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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."

 

You really don't get it. Debate is a competition it isn't the real world. If I had 35 minutes to tell you why your aff. sucked I would use it, but I have eight and I have a lot of reasons as to why your position blows. I shouldn't not be allowed to say them because you are too slow. And if you claim becoming good at spreading is so easy why don't you do it? Your never going ot get a college judge to buy your speed is bad judge argument and according to you there really is nothing to it so whats stopping you? If the other team really is horrible at spreading and is just using speed to win then odds are their arguments aren't that great.

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I'll start this post by admitting that I am a spread debater. I know when to slow down, and I know when to go even slower for a lay judge. But I can tell you that just like any debater, one of my goals from the start was to learn how to talk fast. But my speed is average for high school national circuit. I can also say that I am nowhere near the fastest, and that I don't plan to be. I feel that speading is not a prerequisite to win. My partner and I have won rounds against teams that talked much faster than we did and probably made twice as many points on the flow.

 

We have a judge on the local ciruit that says the ultimate reason why he personally hates spreading is because it make judging debate harder. He's been judging for over thirty years now. He was around when LD debate first came around because Phillips 66 threatened to stop sponsoring the NFL. You could say that spreading might have done debate some good in that those that didn't want to speak fast could have a very viable alternative. But I think it made debate much more elitist than it was even in the 1960s, when the structure of the speeches was still being determined.

 

Back then, the sponsors would be the ones judging the final round at NFL nationals. For years, C.J. Silas and many of the other sponsors would be able to hear the entire debate and render their verdict even without a flow. Sometime in the late 1970s, spreading became the new way to debate. Because the speeches were structured 8 and 4 (not 8 and 5 like we have it now) it became very easy for the block to out-spread the 1AR. Those folks didn't know what "spreading" really was, but they still talked modereately fast to the point where it would be hard to comprehend a true flow.

 

Sure enough, in 1978 (I'm not completely sure if I have the right year, but it was around this time), the sponsors were judging a spread final round. They weren't too happy with what they saw, in fact they were so dissatisfied that they considered withdrawing their funding. Even though LD started only one year later, the sponsors stopped judging the final round at nationals.

 

I bring this story up just for consideration as to why debaters might have scared people away from the acitivity. Sure, spreading might not be that hard. Sure, maybe you don't want the CEO of Phillips 66 judging your final round at nationals. Sure, most of us probably like debate the way it is today, otherwise we wouldn't be doing it. But no matter how much we try to defend our beloved spread debate, we don't succeed entirely. Finalists of NFLs aren't allowed to spread, for one thing. We all know the reason. It's because more people watch than just your college judges that vote on jusitification (sorry but that was the best allusion I could come up with).

 

I recently read an article in the Rostrum where the chairman of Lincoln Financial talked about how he went to watch NFLs in Wichita. He saw HI, DI, Duo, Extemp, and Public Forum finals. Never in his article was there even a mention of policy debate. I know none of us would care less, because the world revolves around us and those who don't care about us are just ignorant.

 

But I think that there is room for objections to spreading, even on the college level. Debate, no matter whether we like it or not, is an event in public speaking. Most of our parents go into debate rounds and don;t understand a single word we say. First speaks are given not to the most pursuasive debater but to the one that put the most points on the flow. I'll agree that maybe we learn more as debaters, but I'm sure we'll learn quite a bit if we don't spread.

 

The only difference that spreading has truly made is that it has eliminated more than half of the judging pool. There are judges who don't understand spread that are still great judges. They still flow, they still listen to all the arguments, but the only difference is that they just don't understand words that come at them at 400 words per minute. The question of whether speed is good should not pertain to debaters, because we know that we're always going to try to get as many points on the flow as we can. This question should be up to the judges, and even today, I think it basically is.

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That was a very nice post, and one pretty hard to have to follow.

 

Truly, spreading can't hurt debaters as much as everybody else, because debaters are the fastest and best to adapt. People can insist that "if you don't speak clearly, you won't win," but even if this were true it would be irrelevant given that high speeds are incomprehensible to most regardless of the clarity.

 

But I don't concede that spreading won't harm debaters, either. I don't see anybody benefiting from a greater exchange of information when that greater exchange sacrifices the communications important to a debate activity. No, perhaps debate is not the "real world," but it doesn't have to be to have goals and stick to them. What goal does spreading accomplish?

 

You really don't get it. Debate is a competition it isn't the real world. If I had 35 minutes to tell you why your aff. sucked I would use it, but I have eight and I have a lot of reasons as to why your position blows. I shouldn't not be allowed to say them because you are too slow. And if you claim becoming good at spreading is so easy why don't you do it? Your never going ot get a college judge to buy your speed is bad judge argument and according to you there really is nothing to it so whats stopping you? If the other team really is horrible at spreading and is just using speed to win then odds are their arguments aren't that great.

 

You misunderstand my arguments. I've already said that more arguments don't mean anything in the larger scope of things. Considering even mediocre debaters should always, ALWAYS have more information at their fingertips than they can read in eight minutes, the speed at which they read the information doesn't determine their quality of arguments nor their research skills nor their debating expertise. You claim that expressing as many objections as possible to a plan constitutes debating to your full potential, but this is ridiculous when it sacrifices the subtler aspects of argumentation to emphasize bulk. Clearly intricate, fully formed, various arguments come from slow speaking as well as fast, so the extra three attacks you make don't serve to better the debate but just make more points on the flow to follow. Consider also that most of these points will go untouched in the final rebuttals, and you realize the absurdity of these statements.

