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Felix Hoenikker

Kansas Debate Caselist (Hopefully the last thread on this)

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I have created and organized a wiki similar to the one used on the collegiate and high school national circuit. All the necessary explanation is below. This is obviously an opt in process but my hope is that the material existence of this web page and cooperative system will both help spur a transition toward this as the norm and/or at the very least make the idea more comfortable to those that are uneasy with it.

 

Additionally I'd like to say that this is the operative time for everyone that has been a proponent of such a thing in the past to own up and participate immediately.

 

The following is also posted on the main page of the Kansas Debate wiki. The Wiki can be accessed at the following address:

http://kansas-debate.wikispaces.com/

 

How to create new aff or neg page -

1) Select New Page in the upper left hand corner of the page above the navigation bar.

2) Title the page the name of the team you are adding information (ex. Emporia BS) and tag the page the same as the page title (so the Page title would be Emporia BS and the Tag would be Emporia BS as well).

3) Hit create page and put at the top 1AC or the title of the respective negative argument and below it the outline or whatever is explained below for each situation.

4) Hit save and then select the school that you just created a new individual team page for.

5) When redirected to the school's page click edit and add the team name you put above under either Affirmative or Negative depending on what the info you just added pertained to.

6) Select the team name you just typed and go to the editor bar and hit link.

7) Then select the page from the drop bar that you just named that same team name and hit save.

That should be it but make sure the link works properly after completing this process. If you run into problems double check yourself against the instructions above and if it still doesn't work email me at apbbqb@umkc.edu or PM me on Cross-x.com. I am under the username Felix Hoenikker.

 

How to add info to an existing page -

As the year goes on it is likely that teams will say more than just the 1AC and negative arguments already up for them. If a page already exists for the team you are adding information to then click the link on the school's page to whichever team page you are trying to access (aff or neg). When on this page just click edit and then add the new argument outline or explanation beneath the existing one and hit save.

 

Basic Guidelines For Posting

When posting an affirmative get Tags and as complete a citation as possible and the first and last words of each card. Preferable would be a citation like below:

 

The United States maintains hundreds of forward deployed Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe

Lamond and Ingram 9

(Claudine Lamond, recently graduated from the Australian National University hoding a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, and a Bachelor of Asian Studies, Security and Strategic Studies, and Paul Ingram, Executive Director of British American Security Information Council, Getting to Zero Papers, No. 11 Politics around US tactical nuclear weapons in European host states 23 January 2009, http://www.basicint.org/gtz/gtz11.pdf)

"While exact figures of US tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs) in Europe are classified "

 

AND

 

"around 50-90 TNWs at the Incirlik airbase in Turkey."

 

If it is a card cut from a source that is not found online be sure to include the page number, the name of the book, and if possible the edition or year publishing year for the actual book (not the year of the most recent publication of the book or whatever). If it is difficult or impossible to obtain all of this information at a bare minimum try to include a tag or at least the gist of the argument made with that particular piece of evidence and a complete enough cite that it is possible for someone to locate it at easily as possible.

 

When posting Negative strategies the rules guidelines have to be at least a little more relaxed (due to the sheer diversity of negative arguments). At the very least try to include the shell outlines for the most common arguments each individual team reads with the same standards for citation as above. For less common arguments or if you didn't get all the cites to the negative's 1NC when you debated them or don't have the time to include it yourself simply give the argument title and a short description. An example of this can be found below:

 

Japan DA

The disad claims that the credibility of our Japanese extended deterrent is at a breaking point and the Japanese government is watching other US security guarantees and extended deterrent missions for signals on the dedication of the United States to these missions. The disad then claims that the affirmative would be negatively perceived by Japan and would cause them to proliferate and set off a chain reaction until vertical and horizontal proliferation reaches a breaking point and collapses due to either tensions or an accidental launch.

 

Standards for Participation

Obviously this is not entirely enforceable but is heavily encouraged.

 

1) If you are going to benefit from the casebook please participate in posting your own team's information to arguments already read in a debate round. Obviously no one will know if you just pop on to see what Shawnee Mission East or West has been reading lately but it is academically and morally objectionable to benefit from such information given in good faith if you are not willing to return the gesture.

 

2) Don't limit what you post to what you read - if a team reads an affirmative or a negative argument that is not posted feel free to do so. The goal of this project is not to facilitate giving one side an upper hand in the big Kansas Debate game of Gotcha! Additionally including the information of others helps, albeit benignly, push the community in the positive direction of pre-tournament disclosure. Which brings me to...

 

3) The purpose of this project - if you see no benefit in these principles and do not support them then please refrain from using this database. This project is exercised in the spirit of academic and educational openness, mutual cooperation and research, fairness, and high quality in depth research and debate. It is not grounded in conspiring against smaller schools or bigger schools or your state competition. While everyone obviously will use this for the purpose of developing strategy any malicious spirit or intent should be left at the door.

Edited by Felix Hoenikker

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I'd also like to say right now there are some serious gaps on the school list if a school is 4A-1A this is simply because there are more of these schools on the KSHSAA website and I have less knowledge on which of these schools participate in debate. If you want schools added please email me at the address provided or PM me and I'll add them. The process for adding a new school page is much more complex than adding a new team page so I'd prefer it if you did not try to add a school yourself but instead went through these channels. Thanks.

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Most of you know that I almost never post here. I watch, I laugh, I shake my head sometimes, ocasionally, I even agree- but I just don't participate in this forum much. As a result, I've thought about this very carefully, and I probably won't watch this thread after I post- I simply won't be drawn into a "flame" war- I've got better things to do.

 

I want to say this about the case list. Please respect the local coach. If a coach doesn't want his/her schools listed, that should be an important consideration. I for one- would prefer that ours not be part of the experiment. I suspect that there are many of us who feel the same way.

