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It seems as though one of these threads pops up every couple of months. Nothing is ever settled by them, either. It also seems that those who have trouble with debating fast should simply seek alternatives rather than bitching on cross-x. Either a) get better at debating those who speak faster or B) switch to a slower form of debate. Like it or not, cross-x.com is not the arbiter of community debate norms and even if everyone on this thread agreed that speaking fast isn't good for debate it would not produce a massive shift away from faster speaking. Either accept this rule and adapt or don't. If you don't you'll will probably lose.

 

This isn't to say that you must speak fast to adapt, you simply must learn to maximize strategic options that compensate for your lack of speed. My partner and I have beaten several teams this year who are faster than us. Speed didn't make our opponents better debaters nor did it make us weaker debaters, it only meant that we had two different styles of debate.

 

And to answer claims about "oh, but people who arent debaters should be able to understand us" or "that speed sacrifices education and thats what debate is all about"- all those args are irrelevent. Its already been decided that debate is a competitive activity- thats why there are wins and losses. If winning is important to you, and speed maximizes your ability to win, then there isn't a reason not to speak fast. There isn't an audience in the classroom you're debating in, nor is there a teacher asking you to prove how much you have learned in the debate-there is a judge with a ballot who decides who wins and who doesnt. Ask someone you know who plays or played high school football about why they play/played-none of them will say "because i really just wanted to learn about football." Most likely, their response will be "i liked to play" or "i liked to win" or "i wanted the chicks to dig me." Debate is much the same in that people don't join to learn more- they join it because they like to win or they like prove that they're already smarter than other people and can prove it by making better args. Speed simply provides the opportunity to for them to become more competitive and make more arguements to beat the other team. Oh yea, and the chicks are great.

 

This is a debate website open for discussion. I don't think the point of this thread was ever for creating some type of revolution to end speed but more to ask the question of whether speed is a good thing or not. You then say that those who can't speed should either adapt or quit but I think you need to realize two things. First, there are many who do slow debate and win; this point has been brought up before in this thread with many examples of teams. Secondly, in a event that is losing more members every year (not all, but most) giving the options of either using speed or plain up quit is bad rhetoric. People who are seeking to join debate are turned off by this; seriously, you are saying that people should be forced into a norm? If anything debate has taught me the opposite, that just because everyone does something doesn't make it right. I agree more with your second paragraph if anything. Speed isn't neccessary to win, but one thing I do find interesting is that when there is a slow team vs. a fast team it is usually the fast team that wins. Also, your view that debate is a competetive event is subjective and not everyone believes this or has officially "decided this". Yes there are win and losses but what are you ultimately doing debate for? It is asinine to assume that you wouldn't want anything you take from debate to follow you with life. I, myself, used debate not only as a forum to win rounds but to also enhance my own persuasive speaking skills. You seem to think that a educational activity can't be a competitive activity. Competitive debate can exist in a slower, medium, or slightly fast round but the way speed is today is that it has reached unintelligible and there is where I think education is sacraficed purely for competetion and I myself think that is a bad thing. Also, I would like to think that debate is completely seperate from football or any sport whatsoever. And for the matter I know plenty of students who are in sports just to be fit, have fun, and get some excercise and not just purely for winning. I am interested in how you feel about this though.

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Well, from my point of view, I've learned a helluva lot more this year than in my previous 2 years of debate (one in PF, one in LD... I was fickle). In Public Forum, I learned next to nothing. I could remember a few statistics about Hurricane Katrina victims or the Gaza Strip, but that was it. I had essentially no skills or knowledge at the end of the year. LD was slightly better; there was a bit more in-depth debate, but I still ended that year not much better than when I started. This year, the amount I learned on different topics was staggering, comparatively. I've become familiar with/aware of hundreds of new political and critical issues, i.e. LOST, MEDFLAGS, PEPFAR (Hm, seems like they're all capitalized), not to mention the myraid of authors that debaters seem to take as commonly or well known (Foucault, Zizek, etc.) but the rest of the world has never even heard of. It might just be me, but Policy is so much more intricate and well-designed than any other form of debate that I can't imagine going back to something like PF where each round consists of who can speak most eloquently.

 

I have a special spot for policy too, but the education you gain from policy is not contingent upon speed-reading. I would like to think that policy debate can be judge not only on how you speak, but the warrants of the arguements you are speaking. But there needs to be a balance, completely sacraficing speaking skills for argumentation just doesn't seem right to me. But maybe I am wrong?

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I think this is one of the reasons why hs advoates of speed get so frustrated with these discussions.
There's a lot of frustration on BOTH sides... ;)
I just don't see what needs to be proved.
I'm not sure where your confusion is. Professor Cheshier is eminently lucid: The various claims of benefit for "fast" debate are ubiquitous in these discussions, but there is precious little evidence supporting those claims...
Is fast debate less accessible? Yes. Should debate ALWAYS be fully accessible to EVERYONE? Maybe, but it seems like this shoudl stand in need of justification.
Why? Why should there be a presumption in favor of excluding certain audiences? To the extent that a specific aspect of debate praxis tends to produce the results Prof. Cheshier speaks of, isn't it incumbent upon the advocates of that practice to justify it?
Every "field of inellectual endeavour" (if that is indeed what debate is) has conventions that are unique; it seems absurd to say that each must absolutely and unequivocally defend these against criticism from all other disciplines in order to keep on.
Neither Professor Cheshier nor I have said any such thing. My argument is that if "speedy speaking" does, indeed, produce the positive cognitive outcomes claimed for it, someone somewhere would be touting it in another context. That ain't happening. Outside of debate, no serious scholar advocates "speedy speaking" as a useful pedagogical tool. Its utility is restricted exclusively to a portion of the policy debate community (though LD is trending that way also). That ought to tell you that the cognitive benefits of what we are discussing (hyper-fast speaking rates) are ephemeral...
There's somethign troubling about an idea that functionally equates to this:
Not as troubling as someone misrepresenting an opponent's position to this extent...
It seems like if speed is so terribly uneducational then someone who choses to debate more slowly should have no problem beating teams who go faster than they do.
This is a complete and utter non sequitur. Furthermore, it ignores the role played by judges, many of whom are dyed-in-the-wool True Believers in the Gospel According to Korcok...

 

The rest of your post is simply more non sequiturs, but I did want to respond to one final point you made:

just as it is not self-evident that slowing down decimates education, it is also not-self evident that speeding up decimates persuasive appeal.
Self-evident to whom??? Trust me, it is plenty self-evident to a whole lot of really smart people (including a couple of generations of folks who did policy debate themselves). Why on earth do you think the community works so hard to purge the judging pool of "unqualified" judges? The vast, vast majority of bright, educated, committed people we could be engaging with our activity are systematically excluded because we know perfectly well how they would react to the ridiculous "debating" that some consider the height of the art form...

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Only in the world of speed is a strat like 7 off allowed and I wouldn't say their strat was easily beatable by any means, had I not known how to spread myself it could of gone south. What I am saying is that there is a fine line between speed being able to increase breadth and depth and speed completely destroying both.

Even slow debaters can realize that a-spec, f-spec, whatever dumb violations are being run, are stupid arguments and will not have to spend much time on them. In addition, slow debaters that are smart will make them look like idiots in cross x to further drive in the validity of the 2AC answers, even if there aren't that many.

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You can obviously win as a slower team, but there is an undeniable disadvantage to it. You say that speaking faster doesn't make you a better debater and that is EXACTLY true. It DOESN'T make you a better debater, but it DOES give you a far greater probability of winning. Whether you read 15 off in the 1NC (yes, it happens), or go 1 off with your K, the fact that you can get through an absurd volume of literature is an advantage. Two teams equally apt at argumentation, with equal research, a fair and good judge, and a wonderful competition should force a difficult ballot, but if one team speaks faster than the other there is nothing to do to overcome this gap.

 

Of course if somebody reads 7 crappy off against you you can beat it, but the point of spreading is that you can read 7 off just as good as the 3 off you would be able to read without spreading, and that UNDENIABLY gives the spreaders an advantage. The only disadvantage spreading can possibly have is linking into a spreading kritik, which argument almost never wins, and therefore is almost never run in the first place. And of course, by spreading, the other team is still more likely to beat it.

 

Also, if you indeed advocate that spreading does not AT ALL decrease the depth or quality of arguments, which I agree it often doesn't, then it is obvious that not spreading offers no advantage at the very least.

