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Felix Hoenikker

Kansas Debate Caselist (Hopefully the last thread on this)

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Reid:

Thanks for the offer and the enthusiasm. At this point in time it'd be preferable if you just posted information that pertains to you directly. While there may be an opportunity to include info gathered in the process of debating other teams at this point I just want to make the transition as smooth as possible and not step on any toes.

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One of the best teams on the national circuit is Kevin Hirn and Misael Gonzalez from Whitney Young. While they are not from a huge debate school they are undoubtedly one of the most successful teams in the country. Do they hide all their secrets? No, in fact i asked Kevin for the citations of the arguments he read against me and he immediately gave them to me.

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while i didn't have time to sit here and read all of the posts in this thread, i tend to agree with the idea that the best way to get this caselist going is for debaters to use it.

 

as such, the Blue Valley North page of this wiki now has links to the NDCA wiki pages for BVN MW and BVN WC.

 

if anyone has specific questions, email us.

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Alex: I respect the opinions that are driving this project, and I see it as very beneficial to many teams in this state that desire a more college/National Circuit style debate. However, that does not represent the vast majority of my squad.

 

With that said, I will explain to my squad the approach that should be taken toward this project. If one of my teams wants to disclose their own positions on the wiki, they are welcome to. However, I would really appreciate no SM West position being announced on a public forum, such as a Wiki account by anyone other than SM West.

 

Thanks,

Ken King

SM West Debate

Edited by King
surprised, but evidently there was need for clarification

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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?

 

I think you misunderstood me a bit. I'm not saying that either of these things is inherently bad - in fact, if I'm judging your round, I have no problem with either - but that in a round in front of a more traditional-style judge, or a layperson, they probably don't belong.

 

[/derail]

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Apparently I’m really old. I don’t feel old, but I must be ancient, because as I read these posts all I think of is “back in my day…”

 

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.
Back in my day the 1NC was straight case with T and perhaps a couple DA shells. We didn’t have disclosure nor did we have a case list (at least not at the beginning of the season. I was on a huge squad, so by the end of the year we had one). And we had less prep time too. You know how we did it? We listened to the 1AC!! I know, that is completely radical. We didn’t take their evidence (that would have been considered rude) we actually listened to what the other team was saying and formulated responses on the fly.

 

Every day I use those skills that I developed to think and respond on the fly in the real world. It sadness me that the community is so scared of losing a round or two while you developed extemporaneous skills that you’d rather find shortcuts in the name of the almighty “better debate round”. I’ve seen that “better debate round”. I’d rather you learn some skills.

 

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?

Back in my day kids weren’t unethical about underlining tactics. And the check on this was that we did original research. One of my best friends still brags about the time that a team read some evidence against him, and he literally pulled out the book that the evidence came from and read the warrants and analysis they didn’t.

 

Now, I do teach my kids to get the evidence in CX, because there are a lot of teams that I feel are way too selective in their underlining habits. It’s a shame that it comes to that and really is a form of intellectual misconduct.

 

But I’ll ask you, why do you have to grab it while they are speaking? It is distracting and just plain rude. You are disrespecting the speaker by clearly communicating to all that what they are saying is not important, just what is on the paper. It makes me question why we even have speeches and not just have written debates.

 

Second, why are oral critiques bad? Doesn't it allow us to learn what we are doing wrong and fix it?
Back in my day judges didn’t think they were the coach. It was their responsibility to render a decision, and hopefully they gave warrants on the ballot. It was my coach and my responsibility to read those decisions to make me a better debater.

 

I can’t tell you how absolutely disappointing it is as a coach to see a ballot in tab room that just says “Oral Critique”. In that case the only thing I have to work with for coaching is the kid’s perspective of what the judge said. And as objective as you might think you are, your not. If you won, you don’t listen at all. If you lose, you debate the judge. And it is completely worthless by Monday, because you are just working from memory since there is nothing written down. Bottomline, the mindset is all wrong. Learning from the round is most beneficial during the week, not the weekend.

 

And don’t even get me started on how oral critiques can be pompous and arrogant. It only takes one jerk to ruin it for all, and we all know there are one or two judges out there who are more concerned with showing off than giving an objective decision or educating kids. I’m not indicting all, just saying the perception is tarnished greatly when that one judge is an idiot.

 

But mostly, oral critiques slow up a tournament. Tournaments that allow or encourage oral critiques always run longer and are less organized and efficient than ones that don’t.

 

not to step on a coach's toes, or anything, but this really confuses me. so what you are saying, is if anyone debates SM West, you expect them not to ever speak of, reference, or otherwise discuss what happens in that round, because it seems like that's not only impossible, but absurd and again, seems to undermine the purpose of the activity (an educational competition).
He is asking that you don’t disclose us against our will. If our teams choose to disclose, cool. If they don’t, then respect that they made that choice. And there is a big difference between speaking of, referenceing, or otherwise discussing and publishing to a wiki site. It seems obvious that this should go for any squad, but King is specifically asking that our squad and team’s choices be respected.

 

As you can see in my post above, I personally (not speaking for anyone but my own personal self!!!!) feel that this little experiment undermines the activity (an educational competition). But I have enough respect for all of you to do as you wish. Please have the same respect.

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Every day I use those skills that I developed to think and respond on the fly in the real world. It sadness me that the community is so scared of losing a round or two while you developed extemporaneous skills that you’d rather find shortcuts in the name of the almighty “better debate round”. I’ve seen that “better debate round”. I’d rather you learn some skills.

