Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

wd4gdz wrote:
Harper v. Canada (Attorney General) wrote:
Some of the modern music answer selections I also had problems with - Henry Cowell in particular was crazy, because I've never seen him performed in concert, and as far as I've ever known, the one thing he's really notable for is creating the prepared piano, which would never have become anything important in modern music if not for a different composer, John Cage, writing for it.
I will be sure to consult with you next time before writing a question to make sure you've have seen a work by the composer performed. In the meantime, feel free to check out the Internet, which is home to numerous videos of people/groups performing his works.
Since when is "number of people on Youtube performing works" a criterion for judging what should be written about? Concert performances are actually significant because they are representative of what symphonies choose to play. A tossup on Henry Cowell is fucking difficult, and if someone like Charlie and Hannah, who seem to have a very good music background, are saying that this is over the top, I'm inclined to believe them over random internet videos.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

HKirsch wrote:Wow, Charlie's right. I didn't really notice this at the time, but looking at the answer selections, that's ridiculous.

A few other specific music complaints: One thing I do remember is that I had a huge, huge problem with the high Sibelius distribution. I think he or his works came up in three separate packets? Charles Ives came up twice. And to hop on the too-hard bandwagon, that Villa-Lobos bonus was ridiculous. I consider myself pretty well-versed in classical music, and I couldn't hope to get more than Bachianas. Charlie or Cameron or Aaron might have gotten more, but still. People like Roy Harris and William Schuman aren't just CO difficulty, they're incredibly obscure and not actually that significant. Topics that could have replaced them (and other modern music topics) include more obscure works/symphonies of the likes of Beethoven, Berlioz, Schumann and Mendelssohn, questions on more quizbowl obscure 19th century composers like Ernest Chausson, people like Fritz Kreisler... the list is endless.

Charlie's also right about the Concord Sonata. I fell for a lot of negbait over this tournament, and that was one instance of it.
Perhaps my difficulty meter is skewed from the summer I spent cataloging classical radio broadcasts from the '60s, but Schuman and Harris were played all the freaking time back then (by an orchestra that was famously not a fan of most modern music), and Schuman still has some cachet today. Harris, somewhat less so, but then again I'm assuming he's the hard part, and as long as they talked about his third symphony, that's a perfectly reasonable hard part at CO levels. Except for that Villa-Lobos bonus, Antheil, and Tulen synty (what?!?), none of the 20th-century answers seem "out there". Certainly no more egregious than Les Patineurs or Waldteufel.

Charile's right that 60 percent modern is much too much, but I'm going to push back a bit and say that 1/6 modern would be much too little, as well. I'd peg the ideal ratio (taking into account both significance in the academy and askability in quizbowl terms) at something like 20% Baroque and earlier; 15% Classical; 35% Romantic; including 20th century romantics like Rachmaninoff and Sibelius; 30% modern, including fin-de-siecle modernists like Debussy and Scriabin. Med/Ren gets screwed a little, but that's something we can slowly work to correct over time, as more than just the Pope Marcellus Mass works its way down the canon (and, perhaps in addition, Hildegard extricates herself from the shadow canon). Furthermore, I think it's just fine if the modern content is allowed to shade higher as the difficulty goes up: I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the twentieth-most-famous modern composer is about a zillion times more "worth asking about" than the twentieth-most-famous composer of the 18th century, in pretty much every sense of the term.

...

Hmm, looks like Tulen Synty is a Sibelius cantata? Goddammit people, stop writing about obscure named things and start writing about his symphionies, which are actually important! Though, to be fair, Sibelius 2 is one of my favorite pieces of all time and even I probably wouldn't be able to write a good tossup on that. But Sibelius 7 should be doable, at least!

ETA: Also, given that Tulen Synty is Sibelius, that's an impossible answer from the Romantic era, not the Modern era. Style is more important than strict chronology here, IMO.
Last edited by Theory Of The Leisure Flask on Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

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wd4gdz wrote:
Harper v. Canada (Attorney General) wrote:Some of the modern music answer selections I also had problems with - Henry Cowell in particular was crazy, because I've never seen him performed in concert, and as far as I've ever known, the one thing he's really notable for is creating the prepared piano, which would never have become anything important in modern music if not for a different composer, John Cage, writing for it.
I will be sure to consult with you next time before writing a question to make sure you've have seen a work by the composer performed. In the meantime, feel free to check out the Internet, which is home to numerous videos of people/groups performing his works.
Your attack on Charlie's point is mildly biting but logically ineffectual. If Charlie is a regular concert-goer, then the fact that he's never seen Cowell is important: it means that in a pretty large sample of shows, Cowell pieces are not exactly marched to the front of the line. You neglect that it's pretty goddamn likely that there are ten million times more videos of Cage pieces on the internet, as well as the second part of his argument, which is indisputable: Cowell's one important contribution wouldn't have been important if not for John Cage.

EDIT: also, watch out for my music tossups on peanut butter jelly time
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! »

wd4gdz wrote:
Harper v. Canada (Attorney General) wrote:
Some of the modern music answer selections I also had problems with - Henry Cowell in particular was crazy, because I've never seen him performed in concert, and as far as I've ever known, the one thing he's really notable for is creating the prepared piano, which would never have become anything important in modern music if not for a different composer, John Cage, writing for it.
I will be sure to consult with you next time before writing a question to make sure you've have seen a work by the composer performed. In the meantime, feel free to check out the Internet, which is home to numerous videos of people/groups performing his works.
That's irrelevant. I think his point is that he's seen a lot of concerts, and the fact that he's never seen Cowell on a program is evidence that he's rarely performed, which is true, and for good reason; his stuff is less accessible than Messaien and Schoenberg and the like. His statement about Cowell's questionable notability in terms of composition is true, but in books I've read like Making Music Modern and And the Rest Was Noise, it's mentioned how important he was to the modern music and world music scenes as a promoter and conductor and publisher.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

grapesmoker wrote:
wd4gdz wrote:
Harper v. Canada (Attorney General) wrote:
Some of the modern music answer selections I also had problems with - Henry Cowell in particular was crazy, because I've never seen him performed in concert, and as far as I've ever known, the one thing he's really notable for is creating the prepared piano, which would never have become anything important in modern music if not for a different composer, John Cage, writing for it.
I will be sure to consult with you next time before writing a question to make sure you've have seen a work by the composer performed. In the meantime, feel free to check out the Internet, which is home to numerous videos of people/groups performing his works.
Since when is "number of people on Youtube performing works" a criterion for judging what should be written about? Concert performances are actually significant because they are representative of what symphonies choose to play. A tossup on Henry Cowell is fucking difficult, and if someone like Charlie and Hannah, who seem to have a very good music background, are saying that this is over the top, I'm inclined to believe them over random internet videos.
Hm, a tossup on Henry Cowell is too much, but at this level I wouldn't have a problem with him being a middle bonus part. He's exactly the sort of obscure but nonetheless-important kind of person whom extra-hard tournaments like CO should bring up.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

