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Nelsonwins94

Why does Speed kill Policy debate?

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I debated in the '70s and '80s. Debate was fast. That's when CEDA was started, as an alternative to policy debate.

 

Even if you think speed is killing debate, how would you stop it?

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Decrease the number of judges who find it favorable strategically.

 

I think that's my point. "Wanted, debate judges. Success at national tournaments disqualifies you."

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I think that's my point. "Wanted, debate judges. Success at national tournaments disqualifies you."
I wouldn't suggest disqualifying anyone. I mispoke in my last post. Decrease their relative percentage in the judging pool. Decrease the notion that they are the only "good" judges. Increase the variety of judges so that one form of adaptation does not dominate others.
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1) some people are better at speaking than other people. some people can speak faster some people can speak prettier. you can practice both but some people are just better

 

2) tell people in round that you need them to speak slower and tell them if you cant understand the card you wont flow and then call clear a bunch of times

 

 

3) other people dealt with the disability stuff. we shouldnt shift debate down to the lowest common denominator

 

4) debate is not a spectator activity. how many people will understand a super advanced physics lecture

 

 

5) speaking quickly increases amount of stuff that is discussed. i can understand the debate and many other people can to

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Decrease their relative percentage in the judging pool. Decrease the notion that they are the only "good" judges. Increase the variety of judges so that one form of adaptation does not dominate others.

 

I think that would be very difficult to achieve (even if one wanted to). Absent a consensus, debaters who like the current practice of debate would gravitate to tournaments who supply "fast" judges. And my guess is, those tournaments would be considered the prestigious tournaments.

 

Personally, I don't want to increase the variety of judges. I want as much predictability as possible in the judging pool. But I acknowledge others view it differently.

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1) 4) debate is not a spectator activity. how many people will understand a super advanced physics lecture

 

1) debate should be a spectator sport. it should be able to allow anyone to sit and watch a round and be better informed about the world. the president should be able to follow. thats the whole point. its to be able to communicate as best as possible.

 

2) imagine if we sped up football to the point where no one could follow it anymore. give it super complicated rules and make the players so specialized that no one can follow and no one ends up caring. no one wants that to be the case.

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Absent a consensus, debaters who like the current practice of debate would gravitate to tournaments who supply "fast" judges. And my guess is, those tournaments would be considered the prestigious tournaments.

 

Then Mr. Volen's suggestion would give the existing community what it wants, wouldn't it?

 

And meanwhile, other tournaments (or other divisions at the same tournament) would provide a mechanism to expand policy debate to students like Nelson who want something different. Over time, these divisions might even become a gateway to "fast" debate. Indeed, the history of the activity suggests that this would be to some degree inevitable.

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most other activities such as basketball and football only allow a small percentage of the population to compete in the first place. the average person can't make a high school varsity athletic team. debate is already more open to competitors because anyone can join. what you're asking is the equivalent of saying a star point guard needs to run slower so that less skilled or talented opponents have a chance to compete. that destroys the nature of competition

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///the average person can't make a high school varsity athletic team. debate is already more open to competitors because anyone can join.

 

But your version of debate isn't open to everyone because (just as few people are athletically able to hold their own in varsity sports) few people in the general population are able to think and speak clearly at rapid speeds.

 

 

///what you're asking is the equivalent of saying a star point guard needs to run slower so that less skilled or talented opponents have a chance to compete.

 

This is only a valid criticism only if you consider speaking fast to be a good thing in debate. If CX is supposed to prepare people to argue and present ideas to the general public after they graduate, then speaking fast is not an asset but a bad habit.

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This is only a valid criticism only if you consider speaking fast to be a good thing in debate. If CX is supposed to prepare people to argue and present ideas to the general public after they graduate, then speaking fast is not an asset but a bad habit.

 

Are you really saying that it's difficult to slow down after speed reading? Pretty sure I can talk at a normal pace. The difference is that in debate rounds, I can get in more and deeper arguments in a limited time if I talk faster. When I slow down, I have still gained the ability to construct deeper and better arguments, now without a time limit. Therefore, the skills I gain from speed reading extend far beyond speaking faster; they're valuable argumentation skills that, due to time limits, necessitate talking faster.

