Ike wrote:And speaking of Andrew Wang, Joelle claimed upthread that one of her posts was better in tone than Andrew Wang. That is categorically false, Andrew Wang is probably the most articulate, concise, and well-toned poster I know (how can you be all three at the same time?!?!).
Amizda Calyx wrote: Bubalus Period wrote:
ing idiot who let in a tossup on prolactin
There was a tossup on prolactin??? With what high school/early college clues? Dopamine, anterior pit, oxytocin and...? Please tell me metamorphosis and histology stuff weren't clues...
Re: unfair criticism of Ike.
The halting problem was brought up as a footnote in the original post, and speaking personally, it does feel like you two - Joelle and Sam are targeting me, as you guys have done in the past. Apparently, I'm not being unreasonable because someone else has even brought this up! Joelle's initial post from my understanding, was a comment about the halting problem that was mentioned by Sam to her, and she doesn't really have a bone to pick with this tossup. So it really makes sense to only hear it from Sam, and I question why Joelle even included it in her manifesto. Sam and Joelle, this past summer one / both of you expressed to others something along the lines of Ike Jose should never be allowed to edit math again on any level after I wrote mathematics that you didn't like for NASAT. I do take offense that this was a sentiment that Joelle (and / or Sam) expressed to other writers, and while I doubt that it did do damage, because it was similar to a bedtime story of hamfisted intimidation, it's not something I appreciate -- after all I did spend one year of my life making a living entirely through writing QB questions. So, yes when either of you make a thread like this, it does feel you are trying to further undermine my work when two peole I barely know, treated me rudely last year, and told other folks that I should not be allowed to edit math ever again.
"Also, I'm uncertain what the relevance of the fact that you don't know him is."
, the relevance is what happened this past summer: I don't know you Sam at all. I have never met you before except maybe once or twice at a QB tournament, and you spoke to me only through posts from your significant other's account by posting using her username or having her write up harshly-worded attacks on my writing and vent to other people what I said earlier about me editing math. Again, you're someone who I barely know, and it's impossible for me to tell whether it's you or Joelle who is saying this stuff, so the idea that you would think I would be OK with this is ludicrous. But either way, if any person gives this acerbic feedback all the time through the guise of their significant other because they can't talk vis a vis, I want them to stay the
away from me, and stay the
away from every other writer. In fact my interaction with you two as happened over the summer, and somewhat in this thread, has been so toxic that for these two reasons, and only these two reasons, I recommend that no one take either of you two as a science editor. And I recommend that no new writer take either of your posts seriously.
I referenced a single question of yours that my teammate was negged on due to ambiguous language, in a post that is partly about editors being more aware of ambiguous language. If you hadn't posted, in all likelihood this thread would have carried on in the same vein as Adam's comment with no mention of you or your questions. You
made this about you. And, as I noted in my apology to you about my behavior at NASAT, Sam had said absolutely nothing rude to you in his critiques of your math questions. After I read him some math people had been writing in the months leading up to the tournament (he was not going to be around to play any mirrors), he noted some problems that I thought would be helpful to pass on. He posted comments through me because he did not have access to QEMS2. Many of these suggestions were implemented without any trouble. However, when he began critiquing some of your questions in the same manner, you dismissed him and insisted on ignoring any helpful advice from anyone, including Eric. Here are the comments on your "kissing number problem" tossup:
Eric: "Dude. This is ridiculous, and neg-baitey as
. Change to sphere-packing at the very least, even that's probably too hard."
Ike: "Not sure how this is neg baiting in that sphere packing must be a percentage based answer. Also, this is taught in discrete mathematics classes, is mentioned in my high school discrete math book, I think it's a great idea!"
Me: "fyi, i just read this to Sam and he negged with sphere packing around the Leech lattice clue. Also he's never heard of this."
Me: "Sam's response: That Leech lattice clue is incredibly vague, and certainly applies to sphere packing (just check the Leech lattice wikipedia page). The leadin also seems non-unique, although I don't know enough to guarantee this. Also, I've never heard of this, and I've taken a year of graduate combinatorics classes, although I won't claim they were exhaustive."
Me: "Also, you don't know that the answer isn't a percentage until "with an answer of 240", which appears halfway through the question."
Me: "Cursory googling continues to make me believe the leadin is a hose for sphere packing, as is the fact that this problem is weirdly known in dimension 8 and 24."
Eric: "Alright, let's junk this and replace it with something else."
Ike: "That paper is unverified and just came out less than 2 months ago! It has yet to be verified and cannot be treated as correct, much like that idiot who claimed to have found a proof for P != NP"
Ike: "FWIW you can read all about this in many recreatoinal mathematics books, much like you won't get knowledge of magic squares from classes."
Cody: "for what it's worth, I am pretty familiar with this concept (and have seen the name many times); I do not see a problem with the answerline, per se"
Me (not quoting Sam): "this is a bad question with bad clues!"
Again, maybe I was harsh with that last statement, although I'd argue not nearly as harsh as Eric's first comment. But as you can see, you refused to acknowledge any
problems with this question, which was really frustrating.
