ACF Winter discussion

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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by setht »

Captain Scipio wrote:
everyday847 wrote:...The smallest (and largest) grouping containing olivine is silicates. Feldspars don't have any magnesium and iron, so they're just wrong, but even so, the smallest grouping that contains them is the subclass "tectosilicates," and after that, silicates...
See, this is what people mean when they say that the question reflects poor understanding of how minerals are classified. I'll bet you that I can come up with no fewer than 10 "groupings" that contain olivines (or even both olivines and feldspars.) You, Andy Watkins, seem to be under the impression that minerals are classified in only one way; this is wrong in the extreme.

MaS
The silicates tossup had multiple fine answers available for a while. Mike already mentioned "mafic minerals," which was the most tempting option I could think of for a while--it would be weird/silly to start off a tossup on mafic minerals by saying that they contain iron and magnesium, but that clue certainly points more to mafic than to silicates in general. Other silly possible answers off early clues include "silicates whose crystal structure consists of isolated tetrahedra" (as opposed to single-chain or framework or all the other silicate structures). There are certainly different levels of specificity of mineral classifications ("these minerals are all based on Si04 tetrahedra" or more specifically "these minerals are all based on rings of Si04 tetrahedra").
everyday847 wrote:So I've discovered all the points where people may have negged. For reference:
I wrote:15. One of this kind of mineral,(1) whose crystals also contain magnesium and iron, (2) is at the top of Bowen's reaction series, (3) while zircon contains this mineral class's characteristic group and zirconium. (4) In addition to olivine, an ortho- one, (5) one variety of a group of these was the source of the first rubidium to be discovered, (6) while another is best known for its perfect basal cleavage and the thin sheet into which is breaks: (7) those varieties are known as lepidolite and muscovite. Their best known subclass is the tecto-ones, all of which contain aluminum save the best known group of them. Examples of the alumino-ones include zeolites and feldspars. For 10 points, identify this class of minerals, like quartz and mica, all of which include oxygen and silicon.
ANSWER: silicates
5) I've said olivine explicitly now. Also, I don't think there are ortho- micas or feldspars. (These are the two most common negs, survey says.)
It's true that feldspars aren't orthosilicates, but there is a major subtype of feldspar known as orthoclase. There are multiple clues before "an ortho- one" that rule out feldspars, but "an ortho- one" doesn't feel like a great way to rule out feldspars on its own.

Anyway, I pretty much agree with Mike's assessment--this question was a strange mix of very clear clues seemingly pointing in several different directions interspersed with some opaque clues: as I heard the question go by, "top of Bowen's reaction series" seemed like a rather easy clue to 2 possible answers (or groups containing those answers), olivine was a similarly easy clue but by then I was just confused about what kind of answer you were going for, then there's a juicy clue for micas but the answer can't be micas, etc. In the meantime, there's stuff on "the source of the first rubidium to be discovered," which a quick trip over to Wikipedia leads me to believe is a reference to lepidolite. I'm not really sure why an indirect reference to lepidolite comes after "olivine"--the latter sure seems more well-known to me.

-Seth

p.s. I think I wrote the only other earth science tossup of the tournament (sea-floor spreading). It's not my favorite tossup I've ever written by a long shot, but if anyone feels like it was particularly bad I'd be interested in hearing about it (here or by email: [email protected]). I also wrote the tossup on metric/metrics; if anyone has a complaint more specific than "I don't like math tossups on terms" I'd also be interested in hearing about that.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Captain Sinico »

I like math tossups on terms! Also, other science tossups on terms are A-okay with me. I think that, in the hands of a poor writer, these can result in bad questions but then, that's true of pretty much anything, isn't it?
I'm interested to see what problems other people have with them in a different thread that I hope someone will start. Since there were, like, 1/0 such in Winter, I hope we won't keep discussing this important general issue here.

MaS
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Yeah, it seems that that silicates tossup sucks much more against a field with lots of real knowledge (i.e. thinks of olivines as a group, would legitimately consider buzzing with "silicates that are tetrahedral," etc.). (I certainly wasn't actively trying to use the ortho- clue to rule out micas and feldspars, if that was unclear; that was just another way to exclude them. But you're right, of course, that orthoclase causes problems there.) And on the whole I agree that the clues aren't actually in any really pyramidal order or terribly well-phrased.

Er, I'll work on that for next time. Everyone study your favorite borates!
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by setht »

I wanted to point out the bonus on plutinos/scattered disk objects/cubewanos as one that didn't seem to have an easy part. I'm not convinced plutinos off of a prompt of "they include Pluto" is even an easy part, since I think there just aren't enough teams out there that even have the term "plutinos" rattling around in their heads. This bonus, unlike a very similar one in the 2005 Terrapin set, didn't even give Pluto in the prompt for plutinos, nor did it allude to QB1 in the prompt for cubewanos. I think this sort of bonus pretty much has to have a part on Oort cloud or Kuiper belt for anything below ACF Nats (possibly there, too), and prompts for stuff like plutinos and cubewanos need to do more to give those answers away.

I'd also like to point out a pair of tossups that suffered from unfortunate sentence construction: the tossup on Ayer whose second sentence included, "...and in Sense and Sensibilia, J. L. Austin..." and the tossup on The Makioka Sisters whose first sentence was "At one point in this work, one of the main characters is introuced to a man named Vronsky, which that character recognizes as a name out of Anna Karenina." I don't know of anyone that negged on Vronsky, but I negged on Sense and Sensibilia and I believe at least one other person did the same thing at the Michigan site. In both cases, I see no reason not to rearrange the sentences to put Austin before Sense and Sensibilia (e.g. "and J. L. Austin argued in Sense and Sensibilia...") and Anna Karenina before Vronsky (e.g. "One of this work's main characters thinks of the novel Anna Karenina upon being introduced to a man named Vronsky."). I'll also note that the Ayer tossup misquotes the title of Ayer's "The Concept of a Person," and that there doesn't seem to be any logical connection between the first and second parts of the tossup's second sentence; why not split into two sentences, each with its own coherent idea?

I'm not sure if there were more examples of sentences that could have been strictly improved by rearrangement. There were certainly more examples of sentences with multiple, independent ideas railroaded together. I know this is a common practice in writing quizbowl questions, but it makes for some horribly muddled sentences.

The tournament was fun and the vast majority of the questions were fine to good, I just wanted to point out a couple of the more problematic questions that I think could have been easily fixed.