 

And I certainly never claimed spreading was easy. In fact, I was merely conceding an attack others made that spreading was actually accessible to all debaters. While I disagree that it's accessible to everybody, I do agree that most people, with work, could improve in spreading as in anything else. This does not make it easy.

 

Nor does this answer the arguments of it slashing the judging pool, eliminating observers, or rid debate of the finer aspects of speaking and persuasion. In fact, it doesn't even answer my arguments concerning it being bad for competition, because even if everybody can get good at spreading, some variation in skill is inevitable, and those better at spreading get an unfair and absurd advantage over those worse at it.

 

 

In short, the only offensive reason to continue spreading is quantity of arguments, which you do not explain why it is good or necessary, and which I give arguments as to why it is neither, whereas there are many reasons not to.

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Nor does this answer the arguments of it slashing the judging pool, eliminating observers, or rid debate of the finer aspects of speaking and persuasion. In fact, it doesn't even answer my arguments concerning it being bad for competition, because even if everybody can get good at spreading, some variation in skill is inevitable, and those better at spreading get an unfair and absurd advantage over those worse at it.

 

This is, quite literally, one of the stupidest things I've read this year. I'll answer it anyway:

 

Slashing the judging pool: Probably true, but people can be trained to listen to speaking at a rapid rate. Indeed, the news is delivered at a pace much faster than standard conversational speed.

 

Eliminating Observers: There's no impact to this argument. But people have to train themselves to be able to observe the finer aspects of most sports. I can watch a Basketball game, but I have no clue what is going on or why things are strategic etc. If I watched it a lot and invested time into understanding what was going on, then I'd be much better off.

 

Rid Debate of Speaking Persuasion: Aristotle is the most qualified source on this subject, and concludes sophistry bad. You can gain public speaking skills in other forums, but debate trains you to be an excellent analytical and critical thinker on your feet. Speed uniquely increases these qualities because it forces much faster cognition, and allows for a larger breadth/depth of argumentation which directly contributes to that learning.

 

Speed = Unfair Advantage: Some folks are smarter than other folks, does that mean they shouldn't be able to debate because they gain an unfair advantage? The speed advantage can easily be overcome. Nick Miller, a debate for Emory and one of the top 16 college teams for the past two years, is the slowest debater on the planet. Yes, his slowness does present a problem for him and his partner, but he has come up with ways of getting around it. So, we've got a no-impact and education impact turn :)

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If you wanted to make an analogy to something like basketball, the way to do it would be running speed. That's my stance on spreading. Spreading aids teams in debate if and ONLY if they have a mastery of technique outside of spreading. To go to my basketball example, you can have a team that's really fast, but if the team doesn't have the technical skills, all the speed in the world isn't going to help them. Speed alone won't get you by in basketball. It also won't get you by in debate.

 

Speed doesn't and won't ever make up for poor argumentation. 3 quality answers can easily be weighed against a shitty 10-point answer because the three quality answers are apt to have more warrants/coverage built into them. Slow teams shouldn't K speed or try to claim abuse. They should strike at the perception that speed is necessary. In my mind, the way to do that isn't by saying "Speed's bad, judge," but instead by demonstrating to the other team and the judge that speed can be met with superior debate technique and lose.

 

EDIT:

I will clarify something I forgot to add: In my mind, there's a LARGE difference between spreading evidence and spreading analytics/coverage/extensions. Evidence can be examined by the other team/judges for warrants and stuff. In my mind, as long as you're actually reading and not just buzzing through evidence, speed is fine. And yes, there IS a difference. Oklahoma debate isn't exactly blazingly fast, but there are some fast, articulate debaters that aren't hard to follow at all. But if you're getting into long tags and things like T shells that are FULL of warrants, it is absolutely CRUCIAL that debaters slow down a bit. After all, debate is still about persuasion, even if it IS just a competition/game. Granted, that's not mutually exclusive to speed, but I find that slow debate helps persuasion a lot because slow, coherent arguments stick out a lot more in the judge's mind, from my experience, than arguments that were run by them at the speed of light.

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This is, quite literally, one of the stupidest things I've read this year. I'll answer it anyway:

 

I think it's way more stupid to be typing answers like this, especially considering your entire proof 'proving how stupid' mine was actually has been answered by me and others over and over again and even in the post you were intending to rebut. Don't read three sentences of one post responding to specific points and take me to be an idiot.

 

Slashing the judging pool: Probably true, but people can be trained to listen to speaking at a rapid rate. Indeed, the news is delivered at a pace much faster than standard conversational speed.

 

Yes, people can be trained to listen to and understand spreading (to a point), but this completely skirts the issue. Aburo never claimed it would be impossible for anybody to judge policy, but that speed makes judging far more difficult, and that this leads to fewer of them. In particular, sponsors aren't going to "be trained to listen to speaking at a rapid rate," and you should realize how important they are to forensics.

 

Eliminating Observers: There's no impact to this argument. But people have to train themselves to be able to observe the finer aspects of most sports. I can watch a Basketball game, but I have no clue what is going on or why things are strategic etc. If I watched it a lot and invested time into understanding what was going on, then I'd be much better off.