 

I'd ask you all to respect us for some pretty simple reasons. Like us, don't like us, love us, hate us- whatever, one thing is undeniable: we are, ultimately, responsible for the programs we run and the education of our students.

 

Those of you who are still high school debaters are, for better or worse, dependent on us at some level- if for no other reason that we have to take you to the tournaments and manage the travel budgets. Those of you in the judging (already graduated) community arent still reliant on us, I suppose, but you came from some program someplace, and hopefully had a coach who you respected.

 

My program won't participate, I won't get into the why's. I won't debate the merits of the system. I simply don't want my kids to play with it, and I believe it's my perrogative as a coach to make that choice.

 

Having said that, I will, very specifically, talk with my kids about the ethics (or lack of them) to use information from a list on which I won't allow participation. That would be inappropriate. If I find them acting in a way I see as unethical, I will deal with that problem

 

I also, however, think it a little unethical to force my students, my program, and me to play by posting our information when we don't want it posted.

 

Mr. Tidwell

Garden City

  • Downvote 1

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can i ask what the biggest objection to disclosure is in kansas?

 

the notion that every proponent of disclosure finds it necessary to "convince" or coerce individuals who do not want to participate in disclosure into believing that disclosure is necessary for debate to thrive. especially when they do so using contrived argumentative techniques that succeed within the construct of "champ" debates but generally fail at every other model of persuasion.

 

that's my biggest beef at least, and i'm probably the loudest person on here on that side of the fence.

 

also, jarviswade, way to be a jackass to a polite and reasoned request on the part of a coach.

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also, jarviswade, way to be a jackass to a polite and reasoned request on the part of a coach.

 

No problem. Arguments against disclosure are rooted in tired and paranoid conceptions of how debate ought to be 15 years ago. The proof is in the pudding, knowledge of other teams' arguments facilitates better argumentative strategies and fosters critical thinking.

Edited by jarviswade
Please don't edit my posts. There isn't any profanity or threatening language or anything more than a bit of sarcasm.

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Is there a reason Topeka High doesn't have a hyperlink, or did McComas threaten to eat your soul Alex?

They should have a page. I know I created a page for them I'll figure out what the bug is and fix it.

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knowledge of other teams' arguments facilitates better argumentative strategies and fosters critical thinking.

 

in the ideal sense this is true. however, i will never criticize a member of a community for asking to be left out of the "transition phase" when said phase occurs because the implementation of this project is going to be uneven. that's not a knock on alex, it's just the simple truth of the matter. at this stage, not all teams will benefit from it, and not all teams will benefit from it equally. opting out of the system should be an option to any who will truly refuse to use this resource. that is fair.

 

i would think that people who claim to recognize tired and paranoid conceptions of how debate ought to be would also recognize that utopian alternatives are, without exception, too good to be true. this is not going to work out like the cute little ideal world of disclosure you see in college or the hs nat'l circuit.

 

my beef has nothing to do with whether disclosure is really a good or bad thing. it has everything to do with watching jackasses not get their lofty ideals listened to by respected members of the community and then turn around and try to enact a change in the status quo circumventing the reasonable requests of said respected members. for a mission that waxes poetic about academic and educational openness, mutual cooperation and research, and fairness, many of its proponents on these boards illustrate a very real inability to demonstrate that respect to other members of this community. i applaud alex's reasonable response to mr. tidwell yet am dumbfounded at the response of the rest of the community on here.

 

if you all went about your business like alex does, i wouldn't have to be the grumpy old curmudgeon about this every time it comes up.

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I agree with everything Russ says. If there are things posted on behalf of my squad that is not done by a member of the coaching staff and it is against the wishes of my children I will insist on having it removed.

 

Also, make sure you throw away flows and erase memories of debate rounds. That ensures absolute secrecy and maintains the high quality of argumentation often seen in high school.

 

Jarvis, I dont know who the hell you are, but there is no reason to adopt that kind of a tone against a coach expressing disagreement. You will see the problems I have with your argument and approach when I comment on sevs post shortly.

 

 

the notion that every proponent of disclosure finds it necessary to "convince" or coerce individuals who do not want to participate in disclosure into believing that disclosure is necessary for debate to thrive. especially when they do so using contrived argumentative techniques that succeed within the construct of "champ" debates but generally fail at every other model of persuasion.

 

Agreed.....

 

also, jarviswade, way to be a jackass to a polite and reasoned request on the part of a coach.

 

Also agreed....

 

obviously, knowing things is bad. therefore, a caselist, which attempts to increase the number of things known about, is also bad.

 

I dont want to start spouting off about how caselists disadvantage smaller programs because everyone has heard these arguments before, but i believe this is especially true in Kansas. When you have schools that withdraw from tournaments because certain squads attend and they are afraid of losing because of a numbers game, a caselist might make some KS schools continue to retreat from the larger KS community.

 

my beef has nothing to do with whether disclosure is really a good or bad thing. it has everything to do with watching jackasses not get their lofty ideals listened to by respected members of the community and then turn around and try to enact a change in the status quo circumventing the reasonable requests of said respected members. for a mission that waxes poetic about academic and educational openness, mutual cooperation and research, and fairness, many of its proponents on these boards illustrate a very real inability to demonstrate that respect to other members of this community. i applaud alex's reasonable response to mr. tidwell yet am dumbfounded at the response of the rest of the community on here.

 

if you all went about your business like alex does, i wouldn't have to be the grumpy old curmudgeon about this every time it comes up.

 

Seconded. Believe you me, I am extremely progressive in my views of where KS debate is and I think it should head/is headed, but I agree with sevs the reason why you see constant battles between "old school" coaches/debaters and the "young pups" is because people always criticize/harass those who speak out against changes.