 

So I've proven that spreading helps teams win, and I argue that spreading should be an irrelevant activity to debate, which whether it is bad in and of itself means that it creates an unfair qualifier on the round. Think about it: if a math competition were won not only on the grounds of the better, more complete, and more correct answers, but also on the nicer handwriting, you would say that is unfair, and you would be RIGHT. A calligraphy competition isn't bad in itself, but handwriting shouldn't come into play in a math competition, it's UNFAIR.

 

The same is true in debate. Nobody has claimed that spreading makes someone a better debater; in fact you claim just the opposite.

 

 

Also, you say that the best solution is just for me to do speed drills and practice, but that is RIDICULOUS. Yes, that would make me more competitive in the speed area of debate, which is why I do attempt to spread, but that has nothing to do with whether or not spreading should be in debate.

 

 

A final note: I also love policy over the other two forms of debate, and I also love that presentation and speaking purty isn't (usually) a determining factor. However, when I see spreaders winning just because their opponents dropped an argument, I feel that that IS a style of presentation that wins, and therefore is, in a sense, less abstract and MORE like public forum. Rounds should be judged on pure logical analysis and quality of evidence, in a sense like verbal chess with warrants. I don't, however, think it should be verbal speed chess.

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This is a debate website open for discussion. I don't think the point of this thread was ever for creating some type of revolution to end speed but more to ask the question of whether speed is a good thing or not.

 

I don't have a problem with the discussion, its just annoying that a thread on a topic almost identical to this is started very frequently and, more often than not, turns devolves from discussion into ad homs and bitching. My point was mainly that there is no reason to beat a dead horse- either accept that fact that fast debate exists or don't. Either way, people should stop asking the same question or at the very least just bump and old threads rather than create new ones.

 

 

You then say that those who can't speed should either adapt or quit but I think you need to realize two things. First, there are many who do slow debate and win; this point has been brought up before in this thread with many examples of teams.

 

Right. I'll reiterate what I said earlier- slower teams can and do win. Being fast is not the end-all of debating. I just feel it would be more productive of teams who have a problem with fast debating to simply practice getting better at debating fast teams and learning how to adapt to them, rather than spending their time trying to convince the debate community to slow down. Most people I have met who have a major problem with speed lose often to fast teams, yet do nothing to try and adapt to them. They don't utilize any strategic aspects that would level the playing field against fast teams. They would rather complain than get better and their record reflects that.

 

 

Secondly, in a event that is losing more members every year (not all, but most) giving the options of either using speed or plain up quit is bad rhetoric.

 

I don't even think that claim is really true. TFA state has been getting larger every year for quite a while now, the activity isn't getting that much smaller. Even if debate is dying in some areas you would be hard pressed to find a causal relationship between more people speaking fast and the number of people who quit debate. I know some people who didn't like the speaking fast aspect of debate, but I haven't met any who quite solely because people spoke faster than them.

 

People who are seeking to join debate are turned off by this; seriously, you are saying that people should be forced into a norm?

 

I'm not saying they should be forced into a norm, i.e. speaking fast, but should learn to adapt to it if they don't like it. Its debate darwinism- adapt or die. If you can't learn how to debate against faster teams, you simply arent going to have much success.

 

If anything debate has taught me the opposite, that just because everyone does something doesn't make it right.

 

Yes, but if most teams have a adapted a practice and the majority of the most successful teams have adapted that practice it stands to reason that said practice may indeed create better debate (or at least increase your chances of winning).

 

 

Speed isn't neccessary to win, but one thing I do find interesting is that when there is a slow team vs. a fast team it is usually the fast team that wins.

 

 

 

Also, your view that debate is a competetive event is subjective and not everyone believes this or has officially "decided this". Yes there are win and losses but what are you ultimately doing debate for? It is asinine to assume that you wouldn't want anything you take from debate to follow you with life. I, myself, used debate not only as a forum to win rounds but to also enhance my own persuasive speaking skills.

 

There is no evidence to the contrary that debate is primarily a competition, otherwise there would be no winners and losers, only suggestions for improvements on how to debate. I'm not saying there arent educational aspects to debate, but if there wasn't any competition I would wager the activity would dwindle faster than any amount of talking fast could've ever caused.

 

You seem to think that a educational activity can't be a competitive activity.

 

Not at all I just asserted that the primary function of debate is to be a competition. Do you have a warrant to the contrary?

 

Competitive debate can exist in a slower, medium, or slightly fast round but the way speed is today is that it has reached unintelligible and there is where I think education is sacraficed purely for competetion and I myself think that is a bad thing.

 

If you have a warrant for the claim that speed makes debate unintelligible/sacrifices education (even if the other team is fast I, and most debaters I know, can at least understand them) then i would be able to better respond to this.

 

Also, I would like to think that debate is completely seperate from football or any sport whatsoever.

 

Why? We receive funding from the same source and its just another high school extra-curricular. I think the analogy I used is still applicable.

 

And for the matter I know plenty of students who are in sports just to be fit, have fun, and get some excercise and not just purely for winning.

 

I'm sure those are reasons that kids join, but I doubt any of them comes close to the main reason why they play, otherwise they would just take P.E. Ask any of those kids whether or not they would play if there were no winners or losers, no scores kept, and no audiences.

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I don't have a problem with the discussion
My point was mainly that there is no reason to beat a dead horse- either accept that fact that fast debate exists or don't. Either way, people should stop asking the same question
Contradict much? ;)
If you have a warrant for the claim that speed makes debate unintelligible/sacrifices education (even if the other team is fast I, and most debaters I know, can at least understand them) then i would be able to better respond to this.
Let's try a thought experiment: You say that you and most of the debaters you know can understand the speed demons. Fair enough. Now imagine a world in which you are prohibited from examining any of the pages your opponent is reading. Still okay with their speed? Now imagine, in addition, a world in which there are no cross-examination periods after speeches. Still okay with their speed?

 

If you are correct, and most debaters used to speed have no trouble comprehending what is being argued by their opponents, then instituting these rules ought not cause anyone any difficulty, no?

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I don't have a problem with the discussion, its just annoying that a thread on a topic almost identical to this is started very frequently and, more often than not, turns devolves from discussion into ad homs and bitching. My point was mainly that there is no reason to beat a dead horse- either accept that fact that fast debate exists or don't. Either way, people should stop asking the same question or at the very least just bump and old threads rather than create new ones.

 

No, this discussion has been pretty productive and I really haven't seen it dwelve from. No one is denying fast debate exists, that is a dubious claim to discredit this thread, again it is the pro and cons to speed debate. Old threads/ creating new threads, you are splitting hairs and as far as I see it this thread is and has served its purpose and our discussion proves this in its very essence. The only flaming I have seen has come from you in that people who hate speed are "whiners" and we should stop "bitching". It wasn't until you started posting that this was a problem in the first place.

 

 

 

 

Right. I'll reiterate what I said earlier- slower teams can and do win. Being fast is not the end-all of debating. I just feel it would be more productive of teams who have a problem with fast debating to simply practice getting better at debating fast teams and learning how to adapt to them, rather than spending their time trying to convince the debate community to slow down. Most people I have met who have a major problem with speed lose often to fast teams, yet do nothing to try and adapt to them. They don't utilize any strategic aspects that would level the playing field against fast teams. They would rather complain than get better and their record reflects that.

 

I don't understand why doing both isn't appropriate. Of course a team should always be preparing to beat a faster team, but the inherent disposition that team has in the first place should be acknowledged. Stop generalizing the people who complain about speed. I have had a very successful 4 years in debate that just ended this year and I worked my ass off. Simply voicing my opinion about the negatives of using speed doesn't make me or anyone else a "complainer". I saw speed kill the effectiveness of my partner and I's actual analysis and I saw alot of my arguements get thinner. And just not us but other teams as well.

 

 

 

 

I don't even think that claim is really true. TFA state has been getting larger every year for quite a while now, the activity isn't getting that much smaller. Even if debate is dying in some areas you would be hard pressed to find a causal relationship between more people speaking fast and the number of people who quit debate. I know some people who didn't like the speaking fast aspect of debate, but I haven't met any who quite solely because people spoke faster than them.

