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come on guys' date=' dont you get it, speed is UNFAIR and hurts debate n education and daat stuff bro[/quote']

 

I must say you certainly know how to contribute to an intellectual discussion.

 

I don't see anyone on my side of the issue ridiculing you, so why do you feel compelled to ridicule us? If you don't like what we're saying ignore it or at least learn to make some arguments that aren't ad-homs.

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Read my posts all over this thread for an explanation of both of these arguments if you care to push the issue. I really do see fairness as pretty much the definition issue here though (as well as it's relationship to exclusion in debate...)

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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.

 

This is an inapt comparison- basketball is an athletic competition, so moving fast is necessarily part of the competition between players. No one goes into basketball thinking they won't have to run. Debate is an academic competition, so there is no reason that speed has to have anything to do with the competition. And many people go into debate not knowing (and not liking) that they have to speak fast, which is why it is one of the reasons that many people feel excluded by debate and quit.

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I must say you certainly know how to contribute to an intellectual discussion.

 

I don't see anyone on my side of the issue ridiculing you, so why do you feel compelled to ridicule us? If you don't like what we're saying ignore it or at least learn to make some arguments that aren't ad-homs.

Sorry, I like being sarcastic with stupid arguments like "SPEED BAD"

 

Policy would turn into PFD without the competition that speed gives. Taking away speed would be arbitrary, might as well take away T violations since they are "unfair" and can also be perceived as "time skews" and "uneducational."

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Sorry' date=' I like being sarcastic with stupid arguments like "SPEED BAD"

 

Policy would turn into PFD without the competition that speed gives. Taking away speed would be arbitrary, might as well take away T violations since they are "unfair" and can also be perceived as "time skews" and "uneducational."[/quote']

 

Apparently you ignore the warrants dropped all throughout this thread, and instead of engaging them you just assert a warrantless claim.

 

Last time I checked cross-x debate existed before speed. There is no reason you have provided (or anyone else for the matter) why it would cease being cross-x if it lost speed. The nature of arguing with someone else is competition that debate derives from, not the speed with which people argue.

If taking away speed is so arbitrary then maybe you would like to make the effort to show exactly how all of the arguments we've been making to the contrary aren't true, instead of just sitting back and ridiculing people.

Fine, you don't like the argument that speed is bad. Then get out of this thread and spend your time reading threads on things that do interest you, rather than things you believe to be jokes. I don't spend all day reading about politics scenarios, maybe you shouldn't spend so much time reading about speed bad.

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Last time I checked cross-x debate existed before speed. There is no reason you have provided (or anyone else for the matter) why it would cease being cross-x if it lost speed. The nature of arguing with someone else is competition that debate derives from, not the speed with which people argue.

 

We've addressed this throughout the thread; losing speed increases the difficulty of tackling complex issues due to time constraints. Sure, you could always extend debate, but why do that when you CAN argue at high speed? Sure, not everyone can, but not everyone can debate in the first place.

 

Furthermore, I'd say the exclusionary element of cross-x comes from the insane amount of jargon we use in round, which would become even more necessary without speed. When starting to learn policy debate, you're bombarded with terms like solvency, permutation, inherency, and even disadvantage which are all foreign. Being able to use these with any amount of competence is far more difficult, and thus discouraging, than learning to spread.

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ballot boy, would love for you to run a speed K against me in a round, then I'll adaquetly respond to your args. Not going to bother answering everything on an online forum though. Speed exists, deal with it.

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i havent sat and chewed through all of these posts so if im being repetitive i apologize

 

debate is a game. thats why there are winners and losers - if there weren't winners or losers then it'd just be a discussion. a lot of people (and most in college) view debate as such. Its the competitiveness of the activity that drives students to do things like read fast. yes it provides an advantage to you just like any other facet of the debate that you would use ot your favor. you split the block to get an advantage on the 1ar, you do lots of research before the debate so you have an advantage over those who dont do so, and you speak quickly becuase it gives you that same advantage.

all of the above are strategic choices that people make, not to facilitate a communicative discussion (not that it doesnt happen), in order to win a debate round.

 

I cant tell you how many college rounds come down to small communicative distinctions teams make (ie how you spoke about a particular argument) regardless of how fast you were making it becuase it happens very very often

 

i dont really know what you want to do about people using speed in debate, but i guess if the argument is it puts those who dont go fast at a disadvantage or loses the communicative aspect of the activity then is it safe to say that doing anything strategic (ie spliting the block) would be just as detrimental and we should stop doing that.

 

i agree wtih the idea that everyone has the same opportunity ot get fast. hell i started debating in arkansas which is very slow and still survive college debate. even if you start debate in a place that discourages speed you can get up to speed pretty quickly.

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I'm pretty sure me reading lacan every neg round is of greater educational detriment, less accessible to outsiders, has less real world application, etc...

 

Oh and speed isn't as inaccessible as is often assumed. I know we're all in the habit of providing anecdotal evidence so here's a quick tale (that's true in case I didn't make that clear). At usc this year our new head of school came down to see what this 'debate' was all about. I was pretty sure that he'd be completely miffed by the speed, but when I was talking to him after he watched our team's round in octs he said he didn't have a problem with the speed as long as the debaters were clear. He had more of a problem understanding the debate jargon like theory and topicality. I don't think speed hinders the accessibility of the activity any more than debate theory.

 

Obviously that's not the entirety of the argument against speed but i think the claim that speed is the reason debate is inaccessible is definitely false.

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Agreed

 

And if you're ""fast"" but not clear, you're not going to win anyways, so they're hurting themselves. Clarity is just as important as speed, and yes there are times to slow down especially in the 2AR and 2NR but to say speed in general is bad is just ignorant and stupid.