 

Your post was boring so I quit reading it. There's nothing inherently wrong with spurning change, it's just stupid.

 

This is not constructive.....and if this thread heads down the road of harassing dissenters, I will hole this thread, which is unfortunate because I think this could be a constructive discussion.

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This should be an interesting experiment which I, and others, will watch with interest. I am particularly glad that this list is being managed by an individual who has consistently shown respect for the community; I don't know that it would work otherwise.

 

I will be instructing my teams to consult this list only if they choose to reveal their own cases on it.

 

I will also be instructing my teams which choose to participate in the caselist not to disclose to teams personally before rounds from this point forward. My assumption is going to be that the list of teams participating in this project is synonymous with the list of teams that practice disclosure. Hence, any team that discloses will already HAVE our case, and any team that does not already have our case will by definition be a team which is itself unwilling to disclose--and hence, a team that should not ask us to do so.

Edited by STADB9

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I don't understand what the opposition is to this list. I also don't understand how you can insist on having something removed that is public knowlegde. That is like asking teams that debate your kids not to talk to any other school during a tournament. This ensures that smaller schools get access to information, even when they don't have a million debaters to write the intel they gathered from the weekend in a big database. Yes, SME does do that, disproving the argument that only big schools would benefit from such a list. In fact, we don't really need one, since we already have our own such internally produced list.

 

However, I know that we were always told that disclosure was a squad policy. Whenever we were asked about an argument that we had already read we told the other team about it. We would give them the cites to cards, etc., basically everything short of actually reading our evidence before debates. We even did this during the state tournament, and we managed to make it to the finals.

 

Also, I don't think this "transition period" thing makes any sense. The information would not be uneven if everyone posted their info, or even if they don't post themselves, if someone else simply posted it. This is not intellectual plagarism, it is not dishonest, and it is not disrespectful to a debater or a team. I don't think there is a viable argument here, other than a claim that it is rude to disrespect another team's wishes. I don't think that is true when it comes to the issue of sharing source information- that is a matter of academic honesty and encourages a debate peer review. Saying that information sharing is bad is tantamount to asserting that scholarly articles should not have to make their sources publicly availible, since they would allow other people to use those same articles. If the argument is effective then it should stand on its own merit.

 

To the point about encouraging contrived arguments- if they are so contrived, a smart team can beat them with logic and backfiles, they don't have to have uniqueness card from yesterday. I don't know about you, but a smart analytical argument still flies in front of me. In fact, the only reason people are not capable of coming up with smart arguments is that their own affirmative is so illogical and they are used to simply spewing out random arguments instead of taking the time to construct a coherent negative strategy. This is not true of everyone who doesn't want to post on a case list I'm sure, but it is an overriding theme in much of Kansas debate the past few years. Logic down, stupid arguments up now.

 

Also, people posting their negative positions leads to less contrived neg arguments winning a wreck of debates. I seriously doubt we could have beat people on arguments like the Death Cult, the Euphemism PIC, the "The" PIC or various other silly counterplans SME has read if people had known we read them earlier. Not only that, but it encourages teams to have 2ac blocks to arguments people actually read, rather than just to spending. But we don't write 2ac blocks you say? That culture of laziness is not an excuse not to- democratic information sharing would lead to more people writing more effective blocks, or at least it would open their way. Not only that, but it encourages a trickle-down effect, where young debaters can look at the 2AC cites that are posted on the wiki and use them to understand how they should answer an argument. This means that you suddenly don't need either camp or a strong coaching staff to write effective 2AC's. Suddenly the "champ" debate seems so much more open to everyone from a little school, doesn't it? Not only that, but having all of the affs posted means that a small school can cut links to everyone's affs for politics or another generic da, and thus have something to say to everyone.

 

I guess my point is, I have no idea what the real negative to a caselist is, and there is an effective model in college right now, which has spurred much better competition, especially for small schools. Don't believe me? Here's the link: http://opencaselist.wikispaces.com/

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I dont want to start spouting off about how caselists disadvantage smaller programs because everyone has heard these arguments before, but i believe this is especially true in Kansas.

 

It's probably good you didn't start spouting off about how caselists disad small schools, because that's a moronic argument. Small schools ostensibly have a smaller capacity for evidence production, while a caselist provides source citations not only for scrutinizing other teams' evidence, but also enhancing a small squad's ability to produce evidence.

 

The evidence scrutiny part is especially useful when silly bastards cut shite cards.

 

the reason why you see constant battles between "old school" coaches/debaters and the "young pups" is because people always criticize/harass those who speak out against changes

 

I mean, I can understand why the debate dinosaurs want to keep things the way they are. Change has never brought us anything good. I still get fed up with teams reading plans in the 1AC, with absolutely no new arguments being made in the 2NC, with the disgusting lack of counter-warrants, and the general lack of whole resolution focus. Oh yeah, I'm sick and tired of this emancipation proclamation thing too.

 

Also, people posting their negative positions leads to less contrived neg arguments winning a wreck of debates. I seriously doubt we could have beat people on arguments like the Death Cult, the Euphemism PIC, the "The" PIC or various other silly counterplans SME has read if people had known we read them earlier. Not only that, but it encourages teams to have 2ac blocks to arguments people actually read, rather than just to spending. But we don't write 2ac blocks you say? That culture of laziness is not an excuse not to- democratic information sharing would lead to more people writing more effective blocks, or at least it would open their way. Not only that, but it encourages a trickle-down effect, where young debaters can look at the 2AC cites that are posted on the wiki and use them to understand how they should answer an argument. This means that you suddenly don't need either camp or a strong coaching staff to write effective 2AC's. Suddenly the "champ" debate seems so much more open to everyone from a little school, doesn't it? Not only that, but having all of the affs posted means that a small school can cut links to everyone's affs for politics or another generic da, and thus have something to say to everyone.

