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Felix Hoenikker

Kansas Debate Caselist (Hopefully the last thread on this)

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What I think is more telling about this discussion is not it's attempt to resolve the question of whether caselists have any benefit for the community, but rather WHO is discussing it. If you look at the posts in this thread, an overwhelming majority of them have been made by old people, and by old people I mean people who aren't high school debaters anymore.
Dude, like, I thought we were, like, BFF’s. But now you hate’n on peeps that been there and done that. Calling me old, whatever!!

 

Interesting point you make there about who is posting. I see those in favor of casebooks are some former high school debaters (old people by your definition), some out of state debaters, and some that solely want to do national circuit style debate. That is hardly what I would consider a forum on what the average high school debater in Kansas thinks. But I could be wrong. I'm old afterall.

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I gather that the idea is that students will vote on whether they want a case disclosure list by either participating or not participating. Hence this being "hopefully the last thread".

 

If we're wary of trying to make this decision on behalf of the students, then our default position would presumably favor of the existence of a case list, if not its use by our own debaters. The nonexistence of the list removes the decision entirely from their hands.

Edited by STADB9

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I'm done defending this in this thread. If some of you choose to be as dogmatic in your beliefs as I am about mine then its incredibly unlikely that either side is going cede much ground or change their minds.

 

I will say that I think it is a mischaracterization to say that "we do in two minutes what it takes you in two hours." I'm sorry but this is just not true. Debates done on the fly, while possibly more difficult from the perspective of the students, are not better debates. Often time the students have no idea what the affirmative is talking about and just aren't prepared for the debate and rely on case pimps and generic disads. Very rarely are there specific strategies executed on the fly unless a team just happened to predict the affirmative and most of the advantage areas. I personally think I learned more in the two topics I've done in college than all four of the topics I did in high school combined and by more I mean much more. Maybe thats what this community believes is preferable and if thats the case that makes me quite sad but it's not my choice to make its yours.

 

I don't usually defend Tommy (Jughead) but he's not saying disclose one thing and read another. He's saying that, shocking possibility I know, a team can always read new advantages. In keeping with what has been discussed and explained as the norm at the collegiate level teams are always allowed not to disclose something if they have never read it before. New advantages, new solvency advocates, or new affirmatives are all still options its not like a team is stuck with the affirmative they read at the first tournament the whole year thats an absurd standard and its clearly not what proponents of a caselist are advocating.

 

Teams only read camp evidence constantly and do no work because they don't have to. They can still play the same old game of "gotcha bitch!" every weekend. Every complaint any one of the coaches in this thread have with how lazy debaters are or hearing the same thing every weekend are descriptive of how debate is done now. Hopefully, Mr. Anderson, students would have an incentive to move toward more innovation. And even if they don't its not a reason why we are in the wrong but rather why the community and the participants are in the wrong. I would hope you go out every weekend because you chose to do what you enjoy (debate) and love the activity and bringing an immersive and productive forum for learning to your students.

 

Students go to tournaments because this is a game. We play this game because it is fun, because we want to see the fruits of our labor, and because its challenging. All the work is done before a tournament, the tournament is supposed to be the payoff because its supposed to be fun. If you don't think tournaments are fun but rather see the very act of debating and attending a tournament a grueling burden and the on the fly execution of poorly conceived, on the spot concocted strategies the only solace given by these weekend long practices in torture then that is truly depressing.

 

Last but not least, I don't know if you know what you're doing but this community sucks to try to be a participant in. You think you have it bad going to tournaments? Its your job, you are paid for it, and you have a vested interested in seeing the fruits of yours and your students labor. An alum be it just 2 years out to 10 years out that is asked to come to a tournament with no positive incentive beyond his love for the activity should not be put in a position where there is not only no positive incentive for coming and participating but is also expected to deal with the glares of coaches, outright derision, and open hostility while watching debate after debate after haphazard debate. I don't know if this is something actively pursued by coaches but understand that whether you think you are doing it or not or whether you want to do it or not you are creating an atmosphere that actively pushes out the people it produces.

 

I'm not saying this is true of all coaches in the thread and it doesn't eliminate the respect I have for virtually any of you. You, collectively, made me who I am today. But I have tried to be as accommodating as is possible. I made this process opt in, if you wanted your school taken out I did, I made myself open to change the system however you desired. Mr. Anderson, your reaction, I think, is a flawless example of what I perceive as a real problem. Maybe you don't but, in keeping with the theme of this post, if you don't I think that is truly sad.

Edited by Felix Hoenikker
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I'm saying we're all old, myself included. It's been a page or two since anybody who is even enrolled in high school has made a comment. That point was made explicitly clear in my post.

 

Also, I don't care why anyone opposes or supports the caselist. What I'm saying is maybe you should let your kids decide for themselves because that's the only reason you're here. We're not the ones doing the debating, and that's probably a good thing. Too often these kinds of conversations come down to how we feel personally, and that rarely reflects how the ones actually doing the debating feel. "Knowing what's best" only goes so far until it turns into selfishness and stubbornness. It seems like every question that gets everybody upset ends up in a worthless drag-on like this. Maybe it's time to ask the debaters how they feel rather than assuming we know what's best for them. This seems like the perfect situation because it's an optional caselist, and assuming people don't start posting other people's affirmatives, we'll find out how many kids in the state actually support this. Who knows, maybe it will actually make some of them better. It certainly isn't going to destroy debate, and if you think it will, you're being dramatic and need to take a breather.

