Eyes That Do Not See

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Eyes That Do Not See

Post by Mike Bentley »

All mirrors of this tournament have now been run so this tournament is now open for discussion. I'll post the set and have some more things to say tomorrow.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! »

I really enjoyed playing the five "packets" of this we played at the Harvard T-Party site. Side tournaments like this and the music-listening tournament a couple HSNCTs ago are great fun and, speaking of, demonstrate some real knowledge of what things look like (or sound like).

I'll probably have some criticisms once the set is posted, but for now, Mike, thanks for doing this.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by Kouign Amann »

This tournament, or at least what little I played of it, brought an interesting question to my mind. I said before that I thought this tournament did an excellent job of rewarding "real knowledge" in a different way than normal quizbowl can, and I still believe that. However, with tournaments like this, I think the idea of rewarding "real knowledge" needs to be examined a little further. I'll use as my example the Jacob Lawrence question in round 2 or 3, but I'm sure this could have occurred several more times if I had played the whole set.

A few years ago, my eighth grade English textbook had a little sample essay on Jacob Lawrence to illustrate some point on writing, and it included a few paintings alongside. At this point, I had never heard of Jacob Lawrence, but I looked at the pictures to get an idea of his style. No titles were included, just the images.

At Eyes That Do Not See, I powered (I think) the Jacob Lawrence question because I saw the slides and thought "oh, this looks kinda like those pictures in the English book, let me buzz and see." I didn't recognize any particular work; I just went off a vague idea of his style. I'm curious myself as to what kind of knowledge I'm being rewarded for here. I'm certainly no great Jacob Lawrence fan; in fact, I still couldn't name or even generally describe a single painting by him. I've never seen his work in a museum; I saw a few grainy pictures in an English book. I wouldn't consider myself to have any "real" Jacob Lawrence knowledge, but then again, isn't looking at paintings supposed to be the "realest" kind of art knowledge? There seems to be some kind of contradiction of ideas here.

I'm puzzled; discuss?
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

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Prof.Whoopie wrote:This tournament, or at least what little I played of it, brought an interesting question to my mind. I said before that I thought this tournament did an excellent job of rewarding "real knowledge" in a different way than normal quizbowl can, and I still believe that. However, with tournaments like this, I think the idea of rewarding "real knowledge" needs to be examined a little further. I'll use as my example the Jacob Lawrence question in round 2 or 3, but I'm sure this could have occurred several more times if I had played the whole set.

A few years ago, my eighth grade English textbook had a little sample essay on Jacob Lawrence to illustrate some point on writing, and it included a few paintings alongside. At this point, I had never heard of Jacob Lawrence, but I looked at the pictures to get an idea of his style. No titles were included, just the images.

At Eyes That Do Not See, I powered (I think) the Jacob Lawrence question because I saw the slides and thought "oh, this looks kinda like those pictures in the English book, let me buzz and see." I didn't recognize any particular work; I just went off a vague idea of his style. I'm curious myself as to what kind of knowledge I'm being rewarded for here. I'm certainly no great Jacob Lawrence fan; in fact, I still couldn't name or even generally describe a single painting by him. I've never seen his work in a museum; I saw a few grainy pictures in an English book. I wouldn't consider myself to have any "real" Jacob Lawrence knowledge, but then again, isn't looking at paintings supposed to be the "realest" kind of art knowledge? There seems to be some kind of contradiction of ideas here.

I'm puzzled; discuss?
It works better for Old masters who tend to use similar subjects. Like, if you describe Boticelli's Visitation of the Magi in a tossup on Botticelli there's a good chance that it will sound like every one of the numerous Visitations of the Magi that are out there to someone who knows said artist well. If you show the painting said player will be able to tell it's a Boticelli(either because they know the painting or because they can spot a Boticelli from fifty paces, either of which is real knowledge) right away.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by Mike Bentley »

Ok, the set can be downloaded at http://doc-ent.com/EyesThatDoNotSeeFixedt.zip. Note that this download is approximately 550 MB, so it's not something you'll want to download on a slow connection.

Here are some thoughts I had on the tournament:

For people who are curious, I'd estimate it took about 20 minutes per tossup to create this tournament. The process involved doing research, collecting a bunch of images at ArtStor and other resources, editing the images and then arranging them in pyramidal order. I had to abandon more tossups than normal because they just didn't end up working very well in tossup form.

Some subjects translated into visual tossups much easier than others. Common link tossups tended to be easier to do (especially ones on like "name the country" or "name the city"). Artists with very distinctive style were tougher (for instance, I'm not sure how successful the "Self Portraits of Van Gogh" tossup was).

I'm curious in hearing people's reaction to the non-Western art in this tournament and the more trashy stuff like Brad Bird and Braid.