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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by theMoMA »

Jerry, my main complaint with the other science distribution at this tournament was mainly how it was skewed. I understand that your interests and expertise favor math, but it seems to me that math and computer science should be about equal to astronomy and earth science over the course of a tournament. Astronomy, geology, and other earth science topics provide a good jumping-in point for players who want to learn science without a huge cost of admission, which is almost exactly the opposite with math and computer science.

One of the most common complaints about specific question types that I hear among newer players is that math tossups on things like "rings" or "homeomorphic" are not only unanswerable for those who haven't taken math classes, but indistinguishable. I recall a couple of those tossups in the set, and while they weren't overpowering, I would like to see fewer in future sets, especially ones written at an intermediate level. Tournaments geared towards broad audiences should try to avoid answers that are widely frustrating, especially when there are lots of other math topics worth writing on, including the under-utilized strategy of writing on mathematicians, like Sorice's Hilbert tossup.

Getting back to the main thrust of my other science criticism, I think it's important to keep the math/compsci close to the astronomy/earth science. As I said, the latter is one of the most accessible parts of the science distribution for newer players and those who haven't taken advanced science classes, which is just the opposite of the former. Having a lot of math in a tournament crowds out an important area in the distribution.

Broadly speaking, I think that one of quizbowl's biggest coming challenges is that it doesn't foster science enthusiasts. As opposed to relatively egalitarian disciplines like literature and history, there are very few competent science players who aren't science majors. As a result there are few writers and editors who can rise to the high standard of science question quality that is demanded.

I don't pretend to be a good science player, but I'm at least willing to learn it and to do the necessary research when writing questions on it. My own interest in becoming a better science player and writer was largely kindled by quizbowl rewarding my knowledge of some of the most outsider-accessible science topics like geology and astronomy. Those topics act as an entry point to the science distribution for those who would otherwise not care, and tournaments that overrepresent math and computer science leave those players on the outside looking in. This contributes to the growing isolation of science knowledge in the game, which diminishes the pool of science writers and editors.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region »

grapesmoker wrote:I don't see how you can possibly buzz while hearing the "blue eagle" clue and say NRA when you've already heard that the thing being asked for is "this bill" and then claim you should have gotten points or were somehow hosed. The NRA is not a bill and giving that as an answer is obviously incorrect. The question is not at all misleading from what I can see.
Cheynem wrote:NRA for NIRA (this one genuinely pissed me off--I know it says legislation, but don't drop the clue about the symbol then).
What? I don't understand this line of reasoning at all. You were told that what was being looked for was a piece of legislation that set up a particular agency and that agency was symbolized by a certain symbol. I fail to see what's so confusing about this.
Here's the tossup:

12. This bill's demise once prompted the President to declare that the Supreme Court was living in a "horse and buggy era".  A series of "codes of competition" was among the provisions of this bill, which was overseen by a board led by Clarence Darrow. It set up an agency headed by General Hugh S. Johnson that, and it reduced maximum hours so that more people couple be employed, while its Section 7a was an important concession to labor unions. It was symbolized by a Blue Eagle, alongside the motto "We Do Our Part".  Ruled unconstitutional by the 1935 Supreme Court case Schecter Poultry Corporation v. US, this is, FTP, which piece of New Deal legislation that set up the Public Works Administration and the National Recovery Administration?
ANSWER: National Industrial Recovery Act [do not accept National Recovery Administration]

I'll agree with you that, up until the third line where it says "labor unions", NRA wouldn't be acceptable. But then the question just decides to quit asking about the NIRA by saying, "It was symbolized by a Blue Eagle, alongside the motto "We Do Our Part." That clue definitely applies only to the NRA, and teams that buzzed in on that clue and answered NRA should have gotten points.

Here's the NRA Blue Eagle poster: http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/Belmont_HS/t ... poster.jpg

Basically it was just a badly worded question. It asked about one thing, asked about another thing in the third and fourth lines, and then asked about the one thing again. It was a 4 line tossup with a 1 line tossup spliced into the middle.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Sir Thopas »

cornfused wrote:The Grieg piano concerto tossup was by Emily Koenig on my team, I'll pass along the compliment. How'd you see that one, Aaron?
Dennis read it for us at some point.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Cheynem »

Yeah, I will admit it was my fault for not listening to the pronouns better. It was just a reflex buzz on "blue eagle." It is actually a very good tossup at the beginning with a lot of interesting clues that I had not heard before for NIRA. I apologize for saying it pissed me off: In retrospect, the tossup was not what genuinely pissed me off--it was more of the situation. It was a close match, I buzzed in and said in one breath "NRA, NIRA [as I suddenly remembered it wanted legislation]" and was swiftly negged.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region »

Cheynem wrote:Yeah, I will admit it was my fault for not listening to the pronouns better. It was just a reflex buzz on "blue eagle." It is actually a very good tossup at the beginning with a lot of interesting clues that I had not heard before for NIRA. I apologize for saying it pissed me off: In retrospect, the tossup was not what genuinely pissed me off--it was more of the situation. It was a close match, I buzzed in and said in one breath "NRA, NIRA [as I suddenly remembered it wanted legislation]" and was swiftly negged.
I mean, I don't know why you're apologizing. True, the question at the beginning was asking for the legislation, but, with the sentence "It was symbolized by a clue Eagle..." the question quit asking about the NIRA and started asking about the NRA. It would be like having a tossup about the character Hamlet and then, in the middle of the question, having a sentence that said, "This man wrote King Lear and Macbeth." I don't know what the rules are for questions that change what they're asking for midway through; perhaps such questions shouldn't be written in the future.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Captain Sinico »

