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King_of_Crunk089

Why Speed

Why did you start to speed read?  

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  1. 1. Why did you start to speed read?

    • I wanted to win
    • Everyone else was doing it
    • To increase my short term memory
    • To get more out


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Just wondering why do we in this debate community speed read.....and u don't have to give some bull crap educational reason, i mean, truthfullly answer this question. Why did you, as a debater, start to speed read in this community?

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It allows for more arguments to be read and made in one debate.

I am more asking this question, not to hear the benefits or disadvantages to speed, but why you as a debater choose to do it.......because when most people think of debate they don't think of speed reading, and when you first start out you don't speed read until someone tells you to do it, so i want to know why did you, as a debater, choose to speed read?

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I started spreading because I realized that was the only way to win rounds. I probably realized that if I read evidence slow, I would never be able to answer all their arguments and I would lose. So I guess, I did it to win.

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the poll is pointless. it's all of those reasons...except maybe the short term memory thing.

 

first, you spread because everyone else is.

and, that means you do it to win rounds because you can't if your opponents are spreading you out of rounds.

finally, it also means you're trying to get as much out so you don't get beat with speed.

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it's inevitable in the construct of debate. There's a trade-off between peed and clarity and flowability that varies depending on the judge.

 

Debate started out slow with judges not used to speed, thus going fast while making more argument would actually make you lose. It has gradually picked up speed as judges got more and more used to it, flowing all arguments regardless of speed. Tournaments that allow lay judging still have slow speed...

 

well, to be serious...not very many people have the balls to slow down because they know they could be spread out of a round if they face a very fast team...really the only way to totally stop speed is huge judge intervention.

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I noticed my novice year that when I talked slow, I couldn't remember what we said in the 1AR when I went up to talk in the 2AR.

 

Speed increased my short term memory. True - I can't understand half the things said in round anymore, but at least I can remember my own 1AC! :rolleyes:

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The factor change that pushed speed delivery along was the change in the judge pool. As recently as the early to mid '70s, 1st & 2nd year college debaters (just out of HS) were almost never allowed to judge varsity/top division debate rounds. Even if you were a top-drawer HS debater, you'd spend your freshman & sophomore year judging JV prelim rounds and novice out-rounds. At the top-level tournaments in Texas (Bellaire, Dallas Jesuit, Bryan Adams, Denton HS, etc) the varsity rounds were reserved for very experienced coaches and experienced community judges (lawyers & judges seemed to provide a lot of this pool). Debaters learned to debate slower in the early years because the rounds tended to be judged about 50/50 on content & delivery.

 

About the middle 70s, that trend changed, and soon first-year-out college students were judging varsity rounds.......people they had been debating against themselves only a few months before. As this group came to dominate (numerically) the pool, the emphasis on delivery declined and the emphasis on content went up....not all at once, of course, but by the early 80s it was probably 75% content & 25% delivery. Somewhere along the way we reached a "tipping point" in the Dallas area where the delivery-conscious judges left the activity altogether and were replaced almost exclusively by the content-oriented judges.

 

Thus speed delivery was a natural reaction to the change in the judge pool. I note now that the exact same pattern has happened in LD; when it came about in 1980, it was aimed at the "lay" judge, and delivery was slow. As coaches gradually began asking for experienced ex-debaters as judges, the emphasis on content has declined and the speed has gone way, way up.

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The factor change that pushed speed delivery along was the change in the judge pool. As recently as the early to mid '70s, 1st & 2nd year college debaters (just out of HS) were almost never allowed to judge varsity/top division debate rounds. Even if you were a top-drawer HS debater, you'd spend your freshman & sophomore year judging JV prelim rounds and novice out-rounds. At the top-level tournaments in Texas (Bellaire, Dallas Jesuit, Bryan Adams, Denton HS, etc) the varsity rounds were reserved for very experienced coaches and experienced community judges (lawyers & judges seemed to provide a lot of this pool). Debaters learned to debate slower in the early years because the rounds tended to be judged about 50/50 on content & delivery.

 

About the middle 70s, that trend changed, and soon first-year-out college students were judging varsity rounds.......people they had been debating against themselves only a few months before. As this group came to dominate (numerically) the pool, the emphasis on delivery declined and the emphasis on content went up....not all at once, of course, but by the early 80s it was probably 75% content & 25% delivery. Somewhere along the way we reached a "tipping point" in the Dallas area where the delivery-conscious judges left the activity altogether and were replaced almost exclusively by the content-oriented judges.