 

Citing from not only my local region, but the great plains region as a whole, I know from personal experience debate has been declining. Now whether or not the connection for why it is declining might be a little less clear I do know that speed debates do not encourage new comers from participating as much as a slower debate would. Why would any novices ever want to join into a activity that they can't even understand? That isn't the only thing either. I remember a time when our state used to have a bid tournament. Debate started shifting towards speed while our state judges remained at the same paradigm of slower debates. Less teams started coming because of that and eventually the bid was lost. That tournament was one of our biggest and main attractions and now it is completely gone to the point of just local competition.

 

 

 

I'm not saying they should be forced into a norm, i.e. speaking fast, but should learn to adapt to it if they don't like it. Its debate darwinism- adapt or die. If you can't learn how to debate against faster teams, you simply arent going to have much success.

 

I guess I am not getting your full contention. This discussion is supposed to be on whether speed is good or not and not on whether teams are going to change because of this thread. I realize speed will still be here tomorrow but the question is, "is and has it been good for debate" in which I still have to answer no.

 

 

Yes, but if most teams have a adapted a practice and the majority of the most successful teams have adapted that practice it stands to reason that said practice may indeed create better debate (or at least increase your chances of winning).

 

Great. Judges accept speed, I understand that. But just because you are winning a round doesn't mean it was a good or better debate. Especially if a win is off a dropped argument opposed to a arguement with depth and analysis on it.

 

There is no evidence to the contrary that debate is primarily a competition, otherwise there would be no winners and losers, only suggestions for improvements on how to debate. I'm not saying there arent educational aspects to debate, but if there wasn't any competition I would wager the activity would dwindle faster than any amount of talking fast could've ever caused.

 

What do you think ballots and oral critiques are for? If it was a simple lose/win then all judges would ever need is a small slip of paper. But it is so much more then that. Judges give critiques in order to better your positions, your speaking skills, and overall presentation. Again, my position isn't that there should be no competition, but that a balance be struck between competition and education; one which isn't being met today.

 

Not at all I just asserted that the primary function of debate is to be a competition. Do you have a warrant to the contrary?

 

This has been my whole arguement, that speed has literally sucked out all of the education aspect of debate which for reasons I above and in my previous post (lost of depth, blah).

 

 

 

If you have a warrant for the claim that speed makes debate unintelligible/sacrifices education (even if the other team is fast I, and most debaters I know, can at least understand them) then i would be able to better respond to this.

 

I have already answered this with my example. Our encounter with a team that ran 7 off then went to 3 off the next speech which meant my 3-4 minutes answering 4 of those off were pointless. They ran this many off because they were fast and knew I would have to waste my time answering them. Thus I had less depth on the other arguement and lost education. There are also numerous scenerios which education has been lost in my career because of speed but I don't feel like spelling out half my season.

 

Why? We receive funding from the same source and its just another high school extra-curricular. I think the analogy I used is still applicable.

 

So is drama (not interp) and plays, but their purpose is to learn how to act. No competition, just a usual pre-cursor to a acting career or just for fun.

 

 

 

I'm sure those are reasons that kids join, but I doubt any of them comes close to the main reason why they play, otherwise they would just take P.E. Ask any of those kids whether or not they would play if there were no winners or losers, no scores kept, and no audiences.

 

Really? I was in soccer three years ago purely for fun. One of my better friends is in cross-country purely for the excercise and the enjoyment of running. His track career hasn't seen very many placings in his 4 years and I bet he could care less. That is a very myopic view thinking that people only do things in order to win and for no other purpose. My debate career also proves this, I could care less about my wins but more about what I learned attaining those wins.

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Contradict much?

 

Perhaps what my word choice was somewhat poor. I'll clarify: what I meant was I do not have a problem with the discussion of speed as being good or bad, but rather just that there are way too many of these threads. There isn't a point to creating a new one every few weeks, people can just bump old ones.

 

;)Let's try a thought experiment: You say that you and most of the debaters you know can understand the speed demons. Fair enough. Now imagine a world in which you are prohibited from examining any of the pages your opponent is reading.

 

Yet another crazy hypothetical situation from tshuman. I expected no less. I'm really not even going to bother answering this, because this is at the point of absurdity, suffice to say that in a world where teams couldn't read another teams evidence would mean that card clipping, etc would stand to create a greater risk of poor debate.

 

Still okay with their speed? Now imagine, in addition, a world in which there are no cross-examination periods after speeches. Still okay with their speed?

 

I've waived cross-x before against fast teams before. Your hypothetical isn't even relevant here. Why not make an actual argument about why speed is bad in current debate practice, rather than make up ridiculous situations that don't advance your original position.

 

If you are correct, and most debaters used to speed have no trouble comprehending what is being argued by their opponents, then instituting these rules ought not cause anyone any difficulty, no?

 

Answered above.

 

No, this discussion has been pretty productive and I really haven't seen it dwelve from. No one is denying fast debate exists, that is a dubious claim to discredit this thread, again it is the pro and cons to speed debate. Old threads/ creating new threads, you are splitting hairs and as far as I see it this thread is and has served its purpose and our discussion proves this in its very essence. The only flaming I have seen has come from you in that people who hate speed are "whiners" and we should stop "bitching". It wasn't until you started posting that this was a problem in the first place.

 

I'm not trying to start a flame war, merely pointing out that debaters who have problems with speed would be better served learning how to deal with it that complaining on cross-x. I'm not splitting hairs with the thread thing, seriously just bump an old thread. There are even 2 of these threads being used on cross-x right now, why not just post in the one that already exists?

 

 

 

I don't understand why doing both isn't appropriate. Of course a team should always be preparing to beat a faster team, but the inherent disposition that team has in the first place should be acknowledged. Stop generalizing the people who complain about speed. I have had a very successful 4 years in debate that just ended this year and I worked my ass off. Simply voicing my opinion about the negatives of using speed doesn't make me or anyone else a "complainer". I saw speed kill the effectiveness of my partner and I's actual analysis and I saw alot of my arguements get thinner. And just not us but other teams as well.

 

Inasmuch as I have yet to see a warrant as to why speed creates worse debate, I can only conclude that you are simply complaining. The closest you have come to explaining why faster debate is bad is simply making ad-homs about "less argumentation," etc that you don't back up with examples or warrants as to why that is true. "I saw speed kill the effectiveness of my partner and I's actual analysis and I saw alot of my arguements get thinner" is about as close as you have come, but that still lacks an example of why this is true or a reason why speed is responsible. I'll continue to maintain that you're simply whining until you provide some analysis as to why speed is bad, outside of empty rhetoric.

 

 

 

Citing from not only my local region, but the great plains region as a whole, I know from personal experience debate has been declining. Now whether or not the connection for why it is declining might be a little less clear I do know that speed debates do not encourage new comers from participating as much as a slower debate would.

 

This may vary from region to region, but I haven't really seen anything that supports the idea that debate is declining to due increased speed. Although speed intimidates our novii, none of them have quit the activity because of it.

 

Why would any novices ever want to join into a activity that they can't even understand?

 

This is quite a ludicrous claim- to say that NO novices would want to join because of how fast debate is ridiculous because A) there are novices who start debating every year and B) the very fact that you started debated disproves this. Rethink think this arg and come back some other time.

 

 

That isn't the only thing either. I remember a time when our state used to have a bid tournament. Debate started shifting towards speed while our state judges remained at the same paradigm of slower debates. Less teams started coming because of that and eventually the bid was lost. That tournament was one of our biggest and main attractions and now it is completely gone to the point of just local competition.

 

All this proves is that the national circuit places some value on judges who are ok with speed. There isn't a reason that because your area wanted to remain slower means that speed is bad, just that the national circuit wants to debate differently.

 

I guess I am not getting your full contention. This discussion is supposed to be on whether speed is good or not and not on whether teams are going to change because of this thread. I realize speed will still be here tomorrow but the question is, "is and has it been good for debate" in which I still have to answer no.

 

Look back at my original post- I stated, and I still maintain, that debaters who have trouble with people debating faster would be better served by learning to adapt than by trying to simply complain about it to the community at large. And there is still no warrant to the claim that speed is bad.

 

 

Great. Judges accept speed, I understand that. But just because you are winning a round doesn't mean it was a good or better debate. Especially if a win is off a dropped argument opposed to a arguement with depth and analysis on it.

 

Maybe you just shouldn't drop important arguments. A drop doesn't automatically mean a win- thats why in the 1ar you cover the args you feel will be more important. Speed doesn't really matter in doing this. For example, a debater on my team doesn't really go faster than conversational speed during her 1ar, but she is still effective and covers everything she needs to cover. Also, just because a round is going slower doesn't mean it was a good or better debate.