 

I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned upthread, but this is a major part of why I like my teams to face rounds where they don't know what their opponent is going to read. Yes, I get that good debaters still get this skill through different permutations of arguments in the rebuttals, but in a world without disclosure, some of our bad-to-mediocre debaters start to pick up this skill as well.

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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 point, it is different depending on your persuasive model for sure whether or not disclosure is helpful. I would also completely understand should open teams chose not to disclose. However, people who regularly compete in these new DCI divisions, or varsity or champ divisions (are there still any?) have much less excuse not to.

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Moderator: Please remove Jughead's post. It is INCREDIBLY OFFENSIVE!!!

Agreed. I apologize for not removing it faster. Midterms and whatnot.

 

Back in my day the 1NC was straight case with T and perhaps a couple DA shells. We didn’t have disclosure nor did we have a case list (at least not at the beginning of the season. I was on a huge squad, so by the end of the year we had one). And we had less prep time too. You know how we did it? We listened to the 1AC!! I know, that is completely radical. We didn’t take their evidence (that would have been considered rude) we actually listened to what the other team was saying and formulated responses on the fly.

That's not something that gets lost as the result of a casebook so not really an argument against it. And even if that is the case thats not a reason why a casebook is undesirable just an observation on past execution. I guarantee you if the technological innovation existed then it would have been used by someone. Maybe not in Kansas but someone.

 

Every day I use those skills that I developed to think and respond on the fly in the real world. It sadness me that the community is so scared of losing a round or two while you developed extemporaneous skills that you’d rather find shortcuts in the name of the almighty “better debate round”. I’ve seen that “better debate round”. I’d rather you learn some skills.

First thats insulting and generalizing if you want to make an argument using observations made from your own experiences please keep it specific. Generalizing all debate that's done with disclosure as bad debate is both an argumentative fallacy and not productive for the conversation at hand.

 

Second, there are a myriad of other activities people can do to develop extemporaneous skills like extemp and a handful of other speech events. The unique thing about Kansas is that unlike other states speech and debate is not a zero sum game students can choose to do both and many do, thus the reason why so many people in extemp during the Forensics season ARE debaters.

 

Third, just like some of the other concerns I addressed above this is not something that just goes by the wayside as a result of a casebook. Worse comes to worst the only real result is that students don't pay as much attention to the 1AC but EVERY OTHER PART of the debate is still has those elements and those are the more valuable manifestations of extemporaneous argumentation anyway because they occur at more critical points during the discussion. As perverse as this seems I can't help but think about parametrics. The affirmative that is read is just a more strictly defined manifestation of the resolution. Knowing what the starting point of the debate will be prior to the debate is not tantamount to the elimination of all on the spot innovation. If that were the case parli would be more desirable than policy.

 

Fourth, I find it kind of absurd that you're so derisive toward educational values that are prioritized by the proponents of this system. Not because you are an educator yourself because I will concede we are both talking about education simply different types but why is that particular type of education more valuable than topic education? If its true, as I've been told by many many coaches in the past, that one of the goals of debate is to create more active political participants even if that means just being an ordinary active citizen all the way up to running for and participating in some governmental office it seems to me that topic education should be prioritized. If there is any risk that this can improve the research process so students learn more when the most education happens then I think this is probably more comparatively desirable.

 

Fifth, the practical application in every day life to extemporaneous response is fairly limited. Most other departments of education favor arduous preparation, the maximization of research, and better critical thinking. While being able to respond to something on the fly is useful in some contexts its not really all that useful in a work environment. Teachers, to use your own profession, have to set out lesson plans and prepare themselves for the inevitable (or at least desirable) interrogation by students on whatever the topic of the day is in class so that an effective socratic dialogue can be produced and better classroom education can occur. While I have no doubt that some of my high school teachers did things "on the fly" I can say without hesitation that they were not my favorite teachers.

 

Back in my day kids weren’t unethical about underlining tactics. And the check on this was that we did original research. One of my best friends still brags about the time that a team read some evidence against him, and he literally pulled out the book that the evidence came from and read the warrants and analysis they didn’t.

That's an argument FOR a casebook not against one. Your friend got lucky. The majority of the time if a team reads a paragraph thats taken out of context, modifies evidence, whatever you won't get an opportunity during the debate to figure this out and call them out on it. A casebook increases the incentive for greater academic honesty and responsibility and forces teams to cut better evidence and make better arguments with that evidence.

Example for this. One of the teams on the UMKC squad reads an aff that ends Nuclear Sharing for Tactical Nuclear Weapons in NATO countries.

 

Earlier in the season teams began reading some pretty great evidence from a couple of Yost articles and some other cites. We got the cites off of the casebook and investigated and found that while the article was rhetorically powerful and sounded well warranted when you check the footnotes and looks at what is referenced and what his research was based on it tends to fall apart because a lot of the article isn't founded on either actual research or credible research. A casebook better facilitated our ability to check this out. More importantly it also makes it so that a team doesn't have to lose to an argument that is founded on nothing, is cut from a strawman, cut out of context, etc before they can do the research about their opponents evidence and discover it.

 

This can happen before the tournament and its forces teams to read better evidence or to come up with a solid defense of the research methods used by that author.

 

The casebook also keeps all of this in a centralized location. While in college we can type down the cites to an argument on our laptop and save it obviously that isn't an option at the high school level. Notes that we take down get lost, things get misspelled, URLs, page numbers, the complete title of articles and books, etc all can get lost in the process or be easily forgotten (shoved to the bottom of the backpack if you will). Having a centralized location solves all of that.