 

That being said, my whole point originally was, if your kids want to post their affs, so be it. If they don't, that's their decision. We're here to make the best experience for them, not for us, so I guess I was trying to say politely is that maybe we should all shut up about it and intervene only when you need to, and if you have to, do it objectively rather than putting on a grand display of your own personal opinion. 9 times out of 10, who really gives a shit what we think? If the kids don't, then why should it matter? It would do a hell of a lot more to remember this isn't about us than it would to have an endless argument about something as frivolous as an optional caselist...

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I'm done defending this in this thread. If some of you choose to be as dogmatic in your beliefs as I am about mine then its incredibly unlikely that either side is going cede much ground or change their minds.

 

I will say that I think it is a mischaracterization to say that "we do in two minutes what it takes you in two hours." I'm sorry but this is just not true. Debates done on the fly, while possibly more difficult from the perspective of the students, are not better debates. Often time the students have no idea what the affirmative is talking about and just aren't prepared for the debate and rely on case pimps and generic disads. Very rarely are there specific strategies executed on the fly unless a team just happened to predict the affirmative and most of the advantage areas. I personally think I learned more in the two topics I've done in college than all four of the topics I did in high school combined and by more I mean much more. Maybe thats what this community believes is preferable and if thats the case that makes me quite sad but it's not my choice to make its yours.

 

I don't usually defend Tommy (Jughead) but he's not saying disclose one thing and read another. He's saying that, shocking possibility I know, a team can always read new advantages. In keeping with what has been discussed and explained as the norm at the collegiate level teams are always allowed not to disclose something if they have never read it before. New advantages, new solvency advocates, or new affirmatives are all still options its not like a team is stuck with the affirmative they read at the first tournament the whole year thats an absurd standard and its clearly not what proponents of a caselist are advocating.

 

Teams only read camp evidence constantly and do no work because they don't have to. They can still play the same old game of "gotcha bitch!" every weekend. Every complaint any one of the coaches in this thread have with how lazy debaters are or hearing the same thing every weekend are descriptive of how debate is done now. Hopefully, Mr. Anderson, students would have an incentive to move toward more innovation. And even if they don't its not a reason why we are in the wrong but rather why the community and the participants are in the wrong. I would hope you go out every weekend because you chose to do what you enjoy (debate) and love the activity and bringing an immersive and productive forum for learning to your students.

 

Students go to tournaments because this is a game. We play this game because it is fun, because we want to see the fruits of our labor, and because its challenging. All the work is done before a tournament, the tournament is supposed to be the payoff because its supposed to be fun. If you don't think tournaments are fun but rather see the very act of debating and attending a tournament a grueling burden and the on the fly execution of poorly conceived, on the spot concocted strategies the only solace given by these weekend long practices in torture then that is truly depressing.

 

Last but not least, I don't know if you know what you're doing but this community sucks to try to be a participant in. You think you have it bad going to tournaments? Its your job, you are paid for it, and you have a vested interested in seeing the fruits of yours and your students labor. An alum be it just 2 years out to 10 years out that is asked to come to a tournament with no positive incentive beyond his love for the activity should not be put in a position where there is not only no positive incentive for coming and participating but is also expected to deal with the glares of coaches, outright derision, and open hostility while watching debate after debate after haphazard debate. I don't know if this is something actively pursued by coaches but understand that whether you think you are doing it or not or whether you want to do it or not you are creating an atmosphere that actively pushes out the people it produces.

 

I'm not saying this is true of all coaches in the thread and it doesn't eliminate the respect I have for virtually any of you. You, collectively, made me who I am today. But I have tried to be as accommodating as is possible. I made this process opt in, if you wanted your school taken out I did, I made myself open to change the system however you desired. Mr. Anderson, your reaction, I think, is a flawless example of what I perceive as a real problem. Maybe you don't but, in keeping with the theme of this post, if you don't I think that is truly sad.

 

Alex, I applaud your efforts to improve this activity (I really do), but do not be so thin-skinned when your ideas are tested in a public forum. If your ideas are good, a couple of posts from some idiot like me will hardly put a dent in your armor.

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Some of what's been going on in this thread--and the discussions of it elsewhere--has been stewing in me for a little while. Pi's and Alex's comments regarding interaction between coaches and non-coaches, and the reactions to them, have been particularly significant. I'm less interested in the case list as a concept than with the way we define community in the activity.

 

I've written and deleted a couple of very long posts related to the issue of interaction between coaches and non-coaches on this forum. Some of what I've had to say has pertained to the public discussions in this thread; some of it has to do with what's being said behind the scenes on this issue. I think it would be best if I just expressed my feelings in a couple of brief snippets and then excused myself from this thread.

 

1. Non-coaches, particularly collegiate judges, have an accurate perception of the general contempt a large number of coaches hold them in. The "old boys' network" is real, though its boundaries are amorphous; it's never going to go away, and I'm tired of dealing with people who scoff at the concept.

 

2. Non-coaches need to accept this and go on with their lives. If you think your efforts aren't appreciated, then withhold them from those who you see as the source of the problem. Don't judge for them or do research for their kids. If you think you're being abused, get out of the relationship. If you're not going to do so, then stop whining about it. I'm tired of hearing people bitch about the "old boys' network" while enabling it.

