FEUERBACH discussion

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setht
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FEUERBACH discussion

Post by setht »

I assume all the mirrors are done by now, but I think I can say most of what I want to say for now without referring to specific questions.
Matt Weiner wrote:One team from the midwest who said they were writing a packet did not, and I had to combine two packets submitted since one of them was atrocious. Myself and Andrew Alexander wrote four full packets for this packet-submission event, which I figured would be more than enough; I'm not sure what to do when only 6 reasonable submitted rounds, a basically useless seventh round, and half of an eighth round from someone who wasn't required to write anything and was doing me a favor to even give me that much, is what shows up. We didn't really have time to write a fifth or sixth editor packet this week since we had no way to know in advance that it would be necessary. I hope no one's experience was compromised by the shortness of the set.
I wouldn't say my experience was compromised by the shortness of the set, but it was certainly lessened. It was also lessened by the presence of several repeats--I'd have thought that with less packets there would be less repeats, but it felt like we got a typical full tournament's worth in the 10 packets we heard. It was also lessened by a healthy dose of weak questions. I guess I'll wait until it's confirmed that the mirrors have all wrapped up before I get into this.

I'm going to stop grousing here and move on to grousing in another thread.

What did other people think of the tournament?

-Seth
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by Matt Weiner »

Yeah, everything's done and cleared for discussion/pillorying. Packets are up on http://collegiate.quizbowlpackets.com/ if you want to refer to them. Go nuts.
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by setht »

Matt Weiner wrote:Yeah, everything's done and cleared for discussion/pillorying. Packets are up on http://collegiate.quizbowlpackets.com/ if you want to refer to them. Go nuts.
Excellent, thanks for making them available so quickly.

Some examples of questions I thought were especially weak: in the Chicago B packet, the tossups on Sulla and Warhol, and the bonus on theorems involving the moment of inertia; in the Ohio State packet, the tossups on Pines of Rome, Checkers and Kandinsky. There were also plenty of bonus variability issues (e.g., an overly-hard bonus in the OSU packet on Paynal/Inari/caduceus). These are the first two packets we played, and I haven't had a chance yet to scan through the other packets for more examples of problem questions; sadly, there were more in the other packets.

-Seth
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by ClemsonQB »

To add to what Seth said about the Chicago B packet, I remember the Botswana tossup being especially terrible.
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by Sir Thopas »

I'm curious as to what people thought of my half packet; feedback is appreciated as always.

My tossups were: Rio de la Plata, Esther, Freneau, Brewers, Heart of a Dog, Sassanid, moon gods, Tippecanoe, Ives, Silent Cry, Billie Holiday.
Bonuses: Flaubert, pre-Baroque composers, nudes in paintings, Norse myth, Transnistria, Baha'i, f/64, Korean dynasties, Norris, Swedish internet.

I realize that some of these weren't too well-done (Sassanid and Tippecanoe went easy fast), but still, I'd like general thoughts about it. Thanks.
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

There were a lot of repeats at this tournament. At one point, my teammates and I were stuck between two equally plausible answers to a bonus part. I jokingly said "well, so-and-so has already come up this tournament, so it must be him". We then said the answer that had already come up and got 10 points for it. I think this was really illustrative of the tournament.

Also there were a lot of really steep difficulty cliffs, probably because most of the tossups were relatively short. It also felt like the tournament was confused about its identity; was it a novice tournament, or was it closer to ACF Regionals? "Marburg Colloquoy" and "expletive infixation" stood out as being too difficult in terms of plain answer selection.

The tossup I want to single out for explicit condemnation is Johan Strauss the Elder. This was essentially an interdisciplinary tossup; "here's a biography of Radetzky, FTP name the guy who wrote a song about him".
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by alkrav112 »

I wrote both the Marburg Colloquy and the expletive infixation tossups. I wasn't sure how difficult an answer selection "Marburg Colloquy" was, but I thought it was one of the more famous things about Martin Luther. As such, I figured it was common enough to be included at something like this tournament.