 

Firstly, the lack of observers has an impact on education as I explicitly described, as well as some other arguments by others including elitism, ivory tower, seclusion, etc. Your basketball analogy doesn't here apply, because 1.) rules in basketball actually are, whether you know it or not, designed around getting more observers, so this analogy works my way, and 2.) you haven't mentioned a single specific part of basketball that serves to exclude observers without bettering the event, as I have done.

 

Rid Debate of Speaking Persuasion: Aristotle is the most qualified source on this subject, and concludes sophistry bad. You can gain public speaking skills in other forums, but debate trains you to be an excellent analytical and critical thinker on your feet. Speed uniquely increases these qualities because it forces much faster cognition, and allows for a larger breadth/depth of argumentation which directly contributes to that learning.

 

Sophistry as compared to what? Keep in mind that modern conotations of sophistry as being fallacious argumentation do not trace back to the original intent. Socrates stated that sophists were better educators than he was (Guthrie, W. K. C., History of Greek Philosophy, 1969, vol. 3, 399), and who can say that Aristotle is any more of an expert than Socrates? Indeed, all debate is fundamentally sophistry because it is almost by definition a form of informal logic. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philopophy, "Informallogicis the attempt to develop alogicto assess, analyse and improve ordinary language (or "everyday") reasoning." You cannot claim logic is the most important, but then say sophistry is bad. "Being an excellent analytical and critical thinker on your feet" IS sophistry.

 

But getting past that, what makes you think spreading forces faster cognition? I have answered this idea several times but have yet to see a legitimate response. People think way faster than they are able to spread, so doing so does NOT increase your thinking speed. Think about it, why do speed drills emphasize activities like reading speeches backwords or reading nonsensical pages? Spreading isn't a matter of thinking quickly, but speaking quickly, which is not nearly as useful, important, or integral to debate.

 

And I also answered the breadth/depth idea in my last post. Literally, in the post you just responded to, I said this:

I've already said that more arguments don't mean anything in the larger scope of things. Considering even mediocre debaters should always, ALWAYS have more information at their fingertips than they can read in eight minutes, the speed at which they read the information doesn't determine their quality of arguments nor their research skills nor their debating expertise. You claim that expressing as many objections as possible to a plan constitutes debating to your full potential, but this is ridiculous when it sacrifices the subtler aspects of argumentation to emphasize bulk. Clearly intricate, fully formed, various arguments come from slow speaking as well as fast, so the extra three attacks you make don't serve to better the debate but just make more points on the flow to follow. Consider also that most of these points will go untouched in the final rebuttals, and you realize the absurdity of these statements.

 

Don't call me an idoot and then not answer what I say.

 

Speed = Unfair Advantage: Some folks are smarter than other folks, does that mean they shouldn't be able to debate because they gain an unfair advantage? The speed advantage can easily be overcome. Nick Miller, a debate for Emory and one of the top 16 college teams for the past two years, is the slowest debater on the planet. Yes, his slowness does present a problem for him and his partner, but he has come up with ways of getting around it. So, we've got a no-impact and education impact turn :)

 

For God's sake, do you have anything new to say, or will you just continue to assert I am an idiot using old arguments I've responded to? If you have a problem with what I say, I believe you are fully capable of pointing out what's wrong with that, but don't just keep reposting old news.

 

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 [here, dribbling, etc.] 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.

 

 

To clarify my position here, I, unlike you, will not claim you're an idiot. But you're perpetuating the aggravating cycle of repetition that is this thread. Please post any actual new objections you have here, but please don't bring up things I've answered. It's boring.

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On the larger question regarding speaking rates, I've got your back. But, that said... ;)

Keep in mind that modern conotations of sophistry as being fallacious argumentation do not trace back to the original intent. Socrates stated that sophists were better educators than he was (Guthrie, W. K. C., History of Greek Philosophy, 1969, vol. 3, 399), and who can say that Aristotle is any more of an expert than Socrates? Indeed, all debate is fundamentally sophistry because it is almost by definition a form of informal logic.
Well, not quite. While it is probably true that Socrates respected the sophists, the evidence that he considered their methods superior to his own is not compelling. As for Aristotle, his beef was with the sophists' relativism (i.e., their focus on rhetorical skill regardless of the position that skill was serving). When folks like yours truly who majored in this stuff use the word "sophistry," that's what we mean: Emphasis on form over substance, the idea that any successful argument is a good argument, etc. We don't use "sophistry" to mean simply a fallacious argument. That's what the word "fallacious" is for... ;)

 

At one time, I held out some hope that the "kritikal movement" in debate would help to mitigate debate's drift into mindless sophistry (aka "strategy"). Alas, it hasn't quite worked out that way...

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Well, not quite. While it is probably true that Socrates respected the sophists, the evidence that he considered their methods superior to his own is not compelling. As for Aristotle, his beef was with the sophists' relativism (i.e., their focus on rhetorical skill regardless of the position that skill was serving). When folks like yours truly who majored in this stuff use the word "sophistry," that's what we mean: Emphasis on form over substance, the idea that any successful argument is a good argument, etc. We don't use "sophistry" to mean simply a fallacious argument. That's what the word "fallacious" is for... ;)

 

Well, that's what I get for trusting Wikipedia as my source on internet debates. ;) I mean, I knew he didn't mean "fallacious" (dur, lies bad), but that informal logic should take a backseat to formal logic. Either way, my argument stands that what Aristotle believed doesn't really matter and that without a real argument on the matter... well, there's nothing to respond to.