I think the main incident you are referencing with your complaints about NASAT was the comment string regarding Cramer's rule, which Sam and I admitted we were embarrassingly wrong about (we had interpreted your comments as claiming it was taught in "10th grade linear algebra class" since neither of us had encountered it elsewhere). I said some really vitriolic things mixed in with Sam's reasoned (if misinformed) criticism, for which I have apologized repeatedly. Other than that, the only aggressive comments I've leveled at you were in response to your vector spaces question during google docs editing. Sam wrote out detailed, non-judgmental explanations on how every single clue
in that tossup was flat-out wrong
and how many of them pointed, sometimes uniquely
, to other answers
, resulting in Cody saying he would replace that tossup and rewrite it later. At no point in that discussion did anyone say anything mean to you. Your response was to state, "This tossup is fine. Also stop being dramatic" and to resolve the comment. This was immensely frustrating when coupled with your other reactions to justified criticism, so I made a rude trio of comments ("This tossup is fine?!??!!?!!? WHAT??"; "dude, literally every clue except one is incorrect!"; "and the one that isn't is poorly worded!" (Sam later confided to me that he had been "too generous" in his assessment of that clue)) and reopened the thread. Cody rightfully called me out for being a bully, and I later apologized to you for being so unprofessional.
As for the gossip: I assume you were told about some harsh things I'd said about you in a non-main-room irc channel at some point. Other people in that room also complained heavily of your behavior when faced with any amount of criticism and have occasionally brought your other science writing up unprompted by me, as have multiple people in person and in recent PMs. You have vented about me and trashed me to other editors/writers yourself; however unlike you I have not made strictly public condemnations of you at any point. This thread was prompted by various things I had been mulling over with regards to biology, and I added in more stuff about pronouns because I knew it to be an issue in other STEM subjects as well. It was not about you
, and it's pretty ridiculous to imply that I built the entire first post around a single footnote regarding a 2011 Nats question just to target you. I am not going to let you use your considerable experience and respect in quizbowl to try to intimidate me into not writing or editing anymore, and I find it pretty childish that you would try to blackball me and HSAPQ over things I said in relative privacy to people I thought would have the good sense not to spread gossip.
And with respect to Bala's comments, I still don't understand why you not knowing who he is has anything to do with whether or not he can criticize your questions. That you are taking out your frustration with me from this summer on him because we share the quality of "not being known to you" is completely unreasonable.
Bala, I don't meant this to be condescending, bu you haven't edited any packet submission tournaments to know anything about what new writers do and don't do. I hope that if you're ever science editor, you receive the same tossup on packets and Code Division Multiple Access that I did, and you come back here and tell me with a straight face that this thread will be useful to those writers. That's not even talking about the actually bad questions that comprise 20% of our submissions which we chuck out quickly.
Sure. Penn Bowl CS was mostly good. Mysterium CS was excellent. Your 2015 ACF Nats bonus on complexity classes/IP/GI was good. I mentioned this in my post, but Lederberg CS and Avogadro CS were great.
No, what I'm saying is, even if they produce a flawed question, you should be thanking them for trying, especially if you want them to listen to you. A pretty good example of this was your poor wording of Sundberg's work on mathematics for Chicago Open. I'm gonna be generous and assume you accidentally got another editor irritated. My point is, people do spend a lot of time on writing questions, and unless they are being categorically unreasonable you should be more careful about this if you want them to listen to you and not just go "lol, Berkeley guy is complaining again!" Also, you only wrote up your posts in computational complexity theory. Do you really have enough knowledge to say the same for the rest of computer science? Was the anti-aliasing tossup any good from 2011 nationals, or the TU on Boltzmann Machines from 2012? So in effect you're claiming expertise in like 1/10th of computer science, and aside from the fact I think you're writing from a position of naivete like Cody Voight says, your posts do feel rather narrow, and that when you say the CS is good, you mean "the CS that I know is good**". After all this is a thread about exactitude in science writing.
Ike wrote:So I really don't know how much CS you have expertise in and am not trying to call you a bad CS student (in fact you've demonstrated that you know more about IP than I do), but just consider how much you actually know, and don't insist that a tournament's CS was excellent when there were tossups that had serious issues.
This actually gets to a point that I referenced in an early post, which is that some people might not feel confident enough in their knowledge to post a glowing review of a question out of fear that something was actually wrong with it, especially if they don't know what clues were used after they buzzed -- sometimes it also just feels arrogant to praise a question that you first-lined (I have been called out for this). What you seem to be suggesting is that everyone should thank all the writers and editors for their hard work, but not claim that any particular category was good unless you have extensive knowledge of all facets of it. I guess it's understandable to want to hear people thanking your editing/writing team, but to me it means a lot more when particular categories or questions I've written are praised rather than just every single post being "thank you for writing a tournament".
cheynem wrote:I don't know anything about science, but to be honest, more questions are slightly ambiguous/vague/slightly wrong/misleading than you might suspect. Usually a couple times a tournament I will think to myself "Hmm, is that the best way of describing that history thing?" or "Well, that actually really applied to everyone in the administration." In some way, sure, these questions could be made better; on the other hand, I just want to point out that this is not unique to science questions. I cast no opinion on this thread and its potential usefulness.
From what I can tell, and from what other people have said about their personal experiences with some of those questions, the issues extended beyond being "slightly" anything and in fact were executed in a similar way to saying "Haydn wrote a concerto for this instrument" in an early clue, or [insert blatantly false clue that points to a different answer]. Now, I'm not saying that many of the examples given are that egregious; that level of absurd ambiguity is not actually pernicious in math/CS AFAIK. But a good proportion suffer from issues that very well could neg people knowledgeable in the subject. I also didn't claim that errors don't appear in other subjects -- I just noted that those things are frequently pointed out in discussions and there isn't a symmetric population of players with deep enough knowledge of math/CS to bring things up every time an issue appears.