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Verhoeven's Giant Tree Rat wrote:Hm, a tossup on Henry Cowell is too much, but at this level I wouldn't have a problem with him being a middle bonus part. He's exactly the sort of obscure but nonetheless-important kind of person whom extra-hard tournaments like CO should bring up.
Chris, he is not a "middle bonus part," and I think that assertion can be substantiated by pointing to several very musically literate people who would struggle to come up with his name. Henry Cowell is difficult, period. I can live with him being the 3rd part of a bonus but at this stage there aren't enough people who know enough about him to justify him being the middle part. That's going to be a bonus that hands a maximum of 10 points to almost any team.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by wd4gdz »

grapesmoker wrote:
Since when is "number of people on Youtube performing works" a criterion for judging what should be written about? Concert performances are actually significant because they are representative of what symphonies choose to play. A tossup on Henry Cowell is fucking difficult, and if someone like Charlie and Hannah, who seem to have a very good music background, are saying that this is over the top, I'm inclined to believe them over random internet videos.
I don't know why you're trying to misquote me, but the fact remains his works have been performed plenty of times. I'm also not sure why you're relying on a sample size of one so much. He comes up in quizbowl, his works are performed, and he's found in most intro music textbooks. So, I think he's a fine answer for a tournament like CO.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

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wd4gdz wrote:He comes up in quizbowl
ACF Nationals 2005 wrote:15. The one by Henry Cowell includes such movements as “Repression” and “Liberation,” and is nicknamed the “Anthropos.” The one by Philip Glass opens with an English horn introduction, and is a follow-up to a work based on the David Bowie album Low. The one by Sibelius is written in D major and based upon themes originally composed for a tone poem based on The Divine Comedy. The one by John Corigliano won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001. The one by Brahms was also written in D major, and features two movements written in waltz time. An important one written in Heligenstadt replaced the usual Minuet in the third movement with a Scherzo. FTP, give the number shared by these symphonic works, including one by Beethoven which preceded the Eroica and Mahler’s Resurrection.
Answer: Symphony No. 2 (or second)
Pontormo wrote:7. Among the short pieces written for it are Shimmera, Totem Ancestor, and the Prelude for Meditation. This instrument was also the subject of a set of sixteen Sonatas and Interludes, the fourteenth and fifteenth of which are paired together under the name “Gemini.” It was created to accompany Sylvilla Fort’s African-themed Bachannale dance, with its primary composer building off an experiment by his teacher Henry Cowell and inserting screws, nuts, and bolts between the strings of a standard instrument to give it an addition percussive effect. FTP, name this modified piano developed by John Cage.
ANSWER: prepared piano
2005 Maryland HS Classic wrote:8) The son of an inventor, he studied music under Arnold Schoenberg and Henry Cowell. Hebegan his career as a twelve tone composer, but his conversion to Zen Buddhism led to hisavant garde “sonic experiments.” Works like Imaginary Landscape No. 4 and Roaratorio areless famous than his most widely known piece, which consisted of silence. For ten points,identify this American composer of 4’ 33’.
Answer: John Cage
ACF Regionals 2005 wrote:2. This man was the subject of a 1949 Henry Cowell opera designed as a satire against Dwight Eisenhower. He died in exile after a conservative coup led by his successor, Ramón Freire. When his father became viceroy of Peru, he was sent to London, where he met Francisco de Miranda and joined the independentist Lautaro Lodge. He began his public life as a deputy to the Cabildo from La Laja. His cavalry charge at the battle of Chacabuco allowed him to enter Santiago in triumph along with Jose de San Martin in March 1818. FTP, name this descendant of Irish officers in Spanish service, the first ruler of an independent Chile.
Answer: Bernardo O’Higgins
Maybe quizbowlpackets.com is really missing a bunch of packets from 1991 or something...
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

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No Andy, you see he was mentioned more than once in clues therefore asdklfjasdfkj;lagjkl;ajkl;jklgdjklasjkdlfsdfffffffffffffffffffffffffasdfkjasdj;klstttttttttsdkjlfa
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

grapesmoker wrote:
Verhoeven's Giant Tree Rat wrote:Hm, a tossup on Henry Cowell is too much, but at this level I wouldn't have a problem with him being a middle bonus part. He's exactly the sort of obscure but nonetheless-important kind of person whom extra-hard tournaments like CO should bring up.
Chris, he is not a "middle bonus part," and I think that assertion can be substantiated by pointing to several very musically literate people who would struggle to come up with his name. Henry Cowell is difficult, period. I can live with him being the 3rd part of a bonus but at this stage there aren't enough people who know enough about him to justify him being the middle part. That's going to be a bonus that hands a maximum of 10 points to almost any team.
If we're arguing that CO should be made somewhat easier, and the top teams should be breaking 20 ppb (as Chris Ray indicates in the other thread) then I'm willing to agree with that. I was going by what the CO bonus conversion looked like this year, and fitting him into that rubric instead.

(I actually thought "Aeolian Harp" was more famous than his invention of the prepared piano, but those two clues are admittedly pretty similar.)
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

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grapesmoker wrote:No Andy, you see he was mentioned more than once in clues therefore asdklfjasdfkj;lagjkl;ajkl;jklgdjklasjkdlfsdfffffffffffffffffffffffffasdfkjasdj;klstttttttttsdkjlfa
I'm surprised to be having this discussion with a player whose team's ACF Nationals packet featured a tossup on "adiabatic demagnetization." A quick quizbowl search shows this phrase has only come up 5 times ever, one of which was a tossup from 2004 written by....Jerry!
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

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wd4gdz wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:No Andy, you see he was mentioned more than once in clues therefore asdklfjasdfkj;lagjkl;ajkl;jklgdjklasjkdlfsdfffffffffffffffffffffffffasdfkjasdj;klstttttttttsdkjlfa
I'm surprised to be having this discussion with a player whose team's ACF Nationals packet featured a tossup on "adiabatic demagnetization." A quick quizbowl search shows this phrase has only come up 5 times ever, one of which was a tossup from 2004 written by....Jerry!
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo »

HKirsch wrote:And to hop on the too-hard bandwagon, that Villa-Lobos bonus was ridiculous. I consider myself pretty well-versed in classical music, and I couldn't hope to get more than Bachianas. Charlie or Cameron or Aaron might have gotten more, but still.
I sure wasn't getting anything besides Bachianas. Anyway, Charlie's right; this set had way too much modern music. On the whole I agree with Chris's proposed subdistribution, but 60% modern is just going overboard.