 

By the way, I really do agree that the content of arguments is far more important than the way they are presented, but I also believe that ultimately what should matter on the ballot is the reception of the arguments, which does tend to hinge on presentation as well as quality. I'm not saying beautiful prose should win a debate round (maybe in PF), just that generally incomprehensible lyrics should be considered the equivalent of incomprehensible arguments.

 

At one time, I held out some hope that the "kritikal movement" in debate would help to mitigate debate's drift into mindless sophistry (aka "strategy"). Alas, it hasn't quite worked out that way...

 

Yeah, I'm not such a big fan of kritiks. For some kritiks I don't feel the idea itself is flawed, just that the specific argument is stupid and only winnable given the absurdities in policy debate (absurdities that, for example, sometimes allow RVIs, and Topical CPs that don't even negate). In other cases, I just flat out think the idea is bad, like with resolutional kritiks. There's this gap of reasoning... the resolution is racist... so we shouldn't enact the plan? How can a resolution be racist anyways?

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I've already said that more arguments don't mean anything in the larger scope of things. Considering even mediocre debaters should always, ALWAYS have more information at their fingertips than they can read in eight minutes, the speed at which they read the information doesn't determine their quality of arguments nor their research skills nor their debating expertise. You claim that expressing as many objections as possible to a plan constitutes debating to your full potential, but this is ridiculous when it sacrifices the subtler aspects of argumentation to emphasize bulk. Clearly intricate, fully formed, various arguments come from slow speaking as well as fast, so the extra three attacks you make don't serve to better the debate but just make more points on the flow to follow. Consider also that most of these points will go untouched in the final rebuttals, and you realize the absurdity of these statements.

 

This is all I care to deal with. You have hardly "dealt" with any of the arguments I've made thus far. You just say the same mindless, poorly articulated drivel over and over again.

 

I am answering the above quoted argument in two ways, and already did in my last post. Perhaps you missed it because I'm efficient!

 

First argument: No impact/Impact Turn

 

There is no risk that speed decreases education. It can introduce more arguments into a debate, it can also increase the depth of discussion on particular issues. In both cases, education is increased. Speaking slowly accesses neither the potential for "more objections" or the potential for more highly articulated arguments.

 

Since time-limits are the only formal limiting factor on what can be said in a speech, there is only a risk that speaking more quickly increases the quality of arguments. Yes, it can increase the quantity of arguments as well. However, if we do not speek quickly we are forced to have either a) shallow discussions on a few issues or B) an in-depth discussion on one issue. With speed we can have a) shallow discussions on a large number of issues, B) mid-depth discussions on several issues or c) in-depth discussions on two issues.

 

In every case, education is increased. Arguing that speed decreases argumentative quality is the most backward argument I've ever read.

 

Next: Impact Turn

 

Speaking quickly forces you to think critically at a much more rapid rate - two links:

 

First - introducing more arguments into the debate means that prep-time must be more intelligently used. Since, as we've argued, time is finite a debater must make more strategic choices in order to maximize their argumentative success and efficiency.

 

Second - having to think up more shit faster as you're talkin' makes you think faster. End of story.

 

To be honest, most of your objections to speed are tired and sophomoric. Your best argument is that it makes it harder for people to get into the activity, it makes it harder for folks to judge, and it makes it harder for observers to observe. These arguments don't really have a huge impact.

 

It's hard for folks to jump right into to College level basketball...but they do it through hard work and determination. It's hard for a judge to jump into judging ice skating when there is so much happening at a fast rate. It's hard for observers to understand exactly what's going in Tiger Woods' head at a golf tournament, without a commentator telling them what he's thinking.

 

Yes - being good at debating/judging/observing takes fucking time and work! Holy shit, people aren't handed everything on a silver platter!

 

I'm now upset that I even opened this thread. The only thing it's done is made me frustrated at your arrogance and ignorance. You want to talk slow and pretty? There are other activities for you! In the words of Chris Crocker:

 

"LEAVE. SPEED. ALONE!"

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Your never going ot get a college judge to buy your speed is bad judge argument

 

UMASS's novice teams picked up on speed bad arguments a bunch of times this year, including in finals at Cornell. College judges are more open than you might think to the idea that talking at 400 wpm might not be the best thing for the activity.

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This is all I care to deal with. You have hardly "dealt" with any of the arguments I've made thus far. You just say the same mindless, poorly articulated drivel over and over again.

 

Wow, well that's ironic, because everything you put in both this and your last posts actually was answered in the rest of my post. I don't post eight paragraph responses because I only have one point to make. You can claim that was the only part of the post you want to read, but then don't criticize me for having "ignorant and sophomoric" arguments when they are explained in the parts of my post you didn't deign to read.

 

I am answering the above quoted argument in two ways, and already did in my last post. Perhaps you missed it because I'm efficient!

 

No I didn't, damnit, I responded to both of those attacks fully, you just didn't feal they merited a response. How can you claim I decrease argument quantity, quality, and education, if you won't follow all the points in an online debate? Good God, if 5 arguments is too many how the hell could you advocate spreading?

 

First argument: No impact/Impact Turn

 

There is no risk that speed decreases education. It can introduce more arguments into a debate, it can also increase the depth of discussion on particular issues. In both cases, education is increased. Speaking slowly accesses neither the potential for "more objections" or the potential for more highly articulated arguments.