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I've only read parts of the 3rd page and forward, so I'll apologize for being repetitive. I guess I'll respond some of these points of Richard's because he's too cool for cross-x.

 

You say 'more unpredictable things' in terms of numbers here- but there is no reason to believe that a slow 2AC can't bust out one incredibly unpredictable and bad ass argument. The problem with your point here (and elsewhere...) is that you seem to assume that more means better, but there is no reason to believe this. Furthermore I don't know that 'unpredictable' means good. Although unpredictable arguments certainly are a strategic advantage I don't believe they encourage better debate- the trend towards fuller and fuller disclosure (in the form of wikis and such) seems to me that the rest of debate is my side on this issue.

In any case, I really don't see how this point furthers your argument concerning research...

The key point I don't seem to see being mentioned is speed does not always equate to MORE breadth -- it also means MORE depth.

For instance, if I can speak faster, I can give MORE analysis on arguments, and provide more reasons why this anaysis is good. This allows for more education. I've switched to LD for one tournament for fun. You speak slower, and have less time per speech, I can say for sure that we NEVER got in-depth on the arguments. Aside from other limitations on LD, even though I had researched deeply on topics, the fact that I was not allowed to speak more, meant the debates lacked depth.

 

 

 

Again- you seem to believe that researching numerous different arguments rather than fewer in depth is better, and I don't think there is any evidence to suggest this is true. I have several arguments all over as to why I think this is untrue, nonetheless I don't think this issue needs to be resolved for me to be ahead on this speed discussion. Allow me to drop an argument I'm borrowing from a debater from my state (Dakota Camacho)- whatever education is garnered from the type of research you are talking about can be decently garnered by reading the Financial Times (this is of course somewhat tongue in cheek, but you get the point). Now if instead of 'burning through new arguments quickly' and thus seemingly not gaining the full benefit of really researching an issue, you can choose more in depth research on fewer arguments and really learn something about what you are prepping on.

A. Many have mentioned -- debate is a game, "burning through arguments" is not a great reason for speaking fast, but it does increase the depth of the debate.

B. Breadth(more args) constitutes Depth. It just comes from the perspective.

For instance, I have argument A. I provide 10 warrants in explanation of argument A. These 10 reasons, sure is breadth, but they are all explanation of A, thus depth.

 

I recognize that you said you didn't want to get into a long discussion, so I'll excuse the fact that you seem to be pairing down the argument I was making to just one point, but I just want to say that I made more points than just the driving one.

I think we can all acknowledge that the driving metaphor, while sounding good, isn't quite as apt for what we are talking about as my comparison to writing a paper.

But in any case, a NASCAR driver drives fast professionally- no one speed reads professionally. My point is that althought a NASCAR driver can make money from driving, no one benefits in the outside of debate from reading fast- and if you read the Chesier artcile tshuman posted (http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/1998-May/007254.html) there is a good reason to believe that learning how to spread sacrifices learning how to persuade- something that certainly does have out of debate cross-over. (And I know I changed the direction of the metaphor here).

Last- I don't know that I've ever read any statistics about how safe NASCAR drivers are and I don't think you have either. What I do know is that speed has been known to provide less time to make good decisions and thus produce accidents. And lets face it, the decisions you face driving are a bit less complex than the ones you face debating, which would seem to indicate you might need to slow down even more to make decisions while debating that you should while driving.

Honestly tho- I don't have much interest in discussing this analogy any more, as I admit it is probably a poor one.

Your english paper analogy is not very applicable to speaking fast in debate.

Rushing through writing the paper is equitable to rushing through your prep-time. However, speaking fast in the actual speech is similar to a LONGER paper. Sure, longer papers could just be more redundant, but it could also be more indepth. On the average, what paper is going to be more educational? The one-pager or the seven pager?

 

You same teams adjust to speed in the long term, but this is untrue of all teams. Furthermore, this doesn't anyway refute the advantage speedy teams have over slower teams.

Some debaters can't speak fast so I must slow down? Some debaters don't do research, so I guess I must too. Some debaters don't flow, so neither should I. Some debaters read campfiles, so I guess I should too.

The competitive edge offered by speed isn't a reason why speed is bad. Advantages are key to debate is a competitive activity. Sure, some debaters might not be able to speak fast, but this shouldn't be a reason we reject speed on the whole. Enough people can/able to speak fast/fast enough to solve back the exclusion claims. Stick to your education args.

 

I never suggested that that speed corrupts individuals (even if it does, as I believe, corrupt the practice). All I'm saying is that showing that good teams win rounds proves nothing to me. Good teams win rounds period (except when other things, like speed, give the other team an advantage, which at times, but not always, can be insurmountable) and GBN has historically had good times for whatever reason.

 

I don't really think this one has much more to go- I never saw the point you were making with this example, and I still don't.

Richard is trying to show a correlation between speed and competitive success. You say speed does not equate success and success does not equate good debate but there are several faults here:

 

1) NFLs is slow. Faster speaking debaters is still confined to the ability of the judging pool, thus they still adapt and can beat out the generally slower debaters.

 

2) Your speaking fast arguments only assume the early constructives. Speaking fast also means critical thinking because debater's minds must work faster in order to compensate for fast speaking. Good rebuttals relies on solid arguments delivered from the flow, but many times inpromptu.

 

3) Competitive success at NFLs are accomplished by good persuasive skills which uniquely proves this argument in context of specific tournaments.