 

Thus speed delivery was a natural reaction to the change in the judge pool. I note now that the exact same pattern has happened in LD; when it came about in 1980, it was aimed at the "lay" judge, and delivery was slow. As coaches gradually began asking for experienced ex-debaters as judges, the emphasis on content has declined and the speed has gone way, way up.

 

Similarly, experienced past debaters refuse to judge PFD, so the speed will always stay slow, and non-content oriented. :)

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Reading fast is one of the first things many of my novices latch on to. They think it is fun and something they can observe measurable improvement (or at least they read more in less time). The largest barrier to speed is the ability to read and understand the vocabulary. Learning to read fast in some cases increases vocabulary and general literacy as well.

 

Nervous kids talk fast, so why not give them somthing to read :)

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Reading fast is one of the first things many of my novices latch on to. They think it is fun and something they can observe measurable improvement (or at least they read more in less time). The largest barrier to speed is the ability to read and understand the vocabulary. Learning to read fast in some cases increases vocabulary and general literacy as well.

 

Nervous kids talk fast, so why not give them somthing to read :)

this is an interesting discussion, if more and more people can give a deeper history of speed reading and how judge's have affected this, i think we can deepen this already good discussion

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When I started debating, spreading was one of the first things I learned. As mentioned, it's a quick way to measure your progress (albeit, a slightly flawed way). Personally, I got over trying to become the fastest on the team, or even in any given round (obviously, this is out of your control) and became more focused on delivery and emphasis. While doing this, however, I maintain my old speed, and in doing so make my speed not a respresentation of meta-gaming (that is, trying to get as many arguements in, to throw the other team off) but to show my zeal for the subject at hand (the plan, obviously).

 

When I spread, I see it more as a respresentation of my adrenaline caused by the passionate feelings of the arguement in question. When one becomes more inflamed in spirit (or gives the illusion of it), rhetoric takes on a whole new dimension. Hey, if you were personally trying to make a point, you'd want to make sure you can get that point across in the time contraint, wouldn't you?

 

On the flip side of the coin, without any sort of emphatic delivery (that is, spreading too fast in an obnoxious voice), you sound not only like you don't care what you're saying, but you have no idea of what you're talking about anyhow. Somebody could just switch your paper with another and you'd still never know what anything meant without the tags.

 

Although, yeah, in reality, if you don't spread at all, you'll get destroyed by the other team (who will be laughing their heads off the entire time at your *obvious* sub-novice skills).

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i like to think that the pendulum swings both ways and that delivery is becoming more of a factor again. Some still believe that debate is communication based, and that delivery should at least be a consideration. I still love good oratory. This is why i watch christian television.

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this is an interesting discussion, if more and more people can give a deeper history of speed reading and how judge's have affected this, i think we can deepen this already good discussion
The fact is, there has ALWAYS been concern about "excessive" speaking rates in debate. NFL's magazine Rostrum was printing complaints from some quarters about such speaking rates in the mid-1930s, when the League was still in its infancy (FYI: the first complaint in the magazine about debate "handbooks" appeared in 1933!). There is nothing new under the sun. The concern nowadays is that we may have reached (or even passed) the point of diminishing returns with regard to hyper-rapid speech...

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The fact is, there has ALWAYS been concern about "excessive" speaking rates in debate. NFL's magazine Rostrum was printing complaints from some quarters about such speaking rates in the mid-1930s, when the League was still in its infancy (FYI: the first complaint in the magazine about debate "handbooks" appeared in 1933!). There is nothing new under the sun. The concern nowadays is that we may have reached (or even passed) the point of diminishing returns with regard to hyper-rapid speech...

even so, why do u think debaters have gone over to this hyper-speed style, and to a certain extent, do u think it is judges that have allowed this?

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do u think it is judges that have allowed this?

 

Yes. If judges didn't vote on people that spoke fast, then people wouldn't speak fast. While I don't believe speed is bad, I do agree that the amount of speed has gotten somewhat ridiculous. I suppose if you can understand it, it's not too fast, but still.