I admit to knowing exactly how difficult "expletive infixation" was, as I knew it had never come up before. That said, I wanted to write a linguistics TU on something fresh (e.g. not Chomsky, Great Vowel Shift, etc.). I figured it would be moved to the back of the packet with the extra tossups, or otherwise modified to reflect more of a Regionals difficulty. I'd be interested to know how frequently that question was picked up.

Also, if anyone has any other comments on the Michigan packet (as it's the first packet we've written and submitted in a while), please let us know either through the forum or at alkrav[removethistext]@umich.edu.
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by Sir Thopas »

alkrav112 wrote:I admit to knowing exactly how difficult "expletive infixation" was, as I knew it had never come up before. That said, I wanted to write a linguistics TU on something fresh (e.g. not Chomsky, Great Vowel Shift, etc.). I figured it would be moved to the back of the packet with the extra tossups, or otherwise modified to reflect more of a Regionals difficulty. I'd be interested to know how frequently that question was picked up.
Hey, this is just to say that that effort is really appreciated, even if the execution may not have been perfect in this case. Other than that, it was definitely well-researched, and interesting, and very well-structured, except that tmesis may have come a bit too early. I'd definitely keep writing these, just for harder tournaments or writing something a bit more manageable.
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Yeah, I'm definitely supportive of more Linguistics in quizbowl (even if Guy is the only other person who shares this view). I just think that expletive infixation was too much of a jump. Perhaps we should have a tossup on "infixation" first.

Quizbowl linguistics is really undeveloped. Until very recently, it has pretty much been limited to three kinds of questions:

(1) Great Vowel Shift
(2) Grimm's Law
(3) bonuses that go "given a word, give the place of articulation of its initial consonant" (these were around a lot in ~2004/2005 and then kind of disappeared)
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by Jeaton1 »

^ Don't forget the obligatory phoneme/morpheme part to every linguistics bonus ever.
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Whig's Boson wrote:Yeah, I'm definitely supportive of more Linguistics in quizbowl (even if Guy is the only other person who shares this view). I just think that expletive infixation was too much of a jump. Perhaps we should have a tossup on "infixation" first.
I share this view.

I don't know: expletive infixation is the best known (to English speakers) example of infixation, so it's not a paralyzing jump.
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by Captain Sinico »

That answer is too hard.

Sincerely,
MaS
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by vcuEvan »

Captain Scipio wrote:That answer is too fucking hard.

Sincerely,
MaS
Fixed.
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by Sir Thopas »

Adamantium Claws wrote:
Captain Scipio wrote:That answer is too fucking hard.

Sincerely,
MaS
Fixed.
not infixation sry
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by cornfused »

Captain Scipio wrote:That answer is too hard.

Sin-fucking-cerely,
MaS
There we go.
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by setht »

setht wrote:Some examples of questions I thought were especially weak: in the Chicago B packet, the tossups on Sulla and Warhol, and the bonus on theorems involving the moment of inertia; in the Ohio State packet, the tossups on Pines of Rome, Checkers and Kandinsky.
I should have put this in the original post complaining about some of the weaker tossups; here are some specifics on why I thought these questions were weak: I felt that Social War in the first line of the Sulla tossup and the Velvet Underground & Nico album cover in the second sentence of the Warhol tossup were both too easy too early; I also felt that a bonus with parts on parallel axis theorem and perpendicular axis theorem shouldn't have prompts including the phrases "parallel axis" and "perpendicular axes." I was told by a couple people that the Pines of Rome tossup opened with an unfortunate combination of non-unique and semi-stock clues, I felt the Checkers tossup would have been better off focusing entirely on the specifics of the speech and its impact (cutting the clues about whatever pet cemetery he's buried in, for instance), and I felt the Kandinsky tossup starting with "degenerate art," Yellow-Red-Blue, and Gropius/Bauhaus as the first two sentences was too easy too fast.