 

3. Coaches control the rules. That won't change. Your online suggestions are not of interest to the bulk of the coaching community and nothing you post here is ever, ever going to produce a procedural change. Nice of you to approach us politely and to think that we care about the opinions you express here. Most of us don't. Move along.

 

4. Coaches do not control technology. A good faith effort was made here to create a public case list which coaches could opt their squads out of. Since this has provoked a backlash among coaches, I suspect there will now be a case list of which many students are aware which coaches do NOT have the ability to opt their squads out of.

 

If you want to achieve change, then spend your energy on things over which you have control. Don't beat your heads against a brick wall soliciting official approval. It will not be forthcoming. This thread is the latest in a long series of proofs of that fact.

 

I value the community...all of it...but it depresses me inutterably sometimes.

Edited by STADB9
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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've been away from this thread for a bit. First, I'm not sure that good college debaters refuse to listen to the 1AC. From my (limited) experience, many of the on-case college debates that I participated in and watched have been of pretty high quality. Not all of them, of course, but many. A relevant question to ask is whether or not college debates would become more or less specific and focused without case lists and disclosures. I think you'd probably see a higher proliferation of generic arguments without disclosure, and I think debates would get a lot worse.

 

Second, I think that creating better case debate requires the participation of coaches in this process. If coaches shun this as a teaching tool, it might be the case that some kids will just mine it for links to pre-existing positions and the ability of a case list to solve problems in Kansas debate will be diminished. Aside from that, I still think that there will be a natural tendency for the case list to encourage better case debate in the way I described for the reasons (such as the motivation of specific prep work) given in my previous post. As I mentioned earlier, there is no reason to think that a case list would necessarily push Kansas debate toward a more collegiate style in the round (whether or not that's good or bad is another debate). The factors that control in-round stylistic choices (namely, judges) are unrelated to a case list.

 

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.
Not at all. I think it's responsible to voice your opinion on these matters. I was thinking of non-specific, hypothetical coaches out there who would arbitrarily shun a case list and the use of new technology. Holding a reasoned position is not the same as an irresponsible response by any measure.

 

You now know all of my arguments, and I now know all of yours.

 

Why then am I putting my fat ass on a bus every weekend to drag kids halfway across the state to hear your dumb ass read the exact same crap you posted two weeks prior?

I suppose that you would continue to do so because it's your job. But, still, that answer isn't satisfactory to coaches who are either volunteers or want more out of the activity than a paycheck. And this is a legitimate concern. Why put in a lot of effort if all the arguments remain the same and no one has done any work? I guess there's not much incentive to do that. But that's not a realistic picture of how debate currently is and how a case list contributes to the activity. First, there are still new, undisclosed affirmatives that are run regularly. As far as I know, it's not common practice to disclose these in detail until after they're run. Second, many times in Kansas there are kids running the same arguments every weekend without modification (at least as far as I can recall). Why? Because they can usually get away with it. They might not always hit the same teams on the same side every weekend, and so they can expect that, at least in half of their debates in pre-lims, they'll face opponents who haven't specifically prepared for them. If you want students to change up and improve their arguments, a case list helps in that. Third, because of disclosure, negatives can use that time to think of new, better arguments against an affirmative and affirmatives have to increase the quality and rigor of their responses. Negatives can't get by running the same lazy disads, counterplans, critiques, and obfuscated non-sense every weekend because 2AC's will develop blocks for it. And affirmatives have to make their cases and blocks air-tight. On the whole, you are making a mistake by assuming that disclosure implies that arguments become static. As I mentioned above, case lists are a recipe for more specific debates and strategies that require more in-depth thinking both outside and inside of the round. Presumably, as a coach and educator, it's both your job and responsibility to care about that.

 

You now know what we're going to say, and we now know what you are going to say.

 

What is the point of attending tournaments if all the thinking is done before you get on the bus? You sure as hell aren't adding anything to the text with your double-clutching, your gasping, your half-bent wretching.

The specific properties of thinking make disclosure a better educational model in addition to being better for competition. For example, in summarizing cognitive scientist Dr. Daniel Willingham's Why Don’t Students Like School? A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions about How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom, Maryellen Weimer notes that Willingham argues that there are three important aspects of thinking: it's (1) slow, (2) effortful, and (3) uncertain. (See http://www.teachingprofessor.com/articles/thinking/properties-of-thinking). This means that students need time and space to process information and arguments, to understand them, and to develop better responses to them. Allowing them the time and concentration to do that and giving them clear motivation (as I think a case list provides) is the responsible thing to do as an educator. It allows time for them to work on resolving complexities and uncertainties as they emerge. As I mentioned, this doesn't eliminate the need to have spontaneous, in-round analysis, but it does help students to become better debaters and critical thinkers outside the round. Focusing on just tournaments and not the preparation for tournaments is an error on your part.

 

Don't talk to me about spontaneity as the reason we ought to still have tournaments; that's exactly what you're trying to kill.

No, it's not. The structure of debate rounds requires spontaneity and analytical quickness. What people are trying to do is allow that spontaneity and quickness to be informed by thinking about the issues presented in debate more deeply. By this logic, all preparation for debate should be shunned. Students shouldn't know the topic until they walk into the round, shouldn't be allowed to carry evidence or files, or talk about debates after they're done. But, presumably, you would be against that too, no?

 

You may piss all over the way debate used to be, but we're the ones who did in two minutes what it takes you to do in two weeks. Have fun prepping each other out in your basements, you louts.
I'm not sure that this was a productive or helpful comment, and I think the entire tone of your post detracted from this discussion.