theMoMA wrote:...math and computer science should be about equal to astronomy and earth science over the course of a tournament.
I don't agree with this. When I consider what people actually know and study, I think the balance is strongly in the favor of math. I also think that astronomy and earth science per se aren't generally populated with questions on real, important topics; rather, they tend to have questions on such bug-collecting analogues as names of rocks or stars. Of course, we can ask about the physics or chemistry of the earth or of stuff in space; if that's what you're calling for, I think that's more reasonable but also not very likely to happen any time soon.
theMoMA wrote:Astronomy, geology, and other earth science topics provide a good jumping-in point for players who want to learn science without a huge cost of admission, which is almost exactly the opposite with math and computer science.
I don't agree with this, either! I'd counter-argue that everyone knows and uses some math. Learning and understanding the definitions of basic concepts shouldn't be beyond anyone's horizon. That brings me to my next point.
theMoMA wrote:One of the most common complaints about specific question types that I hear among newer players is that math tossups on things like "rings" or "homeomorphic" are not only unanswerable for those who haven't taken math classes, but indistinguishable.
I counter-argue that those people probably don't know much of anything about these (unarguably important, relevant, unique...) topics and consequently aren't due points on these questions. Obviously, I think that advanced math concepts like ring theory aren't suitable for newer players, but their easier analogues most certainly are. For tournaments whose audience isn't newer players (like this one), I don't see why something like rings or homeomorphisms shouldn't be in play. Learning basic things about those items, like their definitions, shouldn't be too difficult for anyone to muster, regardless of whether they've taken a ring theory class or not (I, for example, never have.)
I do think that these questions have a tendency to be poor, mostly by being vague in an actual sense (i.e. causing even/especially people who know the subject well to fail to know what the question's going for) and/or by being transparent. However, as has been often noted, that doesn't make much of an argument against writing them per se. Rather, it only means that people writing such questions must do so carefully and make extra sure that their clues are clear.
theMoMA wrote:I recall a couple of those tossups in the set, and while they weren't overpowering, I would like to see fewer in future sets...
You're arguing for none of these, then. I don't think that's a tenable argument. Questions on math concepts (and not just those named for people) ought to exist at all levels. Obviously, if the concepts being written about are too hard for the field, that's a problem, but I don't think that's the case to the extent that's being claimed. Even if I'm badly mistaken in that, the remedy is certainly the writing of questions on easier concepts and certainly not the cessation of writing on concepts.

MaS
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

Parson Smirk wrote:12. This bill's demise once prompted the President to declare that the Supreme Court was living in a "horse and buggy era".  A series of "codes of competition" was among the provisions of this bill, which was overseen by a board led by Clarence Darrow. It set up an agency headed by General Hugh S. Johnson that, and it reduced maximum hours so that more people couple be employed, while its Section 7a was an important concession to labor unions. It was symbolized by a Blue Eagle, alongside the motto "We Do Our Part".  Ruled unconstitutional by the 1935 Supreme Court case Schecter Poultry Corporation v. US, this is, FTP, which piece of New Deal legislation that set up the Public Works Administration and the National Recovery Administration?
ANSWER: National Industrial Recovery Act [do not accept National Recovery Administration]
Ok, I see what happened here. The part of the clue that said "This bill set up an agency..." was moved away from the clue about the Blue Eagle emblem, which made it sound like the NIRA was symbolized by the eagle, which is clearly false. To be honest, I have no idea why this was done; I believe Dennis edited this question, so I hope he'll be able to explain it, but to me this is just a poorly constructed sentence. If this question instead read, "That agency was symbolized by a Blue Eagle..." etc., that seems to me that it would have fixed this problem.

edit: Also, in previous posts, I was responding to the quoted form of the original question, which did not have this problem. I see that the edited question does and I'm not sure how it developed.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Dennis »

In response to that question, I made some edits and, in reworking the changes, seem to have made a poor choice of words in rewriting that part. My apologies for doing that, especially since it seemed to throw a number of people off.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

theMoMA wrote:Jerry, my main complaint with the other science distribution at this tournament was mainly how it was skewed. I understand that your interests and expertise favor math, but it seems to me that math and computer science should be about equal to astronomy and earth science over the course of a tournament. Astronomy, geology, and other earth science topics provide a good jumping-in point for players who want to learn science without a huge cost of admission, which is almost exactly the opposite with math and computer science.
I have two points in response to this. First of all, I was trying my best to make use of submitted material, as long as that material was up to a standard of quality. Since we were combining packets, I tried to be diverse in what I picked from different combinations. If I picked math in one instance, I tried to pick either earth science or astronomy or computer science in another instance. In a few instances, I ended up throwing out a question if the answer selection didn't strike me as good and instead writing my own. For example, the "magnetite" tossup was a result of this. I feel that for a tournament to have any meaning as a packet submission event, its answer selection should bear some resemblance to what people actually submitted. So given that I wasn't about to throw the entire "Science - other" distribution out the window and write my own, this is what I came up with.

Second, I reject that notion that math/computer science/astronomy/earth science must all be represented equally. I just don't see why this should be the case. I'm not saying they should be unequal, but I'm basically satisfied with any subdistribution that doesn't end up with one category dominating everything. And the fact is that while math probably formed a good 50% of that category (based on what people wrote), there were also computer science questions and earth science questions and astronomy questions. So this set skewed towards math; maybe the next set will skew towards CS or astronomy.
One of the most common complaints about specific question types that I hear among newer players is that math tossups on things like "rings" or "homeomorphic" are not only unanswerable for those who haven't taken math classes, but indistinguishable. I recall a couple of those tossups in the set, and while they weren't overpowering, I would like to see fewer in future sets, especially ones written at an intermediate level. Tournaments geared towards broad audiences should try to avoid answers that are widely frustrating, especially when there are lots of other math topics worth writing on, including the under-utilized strategy of writing on mathematicians, like Sorice's Hilbert tossup.
I don't understand the argument that says that one should be able to get points on things without knowing about them. By the way, let me just say that the strategy of writing on mathematicians is not underutilized, and in fact there were plenty of examples of it in this tournament (sorry about that Legendre giveaway; I forgot to change it to something non-cutesy). But in any case, if you don't know any math, I'm not sure what claim you have to be getting questions on math things. I think imposing this kind of restriction on the answer space leads to a lot of boring questions of the same type.
Getting back to the main thrust of my other science criticism, I think it's important to keep the math/compsci close to the astronomy/earth science. As I said, the latter is one of the most accessible parts of the science distribution for newer players and those who haven't taken advanced science classes, which is just the opposite of the former. Having a lot of math in a tournament crowds out an important area in the distribution.
And I disagree that this should be a guiding principle of tournament construction. I don't see how earth science and astronomy is more accessible than math or CS; in fact, I would bet that CS is more accessible than either of those simply because many people are actually CS majors whereas very few people in quizbowl study geology or astronomy. Furthermore, I feel that astronomy questions in general often reduce to quite boring things like "this minor moon of Saturn" or something of the sort. I find those questions dull and tend not to write them or edit them out if I find them. However, this is mostly a moot point, because most of the stuff that made it into the set actually reflected what people wrote about.
Broadly speaking, I think that one of quizbowl's biggest coming challenges is that it doesn't foster science enthusiasts. As opposed to relatively egalitarian disciplines like literature and history, there are very few competent science players who aren't science majors. As a result there are few writers and editors who can rise to the high standard of science question quality that is demanded.