 

But I’ll ask you, why do you have to grab it while they are speaking? It is distracting and just plain rude. You are disrespecting the speaker by clearly communicating to all that what they are saying is not important, just what is on the paper. It makes me question why we even have speeches and not just have written debates.

Your concerns here are also solved by a casebook. Also like I said earlier in the thread these are all questions of conduct in the debate not relevant to the question at hand which is about what happens prior to the debate. And to answer the last question, because public speaking is important to learn and because of whats not written. The argument is not the evidence. I'm kind of surprised I have to explain that to coaches that all told me the same thing in high school.

 

Back in my day judges didn’t think they were the coach. It was their responsibility to render a decision, and hopefully they gave warrants on the ballot. It was my coach and my responsibility to read those decisions to make me a better debater.

If thats your opinion then fair enough. Next time I judge SMW I'll leave the explanation and suggestions out and just write an RFD on the ballot. But do understand that castigating judges for trying to help your kids and the community is counterproductive if you want some judges back. If thats not desirable to you then I guess thats your prerogative but part of why there's so much animosity between "new school" and "old school" is because derision and hostility is mutually reinforcing (one side does it the other does it back, tensions escalate, breaking points get reached and people leave or major rifts are created) who starts it is irrelevant the behavior is not warranted by either side. Not saying you necessarily do that rather making a general point about the relationship between coach and alum/judge that I think you highlighted well, albeit unintentionally.

Edited by Felix Hoenikker

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I'd also like to commend Shawnee Heights High School for being the first high school to post their full aff plan text, tags, cites, and all. Looks like there are more on the way thanks for the support and keep em coming.

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In respect to Mr. Volen's points...

Unfortunately, things are not back in your day and there have been substantial changes in debate. Many of those changes, as you point out, have been for the worse, but a lot of that could be remedied, lessened, or even reversed with some serious effort on the part of both coaches and debaters. A lot of what you mention (such as grabbing evidence while speaking and a criticism of oral critiques) is not particularly relevant to the discussion of disclosure and a case list. As such, I'll let others discuss that, and I'll focus on some of the points that I've noted below:

 

We listened to the 1AC!! […] I’ve seen that “better debate round”. I’d rather you learn some [extemporaneous] skills. […] Back in my day kids weren’t unethical about underlining tactics. […] we did original research. […] It makes me question why we even have speeches and not just have written debates. […] Back in my day judges didn’t think they were the coach. […] this little experiment undermines the activity (an educational competition) […]

There are some changes that need to be acknowledged by coaches and dealt with appropriately. One such change is camp evidence. Not only are kids bringing it back now just from camps, but the internet has allowed folks easy access to it (whether through dedicated websites, torrents, FTP, etc.), and there's really no stopping this. This means that researching every position that you debate not only isn't necessary, but it's not necessarily an efficient use of time. Instead of spending two weeks cutting answers to some obscure critique, kids already have those answers in a back file… If you hear some weird case, you might be able to look around in your box for something that applies to it specifically, even if you didn't cut it. In some ways, this is manifestly bad: students aren't doing the research that they used to; there has been a proliferation of generic, pre-cut negative positions; students run things that they don't really understand (some critiques, counter-plans, theory blocks, etc.) But, on the flip side, there are some pretty good things about this: the digitization of camp evidence means that small squads can compete with larger ones in terms of back files and even generic topic-specific files. And, importantly, the existence of back files means that folks can spend more time preparing specific positions rather than prepping for general ones. Since there is no going back to a world in which folks have to do research on every position they debate, it's up to coaches to responsibly deal with the sheer fact of digitized back files and to encourage their students to do relevant, topic-specific research.

 

The question emerges as to why any of this is relevant to a case list. A case list gives students both reason and motivation to do topic-specific research in a digital world. If students know that there are specific arguments out there, they can efficiently use their time and cut responses to them rather than relying on camp files and thinking that everything is a-okay. In a world with a case list, there is a very good reason to do specific, on-topic, case-based research from a student perspective. Coaches should use and encourage that. If you lament the loss of real, on-case research, you should be nothing but a proponent of a case list.

 

One of the things that you also lament is that people used to listen to the 1AC and they don't now. Your argument is that, given a case list, students simply wouldn't engage the 1AC, and that they would lose the skills to respond to arguments extemporaneously. First, it should be noted that this is already a problem, especially in champ rounds, since many students will simply run a generic politics disad or generic critique, effectively making the 1AC a waste of time. As I mention above, a case list gives a clear incentive to students to prepare detailed positions against their opponents and to return to the case. Yes, there will still be people who read generic disads and critiques, but listing those positions on a disclosure list means that people can be ready for them. But, still, one might argue that even if there were a return to case, that doesn't mean that folks would pay attention while the 1AC was happening and it means that they might not develop extemporaneous argumentative skills. I disagree. First, I think any team with a case-specific position will be inclined to listen for any significant changes (authors, structure, advantages, plan text) in a team's 1AC before running their arguments. Second, bringing the debate back to the case means that the 2AC has to respond to specific arguments against their case in ways that would be far, far more extemporaneous and rigorous than just reading a 2AC block against some generic critique. And, plus, we have to remember that there's a whole debate after the constructives. People are going to have to think on their feet then, too, and a case list means that debates will likely be more specific, better, and require more extemporaneous thinking than they currently do.

 

I think you are wrong that this experiment undermines the activity. I think that irresponsible responses by coaches to this experiment is what poses a danger. If coaches encourage this and use it properly, I think that it means that there might indeed be a "return" to a lot of the characteristics of good debate "back in the day" - case-specific debate, extemporaneous argumentation, and good research. But that's only if coaches use it properly and don't resist it. One way or another, there will probably be a debate wiki for Kansas sometime in the future. Coaches can help determine whether or not this is a place their students go to mine links to generic positions or whether or not it's a central tool for improving debate.

