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Nelsonwins94

Is speed killing debate?

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The MDL is trying to get into the wdca but there reluctant because they dont like the speed. the entire north made there own division around pf because they didnt like speed.

 

There's a few things wrong with this statement:

 

1. The MDL isn't trying to get into the WDCA. If anything it's the other way around. The WDCA is falling apart due to the recent loss of Batterman and Voss to superior programs while the MDL is expanding.

 

2. The MDL generally frowns upon speed because of the high percentage of lay judges and lay coaches (something that is rapidly changing).

 

3. The northern teams made their own circuit because they are stuck in the 70s and refuse to adopt national circuit norms.

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Never really believed in the "project" teams that say policy debate has become exclusionary and therefore rejected, but after reading the mindsets on this thread, I'm starting to see their point....

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I think most of the posters in this thread are missing a key point of the practice of spreading.

 

Debate doesn't have a rule saying you have to spread to be competitive. In fact, debate doesn't have any rules at all, other than the speech times. Community practices are, essentially, up to debate.

 

If you think spreading is unfair, run theory against it. If you think its an exclusive practice, criticize it as such. Similarly, if you like speed be prepared to defend it in round.

 

Policy debate is imo so great an activity because it is so much more advanced in theoretical and framework debates than other types of debate. If you dislike the practices in it, then advocate changes that make the activity more inclusive.

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I think most of the posters in this thread are missing a key point of the practice of spreading.

 

Debate doesn't have a rule saying you have to spread to be competitive. In fact, debate doesn't have any rules at all, other than the speech times. Community practices are, essentially, up to debate.

 

If you think spreading is unfair, run theory against it. If you think its an exclusive practice, criticize it as such. Similarly, if you like speed be prepared to defend it in round.

 

Policy debate is imo so great an activity because it is so much more advanced in theoretical and framework debates than other types of debate. If you dislike the practices in it, then advocate changes that make the activity more inclusive.

Ding.

 

I think many people know, I have a hearing impairment. Even though I did a fair amount of circuit policy, speed wasn't a huge hassle since I just read cards as/after they were spoken. Now that I do college parli, which has no cards or evidence, if I can't understand an opponent because they're not clear, I'll call them out. If they don't clear up/slow down, I'll run a clarity/speed K. Usually they're unclear because they're going faster than they should be. I've only had to resort to this once, in a prelim at NPDA, and I won that round. (Not coincidentally, my opponents slowed down significantly the rest of the tournament). Are speed Ks perceived as lame? Yes. But there are a lot of good arguments that the usual "speed good" tricks aren't responsive to. None of your 50 "speed = harder/better debate" warrants are relevant in a world where no debate is functionally occurring because a participant was shut out of it.

 

But, obviously, only a tiny minority of debaters can legitimately deploy such arguments. The argument that speed is exclusive is false. Guess what, I still wholeheartedly agree with those 50 warrants, just not in my specific instance. Anyone outside the minority needs to suck it up and do speed drills like everyone else. The only "negative" aspect of speed is that it increases specialization/decreases accessibility to the activity. But there are dozens of other alt causes to this; speed may be a big one but it is certainly not the lone culprit.

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Debate is a specialized activity that rewards a specific set of skills. Some people aren't good at research, does that mean evidence is killing policy debate? Some people are bad at throwing, should we adjust football to accommodate them?

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and in the last 10 years speed has shown up, its more new than most people realize.

 

I've been involved in the activity for twenty years, and the best debaters are no faster now then they were when I started. It's not as if spreading were some radical new innovation then either.

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1) I have tried those Speed Drills, and I am pleased to say this. It has increased my ability to read faster. But not to the extent that I see in VSS round and on the national circuit. I read maybe 3 times faster than I did when I debated. Which if you ask the team I judge for, Itsn't all that much faster. I reached a certain point and the drills were not helping anymore.

I just can't reach those speeds.

Am I learning disabled? No.

Do I have a Speech disorder? No.

I just can't go that fast. For as long as I can remember, my brain tries to process the words I read. So at a certain speed, I just can't read anymore without having to stop and 'refocus'.

It seems possible that if someone didn't read fast when they were young, it would be difficult for them to learn when they are older.

 

You should try using spreeder.com to gradually increase the speed of your reading comprehension.

 

2) As a judge, even if I can't Speed read all that fast, there is the issue of HEARING words read at high speed. When I sit in on VSS/National Rounds, or am Judging them, I hear words, but due to the high speed of the words coming out of the mouth, I can't PROCESS them. How do I judge a round when I can't Understand the sentences?

Now, before you say I suck at it or whatnot, Know this, I have been doing it for 6-7 years, I have gotten better at hearing faster speeds. But I still have a LOT of issues with the HIGH Speed.

