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*all questions are on Reuben
Yes, I think that University Challenge rewards contestants with a knowledge base that is stereotypically male, white and middle/upper class, but to me the news that teams are screened/selected by the production team probably indicates that they're employing a crude form of positive descrimination - wanting to feature teams that are more balanced, interesting, easier for the audience to identify with and who are more comfortable on television and more watchable. I would have thought that this would have removed some of the more extreme examples of the teams full of white male nerds, to be honest.
I'm a little uneasy with the screening for one reason, and that is that UC provides one of the few places on television where socially-awkward but brilliant people can be seen. I wouldn't want to see those kind of people pushed off the show because they aren't as watchable.
as Only Connect.
as a result.
I think it's great that it's on telly.
I don't want my television completely filled with shiny-toothed banter merchants, where the only deviations from this archetype are only there to be made fun of (eg Big Bang Theory, Channel 4/5 documentaries).
boring men with lots of general knowledge don't get enough time on television?
I've not said anything about their gender.
Someone post this in the apology thread.
Good reading skills.
Especially as the first paragraph makes it clear that I don't object to the increasing of diversity via the selection of teams.
Pretty good success story given that everyone on it on every given week is obscenely annoying (Coren-Mitchell very much included). So plenty of people are watching it!
I just play the walls online now. Saves me having to actually watch it.
take that, twat.
this would be a much better post if I could remember what it was
When he pronounced "carboxylic acid" as "carbolyxic acid" once. That's not even a thing, Paxo, you thick cunt! Best stick to your line of stuffing, eh pal.
As in angrily grunting?
I was on my college team (five guys, one ethnic minority), and we didn't get selected for TV. I remember when filling in the application it said that they valued teams that showed a range of different people with different backgrounds or words to the affect that they wanted diversity, but that doesn't seem to translate on to the programme.
(My team was picked on who did best on a quiz in college, so didn't consciously consider diversity at all).
I'm continually amazed that you hide it so well under this veneer of bumbling incompetence
(congrats on the engagement btw!)
HYG - Boris Johnson?
that's cheating. I'm glad you weren't picked
No wonder your team didn't get selected, pal. It's called University Challenge, not College Quiz. Can't even grasp the basics. Sheesh.
posts in the comments section. Sounds to me like the author was the backup contestant who came 5th in the trials, and the top 4 trialists at the uni were all medics.
Knowing medics from uni, and now teaching them, they can be a cliquey bunch and I guess that they formed a strong team and the author didn't really integrate. The producers then saw a good team with the added uniqueness of all being medical students and went with them.
I mean if there were positive discrimination and more women were picked, then this could be seen as to be a craven attempt to get the dis demographic glued to the screens with their 'tongues' hanging out.
I don't think there is a right answer, personally I wish that women were just as into boring factoids about shit, but they are not as into it as much as men, sure they'll be just as great in their subjects, but there just aren't as many women who like trivia as men (IMO and from anecdotal evidence.....please note that it tends to be something that is not admired but regarded as a sad(ish) trait).....the writer of the article says that not many women turned up for the university try outs, because women 'might not have felt welcome' this may be true, but it also might be because of what I mentioned above.
And only crack out MegaNutella for rhyming raps? Too confusing otherwise.
I thought you could cope
please make an endeavour
don't make like a dope
but really not a fan of trying to force it or moan about it. If less women for whatever reason aren't on University Challenge, it is unlikely to be anything other than just one of those things. They don't need to force it so more women have "positive role models" or any of that guff. There are areas where there are less men than women, that is for all sorts of reasons. Again, I wouldn't want to force more men into becoming nursery teachers just so more men do it.
but not really.
It's "fewer women"
we were doing so well
cause they knew she was the sort of dullard who'd write a guardian article about how she didn't get picked for University challenge
how all the people who do get picked got through the net?
May as well just cut it off or sew it up.
But there's a similar disparity between demographic success on that too which I find really interesting. Agree with MegaNutella that there seems to be less of an inclination for women to learn useless info for these type of shows judging by the level of effort that goes into preparing for Countdown on Apterous (the practice website everyone uses); very few of the female users adopt the same obsessive habits to improve as the male ones - like a lot of the guys use word lists and play thousands of games before applying, whereas the women take a far more casual approach to it and have far lower ratings as a result. It translates into success on the show - no woman has won a series since 1998 (in the last 10 series only 1 winner has been over the age of 30 too and they've all been white), very few score over 800 points if they win 8 games (3, compared to about 30-40 men, and 2 of these have been in the last year - the first was over 10 years ago). Genuinely don't know if this is nature or nurture though.
I only made a conscious effort to be at that level because I realised these things plus no women were in the top 50 in the rankings on Apterous, in fact in 5 years no woman had been in the top 25 since there had been over 25 players on the website (I think). The show made quite a big fuss of me when I did well just because it was so unusual to have a young nerdy FEMALE (only one other female octochamp I can think of under the age of 30) who massively reduced the difference between male and female octochamp scores (was 145 points, is now 22) and sort of equalled things up a bit.
ANYWAY more relevantly to the article, there's an upcoming Champion of Champions tournament on CD and the producer has apparently said that 10 of the 16 spaces will be taken by winners and runners up of series (9 guys 1 girl) and the other 6 will be allocated to finalists who don't fit the typical successful demographic of 'white nerdy male'. Been some major discord in the community when discussing who should be invited, because some think better players will miss out to players selected through positive discrimination. But the CoC before last had no women at all, whereas I reckon there are 5 who should at least be in contention to qualify this time.
asking if you've ever been on a quiz show?