 

That said, I also think coaches should alter their perspective on this. It seems like a lot of coaches take the position, "Well, I don't necessarily want my squad's cases on there!" instead of realizing that a well-developed case list could give them lots of good intelligence on other squads and improve their research quality drastically. Hell, if someone had approached me back in the day and said, "Look, I've got really, really detailed flows of 50% of the top teams' cases, but you just have to provide an outline of your case," you can bet that I would go for that deal, and I think a lot of students would too.

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Alex: I respect the opinions that are driving this project, and I see it as very beneficial to many teams in this state that desire a more college/National Circuit style debate. However, that does not represent the vast majority of my squad.

 

With that said, I will explain to my squad the approach that should be taken toward this project. If one of my teams wants to disclose their own positions, they are welcome to. However, I would really appreciate no SM West position being announced on a public forum, such as a Wiki account by anyone other than SM West.

 

Thanks,

Ken King

SM West Debate

I think it's great that you're open to your teams disclosing their positions. One thing that I think is important to discuss is whether or not a caselist necessarily shifts debate in Kansas toward a more national-circuit or collegiate style. If it does, I can understand why many coaches would be opposed to it. But, to the contrary, I don't think that's the case at all. As I mentioned in my response to Mr. Volen, I think the appropriate use of a case list by coaches could result in much better "traditional" style of debate: better prepared argumentation that's specific to any given argument. If coaches were to use it properly, I think that it's possible that a case/position list could be used against some of the less attractive features of a poorly-imported collegiate style (bad generic critiques, bad politics disads, lack of case specific args, etc.) And I say that as someone who really enjoyed running critiques in their earlier days.

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My response to this would be to say that if the community wants to do it then do it. BUT (as others here have suggested) it should be an OPT IN process only. I don't care if my kids want to post their stuff but I would hope they would not disclose what others are doing. I would also hope/insist that they would not use the wiki if they did not disclose.

 

I would also applaud the standard from the community that no one post anonymously. This must be something you need to be willing to do. I would also suggest that it would go a long way to convincing those who are skeptical of this that it is a good or at least a benign thing. I doubt we can enforce it in any way but I do believe that if you are unwilling to post (or leave crappy comments on rep/feedback) and use your real name you should just stay away anyway.

 

I sense a real opportunity here for many of you to raise the bar in terms of the corporate behavior of this community. I would also assert that if this works and you all do actually protect those who do NOT OPT IN then your cause will be joined by more teams every year...

 

No offense to anyone here but there are no arguments or persuasion you can use with me here that has any weight without real action outside this forum. I challenge you all to start this in this spirit. You cannot buy my trust but I will happily give it to those whose actions not words demonstrate a respect for the disparate points of view here.

Edited by Dinosaurio

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No offense to anyone here but there are no arguments or persuasion you can use with me here that has any weight without real action outside this forum. I challenge you all to start this in this spirit. You cannot buy my trust but I will happily give it to those whose actions not words demonstrate a respect for the disparate points of view here.

I think this project calls for "real action" both from those who are starting it and the leaders in the community who can put it to good use, especially the coaches. Since I'm just a commentator, please take my words as that.

 

One "real action" thing that I think should excite coaches is that a case list gives an opportunity for more pro-active coaching than just re-active coaching. It's important and obviously worthwhile for both debaters and coaches to review ballots (when they're worthwhile and not just "oral critique") and flows to determine what worked and what didn't work after a round, and I wouldn't suggest otherwise. Of course, I think it's quite well-known that most good coaches go beyond that. They discuss the major positions with their students and think of responses to them. They discuss strategy and options. They discuss what stylistic choices and what arguments work best in front of what judges. But, of course, a lot of this is limited to what the team has already heard or what the team has been able to gather from disparate secondary sources, maybe flows from last weekend's tournament, camps, or friends in the community. A more comprehensive case list gives coaches more opportunities to effectively and pro-actively coach their students against some of the best arguments on any given topic. Yes, it does mean that other coaches should be doing the same thing against your case, but, in the end, that's going to make your kids better debaters. Week after week of facing good arguments rather than confusion means that when regionals, state, DCI, or nationals come around, they're going to be prepared to debate better than they would were you not able to pro-actively coach them against a wider range of positions and were they not used to responding to the strongest arguments out there.

 

Now, I'm not saying that coaches don't do that now without a case list. I'm saying that the way in which a case list expands opportunities for that should get coaches excited about doing better what they already do well.

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I think this project calls for "real action" both from those who are starting it and the leaders in the community who can put it to good use, especially the coaches. Since I'm just a commentator, please take my words as that.

 

One "real action" thing that I think should excite coaches is that a case list gives an opportunity for more pro-active coaching than just re-active coaching. It's important and obviously worthwhile for both debaters and coaches to review ballots (when they're worthwhile and not just "oral critique") and flows to determine what worked and what didn't work after a round, and I wouldn't suggest otherwise. Of course, I think it's quite well-known that most good coaches go beyond that. They discuss the major positions with their students and think of responses to them. They discuss strategy and options. They discuss what stylistic choices and what arguments work best in front of what judges. But, of course, a lot of this is limited to what the team has already heard or what the team has been able to gather from disparate secondary sources, maybe flows from last weekend's tournament, camps, or friends in the community. A more comprehensive case list gives coaches more opportunities to effectively and pro-actively coach their students against some of the best arguments on any given topic. Yes, it does mean that other coaches should be doing the same thing against your case, but, in the end, that's going to make your kids better debaters. Week after week of facing good arguments rather than confusion means that when regionals, state, DCI, or nationals come around, they're going to be prepared to debate better than they would were you not able to pro-actively coach them against a wider range of positions and were they not used to responding to the strongest arguments out there.