 

"There is no risk" is completely unwarranted, and ignores the many "risks" I put in my previous posts. Any obstruction to the full understanding of material is an inherent barrier to education and memory as should be totally obvious to anybody who has seen somebody asked to "slow down" while explaining something. Teachers do not teach at even a conversational 120 wpm, let alone an incomprehensible 400, because education occurs best through slower speaking. If you want to go "in depth" as you say, you can NEVER garner any real educational merit from spreading. Even if you were to fully understand, which is impossible, you wouldn't remember it because memory requires time ("wait while I let that sink in") and the debater would go right on talking over you. This applies not only to debaters but to judges and observers as well.

 

In addition, the lack of observers is already an educational impact because you aren't educating as many people. That was in my last post if you cared to read it.

 

Since time-limits are the only formal limiting factor on what can be said in a speech, there is only a risk that speaking more quickly increases the quality of arguments. Yes, it can increase the quantity of arguments as well. However, if we do not speek quickly we are forced to have either a) shallow discussions on a few issues or B) an in-depth discussion on one issue. With speed we can have a) shallow discussions on a large number of issues, B) mid-depth discussions on several issues or c) in-depth discussions on two issues.

 

In every case, education is increased. Arguing that speed decreases argumentative quality is the most backward argument I've ever read.

 

To simplify: going "in-depth" on one argument and touching lightly on many mostly depends on your point of view. If I read six impacts to one DA is that many arguments or many points on one? What if I read extra standards or warrants? The back-and forth depth discussion in debate is the same with or without spreading because you deliver the same number of speeches, the only difference is the quantity of information exchanged during them.

 

The thing is, I already pointed out that more is not always better. You get more in a variety of ways, either spreading faster, increasing speech times, increasing the number of rounds in a tournament, or just going to more tournaments. As a matter of fact, the ideal would be if you not only could learn at the tournaments you enter, but also by observing other tournaments, but as it is the only "education" that might take place by observing involves trying to find out what cases other teams are running.

 

Besides, sacrificing any chance of lasting education for the sake of making more arguments (which also will not be remembered) is pointless.

 

Next: Impact Turn

 

Speaking quickly forces you to think critically at a much more rapid rate - two links:

 

First - introducing more arguments into the debate means that prep-time must be more intelligently used. Since, as we've argued, time is finite a debater must make more strategic choices in order to maximize their argumentative success and efficiency.

 

Surely you can gather sufficient material for your 25 card speech during your opponent's without worrying about the minor importance of listening to what he's saying. You won't understand it, after all.

 

Besides, good debaters will use up their prep time whether looking for 5 cards or 25, they simply will spend it on different things. A non-spreading debater might, for example, actually spend time thinking positions through and understanding the cards she is about to read.

 

Second - having to think up more shit faster as you're talkin' makes you think faster. End of story.

 

WHAT? This is by far the least responsive part of this post yet.

 

But getting past that, what makes you think spreading forces faster cognition? I have answered this idea several times but have yet to see a legitimate response. People think way faster than they are able to spread, so doing so does NOT increase your thinking speed. Think about it, why do speed drills emphasize activities like reading speeches backwords or reading nonsensical pages? Spreading isn't a matter of thinking quickly, but speaking quickly, which is not nearly as useful, important, or integral to debate.

 

You're supposed to respond to my arguments, not simply assert that they are false. Saying "end of story" does not change the fac that you are wrong and that it makes no sense. Even if we immediately remove written arguments to move to analyt (since obviously reading what is written down hardly qualifies as "thinking"), I have two warrants as to why spreading does NOT make you think faster, and you have none. 1.) People think faster than they can speak regardless, so faster speaking merely implies being able to form words faster, not thoughts, and 2.) speed drills designed to improve spreading actually emphasize NOT thinking, which is the opposite of what you would expect if your argument were granted. Besides, even if you were right, you would still have to grant that people should not read cards any faster than analyts, because clearly reading cards does not force you to think faster.

 

To be honest, most of your objections to speed are tired and sophomoric. Your best argument is that it makes it harder for people to get into the activity, it makes it harder for folks to judge, and it makes it harder for observers to observe. These arguments don't really have a huge impact.

 

No, this is not my best argument. My best argument is that spreading gives a pointless and absurd advantage to those whose tongues are looser and who have practiced spewing Mead '92 with a pen between their teeth. You have never given me a single reason as to why spreading is integral to debate, only that it increases education. From a competitive standpoint, spreading is as unfair an advantage as steroids in sports. It is NOT what the game is about.

 

Even so, there are significant impacts to the argument you cite. Losing members and observers turns education (hardly a 'turn' since you didn't really have it in the first place), and forces policy debate into obscurity. Losing judges makes tournaments scarcer and harder to arrange, and persistent judges to ask much more money for their services. But I didn't just say we would lose judges, but sponsors, and that is the biggest impact of all. No sponsors=no debate, and that IS the end of the story.

 

It's hard for folks to jump right into to College level basketball...but they do it through hard work and determination. It's hard for a judge to jump into judging ice skating when there is so much happening at a fast rate. It's hard for observers to understand exactly what's going in Tiger Woods' head at a golf tournament, without a commentator telling them what he's thinking.