 

Alex, I applaud your efforts to improve this activity (I really do), but do not be so thin-skinned when your ideas are tested in a public forum. If your ideas are good, a couple of posts from some idiot like me will hardly put a dent in your armor.

It's not that you're necessarily an idiot (I don't know you), it's that the tone of your post was rude and dismissive. Testing someone's ideas is good, but most serious academics (edit: and people generally) have the ability to rise above calling each other basement-dwelling louts to discuss issues.

 

Coaches do not control technology. A good faith effort was made here to create a public case list which coaches could opt their squads out of. Since this has provoked a backlash among coaches, I suspect there will now be a case list of which many students are aware which coaches do NOT have the ability to opt their squads out of.

I think this point should really be emphasized and coaches should burn it into their brains. Only responsible engagement with a case list will allow coaches to have some say over how it's run and how it contributes to better debate and learning.

 

Some of the responses in this thread might show why anonymity when dealing with these matters is best. For example, if a new site for a case list emerges sometime in the future, the person who runs might think it wise to stay anonymous, lest they incur the wrath of the old boys' network. That there is such contempt for ideas that challenge "the way things have always been" is a reason why I decided to remain anonymous. Heck, when I do judge, I prefer not to incur scoffs behind tab room doors.

Edited by therebeljohnbrown

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Some of what's been going on in this thread--and the discussions of it elsewhere--has been stewing in me for a little while. Pi's and Alex's comments regarding interaction between coaches and non-coaches, and the reactions to them, have been particularly significant. I'm less interested in the case list as a concept than with the way we define community in the activity.

 

I've written and deleted a couple of very long posts related to the issue of interaction between coaches and non-coaches on this forum. Some of what I've had to say has pertained to the public discussions in this thread; some of it has to do with what's being said behind the scenes on this issue. I think it would be best if I just expressed my feelings in a couple of brief snippets and then excused myself from this thread.

 

1. Non-coaches, particularly collegiate judges, have an accurate perception of the general contempt a large number of coaches hold them in. The "old boys' network" is real, though its boundaries are amorphous; it's never going to go away, and I'm tired of dealing with people who scoff at the concept.

 

2. Non-coaches need to accept this and go on with their lives. If you think your efforts aren't appreciated, then withhold them from those who you see as the source of the problem. Don't judge for them or do research for their kids. If you think you're being abused, get out of the relationship. If you're not going to do so, then stop whining about it. I'm tired of hearing people bitch about the "old boys' network" while enabling it.

 

3. Coaches control the rules. That won't change. Your online suggestions are not of interest to the bulk of the coaching community and nothing you post here is ever, ever going to produce a procedural change. Nice of you to approach us politely and to think that we care about the opinions you express here. Most of us don't. Move along.

 

4. Coaches do not control technology. A good faith effort was made here to create a public case list which coaches could opt their squads out of. Since this has provoked a backlash among coaches, I suspect there will now be a case list of which many students are aware which coaches do NOT have the ability to opt their squads out of.

 

If you want to achieve change, then spend your energy on things over which you have control. Don't beat your heads against a brick wall soliciting official approval. It will not be forthcoming. This thread is the latest in a long series of proofs of that fact.

 

I value the community...all of it...but it depresses me inutterably sometimes.

 

I think you're selling yourself way too short on this. I'm sorry if your frustrations have resulted in this temporary apathy, and I don't think what you say is untrue, but there's not any good reason it has to remain true.

 

In high school and my brief period since, I've never debated for or worked for a coach who played into this "good old boys" system. I've also met and spoken with a lot of coaches who don't hold the views that a lot of very stubborn and selfish coaches have in this community.

 

I feel like what you're saying to the community, and specifically to the things I've had to say on this issue, are a lot like somebody saying that writing your representative won't ever accomplish anything, and you can't ever make the system any different than what it is. I think there's been far too many progressions over the last century to just accept that sort of attitude.

 

Simply put: This activity has so much more to do with making debate an activity that provides a fruitful experience for anyone, than it does about some group of stubborn pricks thinking they can make everything just like how it was in the "good old days". I won't ever stop thinking that people who decided to make debate a full-time career made that decision because they loved what debate did for them, and they wanted nothing more than to give that opportunity to as many people as they could.

 

If there are coaches out there, and there might be, who decided to do this job because they wanted to feel important, powerful, and control the community and their students to the point that its manifestation would only exist in a certain and exclusive way, then I think it's only fair to tell those individuals they reconsider why they're coaching, and what their coaching style is doing to their students. If it's just about the "good old boys", maybe it's time to hit the showers. There's plenty of bureaucratic bull shit going on at every staff meeting in every high school in America to fulfill those petty desires. I know I owe everything I love about to debate to the people who made it possible for me to get what I wanted out of it, and for never telling me what I was supposed to get out of it.

 

You made debate your own. That's why you love it enough to still be talking about it as much as an alumni as you did as a student. That's how I feel, and I'll be damned if somebody is going to tell me to take a hike because there's a stubborn group of selfish fools. There are too many kids wanting more out of this activity than those "good old boys" will ever be able to give them. This is a debt I owe the community for what it gave me and so many others. The least I can do is help them to see what I saw in this activity.

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As one of about five people who disclosed their aff and some negative stuff on the wiki last year I can say it lead to much better debates. We hit Waru at Blue Valley last year and it was clear they had prepped in depth a lot of the stuff we were reading and giving a 2AC to that was far more challenging than reading 10 impact turns to an oil DA again.