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Let me assure you, there are always time limits. Do you think your future customers will always sit and listen intently while you construct all your deep arguments on why they should buy your product/service? Do you think the average person has the attention or interest level for you to drone on and on about why you are right without tuning you out and moving on? Here at work, during our sales presentations to prospective new clients we are given about an hour to present all the information that will take 3 days to go over if we win the business. We don't talk faster. We evaluate what this particular prospective client needs to hear, cut to the crux of our best sales pitch, and present it as clear and persuasive as possible. In a meeting, I might have 15 reasons why my idea for improving our processes should be adopted, and the meeting time is set (a time limit) and I'm not afforded a specific time that only I'm allowed to speak, so I have to evaluate by best 2 reasons and communicate them concisely in order for me to have any chance of persuading the decision makers (judges) that my ideas should be adopted (win the ballot). Speeding would immediately make me look like a fool.

 

Speaking faster to just get more in rather than cutting to just the quality arguments in not an improvement and is actually counter productive to the skill that would be more beneficial which is conciseness. In a policy round you can choose to read 10 uniqueness arguments so fast that they don't take much time, but only 1% of the population understands you or you can develop the skill to evaluate the 2 best uniqueness arguments that are actually persuasive.

 

This isn't true for all, but all too often policy debaters speak faster in lew of actually making decisions in the round. It is strategically less stressful to throw out every thought you can express in the time alotted and hope one sticks rather than make decisive action to determine what is your "game winner" and communicating it to the best of your ability. Speed rarely leads to more depth, it leads to the shotgun effect. Depth of analysis of a single argument is a factor of the number of speeches, then the number of opportunities for response and counter response. Reading 1,000 words doesn't increase the depth of the argument, answering the objections does. The same depth is reached no matter how fast you speak because the number of constructives and rebuttals determine that and they are fixed.

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Are you really saying that it's difficult to slow down after speed reading? Pretty sure I can talk at a normal pace. The difference is that in debate rounds, I can get in more and deeper arguments in a limited time if I talk faster. When I slow down, I have still gained the ability to construct deeper and better arguments, now without a time limit. Therefore, the skills I gain from speed reading extend far beyond speaking faster; they're valuable argumentation skills that, due to time limits, necessitate talking faster.

 

The benefits of debate are better argumentation skills, organization, and time management. But the way your learning time management it wrong. Your idea that in order to best manage your time you need to go as fast as possible. take this to doing your chores. You mom has given you an hour to clean the garage, clean your room, and do the dishes. You wouldnt rush through them jsut to get them all done before she gets home, cause then the job is sloppy and you have to do it again anyways, or worse you get grounded. what you need to do is start with the biggest task, clean with the garage. get that done in 20 minutes. then your room, get that done in 20 minutes, then 20 minutes for dishes. Do rush just get it done, if your finishing up the chore when your mom gets home then at least she knowns that your getting it done and taht its getting done right. So instead of running 3 ks 6 t and a cp with 4 das. Run 1 t, one k and 1 cp. maybe a da. That way you can spend the most time on all of those, make them really good, and win more rounds. The way you learn your skills is wrong.

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The benefits of debate are better argumentation skills, organization, and time management. But the way your learning time management it wrong. Your idea that in order to best manage your time you need to go as fast as possible. take this to doing your chores. You mom has given you an hour to clean the garage, clean your room, and do the dishes. You wouldnt rush through them jsut to get them all done before she gets home, cause then the job is sloppy and you have to do it again anyways, or worse you get grounded. what you need to do is start with the biggest task, clean with the garage. get that done in 20 minutes. then your room, get that done in 20 minutes, then 20 minutes for dishes. Do rush just get it done, if your finishing up the chore when your mom gets home then at least she knowns that your getting it done and taht its getting done right. So instead of running 3 ks 6 t and a cp with 4 das. Run 1 t, one k and 1 cp. maybe a da. That way you can spend the most time on all of those, make them really good, and win more rounds. The way you learn your skills is wrong.