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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by marnold »

For what it's worth, all the maligned questions in the Chicago B packet came from a younger player with very little question-writing experience. When I got those questions, I saw some of them sucked a lot and even rewrote a couple of them (i.e., my mediocre Heart of the Andes - Church - Cotopaxi bonus replaced something way worse). I submitted them to Matt with a warning/apology for the poor quality, but my bad I guess for submitting atrocious questions in a packet I was assembling.
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by SepiaOfficinalis »

We just played some of these packets tonight and I have to say the "Florida Keys" tossup was just terrible at the beginning. Unless I really misunderstood it, it began "These things are formed by [insert succinct but full description of coral atoll formation]...clues about places on them." A tossup really shouldn't lead in with a complete description of something entirely different before giving any hint that anything specific is required. My actual answer was "wait...this is a bonus...oh, really? Coral atolls." Ludicrous hose.
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen »

Whig's Boson wrote:Yeah, I'm definitely supportive of more Linguistics in quizbowl (even if Guy is the only other person who shares this view). I just think that expletive infixation was too much of a jump. Perhaps we should have a tossup on "infixation" first.
Before I looked at the question in question, I totally thought you were talking about expletives as in "words that have no theta role" and thought "Wait, how is that infixation?"

As for linguistics in quizbowl, I'm a linguistics major and I think I would totally fail at linguistics questions that weren't on stuff everyone knows like "Grimm's Law" or "phoneme". For example, after taking undergraduate courses in syntax, phonology, and semantics/pragmatics, I don't know anything about the current state of any of those fields. My understanding is, for instance, that stuff people study related to phonology these days has to do with Optimality Theory, but in my semester of studying phonology, I didn't learn anything about that, most likely because you have to understand older, now outdated concepts to understand it. I learned about the projection problem in pragmatics, but the most recent articles we read in that class were from ~30 years ago, so I don't know if anybody has solved it or if so, what the solution is. The projection problem is a pretty important topic in pragmatics, or so I'm given to believe from spending half a semester on pragmatics in that class, but if there were a clue in a quizbowl question about who solved it, or how, I wouldn't know. And, Cornell's linguistics-major requirements being what they are, I theoretically could graduate knowing only this much about pragmatics (and probably will end up graduating not knowing much more about phonology ^^;;; ). Plus, a lot of people know less about linguistics than I do, since it's not their area of study. If what's important in a field and therefore should be asked about requires grad students in that field to answer questions on them, that seems a bit weird, and different from other fields that get asked about in quizbowl (like music, where I can answer questions on stuff I've played, &c).
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by dyetman89 »

mcn46 wrote:If what's important in a field and therefore should be asked about requires grad students in that field to answer questions on them
If I understand you correctly, this seems to me a false dilemma - Bruce Arthur is not a linguistics grad student, and indeed Guy Tabachnick, probably the most knowledgeable linguistics player on any level, is a high school student.
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Yeah, linguistics tossups tend not to be on major problems in pragmatics (though, granted, I know what presupposition is, and I can imagine how a statement's presuppositions necessarily rely on the presuppositions of its components, but I have no idea why one speaks of the projection "problem" since I have no formal training--but I could lateral a tossup on it), but rather things that you can totally get: see, for example, the VCU Open tossup on aspiration. (The clue right before FTP, for example, noted that it's denoted in IPA by a superscript h, and earlier clues talked about how bunches of stops in Hindi-Urdu are differentiated by it, though I can't say I remember that clue precisely--all I know is that it immediately made me recall a bunch of virtually indistinguishable tee and dee sounds, think "aspiration," and then sit. I think accessibility is no more a problem in linguistics than it is in other fields; I've spent a year as a science major and my courses have hardly covered what's happened in the past year in just about any field.
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Quizbowl linguistics should be pretty gettable for anyone who has taken Linguistics 101 or Historical Linguistics 101.

That said, I don't know to what extent people outside of the Sciences get quizbowl questions based on what they learned in class. I personally found virtually all of my college classes completely useless for quizbowl purposes and get the vast majority of my points off stuff I learned through independent research during my free time.
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Re: FEUERBACH discussion

Post by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen »

I remember reading a packet in practice once where Chomsky was the easy part and the other two questions were very specific terms from a book he wrote that I had never heard of. I don't remember what level it was, though, so that might explain it. When I heard "linguistics canon expansion" I immediately thought of that, and (it looks like) overreacted. :lol:
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