 

4) Debaters are not born successful. This occurs through work and practice. You can't simply dismiss GBN's success based on the luck of the draw. As Richard explained, all the resource advantages are thrown out by the limitations by the tournament. The ON DEMAND critical thinking fostered by speed reading offers the wins. I'm sure meaning people can agree with me on this: as one becomes a faster debater, giving faster and more efficient rebuttals, ones thought process also quickens because of the demand to speak faster. Faster rebuttals = more critical thinking.

 

I'll preempt any "breadth arguments" as answered above by some other people. Sure, you could just do the tag-line extensions, but deep analysis offered by speaking faster wins the rounds. And thus, is another reasons why winning the rounds is reflective of speed but also places a check on "just speaking fast".

 

The problem is, although people seem to offer reasons why debate is better with speed in it no one seems to indicate to what degree it is better. I have a really hard time believing that it is better than slow debate so much so that it justifies the unfair advantage and exclusion. And the fact that people have been naming the names of great slow debaters in spreading times seems to show to me that slower debate can be just as good in terms of quality as fast debate. And it doesn't seem to me that anyone sufficiently responds to these issues of fairness and exclusion- while there is certainly good debate on the issue of the alleged increase in quality of speed debate.

Think of it this way- your offense (speed=better debate) is mitigated, but ours (speed is exclusive and unfair) isn't. So who wins?

Your construing the argument here. Slower, more efficient debaters can keep up with faster debaters. This does NOT mean slower debates are better, but simply that its not exclusionary.

Second, if the quality of these debaters being GOOD is not intrinsic to them being SLOW. Therefore, if these debaters were GOOD (efficient, great analysis, etc) AND FAST, the debates would be better (efficiency + speed = more analysis, more education) and they would also be BETTER debaters.

 

In Conclusion, you've boiled the "why speak fast" thread to a reason why speed is exclusionary. As per above, there is only a slight risk because many people can catch up, and many slow debaters can keep up. Furthermore, the minimal exclusion caused by speed is not a reason we should do away with it. Speed offers many benefits, such as more analysis, and deeper education, but also creates the competitive edge. It is an advantage, but there is nothing wrong with the advantage created by speed since it is a competitive activity, and since the harms are minimal. Taking out the competitive edge would surely "corrupt" the activity more then removing the speed.

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I'm back from vacation and tired, but I might post more on this thread later.

 

So far all the advantages to spreading can be grouped into two categories: more arguments (or more depth to them, same thing)=better, and faster arguments=better.

 

The first isn't really an argument for spreading, when it comes down to it. Yes, spreading allows more arguments, but so does increasing all the speech times, but both have negative consequences. Debate shouldn't be about getting through as much as possible, whether on one flow or ten, but about presenting the right points in the right way, and explaining the links and priorities. When I see a team read eleven off in the 1NC, or when I see a team give fifteen standards for their T definition, I don't think they're good debaters (or good researchers either, since you can find all of those in commercial files on this site), just good spreaders. We could also use more general resolutions, such as "Resolved: That a government should send assistance to impoverished nations," and that would require more research and allow more arguments, too. The fact is, where we choose to define a limit isn't important, it's that we stick to it. As the purpose of T is to make sure the resolution is properly obeyed, so does a spreading K make sure speaking times are properly obeyed.

 

So why don't I just read spreading Ks in round? Because until I win the K, the judge will judge my and the other team's arguments equally, and they will be able to bring up more, thus win. Reading a spreading K doesn't help win against spreading at all! You still have to compete against the same high speed you otherwise would. Imagine reading T against a team whose case was "We'll send honeybees," and clearly wasn't topical, but knowing that, while you could theoretically win the T, all the abuse of a non-T case made it HARDER to win the T argument, rather than easier. You would be in a catch-22, where the only way to win is to do the same yourself.

 

 

The second argument is more on-point: that speaking or reading fast itself is good. The arguments for this seem contradictory, though, because reading/speaking faster tend to encourage less, rather than more understanding/thought. I guarantee I<3 Topicality skims through my posts as fast as possible, and therefore misses almost everything I have to say. Similarly, the people on the other end listen faster, and also garner less from the speech. I can try to scrounge up some evidence on this matter, but I think it's hard to disagree with, that most of the time faster reading/speaking/listening result in less comprehension.

 

The other part to this claims that speaking/reading faster leads to thinking faster, but this seems patently absurd. Anybody can read fast without thinking fast, and spewing words on paper requires no thought whatsoever. Even most analyt arguments now are written down, to allow as little thought as possible to occur during the speech, so that the real mental activity in the debate all happens during prep time. Even cross-x is reduced to an excersize in clarification to make up for the 10,000 mph speech. Even stand-up analyt doesn't show that fast speaking=fast thinking, since I very much guarantee almost everybody can think faster than they can speak analyt, even pro-debaters. Scientists have variously estimated thought at thousands to tens of thousands to literally MILLIONS of words per minute, so picking up the pace of a speech isn't going to do anything.

 

Throwing in some personal observations (which if nobody else can relate, I guess are exceptions), I've seen some teams attempt to speak so fast, it interferes with their own thought process, and all that comes out is "and onto the, uh, uh, uh, uh, onto the topicality, uh, onto the topicality they, uh, they said, uh, they said, uh, onto the topicality, they said that..." which obviously is the mark of a poor spreader, but shows an extreme case of my point that fast speaking doesn't mean fast thinking. This person wasn't an idiot, and in fact was normally an excellent debater, but his spreading certainly didn't help him in his quick thought.

