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TimAlderete

2010 Topic Committee Meeting

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One side note about Gregg's comment - I agree that the topic was mostly Asteroid tracking - I would even guess that the percentage was Much higher than half. In fairness though, we didn't have PICs, Kritiks, or the Internet back then, so the Neg might have more weapons this time against it.

 

Certainly true; the K emerged (on the HS circuit anyway) shortly after the space topic. I'm not sure that will improve my ability to stay awake during the 1ACs though...

 

Then again, maybe we could just stipulate that EVERYONE is running asteroid tracking and begin all debates with the 1NC....frees up 11+ minutes for other speeches or those ever-expanding oral critiques! :D

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I'd be more excited about the development assistance for Southeast Asia IF we weren't debating South Korea and Japan THIS year. I like the Russia topic...except it means another year of teaching kids to pronounce names that I have NO idea how to say myself. The last Russia topic was among my all-time favorites.

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Change the word "exploration" to something more like "exploitation." You get rid of mapping cases, as they would have to also do mining or something to be topical, and it gives neg a K and a spending disad right up front.

 

Aff would have to justify the usage of space resources not just the scientific process, and most likely have to show an economic gain enough to offset spending links.

 

By the way, I don't think "beyond the earth's mesosphere" really did that much for narrowing the topic. It did make it about "that" space, like it got rid of transcendental meditation as a case, but it didn't mean you had to "go" to space, as education cases and most of the asteroid cases proved.

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I'd be more excited about the development assistance for Southeast Asia IF we weren't debating South Korea and Japan THIS year. I like the Russia topic...except it means another year of teaching kids to pronounce names that I have NO idea how to say myself. The last Russia topic was among my all-time favorites.

 

I think that they are pretty distinct - while some teams this year are running China Deterrence advantages or Regional Leadership advantages that mention South East Asia, I don't know that much about it being run specifically. As well, the development assistance part makes it so that the discussions are all focused on different issues.

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What would neg ground even look like under this topic? "No, we shouldn't be friends with the Russians. Let's just blow them up."

 

Correct. They are waiting to destroy us so we should wreck them first.

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Change the word "exploration" to something more like "exploitation." You get rid of mapping cases, as they would have to also do mining or something to be topical, and it gives neg a K and a spending disad right up front.

 

Aff would have to justify the usage of space resources not just the scientific process, and most likely have to show an economic gain enough to offset spending links.

 

By the way, I don't think "beyond the earth's mesosphere" really did that much for narrowing the topic. It did make it about "that" space, like it got rid of transcendental meditation as a case, but it didn't mean you had to "go" to space, as education cases and most of the asteroid cases proved.

 

I will bring up the "exploitation" suggestion. I would be concerned that forcing it to be Useful / have an economic gain would distort the intent of the topic, and wouldn't produce a substantially better topic, since many of the advantages to space exploration are necessarily speculative.

 

On the Original space topic, there were quite a few cases written at camps that were excluded by the late summer addition of "beyond the earth's mesosphere." Prison cases and TM were cut out. The intent never was to prohibit Mission to Planet Earth or Landsat type cases.

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I'd be more excited about the development assistance for Southeast Asia IF we weren't debating South Korea and Japan THIS year. I like the Russia topic...except it means another year of teaching kids to pronounce names that I have NO idea how to say myself. The last Russia topic was among my all-time favorites.

 

Neither South Korea or Japan are geographically lasted as part of Southeast Asia. You will see debates over japan because japan is actively involved in offering assistance to the region, however none of the literature I have seen on this topic look at any kind of development issues for any of the 11 countries in that region.

 

I think that they are pretty distinct - while some teams this year are running China Deterrence advantages or Regional Leadership advantages that mention South East Asia, I don't know that much about it being run specifically. As well, the development assistance part makes it so that the discussions are all focused on different issues.

 

Tim is right, the current topic might look at some forms of security issues in the region, looking at development assistance as a mechanism excludes the kinds of security issues from being topical. Most of the definitions of Development Assistance look at things like food, the environment, education etc.