 

Now, I'm not saying that coaches don't do that now without a case list. I'm saying that the way in which a case list expands opportunities for that should get coaches excited about doing better what they already do well.

 

It appears you did not understand what I was saying. I was saying that it is the way in which you all go about this going forward, what actually happens with the wiki not the lip service early on. Alex has the ability to help make this work but it will take the whole group acting in a way it doesn't in this forum (from time to time) to really get a high percentage of buy-in from those who are doubtful.

 

As for the rest of your commentary (which really had nothing to do with my post imo), I don't know who you are and you seem uninterested in letting us know. A lack of transparency here among many posters is the type of thing will eventually create problems for the wiki going forward.

 

I really hope those who know me here understand what I am saying. It is interesting that many of those calling for the transparency of a wiki hide behind vague screen names. I personally don't care if people want to do this I was merely suggesting how many people will view it.

 

It was my public declaration of qualified support. I used to teach my sales force that they should stop talking once the prospect becomes a buyer. Usually they lost sales when they didn't know when to shut up and start to write out the sales contract. Now lets see if we can all pull it off...

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My response wasn't a negative criticism of anything that you had to say. In fact, I agree with most of it. I was merely building on the point about "real action" being valuable with respect to the case list, though in a different way that I think contributed positively to the discussion. Maybe that should have been clearer.

 

It's true that I don't have any particular desire to reveal my identity, but, were I to contribute cases to the wiki itself (which I won't do because my interaction with the community is more or less limited to talking to my former coach every so often, reading this forum once in a while, and maybe judging when I visit the area, which seldom happens), I would not do so anonymously. I'm just a former debater who had conversations like this years and years ago, and I saw an opportunity to positively contribute to this discussion. Whether or not it will work is up to you all, but hopefully my comments can positively impact its creation and reception.

 

My main point is this: even though case lists come from collegiate and national circuit debate, people in Kansas who prefer all different styles of debate can benefit from them. I think this is especially true of so-called "traditional" or "old school" coaches who want to see debate move back to focused research, case debate, and just plain good argumentation without the fireworks of "new school" debate. That won't happen on its own though. It requires commitment on the part of people contributing to and running the case list (edit: like you pointed out), and it also requires that coaches think about how they can contribute to it and as well as use it to benefit their students' education, competitiveness, and the community itself.

 

I'm glad you seem to be on board, but I'm also talking to coaches who occasionally read these debates and who aren't yet convinced.

Edited by therebeljohnbrown

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First thats insulting and generalizing if you want to make an argument using observations made from your own experiences please keep it specific. Generalizing all debate that's done with disclosure as bad debate is both an argumentative fallacy and not productive for the conversation at hand.
It is insulting? Well then I apologize. It is my experience that disclosure for the sake of “better debate rounds” is actually counter productive. It is my analysis that disclosure weakens the development of skills that I value greater than “better debate rounds”.

 

(If you are wondering why I keep putting that in quotes is because what makes a debate round better is very subjective)

 

Second, there are a myriad of other activities people can do to develop extemporaneous skills like extemp and a handful of other speech events.
This can be said about every educational benefit of policy debate. And why would I want to lose the development of these skills in policy debate? I’m saying the development of these skills, even if they are not exclusive to policy debate, is more important than any benefit of disclosure. I’d think the argument that a tournament needs to disclose the extemp questions before the tournament would be ridiculous even though it would allow for more research, better arguments, more polished presentation, and “better” competition. That is exactly what I think about debate too. If there are benefits to FX and DX, then why wouldn’t having those aspects in policy debate outweigh?

 

 

If that were the case parli would be more desirable than policy.
You said it, not me. Just kidding!!

 

I think we have some very philosophical differences when we look at the purpose of the 1AC. In my opinion your arguments undermine the legitimacy of evaluating the 1AC as a speech and thus the only thing the 1A should be evaluated on in the round is the coverage of the 1AR. I think this very much belittles the 1A and the legitimacy of why this is a speech event. That is my experience.

 

Fourth, I find it kind of absurd that you're so derisive toward educational values that are prioritized by the proponents of this system. Not because you are an educator yourself because I will concede we are both talking about education simply different types but why is that particular type of education more valuable than topic education? If its true, as I've been told by many many coaches in the past, that one of the goals of debate is to create more active political participants even if that means just being an ordinary active citizen all the way up to running for and participating in some governmental office it seems to me that topic education should be prioritized. If there is any risk that this can improve the research process so students learn more when the most education happens then I think this is probably more comparatively desirable.
1st, I believe that topic education is important. But more important than critical thinking skills, persuasion skills, or thinking on your feet skills? No. I will always value what I consider life skills over learning more about the specific resolution of any given year. Yes, one of the goals of debate is to create more active political partipants on all levels, but ask any of those coaches if that was their primary goal, and I suspect they’ll say no. Of course I don’t know who you are talking about specifically, so I don’t know.