 

 

Onto the arguments AGAINST spreading, I see that education has sort of slipped into the shadows, so I'll ignore that for now. Looking at debate purely as a competition, I still feel that allowing spreading is unfair, and turns policy into a debating/spreading competition instead of simply a debating competition. Nobody has provided ANY reasons why spreading is integral to debate or ANY reasons why to reasonable peole spreading=better debating. Even if spreading were AWESOME for education as per the above arguments, it's terrible for competition because it makes the competition about something other than its proper focus. Speedy debate isn't like speedy sports, where speed is clearly an integral part of the sport, and faster people are more athletic. Even speed chess requires good chess players, since better chess players at least are generally able to make ordinary decisions faster (notice that grandmaster chess is not speed chess, by the way), but spreading in debate isn't even like that. Even if I could think at the same rate as the other team, just because I can't get the words out as fast I have a disadvantage and THAT is the problem.

 

In fact, all the spreading advocates support a competitive look at debate, which means that all the reasons spreading might be good for education really should be ignored for this single argument that it's bad for competition. All that I've seen for spreading GOOD for competition is that it adds another facet, which I say is bad, and have seen no response to. Many people who say debate is a competition tend to say things to the effect of "Whatever it takes to win is good, because it's a competition," which is untrue, since every competition requires (sometimes highly specialized and even obscure) rules to guarantee fair competition, not an "anything goes" style.

 

And finally, if nothing else, spreading at least produces the problem that even clear spreading can be hard to understand even for experienced debaters, and nearly impossible for laymen, the significance of which is perfectly debatable, but should at least be some reason to get rid of it, again, if nothing else.

 

 

Pull across all the reasons spreading is bad for both education and competition made by ThinkOutsideTheBallot and others, and if there are a bunch of points I dropped, I'm sorry, please point them out to me, and I will try to address them. I hope to give more on this later.

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Spreading is the most commonly accepted offense to an educated debate. Policy, being the elitist organanization that it is, has now made it, "If you want to be a good debater, spread." That statement, in fact, should read, "If you want to be a good debater who can speak like a sane person, then by all means avoid spreading with your dear life."

 

First of all; spreading isn't "educational." The majority of spreading is just more evidence and not arguments; it is really not that hard to build a solid case in eight minutes. You don't need a 30 page case to win a round. You shouldn't have countless cards; you should spend little time on stuff like significance and inherency. If you can't prove that there is a problem, you really should reconsider Policy. If you can't prove that your plan isn't being implimented, you really are just a bad debater overall.

 

Second; spreading makes you a terrible speaker. Spreading.Does.Not.Sound.Good. If I heard someone talking like that without ever being in debate, I would ship them off to either rehab or a mental home to see if their brain is functioning properly. The greatest speeches of all time are spoke clearly and fluidly, not at rapid speed. You can hardly put any emotion in your speaking in spreading because it's so hard to tell what you are saying and since you are speaking so fast to fit in all of that info you don't have time to add good emotion.

 

And another reason is this: you are given eight minutes to speak. That means you talk like a normal person with a good speaking voice and construct an eight minute speech. With spreading you are basically saying, "Screw the rules of debate. Let's craft a speech that if we talked like normal, good speakers, would take us twenty minutes, but we'll talk at warp nine and somehow fit it into the eight minutes that is given to us." Spreading is bending the rules. And I don't know if you affs know this, but you have two CONSTRUCTIVE speeches. That means you CONSTRUCT a case. You have, by definiton, sixteen minutes to craft a case. Now, albiet, you do have to answer arguments in the 2AC, but you should always make room in that speech to go back and build up/strengthen your case. If you act like you could bend the time regulations of the debate, I don't see why other rules can't be bent.

 

I could go on for hours, but I think that's fair pwnage right there.

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The greatest speeches of all time are spoke clearly and fluidly, not at rapid speed. You can hardly put any emotion in your speaking in spreading because it's so hard to tell what you are saying and since you are speaking so fast to fit in all of that info you don't have time to add good emotion.

 

Speeches have to be emotional to be good? Since when? I would contend that pathos often detracts from the substance of the speech. Some of the greatest speeches I've ever heard HAVE come from debate rounds, and they're great because they are nuanced and technical, not because they were necessarily appealing to the ears. If I want that, I'll listen to music.

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Speeches have to be emotional to be good? Since when? I would contend that pathos often detracts from the substance of the speech. Some of the greatest speeches I've ever heard HAVE come from debate rounds, and they're great because they are nuanced and technical, not because they were necessarily appealing to the ears. If I want that, I'll listen to music.

 

I don't think speeches have to be emotional, per se, but they should be convincing. In any case other than policy, and even sometimes IN policy, people judge speeches on not just pure content alone, the way a printed formal argument is read, but also on the skill of the actual speech. If a speech is read at conversational speed but extremely monotone, with not even as much variation as Ben Stein, it becomes obviously boring right away, but if somebody delivers the same speech in exactly the same manner at 400 wpm it suddenly becomes ok. This seems ridiculous to me. This doesn't reflect reality in any way and is applicable to nothing outside of debate. It contradicts the nature and purpose of speaking.

 

I also agree that spreading was obviously developed as a means of pushing the limits of speaking times, but I'm not sure this is necessarily a bad thing. A lot of debate is designed for pushing the rules, and while this can lead to problems, without proving what those problems are we haven't made a case. That's why I focus on the other reasons spreading is bad.

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First, I want to say, I by no means was a particularly fast speaker. Sure I spread, and was moderately fast, but definitely was slower than several opponents, yet would often beat them.

 

The first isn't really an argument for spreading, when it comes down to it. Yes, spreading allows more arguments, but so does increasing all the speech times, but both have negative consequences. Debate shouldn't be about getting through as much as possible, whether on one flow or ten, but about presenting the right points in the right way, and explaining the links and priorities. When I see a team read eleven off in the 1NC, or when I see a team give fifteen standards for their T definition, I don't think they're good debaters (or good researchers either, since you can find all of those in commercial files on this site), just good spreaders. We could also use more general resolutions, such as "Resolved: That a government should send assistance to impoverished nations," and that would require more research and allow more arguments, too. The fact is, where we choose to define a limit isn't important, it's that we stick to it. As the purpose of T is to make sure the resolution is properly obeyed, so does a spreading K make sure speaking times are properly obeyed.