Henry Cowell was probably just a bit too hard, but I would have had no problem with him as the middle part of a bonus.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

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wd4gdz wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:No Andy, you see he was mentioned more than once in clues therefore asdklfjasdfkj;lagjkl;ajkl;jklgdjklasjkdlfsdfffffffffffffffffffffffffasdfkjasdj;klstttttttttsdkjlfa
I'm surprised to be having this discussion with a player whose team's ACF Nationals packet featured a tossup on "adiabatic demagnetization." A quick quizbowl search shows this phrase has only come up 5 times ever, one of which was a tossup from 2004 written by....Jerry!
Hey, I don't justify that tossup by pointing to how many instances of adiabatic demagnetization are performed on Youtube. AD is an extremely important experimental technique in physics that is conceptually no harder than the Joule-Thomson effect, which actually does come up all the time. It's no different than something like HPLC in chemistry, and in fact, is covered in the most popular undergrad stat-mech text. It's certainly a difficult topic, but it's something that good physics players have likely encountered independently of quizbowl.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Perhaps this all goes back to my initial speculation that CO may be suffering an identity crisis. Is it a championship for the masters circuit, in which case difficulty should probably be finely-tuned to rank teams and stick to canonical things, or is it a wild quizbowl party where anything goes? Or is it something inbetween. One CO editor I talked to semi-privately said he viewed it as a tournament that sets the tone for the next year of canonical expansion, which seems to be a third kind of beast entirely.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by at your pleasure »

I hate to distract from the modern music discussion, but was the Washingham tossup on noted Elizabethan spymaster Sir Francis Walshingham?
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

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Russian dance music wrote:I hate to distract from the modern music discussion, but was the Washingham tossup on noted Elizabethan spymaster Sir Francis Walshingham?
It was.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

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grapesmoker wrote:The tossup on Seyfert galaxies contains the following text: "All of them contain core temperatures high enough to produce tridecavalent iron." When I do a search for tridecavalent iron, Google comes up with 4(!) links, the first of which is... drumroll... a link to Wesley's tossup on Seyfert galaxies from 2005 ACF Regionals. So I gotta ask: do you have some special knowledge of tridecavalent iron that no one else does or something? Because so far, you are the only source for that assertion (and is it untrue of all other AGN's?).
Jerry, the inclusion of the tridecavalent iron clue is entirely my fault - being left in the awkward situation of writing CO-level science, I stupidly included a clue from an old packet. When I checked to see if it sourced to anything outside of the packet, I noticed that it did not but included it anyway, figuring that the editor would have better access than I to actual source material.
Here is the original submission:
cornfused wrote:One of the examples of these bodies posited by their discoverer, NGC 1275, contains a notable series of ionized gas filaments and has not yet been confirmed as this type of body. Other examples of this type of body include NGC 4151, known as a “bright” variety of this object, and Circinus, the closest of this type of body to the Milky Way. The high core temperature of these celestial bodies allows them to produce tridecavalent states of iron, while emission from these bodies in the radio spectrum is due to synchrotron emission from their cores. These bodies are divided into Type I and Type II based on their hydrogen emission lines: Type I ones release UV light, while Type II release infrared light, as they consist of a Type I body surrounded by a cloud of diffuse gases. Because of their radio characteristics, they are often considered an intermediate between galaxies and quasars. For 10 points, name these radio galaxies named for an American astronomer that contain extremely active central nuclei.
ANSWER: Seyfert galaxies [prompt on galaxies early] [prompt on spiral galaxies]
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by wd4gdz »

grapesmoker wrote:
wd4gdz wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:No Andy, you see he was mentioned more than once in clues therefore asdklfjasdfkj;lagjkl;ajkl;jklgdjklasjkdlfsdfffffffffffffffffffffffffasdfkjasdj;klstttttttttsdkjlfa
I'm surprised to be having this discussion with a player whose team's ACF Nationals packet featured a tossup on "adiabatic demagnetization." A quick quizbowl search shows this phrase has only come up 5 times ever, one of which was a tossup from 2004 written by....Jerry!
Hey, I don't justify that tossup by pointing to how many instances of adiabatic demagnetization are performed on Youtube. AD is an extremely important experimental technique in physics that is conceptually no harder than the Joule-Thomson effect, which actually does come up all the time. It's no different than something like HPLC in chemistry, and in fact, is covered in the most popular undergrad stat-mech text. It's certainly a difficult topic, but it's something that good physics players have likely encountered independently of quizbowl.
This is exactly analogous to the argument I am making about Henry Cowell. He is an extremely important experimental composer who is often paired with John Cage, who actually does come up all the time. It's covered in most music history texts. It's certainly a difficult tossup, but it's someone that good music players have likely encountered independently of quizbowl. I've never said this is an easy answer. All I was originally pointing out was how absurd it was for someone to argue that an answer is "crazy" just because they have never seen a live performance of one of his works.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

cornfused wrote: Jerry, the inclusion of the tridecavalent iron clue is entirely my fault - being left in the awkward situation of writing CO-level science, I stupidly included a clue from an old packet. When I checked to see if it sourced to anything outside of the packet, I noticed that it did not but included it anyway, figuring that the editor would have better access than I to actual source material.
Let us all use this opportunity to contemplate the folly of extracting unverified clues from older packets.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

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wd4gdz wrote:This is exactly analogous to the argument I am making about Henry Cowell. He is an extremely important experimental composer who is often paired with John Cage, who actually does come up all the time. It's covered in most music history texts. It's certainly a difficult tossup, but it's someone that good music players have likely encountered independently of quizbowl. I've never said this is an easy answer. All I was originally pointing out was how absurd it was for someone to argue that an answer is "crazy" just because they have never seen a live performance of one of his works.
So you're admitting that you shouldn't have written the tossup? Good.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