 

 

What do you think ballots and oral critiques are for? If it was a simple lose/win then all judges would ever need is a small slip of paper. But it is so much more then that. Judges give critiques in order to better your positions, your speaking skills, and overall presentation. Again, my position isn't that there should be no competition, but that a balance be struck between competition and education; one which isn't being met today.

 

I fail to see how the balance isn't being met- some teams debate for the W, others debate for the education. Everyone wins. I never said that there isn't an educational value to debate, but rather that competition is the primary reason for debate. This also doesn't answer back the argument that most teams wouldnt debate if all the got was an oral critique, without being able to win.

 

 

 

This has been my whole arguement, that speed has literally sucked out all of the education aspect of debate which for reasons I above and in my previous post (lost of depth, blah).

 

I think "blah" sums up your points pretty well. There isn't a reason that slower debate created more depth. In fact, going faster means that debaters can make more arguments regarding a position, increasing the depth at which they go into those positions. Also, I learn plenty from debate, speed has sucked out the educational aspect for me.

 

I have already answered this with my example. Our encounter with a team that ran 7 off then went to 3 off the next speech which meant my 3-4 minutes answering 4 of those off were pointless. They ran this many off because they were fast and knew I would have to waste my time answering them. Thus I had less depth on the other arguement and lost education.

 

This was answered earlier- all you had to do was allocate your time more effectively. Chances are the neg aint going for that aspec violation, maybe you shouldnt spend so much time on it. Moreover, you would have to do this whether it was one off or seven- either way you need to make strategic decisions about what args to make.

 

Also, how does "more depth" automatically equate to an increase in education. Do you not learn just as much by learning about multiple things? Or is there some threshold and delineation about education that I am unware of?

 

 

 

There are also numerous scenerios which education has been lost in my career because of speed but I don't feel like spelling out half my season.

 

Again, no reason why speed=less education. All it means is maybe you didnt get to make those last couple of link args against the ptx disad, but i guess those 2 args were just critical to your in round education.

 

 

 

 

So is drama (not interp) and plays, but their purpose is to learn how to act. No competition, just a usual pre-cursor to a acting career or just for fun.

 

There also not the same competitive aspect to- people don't really sign up to do drama to win. With football and debate, however, people come in with the competitive aspect in mind.

 

Really? I was in soccer three years ago purely for fun. One of my better friends is in cross-country purely for the excercise and the enjoyment of running. His track career hasn't seen very many placings in his 4 years and I bet he could care less. That is a very myopic view thinking that people only do things in order to win and for no other purpose. My debate career also proves this, I could care less about my wins but more about what I learned attaining those wins.

 

I never dealt in absolutes. I said the majority of kids get into sports and other competitive activities because they like to compete.

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I am for speed because of warrants.

 

This has been said before but I feel like its over looked. I do LD, I do LD primarily (for 3 years). I tried CX out this year and loved it. I do believe that apart from the coaches and the few traditional debaters on this site I am one of the few who has seen lots of slow rounds, and debated in them myself. I have to preface with that for anything else I say to make sense.

 

 

The problem with slow debating is that it leaves a debater with two options.

 

1)make less arguments.

 

or

 

2) cut the warrants down in the evidence your reading.

 

 

 

One of the major complaints I have heard at local tournaments as well as national tournaments is that LD tends to get the blippy who cares arguments that are lacking in warrants.

 

This makes logical sense. Look at your Focault evidence, do you honestly think you can make a strong argument with it if its only 4 lines long?

 

 

And yes I know the counter argument: well argue less arguments with greater warrants; but this in itself has problems.

 

To see the problems merely look at a chess game. In a chess game you wouldn't charge your opponents king with only a queen. Its to easy to take, to easy to defend from the attack ect. But the queen itself is one of the most powerful pieces.

 

Take this thought back to argumentation and its really easy to see that even if I did make one or two even really well articulated and warranted arguments odds are i would lose, not because i am a bad debater, but because 2 arguments for a case is just weak strategically.

 

The only exception to this is if a debater only runs one argument and makes it the round. Marxism for instance works great as one argument, but even a good Marxist neg strat requires that you talk fast in order to get the depth of the warrants necessary in order to prove your position.

 

and yes word economy solves some of these problems without speed, but after all word economy can only go so far. I mean if I was economical with this post it would be half as long, but it would also be just as blippy as a bad LD round..

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There's a lot of frustration on BOTH sides... ;)

 

 

Overview:

 

It looks as though I misread your original post with the Cheshier posts. I assumed you were trying to promote discussion by introducing an articulate defender of an alternative point of view. Upon reading of your response to my post it seems more likely that you were so taken by what you see as the "eminently clear" truth in Cheshier's perspective that your intention was to pick what you viewed as an eminently poor argument with which to contrast it.

 

That's all fine and good, but it looks like I made the mistake of accepting this 'invitation' and presenting my own perspective with an ATTEMPT at a conciliatory (or more accurately, constructive) tone. You not only decided to treat the post as a polemic, but saw fit to make ethical charges and ad homs.

 

You made quite a few arguments that were markedly dismissive in tone and character. That's unfortunate because this tack stifles, rather than promotes constructive discourse. If you process every claim which conflicts with yours through a cognitive filter which assumes bad faith on behalf of its advocates, you might feel yourself justified taking a patronizing or flippant tone, but this does little to make your own position seem more credible to those who are not predisposed to agree with you.

 

From personal experience, I recall disagreeing w/ a coach in my region (she's on this site actually--tpeters) over a number of things, from debate theory to tournament policy to stylistic issues such as those under discussion here. Over the years I think we both found that common ground was achievable AFTER each of us felt assured that enough mutual respect existed for the concerns of each side.

 

You may doubt that I have this amount of respect for your perspective, and I suppose there's little I can do to persuade you of my sincerity. However I hope you don't earnestly think that the "frustration on both sides" is attributable to factors which leave you blameless.

 

This actually provides a nice segway into the 'burden of proof' question because, aside from arguments I might make to contest this on its own terms, the statement "the burden of proof is on advocates of bizarre, high-speed debate" is functionally unclear.

 

In what context does this "burden" exist? Must these advocates establish to your (or someone's?) satisfaction that speed debate is beneficial in order to continue engaging in it? I'm sure you're not committed to that absurdity, but without further context I'm being honest when i say that I'm unclear on the point Cheshier is making. I'm sure he would appreciate your complement on his lucidity, but it does little to answer my questions.

 

Your 'clarification' does little here as well. If it were true that there is little evidence to support 'pro-speed' claims, it does not follow that the burden upon this camp is to provide justification for the continuation of the practice. I should pause here and make my argument more explicit: speed has a place in debate. From this it does not follow that fast debate is the only type of acceptable debate or even the best type of acceptable debate. Intuitively, I would think a larger portion of the burden of proof lies on those who argue that speed has no place in debate at all. While you (mis) took my slightly parodic dialogue as some kind of deliberate mischaracterization of your argument and hence saw little reason to engage it more closely, it really does seem that those who are committed to denying the argument as I presented it above are stuck in the position of "the academic."

 

Finally, it seems unlikely that you (or Cheshier) would take any evidence that speed has benefits very seriously; it seems disingenuous to place an argumentative burden upon people and then more or less intimate that this bruden is structurally impossible to meet.

 

The first Cheshier quote you post, for instance, groups six benefits offered in support of fast debate and, rather than addressing them individually, merely ASSERTS that these benefits are at least as important as the ability to speak persuasively. I have no idea what critieria could make these qualitatively different arguments commensurable, but luckily, I don't need to, since Cheshier acknowledges taht there is no inherent persuasiveness/substance tradeoff. That cuts both ways. Debating quickly doesn't DIMINISH my ability to speak eloquently for different audiences in different contexts. In my experience it helps it (albeit indirectly) but the notion that policy debaters become less able communicators outside of debate is a deceptive chimera. Among the thousands of successful policy debaters that go on to have successful carriers in law, politics, and business I've yet to hear of any who attempted to "spread' a legal brief, stump speech, or marketing proposal. It just doesn't happen.

