LearnedLeaguers, sound off! August 26, 2014 6:08 PM   Subscribe

In the recent Mefi thread about LearnedLeague, we had a decent number of joint members. I thought I'd create a space where we could say hello!

After all, it's always more exciting when you know your opposition. And it's a bit easier to play defence if you think they might have seen the same post on Mefi that you did.

As well, I know there are Mefites who were looking for invites. PLEASE don't put current LL members on the spot to give you one - in addition to only having one per season, referrers are vouching for their invitee, and it's in everyone's best interest if we don't have to choose between vouching for someone they don't feel comfortable with vs having to tell a fellow Mefite that they feel uncomfortable vouching. I think the best compromise is that if you are interested, post that in-thread, and dual members who have an invite can drop you a line themselves?

It's also possible I'm wildly overthinking the concerns here. Seems in line with both traditions.

Anyways, I'm MintzA, currently stinking up the joint in Frontier D 2. Seriously wth is up with me this season? If you're up against me this season, drop me a line and trash talk!
posted by Lemurrhea to MetaFilter-Related at 6:08 PM (76 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I won't recommit to my offer in the other thread, but I am interested.
posted by Etrigan at 6:17 PM on August 26, 2014


How much of a time-sink is this 'LearnedLeague?'
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:10 PM on August 26, 2014


How much of a time-sink is this 'LearnedLeague?'

Five to ten minutes every day there is a match on. Some people agonize and make this go longer, but basically it's answering six questions and looking at your opponent's stats page to see how you think they will do on those questions. Submit questions. Wait for resuts. If you want, they have a forum and you can kibitz over stuff with other nerds. If that's the sort of thing you're into. It's a bit like MeFi but with a bit more structure. Also everyone has a flag.

I am WestJ over there and I don't have free spaces for referring people, but I've been a Llama for 18 seasons and I almost won the Internet MiniLeague. I am in E League. I was all the way in C League once, and then the place got full of Jeopardy people. I have referred people who have been in all the Leagues but I think right now there is no one currently in A League.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:30 PM on August 26, 2014


I'm not on LearnedLeague but it is a thing I would like to try.
Also I would like a flag.
posted by Songdog at 8:15 PM on August 26, 2014


I have been gone for a bit. I am CarpenterF
posted by jadepearl at 8:19 PM on August 26, 2014


OverholtJ, B Highlands. I have to say I'm kind of paranoid about the responsibility of referring people, and would only do it for people I know well enough to personally vouch that they wouldn't cheat.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:20 PM on August 26, 2014


I'm DoaneJ in Highland R (R for rookie - this is my first season, so I can't give out invites yet). Its fun but really tough - I don't know many of the answers and at times wonder what I got myself into. Though I was excited to get 5/6 correct today!. I am also currently in third place for the Dawkins award for submitting the most common wrong answer!

I was very disappointed yesterday to find out that "Cast Away" is two words
posted by jpdoane at 8:21 PM on August 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was very disappointed yesterday to find out that "Cast Away" is two words

You and me both, refer-ee.

posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:30 PM on August 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm not a player (I'd like to be!) but I've been following the questions since the FPP. I knew Cast Away was two words, but it wouldn't have helped as I could only come up with Big and Philadelphia.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:38 PM on August 26, 2014


Y'all don't want to know how many rounds of practice questions I've done since the FPP went up. I am super interested in this.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 8:52 PM on August 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh my goodness, I would be terrible at this (just got 2/8 in the quiz in the FPP article) but would love being terrible at it.
posted by snorkmaiden at 8:59 PM on August 26, 2014


I thought of Splash first for whatever reason (have I even seen it? not sure...) Then Big and Philadelphia. Racked my brain all morning for a fourth (Question was, name 4 of the 6 Tom Hanks movies with one-word titles). Finally as I'm riding into work I remembered that movie with him on the island with Wilson and the weird FedEx package. I couldn't think of the title, but it seemed like it could be one word. Another 10 minutes racking my brain: "Stranded"? "Lost"? ""Deserted"?... and finally remembered it - "Castaway"! That works and makes 4! I was super proud of myself and knew I was going to rock the round since there was also a guitar question and a math question.