 

Fifth, the practical application in every day life to extemporaneous response is fairly limited. Most other departments of education favor arduous preparation, the maximization of research, and better critical thinking. While being able to respond to something on the fly is useful in some contexts its not really all that useful in a work environment. Teachers, to use your own profession, have to set out lesson plans and prepare themselves for the inevitable (or at least desirable) interrogation by students on whatever the topic of the day is in class so that an effective socratic dialogue can be produced and better classroom education can occur. While I have no doubt that some of my high school teachers did things "on the fly" I can say without hesitation that they were not my favorite teachers.
1st, I’m not a teacher. As my login suggests, I work in the corporate world. I coach debate after school and on the weekends because I love the activity. So my perspective will always be warped based on wanting kids to get out of debate what I got out of debate and find useful. This goes back to my previous point about what kind of education is most beneficial.

 

2nd, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t prepare! I’m not saying that they should go into every round winging it. I’m actually saying the opposite. Without disclosure you have to be more prepared for anything that comes your way.

 

3rd, I may not be a teacher, but I’m willing to bet that teachers have to be prepared even when their lesson plan goes to heck.

 

4th, Every single day I have to think on my feet. Everyday. Whether it is my boss asking for me to solve a problem or a client asking for a service out of the blue, everyday I use the skills that I’m advocating that disclosure reduces.

 

And to answer the last question, because public speaking is important to learn and because of whats not written. The argument is not the evidence. I'm kind of surprised I have to explain that to coaches that all told me the same thing in high school.
Now that was funny!! Misses the point though. The “whats not written” could be written. There are academic debates all the time and no one speaks. Casebooks makes the 1AC and 1NC irrelevant because it is all written down. So why have the speeches if no one is listening? You are right, public speaking is important. I’d say more important than knowing your opponents case before hand. I’d advocate more people listening to the 1AC and 1NC, not doing something that diminishes that.

 

Next time I judge SMW I'll leave the explanation and suggestions out and just write an RFD on the ballot. But do understand that castigating judges for trying to help your kids and the community is counterproductive if you want some judges back. If thats not desirable to you then I guess thats your prerogative but part of why there's so much animosity between "new school" and "old school" is because derision and hostility is mutually reinforcing (one side does it the other does it back, tensions escalate, breaking points get reached and people leave or major rifts are created) who starts it is irrelevant the behavior is not warranted by either side. Not saying you necessarily do that rather making a general point about the relationship between coach and alum/judge that I think you highlighted well, albeit unintentionally.
1st, I don’t know how many times I have to say that I speak for myself, not my squad. I hope no one takes what I say and holds ill will against my kids. I trust that you are not saying that.

 

2nd, I think it is a matter of respect. Give me the tools to coach. That means filling out a ballot that gives me insight into the round so that I can coach. You should help, but when a judge engages in oral critiques they aren’t giving me the tools to do my job, they are attempting to do it for me. If you were to judge any team from SMW, I would hope that you would do everything you can to make the kids better debaters by writing everything on the ballot, including suggestions to get better. That is what I do when I judge. I may be a coach, but I’m not their coach, so I’m going to do as much as I can to help their coach do their job by filling out a ballot.

 

One of the things that you also lament is that people used to listen to the 1AC and they don't now. Your argument is that, given a case list, students simply wouldn't engage the 1AC, and that they would lose the skills to respond to arguments extemporaneously. First, it should be noted that this is already a problem, especially in champ rounds, since many students will simply run a generic politics disad or generic critique, effectively making the 1AC a waste of time. As I mention above, a case list gives a clear incentive to students to prepare detailed positions against their opponents and to return to the case. Yes, there will still be people who read generic disads and critiques, but listing those positions on a disclosure list means that people can be ready for them. But, still, one might argue that even if there were a return to case, that doesn't mean that folks would pay attention while the 1AC was happening and it means that they might not develop extemporaneous argumentative skills. I disagree. First, I think any team with a case-specific position will be inclined to listen for any significant changes (authors, structure, advantages, plan text) in a team's 1AC before running their arguments. Second, bringing the debate back to the case means that the 2AC has to respond to specific arguments against their case in ways that would be far, far more extemporaneous and rigorous than just reading a 2AC block against some generic critique. And, plus, we have to remember that there's a whole debate after the constructives. People are going to have to think on their feet then, too, and a case list means that debates will likely be more specific, better, and require more extemporaneous thinking than they currently do.
Ah, the deadly case turn. Even included some uniqueness. Well done. And you found the one thing I dislike more than disclosure, which is ignoring the case and going for all off case.

 

I found this very, very persuasive. But I do have a question for you. Why is it that the community that embraces casebooks is also the community that embraces all off in the 1NC (national circuit style)? As it has been pointed out, Kansas is in the dark ages. So everywhere else has casebooks and everywhere else behavior such as not listening to the 1AC is common place. Your argument that casebooks should solve that issue seems very sound to me. Why do you think in practice it is not true?

 

I think you are wrong that this experiment undermines the activity. I think that irresponsible responses by coaches to this experiment is what poses a danger. If coaches encourage this and use it properly, I think that it means that there might indeed be a "return" to a lot of the characteristics of good debate "back in the day" - case-specific debate, extemporaneous argumentation, and good research. But that's only if coaches use it properly and don't resist it. One way or another, there will probably be a debate wiki for Kansas sometime in the future.
You think I’m providing irresponsible responses because I voice my concerns on my perspective of what is best for the activity? Really? Okay, well you aren’t the 1st person to say I’m a bad coach/person and I doubt you’ll be the last. I do agree that the future is coming whether I like it or not. I sincerely hope that you are right that we can avoid the pitfalls that come with the specific style that does embrace casebooks.