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The current working resolution:

 

The United States federal government should substantially increase its urban renewal assistance in the United States.

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The current working resolution:

 

The International Monetary Fund and/or the World Bank should eliminate one or more economic policy conditions placed upon Highly Indebted Poor Countries.

 

Sorry - no comments b/c I was presenting.

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Potential replacement topic:

 

The United States federal government should establish rules of engagement governing its use of cyber-warfare.

 

After much discussion of the cyber security topic, this is Now the current topic. Rules of Engagement are pretty well defined in military operations - it would mean setting out conditions and criteria for when to use cyber warfare, when to end its use, against whom and to what extent.

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The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic engagement with the People’s Republic of China on one or more of the following issues: trade, currency, environment.

 

Small change from the version last year - Currency for Economy.

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After a pretty long day of work, here is the current slate of resolutions. Tomorrow there will be some final changes to wording, and then a discussion of their relative merits, and then the Committee will narrow it down to 5 topics to send out to state organizations. If you have comments or questions that you want asked or made, please send them in and I will try to ask them.

 

The United States federal government should establish rules of engagement governing its use of cyber-warfare.

 

The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic engagement with the People’s Republic of China on one or more of the following issues: trade, currency, environment.

 

The International Monetary Fund and/or the World Bank should eliminate one or more economic policy conditions placed upon Highly Indebted Poor Countries.

 

The United States federal government should substantially increase constructive engagement with the Russian Federation

 

The United States federal government should substantially increase its urban renewal assistance in the United States.

 

The United States federal government should substantially increase its cooperation with India in one or more of the following areas: civilian space programs, nuclear proliferation, trade.

 

The United States federal government should substantially increase its exploration and/or development of space beyond the Earth's mesosphere.

 

The United States federal government should substantially increase its development assistance to Southeast Asia

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Neither South Korea or Japan are geographically lasted as part of Southeast Asia. You will see debates over japan because japan is actively involved in offering assistance to the region, however none of the literature I have seen on this topic look at any kind of development issues for any of the 11 countries in that region.

 

 

 

Tim is right, the current topic might look at some forms of security issues in the region, looking at development assistance as a mechanism excludes the kinds of security issues from being topical. Most of the definitions of Development Assistance look at things like food, the environment, education etc.

 

I'm aware of the geography, but I also know how debate topics tend to morph. China is going to be the 500-pound gorilla on any topic in that part of the world. I'd like coaching on the SEA development topic, just not the year after debating a lot of Asian military policy.

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I'm aware of the geography, but I also know how debate topics tend to morph. China is going to be the 500-pound gorilla on any topic in that part of the world. I'd like coaching on the SEA development topic, just not the year after debating a lot of Asian military policy.

 

I think that is a problem with all of the potential topic areas aside from the domestic ones since india, russia, and china will also be points of discussion on this topic as well

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A person at NASA has suggested "Resolved: The USFG should subtantially increase its access to space beyond the earth's mesophere." this would open the debate to human v. robotic exploration, etc. while still capturing all of the advantages of mining/mapping/etc. This would also allow affs to run gov/private partnershipo affs, or have the gov let the private sector do the heavy lifting, etc. However, I have sent this person the wording as it is above to see what they think.

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Despite the concerns about time frame and spending, I like the Space Exploration/Development topic. To my way of thinking, it will require debaters to step further outside their comfort zone of international relations and critical domestic advantages and focus on something new. Obviously, the concerns about balance are important, but requiring more creativity in Affirmative strategy outside case writing isn't a bad thing.

 

I like the IMF wording, specifically because it requires another actor. There's some great, serious writing out there about the nature of conditionality in IMF loans which could easily be cut as evidence. It's probably worth noting that HIPC debt is the topic of an LD resolution that might be used in the fall. That's not a reason to reject, but it's a curious cross-over to keep in mind.

 

Urban renewal (which no one has really talked about so far) sounds like it may be fairly similar to Social Services. I'd be curious to read more about it, but I suspect we'd be covering reasonably similar ground. The same can be said for this China and SEA, when compared to this year's topic and the Japan/Korea debates. Obviously, they're different, but they're still going to feel similar. WMDs to Mental Health to Ocean Policy felt different every time, which was valuable to students who went through all three resolutions.