 

This is quite smart and I agree with it 100%

Edited by jarviswade
Really? Edited for content? Give me a break.

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First I'd like to say that everything that has been done is necessary just as this discussion is necessary. We need to stop implementing in the abstract and start trying to make material modifications to how the system works so we can see if its practical application is as good or as bad as its theoretical application which has been debated ad nauseam for the last several years.

 

Second I'd like to say that I have had several coaches both contact me privately and publicly to ask if they can be removed from the list and have complied.

 

Third if the model I've been following for the construction of this case list is not a desirable one I am more than open to suggestions. I could make this a google group for example (which would make organization a bit more difficult but I can manage) and make it private so that in order to view you have to participate. This, however, I perceived to be disadvantageous because then there's no oversight by coaches to make sure that their wishes are being met. All the coaches that have asked to be removed can check the website now and see that they are something that would not be available if I was to move to a more closed format.

 

Last before I get into answering people's concerns I'd like to emphasize that even if you are a supporter of this project or even just the ideas that I hope drive it discussion in a civil manner would be prefer. This is not to say you cannot be dogmatic and take an opinionated position (those who know me would know that I will never be one to reject dogmatism) but a certain level of intellectual respect will be required which means any posts that are unwarranted ad homs or strictly pejorative arguments will be removed*. Hopefully Mr. Rimmey will not have to delete this thread if I keep it managed thusly and I hope that these standards of discussion will satisfy his concerns nonetheless if it gets out of hand I am in full support of his decision to hole this thread.

 

* The one caveat to this is that if another poster makes a post in response that stays within the guidelines for conduct in this discussion then for the purposes of coherency I will edit the offending post so that the gist of the assertion or whatever remains but will eliminate the offensive portions.

 

in the ideal sense this is true. however, i will never criticize a member of a community for asking to be left out of the "transition phase" when said phase occurs because the implementation of this project is going to be uneven. that's not a knock on alex, it's just the simple truth of the matter. at this stage, not all teams will benefit from it, and not all teams will benefit from it equally. opting out of the system should be an option to any who will truly refuse to use this resource. that is fair.

This is an unfair characterization and I don't think its founded on material reality in the least, interesting given that many criticisms of this idea seem couched in the claim that the pros for a caselist only make sense in the abstract.

What needs to be realized by coaching and concerned students and alums is that this disparity is already present. I know from my own experiences in the community and observing it that information sharing already happens among large schools. Large schools are also the ones that typically have more assistant coaching, have more effective scouting systems, and are more dutiful about organizing and capitalizing on information gathered from each tournament. It's also the large schools that are more likely to be a part of the inner "elite" community because many of them are located in relative proximity to one another and with more social and spatial commonalities seem to bond and form tighter communities. You're a fool to think that large schools don't already know more about what you have said during the season than you know about them. With more resources comes an easier ability to overcome the transparency hurdle and gather intelligence and produce more effective strategies. It's no coincidence that the most dominant schools when we all get together are, for the most part, the largest ones or at least the ones with the largest programs.

Contrary to this misconception that opponents of disclosure seem to have such a system with transparacy and eventual normative participation allows smaller squads to bridge the resource gap between them and their larger competitors. Smaller schools and squads have easier times collecting large amounts of research and developing more and better strategies by being able to get some of the same good pieces of evidence their opponents are reading and then using those places on the internet or wherever to find things their opponents miss or other valuable sources of information (bibliographies, other articles by the same author, other articles within the same publication, sometimes there symposiums, etc).

Like Patrick said, you're lying to yourself if you think the things you say in debate aren't public knowledge. As soon as they are used in debate they become public knowledge. Even novices can tell their upper classmen the gist of what they saw in a debate and those upper classmen can probably decipher it.

 

 

i would think that people who claim to recognize tired and paranoid conceptions of how debate ought to be would also recognize that utopian alternatives are, without exception, too good to be true. this is not going to work out like the cute little ideal world of disclosure you see in college or the hs nat'l circuit.

It's impossible to determine without trying and without people participating. Will there be instances where someone is disadvantaged at a tournament? Sure. I recognize it might even make a squad's season pretty rough but these problems have to be overcome otherwise the alternative is the system we have now where the disparity already exists and we don't have the potential academic research benefits that could be received (and lets not kid ourselves this activity is and should be a research based activity; the education most people receive from debate does not happen in the debate round it happens during the research process).

 

i applaud alex's reasonable response to mr. tidwell yet am dumbfounded at the response of the rest of the community on here.

I did comply with Mr. Tidwell's request and the requests of a few others although I want to emphasize that I DO NOT support this. I complied merely out of the respect for the position they hold and their place in this community not out of respect for their position on the issue. I do not think there is an intellectual, educational, or even rational justification for rejecting this system because the truth is even if the transition is rough it historically works. It's not a historically risky system, and every appeal to the pre-dominant ideology surrounding how debate should be conducted and community experienced is counterproductive and delays the actualization of any of the possible benefits of this system.

This system CAN work. IF people will LET IT.

 

 

I dont want to start spouting off about how caselists disadvantage smaller programs because everyone has heard these arguments before, but i believe this is especially true in Kansas. When you have schools that withdraw from tournaments because certain squads attend and they are afraid of losing because of a numbers game, a caselist might make some KS schools continue to retreat from the larger KS community.

I'm going to be honest I seldom hear an explanation for this claim. I've made my opinion evident above obviously but I encourage you to voice this concern and elaborate on this argument if you believe it is a problem. If you do I'd especially like an explanation regarding the tournament withdrawals. I can't say I recall such things occurring in my time (which is not to say that they don't merely that I have no experience with it).

