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Hey, what are the good camps in the Northeast? I don't debate out there, but will be traveling in the area all summer yet still wanted to attend a camp. looking for Oratory, Congress, or Public Forum. Thanks for the help.

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this is a policy debate forum - probably not the best source of information for speech camps, esp. because we don't think they are real events

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hmm...... <puts on my Johnny Carson turban>.....In see girl scout camp in your future Brett.......

 

:)

 

Shawn

 

When not plotting aganst my amassing of PFI mugs your posts always bring a smile to my face :)

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Dartmouth (DJW & DDI) and Bates are in New England.

 

In NYC, there is a camp for urban schools called CITI, associated with the Impact Coalition.

 

There may be others, I don't know.

 

I've worked at 2 out of 3. All three seem pretty good to me. If you're a New England debater in a newly minted program, Bates seems like an oft-overlooked steal to me.

 

I don't know what "evidence mill" is supposed to mean. Dartmouth deliberately emphasizes lectures and elective classes to expose students to a wide range of instructors. Bates is pretty darned far from an evidence mill. CITI doesn't produce evidence. Get your facts straight, Ankur.

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dude... ddi is the most "evidence mill'ish" of them all. doesnt matter if they toss in an extra five lectures. the point i am making is simply that ddi evidence is pretty darn bad. right up there with catholic and kndi. they produce bad evidence in mass quantities measured by tons of paper printed. i have yet to find a camp which establishes a policy refusing to publish bad evidence. why? money. i hate bad evidence. i judged at nfa and harvard this year, and of the rounds i was judging all of them were chock full of pretty crappy camp evidence.

 

but i admit i didnt remember bates... and i have never heard of citi.

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Gonna have to agree with Ankur here. When I cut an article and get 2 cards out of it, and DDI gets 20, something is wrong. Not that I am the Greatest Evidence Cutter Alive, and I am willing to admit that I missed something; I don't think I missed 18 somethings. I can find more examples of shitty evidence from DDI if you want.

 

This is not to detract from the amount of learning that goes on at DDI, the quality of the instructors, or the results produced by the students who attend it. Clearly, they are getting something out of it (and Pennsbury students have been in the past and hopefully will go in the future). However, DDI is at least partly responsible for creating the institutional culture where bad evidence is expected and accepted. And it is driving me crazy.

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All camps produce bad evidence, all camps produce good evidence. It's what you do with the evidence after you get back from camp that counts. Weed out the bad, combine the good sets, and you should be good to go. I think the thing that bothers me the most, is teams using evidence that have 0 idea what the concepts of the evidence are = for instance being able to talk intelligently about soft and hard power, stuff like that. Or, even being able to pronounce words in the evidence - something I heard a lot of at Harvard (where I ended up judging 9 rounds of debate - I don't knowwhat I did wrong).

 

That said - I enjoyed talking to everyone I saw!!:) One of my teams even managed to debate Pennsbury (you can attempt to avenge the loss next year at the PFI!!:), I judged: Pennsbury, Jenkintown, Meyers, and Truman - I enjoyed all those rounds a lot (I think I split 50/50 on the ballots). And no, Ankur...Counter Rez...no-no-NEVER!!:) Even if I love the Spratleys as much as you.

 

Hope to see everyone at CFL Nats.

 

Duane

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I agree completely. Every camp does cut some good evidence... but at DDI, the pathetic evidence (if you can even call it evidence) outnumbers the bad by a ridiculous margin. Again, I am not the worlds greatest evidence cutter either... but these are sad statements I am making here about the quality of evidence being distrubted from camps. I am sorry, but if the "great minds of debate" (insert names as you wish) and some of the most respected coaches in the event cant manage to lay down the law at camp and demand more from their lab leaders, then nothing will change.