 

A lot of Kansas debaters read the same arguments with basic camp files all year. It is a huge issue that I felt weakend debate in Kansas. To see teams reading Michigan evidence in June with oil uniqueness is sad. A case book will help teams know debates I had were the second and third times I hit a team because we c what you are reading and get some preparation time beforehand. It also encourages teams to break new arguments so they will not have to disclose what they are reading. When that occurs debates can be more in depth. I felt the best ould have in an depth debate. Why not have those debates be the first time?

 

There really is no squad in Kansas that is so large they will constantly cut arguments a team should be afraid of and if they are willing to do research on the competition(a key thing in the real world) why should they not win?

 

Back to putting off studying for math and enjoying 11:15 morning class. Probably won't post much again.

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First, I'm not sure that good college debaters refuse to listen to the 1AC. From my (limited) experience, many of the on-case college debates that I participated in and watched have been of pretty high quality. Not all of them, of course, but many. A relevant question to ask is whether or not college debates would become more or less specific and focused without case lists and disclosures. I think you'd probably see a higher proliferation of generic arguments without disclosure, and I think debates would get a lot worse.
Um, we are talking about high school debaters, not college. In the college world, I have no argument for or against case lists. There are very distinct differences between the college debate world and the high school debate world.

Still, this doesn’t answer my initial question/issue. As persuasive as your or anyone else’s arguments have been, then why is it that the same style that embraces case lists is also the style that embraces not listening to the 1AC? Teams that do disclose don’t get more in depth about the case, they find more ways to avoid the case. I’m not speaking hypothetical, it is my experience that when case lists are common place the quality of debate decreases not increases.

Personally, most of my objections to case lists come from the association I have with case lists to what I have experienced as very bad debate. In my posts I have extrapolated the reasons that I believe case lists contributed to my experience of the bad debate. And when I say bad debate I mean more superficial, less logical, less real-world, less skilled, less entertaining, and more narcissistic and arrogant.

Bottom-line, the best debaters will always be more prepared, with or without case lists.

BTW, I thought I understood case lists, but what I’m hearing isn’t what I understood. So, you don’t disclose if you are breaking new arguments or cases? Perhaps I’m wrong about the implications. I post that I’m running block grants, and then really run homeless shelters because I’m breaking a new aff? So my opposition spent two weeks working on in depth arguments against block grants and didn’t have a breadth of research on all topics because they were sure I was running block grants, and then I run homeless shelters and completely catch them off guard. Wow. That sounds extremely unethical. Surely I’m wrong. Surely you disclose all of your arguments before you ever run them. False discloser is infinitely more destructive to the activity and education than disclosing or not disclosing.

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BTW, I thought I understood case lists, but what I’m hearing isn’t what I understood. So, you don’t disclose if you are breaking new arguments or cases? Perhaps I’m wrong about the implications. I post that I’m running block grants, and then really run homeless shelters because I’m breaking a new aff? So my opposition spent two weeks working on in depth arguments against block grants and didn’t have a breadth of research on all topics because they were sure I was running block grants, and then I run homeless shelters and completely catch them off guard. Wow. That sounds extremely unethical. Surely I’m wrong. Surely you disclose all of your arguments before you ever run them. False discloser is infinitely more destructive to the activity and education than disclosing or not disclosing.

 

At the collegiate level, which is the model for this because its the system that's been implemented, there are two different kinds of disclosure.

 

Pre-tournament disclosure: this is what this thread is about. Teams post the arguments they've read so far during the season and keep it updated as they read more. Everything in pre-tournament disclosure had ALREADY been read.

 

Pre-round disclosure: this is a bit different. Like I mentioned above this is not what this thread is about but the way this works is once the pairings for the round come out neg team approaches aff team and asks for plan text and advantages. Aff team responds either by giving plan text and saying advantages are on the wiki or may say what the advantages are anywhere even if they are posted on the wiki and answer questions about I/L and terminal impacts to the advantages.

Alternatively if the aff team is reading an entirely new affirmative they just say they're breaking new and then the neg rolls the dice and tries to put together a strategy that they think will be the most responsive based on the basic advantage areas that that squad has been reading but really its up in the air. I don't know why this would be unethical because I don't know what the ethical basis for disclosing something you haven't read yet is. The argument for pre-tournament disclosure about ethics is simply that its unethical to refuse to answer questions about what your aff will be if you have already read it because its public knowledge. If you haven't read something though then as far as the community is concerned its like it doesn't exist.

 

Think about it this way. Why would you be required to disclose things you haven't read? Often times we cut strategies early in the season to affirmatives no one debates until much later in the season. If you haven't read them yet the model of disclosure you're describing would require negatives to post every argument they have in their tubs regardless of whether or not they've read it yet which is kind of an absurd standard.

 

This also isn't really false disclosure because pre-tournament disclosure is contextually different than pre-round disclosure. I don't know why its unethical for a team to not disclose something they haven't read on the casebook. Alternatively it would be unethical in a pre-round context if the neg team asked for plan text and advantages and the aff team gave them the plan text and advantages for any aff they have no intention of reading.

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So, I guess I was wrong. I have been watching this discussion, and I guess I still have a couple of things to say:

 

1. I never said I was opposed to technology. That's a leap of logic that is simply not true for me, and I'm certain it's not true of some other coaches who've made the same choice for their squads that I did.