I don't pretend to be a good science player, but I'm at least willing to learn it and to do the necessary research when writing questions on it. My own interest in becoming a better science player and writer was largely kindled by quizbowl rewarding my knowledge of some of the most outsider-accessible science topics like geology and astronomy. Those topics act as an entry point to the science distribution for those who would otherwise not care, and tournaments that overrepresent math and computer science leave those players on the outside looking in. This contributes to the growing isolation of science knowledge in the game, which diminishes the pool of science writers and editors.
I do not know whence this "growing isolation of science" argument is coming. There are plenty of players out there who know lots of science of various types. I don't find your argument for earth science equivalency to be compelling, although, as I've said before, if I were to play a tournament in which those subdistributions were equal, that would be fine too. It's just that I don't view it as an imperative that needs to be met, and certainly not something that justifies spending inordinate amounts of time on when there's other editing to be done.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Tower Monarch »

grapesmoker wrote:Second, I reject that notion that math/computer science/astronomy/earth science must all be represented equally. I just don't see why this should be the case. I'm not saying they should be unequal, but I'm basically satisfied with any subdistribution that doesn't end up with one category dominating everything.
I would definitely agree with this; practicing this past summer on Regionals and Nationals sets allowed me to learn computer science better than I will ever know astronomy, for example. But since others could react in an opposite manner, there is no reason to tightly control a subdistribution beyond what is submitted. This tournament went beyond my expectations on representing each of the "Other Sciences".
grapesmoker wrote:
One of the most common complaints about specific question types that I hear among newer players is that math tossups on things like "rings" or "homeomorphic" are not only unanswerable for those who haven't taken math classes, but indistinguishable. I recall a couple of those tossups in the set, and while they weren't overpowering, I would like to see fewer in future sets, especially ones written at an intermediate level. Tournaments geared towards broad audiences should try to avoid answers that are widely frustrating, especially when there are lots of other math topics worth writing on, including the under-utilized strategy of writing on mathematicians, like Sorice's Hilbert tossup.
I don't understand the argument that says that one should be able to get points on things without knowing about them. By the way, let me just say that the strategy of writing on mathematicians is not underutilized, and in fact there were plenty of examples of it in this tournament (sorry about that Legendre giveaway; I forgot to change it to something non-cutesy). But in any case, if you don't know any math, I'm not sure what claim you have to be getting questions on math things. I think imposing this kind of restriction on the answer space leads to a lot of boring questions of the same type.
While I still say this term vs mathematician debate has no bearing on this set (a survey of all the TU answers found metric as the closest thing to this, and I found this more "gettable" than a hypothetical homemorphic TU, which was not in this set), I do see the point that you could easily be a Freshman or Sophomore about to declare Math as your major and have gone without learning "homeomorphic" or maybe even "metric", whereas there is no Freshman planning on being a Lit major who could not get "Kidnapped" by the end; this is frustrating at times. If making the Mathematics distribution 90+% mathematicians (at least for TUs) is the way to even this perceived imbalance, then I could support that view.
grapesmoker wrote:
Getting back to the main thrust of my other science criticism, I think it's important to keep the math/compsci close to the astronomy/earth science.
And I disagree that this should be a guiding principle of tournament construction. I don't see how earth science and astronomy is more accessible than math or CS; in fact, I would bet that CS is more accessible than either of those simply because many people are actually CS majors whereas very few people in quizbowl study geology or astronomy.
As I said earlier, I have found these fields roughly equal in terms of ability to "break into" the canon; thus, I would tend towards Jerry's stance and disallow this from guiding a tournament.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Tower Monarch wrote:I do see the point that you could easily be a Freshman or Sophomore about to declare Math as your major and have gone without learning "homeomorphic" or maybe even "metric", whereas there is no Freshman planning on being a Lit major who could not get "Kidnapped" by the end; this is frustrating at times. If making the Mathematics distribution 90+% mathematicians (at least for TUs) is the way to even this perceived imbalance, then I could support that view.
But I think it's equally true that you could be a freshman prospective math major who can't answer a tossup on Legendre or Laguerre. (And, like, do I write a tossup about Bessel to avoid writing about Bessel functions? I hope not.) I don't think there's much of an argument that tossups on people are inherently easier: perhaps homeomorphic and metric are too hard to convert, and you need easier term tossups; that's different from saying that homeomorphic and metric are too hard, so term tossups as a class are bad. Maybe there's a wider novice-to-regular-level answer space of people than of terms, but if so, I'd want some evidence of this.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

With regards to the math debate, I will say this: if your requirement for a tournament like ACF Winter is for questions to be easily convertible by anyone who is a freshman and has indicated a math major, then obviously most of the math questions in this set would need to be different. The same would then apply to the chemistry, physics, and CS categories. This was not what I understood this tournament to be about, but since we've already established that my understanding of this tournament's purpose was faulty, then I'm willing to accept that this is what ACF Winter should be like and have another editor produce those kinds of questions. This was not the vision I was working towards so the questions (not just math) turned out as they did as a consequence of that.

edit: one final note on math. Since most mathematics is learned in the context of a given class, it's not unreasonable to suggest that quizbowl questions take much of their material from those classes. At Berkeley, for example, a student with no prior college math experience would take 2 semesters of calculus (single- and multi-variable), then basic differential equations and linear algebra. This sequence typically takes anywhere between a year to two years; the last two years of a math degree involve taking upper level classes in linear algebra, group theory, topology, logic, numerical methods, geometry, and analysis. Much of the stuff that gets asked in quizbowl comes from those upper-level classes because that's where multiple things are introduced that are named for people, and that includes even questions on guys like Hilbert. It's possible to write questions based on a restricted math answer space, but I think those questions are better saved for actual novice tournaments which mostly feature players that are in their first or second year.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo »

Sir Thopas wrote: cornfused wrote:The Grieg piano concerto tossup was by Emily Koenig on my team, I'll pass along the compliment. How'd you see that one, Aaron?