 

And its true that teams should be responsible for taking the evidence and tossing the crap and keeping the good stuff... but they arent doing it because not enough judges and coaches step up to the plate and demand that. The kids figure that as long as they can get away with bad evidence, they will keep doing it. And they keep getting away with it. Until coaches step in and instruct their teams to point out bad evidence... and until judges accept those bad evidence arguments as a reason to reject the evidence (which many of them dont), then things wont change.

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I agree completely. Every camp does cut some good evidence... but at DDI, the pathetic evidence (if you can even call it evidence) outnumbers the bad by a ridiculous margin. Again, I am not the worlds greatest evidence cutter either... but these are sad statements I am making here about the quality of evidence being distrubted from camps. I am sorry, but if the "great minds of debate" (insert names as you wish) and some of the most respected coaches in the event cant manage to lay down the law at camp and demand more from their lab leaders, then nothing will change.

 

And its true that teams should be responsible for taking the evidence and tossing the crap and keeping the good stuff... but they arent doing it because not enough judges and coaches step up to the plate and demand that. The kids figure that as long as they can get away with bad evidence, they will keep doing it. And they keep getting away with it. Until coaches step in and instruct their teams to point out bad evidence... and until judges accept those bad evidence arguments as a reason to reject the evidence (which many of them dont), then things wont change.

In the end, bad evidence only hurts the team using it because good teams can point out that it is powertagged. I say let DDI put out whatever the hell they want and then teams will use the bad evidence and get caught in-round. I am not saying DDI evidence is perfect, far from it infact, but in the end teams using it wrong should be caught - its not too hard for the other team to read a card in-round, if they get away with it then the other team doesnt really deserve to win the round. The way I see it, its an easy win if you can point out something is powertagged. But I don't think DDI is as bad as the Thursday File or Planet Debate, and they cost money. Maybe you should stop them first?

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In the end, bad evidence only hurts the team using it because good teams can point out that it is powertagged. I say let DDI put out whatever the hell they want and then teams will use the bad evidence and get caught in-round. I am not saying DDI evidence is perfect, far from it infact, but in the end teams using it wrong should be caught - its not too hard for the other team to read a card in-round, if they get away with it then the other team doesnt really deserve to win the round. The way I see it, its an easy win if you can point out something is powertagged. But I don't think DDI is as bad as the Thursday File or Planet Debate, and they cost money. Maybe you should stop them first?

Yeah, the way you see it, it is an easy win...and maybe in front of Ankur and me that is true...go on the national circuit and see where you get with that argument. At Emory I dropped a team because while they won the link turn on the flow, the only neg argument was that the evidence sucks, so I read it, and it didn't say anything. On the other hand, Louis and Dan have lost a lot of rounds where they indict the other team's shitty link card, ask the judge to read it, and they won't. I didn't go to DDI, and their judges probably did.

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Yes. Circuit judges are notoriously bad when it comes to indicting the poor quality of evidence. What are the odds Kerp drops you on "Kerp cut this file. It doesnt have an internal link" when you hit a T-files?

 

Just up at Harvard, Lachy asked me to take a look at a critique that someone was running... first thing I said... "none of these cards say what the tag says. like... none of them!"

 

This is the precise reason why I abused the honesty critique to no end. If you run crappy evidence against me, I ripped you a new one with honesty. And while no judge sanely voted for the violation, the other team needed to cover themselves by reading good evidence to replace the bad evidence, thus draining precious time and skewing themselves. HORRAY FOR THE HONESTY CRITIQUE!

 

No less than four times did I tell students at harvard to read the other team's evidence because none of it was relevant.

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Teams lose when they dont read good evidence.

 

If you want to indict the K...its impossible to understand the evidence when its being blurted out as fast as teams do it...However no team ever makes that argument...why you ask? Because teams dont understand it most of the time so they are afraid to roll with ...their evidence doesnt say that since there not sure what "that" is.

 

Anyway you run a PIC or a Disad its much easier to call people out on it. If you got bad evidence you will lose 99% of the time.