 

Cyber-warfare, while still being a military policy topic, will probably have a different feel to it than military deployment does.

 

So I would say that space, cybersecurity and HIPC debt are the best topics so far.

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A person at NASA has suggested "Resolved: The USFG should subtantially increase its access to space beyond the earth's mesophere." this would open the debate to human v. robotic exploration, etc. while still capturing all of the advantages of mining/mapping/etc. This would also allow affs to run gov/private partnershipo affs, or have the gov let the private sector do the heavy lifting, etc. However, I have sent this person the wording as it is above to see what they think.

 

I like this as an aff area, my biggest concern for the space topic is tek development is not topical. I believe affs probably have to do something to improve our space tek to be able to solve, meaning the neg can win some serious workability arguments. Aside from that concern however, I like aspects of the space topic, maybe I'm wrong, maybe I will find some definition of development that allows for new technology, who knows

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Tick: We'll see. I think you could argue that Y technological innovation would allow Z greater access to space. I guess all of this is premature though, we'll have to see what comes out of the process.

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A person at NASA has suggested "Resolved: The USFG should subtantially increase its access to space beyond the earth's mesophere." this would open the debate to human v. robotic exploration, etc. while still capturing all of the advantages of mining/mapping/etc. This would also allow affs to run gov/private partnershipo affs, or have the gov let the private sector do the heavy lifting, etc. However, I have sent this person the wording as it is above to see what they think.

 

Duane - I will mention Access as well as Exploitation tomorrow at the last meeting.

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Tick: We'll see. I think you could argue that Y technological innovation would allow Z greater access to space. I guess all of this is premature though, we'll have to see what comes out of the process.

 

There was some discussion of whether the topic should include developing transportation technology - FTL and Solar Sails were mentioned. I think that it was thought that there are too many potential technologies (not just propulsion) that, if further developed, would benefit space exploration. I think that your comment is right on - if we do the space exploration, the technological development necessary to conduct that exploration would be developed, just not necessarily as a mandate of the plan. It also is good ground for the Negative to attack solvency, which probably makes a fair debate.

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I think that is a problem with all of the potential topic areas aside from the domestic ones since india, russia, and china will also be points of discussion on this topic as well

 

Gregg and The Tick - I did ask at one point about the overlap between the Russia topic, with Iran and Central Asia, with this year's topic, with Iraq and Afghanistan. It was thought that the overlap would be minimized by the different focuses of the topics (engagement and development) and that while advantages will include similar countries (see China) that that is pretty inevitable with foreign topics - (see China on Africa, Renewable Energy, WMD, etc.)

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A person at NASA has suggested "Resolved: The USFG should subtantially increase its access to space beyond the earth's mesophere." this would open the debate to human v. robotic exploration, etc. while still capturing all of the advantages of mining/mapping/etc. This would also allow affs to run gov/private partnershipo affs, or have the gov let the private sector do the heavy lifting, etc. However, I have sent this person the wording as it is above to see what they think.

 

I forgot to add this - I think that the current topic probably allows all of these issues to be brought up - I think that the topic author and committee envision the current version to include unmanned exploration and solvency mechanisms that include private sector cooperation. I'm not sure how the word Access increases any of that ground - if there is a specific reason that your NASA contact knows about, or if there is a citation for it, I can forward that.

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There was some discussion of whether the topic should include developing transportation technology - FTL and Solar Sails were mentioned. I think that it was thought that there are too many potential technologies (not just propulsion) that, if further developed, would benefit space exploration. I think that your comment is right on - if we do the space exploration, the technological development necessary to conduct that exploration would be developed, just not necessarily as a mandate of the plan. It also is good ground for the Negative to attack solvency, which probably makes a fair debate.

 

I was present for that discussion, I just dont know how to get my username changed back to acknowledge my actual identity. My big concern is for development. I have found several definitions that indicate that "space development" for a large part includes attempts at colonization. I think the technological development is either effects or extra topical depending on my mood, and probably needs to be a mandate of the plan for development to function.