 

 

 

On an unrelated note it occurred to me that perhaps some coaching concerns were about their teams not debating in Varsity or Champ divisions. If that's the case I can monitor what is posted on the website and establish a new standard that the division that each team participates in will have to be put beside every team name. Obviously this approach would require more coaching involvement so if a team is incorrectly labeled (intentionally or unintentionally) it can be dealt with immediately. Would that resolve some coaching concerns?

Edited by Felix Hoenikker

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Some thoughts from a former Kansas debater:

 

First, debates should be considered public events. It seems implicit in some of the resistance to case lists that some view debates as private events between two teams and the judge(s). As debate is practiced, particularly in out-rounds, this seems to be plainly false. Even if it were not the case in practice, I think there is a decent normative argument that debate rounds should be public access. Encouraging others, whether in the community or not, to watch and comment on debates should improve both the debaters' performance and the knowledge of those watching. Having to present ideas in front of others should encourage those who argue to do so with more rigor and nuance (as they might prefer not to look like fools). Further, any reinvigoration of public discourse, whether it relates to policy or philosophy, should be considered valuable. Treating debate as a private event between a limited set of actors prevents that. As they are and ought to be public events, I do not think that the claim that cases (whether in the form of flows, outlines, or detailed notes) should be considered private material subject to control by authorities is valid. Anyone that is involved in that round should be able to share freely and discuss the arguments presented in the round. To do otherwise undermines the spirit of the activity and valuable educational lessons that can be gained from it.

 

Second, technology is forcing a shift toward decentralized open access of information. I think this is a good thing. Whether or not coaches like it, the amount of tools and resources for information sharing now far outnumber anything that we have seen in history and the ability of people to post and access that information is impressive. Coaches can choose to wait to see how these changes play out, resist them outright, or accept them (whether tenuously or enthusiastically). Were I in their position, however, I would certainly want to get on top of new technology and teach students how to use it before falling behind the curve.

 

Third, it is necessary to evaluate whether or not coaches, as educators, have a pedagogical obligation to learn about and teach students how to use new technology. If students are going to debate in college, it's clear that they'll be using this technology anyway. But, even if not, the trend in higher education is toward more collaboration and not less. Cutting-edge pedagogical practices emphasize collaborative note-taking and discussion, especially through things like wikis (I imagine Google Wave will have a real impact too), and it seems unwise and, perhaps, irresponsible not to show students how to appropriately use technology in ways that benefit their knowledge and performance in relation to a public sphere of discourse. This is not to say that there aren't competing pedagogical demands that might weigh against this (I'm not sure what they would be), but I think coaches should seriously consider whether or not they have an obligation to include effective technology both in their classrooms and as part of team prep. (Edit: They could do so otherwise, as I discuss below, but I think this provides a good opportunity for that).

 

In addition to that, I think that coaches should not limit their interaction with decentralized forms of knowledge production to a wiki-based case list. It might be fruitful, for example, to encourage students to collaborate both exegetically and strategically through wiki-based media in regards to things posted on the case list, either internally as a team or across squads or publicly. I think there is real opportunity for educational growth that will be missed if coaches prefer to stick to rather luddite methods.

 

Since I've been away from the activity for a while, I don't have any teams or coaches in particular in mind when making these remarks. Because of that, they might also be more objective. In any case, they are meant to spur discussion and reflection, particularly among any coaches who read these forums.

Edited by therebeljohnbrown
  • Upvote 1

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I dont want to start spouting off about how caselists disadvantage smaller programs because everyone has heard these arguments before, but i believe this is especially true in Kansas. When you have schools that withdraw from tournaments because certain squads attend and they are afraid of losing because of a numbers game, a caselist might make some KS schools continue to retreat from the larger KS community.

 

waitwhat.

 

how do caselists disadvantage smaller programs?

 

lets lay this out:

 

1. larger schools have more ability to prepare

 

even if this is true, lol, big schools will always have more ability to prepare, more money, more coaches, more debaters. the caselist can ONLY benefit smaller schools by giving them broader access to information and evidence, thus increasing their ability to be prepared. this at least will enable them to focus their research on whatever they feel unprepared for, and will certainly give them access, for example, to cites for arguements that they need, thus making it easier for them to research those positions.

 

2. larger schools are fat psychological bullies

 

admittedly, i don't know about this whole schools withdrawing business, however, it seems to me that being scared off is more likely as a result of NOT KNOWING what they run than actually being able to prepare for it. its not as if small schools don't want to be competitive, its just that structural barriers make it potentially more difficult. this, it seems, is not really a reason not to have a caselist.

 

---

 

the reason debate sucks is because people have no idea what people are saying, so they have nothing to say to it. these kinds of debates not only erode the educational value of the activity, but they erode the competitive as well. The reason its 'strategic' to not make your info available is because then the opponent has nothing to negate it with, this closed-off-ness seems to reduce competition to 'who can say the most incomprehensible shit the fastest' and the winner will be the one who outconfuses the other team.

 

i don't know if you've ever been in, or seen a debate that was like this, but its excruciating to watch. no one learns anything, clash is undermined, and its just not that fun.

 

policing knowledge is bad, yo.

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I also want to reiterate a previous demand.

 

IF YOU HAVE EVER BEEN A PROPONENT OF A CASELIST, DISCLOSURE, WHATEVER PARTICIPATE AND POST YOUR STUFF.

This will ONLY work if the people that purport to "progressive" on debate issues like these put their money where their mouth is. If this doesn't happen then it just means, at least in my view, that those arguments were disingenuous.