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Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
wd4gdz wrote:This is exactly analogous to the argument I am making about Henry Cowell. He is an extremely important experimental composer who is often paired with John Cage, who actually does come up all the time. It's covered in most music history texts. It's certainly a difficult tossup, but it's someone that good music players have likely encountered independently of quizbowl. I've never said this is an easy answer. All I was originally pointing out was how absurd it was for someone to argue that an answer is "crazy" just because they have never seen a live performance of one of his works.
So you're admitting that you shouldn't have written the tossup? Good.
I don't follow your "logic" Crazy Andy.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

wd4gdz wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
wd4gdz wrote:This is exactly analogous to the argument I am making about Henry Cowell. He is an extremely important experimental composer who is often paired with John Cage, who actually does come up all the time. It's covered in most music history texts. It's certainly a difficult tossup, but it's someone that good music players have likely encountered independently of quizbowl. I've never said this is an easy answer. All I was originally pointing out was how absurd it was for someone to argue that an answer is "crazy" just because they have never seen a live performance of one of his works.
So you're admitting that you shouldn't have written the tossup? Good.
I don't follow your "logic" Crazy Andy.
Well, you said that you were admitting that your answer choice was difficult (and I read that as: you weren't making any claim that your answer was of a certain difficulty, and that everyone's assertion that it is too hard might well be valid), but you were objecting only to Charlie's argument from performance-infrequency.

If you're not admitting that your answer choice was not too hard, then you continue to be wrong.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Mr. Kwalter »

Hello, all.

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to jump in here, but things like "spending seven hours in the airport yesterday after being late for my flight due some dude pulling the fire alarm in the middle of the night at our hotel and running around yelling about being held against his will by some huge guy who clearly was not physically restraining him" have left me with minimal time and energy.

The first thing that needs to be done here is an acknowledgment of those outside the listed editing team who helped make this happen. These are in no particular order, and if I forget anyone, I apologize.

1. Ryan Westbrook: despite his impending bar exam Ryan took a lot of time to just go over questions with me (though he edited only one question). His assistance was invaluable in speeding up my editing process.

2. Bernadette Spencer: on the day of the tournament Bernadette came through with several filler questions for the tournament, and without her help things would have been much more difficult.

3. Chris Frankel: Frankel helped me work through some of the arts questions, and his aid should be acknowledged.

4. Chris Carter: in case anyone doesn't know, Chris Carter is the man when it comes to tournament organization. In addition to being a statsmaster, Chris did a ton of preparatory work for the tournament. The day Seth got confirmation of the room reservation, Chris had schedules made. Additionally, he made invoices for all the teams well in advance. Chris's help took a hell of a lot of stress off my my shoulders, and for that I am extremely grateful.

5. Dan Passner: Dan helped a lot with the sports questions in this set and wrote some trash bonuses on stuff I just didn't know anything about.

6. Jonah Greenthal: Jonah helped us a lot with finding locals to staff the tournament, and he went and got staff lunch for us. Without him the tournament would have been far more pressed for staff.

I'd also like to thank Trygve for ably directing the tournament while also doing some question work and Gautam for doing his best to get all the packets compiled and randomized despite being in India and fearing that a rolling blackout could prevent him from completing the task and/or sending them back to us.

Since that was kind of a long post, I'll stop here and do a second post about the set itself. Thanks again, everyone, for all your help.

EK
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by at your pleasure »

Russian dance music wrote:
I hate to distract from the modern music discussion, but was the Washingham tossup on noted Elizabethan spymaster Sir Francis Walshingham?

It was.
Oh. In that case, it seems like the sort of thing that's famous enough for people to recognize, but not famous enough that people have a decent amout of depth knowedge about him. I do think that he deserves to be introduced to the canon, but using clues on him in a tossup on Queen Elizabeth I.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by wd4gdz »

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
wd4gdz wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
wd4gdz wrote:This is exactly analogous to the argument I am making about Henry Cowell. He is an extremely important experimental composer who is often paired with John Cage, who actually does come up all the time. It's covered in most music history texts. It's certainly a difficult tossup, but it's someone that good music players have likely encountered independently of quizbowl. I've never said this is an easy answer. All I was originally pointing out was how absurd it was for someone to argue that an answer is "crazy" just because they have never seen a live performance of one of his works.
So you're admitting that you shouldn't have written the tossup? Good.
I don't follow your "logic" Crazy Andy.
Well, you said that you were admitting that your answer choice was difficult (and I read that as: you weren't making any claim that your answer was of a certain difficulty, and that everyone's assertion that it is too hard might well be valid), but you were objecting only to Charlie's argument from performance-infrequency.

If you're not admitting that your answer choice was not too hard, then you continue to be wrong.
There's a difference between a tossup being difficult and too difficult, you know. Henry Cowell, much like adiabatic demagnetization, is a difficult tossup, but I am willing to believe that neither are too difficult. I would suggest listening to your woman, who said "how important he was to the modern music and world music scenes."
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

wd4gdz wrote:I would suggest listening to your woman, who said "how important he was to the modern music and world music scenes."
Perhaps we can have this debate without referring to notable person with a name Hannah Kirsch as "your woman."
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

wd4gdz wrote:There's a difference between a tossup being difficult and too difficult, you know.
:monocle:
wd4gdz wrote: Henry Cowell, much like adiabatic demagnetization, is a difficult tossup, but I am willing to believe that neither are too difficult. I would suggest listening to your woman, who said "how important he was to the modern music and world music scenes."
Well, I will avoid misquoting "my woman" (really? please, let's not disrespect her, who belongs to no one, again), and I'll note that she concluded that remark with "as a promoter and conductor and publisher." Implying that there is a difference, and perhaps you should be focusing on Cowell's promoting and conducting and publishing, if indeed people would buzz off those clues, even, since that's what he did that is actually important.

EDIT: Jerry made the same point I did. Can we reemphasize how fucking inappropriate that is?
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by SnookerUSF »

Oh Man!

So, this is related to something in the other thread about relative difficulty: do we have any metric, method, heuristic (I will even take a rule of thumb at this point) of comparing the relative difficulty of adiabatic demagnetization and Henry Cowell (assuming that both tossups were written in such a way to reward legitimate knowledge on the topic)? I'd be interested to know what you all think. I am thinking there isn't.

On an unrelated note, before this thread went to a bad place, I think Billy was suggesting that if Jerry can leverage the "it's important and deserves to come up" argument for adiabatic demagnetization (which I am totally unqualified to comment on), then why couldn't Henry Cowell be legitimated via the same rhetorical technique (which again I am unable to comment on its validity, though I will say I have certainly heard of Henry Cowell).