 

I think this responds to your second argument about exclusivity--Cheshier has not demonstrated any deleterious consequences that stem from fast policy debate in-itself and concedes that there are competitive and pedagogical benefits to fast debate as practiced (though he dismisses them as "AS important" as slower forms of debate). These may trade off with accessibility to the public at large, but no current explanation exists as to why the interest of this public in viewing this particular debate activity supercedes the interest of the participants in the activity. Publicly accessible debates exist outside of NFL, TOC, NDT, or CEDA. A lot of times debaters in said communities put them on.

 

This speaks to the next argument w/r/t other disciplines. I don't think that the 'cognitive benefits' argument (in the sense of 'studies show your brain grows when you talk fast' type of cognitive benefits) is a central staple of thsoe in favor of giving speed a place in debate--it's more of an ancillary benefit. If that's as far as you mean to impact the "other disciplines" claim, fine. I just don't think it gets you very far. Debate is unique and speed is one of its essential idiosyncracies. It certainly makes the game more competitive, and it may directly or indirectly make it more educational.

 

Now to the first argument that you refer to as a "complete and utter non sequitiur." As far as I know, a comment about an argument is neither an argument itself nor a counterargument. I note this because you concluded your post with the flippant attitude I described above, and its ironic that someone advocating substance over soundbytes would simply gloss over a whole series of arguments merely on the strength of his self-assurance.

 

The argument i made was this: if debaters who employ speed do so at the cost of argumentative quality then they should find themselves losing to debaters who slow down and enjoy a corresponding increase in quality. You don't have to fight fire with fire. You also responded with some rather colorful language in the broad assertion that Korcock is so pervasively influential in debate circles that anyone who is ok with speed is just out of touch. I just don't think that's true. Plenty of great critics hate Korcock and his debate theories. And they like speed. And they like a good argument. Not mutually exclusive concepts.

 

You might respond here that i missed your meaning, and if so I'm sorry. But I've already worked too hard to make your arguments for you and it's not an easy task when the only thing you leave me to work with is venom.

 

You dismissed a bunch of other arguments I made, which were really responses to arguemnts I don't think you are making. If you care to advance the position that speed is unfair perhaps you'll see fit to address the rejoinder I provided. If you're seeking to take pot shots, well, consider your own ego aggrandized.

 

Your last paragraph came the closest to engaging the question of multiple subjective preferences. I don't know if you misread me, but I did not say it is self-evident that fast debate is persuasive. I do know that I could probably find at least 100 people who thought that Michael Klinger, Scott Phillips, Stacey Nathan, Brad Hall, etc etc could speak "persuasively." Of course there are those who might disagree, but there's no inherent reason to defer to these bright legions of smart, happy people when I'm not debating in front of them.

 

You also make the argument about efforts to 'purge' its judging pool of all of these great folks. Nice job on the connotations, but I don't see the evidence for any sinister conspiracy. In high school I debated in front of 'lay' judges, judges who were intelligent but preferred that I slow down, and judges that were ok with the fastest spread I could muster. In college I get more of the latter two but still have had a few of the former.

 

All of these experiences have been valuable.

 

logan

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Yet another crazy hypothetical situation from tshuman. I expected no less. I'm really not even going to bother answering this, because this is at the point of absurdity, suffice to say that in a world where teams couldn't read another teams evidence would mean that card clipping, etc would stand to create a greater risk of poor debate.
What is crazy about it? Your claim is that you don't have any problem following what a really fast speaker is saying. If that is the case, why do you need to grab every page almost the moment your opponent is finished with it? The only thing "crazy" here is the argument that this practice is designed as a check against unethical evidence usage. The plain fact is, without access to those pages you really wouldn't have much of an idea about what your opponent said. The same is true for cross-examination...

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It looks as though I misread your original post with the Cheshier posts. I assumed you were trying to promote discussion by introducing an articulate defender of an alternative point of view. Upon reading of your response to my post it seems more likely that you were so taken by what you see as the "eminently clear" truth in Cheshier's perspective that your intention was to pick what you viewed as an eminently poor argument with which to contrast it.
Excuse me? I responded to what you posted. I didn't "pick" you or your argument as an "example" of anything. Are you familiar with how these threads work? I post something, you post something, I post something, etc.? How do you get from that to a claim that I'm trying to single you out for particular scorn?
That's all fine and good, but it looks like I made the mistake of accepting this 'invitation' and presenting my own perspective with an ATTEMPT at a conciliatory (or more accurately, constructive) tone. You not only decided to treat the post as a polemic, but saw fit to make ethical charges and ad homs.
Excuse me??? There were no ad hominems in my post aimed at you. As for "ethical charges," the only thing you could possibly mean is the remark I made about your "misrepresenting" Professor Cheshier's (and my) argument. Under normal circumstances, I might be tempted to agree that "misrepresent" is perhaps a bit strong, but go back a re-read what you wrote. I had quoted Cheshier as saying "In no other field of intellectual endeavor is the judgment defended that absurd rates of speed are a necessary adjunct to achievement. The view that slowing debate is dumbing debate seems to me obviously fallacious." You, in turn, reduced that to some absurd dialogue in which you have your cartoon villain (identified as "Academic," which is what we call a "tell" in poker) come across like the headmaster in Dead Poets Society. As for my treating your post as if it were a "polemic," I am mystified. I'm not trying to convert you, nor am I trying to silence you. You wandered into a discussion, and staked out a position. What would a proper response (i.e., one that DIDN'T treat your post as a "polemic") have sounded like?
You made quite a few arguments that were markedly dismissive in tone and character.
As opposed to your little mini-drama in which I am cast as Torquemada? Sorry, no sale. I said that much of what you wrote struck me as non sequitur. It still does. I'm sorry if that strikes you as condescending in some way, but I believe you are projecting your own opinions of me into this. That is unfortunate...
That's unfortunate because this tack stifles, rather than promotes constructive discourse.
Tell you what: You stop putting ridiculous words in my mouth (or word processor), and I'll stop pointing out your logical errors. Deal? ;)

 

Seriously, WTF? How is it "constructive" discourse if any attempt to refute an opposing point of view is barred? When you claimed, for instance, that "...if speed is so terribly uneducational then someone who choses to debate more slowly should have no problem beating teams who go faster than they do," what would a "constructive" response be? If I'm not allowed to point out that this is a non sequitur, what ELSE am I allowed to say about it?

If you process every claim which conflicts with yours through a cognitive filter which assumes bad faith on behalf of its advocates
Again, I am mystified. Did I compose a hypothetical dialogue in which I portrayed you in an unflattering light? I'm not disposed to take lessons in civility from someone who does such things and then plays the aggrieved innocent. I didn't assume any "bad faith" on your part. I simply assumed that that little dialogue accurately represented the way you view anyone who disagrees with your position. If anyone's "cognitive filters" are in need of a good cleaning, it ain't me... ;)
You may doubt that I have this amount of respect for your perspective, and I suppose there's little I can do to persuade you of my sincerity.
Let's go out and come in again, shall we? Let me see if I can summarize:
  • My position is that claims made on behalf of speedy speaking are mostly undocumented and anecdotal, and that its advocates consistently refuse to honestly engage those who argue against the practice.
  • Your position is that speed is good because you have learned a lot from doing debate in this way, and that the system is self-correcting (i.e., if speed does not confer the intellectual benefits claimed for it then slower teams will simply beat faster teams).

Is that about the size of it? If I've missed something, please feel free to elucidate...

In what context does this "burden" exist? Must these advocates establish to your (or someone's?) satisfaction that speed debate is beneficial in order to continue engaging in it? I'm sure you're not committed to that absurdity, but without further context I'm being honest when i say that I'm unclear on the point Cheshier is making.
He's making the same point I'm making. Neither of us is arguing for a rule-based approach to the problem. The "burden" he writes of is specifically with regard to these kinds of conversations. It might be helpful if you read the whole eDebate post from which I excerpted...
If it were true that there is little evidence to support 'pro-speed' claims, it does not follow that the burden upon this camp is to provide justification for the continuation of the practice.
I believe that it does. Cheshier's post was aimed primarily at other coaches. I'm in a different forum of course, and so I must be mindful of the fact that most readers of this (and similar) threads are students. That said, within the context of the larger discussion, Cheshier is exactly correct: As educators, coaches have an obligation to defend their practices. I am unconvinced by the arguments on behalf of speed, and so I attempt here and there to get students to question the assumption that it has educational merits which outweigh its faults. If I can persuade some influential students, I'm helping. If not, what has it cost me? I'm just trying to do what I perceive to be my job as an educator...