 

Yeah, and I'm not suggesting debate be dumbed down. But what if to play College level basketball you not only had to be an excellent basketball player but have an uncanny ability to roll the ball over your shoulders or shoot behind-the-back half-court shots? Perhaps these are tangentially related to basketball, but clearly they are not an important part of the sport itself. People would have just reason to complain about that! Besides, all the sports you mentioned are actually extremely easy to observer, overall. I can watch ice skating and enjoy it even if I don't understand the actual technicalities. There is no equivalent in debate. Nobody can just come into a policy round to enjoy the arguments minus intracacies, because they can't figure out what the hell you're saying. And mentioning other sports STILL is not an argument. How do basketball, ice skating, and golf justify spreading in policy debate? For somebody concerned with depth, you don't develop your arguments at all.

 

Yes - being good at debating/judging/observing takes fucking time and work! Holy shit, people aren't handed everything on a silver platter!

 

I will say it again, I do NOT want policy debate to become easier. You think spreading is the hardest thing about policy? That's absurd, and if it were true you should lose this debate automatically. You think I don't put time and work into debate? Why would I post here?

 

I'm now upset that I even opened this thread. The only thing it's done is made me frustrated at your arrogance and ignorance. You want to talk slow and pretty? There are other activities for you! In the words of Chris Crocker:

 

"LEAVE. SPEED. ALONE!"

 

You could get past your frustration if you read my whole posts and took a while to respond to or agree with each point. Arrogance comes from assuming arguments against you are "ignorant", "tired", and "sophomoric", not from trying to explain your point.

 

And you cannot expect to support an activity as unprecedented, irrational, and unique as spreading without argument. You don't have to debate about it, but if you do you should realize that people won't just shut up and grant all your ill-formed opinions.

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Your tactic is as follows:

 

When I say "what you said before is wrong" you say "I already answered this".

 

You are, without question, the biggest waste of time on the internet.

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Your tactic is as follows:

 

When I say "what you said before is wrong" you say "I already answered this".

 

You are, without question, the biggest waste of time on the internet.

 

My last post was more than a page long extending and explaining warrants. This argument is over.

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If by over you mean I think you're a total fucking dumbass, then yes, its over.

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If you want slower speech, go to Classic debate.

 

If you are into the faster stuff, go Contemp.

 

Simple as that.

 

Not sure what you're talking about, nor how that answers any of my points. I don't know where I can do a classic debate, but either way, clearly speed is not the only difference between classic and contemporary debate. If they were identical except speed, fine, but since I don't even have access to one, and they clearly are very different, this argument makes no more sense than saying "You should do PF if you don't like speed."

 

But seriously, where could I do classic debate? That actually does interest me.

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Not sure what you're talking about, nor how that answers any of my points. I don't know where I can do a classic debate, but either way, clearly speed is not the only difference between classic and contemporary debate. If they were identical except speed, fine, but since I don't even have access to one, and they clearly are very different, this argument makes no more sense than saying "You should do PF if you don't like speed."

 

But seriously, where could I do classic debate? That actually does interest me.

 

Pretty sure they only do it in Virginia. It has a four offcase limit and "should focus on debaters speaking ability." Also requires closed cross-x. The debates are generally of poorer quality and is similar to JV in other states.

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Pretty sure they only do it in Virginia. It has a four offcase limit and "should focus on debaters speaking ability." Also requires closed cross-x. The debates are generally of poorer quality and is similar to JV in other states.

 

That's funny, in Ohio I generally see the JV teams running the most crappy arguments in the 1NC.

 

Either way, I don't want a debate that focuses on speaking ability, I want one that focuses less on speaking ability. Oh well.

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School’s out and I’m bored, so I guess I’ll jump into the fray a bit on this one. I’ll make my basic assumptions overt. Bad debaters lead to bad debates, whether they’re fast or slow. Good debaters, generally, lead to good debates, whether they’re fast or slow. By “good” I mean responsive, evidenced, comparative, and deep. I also think that the vast majority of education that is gained from this activity occurs out-of-round. The competitive format serves as a catalyst for and expression of this education.

 

“Any obstruction to the full understanding of material is an inherent barrier to education and memory”

 

It appears that this argument is that competitors within a debate are incapable of fully understanding or remembering arguments articulated at a fast rate. I haven’t found this to be true. Debaters flow arguments. Flows are imperfect and incomplete, but a good debater will be able to record the fundamental premises of arguments and warrants. They also have the opportunity to read the evidence themselves, at whatever pace they’d like, after the speaker is through with it. This allows for the debaters to have a pretty firm grasp of the arguments being made. The evidence is every good, fast debate that anyone has ever seen. Flows also solve your memory problem.

 

“The lack of observers is already an educational impact because you aren't educating as many people.”

 

Fast debate is a barrier to observers, but not anywhere near the largest or most important one. The uninitiated won’t have any idea how to decipher a dispo debate or understand the theoretical peculiarities of an international consultation counterplan even if it’s delivered at 1 word per minute. How many tickets do they sell for an average Public Forum debate tournament? The National Educational Debate Association can’t even keep members, let alone spectators. In short, making debate slower doesn’t access more observers.

 

“The back-and forth depth discussion in debate is the same with or without spreading because you deliver the same number of speeches, the only difference is the quantity of information exchanged during them. The thing is, I already pointed out that more is not always better. You get more in a variety of ways”

 

Yes, in depth discussion can occur in slow debates. More in depth discussion can occur in fast debates. I believe that you’re misinterpreting what we mean when we say “more in depth discussion.” I’m not referring to more impact scenarios on a disad or two more no-voters on T. I think you may have limited experience with high quality fast debates. I’m talking about analyzing the intricacies of political/scientific/philosophical arguments as they interact with each other and influence/ are influenced by other frameworks and issues. Whether you’ve seen in or not, these discussions can and do occur at very high levels of speed and debaters capable of this level of analysis can make more in-depth analysis if they speak faster.