 

I don't know how many quality debates you've seen, because nobody runs "3 ks 6 t and a cp with 4 das." Most people actually do only go 3-5 off in a round.

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I don't know how many quality debates you've seen, because nobody runs "3 ks 6 t and a cp with 4 das." Most people actually do only go 3-5 off in a round.

 

I think the way his analogy would actually be applicable to policy debate would be to accomplish all your chores at the same quality you would've in an hour, but doing them in half an hour so you have another half hour to do more chores, and then your mother loves you more.

 

Policy debate = your mother loves you more

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Let me assure you, there are always time limits. Do you think your future customers will always sit and listen intently while you construct all your deep arguments on why they should buy your product/service? Do you think the average person has the attention or interest level for you to drone on and on about why you are right without tuning you out and moving on? Here at work, during our sales presentations to prospective new clients we are given about an hour to present all the information that will take 3 days to go over if we win the business. We don't talk faster. We evaluate what this particular prospective client needs to hear, cut to the crux of our best sales pitch, and present it as clear and persuasive as possible. In a meeting, I might have 15 reasons why my idea for improving our processes should be adopted, and the meeting time is set (a time limit) and I'm not afforded a specific time that only I'm allowed to speak, so I have to evaluate by best 2 reasons and communicate them concisely in order for me to have any chance of persuading the decision makers (judges) that my ideas should be adopted (win the ballot). Speeding would immediately make me look like a fool.

 

Speaking faster to just get more in rather than cutting to just the quality arguments in not an improvement and is actually counter productive to the skill that would be more beneficial which is conciseness. In a policy round you can choose to read 10 uniqueness arguments so fast that they don't take much time, but only 1% of the population understands you or you can develop the skill to evaluate the 2 best uniqueness arguments that are actually persuasive.

 

This isn't true for all, but all too often policy debaters speak faster in lew of actually making decisions in the round. It is strategically less stressful to throw out every thought you can express in the time alotted and hope one sticks rather than make decisive action to determine what is your "game winner" and communicating it to the best of your ability. Speed rarely leads to more depth, it leads to the shotgun effect. Depth of analysis of a single argument is a factor of the number of speeches, then the number of opportunities for response and counter response. Reading 1,000 words doesn't increase the depth of the argument, answering the objections does. The same depth is reached no matter how fast you speak because the number of constructives and rebuttals determine that and they are fixed.

 

Your arguments are only indicative of bad debate, not fast debate. There is no reason why speaking quickly detracts from in-depth discussion. In fact, speed augments that - you can make more arguments and analyze a certain issue deeper than a slow speaker could. Speed also doesn't prevent effective "slow" communication. This is proven year after year when national circuit teams that are used to highly technical and fast debate dominate NFL Nationals, where they are required to adapt to a more traditional judging pool. You can "read 1000 words" and answer "objections."

 

The salesman analogies and arguments about public communication don't make sense in the context of debate. It's not like speaking quickly in a debate setting means you can't communicate normally in the real world. Many debaters go on to succeed in law and other professions despite how quickly they spoke in debate. Highly technical debate fosters research and argumentation skills that are unparalleled by those provided by slow debate. More arguments in a round means there are many more interactions and intricacies to consider (better critical thinking) and it means there are many more arguments to do research on. It's not like you don't have to be persuasive either. Additionally, debate is different from many spectator activities because it is both a competitive AND an educational activity. Since fast debate leads to better education, molding debate to suit the preferences of an "audience" (since so many people want to go watch a debate on the weekend...) only hurts the growth of the debaters involved. Speed also has competitive value, since it allows debaters to make more and deeper arguments, so eliminating it would also detract from the competitive nature of the activity.

 

Yes, that was a rather unorganized rant, but speed bad arguments are made by those who aren't good enough to succeed in the activity as it is or grumpy old men.