 

Look this thread is only going to have one of two outcomes. Either a) this will be the beginning of a new material advancement toward reforming the practices of our debate community or B) this thread and this attempt will, for the foreseeable future, be referenced in the apparently annual or semi annual attempt at a new thread on this issue but only to make the argument "This doesn't work, it was tried before, no one participate. Shut. Up." And frankly I will be the first one to call any future threads to this effect out on this.

 

The bottom line is that we (Danny, Patrick, JohnBrown, myself, and whoever else that fits this description) are no longer participants at this level of the activity. We can have opinions, we can argue for what we believe are your best interests and the interests of those active members of this community but we cannot enact something like this ourselves. It REQUIRES your participation to function so if you want it to then play your part.

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If people are serious about getting teams to participate, then folks should also encourage people to participate through word of mouth at tournaments and in places other than cross-x.com. Chat it up, make some flyers, and so on.

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I think this is a good idea for champ/varsity level teams, but folks need to keep in mind that there is a whole lot of debate out there that isn't reflected among the (relatively few, anymore) high school debaters who post here. Yes, you're the face of the activity, you're the ones who win scholarships, and you're the ones who consistently do well at DCI and state.

 

However, the more traditional-style debates that take place in this state are the lifeblood of the activity. Many things that make sense in a champ-style round (and have been accepted as givens on the college/national circuits) - open cross-examination, shelled 1NC argumentation, grabbing evidence during speeches, oral critiques, speed, metaphysical critiques, and hell, even the de-emphasis on stock issues - don't work in the world of debates judged by laypeople who want to see our students role-play Congresscritters and speak with poise and clarity.

 

Pre-round disclosure is another piece of this; the more the debaters know about what each other is running, the more an inexperienced judge is left out of the loop. In a world without disclosure, you have to explain your arguments in the round to both your judge and your opponent. If you can't, you lose. Lay judges check back crap like the Death Cults and the "the" PIC because those arguments inherently don't make sense. They're what keeps our argumentation grounded in a realistic, pragmatic discussion, for all the good and bad that may entail.

 

I would encourage any team who thinks of themselves as a "champ"-style team to post their own aff and neg information to the extent that they see fit. But please respect the wishes of coaches and teams who choose to participate in a more traditional style of debate. Forcing disclosure on teams who are not ready or willing to participate in it accomplishes nothing.

 

I would also encourage that, in the spirit of transparency, any posts on the wiki be made publically, under your own name. For those in favor of disclosure, this ensures the quality of your information; for those against it, this ensures the ability to make sure students aren't going over their coaches' heads.

 

And for those of you who can't possibly understand what the drawback is, put yourself in the position of a school or coach who does not wish to disclose. What's happening here is that a few other schools are basically teaming up to gang-scout these teams and share the results publically. If you can't understand why you're getting substantial pushback from several Kansas coaches on this, then you've forgotten everything you learned debating in this state.

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Several things. First, this is all solved by the recommendation I made above to make the casebook just Champ/Varsity debaters. Second, I think this argument about the judging is incorrect. The judge still decides who wins or loses the debate which means all techniques of persuasion and differentiations in style that occur all across the state to adapt to all kinds of judges doesn't go away. If a judge doesn't understand your argument you lose. This reminds me of another point that I wanted to make earlier but forgot. This discussion doesn't really have anything to do with any stylistic issues. "Spreading", critiques, counterplans, artificially competitive counterplans, delay counterplans, PICs both functional and textual, the politics da, whatever. None of these things are really all that relevant to the discussion because a casebook doesn't affect that part of the community. Both traditional and "champ" debaters can benefit from the effects of a casebook in virtually the same way. This is all about what happens before the debate not during it.

 

I would also encourage that, in the spirit of transparency, any posts on the wiki be made publically, under your own name. For those in favor of disclosure, this ensures the quality of your information; for those against it, this ensures the ability to make sure students aren't going over their coaches' heads.

If it would be preferred by people I can make it required to register and get approval from me to be able to edit the casebook. The process takes a bit longer and its not as easily accessible but it would make solving that easier.

 

Also I'd like to entertain a dangerous notion. Before I say this for the love of god please don't flame me for just asking this question. But why is it bad if students post THEIR aff and neg stuff to a casebook without the coach's approval? It seems like a decision that only affects the debaters in question. And that seems like something that is their prerogative. Maybe I'm way out of line on this one but that's just my 2 cents on the issue.

 

And for those of you who can't possibly understand what the drawback is, put yourself in the position of a school or coach who does not wish to disclose. What's happening here is that a few other schools are basically teaming up to gang-scout these teams and share the results publically. If you can't understand why you're getting substantial pushback from several Kansas coaches on this, then you've forgotten everything you learned debating in this state.

This already happens. The only difference is everyone can participate and its totally public. I'm sorry but this is just true. Teams do this. Both squads I was on in high school did it, SME apparently does it, and I'd be willing to bet its true of a ton of other schools. This can only benefit those already disenfranchised by larger schools and programs.

Edited by Felix Hoenikker

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Also I'd like to entertain a dangerous notion. Before I say this for the love of god please don't flame me for just asking this question. But why is it bad if students post THEIR aff and neg stuff to a casebook without the coach's approval? It seems like a decision that only affects the debaters in question. And that seems like something that is their prerogative. Maybe I'm way out of line on this one but that's just my 2 cents on the issue.

 

That's a fair point, and I think, again, your perspective works great for those teams who go above and beyond and do most/all of their own work. However, many squads share aff and/or neg files, especially among those teams who are not "champ"/"elite"/whatever.

 

There is also the issue of members of a team disobeying their coach, which I have an issue with just as I would on a sports team. But I recognize that's not a debate I'm likely to win on a forum whose primary audience is debate students.