Anyway, I got it wrong because Cast Away is two words of course. Apparently Tom Hanks also made movies called "Volunteers" and "Punchline" which I have never heard of and would never have gotten. "Dragnet" was the last one, which I've seen but had forgotten about. I ended up losing the round because my opponent knew more that I do about European castles and basketball stats from 40 years ago.
posted by jpdoane at 9:05 PM on August 26, 2014


Anyway, all that to say, it does add a bit more drama to my morning routine
posted by jpdoane at 9:06 PM on August 26, 2014


Learned? Seriously? So Ken Jennings is now Leonardo da Vinci?

This seems bar trivia for white people that went to college and prefer tea to beer. Party on wealthy rich white people I suppose but factoids are not knowledge.
posted by vapidave at 9:09 PM on August 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's a trivia game for nerds, and I'm guessing the "learned" is a friendly joke? If you aren't interested in a trivia game for nerds, feel free to skip the thread rather than shitting on people for no reason.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:16 PM on August 26, 2014 [13 favorites]


prefer tea to beer

You take that back!

I happen to prefer a nice Merlot
posted by jpdoane at 9:27 PM on August 26, 2014


Well that's charitable when it's descibed as "The coolest, weirdest Internet community you’ll never be able to join." Seems the opposite of "nerds" but carry on I suppose.
posted by vapidave at 9:32 PM on August 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I got 7/8 on the practice quiz on WaPo and I felt like a million bucks.
posted by MadamM at 9:33 PM on August 26, 2014


Well, in fairness, I don't know for sure it's for nerds. I haven't been over there, just was assuming based on description. I might be speaking out of turn.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:35 PM on August 26, 2014


Usage notes: sometimes used to describe something you did not have the authority to say: The company president said there had not been any delays, and that the project manager had spoken out of turn.

Seriously? Like I have some type of authority here and you don't?
posted by vapidave at 9:45 PM on August 26, 2014


Maybe that was the wrong phrase to use - I meant, the people who have hung around that website probably know better than I do if it's for nerds, so maybe I'm speaking beyond my knowledge there. But anyway, it sounds like an innocuous trivia thing, not something to be hassling people about, is what I'm getting at.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:48 PM on August 26, 2014


Fair enough, and last comment here; It's a wealthy mostly white people thing these subjects where trivia = learned = nerd. They aren't necessarily consonant.
posted by vapidave at 10:01 PM on August 26, 2014


I happen to prefer a nice Merlot

I'm not drinking any f***ing Merlot!

If people are inviting Mefites, I'd like an invitation.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:04 PM on August 26, 2014


My profile page.

I usually look at the questions when I wake up, but I try not to submit my answers until I've had something to eat. My hungry-but-don't-know-it morning-brain has second-guessed me out of so many correct answers.

Also, I prefer weed to tea or beer, and I am Leonardo da Vinci.

(I got to play a match against JenningsK, so it can't be him, and since nobody else is claiming the title, bam -- it's mine. You can call me Lenny Dee.)
posted by not_on_display at 10:55 PM on August 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


MetaTalk: There's nothing so innocuous it won't make someone weirdly angry.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:58 AM on August 27, 2014 [13 favorites]


The only pure form of entertainment is beating yourself with a leather strap. But don't enjoy it too much, or the capitalists have won.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:08 AM on August 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Anyway, I'm on there (HallM). Somehow I ended up in B Highland this season and I am doing terribly. I liked the other season where there were a ton of food questions.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:10 AM on August 27, 2014


I'm there, too. I'm CoughlinJ. This is my fourth season and I'm in Rundle A Frontier.
posted by inturnaround at 5:36 AM on August 27, 2014


These invitations, can I have one? I do fantasy baseball (almost) every day anyway; it can't hurt to have another thing in the morning routine.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:55 AM on August 27, 2014


BrooksS, currently taking a break but previously in A Highland.
posted by Madamina at 6:49 AM on August 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


This seems bar trivia for white people that went to college and prefer tea to beer. Party on wealthy rich white people I suppose but factoids are not knowledge.
posted by vapidave at 9:09 PM on August 26 [+] [!]


Anti-eponysterical?
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:28 AM on August 27, 2014


This is me, over in Metro D (Division 2).

And you can add me in among those that included "Castaway" on the Hanks question the other day. *shakes fist*
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:53 AM on August 27, 2014


I feel a little weird about posting my LL username because while I'm not hiding anything (and I've accepted rides home from MeFites I've known for about two hours, so I clearly trust you guys), attaching it to my handle here makes my real name blindingly obvious. I mean, I'm still pretty Google-invisible, but it's just slightly weird to me.