You correctly articulate that extending speech times allows more arguments, but the issue truly comes down to covering more arguments in the SAME amount of time. This is like finding out that if your physician could remove your cancer and test you for TB as long as both were accurate (clear in debate sense), then you can do both. Creating a rule that made everyone to speak the EXACT SAME SPEED is IMPOSSIBLE. One way or another, debaters will push the boundaries of what is and isn't too fast because there is no brightline if you are arguing that the brightline isn't clear/flowable to the judge (which you would incredibly unwise if you honestly think judges like hearing or more likely to vote for the team who can speak FASTER than what they can comprehend),

 

 

So why don't I just read spreading Ks in round? Because until I win the K, the judge will judge my and the other team's arguments equally, and they will be able to bring up more, thus win. Reading a spreading K doesn't help win against spreading at all! You still have to compete against the same high speed you otherwise would. Imagine reading T against a team whose case was "We'll send honeybees," and clearly wasn't topical, but knowing that, while you could theoretically win the T, all the abuse of a non-T case made it HARDER to win the T argument, rather than easier.

This I find to be your weakest argument. The more abusive something is the HARDER it is to win the theoretically abusive position and the EASIER it is to beat debaters who employ these mechanisms. If you are telling me that you cannot beat the "We'll send honeybees" aff to the energy topic, you need to go back to the basics and even worse, if you are telling me that you would not even run T against this case then it is no wonder you have serious problems with debate. Likewise, running the Kritik of Spreading seems like the way to pin them down. If you honestly think that spreading is bad, and you are convinced that the arguments against spreading are better than for spreading (which it is VERY clear that this is your view), then you absolutely should run the Kritik of spreading. Saying that you our at a disadvantage to win with this position is preposterous if you believe spreading is bad. In fact, I would argue that it is easier to beat a team speaking at 300wpm at an unclear pace 100wpm any day. Oh ya, and what I feel like you are missing is that you do not have to cover the myriad of arguments you are worried about if you win the Kritik of spreading which is clearly a procedural of how the debate should be conducted. It is just like topicality, if you lose the entirety of the case and any offcase positions you have but win Topicality YOU WIN.

 

The second argument is more on-point: that speaking or reading fast itself is good. The arguments for this seem contradictory, though, because reading/speaking faster tend to encourage less, rather than more understanding/thought. I guarantee I<3 Topicality skims through my posts as fast as possible, and therefore misses almost everything I have to say. Similarly, the people on the other end listen faster, and also garner less from the speech. I can try to scrounge up some evidence on this matter, but I think it's hard to disagree with, that most of the time faster reading/speaking/listening result in less comprehension.

Like I have said, NO LEGIT JUDGE will vote on an argument that they didn't hear or understand. And I would argue that spreading does require a LOT of skills. It requires a great extent of picking and choosing arguments to crystalize in the rebuttels as well as thinking on your feat whether it be jokes or responses with speed. As you said, you knew a good debater who tried to spread and failed. I have seen this to, and this illustrates my point that it is difficult to spread and it IS a skill. At the same time I have seen good debaters spread CLEARLY and you think to yourself (how the hell is he able to come up with a fast, clear rebuttel and not pause like crazy but speak from his flow). Additionally, I think 9 out of 10 people would argue that if you are weaker speaking fast, by all means DONT. There is nobody saying that slower debaters don't win. In fact SEVERAL DO even at the college level and do well, like break at the NDT.

 

 

Onto the arguments AGAINST spreading, I see that education has sort of slipped into the shadows, so I'll ignore that for now. Looking at debate purely as a competition, I still feel that allowing spreading is unfair, and turns policy into a debating/spreading competition instead of simply a debating competition. Nobody has provided ANY reasons why spreading is integral to debate or ANY reasons why to reasonable peole spreading=better debating. Even if spreading were AWESOME for education as per the above arguments, it's terrible for competition because it makes the competition about something other than its proper focus. Speedy debate isn't like speedy sports, where speed is clearly an integral part of the sport, and faster people are more athletic. Even speed chess requires good chess players, since better chess players at least are generally able to make ordinary decisions faster (notice that grandmaster chess is not speed chess, by the way), but spreading in debate isn't even like that. Even if I could think at the same rate as the other team, just because I can't get the words out as fast I have a disadvantage and THAT is the problem. [/Quote]

Why spreading is educational has actually been talked about SEVERAL times above (increases critical thinking as well as argument diversity and variety). Just like how better chess players are better at speed chess. Better debaters are better at speed debate. A pre-requisite to winning is being a good debater. If you can't debate you are screwed whether you spread or not.

 

 

In fact, all the spreading advocates support a competitive look at debate, which means that all the reasons spreading might be good for education really should be ignored for this single argument that it's bad for competition. All that I've seen for spreading GOOD for competition is that it adds another facet, which I say is bad, and have seen no response to. Many people who say debate is a competition tend to say things to the effect of "Whatever it takes to win is good, because it's a competition," which is untrue, since every competition requires (sometimes highly specialized and even obscure) rules to guarantee fair competition, not an "anything goes" style.[/Quote]

Dude, Kritiks are bad for competition if you do not understand philosophy, running is bad for competition in basketball, talking is bad for competition (not everyone can talk well or have serious speech impediments that make it very difficult to speak slowly or quickly). What I think you have not understood is that unlike most things, anyone can get faster. Do some speed drills and I guarantee you if you really work at them you will be a faster debater. Competitive inequity is inevitable, some people are better researchers, the key is to hone your skills that are applicable to debate. Like I said previously there is no standard that you can create that will prevent some people from speaking faster than others which creates a race to the top. I will maintain the position that the standard should be: if the judge understands you then it is ok, if the judge can't then no good (which is the current standard used).