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Your arguments are only indicative of bad debate, not fast debate. There is no reason why speaking quickly detracts from in-depth discussion. In fact, speed augments that - you can make more arguments and analyze a certain issue deeper than a slow speaker could. Speed also doesn't prevent effective "slow" communication. This is proven year after year when national circuit teams that are used to highly technical and fast debate dominate NFL Nationals, where they are required to adapt to a more traditional judging pool. You can "read 1000 words" and answer "objections.".

 

Please note, I've already said that speed debate is a matter of adaptation, and I completely agree with you that the best debaters are the best at adapting.

 

My only argument is that life is full of time limits and that talking faster is not the best solution for presenting argumentation. That is not mutually exclusive with debaters talking fast and being successful in a community that accepts the behavior. If the judge in the room accepts a higher rate of delivery, then you should do that. If the judge in the room does not accept a higher rate of delivery, then you should not do that. My argument is that the education that matters most prepares you for the most situations, and in most situations the judge (whatever form the judge will take) will not accept a higher rate of delivery.

 

The salesman analogies and arguments about public communication don't make sense in the context of debate. It's not like speaking quickly in a debate setting means you can't communicate normally in the real world. Many debaters go on to succeed in law and other professions despite how quickly they spoke in debate.
I'm not sure we're apples to apples. I agree with your claim that many debaters go on to succeed no matter how fast they spoke, however, those skills of speaking fast are no longer beneficial to them once they are out of debate. I will contend that skills of being concise serve them better outside of debate, and those skills they may or may not have developed while debating if they spoke rapidly. I'm not contending that in order to be successful you can not speak quickly, I'm contending that choosing not to speak quickly and instead speaking more concisely will serve you better.

 

You say that my analogies don't fit within the context of debate. Not sure I understand your claim. What is so unique about debate that we should answer the question of what to do with limited time with a solution that we would never except in any other situation in life? And if debate is unique, then is it truly valuable to your future situations? I don't think debate is unique, and that we should approach it like we would approach any other situation in which there is a lot to say and a limited time.

 

Highly technical debate fosters research and argumentation skills that are unparalleled by those provided by slow debate. More arguments in a round means there are many more interactions and intricacies to consider (better critical thinking) and it means there are many more arguments to do research on.

Here I disagree. My first objection is that speed does not translate to technical. You can be technical without more words, just better words. My second objection is the research is the same, you just don't have to use it all. Just because you researched an argument doesn't mean you have to say it in round for their to be skill development and critical thinking. I would contend that you develop more critical thinking by choosing to read only your best arguments rather than throwing out a bunch of meaningless ones to win based on the shotgun effect. My third objection is more is not better. You pollute the issue and force the judge to sift through the crap to get to the crucial questions of the round. Throwing out 10 reasons the disadvantage doesn't link does not promote more interaction to concider, it clouds the issue and obscures decision making, when choosing only 2 reasons performs the same feat and allows for clear resolution of the issue.

 

It's not like you don't have to be persuasive either.

Speed debate is always less persuasive and is only an effective strategy when the prevailing opinion is that the arguments are persuasive in themselves, not how you present them.

 

Since fast debate leads to better education, molding debate to suit the preferences of an "audience" (since so many people want to go watch a debate on the weekend...) only hurts the growth of the debaters involved. Speed also has competitive value, since it allows debaters to make more and deeper arguments, so eliminating it would also detract from the competitive nature of the activity.

I hear this all the time without warrant. Fast debate does not lead to "better" education. Perhaps different, but not better.

 

Your point that few people want to watch a debate round is the problem. When you alienate everyone outside your increasingly small community you risk participation and therefore any education at any level at all.

 

As far as the competitive values, speed does not increase depth, it increase breadth of arguments. Depth is measured in the level of responses to responses, which are a factor of the number of speeches in the event, not how many words are read.