Regarding the Lawrence thing, I'm willing to say you at least have some "real" knowledge of the subject. However, I think that tossup could have done a better job being pyramidal.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by Cheynem »

I think the Brad Bird tossup would have been better without The Simpsons lead-in, which basically just rewarded a biographical chestnut without any deep knowledge of Bird's other stuff (I was so mad I couldn't remember who did Family Dog!).
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by marnold »

I think your worry over realness is misguided and emblematic of a way that the Ryan v. Seth, Sorice, Jerry et. al debate of realness could be misinterpreted. Specifically, arguing that quizbowl should reward something called "real knowledge" doesn't mean that (1) you are never allowed to learn clues just from playing quizbowl, (2) you have to constantly worry whether your knowledge was sufficiently real or whether you have to be embarrassed about it, or (3) you have to be suspicious of any question or format that's theoretically vulnerable to fraud in any way. And besides, your knowledge was obviously real by any standard (you read a book and were able to learn what a painter's style was; the fact that you were sort of guessing based on that knowledge has nothing to do with it). In fact, this sort of panicky hand-wringing just makes Ryan Westbrook's position seem stronger since it makes "Real Knowledge" appear more esoteric or ineffable than it really is. It isn't: looking in books is really, really obviously real under any definition of the term.

Anyway, I still think this tournament ruled. There was obviously great care taken in picking out clues and if you ever do this again I would definitely play again and certainly pay for it for your trouble.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by Auks Ran Ova »

marnold wrote:I think your worry over realness is misguided and emblematic of a way that the Ryan v. Seth, Sorice, Jerry et. al debate of realness could be misinterpreted. Specifically, arguing that quizbowl should reward something called "real knowledge" doesn't mean that (1) you are never allowed to learn clues just from playing quizbowl, (2) you have to constantly worry whether your knowledge was sufficiently real or whether you have to be embarrassed about it, or (3) you have to be suspicious of any question or format that's theoretically vulnerable to fraud in any way. And besides, your knowledge was obviously real by any standard (you read a book and were able to learn what a painter's style was; the fact that you were sort of guessing based on that knowledge has nothing to do with it). In fact, this sort of panicky hand-wringing just makes Ryan Westbrook's position seem stronger since it makes "Real Knowledge" appear more esoteric or ineffable than it really is. It isn't: looking in books is really, really obviously real under any definition of the term.

Anyway, I still think this tournament ruled. There was obviously great care taken in picking out clues and if you ever do this again I would definitely play again and certainly pay for it for your trouble.
Absolutely fantastic post.

Both paragraphs, even; I really enjoyed this tournament and would happily pay for another incarnation.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by grapesmoker »

marnold wrote:I think your worry over realness is misguided and emblematic of a way that the Ryan v. Seth, Sorice, Jerry et. al debate of realness could be misinterpreted. Specifically, arguing that quizbowl should reward something called "real knowledge" doesn't mean that (1) you are never allowed to learn clues just from playing quizbowl, (2) you have to constantly worry whether your knowledge was sufficiently real or whether you have to be embarrassed about it, or (3) you have to be suspicious of any question or format that's theoretically vulnerable to fraud in any way. And besides, your knowledge was obviously real by any standard (you read a book and were able to learn what a painter's style was; the fact that you were sort of guessing based on that knowledge has nothing to do with it). In fact, this sort of panicky hand-wringing just makes Ryan Westbrook's position seem stronger since it makes "Real Knowledge" appear more esoteric or ineffable than it really is. It isn't: looking in books is really, really obviously real under any definition of the term.

Anyway, I still think this tournament ruled. There was obviously great care taken in picking out clues and if you ever do this again I would definitely play again and certainly pay for it for your trouble.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Nonsense; real knowledge is only gained by getting cancer from working for thirty years in a chem lab. Then you are allowed to answer tossups on "cancer."
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by Sima Guang Hater »

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:Nonsense; real knowledge is only gained by getting cancer from working for thirty years in a chem lab. Then you are allowed to answer tossups on "cancer."
Will this be the operating principle for HI? Again?
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:Nonsense; real knowledge is only gained by getting cancer from working for thirty years in a chem lab. Then you are allowed to answer tossups on "cancer."
Will this be the operating principle for HI? Again?
No; that experience will probably qualify you to answer tossups on "repetitive stress injuries" and "watching columns run."
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by naturalistic phallacy »

grapesmoker wrote:
marnold wrote:I think your worry over realness is misguided and emblematic of a way that the Ryan v. Seth, Sorice, Jerry et. al debate of realness could be misinterpreted. Specifically, arguing that quizbowl should reward something called "real knowledge" doesn't mean that (1) you are never allowed to learn clues just from playing quizbowl, (2) you have to constantly worry whether your knowledge was sufficiently real or whether you have to be embarrassed about it, or (3) you have to be suspicious of any question or format that's theoretically vulnerable to fraud in any way. And besides, your knowledge was obviously real by any standard (you read a book and were able to learn what a painter's style was; the fact that you were sort of guessing based on that knowledge has nothing to do with it). In fact, this sort of panicky hand-wringing just makes Ryan Westbrook's position seem stronger since it makes "Real Knowledge" appear more esoteric or ineffable than it really is. It isn't: looking in books is really, really obviously real under any definition of the term.