 

Also on the issue of reading evidence...its very hard to win that there is no link at all to a disad. There is atleast a risk...so if you roll with only one argument then you probably wont win. However if you straight turn a disad and your args are like their link evidence is bad prefer our link turns ...then you will win.

 

Manuel

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You're making two contradictory arguments, Ankur and Crew.

 

1. Dartmouth doesn't place enough emphasis on making files for my consumption. I want camp files ready to go to substitute for my own research effort.

 

2. Dartmouth is an evidence mill. I believe "evidence mill" means a camp that focusses on evidence production over instruction. It doesn't mean that the evidence produced is bad.

 

Now, if Dartmouth were to take your opinion to heart, and decide that its real mission was satisfying Ankur and giantchkn, then it would try to produce higher quality evidence. Of course, it already produces a great deal of good evidence. Your complaint is simply one of signal/noise ratio. Therefore, evidence would be more carefully weeded. In carefully weeding each card, lab leaders would probably lose at least two hours a day - possibly three. That time won't be spent on lecturing, preparing lecture, doing skills work, talking about arguments - it'll be spent seeing if the Ankur of the future is injecting a bunch of bad cards into the file.

 

Therefore, it would have higher quality evidence and be more of an evidence mill.

 

Get your arguments straight.

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Yes. Circuit judges are notoriously bad when it comes to indicting the poor quality of evidence. What are the odds Kerp drops you on "Kerp cut this file. It doesnt have an internal link" when you hit a T-files?

 

Just up at Harvard, Lachy asked me to take a look at a critique that someone was running... first thing I said... "none of these cards say what the tag says. like... none of them!"

 

This is the precise reason why I abused the honesty critique to no end. If you run crappy evidence against me, I ripped you a new one with honesty. And while no judge sanely voted for the violation, the other team needed to cover themselves by reading good evidence to replace the bad evidence, thus draining precious time and skewing themselves. HORRAY FOR THE HONESTY CRITIQUE!

 

No less than four times did I tell students at harvard to read the other team's evidence because none of it was relevant.

 

If you've already edited the post, you may want to correct "HORRAY" to "HOORAY."

 

Kritik cards will generally not say what you want them to say, precisely. That's because many of the primary authors did not write directly about the subject matter. Therefore, Kritik debaters use their cards as a basis for their argument, instead of relying on the cards to make the claims for them. A quality Kritik debater would generally admit this, claiming that the important part of evidence is warrant, not claim. That's not dishonest, because it doesn't misrepresent anything - it simply attempts to establish a different evaluative standard for reading cards.

 

Obviously, the debate community has not had enough balanced and intelligent discussion of the role of evidence in a Kritik debate. That is likely because there's no forum that checks devolution into total random babbling.

 

If a debater used the gap between the claims of a tag and the claims of the evidence to manufacture some ethical violation, I would punish their points very seriously. An ethical violation is not a tool to produce a time skew - honesty is an ethical issue. The prospect of debaters high fiving over "ripping [someone] a new one" with Ankur's honesty Kritik makes me queasy.

 

I don't know how much Kerpen is judging these days, by the way. I think making the Thursday files has pushed him down a few rungs on pref sheets, precisely because of the fears you identify. Possibly Kerpen is your major exposure to "circuit judges"...but I assure you that the vast majority of judges judging elims at octas bid tournies (my definition) don't work for paid evidence services.

 

In fact, the bulk of them are college debaters. College debaters scrutinize evidence carefully. They tend to do enormous amounts of research, and they probably have an ego investment in criticizing evidence produced by a division of the activity they hope to have outgrown.

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You're making two contradictory arguments.

 

1. Dartmouth doesn't place enough emphasis on making files for my consumption. I want camp files ready to go to substitute for my own research effort.

 

2. Dartmouth is an evidence mill. I believe "evidence mill" means a camp that focusses on evidence production over instruction. It doesn't mean that the evidence produced is bad.