 

And finally, if nothing else, spreading at least produces the problem that even clear spreading can be hard to understand even for experienced debaters, and nearly impossible for laymen, the significance of which is perfectly debatable, but should at least be some reason to get rid of it, again, if nothing else.[/Quote]

Uh...if your judge is a layman you would be stupid if you spread. Again, if the judge cant understand you, you won't win or at least won't get credit for what was not understood.

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I don't think speeches have to be emotional, per se, but they should be convincing. In any case other than policy, and even sometimes IN policy, people judge speeches on not just pure content alone, the way a printed formal argument is read, but also on the skill of the actual speech. If a speech is read at conversational speed but extremely monotone, with not even as much variation as Ben Stein, it becomes obviously boring right away, but if somebody delivers the same speech in exactly the same manner at 400 wpm it suddenly becomes ok. This seems ridiculous to me. This doesn't reflect reality in any way and is applicable to nothing outside of debate. It contradicts the nature and purpose of speaking.

 

The debaters aren't their to entertain you with their voices. They expect you the judge to objectively judge the round, I see no reason as to why fluctuating your voice is necessary when you are making a logical argument. And no the judge doesn't render a decision based on the "skill" of the speech. He should always judge on the warrants presented and how they interact in the round. While yes becoming a better public speaker is useful, researching is also a great benefit to debate, more speed means teams that do the more research are rewarded as they are able to read more of those super sweet case takeouts. And at 400 wpm your critical thinking skills are literally being stretched to the absolute max as you have to come up with ten arguments now instead of just five. Faster speeds mean jsut as much depth on any individual flow but more flows all together. IF one team can only come up with good analysis on 4-5 flows while the other team comes up with good analysis on all five then I would say yes they are the better debaters.

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I see no reason as to why fluctuating your voice is necessary when you are making a logical argument.
Then you need to do some reading in, among other things, psychoacoustics. It is silly to pretend that a high-speed (and often high-pitched) monotone can convey meaning as effectively as more conventional speech patterns do, especially if that monotonous stream of utterances obliterates word separations and is punctuated by unattractive gulps, gasps, hiccups, stammers, etc.

 

Think about it this way: If your claim were true, speakers in settings where logical analysis of statements was crucial would speak like fast debaters do. They don't. There's a reason for that (several, in fact)...

And no the judge doesn't render a decision based on the "skill" of the speech. He should always judge on the warrants presented and how they interact in the round.
If this were the case, there would be no purpose to having debaters make their arguments orally. Why not just submit written briefs or, as we're doing in a forum on this website, online text messages?

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Why not just submit written briefs or, as we're doing in a forum on this website, online text messages?

 

Well, we are doing that now, aren't we?

I'd say 2 big reasons to debate in person are

1) Thinking on your feet and

2) Foster brotherhood/social skills. Doing things at home is much less fun than competing in a tournament environment.

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First, I want to say, I by no means was a particularly fast speaker. Sure I spread, and was moderately fast, but definitely was slower than several opponents, yet would often beat them.

 

I guess I was in a similar situation this year, although my district has a number of teams that speak slowly, so it wasn't difficult to keep up. Out of district, though, I was consistently slower than most other teams. I, too, won many of my rounds, but I would've won more if spreading hadn't existed.

 

You correctly articulate that extending speech times allows more arguments, but the issue truly comes down to covering more arguments in the SAME amount of time. This is like finding out that if your physician could remove your cancer and test you for TB as long as both were accurate (clear in debate sense), then you can do both. Creating a rule that made everyone to speak the EXACT SAME SPEED is IMPOSSIBLE. One way or another, debaters will push the boundaries of what is and isn't too fast because there is no brightline if you are arguing that the brightline isn't clear/flowable to the judge (which you would incredibly unwise if you honestly think judges like hearing or more likely to vote for the team who can speak FASTER than what they can comprehend),
There are two arguments here. First, my analogy to increasing speech times still applies. Who says we must convey the information in as little time as possible ideally? Limiting the quantity of information isn't bad, as I already said, as long as we establish a universal limit. More importantly, who says spreading actually conveys more information in this amount of time? Reading more arguments doesn't really mean conveying more information. Consider the practice of powertagging. Obviously teams will call powertags out when possible, but the very fact that they need to be brought up proves that the speed is too fast to understand the cards. Most judges I have seen will pick up tags and sources, and basically flow that way. The actual information contained in the card is, absurdly, a burden left up to the other team to negate, making lying a viable strategy.

 

Second, certainly forcing everybody to read at the same speed is impossible, but consider judges discrediting arguments they feel are too fast to make for a convincing argument. I'm not proposing some sort of rule change to NFL debate or anything. I'm suggesting that judges in general should view debate differently, and see reading too fast as bad. People will push the limit, of course, and of course it will be up to the judges to determine what is too fast, but somebody who reads a few more sentences per speech to risk being on the edge of acceptability isn't actually gaining an advantage to somebody at a more conservative speed. Furthermore, I'm not discussing what actually will happen, but what should happen. Speaking fast SHOULD be discouraged, not will. It's pretty clear that it won't any time soon.