Dennis read it for us at some point.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

The lead-in on the NIRA tossup seems extraordinarily lateralable.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Maxwell Sniffingwell »

setht wrote:the tossup on Ayer whose second sentence included, "...and in Sense and Sensibilia, J. L. Austin..." and the tossup on The Makioka Sisters whose first sentence was "At one point in this work, one of the main characters is introuced to a man named Vronsky, which that character recognizes as a name out of Anna Karenina." I don't know of anyone that negged on Vronsky, but I negged on Sense and Sensibilia and I believe at least one other person did the same thing at the Michigan site.
I did that at the Carleton site:
Stanford/Maryland/Rom wrote:This thinker's criticism of Wittgenstein's account of private language is contained in the essay collection The Concept of Being a Person, and in Sense and Sensibilia, J.L. Austin criticized "some current doctrines concerning sense perception," advanced in this thinker's The Foundations of Empirical Knowledge.
The worst part about this is that with a period before "J.L. Austin," that sentence is still grammatically correct (give or take a comma.) So when the moderator said Sense and Sensibilia and then took a quick breath, I buzzed.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by millionwaves »

Hey dudes,

Jerry just brought something really embarrassing to my attention. I had a Battle of Isandlwana tossup in my editor's packet for Winter, and it was basically the same question as one that appeared in IO. What happened with that is that I maintain some questions on my hard drive for when I need them in a pinch to finish a packet. I try to be really careful in deleting them when I've used them, but in my haste to get through IO, I must have forgot to do so. I certainly had no intention of reusing the question, and I feel awfully about anyone who might have got an advantage by hearing basically the same question twice. I apologize, and I'll make sure the same thing doesn't happen again.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by DumbJaques »

Jerry just brought something really embarrassing to my attention. I had a Battle of Isandlwana tossup in my editor's packet for Winter, and it was basically the same question as one that appeared in IO. What happened with that is that I maintain some questions on my hard drive for when I need them in a pinch to finish a packet. I try to be really careful in deleting them when I've used them, but in my haste to get through IO, I must have forgot to do so. I certainly had no intention of reusing the question, and I feel awfully about anyone who might have got an advantage by hearing basically the same question twice. I apologize, and I'll make sure the same thing doesn't happen again.
I played both sets and in fact buzzed on both questions, and I really didn't notice anything about it until you mentioned it. I've done something pretty much identical to that before; it happens. Given the amount of work you put into the set, it clearly wasn't due to a lack of effort or thoroughness, so just chalk it up to a random clerical error.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

cornfused wrote:The worst part about this is that with a period before "J.L. Austin," that sentence is still grammatically correct (give or take a comma.) So when the moderator said Sense and Sensibilia and then took a quick breath, I buzzed.
I apologize for the awkward formulation of that question, and for messing up the title of Ayer's work.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by bookaholicgirl »

I particularly want to single out for praise teams like Michigan State, UCSD, UCLA, Truman, Missouri State, South Detroit (Jack Glerum and friends), Pitt, and Walter Johnson high school for submitting some very good packets. Most of these teams have minimal writing experience but still managed to do a very good job of following directions and submitting good packets.
Thank you for your comment...I was in charge of putting together the MSU A packet and am happy to know that it met with approval. (I hadn't realized on Saturday that it was being used at a mirror site, so I'm glad to see that it did get used in a different set of playoffs.) Two of us are grad students and had written questions for MLKs several years back (although I was off the circuit completely for about three years in between), but everyone else on the team has two years or less experience at the collegiate level, so it's good to know that we sent in a decent packet.
It's not a bad tossup either, but I was highly bemused for the Said clue for Fanny.
I wrote this, so I'll comment on it...I'd be curious to know why there's bemusement about the Said clue. I put it in because it used deep knowledge, both of the lit crit dealing with the book and also of one of the minor events that is likely to have come up in class discussion at some point. I actually think it's more likely to come up in a class in which Mansfield Park is read than the Lionel Trilling reference, which I had half expected to be edited out.

One of my teammates did neg on Vronsky...I figured that the clue was way too early in the question for the answer to be Anna Karenina, but I can see where it would have been misleading.

Question: is it common to consider Judith and Susanna "Old Testament" as opposed to "Apocrypha"? I would classify them as the latter, or at least throw that word in the question somewhere as a way of acknowledging that not all Christian traditions consider them canonical and it might be misleading for them (it definitely played a role as to why we didn't get Susanna right). I also noticed that Saint Anthony was referred to as Biblical, although I don't think he is.

Favorite questions of the tournament: the concubine toss-up, which I got at "Levite", and the Norwegian lit bonus, which managed to work in all three things I know about Norwegian lit. :) The "What's Opera, Doc?" bonus was great, too, although it was the other team's.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Matt Weiner »

bookaholicgirl wrote:I wrote this, so I'll comment on it...I'd be curious to know why there's bemusement about the Said clue. I put it in because it used deep knowledge, both of the lit crit dealing with the book and also of one of the minor events that is likely to have come up in class discussion at some point. I actually think it's more likely to come up in a class in which Mansfield Park is read than the Lionel Trilling reference, which I had half expected to be edited out.
Said's somewhat laughable objection to Mansfield Park (that it includes characters who hold slaves, but is something other than a denunciation of slavery, and therefore makes Jane Austen complicit in slavery and imperialism itself) is probably the 2nd most well-known thing about Said, after the basic idea of what "Orientalism" is about. Said himself has been an answer quite frequently in the past, and that has been a clue. So, it's probably too easy for a leadin, but as you say it is something that is studied and is legit knowledge, so it should still come up later in the question.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

Matt Weiner wrote:Said's somewhat laughable objection to Mansfield Park (that it includes characters who hold slaves, but is something other than a denunciation of slavery, and therefore makes Jane Austen complicit in slavery and imperialism itself) is probably the 2nd most well-known thing about Said, after the basic idea of what "Orientalism" is about. Said himself has been an answer quite frequently in the past, and that has been a clue. So, it's probably too easy for a leadin, but as you say it is something that is studied and is legit knowledge, so it should still come up later in the question.
It was probably my fault for letting this slip through, but to be honest, I did not actually know that this was particularly well known. I thought it wasn't a bad leadin and didn't think that many people would know it so I kept it in. Guess there's a Said-shaped hole in my knowledge wall.
Question: is it common to consider Judith and Susanna "Old Testament" as opposed to "Apocrypha"? I would classify them as the latter, or at least throw that word in the question somewhere as a way of acknowledging that not all Christian traditions consider them canonical and it might be misleading for them (it definitely played a role as to why we didn't get Susanna right). I also noticed that Saint Anthony was referred to as Biblical, although I don't think he is.
The Book of Judith and the Book of Daniel (which contains the story of Susanna and the elders) is certainly part of the Hebrew Bible; I guess there's some discrepancy among Christian traditions whether they count as canonical Old Testament works, but at least from the perspective of the Hebrew bible, it seems that they do. It was an art question so I didn't spend a whole lot of time researching the theology, but I guess I should have added something like "this scene from the Book of Daniel" to the Susanna question. Also, identifying St. Anthony as a Biblical figure is obviously a mistake; I should have said something like "early Christian figure" or even just "saint."
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by jonah »