 

“Besides, sacrificing any chance of lasting education for the sake of making more arguments (which also will not be remembered) is pointless.”

 

I’ve addressed this memorization argument above and I also think the out-of-round education framework is responsive to this. If a debater doesn’t understand a Foucault criticism then they can go to the library, read some books, speak to a coach, and develop an understanding of that argument on a much deeper level then if a debater had been able to give a beautiful, slow explanation or their specific argument in a round. And just to pre-empt some competitiveness claim: The debater who is ignorant of the argument is equally as fucked for that round no matter if their opponent is fast or slow.

 

“My best argument is that spreading gives a pointless and absurd advantage to those whose tongues are looser and who have practiced spewing Mead '92 with a pen between their teeth. You have never given me a single reason as to why spreading is integral to debate”

 

Speed isn’t integral to debate, but I’ve explained how it can allow for better, more in depth debates. That means that it isn’t, in fact, a “pointless” advantage. And it’s no more or less a competitive advantage then any other debate skill. Being really good at 1AR argument prioritization isn’t integral to the activity, but it sure will win you a lot more rounds. And you freely admit that speaking quickly is one of the easiest debate related skills to learn. I don’t know if you follow Edebate, but Rashad Evans made a post that, in part, discussed how speed and technical proficiency was what allowed him to compete with kids who had infinitely more resources. All you need is a pen and a Mead card. If you choose not to develop that skill then that’s fine. Many debaters have been successful and slow, but if you chose not to practice a skill that’s easy and free to develop then you have no one to blame except yourself.

 

“you cannot expect to support an activity as unprecedented, irrational, and unique as spreading without argument.”

 

I don’t see how there’s anything irrational or unique about speaking quickly. The fact is that time constraints on a competitive activity breed strategies to maximize competitive advantage. A convenient by-product of that is more in depth debates because that’s what wins. You mentioned ice-skating. It’s my understanding that they try to do as many tricks, acrobatics, or technical skills as they can within the allotted time period. They don’t spend 10 minutes skating in circles allowing the judges to contemplate their last triple back flip. And who the hell would blame ‘em. The clock’s tickin’. But I may be wrong about that. I’m no ice-skating expert. I’d probably understand it more if they just skated more slowly.

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School’s out and I’m bored, so I guess I’ll jump into the fray a bit on this one. I’ll make my basic assumptions overt. Bad debaters lead to bad debates, whether they’re fast or slow. Good debaters, generally, lead to good debates, whether they’re fast or slow. By “good” I mean responsive, evidenced, comparative, and deep. I also think that the vast majority of education that is gained from this activity occurs out-of-round. The competitive format serves as a catalyst for and expression of this education.

 

Ok, I agree completely that good debates occur between good debaters (although perhaps having evenly matched debaters is equally important), but my point is that spreading doesn't make one a good debater.

 

It appears that this argument is that competitors within a debate are incapable of fully understanding or remembering arguments articulated at a fast rate. I haven’t found this to be true. Debaters flow arguments. Flows are imperfect and incomplete, but a good debater will be able to record the fundamental premises of arguments and warrants. They also have the opportunity to read the evidence themselves, at whatever pace they’d like, after the speaker is through with it. This allows for the debaters to have a pretty firm grasp of the arguments being made. The evidence is every good, fast debate that anyone has ever seen. Flows also solve your memory problem.

 

Yes, I would argue absolutely that any debater listening to a speech on a remotely complex issue does not have a full intuitive undertanding of it. Consider, for example, a solvency take-out saying drugs can't solve malaria because they don't address the root cause: mosquitos. now a good debater may flow the tag and the author, and perhaps list the warrants of the card. He might spend 4 seconds contemplating the card and jotting down a note on how to respond. So he delivers a 5 second sound-byte in his next speech about how the root cause is irrelevant given diseases are cured quickly enough, which X and Y solvency cards say occurs.

 

He has no real understanding of the argument here, merely a method of defeating the card. He might realize the premise of such attacks from experience; he might briefly get the gist of the idea; but the fact remains that the entirety of contemplation on that point necessarily ends almost right after it's read. This might be sufficient for winning a debate round, but it does not constitute in depth discussion.

 

Fast debate is a barrier to observers, but not anywhere near the largest or most important one. The uninitiated won’t have any idea how to decipher a dispo debate or understand the theoretical peculiarities of an international consultation counterplan even if it’s delivered at 1 word per minute. How many tickets do they sell for an average Public Forum debate tournament? The National Educational Debate Association can’t even keep members, let alone spectators. In short, making debate slower doesn’t access more observers.

 

I don't think this is entirely true. I've seen people genuinely confused by debate lingo, but I've seen people cracking up or staring at me like I'm insane when I practice spreading. The thing is, most arguments are fundamentally fairly intuitive, just complex. And the more complex an argument, the longer it takes to fully understand. When you see people in ordinary conversation, they will speak around 120 wpm, but when you see a teacher explaining a particularly tricky chapter of Multivariable Calculus, he might speak at 60 wpm. The thing is, the more you argue for the complexity of debate, the greater the necessity of slow speaking. If people can fully understand what you're saying at 350 wpm, you aren't in-depth enough.