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even so, why do u think debaters have gone over to this hyper-speed style, and to a certain extent, do u think it is judges that have allowed this?
Well, I don't feel much like poking that particular hornet's nest again, but let me put it this way: You can pick the sharpest, most literate, most academically-oriented, most verbally fluent kids in ANY high school in the country, and have them watch/listen to a top-level "national circuit" speed round (or a similar college round), and I'll bet you can't find ONE of them who will turn to you and say "Teach me how to do that!" Not even the hyper-competitive, terminal smart-aleck types (like me). Whenever I do this (even with really experienced debaters, much less beginners), they mostly turn to me and look at me like I've lost my mind. That ought to tell you something...

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Well, I don't feel much like poking that particular hornet's nest again, but let me put it this way: You can pick the sharpest, most literate, most academically-oriented, most verbally fluent kids in ANY high school in the country, and have them watch/listen to a top-level "national circuit" speed round (or a similar college round), and I'll bet you can't find ONE of them who will turn to you and say "Teach me how to do that!" Not even the hyper-competitive, terminal smart-aleck types (like me). Whenever I do this (even with really experienced debaters, much less beginners), they mostly turn to me and look at me like I've lost my mind. That ought to tell you something...

 

Hmm - I know I'm reaching a limb here in suggesting a certain idea, but this comes from me sincerely believing in your statement here. An example of this was that at my school, we randomly had the highest aptitude scoring kid in the district at our school, and had him watch a mock "advanced" round where we talked alot about D&G and Capitalism, and the kid laughed at us and told us to get a better hobby that didn't deter sex. Most of the smartest kids around that *aren't connected to debate* don't find fast talking interesting - they find it outlandishly nerdy and coming across as speed debating being above other forms of communication. It's a lot like what Chomsky ends up criticizing about postmodern literature, that it really is nothing more than a big circlejerk where intellectuals sit in their comfy, leather chairs and intellectualize about world affairs as they sit in their air conditioned rooms with a mildly warm cup of tea. Speed debate really is a form of elitism, yet not intentional.

 

I firmly believe that speed debate is more of a cultural phenom of debate than anything else. Kids get so wrapped up in debate and think it's "cool" that they find their own quirky ways of making it funner for them. I'm sure when two debaters read 450 wpm in a debate round, they have 0, nada intention of attracting an outside audience - at that point, it's really just a contest with other debaters. In my mind, speed debate is a lot more about cultural acceptance to the nerds that can penflip than it is strategic or fun.

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Everything is faster today than it was 10 years ago. Be it computers, athletes, automobiles, information technology, etc. We are in an accelerating society. Debate has always been ahead of this curve. While "hyper reading" and "hyper listening" may not seem like a useful skills (like boW skills or num chuck skills), the ability to process that much information, formulate a strategic response, and then putting that response in motion under very tight time constraints is what debate is about. Learning to survive and thrive in this world does not guarantee success, but it certainly does not hurt.

 

As for the inability to woo the best and brightest at your school, I think this is silly. 1st of all assuming that aptitude tests and grades are indicative of the brightest kids is school is simplistic. Debate attracts the kind of kids that often find school work boring and they like a different academic challenge. Last year I had a novice who is top in her class and she quit the team because she really did not like sharing her opinions with people and did not like defending things she did not believe in. Debate is not for every one, and it is not just for the "recognizably smart".

 

2nd many great debaters were not the in top of their class. For many students debate is what keeps them engaged in school. Debate should not be seen as something only for the intellectual elite, but rather a way to train us normal people on how to become elite. Personality has as much to do with debate, in my opinion, as does intelligence.

 

On a side note, I can't help but think how the desire to keep some arbitrary nature of "artful persuasion" on a pedestal is bad. It is this desire for presentation that engulfs the country today. Look at Presidential debates and political communication in general. As much as we complain about the fluff candidates speak and how we want them to address their real issues, we still are drawn to the idea that eloquent trumps accurate. I would prefer Pres debates where they went line by line and cited some sources, but that is not widely considered “persuasive”. Orations can be found in oratory while arguments should be the core of debate.

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its sad that we divorce persuasion and debate. presidential debate is really not a good example of oratory. To assume that arguments must rely soley on logic (deductive and inductive reasoning) is to exclude apart of our own experience: our emotional reaction.