Thought this was relevant to discussion of skilled gameshows having skewed demographics though :(
i wasn't slagging you off, I just thought if you weren't aware of it you really should get over there. I haven't been on a single game show.
needlessly defensive. I was feeling a bit awkward about posting about Countdown twice in a day in case people were like LOL GET OVER IT!!
wont that result in the other 6 people getting their arse kicked?
Certain series are comparatively far far weaker than others. Series 67 and 70's winners/runners up are far weaker than the 5 of the 8 finalists from series 69, maybe even 6, so you could easily have a QFist kicking a series winner's arse. Most of the demographic breaking contestants probably won't have a chance, but there are several who could well do. The last Champion of Champions was won by a quarter finalist.
I think there's a very good chance, especially given the commitment to demographic-breaking and the studio fanfare I got after my 8th game and before my quarter final (even the highest scoring player who was #1 seed wasn't built up so much before his quarter final). Depends how much weight they give my quarter final loss -considering I only didn't get a perfect score in 3 of the 15 rounds, lost by 3 points and the guy I lost to then won the series (blitzing 2 of the other 5 highest scoring players of all time in ths process) I'm not sure it'll be too much of a problem. But we'll see.
I followed it a bit when you were on your run but missed the series finale. fantastic effort. if you do make it make sure you post on here to remind us to set our sky boxes!
Gonna go to the filming regardless of whether I'm invited to cheer on my friends (including the guy I lost to). It's going to be an amazing tournament!
He, and the other contestants who were on it during his three shows, weren't involved in Apterous at all.
Are they the exception then?
But people who know it exists and want to do really well tend to sign up for it. There's been some really good players recently who haven't been on it though (last 2 octochamps aren't *really* on it although one has played a little bit on there now and another has an account and logs on daily but doesnt play :/ plus a guy who won 7 isn't either although he was fairly lucky to win that many games). Recently the studio has been pitting apterites against each other and there's been a debate about whether it's deliberate to try and lessen the site's stranglehold on the game. Every series winner since the early 50-something series is on there though and the last 11 series winners have only won because of their online practice.
When is your friend being broadcast?
and then rise to the top of the rankings pretty easily?
asking for a friend
But against some of the top players you could get 14 perfect rounds and still lose because they can solve a conundrum in under a second, plus the 'cheatomatic' will go off and you'll be banned. It's generally pretty obvious if you're cheating.
(I just checked, and he was actually on four shows)
His scores averaged in the 70-80 points region, so way below the kind of figures needed to be a series champion. I think it's a bit like Pointless, in that they do 'inverse-seed' the players so that they pit people of a similar ability against each other to create better television, and, yes, to break the dominance of those who participate on gaming sites like Apterous.
where the 8 letter word on the board reads 'CUNTFACE' or something?
I suspect you would find a book called Delusions of Gender really interesting on this subject. It's a really interesting, accessible read and spends a lot of time addressing that nature v. nurture issue and debunking some really spurious neuroscience/interpretations of neuroscience in terms of apparent gender differences.
Will see if I can get hold of it when I get back from holiday.
but I wonder if they'll ever stop the weird, awful main presenter = 'old man' / assistant = 'pretty young woman in a frock' thing. the shit conversation ('humour') on countdown makes it unbearable.
But I think the presenter set up is quite empowering to women - both academic positions (dictionary adjudicator/word finder and numbers adjudicator/solver) on the show are filled by women. Although Rachel is routinely treated like a piece of meat by male fans - the digital spy forum thread is especially awful reading - she only ever gives the solution to an unsolved numbers game if she has worked it out herself (even though she has an earpiece to the producer who could tell her how to solve it using a computer programme), and will continue to try to solve them if she hasn't already during ad breaks and suchlike. It's a shame that someone who is really intelligent, professional and really nice irl is only seen by a lot of people as a bimbo or pretty face or whatever. I guess it's down to the thing of she might be taken more seriously if she wore more conservative clothing but if she likes the clothes then more power to her for proving you can be intelligent without being frumpy, etc.
(also wasn't suggesting that she should dress more conservatively)
but it follows in a very long running thread of tv quiz/game shows where the woman is there to carry about big letters and numbers and serve the contestants and the main presenter, with the presenter doing a bit of patronizing banter and having overall control. it's just a really old fashioned format and comes across as a quite sleazy.
It would be really interesting to see how the dynamic changed if the next presenter were female.
ie load of old dears watching it for Whitely et al, load of students watching it for TOTTY and BANTS
but then again the old man/young woman presenting team is a so prevalent across lots of programme types and schedule slots as well. It's very unusual to see an older woman with a male understudy together in front of the camera.
Any updates on where bears shit?
Rachel usually gets negatively compared to Carol but actually Rachel is a better all rounder at solving numbers, especially compared to Carol's later years (my friend did some analysis) http://www.c4countdown.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9895 . Dunno what to read into that but always assumed it was because rachel is seen as prettier, but assumed to be less intelligent as a result.
on the left and really into feminism and that, don't mind university challenge. not just cause it lacks diversity/ representativeness but cause it so obviously privileges a certain type of knowledge/education. we're invited to marvel at how a bunch of posh 19 year old boys are so much smarter than everyone else cause they have all this 'general knowledge' which is actually not general knowledge but a very specific (middle class) canon of trivia. as I said above, they should let non-students on and just make it a quiz show asking those sorts of questions for people who like that sort of stuff, without presenting it as superior. I suspect they wouldn't do that though cause its more 'prestigious' this way and pampers the contestants egos.
so the format is unchanged from a time when university students really were the cream of the crop. Can't imagine anything so elitist getting commissioned now.
the REAL issue is why Oxbridge get to enter so many fucking teams, what a joke.
in the same way that different parts of the University of London can enter teams.
Would be interesting to see how single Oxbridge teams would do, no better than any other good team from that year I expect.
It annoys me.