You know I love you Billy, and I think you make a valid point, but it probably shouldn't have to go *your woman*, correct? My guess is that it was borne out of a well-sharpened snarkiness (which I of course appreciate in private discourse) than an intentional meanness or desire to degrade. Though I am at pains to point out that this is not telling you how to post, or maybe it is, I don't know.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Mr. Kwalter »

All right, so, I'm not going to say anything about the science or history, since I have absolutely nothing to contribute to those discussions. These thoughts will be sort of randomly organized, but whatever.

First, the Australian myth bonus. That bonus was not fucking easy, dude. Hey, there was a similar bonus in Penn Bowl; did you stop to think that maybe instead of that bonus being too easy for CO, the similar bonus was too hard for Penn Bowl? I can think of several bonuses that might have been much too easy, but that's not one of them.

Second, William Schuman and Roy Harris are important. Period. Those guys were huge figures during their time and contributed significantly to the development of American music. I could care less whether or how much they've come up before.

Third, You guys can have fun blaming Billy for the Henry Cowell tossup, but I'm the one that let it in. In my opinion, Henry Cowell was an important dude. I did my homework and saw that he hadn't come up much, but it was CO and I didn't really care since while that was a hard packet, it wasn't full of tossups on shit like Henry Cowell. My philosophy for this tournament was at least somewhat that occasional outrageous questions are ok if they're on important things, and that's why that tossup made it in.

Fourth, modern music. Yeah, there was a lot of it in the set, mostly because I thought I had better things to do than delete perfectly passable questions in favor of writing who knows what quality stuff on old shit. I'm sorry if that decision upset some people, but I won't apologize for it. I edited ACF nationals two years ago, and for that tournament I tried to be extremely meticulous with regard to subdistribution, mainly because the stakes are a lot higher for that tournament than they are for CO. The truth is that CO is a tournament for which people think they can indulge themselves and submit some crazy shit, and it's a tournament people expect to feature some laissez-faire editing. As long as the whole packet wasn't full of superhard stuff, I allowed a lot of it, especially if it was stuff I thought was kind of important anyway. I'm surprised people are so hung up on that question anyway, honestly, when there are so many other things to complain about about the set. Like the Yves Tanguy tossup, or the "real law" questions, or whatever else.

All right, now on to my complaints. I know this stuff is old news, but I'm just going to talk about it anyway.

Hey people, PROOFREAD YOUR GOD DAMN FUCKING PACKETS YOU LAZY FUCKERS. Jesus fucking christ people. Here's something that shouldn't be a secret: every god damn editor worth his salt in the country will say yes if you email them and say, "Hey, I know the deadline is now, but I could really use a half day (though it shouldn't take that long) to just go over the packet, proofread it, and make sure it's basically decent." Then maybe shit like this (just one example of several) wouldn't get submitted:
In this play’s second scene one character relates a dream in which she visits a yew tree in a graveyard when her husband comes with a pickaxe threatening to bury her alive because she wants to “root up that well-grown yew” and plant a “withered blackthorn” instead. In the second act the Conjuror summons two visions showing one woman being killed by kissing a poisoned portrait of her husband and showing a man murdered during a vaulting contest. At the end of this play one man convinces gives two women pistols after they agree they should all kill themselves, but the women only shoot him before he rises from the grave revealing the guns were not loaded and the whole setup was a loyalty test. Cornelia disavows her son after he claims he would rather have had a whore for his mother after Cornelia heard Flamineo plotting to kill Camillo and Isabella. In this play Cardinal Monticelso helps three men including Gasparo disguise themselves as monks to poison one man’s helmet visor, allowing Count Lodovico to have his revenge against a man who killed his own wife to facilitate his illicit romance with Vittoria Corombona. For 10 points, name this revenge play in which the Duke of Brachiano is murdered by John Webster.
ANSWER: The White Devil


Some of those "sentences" are unreadable, the clues at times are completely unclear as to what actually happened, and while I'd really like to see a play in which the Duke of Brachiano is murdered by John Webster, come on. That tossup would have taken 15 minutes max to just clean up, but its author, Ted Gioia (yeah I could care less about yelling at you specifically even though we already had words since from what I understand this ain't the first time), clearly did not even bother to even read it over. You know what's not an excuse: "Well we were late and I was really rushing to get it done as soon as possible." Next time, don't be fucking late. To be clear, Jerry and Eric, I'm not mad at you about the above fuckery from your packet.

Also, people, take steps to make sure your left hand knows what the right hand is doing. This prevents packets with three poetry tossups or three spanish language literature questions from being submitted. You know what's not an excuse: "Oh, man, well you know, each of us submitted our own stuff, so there was some overlap."

I'm delighted to hear that Jerry has already volunteered to edit CO next year. I don't use this as a blanket excuse for any of my questions that might have been subpar, but I sure didn't see anyone else even remotely ready to offer their services this year. In the end, I'm not sure whether I'm glad I offered to do it, but it did get done. If you want to yell at me for early packet submission deadlines or any stuff like that, go ahead, but I won't really care. If you want to talk about questions you think were bad and why, by all means post because exhibiting and discussing question flaws is helpful to everyone. I'm also ready for a fight on inclusion of "real law" in quizbowl (honestly, I had hoped to put more of that in the set than there ended up being), if people want to talk about that. I hope to have a completed version of the set available soon, but I put off a lot of other work to finish CO, so it's not my immediate top priority. Thanks everyone for coming to the event.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by No Rules Westbrook »

I don't know if this post is too helpful, but anyway, here's what I think. People with a lot of specialized knowledge and a love for one field that comes up in quizbowl really need to back off a little and look at things from a more general perspective. It's fine to come on and say "when choosing answers for subject X, you should consider these things more - cause they're just as askable and feasible and they're more important in the field than what people often do choose...I'd like to see more of this." It's entirely another thing to whine about every little question or clue that doesn't strike you in your professional judgment as being the most important to the field or the most absolutely rewarding of "real knowledge".

The more I look at threads like this, the more I think that the only way a lot of people will apparently be happy is if specialists who have their degree of knowledge (and often, but not always, their perspective on what's important and what isnt) are in charge of writing and editing every single question at every tournament (and rewrite every question if someone chooses to write on something that they dont deem proper). I fear that these kinds of super-critical stances from specialists will soon get more tedious than helpful, and that the obsession with rewarding "real knowledge" has become more destructive than constructive. I've carefully worded that sentence - as you can see above from the type of comments I do approve of, I agree wholeheartedly that "real-world" importance in the field is a very important criterion for deciding what to write on - otherwise the canon just becomes an insular arbitrary collection of things with no relation to relevance or importance.