 

Yes, in depth discussion can occur in slow debates. More in depth discussion can occur in fast debates. I believe that you’re misinterpreting what we mean when we say “more in depth discussion.” I’m not referring to more impact scenarios on a disad or two more no-voters on T. I think you may have limited experience with high quality fast debates. I’m talking about analyzing the intricacies of political/scientific/philosophical arguments as they interact with each other and influence/ are influenced by other frameworks and issues. Whether you’ve seen in or not, these discussions can and do occur at very high levels of speed and debaters capable of this level of analysis can make more in-depth analysis if they speak faster.

 

I have seen and been impressed by such arguments before. Given my "limited experience" with fast debates, you might be surprised at what I have seen. Truly, the intricacy debates to which you refer don't operate the way you explain them. In fast debate, people tend to burn their way through a list of reasons the previous argument doesn't apply. There's no reason this can't occur in slower debate. Kritikal debate may be another matter here, but such is a rather specialized region of debate. In fact, kritiks are often read slower than other arguments, for the reason that the greater complexity necessitates more time to understand. Obviously we'll only ever scratch the surface of any philosophical framework in a 90 minute debate round, but nonetheless maximum understanding is not acheived by spewing at high velocity.

 

I’ve addressed this memorization argument above and I also think the out-of-round education framework is responsive to this. If a debater doesn’t understand a Foucault criticism then they can go to the library, read some books, speak to a coach, and develop an understanding of that argument on a much deeper level then if a debater had been able to give a beautiful, slow explanation or their specific argument in a round. And just to pre-empt some competitiveness claim: The debater who is ignorant of the argument is equally as fucked for that round no matter if their opponent is fast or slow.

 

The thing is, out-of-round education can only serve as a framework making spreading irrelevant, not good. People can read equally diverse arguments either way, so an equal amount of research is required. This is entirely defensive, whereas I argue there ought to be an offensive reason for spreading, or it should be rejected on the grounds of any petty disadvantage, like fewer observers, using more water bottles, or getting annoying buzzing sounds in your ear for the rest of the day.

 

Speed isn’t integral to debate, but I’ve explained how it can allow for better, more in depth debates. That means that it isn’t, in fact, a “pointless” advantage. And it’s no more or less a competitive advantage then any other debate skill. Being really good at 1AR argument prioritization isn’t integral to the activity, but it sure will win you a lot more rounds. And you freely admit that speaking quickly is one of the easiest debate related skills to learn. I don’t know if you follow Edebate, but Rashad Evans made a post that, in part, discussed how speed and technical proficiency was what allowed him to compete with kids who had infinitely more resources. All you need is a pen and a Mead card. If you choose not to develop that skill then that’s fine. Many debaters have been successful and slow, but if you chose not to practice a skill that’s easy and free to develop then you have no one to blame except yourself.

 

I agree that if you win spreading improves the quality of debate, that this probably takes precedence over my theoretical competitive objections. However, it being a competitive advantage is undeniable. Teams like the one you mentioned spend quite a bit of time doing speed drills, which essentially is time wasted were it not for the fact that spreading gives an advantage in policy debate. This can't really be said of any other aspects of debate, except for minor technicalities and logistics. Organizing a speech is an extremely important skill in any presentation in life, or even in written documents. Taking notes has obvious importance. Doing research not only has immediate educational value but, well, increases researching skills. What does spreading give you?

 

And I wouldn't say spreading is as easy as that. I have in no way admitted spreading is one of the easiest debate related skills. Spreading on its own may be fairly easy, although it still requires hours of practice to become really good at it, but comprehending speed is more difficult. Either way, it doesn't really matter exactly how difficult it is to learn; the fact is one must learn it.

 

I don’t see how there’s anything irrational or unique about speaking quickly. The fact is that time constraints on a competitive activity breed strategies to maximize competitive advantage. A convenient by-product of that is more in depth debates because that’s what wins. You mentioned ice-skating. It’s my understanding that they try to do as many tricks, acrobatics, or technical skills as they can within the allotted time period. They don’t spend 10 minutes skating in circles allowing the judges to contemplate their last triple back flip. And who the hell would blame ‘em. The clock’s tickin’. But I may be wrong about that. I’m no ice-skating expert. I’d probably understand it more if they just skated more slowly.

 

There are time constraints in impromptu, in fact much stricter ones, and the speakers are actually required to present three points on the topic. Yet I have never seen an impromptu speaker attempt to spread. You assert "the fact is" that spreading gives a competitive advantage, which is actually my point, but "the fact is" also that in no other activity does this mean it is advocated. In ice skating the speed of tricks is regarded as part of their beauty and complexity. Faster tricks are actually graded more highly whether or not more are preformed. Yet if you watch an ice dancer's routine, they still do, actually, spend quite a bit of time just skating around.

 

But if you want an analogy you MUST stop going to sports. You haven't provided a single analogy that isn't athletic. Clearly speed will be important to athletics, but that doesn't mean it's important to every compeititive activity.

 

I will argue that spreading is the only significant factor of a debate decision I can find that decreases the quality of debate while increasing the chances of winning.

 

 

I have more on this, but I gotta go walk my dog now.

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seems to me that debate is a competetive activity that people generate specific skills in to compete more effectively - speed happens to be one of those skills. debate may not be a sport, but it is much more a competetive activity than it is a role-playing congress session. people have their own opinions though, if they happen to make a rule against speed (which they wont) people would need to stop, but there are plenty of reasons why "too fast" is a dumb rule, and also a potentially activity destroying one as well.

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