But I am signed up over there and I'm happy to give someone a referral and thus access to my real whole name, wow, such privaledge, so value. I'm taking this season off, but I should be back next time.
posted by maryr at 8:18 AM on August 27, 2014


I play LearnedLeague and I'm broke off my ass.
posted by themanwho at 8:20 AM on August 27, 2014


It's a wealthy mostly white people thing these subjects where trivia = learned = nerd. They aren't necessarily consonant.

You appear to have a beef with the Washington Post's treatment of this thing and have now just showed up here to piss in the punchbowl in a totally optional online space for discussing things that people are excited about. The name is a joke. The people are, trust me, nerds. If it's not for you, that's totally fine. Please consider moving on next time.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:46 AM on August 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


I'm interested in joining and would love an invitation if someone has an extra lying around!
posted by dialetheia at 9:21 AM on August 27, 2014


Shortly after my first Metafilter meetup I recognized the last name of a mefite as my LL opponent that day. Mefites: they're everywhere.
posted by troika at 9:35 AM on August 27, 2014


I would love this if anyone's still got a referral, but I have a couple questions--what's the time window between receiving the email and needing to respond, 'cause I work late nights currently and don't even check mine 'til 11am or noon CST most days...and can you be kicked out for being AWFUL at it? 'Cause I'm very good at only like 3 topics in trivia usually, and if being terrible means a shortlived time there it'd be a waste to refer me. But if those aren't problems I'd love a chance to get better at this with practice, and I like the idea of guessing about other people's aptitudes.
posted by ifjuly at 10:02 AM on August 27, 2014


LaneJ, E Highland Div 2. Referred, apparently, by Leonardo da Vinci!

This is where I shamefully confess that I forfeited the other day when my opponent was Jessamyn, because if I don't do this early in the AM I completely forget.

Also if you were in the vicinity of my office you may or may not have heard a loud "godDAMMIT" when I realized that Cast Away was two stupid words.
posted by maryrussell at 10:04 AM on August 27, 2014


Wow, buncha white people answering questions? Looks like society doesn't even value critical thinking any more, just white celebrity culture.

Anyway, my learn league username is WestJ
posted by Greg Nog at 11:01 AM on August 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


what's the time window between receiving the email and needing to respond

1AM Eastern Time (10PM Pacific) is the deadline for answering that day's questions.

can you be kicked out for being AWFUL at it?

No, only for forfeiting a lot, or cheating. You can be as awful as you want.

FAQ
Complete Rules

All the flags by username
All the flags by idunno what order

I also said "Castaway" rarrrrarrrarrrrr....
posted by not_on_display at 11:05 AM on August 27, 2014


Mods: Maybe we can add LearnedLeague as an "also on:" to our MeFi profile page?
posted by not_on_display at 11:12 AM on August 27, 2014


This is where I shamefully confess

OMG this is where I confess that I forgot who you were for a second there! The shame is on not_on_display's house, not mine.

Maybe we can add LearnedLeague as an "also on:" to our MeFi profile page?

I love this idea, but you have to be logged in to LL to even see the profile pages which I think makes it a nogo.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 11:15 AM on August 27, 2014


Ooh, this looks like so much fun! I'd love an invitation if anyone can spare one. I miss Quiz Bowl/Scholar's Bowl. Time to hunt down some sample NAQT questions to alternate with these sample LL questions.
posted by jdherg at 11:26 AM on August 27, 2014


Y'all don't want to know how many rounds of practice questions I've done since the FPP went up. I am super interested in this.

Yeah, I do a page of sample questions every day, and usually get about 8/14. I think it's healthy to be humbled daily in a private manner.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:30 AM on August 27, 2014


Oh, I've been wanting to do this for so long! If anyone's willing to send an invitation I would be thrilled.
posted by katemonster at 11:51 AM on August 27, 2014


Judging by my performance on the sample questions, I would be terrible at this, but I would love an invitation if anyone would like to dilute the quality of the competitive pool by facilitating my presence.
posted by pemberkins at 11:58 AM on August 27, 2014


One of my co-workers was shocked that I was not a member, and I admit it sounds like a lot of fun. If there are any unclaimed invitations, I would happily accept one.
posted by mogget at 1:19 PM on August 27, 2014


I love this idea, but you have to be logged in to LL to even see the profile pages which I think makes it a nogo.