But, the degree of scrutiny that goes into particular choices these days and particular distributions is oppressive, at least I think. It's obscuring the more important message of just writing good pyramidal questions.

Incidentally, and kind of related to this post, I continue to not be a fan of the several-special-editors tack for doing tournaments - I'd rather see something like CO in the hands of one strong editor/writer, who gets a little help here and there on a few weak subjects.


Also, aw hell, I just cant resist - if you critique the "your woman" reference, you're being silly (I very much want to use another word here but I wont). Just keep making sure people dont say things that could be interpreted as inapposite with whatever worldview you think everyone should ideally possess - that'll totally stop people from really being treated as property, whatever the heck that means.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater »

I hate to distract from the modern music discussion, but was the Washingham tossup on noted Elizabethan spymaster Sir Francis Walshingham?"
Yes; honestly I didn't see any problem with that tossup. It was quite hard, but he seems just as important as someone like Wang Anshi. Similarly, I also felt like there was too much modern music, to the point where on music tossups I had to first eliminate everyone that came up already. It did get me some points on Arvo Part, though.

Now onto the science. It was immediately clear that the physics and astro was almost written straight out of wikipedia with a smattering of poor Google scholar searches as Jerry has already outlined. Some things he missed include:

-The Aharonov-Bohm tossup was quite poor. What on earth is a bath of harmonic oscillators? And even so, how is this uniquely identifying in the least? From what I can tell, the Caldiera-Legget system stops quantum dissipation in general and is not directly tied to the AB effect. That question was literally unbuzzable until the description of the experiment that verified it.
-The A* tossup featured a line that it can be improved by ant colony optimization. This is true of everything. Furthermore, how the hell am I supposed to tell this apart from Dijkstra until "heuristic"?
-Who's getting more that 10 points on that Wheatstone Bridge bonus? And what the hell is a mesocyclone?
-The Bolzano-Weierstrass theorem claimed that it is equivalent to Heine-Borel. This is decidedly not the case; they may be analogous, but they are certainly not equivalent.
-I'm sure you've heard all about this already, but the tossup on the Pockels effect was not just a hose for the Stark effect, the Stark effect literally fits the description in the first line.
-The Hill sphere is a very strange thing to toss up.

In addition to all that, despite your entreaties, Wesley, meteorology and earth science came up far too often, most notably in the first few rounds and in the final. This field had a grand total of one person who studies earth science (Seth) and from what I can tell even he was having problems with some of your answer choices. And even then you didn't have the slightest regard for the canon when you made your answer selections. A team consisting of Jerry and myself should not be zeroing science bonuses repeatedly, or getting screwed out of points because your descriptions are vague and inaccurate. I hate to be arrogant about it, but that's just the way it is. If that's happening, you've done something wrong, as the two of us together probably make up one of the best active science teams and had almost complete control of the science at last year's CO, even against good science teams. This is the second time we've been screwed out of important points because of your weird grip on what people actually learn in a class, as opposed to what you find on Wolfram, Wikipedia, or Google scholar. This needs to stop, because this is no way to distinguish teams from each other.

On top of this, there were multiple rounds in which there was no physics or biology question. The distribution calls for 1/1 on each of these subjects, and this shouldn't be happening either.

The chemistry and biology was certainly better than the physics, but its not like there weren't a fair share of problems there either. The powers were incredibly stingy in this set, for one. Secondly, there were certainly some specific questions with issues:

-The substance P tossup was literally all over the map. There are several counterexamples to Dale's principle, and as far as I can tell the one involving substance P isn't remotely important. Furthermore its a tossup on substance P, which may be important from an independent standpoint but really hasn't come up often enough to be a tossup in itself.
-Slater's rules and the Woodward-Feiser rules were very strange things to toss up. The latter is actually used, as Andy has informed us, but the former as far as I can tell isn't actually important. I've actually taken some physical chemistry, I say as I puff up my chest, so I can say that with some certainty.
-The TOR pathway is quite possibly the hardest tossup I have ever seen, nor is it really that big a deal. I wouldn't even toss it up in something like the Experiment - the fact that there was applause after this tossup should tell you how hard it is. It just so happens that its come up in some research.
-The Edman degradation question should have had a more complete description of the Bergmann degradation, because the way you have it phrased isn't useful in the least.
-Who's going to get a bonus part on Hoescht staining besides someone studying to be a pathologist? Or a bonus part on the MOPAC software? I managed to pull them, but Jesus that's just way too hard!

However, there was some great stuff that made an appearance (aziridines, pyrosequencing, c-Jun) and there were some extraordinary well-written and well-chosen tossups (carbocations, glycogen, rhodopsin), so its kind of a wash. I just felt like the set wasn't up to your usual meticulous standard, Gautam, which is the only reason I make these comments. And as previously mentioned, there were several rounds without a biology tossup, which made it all the worst for our team.

Now comes the part of the commentary that's more broad; I don't think CO this year was in general written as tightly as in previous years, and the set as a whole really felt rushed and without polish, despite the fact that we submitted our packets super-early. The fact that the finals packets, which are the most critical of them all, were written right before the actual rounds is downright unacceptable, and the fact that some of the questions rewarded packet memorization over real knowledge was very upsetting. These things are usually ironed out during playtesting and second-round editing, which for a tournament like CO is absolutely essential. I hope that whoever edits it next year will see that this doesn't happen, because this tournament left me kind of sour in a way that has everything to do with the packet writing.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Chris Frankel »

Just popping to offer a brief comment on the music distribution, which I agree came out flawed.

I'll also note that while Eric was kind enough to give me a shoutout, all I really did was playtest arts question and offer minimal commentary about difficulty or clue ordering. I didn't promise or deliver any creative involvement, as my retirement status and past track record rendered that pointless.

A repeated occurrence during the arts playtesting process was that the questions were fundamentally sound (pyramidal and clue dense for tossups, proper balance for bonuses), but the answers were either outright ridiculous (e.g. Cowell) or reasonable on their own, but problematic in the context of establishing a balanced set (e.g. Walton, Ginastera, Part). The latter wasn't anyone's fault, just an unfortunate coincidence. I will note that even when I played the game, question writers without a significant music background tended to overwhelmingly skew towards 20th century music when trying to write high level music questions (this also occurs with visual arts), much to my Baroque and classical loving chagrin. So for future reference, it might not be a bad idea to encourage people to branch out more towards earlier material when writing arts for CO level tournaments, because this trend happens very often.