 

Now, if Dartmouth were to take your opinion to heart, and decide that its real mission was satisfying Ankur and giantchkn, then it would try to produce higher quality evidence. Of course, it already produces a great deal of good evidence. Your complaint is simply one of singal/noise ratio. Therefore, evidence would be more carefully weeded. In carefully weeding each card, lab leaders would probably lose at least two hours a day - possibly three. That time won't be spent on lecturing, preparing lecture, doing skills work, talking about arguments - it'll be spent seeing if the Ankur of the future injecting a bunch of bad cards into the file.

 

Therefore, it would have higher quality evidence and be more of an evidence mill.

 

Get your arguments straight.

Actually, my argument is that because Dartmouth cares about the quantity, the quality declines. I took no position on whether the camp focuses more on evidence production or instruction. All I said was they put out loads of bad evidence, which is used by DDI debaters and by people who buy DDI evidence. This contributes to the culture in debate that focuses on the tag and not the actual card. Sure, the claim made by the debaters is more important than the specific context of the card, but the community also treats evidence-backed claims as more powerful than analytics. That means that a team that reads undercut and unwarrented evidence faster than their opponents will win.

 

Yes, I want DDI to produce high quality evidence for my consumption to substitute for my own research. Why? Because I am in college, I have a life, and I don't have the kind of time that full-time debate coaches do for their research. I also have a very small team with a small budget. If DDI evidence quality goes down, our argument quality goes down, especially compared to a school like Chattahoochie that can send 13 teams across the country every week and have all 26 of their debaters researching and recutting camp evidence.

 

I don't see why Dartmouth can't teach its students to a) only cut evidence that says something, B) tag the evidence in accordance with what the card actually says, and c) check each other's work so the lab leader doesn't have to read every card. This is more beneficial for the debters, for the people who buy the evidence, and for the community and event at large.

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In fact, the bulk of them are college debaters. College debaters scrutinize evidence carefully.

Empirical evidence does not support this claim.

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Actually, my argument is that because Dartmouth cares about the quantity, the quality declines. I took no position on whether the camp focuses more on evidence production or instruction. All I said was they put out loads of bad evidence, which is used by DDI debaters and by people who buy DDI evidence. This contributes to the culture in debate that focuses on the tag and not the actual card. Sure, the claim made by the debaters is more important than the specific context of the card, but the community also treats evidence-backed claims as more powerful than analytics. That means that a team that reads undercut and unwarrented evidence faster than their opponents will win.

 

Yes, I want DDI to produce high quality evidence for my consumption to substitute for my own research. Why? Because I am in college, I have a life, and I don't have the kind of time that full-time debate coaches do for their research. I also have a very small team with a small budget. If DDI evidence quality goes down, our argument quality goes down, especially compared to a school like Chattahoochie that can send 13 teams across the country every week and have all 26 of their debaters researching and recutting camp evidence.

 

I don't see why Dartmouth can't teach its students to a) only cut evidence that says something, B) tag the evidence in accordance with what the card actually says, and c) check each other's work so the lab leader doesn't have to read every card. This is more beneficial for the debters, for the people who buy the evidence, and for the community and event at large.

 

First, Dartmouth is not a for-profit evidence service. The files are available for purchase because of popular demand. I'm 99% certain that those files are provided at cost - if you have complaints about the pricing, take them up with the copy shop.

 

If you want someone to do your research for money, talk to Kerpen. Talk to Stefan, talk to Burshteyn. That's not the function of a debate institute.

 

Second, lab leaders at Dartmouth spend a heck of a lot of time teaching kids about evidence. I know. I did a generic. Some of the evidence was good. Some wasn't. We went over evidence standards. Some of the kids were learning, and cutting cards was part of that learning process.