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I think we have some very philosophical differences when we look at the purpose of the 1AC. In my opinion your arguments undermine the legitimacy of evaluating the 1AC as a speech and thus the only thing the 1A should be evaluated on in the round is the coverage of the 1AR. I think this very much belittles the 1A and the legitimacy of why this is a speech event. That is my experience.

I don't understand why this is true or how this connects to your argument about how it would decrease the ability of students to think on their feet. This doesn't make a lot of sense to me because of the argument I made earlier that this still occurs in every other speech in the debate. If the 1AC is devalued as a speech its only done by the debaters I don't know why this would affect the coach but this devaluation by the debaters also probably doesn't have an effect because its not that the 1AC is irrelevant its that they already know what it says so I don't really see a disadvantage.

 

Also, just speaking for myself, I'm a 1A/2N and I'd just like to say I don't think my first aff speech has a whole lot of value. I think, at least from my perspective, that its probably the most irrelevant speech in the debate. This is not to say that what the affirmative says is meaningless but that since the speech is 100% scripted and requires no critical thinking its probably the least valuable.

 

1st, I believe that topic education is important. But more important than critical thinking skills, persuasion skills, or thinking on your feet skills? No. I will always value what I consider life skills over learning more about the specific resolution of any given year. Yes, one of the goals of debate is to create more active political partipants on all levels, but ask any of those coaches if that was their primary goal, and I suspect they’ll say no. Of course I don’t know who you are talking about specifically, so I don’t know.

This is not an argument against the casebook. I can't see any way in which critical thinking or persuasion is affected and only one speech where "thinking on your feet" is affected and I've already answered concerns over that above. If we both agree that topic education is important and good then I don't see a legitimate concern about the effects on education.

 

1st, I’m not a teacher. As my login suggests, I work in the corporate world. I coach debate after school and on the weekends because I love the activity. So my perspective will always be warped based on wanting kids to get out of debate what I got out of debate and find useful. This goes back to my previous point about what kind of education is most beneficial.

On a totally unrelated note what do you do? I was always under the impression you taught at SMW for some reason so I'm just curious.

 

Additionally I think my point still stands. Thinking on your feet is important but I think virtually every career path has a preference toward greater education.

 

2nd, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t prepare! I’m not saying that they should go into every round winging it. I’m actually saying the opposite. Without disclosure you have to be more prepared for anything that comes your way.

As stereotypical as it may seem. Depth vs. Breadth I prefer Depth. <Insert that stuff here>.

 

3rd, I may not be a teacher, but I’m willing to bet that teachers have to be prepared even when their lesson plan goes to heck.

Yes but that also only WORKS when they've already prepared for the topic of the day. Even if the plan goes awry (to extend the metaphor to debate - say they've got a devastating DA to the CP you thought you were going to go for) they are only still successful if they did the preparation in terms of whatever the educational equivalent is to the research process of debate.

 

4th, Every single day I have to think on my feet. Everyday. Whether it is my boss asking for me to solve a problem or a client asking for a service out of the blue, everyday I use the skills that I’m advocating that disclosure reduces.

Same argument applies here.

 

Casebooks makes the 1AC and 1NC irrelevant because it is all written down. So why have the speeches if no one is listening?

Because this is a game and time allocation, highlighting, speed, efficiency, etc are all factors in that game. Additionally this question was originally about debaters grabbing cards during a speech which is also not an argument against the casebook.

And the 1AC is the only speech, if even that, that you don't have to listen to with rapt attention. The most common 1NC strats that a team has been reading does not mean that the array of possibilities for negative innovation suddenly don't exist. Even at the collegiate level where we have pre-tournament and pre-round disclosure negs don't disclose what the 1NC is going to be and people read new neg strats all the time.

 

I think it is a matter of respect. Give me the tools to coach. That means filling out a ballot that gives me insight into the round so that I can coach. You should help, but when a judge engages in oral critiques they aren’t giving me the tools to do my job, they are attempting to do it for me. If you were to judge any team from SMW, I would hope that you would do everything you can to make the kids better debaters by writing everything on the ballot, including suggestions to get better. That is what I do when I judge. I may be a coach, but I’m not their coach, so I’m going to do as much as I can to help their coach do their job by filling out a ballot.

This has nothing to do with the question at hand, I just want to emphasize that again before responding. Even if I decide to give up on defending oral critiques it is not a reason to reject the casebook.

That being said here's the facts. Things get lost in translation. Maybe I can't explain myself as clearly in writing as I can if I explain it to them verbally and they can ask for clarification on that back. There's also problems like handwriting, spatial limitations on the ballot, and the fact that in a world where coaches are rushing to get through a tournament as fast as is humanly possible I just can't get everything written on the ballot that I want to. I can take shorthand notes on my laptop about things I want to remember to mention after the debate but its pretty difficult for me to do that on a ballot and have it make any sense at all. Maybe thats just something unique to me which is why I said I'd default to your preference and not give oral critiques if I'm judging an SMW team but I have an inkling that this isn't just unique to me and I want to be able to help not just give an RFD.

Last, and I preface this by saying once again that this is just me, I don't try to coach your kids for you. I always preface EVERY suggestion I give to kids, and debaters I've judged that read this can attest, by saying that they should consult their coaches first and their perspective on the viability of whatever I'm about to suggest should always be preferred because I am not a coach.

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My response wasn't a negative criticism of anything that you had to say. In fact, I agree with most of it. I was merely building on the point about "real action" being valuable with respect to the case list, though in a different way that I think contributed positively to the discussion. Maybe that should have been clearer.