grapesmoker wrote:
Question: is it common to consider Judith and Susanna "Old Testament" as opposed to "Apocrypha"?
The Book of Judith and the Book of Daniel (which contains the story of Susanna and the elders) is certainly part of the Hebrew Bible
I disagree. My printed copy of the Tanakh doesn't include Judith, and I don't remember ever seeing it on a list of the books thereof. Britannica confirms that Judith is an "apocryphal work excluded from the Hebrew and Protestant biblical canons".
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

jonah wrote:I disagree. My printed copy of the Tanakh doesn't include Judith, and I don't remember ever seeing it on a list of the books thereof. Britannica confirms that Judith is an "apocryphal work excluded from the Hebrew and Protestant biblical canons".
My bad; you are correct. It was my impression that Judith was a canonical part of the Hebrew bible, but it looks like I was wrong.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Sampling »

bookaholicgirl wrote:Question: is it common to consider Judith and Susanna "Old Testament" as opposed to "Apocrypha"? I would classify them as the latter, or at least throw that word in the question somewhere as a way of acknowledging that not all Christian traditions consider them canonical and it might be misleading for them (it definitely played a role as to why we didn't get Susanna right). I also noticed that Saint Anthony was referred to as Biblical, although I don't think he is.
Catholic Encyclopedia confirms missingness of any St. Anthony in the Bible. At best he was played by John Cleese in an uncredited cameo.

The portion of Daniel containing the story of Susannah is definitely not in the Jewish bible, and neither is Judith. When, once, I wrote a bonus on them, I didn't need to draw a distinction between OT and Apocrypha, but I did make sure the tournament had one additional actual Judaism question once I found that out.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

Further investigation seems to indicate that at least part of the Book of Daniel is canonical but some episodes within it are not (source). I guess I did not realize that some parts of this work were apocrypha and other parts not.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Sir Thopas »

grapesmoker wrote:Guess there's a Said-shaped hole in my knowledge wall.
I have a former teammate of Ian Eppler for you to meet, then.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by at your pleasure »

grapesmoker wrote: Question: is it common to consider Judith and Susanna "Old Testament" as opposed to "Apocrypha"?
The Book of Judith and the Book of Daniel (which contains the story of Susanna and the elders) is certainly part of the Hebrew Bible
I disagree. My printed copy of the Tanakh doesn't include Judith, and I don't remember ever seeing it on a list of the books thereof. Britannica confirms that Judith is an "apocryphal work excluded from the Hebrew and Protestant biblical canons".
My Tanakh has Daniel but not Judith, so Jerry's statment holds true for Susanna but not Judith. Apparently, Judith was past the rabbis' cutoff date for canonicity.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Camille Palkia »

I'm a little surprised there hasn't been any mention yet about the Kafka on the Shore tossup with some very odd wording and confusing pronouns. Rob Carson and I both realized pretty quickly what was happening, but had no idea what we were being asked for; I think we both initially thought the question was looking for "Nakata", but that quickly turned out not to be the case, after which Rob had a pretty unfortunate buzz with "Kafka Tamura". I haven't looked at the toss-up yet, so I'm not sure if its an issue of moderating or bad pronouns, but still.

Overall I thought the set was pretty enjoyable. I had a lot of fun.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova »

S.P.A.C.E. wrote:I'm a little surprised there hasn't been any mention yet about the Kafka on the Shore tossup with some very odd wording and confusing pronouns. Rob Carson and I both realized pretty quickly what was happening, but had no idea what we were being asked for; I think we both initially thought the question was looking for "Nakata", but that quickly turned out not to be the case, after which Rob had a pretty unfortunate buzz with "Kafka Tamura". I haven't looked at the toss-up yet, so I'm not sure if its an issue of moderating or bad pronouns, but still.

Overall I thought the set was pretty enjoyable. I had a lot of fun.
Yeah, on looking back at the actual question, there was only one really bad pronoun, and it was a sentence of clues about Nakata that started with "He." That threw me off, and when later sentences kept saying "that protagonist" instead of things like "this book's protagonist," I negged with the character rather than the book. It's at least partially my fault, as I should've just blitzed or something, and forgot that the tossup had said "this work" or "this book" in the first line, but when I write tossups on books I make it as clear as possible, as often as possible, that I'm looking for the work.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by theMoMA »

The other stylistic criticism that I have about this set was that a lot of the tossups seemed to narrow down the possible answers really quickly. The tossup on Tagore, for example, had "Kubera" in its early portion (this is probably not ideal anyway because it leads one to think of Megadhuta and neg with Kalidasa). The tossup on Jay's Treaty whose first clue was about Rutledge was similarly problematic. The fairly common knowledge that Rutledge was a late 1700s/early 1800s American political figure narrows down the possible treaties pretty quickly.

Overall, there seemed to be a number of tossups, especially in literature and American history, that narrowed the answer space to two or three possibilities pretty darn quickly. In the lit, a lot of them seemed to reveal nationality and time period right away, while the American history often had early clues about very famous figures from the time period of the thing in question.

Besides what I think was an overemphasis on math, this was the main systematic shortcoming of this set. On the whole, this was a fine set that had lots of great tossups. But I can't help feeling that it fell short of what ACF Winter was expected to be. Specifically, I think that it vastly exceeded its target difficulty and length. I'm quite disappointed that the editors not only scrapped the six-line limit that the previous two ACF Falls and the last ACF Regionals strictly adhered to, but felt the need to write several tossups that exceeded eight lines. Only four teams cracked 20 PPB at this tournament, and that's just not enough for a tournament billed as between novice and regular.