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That's a fair point, and I think, again, your perspective works great for those teams who go above and beyond and do most/all of their own work. However, many squads share aff and/or neg files, especially among those teams who are not "champ"/"elite"/whatever.

 

There is also the issue of members of a team disobeying their coach, which I have an issue with just as I would on a sports team. But I recognize that's not a debate I'm likely to win on a forum whose primary audience is debate students.

Fair enough if the arguments being posted affect other members of the team that should definitely be taken into account by whoever makes the decision to post. Still I don't think the executive decision to post something that only affects one team should be removed. If a coach opposes a decision like this the debaters and their coach should talk it out but the coach, in my opinion, shouldn't be able to say no because "I said so." It makes sense in football or whatever because a decision by one team mate to disclose a playbook to a competitor, even if they get their competitors play book in return, is a decision that affects and potentially hurts the whole team. A debate squad is quite different because while teams are interdependent in some respects they're also compartmentalized in other respects. I think, and this is obviously just my opinion and isn't any better or worse than yours, if a debater wants to disclose on a casebook and his/her partner approves then while the coach should be consulted they shouldn't have the final say on whether or not it happens. I view the role of a coach as one of guidance that's only real role that requires intervention takes place when developing strategies and a student either doesn't understand debate or doesn't understand the pros/cons of a strategy or (in the case of debaters that want to deploy a strategy that their coach doesn't approve of) doesn't understand the strategy/argument itself.

 

EDIT: Also before I accidentally derail the thread I think this question on the role of the coach and the role of the debaters in the inter-workings of a functioning squad is relevant to a mutual understand of each others position but not necessarily to the thrust of this thread or the question it puts before us. That is a debate/discussion to be had elsewhere. Ultimately this IS a private matter that needs to be decided on a team by team or squad by squad basis by only the members involved. Obviously I can't make anyone's decision for them.

Edited by Felix Hoenikker

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I think that this is a very good idea for kansas debate. It's time for Kansas to come out of the stone ages and allow for more in depth debate. A project such as this will challenge teams to understand their arguments better, become more well read on their K in order to beat teams with blocks against it.

 

Because I think this is a good idea i will be the first to post my aff. Everyone else reading this around Kansas please do the same.

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Promise I am not trolling here. This will be my one and only post on this. But as a former member of the debate community on the Missouri side of State Line Road. I think that many here can see the forest through the trees. (or how ever that goes...)

One serious point that gets lost (that I know Alex just addressed above) is that the stylistic nature of how you choose to compete in the activity or how you have to compete (judging styles, lay, flow, ect...) does not affect having an open case list. The claims above are not based in intellectual accuracy. I will address a few of these.

 

1. Lay v. Flow Judges and the claim that an open caselist means you will have bad debate: This claim may not even pass the laugh test, let alone the common sense test. Alex hinted at this, but I will reiterate. Having a deeper understanding of your opponents claims can ONLY HELP you to explain your responses to their arguments and allow you to frame them in a way that can be more receptive to your critic. I would love to hear an explanation claiming that this would not be the case... Claims that people will not explain things to judges anymore are rooted in intellectual fallacies. Note as you read responses on this thread, there has yet to be a warrant given for this reasoning. Just a claim. Lest we forget all of the ballot comments like "the AFF understands their case better". Only proof positive that having a better understanding of another teams argument BEFORE the round begins can ONLY help a team, not hurt them.

 

2. Big Schools v. Small Schools. Really? Once again a re-cap here. There has yet to be a credible argument for why an open caselist disadvantages small schools. Unfortunately the reasons that opposition gives for this project under this reasoning is the exact reason that it needs to be done. Most of this is rooted in old school v new school ideologies.

 

3. Old School v. New School. These ideological divides are coming to a close. Unfortunately not due to some bridge of peace but rather the building of walls. One will not change the other, the individuals on both sides of this issue do not see it as "just information that can only benefit everyone". It speaks to the larger issue of the style of debate that those individuals find acceptable. While I might not agree with those in the "old school" camp on this particular issue, those on both sides must see the forest despite the trees. Once you understand that this issue is not based around information but rather along larger ideologies of how each side sees debate. Once viewed through that lens I think that it will be easier for both sides to frame arguments about specific issues in a better context, one that understands the ideological differences. I will not get into the whole ideological divide on this issue, as I think that both sides have merrit in their own right.

 

4. Coaches who do not want to be involved in this process: While I understand your wants. There is not now, nor has their ever been a wall of secrecy surrounding any school, squad, or team. Large school, small school, it does not matter. While coaches sit holed up in the comfort of the Tab room or hospitality suite (yes I know some not all, but enough) the students are out talking to each other, about who runs what, what arguments they have heard, so on and so forth. Even the smallest school can know what another school runs in about 2 seconds at a tournament. What makes people believe that this social network does not extend past the four walls of a tournament. People in this community are friends with one another. That is part of what drives participation in this activity.

 

5. Education v. Educators: I have yet to see, hear a response to the argument that the education aspect of our activity is based in the research that we do. As an educator, I have a hard time understanding the veil of secrecy that people opt for. If coaches want to be coaches fine. I think that they should instead opt to be educators. This is not a football game attempting to disguise playbook to gain a competitive advantage, this is not a physical activity. While this activity may keep score like a game, it keeps score to drive, drive, drive, education THROUGH competition. This IS an ED-U-CA-TION-AL activity. As an educator I have a responsibility not to just my students, but to ALL students. We cannot begin to call this an educational activity if we continue to operate under this veil of secrecy. Continuing to do so undermines the educational value of this activity. Be an EDUCATOR and NOT a coach.