 

This I find to be your weakest argument. The more abusive something is the HARDER it is to win the theoretically abusive position and the EASIER it is to beat debaters who employ these mechanisms. If you are telling me that you cannot beat the "We'll send honeybees" aff to the energy topic, you need to go back to the basics and even worse, if you are telling me that you would not even run T against this case then it is no wonder you have serious problems with debate. Likewise, running the Kritik of Spreading seems like the way to pin them down. If you honestly think that spreading is bad, and you are convinced that the arguments against spreading are better than for spreading (which it is VERY clear that this is your view), then you absolutely should run the Kritik of spreading. Saying that you our at a disadvantage to win with this position is preposterous if you believe spreading is bad. In fact, I would argue that it is easier to beat a team speaking at 300wpm at an unclear pace 100wpm any day. Oh ya, and what I feel like you are missing is that you do not have to cover the myriad of arguments you are worried about if you win the Kritik of spreading which is clearly a procedural of how the debate should be conducted. It is just like topicality, if you lose the entirety of the case and any offcase positions you have but win Topicality YOU WIN.
You are completely misconstruing my argument. My point is that topicality violations by the aff make it EASIER for the neg to win the T debate, but it is the exact opposite with spreading. Of course I could win T vs. "We'll send honeybees," unless the team running it was far better than I, in which case I'd lose anyways. The thing is, being un-topical gives you no advantage over somebody arguing topicality against you. However, spreading DOES give you an advantage over somebody reading a spreading K vs you. Yes you link to it, but you have the choice of slowing down and almost certainly winning the abuse debate then while winning the time trade-off, or staying fast and reading more turns than the neg can read responses. The very act of reading faster gives you the unfair advantage I was referring to on EVERY flow, so you can beat the neg on their K purely because you spread! The faster you spread, the better your ability to beat it through more cards read. And of course if you win the K you win the whole round (generally), but if you go for nothing but the K you give the aff an even GREATER chance of beating you by shear volume of arguments.

 

Like I have said, NO LEGIT JUDGE will vote on an argument that they didn't hear or understand. And I would argue that spreading does require a LOT of skills. It requires a great extent of picking and choosing arguments to crystalize in the rebuttels as well as thinking on your feat whether it be jokes or responses with speed. As you said, you knew a good debater who tried to spread and failed. I have seen this to, and this illustrates my point that it is difficult to spread and it IS a skill. At the same time I have seen good debaters spread CLEARLY and you think to yourself (how the hell is he able to come up with a fast, clear rebuttel and not pause like crazy but speak from his flow). Additionally, I think 9 out of 10 people would argue that if you are weaker speaking fast, by all means DONT. There is nobody saying that slower debaters don't win. In fact SEVERAL DO even at the college level and do well, like break at the NDT.
I think your "NO LEGIT JUDGE" is a gross overgeneralization. Plenty of "legit" judges vote on arguments clarified during cross-x or a rebuttal, and plenty more judge on the tags they hear far more than the actual content of the cards. I've come across judges that explicitly state that they will assume cards say what the tag says unless I challenge it. On the skills, I completely agree that spreading is a skill of sorts, but not one that should make you better at policy debate. Picking and choosing more arguments doesn't neccessarily factor in here. On average, spreading teams seem to read perhaps one or two more total arguments than slow teams, but read far more on each argument. If you have 15 standards on your T def, and I have 15 on mine, but you can read all of yours whereas I can only fit in 8, how does this make you a better debater? Do fast lips imply mental acuity or argumentation? Of course not. What if you can read more solvency turns--that requires more selection right? Wrong. Almost every team will have more linking arguments available than they ultimately choose to read, so the shear number you can get off is only determined by your actual wpm. And ironically, reading too many arguments is considered abusive FAR more often than simply reading more on each argument, like I assume generally happens. Then you say that people have to think faster to spread, but I've already addressed this (along with most of the rest of this post). Consider that reaction times are around 0.2 seconds, and that internal thought processes are neccessarily and obviously faster than this, allowing for difficult-to measure rates of thinking. I've already said that estimates range from thousands to millions of words per minute, but consider something far, far more conservative, just 10 per second. Even this would translate to 600 wpm if actually spoken aloud, which is probably impossible, so reading speed doesn't actually have anything to do with thinking speed, literally just the speed you can form the words, a useless skill. Furthermore, most analyt now is read, rather than spoken from thought or memory, so none of this applies. Finally, you have provided no reason this should be considered a key element to debate anyways, which we should demand if we evaluate it as an element of who wins. Then you say people can win without spreading, which they clearly can, but it is undeniable that spreading gives an advantage, which is why so many people do it, and in particular so many winners do it. The percentage of winning slow-readers is much lower than winning spreaders.

 

Why spreading is educational has actually been talked about SEVERAL times above (increases critical thinking as well as argument diversity and variety). Just like how better chess players are better at speed chess. Better debaters are better at speed debate. A pre-requisite to winning is being a good debater. If you can't debate you are screwed whether you spread or not.
All you say is that you need to debate well to win. Fine, this is usually the case. What if two teams debate equally well? Why should the spreading team win? Furthermore, you have to decide, should we consider education to be the most important criterion for judging policy, or competition? If you claim education, you should look at all my answers, plus my argument later on (and in previous posts) that spreading decreases accessibility and comprehensibility to non-debaters. If you really want to claim that education is so important, it is a ridiculous double-standard to claim that having more debaters or observers understand you is unimportant. If you claim competition, look at all my arguments on judging on an irrelevant criterion. Even an ounce of truth to my arguments wins this because you have given literally no reason spreading increases competition, merely that it's difficult to exclude it from competition, or that it doesn't matter to competition. Give some reasons here.