As a regular difficulty tournament, this was a good set, if perhaps a bit hard. As ACF Winter, it was not what we advertised, and therefore more than a bit disappointing.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

theMoMA wrote:The tossup on Jay's Treaty whose first clue was about Rutledge was similarly problematic. The fairly common knowledge that Rutledge was a late 1700s/early 1800s American political figure narrows down the possible treaties pretty quickly.
90% of the American history knowledge that has stuck with me from high school consists of Benjamin Harrison and the past sixty years of public housing policy (no, really), so Rutledge was just another notable name to me (if one that seemed rather familiar), so apologies.

I agree with your difficulty criticism, but I think that Jerry nailed his target difficulty as he understood it. The problem, presumably, was that ACF Winter was occasionally billed as both "regular difficulty" and "between Fall and Regionals," which causes a fun paradox with the fact that Regionals is also regular difficulty (starting last year). So sure, it failed to meet organizational targets, but Jerry did a good job aiming for the difficulty he thought he should be aiming for, in my opinion. (I'd like to note that Tryg's categories were, from my perspective, pretty much right on target.)
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by naturalistic phallacy »

grapesmoker wrote:Further investigation seems to indicate that at least part of the Book of Daniel is canonical but some episodes within it are not (source). I guess I did not realize that some parts of this work were apocrypha and other parts not.
Yeah, the Apocrypha is a confusing and often not well-defined grouping of scriptures, especially when considering the fragmentation of Daniel. I guess all I can say about this is for teams to do research beyond wikipedia for religion clues or questions.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Matt Weiner »

I think that Jerry nailed his target difficulty as he understood it
No.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Auroni »

theMoMA wrote:The other stylistic criticism that I have about this set was that a lot of the tossups seemed to narrow down the possible answers really quickly. The tossup on Tagore, for example, had "Kubera" in its early portion (this is probably not ideal anyway because it leads one to think of Megadhuta and neg with Kalidasa).
I figure that this isn't as big of a problem, since a lot of writers at that time featured characters from Indian mythology (well, my weak sole example is Indra in Strindberg's A Dream Play). What was a problem with this particular tossup was the early mention of Red Oleanders, probably the second most recognizable thing he produced.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

theMoMA wrote:The other stylistic criticism that I have about this set was that a lot of the tossups seemed to narrow down the possible answers really quickly. The tossup on Tagore, for example, had "Kubera" in its early portion (this is probably not ideal anyway because it leads one to think of Megadhuta and neg with Kalidasa).
Here's the full tossup on Tagore:
Chandara takes the blame for her brother-in-law’s killing of his wife in this author’s story “Punishment.” In addition to Formless Jewel, this author wrote a work in which the title character, who wears the title plant, challenges the king of the Fortress of Kubera, while Nikhil’s wife Bimala is the middle of a love triangle in his novel The Home and the World. This author of the play Red Oleanders and the collection Wild Geese also penned the line “what had gone: the golden boat took all” in another collection, while Yeats wrote the preface to his most famous work, which contains 103 poems. FTP, identify this Bengali author of the collection Gitanjali, or Song Offerings.

ANSWER: Rabindranath Tagore
First of all, the mention of the "title plant" eliminates a buzz of Kalidasa as a possible answer; true, Red Oleander is obliquely referred to early on, but the title itself is given in the second half of the question; this does not strike me as particularly problematic, since knowledge of the plot of Red Oleander indicates a rather deeper knowledge than the existence of the work. This tossup is problematic if you think that Tagore is the only Indian writer that can be asked at this level (in which case you should just buzz with Tagore at the earliest possibly hint of an Indian name) but this was not the premise under which I was operating.
The tossup on Jay's Treaty whose first clue was about Rutledge was similarly problematic. The fairly common knowledge that Rutledge was a late 1700s/early 1800s American political figure narrows down the possible treaties pretty quickly.
While there are still a few things that could possibly be the answer rather than Jay's Treaty, I do agree that the form of the question narrowed down the answer space too fast.
Overall, there seemed to be a number of tossups, especially in literature and American history, that narrowed the answer space to two or three possibilities pretty darn quickly. In the lit, a lot of them seemed to reveal nationality and time period right away, while the American history often had early clues about very famous figures from the time period of the thing in question.
I don't think there's necessarily any problem in giving the time period away. After all, even if you know something like "this is a French work from the 19th century," early on I don't see how you can buzz on that knowledge. In the case of specific questions, I'm willing to believe that this might have been a problem.
But I can't help feeling that it fell short of what ACF Winter was expected to be. Specifically, I think that it vastly exceeded its target difficulty and length.
Well, part of that problem is that there was no clear idea of what this tournament was supposed to be. Probably this is my fault; as I said before, I was working towards a conception of this tournament that was essentially different from what apparently people were expecting.
I'm quite disappointed that the editors not only scrapped the six-line limit that the previous two ACF Falls and the last ACF Regionals strictly adhered to, but felt the need to write several tossups that exceeded eight lines.
Again, this was mostly me. I personally don't feel that strongly about the hard line-limit; I feel that I was able to write more interesting questions without it than with it. In my view, 7 or 8 lines is just fine and strict adherence to line limits ends up wasting a lot of time on editing down questions that can be used to improve other questions.
Only four teams cracked 20 PPB at this tournament, and that's just not enough for a tournament billed as between novice and regular.
I'm not terribly concerned about the teams that cracked 20; of much more concern are the teams that failed to crack 10. In general, it seems that the easy bonus parts should have been made really easy and the medium ones scaled down to easy. That would have boosted the conversion of the bottom teams, though it seems to me that the top teams would have done about as well as they did anyway.
As a regular difficulty tournament, this was a good set, if perhaps a bit hard. As ACF Winter, it was not what we advertised, and therefore more than a bit disappointing.
Again, I'm not sure what it is that "we" advertised. After we ran EFT, which seemed to be quite well received, Matt posted something about how EFT was an excellent regular-difficulty set. This was decidedly not my idea of what EFT was about; I viewed, and continue to view that tournament as a transitional event intended to introduce high school students and new players to the collegiate canon. My view of Winter was that it was a tournament for teams that had already had some time to acclimate to the collegiate game (go to a few tournaments, read a bunch of packets in practice), and therefore I believed, obviously in error, that the restrictions which bound EFT did not bind Winter. This was the idea behind my conception of Winter. Now, if you are saying that Winter should have been more like EFT, this is certainly a valid argument, and the next editor for this event (which won't be me) should work towards that goal. It was not the goal that I was working towards and thus the tournament came out in the way that it did.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

Matt Weiner wrote:
I think that Jerry nailed his target difficulty as he understood it
No.
The bolded text is operative. I didn't nail your conception of the target difficulty; that doesn't mean that I didn't work towards mine.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by No Rules Westbrook »

I'm not going to launch headlong into a difficulty debate, because we all know where people stand on those issues, but I will say this to Andrew Hart: you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Here's what I mean. You complain about too many tossups narrowing down the answer set too quickly, and too many tossups being over a certain length. Well, that's a big part of what happens when you try to achieve strictly controlled difficulty (at least it happens in the minds of higher-level players). If you want low-level difficulty and you're writing on something like "world literature" - you don't have much choice but to write on cats like Tagore and Kalidasa - and doing that without letting a few Indian pointers drop here and there is pretty hard. Transparency can become a big issue with easy questions (yes, I know it can be an issue with hard questions too) - but, it is a big issue when low-level questions are played by good players, who are aware of the canon...it's terribly easy for veterans to sniff some things out, no matter how coy you try to be about your writing, when the answer space is very restricted.