 

 

... but speed bad arguments are made by those who aren't good enough to succeed in the activity as it is or grumpy old men.
And speed good arguments are made by those who are narcists to think only their preferences should matter or arrogant, young whipper-snappers. LOL!!
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Are you really saying that it's difficult to slow down after speed reading? Pretty sure I can talk at a normal pace. The difference is that in debate rounds, I can get in more and deeper arguments in a limited time if I talk faster. When I slow down, I have still gained the ability to construct deeper and better arguments, now without a time limit. Therefore, the skills I gain from speed reading extend far beyond speaking faster; they're valuable argumentation skills that, due to time limits, necessitate talking faster.

Sure, speed helps you get more words out and helps you learn how to speak fast. I will assume for the sake of argument that debaters who are good at spreading are able to talk slower, but I don't think it necessarily follows that they are able to argue slower, which is what my comments were directed to and what Corporate DB8er hit on.

 

Speeding up has become accepted practice in policy as a solution to the problem of having more words to say than your time would otherwise afford you. But, as Corporate DB8er aptly noted, that is not considered an acceptable solution in almost any other activity or job where speaking is required. In order to solve that problem in the "real world", speakers must reduce the number of words they say, not speed up their rate of saying them. Typically this is done by a mix of prioritizing content (omitting the less-important words) and by speaking in an economical way (reducing the number of words it takes to convey your point).

 

My point was not that policy debaters can't speak slowly if they want to. My point was that most policy debaters, by accepting and perpetuating the norm of speed, are being robbed of valuable practice in prioritization and word economy. Now if you consider those skills to be less important than the benefits of having lots of words in your speech, then of course speed is fine. But my opinion is that prioritization and word economy are more important skills primarily because they are tough to learn on-the-job and generally do more to enhance the persuasiveness of a speaker than having lots of words does.

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Your arguments are only indicative of bad debate, not fast debate. There is no reason why speaking quickly detracts from in-depth discussion.

 

Arguably speed + high barrier to entry (theory, jargon, etc.) contributes to debates that are hard to watch.

 

I would rather watch or judge junior high parli than high school novice policy. In parli, almost all the rounds are decent...whereas in policy the differential between good and bad teams can make rounds far less engaging.

 

In the former, people have to argue till the end--whereas the later most debates are over by the block (and thats being generous)--which means the last 15 to 20 minutes of the debate.

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Why would talking fast trade off with conciseness? The best debaters I have heard are fast (and clear), and have tremendous word economy.

 

And, do you really think that going slower, by itself would make debate more accessible to the public? If debaters spoke more slowly, people might understand the arguments made. Then the audience would really think we're all crazy.:)

 

I imagine someone has done empirical research, but I've been hearing that debate was doomed since at least 1978. So far, the predictions have not borne out.

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I imagine someone has done empirical research, but I've been hearing that debate was doomed since at least 1978. So far, the predictions have not borne out.

 

That would depend on what you mean by "doomed", wouldn't it?

 

I think a pretty good argument could be made that an observer of the Bellaire-Firestone final, looking forward to the level of nationwide participation in debate in 2010, might well use terms like "doomed".

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I'm not familiar with that round, but the activity still seems vibrant to me. Of course, it's only anecdotal, but I would say we have more competitive teams in my area now than we had a few years ago.

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What I have noticed over the past decade or so is that speed is being used mostly to read longer cards, not to make more arguments. Where once there were subpoints, now there is a 30 second buzz of an extremely long card. Now, that card may be full of tasty, warranty goodness, but the warrants are lost in the buzz.

 

*adjusts old man hat*

 

In the ancient days of reading cards--back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and pterodactyls filled the skies--there was a physical limit to how much would fit on an index card. This physical limit on card length forced debaters to break things up into little chunks and resulted in more actual subpoints on the flow. That physical limit no longer exists and the result has been faster reading of longer "cards" with no real increase in the amount of actual arguments in the round.

 

Now get off my lawn!

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No it is not killing debate, if anything its increasing the people that join.

Maybe your school is just wierd.

 

Debate is a competition, and like any good competition if you cant keep up then get out. Speed is part of what makes a good debater good, why should people limit themselves for others? Thats there problem, the world is not fair. Get used to it

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