Yep, what she said.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:17 PM on August 27, 2014


thanks for the helpful answers, not_on_display. that's plenty of time even for night owl me to read the emails and respond, so yeah, if anyone has a referral lying around I'd be ever so excited to trivia it up.
posted by ifjuly at 4:05 PM on August 27, 2014


Wow, I would be super into this. A friend used to run a micro version of this for us Way Back in the dialup BBS era and I'm amazed how much I'm jonesing for it again. Anyway, the random sample questions are a great resource and I think I've just become a daily visitor too.
posted by range at 7:20 PM on August 27, 2014


Add me to the pile of LearnedLeague wannabes. I'm pretty certain I'll suck at it, but a fun sucking it will be.
posted by youcancallmeal at 8:45 PM on August 27, 2014


B Highlanders, I'm coming for you, just as soon as I get this next promotion, or if you dare drop down within my reach...
posted by persona at 9:42 PM on August 27, 2014


I'd also really enjoy this.
posted by pseudonick at 9:43 PM on August 27, 2014


I'd be interested, too.
posted by julen at 9:47 PM on August 27, 2014


I adore trivia, and I'd really love to join something like this site as long as the questions had a bit more of an international flavour and weren't all along the lines of "who won the Superbowl in 1983?" or "who played such-and-such a character in this US TV show?". How US-focused are the questions?
posted by winterhill at 5:18 AM on August 28, 2014


How US-focused are the questions?

Reasonably. Less than Jeopardy, more than I personally prefer. The standard problem of having questions created by and for a largely-american group. That being said, I can think of questions during this week alone that dealt with Algeria, Bosnia/Herzegovina, China, and Mauritius.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:42 AM on August 28, 2014


How US-focused are the questions?

Lemurrhea has it. You'll get more questions about US TV and sports stars than you will about non-US TV and people. But there are world politics and geography questions that show up and questions about (usually Western, not always) sports and TV. I was surprised how tough a question with a screenshot from Call the Midwife was, for example, or the name of Carson's room on Downton Abbey. I'm not much of a US sports person and the US sports questions can be sort of niggly like

- Despite having played before the introduction of the three-point line, and before freshmen were eligible to play varsity, this former LSU Tiger remains the all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division I men's basketball history (and it's not even really very close). (37% get rate)

An example of a tough World History question

- A former vassal defeated rival commanders in 1600 and established a shogunate that initiated a period of two and a half centuries of internal stability in Japan. What was the name of this shogun (and his namesake shogunate)? (29% get rate)

And an easy (US) film question

- "Come with me if you want to live" is a famous line, probably the second-most famous line (certainly not the first), from what 1984 film? (80% get rate)

When they say "Film" however, it usually means US Film, though not always, and the same is true for Theater and TV. There are separate categories for American History and World History. LL does have players from all over the globe and since the big deal about match play is defense, being a little ... unpredictable can work to your advantage sometimes.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:59 AM on August 28, 2014


This feels a little secret club-y to me. :(

The FPP about the Learned League was really neat -- the article, the sample questions, the comments -- but it felt to me sort of like "some of us have this really neat thing but the rest of you can't play unless you know the right person nyah nyah."

I know no one intended it that way, and I know this post is made with all good intentions, but I just wanted to put it out there.

Now, please go have fun playing, because it sounds awesome!
posted by mudpuppie at 9:25 AM on August 28, 2014


This feels a little secret club-y to me. :(

That is a problem with the Washington Post article. This thread is specifically about democratizing that "ooooo sekrit" problem that the article sets up as a sort of straw man. For the most part, it's like being a Mason. You have to ask a Mason if you want to be a Mason, but there's nothing inherently super-secret about the path to get to be one.

Similarly, this. You have to ask a person (or group of people) and there are some hurdles (i.e. it helps to know someone at least a little so you know they won't flake and forfeit or cheat and make you look bad) but overall as long as you know someone, anyone, you can join.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 10:17 AM on August 28, 2014


I was on LL and was in the championship group for quite awhile but found it to be a real time suck and I never did figure out the scoring to determine the top awards at the end of each season. So I finally got the feeling that winning wasn't possible and quit.
posted by bearwife at 11:24 AM on August 28, 2014


Heh, amusing you reference the Masons, jessamyn. A good friend's stepfather is a Mason, and we're always making fun of it as a secret club, and we're definitely kidding on the square.

