Sunday, March 08, 2009

Why we don't do questions on this blog

A quiz blog that doesn't purvey questions may seem like the story in a Monica Bellucci film: unnecessary. But then quizzing isn't all about the questions, or so we think. There are a number of (good) blogs that provide a regular dose of questions for trivia-vores, but we are not like them. This wasn't a conscious choice to differentiate ourselves from the rest, but truly a reflection of those who run this blog. A few reasons:
1. With Occam's razor held to our throat, we may confess that the simplest reason is laziness. Typing out questions and posting them regularly demands effort, attention, and diligence, which are qualities that automatically disqualify us.
2. We are quizzing geeks and prefer little else to making inane chatter on the peculiar sub-culture of quizzing. Most of this has had a negative contribution to the intellectual progress of mankind, but we're too busy to notice.
3. We are perhaps the first, and (almost) uniquely so, to take our post-quiz tête-à-têtes online. You will see feverish discussions, nay reviews, about quizzes we attend. We think this helps our understanding of this sport that we enjoy so much.
4. A quiz is not a mere summation of its questions, but something that is a mix of the quiz-setter's choices and compositional skills, a function of its teams' abilities and personalities, and the context of its setting. You can't quite tell how a quiz was, just from its questions. As if it is possible to reconstruct an innings by a sequence of runs scored. A quiz is a complex creature, and no quizzer's experience of it is similar to another's. This may sound an overdone examination of a simple hobby, but then you don't have to buy into this.
5. Given our size and history, we have been inclined towards experimentation in formats, presentation, and questions, as well as possessing an unreasonable amount of enthusiasm in writing about views about our infatuation with the sport. Which is why there are essays on formats, on setting quizzes, on analyses, and dil-dehlaadene-waalaa angst.
This post came about because I saw a comment on an earlier post impatiently asking for questions to that quiz. Sorry, you're quite unlikely to get a list of questions for your favourite < insert high paying quiz name> quiz here. You will have better chances elsewhere. So why bother reading this blog? We didn't say you had to bother. Even some of us don't.

Update: but these days we have begun to, occasionally. See the BCQC Questions Blog.


anantha said...

You guys totally rock for this niche. Still remember the early "research" type posts about quizzing systems. If someone wants questions, we still have Quiznet. I think you should just put a link to Quiznet (or any other quizzing mailing list) on the main page and be done with it.

Anonymous said...

I'll add here a very belated thanks for posting the BBB quiz, especially since I was one of those who pestered you about it.

Did anyone get the Vinoo Mankad (1-11) answer right ?

Anonymous said...

Rohit Nair uploads all the questions on his blog (or relevant hyperlinks) for the National Quizzes so we needn't bother with the big ones.

But what about the smaller quizzes like BCQC Opens? Someone has put in sufficient effort and all we get are 15-20 teams turning up. If more people want to enjoy it,I don't see the harm in that.You could start a separate mailing list and charge people for receiving questions.

J Ramanand said...

Anantha: thanks for dropping by

KRWFan: I didn't mean to elicit thanks for rare quizzes posted :-) And yes, I think someone got that.

Anon: Thanks for your views. I know I wasn't clear about this, but I didn't mean to say people who do BCQC opens shouldn't post questions. On the contrary, it's a pity they don't make them available, and as you say, share them with a wider audience. But it's upto them. There is already a mailing list (inquizitive - at - Y!) if need be, and there isn't a dearth of filesharing options. I think our people are too lazy to insert answers and make it a standalone piece that anyone can d/l and read. (I managed to put up my last quiz after a conscious effort.)

I'd never want to charge for these qns either.

I was underlining that it's highly unlikely that people on this blog will post qns from big quizzes (as you say, others do it, which is great), and to be cognisant of that fact if you're reading these posts!

Miraj C. Vora said...

First of all I appreciate your views and respect them.

Since you'll use different formats i thought i could share with you a system that we use at our quizzes in our quiz club which is called Saturday Afternoon Fever QC at Christ University, Bangalore

FAIRPLAY is what we call it..
Where in the question is directed at one team and is also open to everyone on stage and they can raise their hand and stake claim..

Now the team to whom the question is directed can stay calm and try cracking it while others who stake their claim will write down the answer.. It's a plus 10 to them on the write answer & -5 if they get it wrong and the question doesnt pass to them after they have put their stake..

After this is done.. and suppose 2 teams have gone for FAIRPLAY and got it right.. the team whose direct it is.. can shout out their answer and incase they are right there are ten points and incase they are wrong the question passes for a plus 5 to the teams who have not gone for fairplay.

I believe this is a fair system where everyone gets a shot at the question and there is scope for answers also on the pass..

Do let me know what you feel about FAIRPLAY

Yash Marathe said...

We've used a similar system before (most notably JR), only we call it "Steals". I don't like the aspect of letting the question pass for less points as it goes against the equal opportunity - equal points etc etc principle.

J Ramanand said...

Miraj: thanks for dropping by. Of course, the fairest system would be for every team to attempt qs simultaneously, but that isn't much fun, so your system is a reasonable approximation. As Yash says, we have tried this and variations. Though in fairness, I haven't done this exact version - another person did it - I prefer a system where each team is given a few chances redeemable across the quiz to jump the order (without negatives) so as to ward against sitters or to allow an element of strategy.

There is also a skill involved in learning from passes ahead of you, and I agree with Yash on not taking the value down to 5, because the teams that didn't go for it are anyway liable to be penalised for their caution if someone ahead of them answers before it reaches them.

For those who think passes make it easier for the teams at the end, search for "Forward Biasing" on this blog. Of course, if the questions are such that it just involves eliminating a set of equal choices (people call it 'chimping') then all this discussion is moot :-)

Anonymous said...

Miraj, Lovely idea.
Just want to change the name to FIREPLAY and shoot the bloke who put hand up & muffed it , dead !Ek hi teer se do shikaar etc

Niranjan said...

Why not call it FOREPLAY?

Every quiz will end up with a climax then.

Unknown said...

In a lot of ways, the IQL follows this routine :)

Great work!!!