 

It's true that I don't have any particular desire to reveal my identity, but, were I to contribute cases to the wiki itself (which I won't do because my interaction with the community is more or less limited to talking to my former coach every so often, reading this forum once in a while, and maybe judging when I visit the area, which seldom happens), I would not do so anonymously. I'm just a former debater who had conversations like this years and years ago, and I saw an opportunity to positively contribute to this discussion. Whether or not it will work is up to you all, but hopefully my comments can positively impact its creation and reception.

 

My main point is this: even though case lists come from collegiate and national circuit debate, people in Kansas who prefer all different styles of debate can benefit from them. I think this is especially true of so-called "traditional" or "old school" coaches who want to see debate move back to focused research, case debate, and just plain good argumentation without the fireworks of "new school" debate. That won't happen on its own though. It requires commitment on the part of people contributing to and running the case list (edit: like you pointed out), and it also requires that coaches think about how they can contribute to it and as well as use it to benefit their students' education, competitiveness, and the community itself.

 

I'm glad you seem to be on board, but I'm also talking to coaches who occasionally read these debates and who aren't yet convinced.

 

I didn't think you were being negative (maybe repetitive but not negative) and my comments were not directed solely at you as yours weren't solely toward me, ergo my last point in the post...I might also suggest that your intended audience is far less inclined to value an anonymous poster's comments to one they might know or remember from the circuit. JMO

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I'm not from Kansas, so take what I say for what you will, but if the system of total disclosure that Alex wants to adopt is in line with the procedures taken at the collegiate level, it will be positive for Kansas debate. College debate is the most advanced and intense form of debate in the country. Say what you will about the national circuit, but all the college programs in Kansas college debate disclose cases and neg positions on the wiki. If the most advanced, in-depth, and educational form of debate is college then it provides a good model for high school. Period.

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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.

 

I just thought I should mention that in advocating good grammar you forgot to capitalize your "i"s, Reid. Haha, no harm man, you can make it up in a round.

 

Onto the substance of this, I haven't read most of whats been going on (because I simply don't have time), but let me make a suggestion and a statement.

 

Suggestion: KCKCC could really drive this disclosure forward.

 

Statement: SME will always disclose to other teams unless you don't disclose to us. That said, if another team has us disclose to them and then DOESN'T disclose, I will be posting complete cites for them on the wiki. Even if you (in hind sight) don't support it.

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Statement: SME will always disclose to other teams unless you don't disclose to us. That said, if another team has us disclose to them and then DOESN'T disclose, I will be posting complete cites for them on the wiki. Even if you (in hind sight) don't support it.

Mutual pre-round disclosure is kind of excessive. Unless you're just asking them what args they've been reading at the tournament. (Ex. often times teams at the collegiate level will ask a team what Ks or Politics DAs they've been reading)

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I come to Cross-X to see if I can discover how some coach friends of mine are doing and I stumble upon this thread.

 

I'll be completely honest. Some of the reactions to Alex's idea are a lot of the reasons I don't come back to help out the community as much as I want. This insular mode of thinking does not really accomplish anything. It turns me off in wanting to give back. In addition, this type of thinking is apparent in the way that some coaches react to certain judging philosophies and such displayed by people wanting to help in the Kansas high school community. I'm way older now but I know that coaches ridicule me behind my back for believing in things like this Caselist Wiki and various other things that I believe in.

 

Did I make any arguments for or against the Wiki here? Implicitly, sure. However, more than anything, I just wanted to share the viewpoint of an outsider who yearns for more inclusion and fewer barriers in Kansas debate only to find that things hardly change. That lack of change and acceptance is an big impediment for my participation in helping an activity that shaped who I am and love dearly.

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… this is just me, I don't try to coach your kids for you. I always preface EVERY suggestion I give to kids, and debaters I've judged that read this can attest, by saying that they should consult their coaches first and their perspective on the viability of whatever I'm about to suggest should always be preferred because I am not a coach.
And this is why I respect you as a judge. But I think we both know that there are those out there who don’t do this and that is why you said “this is just me”. That was my point.

 

And, because you asked, I work for JP Morgan in the retirement plan division. My job is to help sales win clients and then set the programming in place to accept payroll data to properly administer their 401K and retirement plans.

 

…the system of total disclosure that Alex wants to adopt is in line with the procedures taken at the collegiate level, it will be positive for Kansas debate. College debate is the most advanced and intense form of debate in the country. Say what you will about the national circuit, but all the college programs in Kansas college debate disclose cases and neg positions on the wiki. If the most advanced, in-depth, and educational form of debate is college then it provides a good model for high school. Period.
Wow! To say what is good for college is good for high school is a huge misnomer. I’m not even trashing on college debate, but there are lots of aspects of college debate that should never be a part of high school debate.

 

See, in Kansas 90% of our kids have no interest in college debate. If I made them debate to prepare for college debate, many of them would quit the activity. So if the standard is that it would be more like college debate, well at best that isn’t a reason to do it here. That isn’t “new school” versus “old school”. That is prioritizing what is best for the majority of kids without hindering the 10%.

 

Did I make any arguments for or against the Wiki here? Implicitly, sure. However, more than anything, I just wanted to share the viewpoint of an outsider who yearns for more inclusion and fewer barriers in Kansas debate only to find that things hardly change. That lack of change and acceptance is an big impediment for my participation in helping an activity that shaped who I am and love dearly.
This post sadden me. For some reason I can’t post without people thinking I’m speaking for my entire squad or for every coach in Kansas. If you don’t feel you can participate in this activity because I’m outspoken about my disagreement with many things that are viewed as progressive, then I’ve done you a great disservice. I guarantee there are lots of coaches that disagree with me and share your viewpoints. Seek them out.

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