I don't know why the recency bias pops up so much in high difficulty fine arts, but the point is that even with a pool of mostly well intentioned and competent submissions, the arts distribution would have needed near-complete overhauling and rewriting to be suitably balanced. Both Eric and I saw this coming, but (and I don't claim to know the situation or speak for him) the case seemed to be that either out of time concerns or a more laissez faire editing philosophy, the decision was made to keep as-is any question that was competently written on its own merit, even if its inclusion would be problematic for the set as a whole. It's a frustrating situation to be presented with the prospect of sigificant rewriting duties even in the face of having a pile of individually satisfactory questons available, and it's why I always preferred trying to write packets/sets from scratch and adopted time consuming and heavy handed answer selection measures when I did edit. Had I played the tournament, I would have been right there with Charlie complaining about the skewed music distribution. Had I been an active editor, I would have spent an inordinate amount of time throwing out over half the answers and writing a slew of brand new music questions with the goal of creating a balanced distribution in mind.

This post isn't meant to defend or impugn anyone, just pointing out the circumstances that resulted in the problem.
"They sometimes get fooled by the direction a question is going to take, and that's intentional," said Reid. "The players on these teams are so good that 90 percent of the time they could interrupt the question and give the correct answer if the questions didn't take those kinds of turns. That wouldn't be fun to watch, so every now and then as I design these suckers, I say to myself, 'Watch this!' and wait 'til we're on camera. I got a lot of dirty looks this last tournament."

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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater »

No Rules Westbrook wrote:The more I look at threads like this, the more I think that the only way a lot of people will apparently be happy is if specialists who have their degree of knowledge (and often, but not always, their perspective on what's important and what isnt) are in charge of writing and editing every single question at every tournament (and rewrite every question if someone chooses to write on something that they dont deem proper). I fear that these kinds of super-critical stances from specialists will soon get more tedious than helpful, and that the obsession with rewarding "real knowledge" has become more destructive than constructive.
All we're asking you to do is crack open a textbook, look at class notes, and stop using wikipedia for everything. I don't think that's egregious in the least. Furthermore, I'm complaining directly to a pair of specialists about their questions, and I'd have had no problem if you had edited the physics unless you started sticking in things about Dyson spheres, as CO last year proved.
No Rules Westbrook wrote:But, the degree of scrutiny that goes into particular choices these days and particular distributions is oppressive, at least I think. It's obscuring the more important message of just writing good pyramidal questions.
You have anything specific here? Because as far as I can tell several of the criticisms made here have been made in the past, such as the Pockels effect being a weird answer choice or writing about things that don't actually have names.
Last edited by Sima Guang Hater on Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Important Bird Area »

No Rules Westbrook wrote:Incidentally, and kind of related to this post, I continue to not be a fan of the several-special-editors tack for doing tournaments - I'd rather see something like CO in the hands of one strong editor/writer, who gets a little help here and there on a few weak subjects.
I actually think there are probably fewer "single strong editors" these days than there used to be, and that this is a natural consequence of both canon expansion and the move to reward "real knowledge" in various fields.

I have a decent amount of experience writing and editing things; but I would never, ever volunteer to edit a tournament without the assurance that someone else was on hand to check the science. And even then it would greatly improve the quality of the tournament if there were a third editor around to kick the quality of the literature and arts up from "mediocre filler" to something that's actually good. (I don't think this has anything to do with format or distribution; the same basic division of labor applies to 2005 Regionals (me, Andrew, Mike Sorice) and 2009 ICT (me, Andrew, Matt Keller).)
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

Yeah, I think specialists have a legitimate complaint about question content. Like, I didn't take over an hour to catalogue the problems with CO physics because there was one misplaced clue or whatever; it was that the set as a whole had serious problems. If we're not pointing out those kinds of issues, how can we expect them to improve? I'm all for giving someone a pass on an elementary mistake but stuff that is just outright incorrect repeatedly is not acceptable.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Mr. Kwalter »

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:Now comes the part of the commentary that's more broad; I don't think CO this year was in general written as tightly as in previous years, and the set as a whole really felt rushed and without polish, despite the fact that we submitted our packets super-early. The fact that the finals packets, which are the most critical of them all, were written right before the actual rounds is downright unacceptable, and the fact that some of the questions rewarded packet memorization over real knowledge was very upsetting. These things are usually ironed out during playtesting and second-round editing, which for a tournament like CO is absolutely essential. I hope that whoever edits it next year will see that this doesn't happen, because this tournament left me kind of sour in a way that has everything to do with the packet writing.
I'm not going to bother talking about the timing of the packet completion, since no one really cares what I have to say about why they were completed late, but I will say that the vast majority of the finals questions were completed well in advance, including all of the science. It's true that I had some writing to do the day of, and I apologize for the art tossup not having a Birth of Venus clue in it, but every single finals question that's been complained about so far was written long before tournament day. Also, please tell me, with whom were we supposed to extensively playtest the finals-level questions in this tournament? As I've said, I ran most of my stuff by Ryan and Frankel, but I wish I had known some of these people competent enough to comment on all the problems of the finals packets and help us tighten them up.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Oh, I should have been clearer - I'm very much in agreement with Eric and Jerry regarding the science questions. I've skimmed those posts kind of quickly, but they're certainly valid complaints about the general quality and reasonableness of those questions. I'm just speaking more to a general trend, and the music discussion here has been more indicative than anything else.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! »

No Rules Westbrook wrote:Also, aw hell, I just cant resist - if you critique the "your woman" reference, you're being silly (I very much want to use another word here but I wont). Just keep making sure people dont say things that could be interpreted as inapposite with whatever worldview you think everyone should ideally possess - that'll totally stop people from really being treated as property, whatever the heck that means.
I wasn't going to say anything about this issue, but I'd like to say that while I am not exactly an easily offended person, this made me a little edgy. If you're not a close friend of mine, you're not allowed to make this kind of comment in a public forum, just like you wouldn't make this kind of comment about someone's race or religion in a public forum.
Eric Mukherjee wrote:the tossup on the Pockels effect was not just a hose for the Stark effect, the Stark effect literally fits the description in the first line.
Dammit, I fell for this one, too. c-Jun coming up was pretty cool, though.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

No Rules Westbrook wrote:Also, aw hell, I just cant resist - if you critique the "your woman" reference, you're being silly (I very much want to use another word here but I wont). Just keep making sure people dont say things that could be interpreted as inapposite with whatever worldview you think everyone should ideally possess - that'll totally stop people from really being treated as property, whatever the heck that means.
Just as everyone but you maintained the last time we had this conversation, words are real and have effects. Moreover, if we adopt your position you are equally "silly" to critique people telling Billy to fuck off with his misogynistic bullshit.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by AaronBarnhart »

If you're not a close friend of mine, you're not allowed to make this kind of comment in a public forum, just like you wouldn't make this kind of comment about someone's race or religion in a public forum.
It's like a black man and the N-word!