 

2. I never even said that I was opposed to the idea of a case list- only that I choose not to have my squad participate right now.

 

3. It seems unfair to call those of us who choose to opt out at this point in the process names (some of them way out of line), or worse, to make the assumption that because we have made this choice, you understand everything about "us", our attitudes about debate, or even our real reasons for the choices we make. Talk about marginalizing!

 

4. The ONLY THING that's been said anywhere here that made me seriously reconsider my position was Alex's willingness to listen to my (what I thought was respectful) request. The only other thing was something Dubois said to me through outside communication. That has been dramatically overshadowed by the rudeness that some have chosen to exhibit here- on both sides. Some of you should be ashamed of your rhetoric, after all, aren't you promoting "open mindedness"?

 

Finally, something to consider that may actually be pertinent to the case list. My school blocks wikispaces- all of them. I found that out trying to download DebateSynergy (really sounds like someone opposed to tech, don't it). Given that we use the same web filtering software/company as an awful lot of other schools, the usefulness of this caselist as an "educational tool" in my classroom is- well not much.

 

Again- my disclaimer- I'm not going to participate in the flame war. I didn't call any individual out here, and I won't. I don't think that helps the process.

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This also isn't really false disclosure because pre-tournament disclosure is contextually different than pre-round disclosure. I don't know why its unethical for a team to not disclose something they haven't read on the casebook. Alternatively it would be unethical in a pre-round context if the neg team asked for plan text and advantages and the aff team gave them the plan text and advantages for any aff they have no intention of reading.
Let me clarify. If a team discloses their aff on the case list, and then changes their aff, have they not done what you agree is unethical, which is to disclose something you have no intention of running?

 

You make a distinction between pretournament disclosure and preround disclosure. It seems to me that false disclosure is worse for pretournament disclosure than preround disclosure. In preround disclosure, false disclosure means I’ve wasted 15 to 30 minutes prepping for the round in the wrong way. In pretournament disclosure, I’ve wasted 2 weeks worth of work that I could have been preparing for multiple affirmatives rather than the specific one that was said to be running even though the team had no intention of doing so because they are breaking a new aff. It seems to me that the benefits of a case list only happen if a team actually runs what they publish.

 

I don't know why this would be unethical because I don't know what the ethical basis for disclosing something you haven't read yet is.
If you have ever disclosed, and it is still on the Wiki, then I would think that teams would prepare for it. That seems like the benefit. To disclose and have them prepare and then surprise them with something new seems much worse than the world without case lists where teams have to be prepared for anything.

 

Furthermore, if the benefits of case lists outweigh the benefits of running new arguments that teams aren’t ready for, then why don’t you disclose things that you haven’t run yet? Shouldn’t you post 2 weeks early to say that you are breaking something new so they can bet prepared? Isn’t advanced preparation the reason for case lists? Seems like it undermines the value of case lists, and even makes the situation worse, if you don’t pretournament disclose new positions.

 

Maybe I’m just not understanding the logic and actual practice of using case lists.

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Um, we are talking about high school debaters, not college. In the college world, I have no argument for or against case lists. There are very distinct differences between the college debate world and the high school debate world.

Still, this doesn’t answer my initial question/issue. As persuasive as your or anyone else’s arguments have been, then why is it that the same style that embraces case lists is also the style that embraces not listening to the 1AC? Teams that do disclose don’t get more in depth about the case, they find more ways to avoid the case. I’m not speaking hypothetical, it is my experience that when case lists are common place the quality of debate decreases not increases.

Personally, most of my objections to case lists come from the association I have with case lists to what I have experienced as very bad debate. In my posts I have extrapolated the reasons that I believe case lists contributed to my experience of the bad debate. And when I say bad debate I mean more superficial, less logical, less real-world, less skilled, less entertaining, and more narcissistic and arrogant.

Bottom-line, the best debaters will always be more prepared, with or without case lists.

There are a few responses here. You asked why it is that certain debate communities embrace both case lists and ignore case. My argument was that such a view isn't always true. One example is college debate. It's true that there are a number of teams that do ignore case and pursue some other strategy, but my argument is that the case debate that results from a world of disclosure is better and more specific than were it absent. In its absence, I think that college debate would ignore case even more and that more generics (one offs, for example) would be run. This is responsive to the premise of your argument.

 

But, still, you say that might be true but argue that it's irrelevant since high school and college debate are different worlds with distinct differences. I think that there are distinct differences between college debate and Kansas high school debate strengthens my argument. One reason why one might see more off-case arguments (such as critiques) in college debate has to do with the judging pools and the coaching pools. The judges in Kansas are diverse and require different types of arguments, with coaches and lay people often preferring on-case and policy arguments, while many former and college debaters are open to one-off positions (even if they don't necessarily prefer them). Coaches, too, often push their squads toward researching case arguments and specific disads. In college, there are a fair number of coaches who are fine with just disregarding case in any situation. I don't know if there are any Kansas high school coaches who do that. Those factors, I think, determine the specific trajectory of argumentation, and I think it would allow and motivate better case debate.

 

Even so, you might argue that this doesn't concur with your experience. It might be helpful to give some specific examples of your experience and in what context they occurred. When I had a teams' case structure at my disposal and I knew that I'd be likely to debate that team at an upcoming tournament, I would often craft specific strategies to the structure of that case, and I remember doing this on a number of occasions. I remember that those debates were better debates, and it seems like other debaters' experiences concur with this.