 

If people disagree with this and what I have said above. That is thier prerogative. As I said above. This will be my only post on this issue, and is done so in an attempt to show from an outsider's prospective and a coaches perspective, that opposition to this project is flawed. I coach 1 team, because I have 1 team. (Policy) They want to attempt to qualify to the TOC. I know for a fact, that being isolated from the "national circuit" as we are in the KC area, the open case-list available through the debatecoaches.org website are critical to us being competitive against huge schools with much larger budgets and resources.

 

On a separate note...do coaches who oppose this case-list also oppose their teams having/using access to the many different open-evidence projects on different websites? Or is it just a justification that you want to get all you can without giving at all? Until coaches want to stop coaching and start educating. This project will continue along partisan lines.

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I think this is a good idea for champ/varsity level teams, but folks need to keep in mind that there is a whole lot of debate out there that isn't reflected among the (relatively few, anymore) high school debaters who post here. Yes, you're the face of the activity, you're the ones who win scholarships, and you're the ones who consistently do well at DCI and state.

 

However, the more traditional-style debates that take place in this state are the lifeblood of the activity. Many things that make sense in a champ-style round (and have been accepted as givens on the college/national circuits) - open cross-examination, shelled 1NC argumentation, grabbing evidence during speeches, oral critiques, speed, metaphysical critiques, and hell, even the de-emphasis on stock issues - don't work in the world of debates judged by laypeople who want to see our students role-play Congresscritters and speak with poise and clarity.

 

Pre-round disclosure is another piece of this; the more the debaters know about what each other is running, the more an inexperienced judge is left out of the loop. In a world without disclosure, you have to explain your arguments in the round to both your judge and your opponent. If you can't, you lose. Lay judges check back crap like the Death Cults and the "the" PIC because those arguments inherently don't make sense. They're what keeps our argumentation grounded in a realistic, pragmatic discussion, for all the good and bad that may entail.

This is not a convincing argument. As FH notes above, the stylistic differences that "don't work in a world of debates judged by laypeople" still don't work whether or not a team knows what the other side is running. If teams want to win in front of lay judges, they will still have to explain their arguments clearly and refute their opponents' arguments in the same manner. An open case list would improve clarity rather than diminish it. When students are aware of the arguments and the evidence behind them before the round, they are able to develop more coherent positions and work on refining their explanations to judges, rather than trying to just get it all straight in the round and muddling through. Additionally, by making a case/position list public, traditional teams would able to compete more easily with the so-called "elite." If students have access to information on positions like critiques and can read about them beforehand, then more easily refute them and complex, quasi-mystical positions don't seem that scary for the uninitiated. If it is possible to make that information easily available and if it would indeed improve the competitiveness of "regular" teams against so-called "elite" teams, then it is important to move toward better models of access.

 

If it would be preferred by people I can make it required to register and get approval from me to be able to edit the casebook. The process takes a bit longer and its not as easily accessible but it would make solving that easier.

This would be a disaster for your project. Wiki-based media thrives in that anyone can edit it and read it. Requiring that people get permission to post would undermine any attempts to start this up and keep it running efficiently. If there is someone who continually vandalizes the case list or posts things that should not be posted, then it is easy enough to ban their IP from making edits. Remember that the point of a wiki is that decentralized contributions to a centralized source create useful, accurate information. I urge you to hold to principles of open access and universal contribution. As I argued in my first post, debates can and should be public events. Encouraging this discourse to act more as though it actually is part of a public sphere is a good thing, and it would encourage better debate. Adhere to those principles and your project will be better than if you didn't.

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Would anyone be opposed to me uploading the flows of every team ive got a flow of in the state of kansas?

 

I dont want to start any trouble and i understand if Mr. Tidwell you would prefer to have your squads information left off.

 

I personally believe that a case list is the best way to develop strategies and advantage small schools, for example, Killian and I have to cut the majority of the evidence we read on the National Circuit. This weekend at New Trier their were 106 teams each with a unique twist to their affirmatives. Had it not been for the "wiki" we would not have been able to see how other teams had been answering the affirmatives or what we should be prepared to debate. Furthermore, in Kansas especially i find it problematic we don't have a wiki. The one tournament ive gone to inside of our borders was Hutchinson, and while i know a lot of you are fans of generic arguments like the Politics Disadvantage, the judging pool we found was not. These judges were all 100% competent but they wanted to see solid case debate, and i agree that makes for a lot of fun. The trouble arises when you have teams reading affirmatives that are what i would call "squirly" so its difficult to generate case specific negative. An example of this would be my first round. I debated an affirmative titled "Reading in Fundamentals" or RIF for short. While it was a great idea, it provided 26 million dollars to a non-governmental organization. In a world where generics are a viable option its game over because the states counterplan solves 100% of the affirmative and they cant leverage any offense, but when judges want case specific negatives that simply doesnt cut it. I ended up losing this debate not because the other team was more persuasive than i was but rather because "i didnt read any case specific negative". That's not a shot at the judge because i believe she had a valid point that good old case debate is the best place to learn technique, but in a world where i have to prepare against the "special of the week", it simply isnt fair. While using a system of disclosure teams would be able to break new every weekend it wouldnt be as effective. I firmly believe that for the benefit of the community we post the citations of our affirmative case on the wiki.

 

ESKOG:

Two questions that do not pertain to the wiki.

First, Out of curiousity why is grabbing someones evidence during their speech bad? Doesn't allow you to read the un-underlined portions of the evidence to increase the level of warranted analyisis on why your winning?

Second, why are oral critiques bad? Doesn't it allow us to learn what we are doing wrong and fix it?

Finally, I agree all debaters should respect their coaches decisions on this. I hope that coaches recognize the necessity of a comprehensive caselist.

 

Everyone in support of the caselist.

Try to be friendly and use good grammar. Last time i tried to convince coaches to do something i lacked both of those. It was absolutely devastating to the movement.

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