Anyway, I still think this tournament ruled. There was obviously great care taken in picking out clues and if you ever do this again I would definitely play again and certainly pay for it for your trouble.
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I also agree with this. I had a wonderful time at this tournament, even though I was exhausted from T-Party, and would love to see something similar in the future.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by Mike Bentley »

FYI, http://www.doc-ent.com/EyesThatDoNotSee_reduced.zip weighs in at only around 50 MB.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by Auroni »

This tournament ruled and is basically the future.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by grapesmoker »

Ice Warrior wrote:This tournament ruled
True.
and is basically the future.
I sure hope not.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Since my name's being invoked, I'll say that after quick perusal, this tournament looks like it was really cool and well done.

Marnold fairly states that I believe there is too much hand-wringing these days over what is "real" and what is not. I call it the postmodern/critical era of quizbowl. I contend that the distinction between what is "real" and what is "fake", as it applies to qb, is almost always a hollow and empty distinction - and that we're better off just not worrying about it when we write questions, let alone constantly obsessing over it (as sometimes seems the case).

Anyway, none of that jibber-jabber changes the fact that this tourney did a fine job of testing knowledge in a unique way. That's always a good thing.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by stevebahnaman »

Totally awesome.

I will note that when reading these to myself with my wife as answer-keeper, I got Norway because of the Norway area at Epcot, which is totally real knowledge since it is based on real Norway things. That kind of knowledge gained through travel and actually, you know, SEEING THINGS should be rewarded somewhere. That is not a criticism as much as a natural limitation of quizbowl at present, the same way artistic dribbling is not rewarded by the strategy or rules of 5-on-5 basketball. Thanks.

http://www.awesomeflorida.com/images/epcot-norway-b.jpg
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by stevebahnaman »

Prof.Whoopie wrote: At Eyes That Do Not See, I powered (I think) the Jacob Lawrence question because I saw the slides and thought "oh, this looks kinda like those pictures in the English book, let me buzz and see." I didn't recognize any particular work; I just went off a vague idea of his style.
I'm puzzled; discuss?
Sometimes in academic pursuits we end up reading or picking up weird snippets of text, too. Think about short stories you've read in an anthology that are really lead-in level, or the paper you had to write interpreting more obscure parts of Jane Eyre which just so happen to come up earlier in the question. Or the fact that some president's Secretary of the Treasury sticks in your head because he has the same name as your uncle. It still counts. It's not a failure of quizbowl or of the question if it rewards your random knowledge as long as it's knowledge about actual things. It's not a failure of baseball that once in a while Randy Johnson hits a 3-run homer. It's a competitive activity, not a comp exam. Eat your yummy points.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

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This is so cool.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by Cheynem »

I would recommend that programs (collegiate and high school) perhaps run this set for their novices, both as a competitive but also more of as an educational thing. A lot of novices I've met have seen and are familiar with famous painters/artists, but perhaps don't know how to translate that visual familiarity into titles/names. I certainly struggle with it. Running this as an exercise (with some explanation from an experienced person) might help in that regard.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by jdeliverer »

The answer selection is probably a lot more difficult that what most high schoolers are used to playing with - I would imagine it would be more helpful for an undergraduate program, or one of the better high schools in the nation. I've only seen the Chris Ray Barge photo come up in third parts of bonuses at high school tournaments.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by Cheynem »

I don't know if you're joking or not, but the Chris Ray barging photo, unless this is that stupid MUT question, should never come up anywhere.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by AKKOLADE »

Just got around to downloading & looking at this.

This is awesome (clap clap clapclapclap).
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by dschafer »

Any chance a PDF version could be released? I'm delaying the install of an Office suite for as long as possible after wiping my hard drive.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by Susan »

dschafer wrote:Any chance a PDF version could be released? I'm delaying the install of an Office suite for as long as possible after wiping my hard drive.
Couldn't you just download the Word files and then open them with Google Docs?
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by Matt Weiner »

They're actually in PowerPoint, but there's still any number of ways to view them without having access to a full version of Office, including the free PP viewer that Microsoft puts out.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by Susan »

Matt Weiner wrote:They're actually in PowerPoint, but there's still any number of ways to view them without having access to a full version of Office, including the free PP viewer that Microsoft puts out.
Oops! Obviously, I have not downloaded them.
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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

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Re: Eyes That Do Not See

Post by dschafer »

Excellent, thanks!
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