a 6th or 7th literature question explicitly devoted to, like, "Other 20th century literature" is a lot more likely to get you a question on whatever the fuck book you're pining for and not, say, yet another questions on the acting career of Raven-Symone? Very clearly it is. The analogous fact holds in all areas. Therefore, every argument for a "culture" distribution is an argument for the elimination of trash! In fact, it is precisely the presence of trash that is robbing your precious marginal topics of play! You should join me in calling for it to be gotten rid of.

MaS

*I here mean the "How important/difficult is it to define what trash is?" debate. Nobody who's edited a tournament is wringing their hands about an inability to do that. It is, in fact, precisely because experienced writers and editors are so good at doing that that we see so few marginally academic questions in trash.

PS:
Hilltopper22 wrote:a... criteria
Laughing on line.
Mike Sorice
Coach, Centennial High School of Champaign, IL (2014-2020) & Team Illinois (2016-2018)
Alumnus, Illinois ABT (2000-2002; 2003-2009) & Fenwick Scholastic Bowl (1999-2000)
Member, ACF (Emeritus), IHSSBCA, & PACE
User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6835
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: Trash in National Tournaments... Again

Post by Cheynem »

I like Sorice's argument (and I guess Magin's? Maybe?) that we should stop explicitly requiring trash questions at national tournaments and allow for some flexibility in other categories, so instead of Shawn Bradley, we get Tom Brown's School Days or Peter Bogdanovich or Pecos Bell or Gary Hart or Barbara Ehrenreich or any number of borderline things that are still interesting and academic (in my opinion) enough that I think at least one of the national tournaments should feature questions on.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger
Locked