 

One error in your view might be to confuse correlation with causation. In the past, the teams most likely to use case lists were also the ones most likely to attempt to import college style debate and arguments. (I did this, too, and often did it poorly in retrospect.) So, while case lists might have contributed to better and more case-specific debate when coaches and judges pushed for it, it might not have necessarily made for better debate when other interests (such as running cool, different arguments) prevailed. This is an argument as to why coach participation is essential: directing students in their research and argumentation, showing the value of specific case debate, is really what's going to be required for this to work well.

 

But we should remember the argument, which I think is relevant, that there eventually will be a case list whether or not coaches approve. If coaches choose to ignore it, disparage it, refuse to participate, refuse to promote it and make it central in their coaching, then it won't contribute to bettering debate. Even if you don't like case lists, it's just not realistic to think that they won't become a feature of Kansas high school debate sometime in the future. Let's say that all of your arguments are true. That cases lists tend to make for worse debates. That they exacerbate existing problems and detract from case debate. If that's true, but if they're inevitable, then how can coaches make the best of what they perceive to be a bad situation? Probably not by resisting case lists, since they will be used anyway, but figuring out ways to incorporate them into the style and content of debate that they think valuable.

 

There are still a lot of other reasons to prefer case lists. To reiterate, it's a good way to promote specific research and going beyond camp files. It's a good way to make that specific research specific to cases. It's a good way to undermine bad, one-trick-pony arguments that catch people by surprise. It's better to promote the use of collaborative technology. It's encourages the development of a more robust public sphere. It encourages debaters to become better thinkers both inside and outside of rounds. It enables better competition both inside of Kansas and outside of Kansas by forcing debaters to deal with the best arguments every weekend. I think these arguments, confirmed by both reason and experience, refute or outweigh any arguments against the enthusiastic adoption of case lists both by Kansas debaters and their coaches.

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So, I guess I was wrong. I have been watching this discussion, and I guess I still have a couple of things to say:

 

1. I never said I was opposed to technology. That's a leap of logic that is simply not true for me, and I'm certain it's not true of some other coaches who've made the same choice for their squads that I did.

 

2. I never even said that I was opposed to the idea of a case list- only that I choose not to have my squad participate right now.

 

3. It seems unfair to call those of us who choose to opt out at this point in the process names (some of them way out of line), or worse, to make the assumption that because we have made this choice, you understand everything about "us", our attitudes about debate, or even our real reasons for the choices we make. Talk about marginalizing!

 

4. The ONLY THING that's been said anywhere here that made me seriously reconsider my position was Alex's willingness to listen to my (what I thought was respectful) request. The only other thing was something Dubois said to me through outside communication. That has been dramatically overshadowed by the rudeness that some have chosen to exhibit here- on both sides. Some of you should be ashamed of your rhetoric, after all, aren't you promoting "open mindedness"?

 

Finally, something to consider that may actually be pertinent to the case list. My school blocks wikispaces- all of them. I found that out trying to download DebateSynergy (really sounds like someone opposed to tech, don't it). Given that we use the same web filtering software/company as an awful lot of other schools, the usefulness of this caselist as an "educational tool" in my classroom is- well not much.

 

Again- my disclaimer- I'm not going to participate in the flame war. I didn't call any individual out here, and I won't. I don't think that helps the process.

You might be responding generally to the thread, but some of these things do apply to my arguments and I think they're important to discuss.

 

Regarding technology, there might be coaches out there who wholesale oppose the integration of technology and decentralized knowledge production. I make no assumptions that any particular coach holds those views. It's possible for one to oppose certain technologies (such as in-round use of laptops) and to support other technologies (such as wikis, online research, and so on). Most research these days is done electronically, and not adopting some measure of technology into squad prep is just about impossible. After all, we're not all still copying evidence onto notecards by hand. Given that the use of technology is not all-or-nothing, there need to be specific reasons why using a particular type of technology is good. Decentralized knowledge production through collaborative technologies (such as wikis) is becoming more and more popular in post-secondary education. Someone whose work is on the cutting edge of this is Michael Wesch from KSU, and I certainly suggest looking at some of that. Teaching students how to use these effectively in an environment that makes sense (such as debate) in ways that can contribute to their learning is something that I think should be encouraged. It is a shame (and almost entirely inexplicable) that your school has decided that such valuable technologies are off-limits to students and educators on school grounds. It's true that you might not be at all a luddite, but that doesn't provide any specific justification as to why one shouldn't adopt a particular technology in addition to the ones already being used.

 

Regarding your decision to note have your squad participate in the case list, I think most people recognize that it is your prerogative as a coach to make the decisions about what your team can and cannot write and read about the activity while participating in it under your guidance. There are some reasons, however, why others should be able to post about what your team has run, namely that should be part of the public sphere of discourse and that it allows for the better education of others. Further, even though that's your prerogative, it's still my right to be respectfully critical of that decision, especially as a citizen who cares about public education. I'm not saying that you're a bad educator, just that our views differ in meaningful respects that should be taken into consideration.

 

Regarding the reconsideration of your views, I think that I have made a decent effort to post substantively and positively about this issue. That some in this thread have chosen to be rude should not preclude the serious consideration of respectful and earnest arguments made by people in this thread about a case list. I think (and hope) some of my points merit offline consideration and discussion by leaders in the activity.