 

The real problem I have with your position is that you don't seem to grasp the nature of the controversy. You believe that speed "has a place in debate," but don't much care to explain why. I'm not talking about specific arguments on behalf of speed as a practice. I'm talking about your view that you shouldn't have to justify the practice pedagogically...

Intuitively, I would think a larger portion of the burden of proof lies on those who argue that speed has no place in debate at all.
Again, you're assuming we're in rule-writing mode or something. It's just a conversation (as Professor Cheshier's thread was). As an educator, I can tell you that we are expected to be able to justify everything we do in our classrooms. I don't think I'm being unreasonable to expect similar intellectual rigor in a conversation about what is, still, an academic activity...

 

As for your "slightly parodic dialogue," I think you would agree that parodizing someone's position right out of the gate is probably not the best way to convince them of your good faith, eh? ;)

Finally, it seems unlikely that you (or Cheshier) would take any evidence that speed has benefits very seriously
Dude. We're not saying "speed has no benefits." We're saying "no evidence that speed has benefits that justify its costs." I can't speak for Professor Cheshier, but if you've got some evidence to warrant the hyperbolic claims debaters make for speed, I'm all ears (well, eyes, anyway). I suspect Professor Cheshier would be as well...

 

That said, you must know that we've been having these conversations periodically on this website (and on eDebate) for years. If there were actually any evidence to buttress the pedagogical rationale for speed, don't you think it would have emerged by now?

 

I'll stop here for now. As time permits later today I'll try to engage the specific arguments you raise later on in your post...

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What is crazy about it? Your claim is that you don't have any problem following what a really fast speaker is saying. If that is the case, why do you need to grab every page almost the moment your opponent is finished with it? The only thing "crazy" here is the argument that this practice is designed as a check against unethical evidence usage. The plain fact is, without access to those pages you really wouldn't have much of an idea about what your opponent said. The same is true for cross-examination...

 

Even in slow rounds there's still a need to examine evidence, because the truth is most cards (especially those coming from camp files) are powertagged, and certain key parts might be ommited from the speech. Doesn't matter how fast they read it, if you want the whole story you have to get the card, which leads to an entirely different area of discussion about the shortcomings of modern policy debate.

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Even in slow rounds there's still a need to examine evidence, because the truth is most cards (especially those coming from camp files) are powertagged, and certain key parts might be ommited from the speech. Doesn't matter how fast they read it, if you want the whole story you have to get the card, which leads to an entirely different area of discussion about the shortcomings of modern policy debate.
I don't disagree. Remember, we're just doing a thought experiment... ;)

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Nobody replied to my post? Really?

 

Do a simple "ctl + F" and you'll see that "fair" comes up eleven times on this page and eight of them are by me; two more are the irrelevant "fair enough." I think the most important reason speed is bad in policy is not because it is harmful to the "art" but because, from a purely competitive standpoint, it is unreasonable and unfair. "Everybody can do it" does not constitute fairness, because the fact is not everybody can do it well and it oughtn't to be a standard by which debaters are judged; the only relevant standard should be ability to DEBATE which nowhere else involves speed.

 

I also don't particularly disagree with most of what dpron or tshuman have been saying (although I think the thought experiment was a little weak), but the debates have become such tedious line-by-line minutia that I think a big picture approach is necessary.

 

There is one more point that I'd like to bring up, and that is that if you don't look at the competitive aspect, and instead want to compare spreading in just an educational framework, there is no reasonable argument that spreading increases education. Whereas comprehension can occur at some level by picking up phrases spewed at the speed of sound, or by reading the cards, there must be a level of debate that transcends the rapid-fire transfer of evidence and that depends on the conveyance of it. Ask yourself: If debate today instead of imposing a time limit imposed a card limit of comparable size to what good spreaders read and simply had all the speeches typed and passed to the other team then the judges, would it be any different? It seems that when only the arguments themselves matter and not the presentation you lose any hope of useful or realistic communication skills, which, like it or not, are a keystone of every other forensics event.

 

And again, claiming that "some people can win without spreading" or "sometimes slowing is good with some judges" doesn't address the big picture that most of the time spreading creates an unfair advantage that requires a substantial gap in skill to overcome, or else more spreading. And I don't think you will find ANY champion debaters recently that don't spread. Like it or not, with today's paradigm there is no way around it.

 

 

SO finally, you have to stop claiming that there is "no warrant that spreading is bad" until you actually address or at least ACKNOWLEDGE the points I've brought up.

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Nobody replied to my post? Really?

 

Do a simple "ctl + F" and you'll see that "fair" comes up eleven times on this page and eight of them are by me; two more are the irrelevant "fair enough." I think the most important reason speed is bad in policy is not because it is harmful to the "art" but because, from a purely competitive standpoint, it is unreasonable and unfair. "Everybody can do it" does not constitute fairness, because the fact is not everybody can do it well and it oughtn't to be a standard by which debaters are judged; the only relevant standard should be ability to DEBATE which nowhere else involves speed.

 

I also don't particularly disagree with most of what dpron or tshuman have been saying (although I think the thought experiment was a little weak), but the debates have become such tedious line-by-line minutia that I think a big picture approach is necessary.

 

There is one more point that I'd like to bring up, and that is that if you don't look at the competitive aspect, and instead want to compare spreading in just an educational framework, there is no reasonable argument that spreading increases education. Whereas comprehension can occur at some level by picking up phrases spewed at the speed of sound, or by reading the cards, there must be a level of debate that transcends the rapid-fire transfer of evidence and that depends on the conveyance of it. Ask yourself: If debate today instead of imposing a time limit imposed a card limit of comparable size to what good spreaders read and simply had all the speeches typed and passed to the other team then the judges, would it be any different? It seems that when only the arguments themselves matter and not the presentation you lose any hope of useful or realistic communication skills, which, like it or not, are a keystone of every other forensics event.

 

And again, claiming that "some people can win without spreading" or "sometimes slowing is good with some judges" doesn't address the big picture that most of the time spreading creates an unfair advantage that requires a substantial gap in skill to overcome, or else more spreading. And I don't think you will find ANY champion debaters recently that don't spread. Like it or not, with today's paradigm there is no way around it.

 

 

SO finally, you have to stop claiming that there is "no warrant that spreading is bad" until you actually address or at least ACKNOWLEDGE the points I've brought up.

 

Fair in what regard? Adding an additional constraint that affects everyone is perfectly fair. What's the brightline for fairness? Less intelligent people are at a disadvantage in debate; should we ban people from making arguments that those less bright individuals can't understand to make it more "fair"?

 

I've already addressed the education portion above. The game of debate is not where you gain education; it is through research. Go to a lecture if you want to learn at a slower pace.

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I also don't particularly disagree with most of what dpron or tshuman have been saying (although I think the thought experiment was a little weak)
Ouch... :(

 

Seriously, perhaps a bit more explication on what a thought experiment is would be helpful. It isn't a suggestion that we do away with lurking/hovering/sheet-snatching. It isn't a suggestion that we do away with cross-examination (although I can tell you from my own NDT experience that good, substantive debate can take place without it). Its purpose is simply to get you to ask yourself the question: If I couldn't read my opponent's briefs, how confident am I that I could keep track of what a really fast speaker said? That's all. It is, by nature, hypothetical. It was not intended to be viewed as a practical suggestion, merely as a tool to help you re-examine your assumptions about your own abilities...

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You know what? I think basketball players move too fast. I think if we implemented rules governing how fast basketball players can move on the court we could have much better officiating and it would be a heck of a lot more inclusive. I mean, I know this guy who has a great outside shot but has no speed, so he is at a serious disadvantage.

 

At least in debate you could make a speed bad argument. In basketball, you are pretty much screwed. Yes, I agree there are the Shaqs of the world, but slower players are at such a competitive disadvantage.

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I think the most important reason speed is bad in policy is not because it is harmful to the "art" but because, from a purely competitive standpoint, it is unreasonable and unfair.

 

That doesnt make sense. Why is it unfair? None of your post has a warrant as to why this claim would be true. I would assume that you think it unfair because it provides an advantage to the faster team, and Ill answer your post as such until you clarify.

 

"Everybody can do it" does not constitute fairness, because the fact is not everybody can do it well and it oughtn't to be a standard by which debaters are judged;

 

This is dumb. There is no objective standard on evaluating how fast is too fast. Also, if someone can't do it well, why cant they just do it better? Your logic would mean that K's or politics disads shouldn't be allowed either, because not everyone is good at answering/running them.