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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

AaronBarnhart wrote:
If you're not a close friend of mine, you're not allowed to make this kind of comment in a public forum, just like you wouldn't make this kind of comment about someone's race or religion in a public forum.
It's like a black man and the N-word!
It's like not being a dick.

Can we just ignore Ryan and Billy and move on from this retarded digression?
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico »

grapesmoker wrote:...one bonus I wrote for our packet was modified so as to make the third part virtually unanswerable by anyone without a graduate course in Lie algebras.
Or even by those (the one?) of us with one.

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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico »

Censorship in Burma wrote:
Pilgrim wrote:
Censorship in Burma wrote:all three of those things show up in regular tournaments a lot
[citation needed]
Penn Bowl XVII: The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music Bonuses by South Florida (Ahmad Ragab) wrote:
15. Name these features of Australian aboriginal mythology, for 10 points each.

[10] Spencer and Gillen coined this term which is often thought to refer to the Aboriginal conception of a time before time, though further analysis reveals that it is more of an always-already concept of time or consciousness.

ANSWER: Dreamtime [accept The Dreaming]

[10] Though various aboriginal groups have different roles for this spirit ancestor; many consider this entity responsible for the creation of the world, especially the billabong rivers that its winding path created.

ANSWER: The Rainbow Serpent [or Rainbow Snake, etc]

[10] A favorite topic of cryptozoologists, these creatures are half-bearded snakes thought to terrorize unsuspecting individuals who have wandered too close to rivers and streams.

ANSWER: bunyips
So there you go, the exact same answer choices. I only get 4 hits from "Dreamtime" in the collegiate quiz bowl packets archive, and I'm sure there are more in a wider packet collection. "Rainbow Serpent" shows up twice but has been a clue for Ayers Rock before, and the bunyip has been a clue and and answer before (in that bonus, in fact). The Minnesota Undergraduate Tournament tossup on Aborigine myth had middle clues that I felt were harder than these three things, so yeah, there's nothing particularly CO-y about this bonus compared to the several other myth ones in this tournament.
Look, man, you're missing the point. This bonus just isn't that easy (though it's pretty easy to be sure.) Even if it were, there's no value in pointing out the easiest bonus of the tournament, even if you could peg which one it was, which we really can't.

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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Strongside »

Overall, I felt this tournament was pretty good, and I definitely enjoyed playing it.

As for Eric and others finishing the tournament while it was being played, I don't really see this as a problem. The tournament had enough staff, and there weren't any delays in starting any of the rounds.

I don't see what the big deal about having a tossup on Henry Cowell is. He has come up a few times, including in a bonus answer at this year's ACF Regionals.

The only issues that I had is that if a tournament is going to have powers, whoever is in charge ought to tell the players that before they submit their packets, and give people a rough idea of how powers should be converted. Even if editors will be placing all of the powers, it is helpful to know. This isn't specifically aimed at this tournament, as it has happened before.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by cornfused »

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:-I'm sure you've heard all about this already, but the tossup on the Pockels effect was not just a hose for the Stark effect, the Stark effect literally fits the description in the first line.
Was this the tossup that mentioned it had a notable "giant" variety? Because I negged that one with Stark effect on that clue.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

cornfused wrote:Was this the tossup that mentioned it had a notable "giant" variety? Because I negged that one with Stark effect on that clue.
Well, that and the question began with information about its "quantum-confined" variety, at which point I buzzed and said Stark effect. All of which could be avoided simply by placing, "It's not the Stark effect, but," at the beginning.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Eärendil »

I too enjoyed the carbocations tossup. Off the top of my head, I have two critiques about the biology in the tournament:

First, a minor factual error. The third part of the nodulation factors/nitrogen fixation bonus said something along the lines of "This element is found at the active site of nitrogenase" and wanted molybdenum. I'd like to point out that there are different isoforms of nitrogenase that use other elements at their active sites, most notably vanadium. I've worked with nitrogenase in the lab and, though I should have known molybdenum, I went with vanadium and was wrong. :sad:

Second, and more egregiously, I believe it was the Ray/Lafer/Tabachnick/Jose packet whose 1/1 biology was a tossup on Edman degradation and a bonus on the Sanger dideoxy method/"shotgun" sequencing/pyrosequencing. Perhaps both were categorized under (bio)chemistry; in either case, I felt it quite unbalanced to have 1/1 biological methods of sequencing stuff in any one packet.

I may have more to say once the set is posted.

Also, I felt that the amount of Hindu myth/religion was comparatively less in this tournament than in the past. From memory, there was the tossup on nagas, a bonus part on Balarama, and the tossup on Dasara/Dusshera. As for the latter, I was glad to see it come up, sad to see it go dead.
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico »

Champa Kalhari wrote:
Whig's Boson wrote:I also think that Walsingham and Afonso Henriques were far too difficult.
Agreed (even though I would have enjoyed hearing the Walsingham tossup if we had played that packet).
Here's my Francis Walsingham tossup, which I think was kept unedited.
In one of this person’s major endeavors, he employed a man named Antonio Pérez whose correspondence is an important primary source, revealing the identities of such co-workers as Gherard de Malines, John de Cárdenas, and Anthony Standen. This figure’s early career saw him fail to negotiate marriage contracts for successive Dukes of Anjou, Henri and François, only to score a major diplomatic coup with the Treaty of Blois as Ambassador to France. This so-called “Moor” succeeded his mentor, Robert Cecil, after the latter appointed him to head an inquest that led to the fall of the Duke of Norfolk. Later, similar work by this councilor led to the expulsion of Bernardino de Mendoza as his networks exposed both the Throckmorton plot and the Babington plot, implication in which led to the execution of Mary I of Scotland. For 10 points, name this of England’s Elizabeth I, whom he also served as spymaster.
ANSWER: Sir Francis Walsingham
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Re: Chicago Open 2009 Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico »

wd4gdz wrote:[Henry Cowell]'s someone that good music players have likely encountered independently of quizbowl.
The problem with this assertion is the large number of good music players telling you they haven't encountered him in any meaningful way (add my name to that list if you consider me good.)

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