Even if you're able to find some fresh new non-transparent clues to put at the beginning of a question on an easy answer - what often happens is that the question becomes longer, because it takes longer to properly tapir down that pyramid. Before you know it, you're looking at an 8-9 line question, at least partly because you tried to be deft and find clues that wouldn't unsatisfactorily narrow down the answer space (as well as trying to find clues that aren't overly stock). Now, I'm not saying that's what happened at Winter (especially since Winter is being cited as perhaps more difficult than advertised and not less) - and because I know Jerry is just personally a fan of longer questions. I'm just making a general point here - if you want to argue for strictly controlled difficulty, okay, but you're only promoting the inevitable existence of more questions that tend to narrow down answer space really really quickly (especially for good players) - and if you try to escape that fact and make the questions more palatable for better players (by using less transparent and less stock clues), then you're promoting the existence of longer questions. It's perfectly fine if you want to argue for the necessity of tightly restricting answer space at certain events (we all know the arguments in favor of that position), but there are consequences that attach to that decision.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by theMoMA »

There's definitely a false dilemma between narrowing down answers quickly and adhering to difficulty standards; it's easy enough to write a tossup on Jay's Treaty that doesn't mention Rutledge right away, or a tossup on Tagore that doesn't say well-known Indian names very early. I should also mention that, for the most part, I thought that the tossup answers were appropriate for an intermediate level. The larger problems were bonus difficulty and tossup length.

Also, were the editor questions labeled specifically as finals packets? They were much harder than the rest of the packets, but at least at our site, they were played as regular round packets.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Cheynem »

We've long since moved on, but I wasn't "bemused" by the Said reference in the Fanny tossup because I thought it was a bad lead-in or too easy or whatever. I was just bemused. I've read part of Orientalism, but I'm not deep on Said and didn't know that, and I just found it funny. That's all I meant by it. It was a fine question.

Regarding difficulty, I am genuinely curious regarding the comparisons between EFT and Winter. I found EFT to be a very good set, but I didn't find it "regular difficulty," unless I have a very wrong view of what regular difficulty means (and for the record, my team had a losing record with a so-so bonus conversion at EFT, so this isn'[t me crying "too easy!"). My impression was that Winter was always intended to be fairly more difficult than EFT.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Let me be clear that I don't think it's always an absolute dilemma, but I think you'd be outright wilfully blind to deny that there's some causal connection (both in theory and in practice) between adhering to a very restricted answer space and suboptimally narrowing down answers too quickly for some players.

By the way, I don't think the Said clue was bad at all...is it really that well known? Also, I'm "bemused" that Mike Cheyne has to make it clear that he's not crying "too easy!," cause we all know how that's a crime - sorry, that was a parting shot, I couldn't resist.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Cheynem wrote:Regarding difficulty, I am genuinely curious regarding the comparisons between EFT and Winter. I found EFT to be a very good set, but I didn't find it "regular difficulty," unless I have a very wrong view of what regular difficulty means (and for the record, my team had a losing record with a so-so bonus conversion at EFT, so this isn'[t me crying "too easy!"). My impression was that Winter was always intended to be fairly more difficult than EFT.
EFT was also much harder than Fall; Fall probably compared favorably with a hard high school set, from my subjective experience of both (albeit with a larger treatment of some topics that just don't get much play in high school, like organic chemistry and some sociology or whatever). So EFT would fall well between Fall and Regionals, but since Regionals is supposed to be regular-difficulty, I don't know if that implies that EFT is actually harder than what Winter should be.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

Cheynem wrote:Regarding difficulty, I am genuinely curious regarding the comparisons between EFT and Winter. I found EFT to be a very good set, but I didn't find it "regular difficulty," unless I have a very wrong view of what regular difficulty means (and for the record, my team had a losing record with a so-so bonus conversion at EFT, so this isn'[t me crying "too easy!"). My impression was that Winter was always intended to be fairly more difficult than EFT.
As I said, this characterization is due to Matt, not myself. EFT has been refined downwards over the last few years and is now explicitly targeted as a tournament for newer teams, with appropriate answer selection and all that.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by theMoMA »

I'm reading through my last post, and it seems entirely too negative. This was a great event with lots of great tossups and interesting bonuses, and even the issues that I pointed out before were only "systematic" in that they showed up a half-dozen times at maximum. I certainly enjoyed the set. My disappointment mainly stems from my expectation that it would be a friendlier set for new players, which I think is a laudable goal for Winter moving forward.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

theMoMA wrote:I'm reading through my last post, and it seems entirely too negative. This was a great event with lots of great tossups and interesting bonuses, and even the issues that I pointed out before were only "systematic" in that they showed up a half-dozen times at maximum. I certainly enjoyed the set. My disappointment mainly stems from my expectation that it would be a friendlier set for new players, which I think is a laudable goal for Winter moving forward.
Andrew, I just want to say that I did not view your post as negative; the suggestions and comments you've made have been helpful even when I've disagreed because at least it provides me with an incentive to clarify my thoughts on some particular issue. I am aware that Winter was not as friendly to new players as it ought to have been, and I regret that; if I were editing this event again, I would obviously do things very differently. Hopefully, whoever takes over editing this event next year will be able to learn from this experience.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Sir Thopas »

No Rules Westbrook wrote:it takes longer to properly tapir down that pyramid.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Kouign Amann »

Sir Thopas wrote:
No Rules Westbrook wrote:it takes longer to properly tapir down that pyramid.
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I didn't want to have to be the one to point that out. Nice.
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