 

the only relevant standard should be ability to DEBATE which nowhere else involves speed.

 

Uh, i dont think any judge simply votes for the faster team. They vote for who won the debate.

 

 

I also don't particularly disagree with most of what dpron or tshuman have been saying (although I think the thought experiment was a little weak), but the debates have become such tedious line-by-line minutia that I think a big picture approach is necessary.

 

I disagree. I think responding to individual points makes more sense. Maybe your problem in debate isn't speed, but rather that you dont line by line.

 

There is one more point that I'd like to bring up, and that is that if you don't look at the competitive aspect, and instead want to compare spreading in just an educational framework, there is no reasonable argument that spreading increases education.

 

This is answered in my last post.

 

Ask yourself: If debate today instead of imposing a time limit imposed a card limit of comparable size to what good spreaders read and simply had all the speeches typed and passed to the other team then the judges, would it be any different?

 

What? Thats quite ridiculous. I guess you follow tshumans example and believe that creating unfounded hypotheticals somehow make your argument more effective. It really doesn't. Why dont you make a real arguement?

 

It seems that when only the arguments themselves matter and not the presentation you lose any hope of useful or realistic communication skills, which, like it or not, are a keystone of every other forensics event.

 

no impact to this. also, cross-apply my analysis on why debate is a competition from above.

 

And again, claiming that "some people can win without spreading" or "sometimes slowing is good with some judges" doesn't address the big picture that most of the time spreading creates an unfair advantage that requires a substantial gap in skill to overcome, or else more spreading.

 

People often have better evidence than me. Does that mean they shouldn't be allowed to use it because it would give them an unfair advantage?

 

 

And I don't think you will find ANY champion debaters recently that don't spread. Like it or not, with today's paradigm there is no way around it.

 

Which just proves why you should learn to adapt.

 

SO finally, you have to stop claiming that there is "no warrant that spreading is bad" until you actually address or at least ACKNOWLEDGE the points I've brought up.

 

Done and done, sir. Though perhaps you should at least answer some the points in my last couple of points, because it answers back most of what you said.

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People often have better evidence than me. Does that mean they shouldn't be allowed to use it because it would give them an unfair advantage?

 

What? Who has better evidence than you?

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That's quite ridiculous. I guess you follow tshumans example and believe that creating unfounded hypotheticals somehow make your argument more effective.
Well, so long as someone refuses to engage the hypothetical in any way, how is my argument supposed to become "more effective"? Is the question the hypothetical poses too difficult for you? Or is your answer too inconvenient for your position?

 

Honestly, you are in no position to be commenting on how others are failing to engage your argument. There are warranted counter-arguments all over the place in the thread, and you are doing a fine job of ignoring most of them...

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This is probably the last post I'll make here on this question. I don't have a ton of time, and while of late I've tried to eschew the 'cross-x' line by line, it is a bit more efficient. At the very least i will be sure not to have missed anything.

 

Overview: I'll apologize here for taking more offense than I should have at your response. You didn't make any ad hominems and I regret saying you did. That was a smooth misread on my part.

 

This doesn't mean I do think it was unneccessarily dismissive and flippant, and I don't think that tone ever disappeared in your reply. I really do think that generally this makes it very difficult to get anywhere with these discussions and that a legitimate, more interesting discussion exists on the question of how to make dialogue more productive.

 

Of course, perhaps the point was never to 'get anywhere' on a cross-x forum and if that's the case then I regret the time I've spent here already. I am sure there's a happy medium out there between edebate, where the goal is for everyone to pat each other on the back, and cross-x, where the search for the "QFA" more or less erodes other discussion.

 

 

We've at this point both made an ethos-directed charge at one anoter that, fundamentally, will be left to each of us to resolve. So here too I'll grant that I give myself too much credit especially in the context of an abstract discussion. That has clearly made it hard for me to get some arguments across. I still think your self-assurance will make it hard for you to convince people and that condesencion is more off-putting than it is persuasive. You don't have to "buy" it, but I think there are better ways to engage people.

 

On to the show...

 

Excuse me? I responded to what you posted. I didn't "pick" you or your argument as an "example" of anything. Are you familiar with how these threads work? I post something, you post something, I post something, etc.? How do you get from that to a claim that I'm trying to single you out for particular scorn?Excuse me??? There were no ad hominems in my post aimed at you.

 

I addressed most of this above. I read too much into what you were doing, but unless I misread your post again, you did respond to a few claims, state that a few more of my claims didn't merit a response, and then respond to one more claim not because you felt it was more meritous but because...well, actually you didn't say. Here's what I read: "The rest of your post is simply more non sequiturs, but I did want to respond to one final point you made"

 

 

As for "ethical charges," the only thing you could possibly mean is the remark I made about your "misrepresenting" Professor Cheshier's (and my) argument. Under normal circumstances, I might be tempted to agree that "misrepresent" is perhaps a bit strong, but go back a re-read what you wrote. I had quoted Cheshier as saying "In no other field of intellectual endeavor is the judgment defended that absurd rates of speed are a necessary adjunct to achievement. The view that slowing debate is dumbing debate seems to me obviously fallacious." You, in turn, reduced that to some absurd dialogue in which you have your cartoon villain (identified as "Academic," which is what we call a "tell" in poker) come across like the headmaster in Dead Poets Society.

 

I've addressed most of this above, but I think you misunderstood what I'm doing with a dialogue (as I think someone else is misunderstanding your use of a thought experiment...) I wasn't responding to Cheshier's 'other field' claim with it, or any particular claim he makes. The point was that arguments like these have no function. I mean, the debater in that endless exchange (that's why i put an ellipses in brackets) wasn't making a very warratned case either. If you feel like you're identified w/ the academic then, for whatever it's worht, I don't feel like I'm identified with the debater. As for my 'tell,' are there echoes of Cheshier and your arguments in the dialogue? Obviously. Is that all I'm responding to? If you think so then I don't know what you were reading.

 

At any rate, if you're accusing me of 'reducing' his argument to this charicacture then even if I plead guilty you could just reject the argument not the team (ouch, mix of legal and debate metaphors) because elsewhere I've addressed both quotations in detail making what seem to be warranted responses. You have thusfar referred to these as non-sequitirs. But that's below...

 

Nice poker metaphor. I think your response to the post could best be characterized as 'tilt.'

 

 

 

 

As for my treating your post as if it were a "polemic," I am mystified. I'm not trying to convert you, nor am I trying to silence you. You wandered into a discussion, and staked out a position. What would a proper response (i.e., one that DIDN'T treat your post as a "polemic") have sounded like?

 

 

As opposed to your little mini-drama in which I am cast as Torquemada? Sorry, no sale.

"Mini-drama' is addressed above. You're right, my frustrationw as not w/ your engagement but w/ your selective engagemetn.t. I don't think you're trying to silence me. I don't think you'd convert me and for that matter if you're trying to convert anyone I doubt you'll be successful the way you appraoch discussions. As above, it'll be left to you to decide whether or not this matters. I'm not selling anything to you--do you think I was trying to? This goes to the burden question, which is below.

 

 

I said that much of what you wrote struck me as non sequitur. It still does. I'm sorry if that strikes you as condescending in some way, but I believe you are projecting your own opinions of me into this.

 

I could have responded to your non sequitur claims with the classic "no warrant to your no warrant' argument, but I didn't. I re-explained every claim I made to the best of my ability. So far your response has been "those are non sequitirs" and you've now perhaps claimed that I don't know what a non-sequitir is. At this point mirroring your rhetoric thusly seems a touch predictable, but, well, here we are. Maybe I should add this too.

 

That is unfortunate...Tell you what: You stop putting ridiculous words in my mouth (or word processor), and I'll stop pointing out your logical errors. Deal? ;)

And I thought (not being sarcastic, I've copped to this above) that I was the one stacking the deck in my favor. I don't think it counts as "pointing out" a logical error if you just assert that one exists. A comment about an argument is not an argument (I said this already.) You say "putting words in your mouth," but I really don't think that's what I'm doing. My complaint wasn't with the content of your post (how could it be? There was little to speak of) but the form.