 

Your chess analogy simply doesn't apply. First, I already explained the difference which you haven't responded to, which is that speed-chess actually relies on increased rates of thinking, whereas spreading only relies on increased rates of speaking. Second, I noted that speed-chess is not the preferred method for champion-level chess rounds, because they consider speed to be less important than quality...like almost everybody else.

 

A better analogy would be if each player had several minutes to think out their moves (during opponent's speech, cross-x, prep, roadmap) then 10 seconds to actually move the pieces and make as many moves as possible. Winners would be people with quick hands and nimble fingers, a stupid way to judge chess players.

 

Dude, Kritiks are bad for competition if you do not understand philosophy, running is bad for competition in basketball, talking is bad for competition (not everyone can talk well or have serious speech impediments that make it very difficult to speak slowly or quickly). What I think you have not understood is that unlike most things, anyone can get faster. Do some speed drills and I guarantee you if you really work at them you will be a faster debater. Competitive inequity is inevitable, some people are better researchers, the key is to hone your skills that are applicable to debate. Like I said previously there is no standard that you can create that will prevent some people from speaking faster than others which creates a race to the top. I will maintain the position that the standard should be: if the judge understands you then it is ok, if the judge can't then no good (which is the current standard used).
For the last time, I do not claim spreading is unfair because not everybody can do it. The only claim of this sort is that if everybody could do it equally, it would be a degenerate case of this argument in which it's irrelevant either way because there's already no gradiant in speaking. However, not everybody can find key case flaws or articulate perms, and that doens't make the arguments illegitimate. The reason spreading is unfair is that it creates an element of judging irrelevant to the actual debating skills. Clearly finding case flaws makes one a better debater. Clearly articulating perms makes one a better debater. These are neccessary and fundamental abilities in debate. Even thinking quickly, researching much, organization, and other secondary, nonfundamental skills definitively make one a better debater and should reflect as such in round. Spreading is not in this category. Spreaders don't debate better than non-spreaders, just faster, which, like my 10-second chess-move game, is a stupid way to judge debates. If there were an event that is obviously about both debating and spreading, than absolutely spreading should be a key element to victory. But as many people have pointed out, spreading never has been in the past and needn't be now part of the event. It's just a way of bending the rules.

 

Even THIS would be fine if it didn't lead to absurdities. You keep referring to people who speak quickly but "clearly," yet your idea of clarity seems to ignore most of the fundamentals of it, which would be proper spacing, tone, breathing, etc. Sometimes people will talk quickly during a converstaion, but if they are reasonable and understandable then fine. Rapid conversations at 120 wpm do not compare to rapid spreading at 400 wpm.

 

Finally, even if all these other things really were unfair, how does that answer any of my arguments? Providing examples of other similar apparently bad things doesn't make spreading less bad. The actual logical conclusion of this attack as a response to my arguments is that both spreading and those things you mentioned are bad, not that neither are. (By the way, I don't think they are. I am merely pointing out that this argument is irrelevant to the overall debate.)

 

Uh...if your judge is a layman you would be stupid if you spread. Again, if the judge cant understand you, you won't win or at least won't get credit for what was not understood.
I would strongly disagree here. Layman judges are sometimes the most easily fooled by slow powertags and spread cards. Besides, this is irrelevant. I wasn't talking about lay judges in my last post, but lay people in general. Whether we're discussing prospective new debaters, observers, novice debaters, or lay judges on a panel of judges more accepting of speed, they will usually be baffled by the absurd speeds generated in policy rounds. Spreading really does make debate exclusionary (as well as boring to watch, and I would even argue, more boring to compete in). If we're looking at education this is of vital importance, because exclusionary practices allow debate to educate fewer people.

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I'd say 2 big reasons to debate in person are

1) Thinking on your feet and

2) Foster brotherhood/social skills. Doing things at home is much less fun than competing in a tournament environment.

I don't disagree, but neither of those rationales requires ultra-fast rates of delivery...

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Probably it would be indeterminate: 0 words in 0 minutes.

 

But if you could get a league together that agreed not to compete, I assume they would speak at a normal rate because there would be no real reason to speak faster. Put another way, if you were just debating to convince people of your point, you wouldn't spread. Of course, that's not the case, and many other things would change, too. But that's my opinion of what would happen in this case.

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I don't disagree, but neither of those rationales requires ultra-fast rates of delivery...

 

Nah, it was just defense as to why we don't just turn in briefs.

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I think that because debate is a competition, with judges, and ballots, that speed is justified. It is up to the debaters to gain the biggest advantage over their opponents as possible.

 

This makes no sense. If abuse can ever be an argument, then clearly gaining the biggest advantage isn't always "up to the debaters." The whole point of this is that just because something gives you an advantage doesn't make it right. Athletes use steroids, and that's illegal.

 

To say that speaking orally is good, but "ultra-fast rates of delivery" bad, is only discrediting the right to debaters debating to their fullest potentials.

 

I don't understand this. Why is spreading "debating to one's fullest potential?" Spreading helps one win, but it doesn't help one debate. People have the greatest potential speaking slowly, as is clear by the fact that nobody does speak so fast outside of policy. It's not just that speed is hard for laymen to understand--even professionals and experts in other fields don't speak as rapidly as possible to "reach their fullest potential."

 

This is like telling major leage pitchers to not pitch so fast. If they pitched slower, there would be more hits, and runs, and baseball would be more interesting. But then it would lose all competetivness.

 

No, it's actually nothing like this. I think this analogy has been brought up a thousand times, changing sports. Policy is not like basketball or baseball because it's not a sport. Pitching is an activity of which speed is an integral part. Speed is what makes pitching effective. Speed is in no way integral to policy, as is clear by the fact that actual policy-making does not include it. Similary, steroids are not part of the sport. On the contrary, they destroy it.

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