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Pre-tournament disclosure: this is what this thread is about. Teams post the arguments they've read so far during the season and keep it updated as they read more. Everything in pre-tournament disclosure had ALREADY been read.

 

I'll give you a dollar if you start calling this post-tournament disclosure.

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I read today where Dan Marino doesn't like the Wildcat offense.
I heard that too. I don't know for sure, but I think he doesn't like it because it is too predictable. I mean, for crying out loud, when Ronnie Brown is behind center they are basically saying they are going to run the ball. Personnally, I like it better when linebackers have to guess if it is a running play or if it is play action. Keeps them on their toes.

 

But some people are saying Marino is an idiot. Sure he might have been the greatest quarterback of his time, but what does he know? He's old and isn't willing to see change. They say the Wildcat offense allows for better matchups and thus more intense football.

 

Of course, why anyone cares what Marino thinks is beyond me. I mean, all that matters is what Ronnie Brown thinks, since he is the one actually playing football. Heck, if Ronnie Brown wants to run the Wildcat, should Tony Sparano really have any say in the matter? Clearly Marino doesn't have any stake in the state of the NFL, so why would anyone care what his opinion is?

 

What I'm really surprised about is that the league doesn't make the Wildcat offense mandatory. If it is good for the Dolphins, then why aren't we making the Colts run it? Football is too important to allow guys like Mike Tomlin make decisions for what is best for his team. Players know better.

 

Disclaimer: This post is meant to be 99% taken in humor. I'm just being creative and having some fun. I fully understand that no one will be swayed one way or another by its sillyness.

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Sure he might have been the third best quarterback of his time, but what does he know?

 

Fixed*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Elway and Montana were way better

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Let me clarify. If a team discloses their aff on the case list, and then changes their aff, have they not done what you agree is unethical, which is to disclose something you have no intention of running?

 

No. The wiki is just what has been ran already. Also, if a team is posting on the wiki, they're probably disclosing pre-round what will be said, e.g. "We're reading the same aff, but adding a new advantage." The idea is that teams are accountable for what they've already read, but are granted the strategic flexibility to make new arguments and not have to disclose those until after they've been read.

 

You make a distinction between pretournament disclosure and preround disclosure. It seems to me that false disclosure is worse for pretournament disclosure than preround disclosure. In preround disclosure, false disclosure means I’ve wasted 15 to 30 minutes prepping for the round in the wrong way. In pretournament disclosure, I’ve wasted 2 weeks worth of work that I could have been preparing for multiple affirmatives rather than the specific one that was said to be running even though the team had no intention of doing so because they are breaking a new aff. It seems to me that the benefits of a case list only happen if a team actually runs what they publish.

 

Pretournament preparation is as hindered (if not moreso) by the lack of a disclosure system. And I think you're jumping on this 'false disclosure' biz a bit too liberally. It is not false that I've ran stuff that's on the wiki. True - people's information on the wiki might be incomplete - I think this is the word you're wanting to use - but that lack of info can be remedies in a few ways (e.g. emailing the team to post updates on the wiki/asking others that watched the rounds they were in to post a summary at least on the wiki/at the very least, clarifying before the round if the wiki is accurate of everything they've read).

 

If you have ever disclosed, and it is still on the Wiki, then I would think that teams would prepare for it. That seems like the benefit. To disclose and have them prepare and then surprise them with something new seems much worse than the world without case lists where teams have to be prepared for anything.

 

I honestly can't make sense of the above. It's just good strategic thinking to prepare for what the team has said before. I don't know why teams have to be tied down to only running what has been ran already. I think this is a mischaracterization of the system.

 

Furthermore, if the benefits of case lists outweigh the benefits of running new arguments that teams aren’t ready for, then why don’t you disclose things that you haven’t run yet? Shouldn’t you post 2 weeks early to say that you are breaking something new so they can bet prepared? Isn’t advanced preparation the reason for case lists? Seems like it undermines the value of case lists, and even makes the situation worse, if you don’t pretournament disclose new positions.

 

This is empirically denied (see: the system implemented at the collegiate and TOC level, and even local caselists that sort of deny the inability of debaters to handle new arguments being broken). And it's probably unfair and regressive to say "you can never say anything new" and, in fact, impossible, since there's always a first tournament and no means of posting what has been ran before that time.

 

Of course teams can read new arguments - hence, pre-round, if asked, you say "we're reading x that we've broken already, and y number of new things."

 

 

The above has kinda been an 'informational input' on my part. If you have more questions to legitimacy figure out how the system goes down at the national high school and college level, feel free to email me and I can talk more. Alex is a fair source, but I also know I'm a bit more apathetic of the way high schoolers do their thing locally, so I might be a more neutral source (sometimes).

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I apologize for the double-post, but a trend I'm noticing on the high school wiki so far that I think makes it pointless:

 

Teams shouldn't be allowed to post "we're reading the x 1AC from GDI." Seriously. Some teams don't have a particular camp file. And if it's a question of checking your cites before a round, it's ludicrous to think anyone has the time to download a GDI file (after finding a mediafire link that works) and find the particular 1AC.

 

Also, your interp of the "GDI 1AC" might be different from mine. I think it might mean you're reading a heg advantage (not sure if this is true of the actual one online), and prep out a sweet CP/impact turn strat assuming that, only to find out that by "GDI 1AC", you meant "we read some of the add-on cards and impacts to those - oh, and the inherency page!" The regressiveness goes on.

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