 

 

 

Seriously, WTF? How is it "constructive" discourse if any attempt to refute an opposing point of view is barred? When you claimed, for instance, that "...if speed is so terribly uneducational then someone who choses to debate more slowly should have no problem beating teams who go faster than they do," what would a "constructive" response be? If I'm not allowed to point out that this is a non sequitur, what ELSE am I allowed to say about it?

 

 

 

Nothing's barred; I've double checked my post and see if I ever made arguments to the effect of 'tshuman can't say ___." I don't think I did. I did make arguemnts to the effect of 'tshuman DIDN'T say __" quite a few times.

 

I'm copping here to being insufficiently constructive myself, but what you've done so far is quote me, then say it's non sequitir, then get really upset when I say it isn't. At any rate, I've clarified this statement when I said:

 

"The argument i made was this: if debaters who employ speed do so at the cost of argumentative quality then they should find themselves losing to debaters who slow down and enjoy a corresponding increase in quality."

 

I do think those arugments are the roughly the same (but perhaps I was relying to heavily on the assumption that education was strongly correlated with the quality of arguemnts put forth in debate rounds. Is that an assumption we don't share?) but the latter formulation is more clearly put.

 

Again, I am mystified. Did I compose a hypothetical dialogue in which I portrayed you in an unflattering light? I'm not disposed to take lessons in civility from someone who does such things and then plays the aggrieved innocent.

 

Addressed above. There is something interesting about how discussions like this quickly lead us to interpret the other as ordering us around...I mean, the one thing I NEVER said was that you should carry yourself any differently than you do. I did say and will continue to say that your MO might be less effective than others at convincing people. But I am getting the idea that that's not really your aim.

 

I didn't assume any "bad faith" on your part. I simply assumed that that little dialogue accurately represented the way you view anyone who disagrees with your position. If anyone's "cognitive filters" are in need of a good cleaning, it ain't me... ;)

I guess you assumed wrongly. I mean, if I view ANYONE who disagreed with me that way then I would probably never participate in these discussions.

 

 

Let's go out and come in again, shall we? Let me see if I can summarize:

  • My position is that claims made on behalf of speedy speaking are mostly undocumented and anecdotal, and that its advocates consistently refuse to honestly engage those who argue against the practice.
     
 
I don't think this is a repetition of the previous point, so you shouldn't have ground to group me with the 'advocates' to whom you refer if I respond now. Very briefly, though, I can say this much:
It probably depends on the claim.
Most advocates probably don't feel they need to engage those who argue against it to a great extent. I don't know anyone in favour of mandating speed, but there are plenty of people in favour of allowing it to exist alongside other forms of debate. Now, your evocation of the word "honest" there recalls my cognitive filters argument. How do you move forward if you assume any engagement isn't honest engagement? It's not, afterall, dishonest to suggest that personal experience leads to the conclusion that the practice is valuable, especially when there likely isn't going to be a hard and fast scientific study that could very feasibly resolve the dispute.
The converse to this claim also seems true. Arguments against speed-debate seem as anecdotal and undocumented as those for it. This seems especially true when the squo means both forms of debate are possible (either within policy or between policy and other speaking/debate events.)

Your position is that speed is good because you have learned a lot from doing debate in this way, and that the system is self-correcting (i.e., if speed does not confer the intellectual benefits claimed for it then slower teams will simply beat faster teams).

Is that about the size of it? If I've missed something, please feel free to elucidate...

 

I've made those arguments, yes. I also made some other arguments about how speed plus other forms of debate leads to better education than either alone (call it a PIC, I suppose) and I'm willing to defend the argument that debate is a competitive activity before a pedagocical excercise, though I haven't developed this directly.

 

I think your own rephrasing of the self-correcting argument is somewhat significant, since this was the argument you referred to as a complete and utter non-sequitir earlier.

 

 

 

 

He's making the same point I'm making. Neither of us is arguing for a rule-based approach to the problem. The "burden" he writes of is specifically with regard to these kinds of conversations. It might be helpful if you read the whole eDebate post from which I excerpted...

 

I don't think you're aruging in favour of a rule-based appraoch to the problem. I do think that 'in these types of conversations,' I get the squo (to mix up the debate metaphor), so i'm not sure why the burden of proof falls on me. I don't have to win that speed is the 'only' way to debate or the 'best' way, even, but that it 'can' be good. I certainly don't think I should be held to a higher evidentiary standard than you or Cheshier, and I still don't see any evidence that speed debate in itself decreases my persuasive capacity. It may not directly increase it, but I haven't seen a clear articulation of the disadvantage.

 

I believe that it does.

 

That seems like a non-sequitir to me. "You have to prove that you're right" does not follow from "you're wrong."

 

Cheshier's post was aimed primarily at other coaches. I'm in a different forum of course, and so I must be mindful of the fact that most readers of this (and similar) threads are students. That said, within the context of the larger discussion, Cheshier is exactly correct: As educators, coaches have an obligation to defend their practices. I am unconvinced by the arguments on behalf of speed, and so I attempt here and there to get students to question the assumption that it has educational merits which outweigh its faults. If I can persuade some influential students, I'm helping. If not, what has it cost me? I'm just trying to do what I perceive to be my job as an educator...

 

 

I don't think the way you're going about it is as effective as it can. Perhaps you do. Time will tell, I suppose.

 

 

The real problem I have with your position is that you don't seem to grasp the nature of the controversy. You believe that speed "has a place in debate," but don't much care to explain why. I'm not talking about specific arguments on behalf of speed as a practice. I'm talking about your view that you shouldn't have to justify the practice pedagogically...

 

 

 

Even after reading your post above I don't feel like you've articulated the 'nature' of the controversey any better than I have. If I walk into it with different assumptions than you, fine, but from my perspective, I've explained my position in 1500 words with examples and otherwise. You said you'll answer it when you have time. Fine, but that doesn't seem consistent with the claim that nothing has been explained. I really believe that there are no reasons why speed is good that will convince those who are against the practice--AND THAT'S FINE--because I can slow down in front of them or accept when I lose, or if they feel policy is on-the-whole too fast they can judge parli or LD, or extemp even. If you disagree with the phrase "speed has a place in debate' then I think you are committed to the negation: "Speed has no place in debate." Intuitively, that stands in need of justification.

 

Again, you're assuming we're in rule-writing mode or something. It's just a conversation (as Professor Cheshier's thread was). As an educator, I can tell you that we are expected to be able to justify everything we do in our classrooms. I don't think I'm being unreasonable to expect similar intellectual rigor in a conversation about what is, still, an academic activity...

 

Assumption not needed for my arguments to function. Don't know what other form of intellectual rigor would be satisfactory to you, and get the suspicion that little will.

 

As for your "slightly parodic dialogue," I think you would agree that parodizing someone's position right out of the gate is probably not the best way to convince them of your good faith, eh? ;)

above

 

Dude. We're not saying "speed has no benefits." We're saying "no evidence that speed has benefits that justify its costs." I can't speak for Professor Cheshier, but if you've got some evidence to warrant the hyperbolic claims debaters make for speed, I'm all ears (well, eyes, anyway). I suspect Professor Cheshier would be as well...

I'm just going to defend the claims I've made. I don't know what other ones you want me to defend, or how. I haven't seen an articulation of the 'costs' of speed from you yet.

 

That said, you must know that we've been having these conversations periodically on this website (and on eDebate) for years. If there were actually any evidence to buttress the pedagogical rationale for speed, don't you think it would have emerged by now?

 

 

Shortest answer is, I think it has, but you're never going to be convinced of that.

 

 

I'll stop here for now. As time permits later today I'll try to engage the specific arguments you raise later on in your post...

 

If you ever get to that, cool, but near as I can tell your perspective is that you don't think you need to because they are self-evidently wrong.

 

Don't take it wrong, but I think i'll end with another 'parodic dialogue.' This time I'll leave it to you to guess who's who.

 

Dr. Evil: All right guard, begin the unnecessarily slow-moving dipping mechanism.

[guard starts dipping mechanism]

Dr. Evil: Close the tank!

Scott Evil: Wait, aren't you even going to watch them? They could get away!

Dr. Evil: No no no, I'm going to leave them alone and not actually witness them dying, I'm just gonna assume it all went to plan. What?

Scott Evil: I have a gun, in my room, you give me five seconds, I'll get it, I'll come back down here, BOOM, I'll blow their brains out!

Dr. Evil: Scott, you just don't get it, do ya? You don't.

 

 

toodles,

logan

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