 

I also agree that smart negatives should attack solvency, I just think further attempts to develop space are impossible without some technology for colonization that we just do not have, making that portion of the topic overwhelmingly biased for the negative.

 

 

Gregg and The Tick - I did ask at one point about the overlap between the Russia topic, with Iran and Central Asia, with this year's topic, with Iraq and Afghanistan. It was thought that the overlap would be minimized by the different focuses of the topics (engagement and development) and that while advantages will include similar countries (see China) that that is pretty inevitable with foreign topics - (see China on Africa, Renewable Energy, WMD, etc.)

 

I agree with you 100% and I know for whatever input I have with my state's delegate tomorrow this is a non-issue for me, and think it is both an inevitable issue and an irrelevant issue!

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I will bring up the "exploitation" suggestion. I would be concerned that forcing it to be Useful / have an economic gain would distort the intent of the topic, and wouldn't produce a substantially better topic, since many of the advantages to space exploration are necessarily speculative.

 

On the Original space topic, there were quite a few cases written at camps that were excluded by the late summer addition of "beyond the earth's mesosphere." Prison cases and TM were cut out. The intent never was to prohibit Mission to Planet Earth or Landsat type cases.

 

Tim, first let me say kudos for getting back so fast to suggestions here. And we know not everyone can be happy with the final result, so take 'em with a few grains of salt.

 

My experience with the space topic before basically led to these ground division issues: Manned vs Unmanned, Private vs Public, US alone vs Cooperation or alt actor, and Ground Based observation vs Launches. Necessarily, changes to the wording will likely alter the ground for those areas. When the change to add beyond the mesosphere happened, of course we saw the impact to TM, but there was, at least here, a feeling that meant you had to actually GO to space. The result was an awkwardly worded topic, and T debates where I was explaining the grammatical differences between "exploration" and "explore." And at the same time, Landsats and MPE lost on T a lot, because the exploration wasn't beyond the mesosphere, just the craft doing the exploration...Of course, some of that is the nature of debate, but it didn't really feel like the addition gave much clarification. I'm not sure that helps any, but those are the kinds of issues I'd want to be able to identify from the wording, whatever it may be.

 

In other news, I'm finding it disturbing that I'm agreeing with Duane more often lately. ;)

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I was present for that discussion, I just dont know how to get my username changed back to acknowledge my actual identity. My big concern is for development. I have found several definitions that indicate that "space development" for a large part includes attempts at colonization. I think the technological development is either effects or extra topical depending on my mood, and probably needs to be a mandate of the plan for development to function.

 

I also agree that smart negatives should attack solvency, I just think further attempts to develop space are impossible without some technology for colonization that we just do not have, making that portion of the topic overwhelmingly biased for the negative.

 

Here is how I see these issues playing out in a typical round: The Affirmative runs a Mars Colonization case. The Negative says "We don't have the technology to create enough air or water on Mars for a colony." The Affirmative responds that their plan would provide this technology in two ways: that announcing a Major Mars Colonization program would necessarily require NASA to contract out to private developers for things like Air and Water transformers - those companies would have a guaranteed market and would have an incentive to produce it. Second - the Affirmative would say that implied in a plan to colonize Mars is the mechanisms that would have NASA Also develop technologies (or another gov't agency) for Air and Water transformers. The Negative would respond by saying that those technologies cannot work, that they take too long to develop, or that companies won't find them profitable to develop.

 

That's a good debate - the plan might not spell out "We will have X Contractor develop Air Transformers" but if they are colonizing Mars, they have to have this technology, so I would say it is implied in plan. It would be impossible to specify All of the Thousands of technologies (many undeveloped as of yet) that are necessary for colonization, and the plan would be too long. So I think that we have to let the Aff say "Colonize Mars" and imply some of the details. I think that this avoids topicality questions, and makes the debate about solvency, which is good ground for the negative. I don't think that it is biased for either team, as there will undoubtedly be Aff cards on this as well - the Pro Space Col people write some Very good cards.

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