(That being said, the Masons in Canada are still male-only, which really diminishes our tolerance of it)
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:53 AM on August 28, 2014


And for those LL-ers on the fence about vouching for an imaginary internet friend, consider: I'm an member (albeit inactive) of two state bar associations. This means that if I were ever suspected of cheating, interested folks could totally file an ethics grievance.

(I know that online trivia has ~nil to do with the practice of law, but, hilariously and/or awesomely, they'd still have to look into it: Cheating is conduct that could potentially tarnish the reputation of the legal profession. My old ethics prof, who worked for the Colorado Bar Association, once told us a story about having to investigate a botched toilet repair job by a guy who'd quit being an attorney to become a plumber. In Israel.)

Okay. Done self-promoting. Probably not done obsessively checking this thread, alas.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:34 PM on August 28, 2014


This is cool!

The large and expansive question archive is a great resource. I go to a weekly trivia event where hosting is run on an informal volunteer basis--there are two people who have taken on a more formal coordinating role, but anyone can sign up to host for a week. It's fun! I've done it a few times. I generally write questions from a combination of poring over Wikipedia pages, interesting Mefi threads (this thread inspired a whole category), and as a last resort, J! Archive (usually a little bit too general/easy, though it's a fine jumping-off point, if, say, I want a list of 20th century authors that I can reasonably expect people will be familiar with that I can then look up and find different, more obscure facts about.)

I'd be flattered and delighted by an invite, but I understand that the invite system is there for a reason and that people are cautious about folks they aren't sure they can vouch for.
posted by kagredon at 12:56 PM on August 28, 2014


I'd really love to join.
posted by synecdoche at 6:45 PM on August 28, 2014


I would be interested in joining this. As karmic justification for deserving an invite I will say that I have previously invited several mefites to secretive invite-only communities before from threads similar to this.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:06 PM on August 29, 2014


I'm a player. (Thanks, Jessamyn!) Rundle C Highland, deSeifeE.
posted by Dr. Wu at 6:12 PM on August 29, 2014


I would very much enjoy being a part of this, though based on bar trivia experiences I would never be ranked very high. (I totally carried our team that time there was a Muppet-themed round, though.)
posted by solotoro at 7:28 AM on August 30, 2014


I am also a trivia hound and would love to find a way to get involved in this. I imagine there is more interest than invites floating around, but I suppose it's worth a shot.
posted by absalom at 8:27 AM on August 30, 2014


I would also enjoy this very much if someone had an extra invite to give. The emcee of my regular trivia night has mentioned it several times to our oft-victorious team, but he seems to already have quite the queue of people to whom he owes invites.
posted by aswego at 7:27 PM on August 30, 2014


Is this The Cabal?
posted by a humble nudibranch at 7:34 PM on August 30, 2014


I begged for an invite about 4.7 seconds after the article went up, so I hope to be in the next league. I'm very much looking forward to it.
posted by otters walk among us at 7:37 PM on August 30, 2014


I would love an invite if anyone has one laying around. My interests are broad but shallow, and I usually do pretty well at bar trivia, save for sportsball or recent pop culture. Our bar trivia host is between gigs right now and I feel like I'm getting rusty.
posted by mcrandello at 3:46 AM on September 2, 2014


I'd be interested - when we had that yearly Isle of Man quiz last year I polished one of the sections because I recognized that it asked about South Asia and went 'hey, my department!'.
posted by divabat at 6:59 AM on September 2, 2014


coming in late, but another Llama here! BonnellJ, I'm in B Metro, after a brief terrifying journey into rundle A (roundly trounced nearly every day). I'm not doing all that great this league, but fingers crossed for maintaining the status quo, vs. relegation.

One of my proudest achievements (aside from you know, my children), is that I won the alcohol mini league in 2012. the perfect storm of my random knowledge and the questions, really.
posted by kumquatmay at 8:36 AM on September 2, 2014


I would love to join, but I don't think I have the networking skills to finagle an invite. I'll just have to ask myself trivia questions, and pretend to be surprised when I get them wrong.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:11 PM on September 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


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