 

People adapt to preferences in arguments based on how people "feel" about certain arguments, as well as the judges scientific deduction on whether "consultation counterplans are good". I think this is lipservice to how we ought evaluate debates more often. This is not to say we base our conclusions exclusively on our own reaction to them, but that we shouldn't deny the nature of emotion when deploying arguments.

 

Its also very dumb to not try and connect emotionally with those you are speaking to. As a competitor, why would you not take every advantage? People will say this is a dishonest portrayal of emotion, but that's complete ignorance. Do you really think that the alternative to emotional appeal is any less incidious? That the disad you're advancing that you in no way believe is any less malicious, with its threats of death? All of the attacks advanced at emotional appeals rests on the assumption that the alternative to it is somehow holy. Debaters lie all the time. Winning arguments are rarely true.

 

this is not an appeal to abandon logic, but to incorporate more. Become invested in debate. spin 74's rigid, science robot approach is an attempt to turn debaters into calculators. Even K debaters use this logic. Arbitrary is who we are. Objectivity is a lie. Assertions largely compose most of what everyone argue. Warrants can be lies and lies are wrong.

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its sad that we divorce persuasion and debate. presidential debate is really not a good example of oratory. To assume that arguments must rely soley on logic (deductive and inductive reasoning) is to exclude apart of our own experience: our emotional reaction.

 

Is your point that the spread precludes a persuasive (or even emotional) appeal? If so, I think this is a false dilemma. I've seen many speedy teams who were extremely persuasive over the years. I've also seen many unpersuasive slow teams.

 

People adapt to preferences in arguments based on how people "feel" about certain arguments, as well as the judges scientific deduction on whether "consultation counterplans are good". I think this is lipservice to how we ought evaluate debates more often. This is not to say we base our conclusions exclusively on our own reaction to them, but that we shouldn't deny the nature of emotion when deploying arguments.

 

Rather than pretend to be objective, I think it's more helpful (for me in any case) to view each issue as having a threshold of persuasion. At some point, be it through evidence or warrants, I'm convinced (assuming a yes/no kind of debate), and at that point I start to consider the implications for the round. On some issues I have a higher threshold than others, and certain types of argumentation are more persuasive to me.

 

Its also very dumb to not try and connect emotionally with those you are speaking to. As a competitor, why would you not take every advantage? People will say this is a dishonest portrayal of emotion, but that's complete ignorance. Do you really think that the alternative to emotional appeal is any less incidious? That the disad you're advancing that you in no way believe is any less malicious, with its threats of death? All of the attacks advanced at emotional appeals rests on the assumption that the alternative to it is somehow holy. Debaters lie all the time. Winning arguments are rarely true.

 

Certainly it helps your ethos, and I think issues are decided by a team's ethos more often than is generally admitted. There's certainly something to be said for being passionate or funny or sarcastic or otherwise displaying some type of in-round personality. If nothing else it helps your speaker points, giving you a higher seed when you break. Judges like to vote for debaters with personalities, and it's very hard not to start giving someone the benefit of the doubt if you connect with their in-round persona.

 

this is not an appeal to abandon logic, but to incorporate more. Become invested in debate. spin 74's rigid, science robot approach is an attempt to turn debaters into calculators. Even K debaters use this logic. Arbitrary is who we are. Objectivity is a lie. Assertions largely compose most of what everyone argue. Warrants can be lies and lies are wrong.

 

... and fast teams can be as persuasive as slow ones. I've yet to meet a truly exceptional fast debater who was not also a truly exceptional slow debater. Judge adaptation is the key to winning in this activity, and you must tailor your approach to the personnel at hand (or pay the price on the ballot).

 

Matt

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this is not an appeal to abandon logic, but to incorporate more. Become invested in debate. spin 74's rigid, science robot approach is an attempt to turn debaters into calculators. Even K debaters use this logic. Arbitrary is who we are. Objectivity is a lie. Assertions largely compose most of what everyone argue. Warrants can be lies and lies are wrong.

 

Debate TOURNAMENTS have teams COMPETE against each other. WINNERS and LOOSERS are chosen. Why would we not want to move in a direction that provides for a more OBJECTIVE view. I do no prote robotic debate, but I do promote debates that focus on arguments over oration. Hitler was an exclellent orator.

 

In my view of debate, the most cards do not win, the ost arguments do not win, but the team that can break down the round and explain why somethnig is more improtant than something else will win.

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