 

Third, if your argument is that a huge number of researchers of varying experience levels drives down evidence quality, you should have an edge on Chattahoochee. If you have an enlightened understanding of the proper way to teach evidence cutting and quality control, then you're ahead of the game. You should exploit that edge instead of asking Dartmouth to eliminate it.

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Empirical evidence does not support this claim.

 

Yes, it does. I heard decisions at Harvard in every elim round that raised questions about the quality of our evidence. The first words out of Clark's mouth in her dissent in semis were "I don't think your politics links are as good as you think they are." I can go on. I've seen college debaters scrutinize our evidence carefully time and time again. Of course, they generally want the debaters to do some of the evidence comparisons, of course. They may have different standards than you do - but they have standards, and they articulate them.

 

Can you give some contrasting examples?

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Yeah, the way you see it, it is an easy win...and maybe in front of Ankur and me that is true...go on the national circuit and see where you get with that argument. At Emory I dropped a team because while they won the link turn on the flow, the only neg argument was that the evidence sucks, so I read it, and it didn't say anything. On the other hand, Louis and Dan have lost a lot of rounds where they indict the other team's shitty link card, ask the judge to read it, and they won't. I didn't go to DDI, and their judges probably did.

 

As Brian says, you lose those rounds because the neg probably wins that their crappy card is sufficient to constitute a warrant for their claim - or may even win that their claim doesn't need to be evidenced.

 

Kritik debates, for instance, could hypothetically be entirely analytic.

 

As Brian also says, you'd get further combining that evidence indict with a "reason to prefer" impact instead of a "throw it out" impact.

 

However, I think circuit judges would still possibly be sympathetic toyour position. Why not write out a brief overview about the best evidence evaluation meta-standards? If you want judges to read evidence differently, tell them how to read it.

 

An example: Kinkaid won St. Mark's, rolling with almost purely defensive pimps in the semis and the quarters. They had articulate stories about the reasons to prefer their standard to an offense/defense paradigm - and they won a "circuit" tournament on that basis.

 

They also have a very small evidence base.

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I guess I'll offer a divergent view, but I actually think that a lot of the evidence that DDI put out was quite good, and felt that it gave us (a "small school") a really solid evidence base to start the year with. Even if some cards were bad, I felt like almost all evidence that we got from the institute was on-par with what I would hope to use in rounds.

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I don't see why Dartmouth can't teach its students to a) only cut evidence that says something, B) tag the evidence in accordance with what the card actually says, and c) check each other's work so the lab leader doesn't have to read every card. This is more beneficial for the debters, for the people who buy the evidence, and for the community and event at large.

 

 

You are also grossly underestimating the educational value that producing "bad" evidence can have. One of the important lessons that Chesh taught me at Juniors is that having a big fucking file is not so much that u use the entirety of that file in rounds or even that the size of the file correlates with how useful the file is, but rather that the process of producing a large file forces you into a huge diversity of literature and will force you to learn a lot.

 

 

your counter argument will be (hopefully anyway) that those two things are not mutually exclusive (like you can read a diverse body of literature plus cut fewer and higher quality cards) but honestly, what motivation is there to seek out those obscure books that are not densely packed with cards if not to cut them to boost file mass. In other words, which debater do you know will read books that are "high quality" cardless without feeling discouraged about the progress of their file.

 

Cutting bad evidence is part of the learning process, both for good debaters and novices.

 

and also, often times early in the summer you dont know what the topic will turn out like. evidence that seems worthless at one point in the year may win you rounds at the end of the year. every debater should know that. i think you are putting unreachable standards on the dartmouth debate institute without considering other factors that are common sense.

 

and ankur, ... you have some very different ideas of what debate ought to be like and what debate evidence constitutes good evidence from that of the general "circuit". (ie, this year's anti topical case you posted on cross-x)

 

and nooch is right... dont fucking buy the evidence if it is really all that bad. and if you see a file that is 500 pages of FIZM GOOD that should (presumably) trigger a red flag in your head that you should avoid that file.

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