I kind of have problems with listening to speed rounds myself. I can talk fast, but have difficulty listening to fast talkers.

 

Lots of teams are terrible at spreading, this is probably at least part of the issue. You should yell at them or nuke their speaks if they are doing it wrong.

 

Also, spreeder should help this. I've found that as my ability to speed read improves, so does my ability to comprehend speed reading.

 

3) I understand the arguments for speed that say that it improves education because you hear more in a round. and the arguments that say you can process faster when you speed, but some people just CAN'T Do it, be it a disability or the fact they just can't. EVEN IF they try super hard. I am one of those people. And why should those people Not be allowed to Debate? Why should they be forced to do something else just because they can't speed? I personally ENJOY Policy Debate, I love the way it works, the information you learn, the research, and even the argumentation. But when I am trying to judge a HIGH Speed Round, and no one slows down, I look like the bad guy because I can't understand them. Where's the Education for me? If I can't hear/understand them, I'm getting no education.

Speed makes debate better for those in debate. The educational benefits for the many probably outweighs the exclusion of the few who can't spread. I don't think that many people exist who can't spread, though.

 

4) Also, Do this. Ask your neighbors to sit in on a round and watch you debate. Then tell them if it is something they would be willing to support and donate money to. Don't tell them anything else, just ask them if that is a sport they would be willing to support. I'm curious as to how many would sit there during the whole thing and be thinking "What in the heck are they saying, I can't understand a word they are saying.. he/she is talking to fast. " And even more curious to how many would support it after hearing it.

No impact.

 

5) WHAT Reason do you have for speeding? What Profession will you take up that you HAVE to be able to speed read that fast? What Profession has SPEED as a Requirement? or even a 'Preferred'?

I can name only one. Auctioneer.

And that doesn't even require READING fast. just the ability to Speak that fast.

Now, tell me. How many Debaters are going to become Auctioneers?

Speed -> increased education -> being better activists / policymakers.

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Never really believed in the "project" teams that say policy debate has become exclusionary and therefore rejected, but after reading the mindsets on this thread, I'm starting to see their point....

 

because they offer such coherent and well thought out alternatives....

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If you think that the speed puts you at that significant a disadvantage...picking another debate event may be the best option. This will also give you the flexibility of having a better social life or learning other skills.

 

Running the speed K over and over again can't exactly be thrilling or educational in the same way that learning entire resolutions would be educational. Also, in the case of PF or LD, its likely that your college essays or life might otherwise revisit those same issues.

 

Also, most judges aren't too thrilled to watch speed Ks. It seems pretty compelling that all sports and competitive activities require a particular skill. If this weren't the case...they would give wins & trophies to everybody. Should Kobe Bryant only be able to go 1/2 his speed because his opponents can't keep up.

 

Despite my empathy for your situation, I think the desire to see teams compete "at the highest level" (whatever that means).

 

Policy debate as now practiced is speed debate (and has been since the mid 1980s--so speed has been a significant part of the activity for about 25 years). I realize that its just infiltrating your circuit...but my guess is that it has infiltrated your circuit in the past without your knowledge.

 

But your K will be effective--people will slow down. My guess is when the Louisville project involved speed that less than 1/3rd of the teams slowed down. Most teams will just get out their speed good blocks...and read them at top speed.

 

Admittedly, this strategy **may** work with local judges, but won't work with national circuit judges unless you are ready to roll on all the issues. If I were you, I would just realize that I would rather have debates about substance vs. 1 procedural for the rest of my debate career--which means event switching becomes the better option.

 

(As a side note, it does seem weird that Ks of Capitalism & modernity use speed given that both Ks take issue with the practice)

Edited by nathan_debate

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Speed -> increased education -> being better activists / policymakers.

 

1) Information overload doesn't create better education or policymakers. Deep thinking is just as important to strategy, organizational change, and alignment as sheer volume of information.

 

2) Just being able to hear tags is not education or communication. Period.

 

3) Lowest common denominator. Speed also lets in terrible arguments (like ASPEC) in an effort to fill a speech with fluff--and yes this is unique to speed, because 1/2 to 1/3rd less aspec blocks could be read with slower debate.

 

4) Patterns trump.

a) Also, creating patterns of fast speech--leads to unpersuasiveness--which is bad for policymaking.

B) If its a question of patterns for better policymaking....medium speed debate wins.

Edited by nathan_debate

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(As a side note, it does seem weird that Ks of Capitalism & modernity use speed given that both Ks take issue with the practice)

 

I don't really think this is true, given that how "speed" functions in debate is really to enable conversation in greater depth - I think most K authors would agree that thorough discussions are better than shallow discussions. There certainly is an element of trying to "spread the other team out" but in most levels of the activity, difference in speed isn't really that great - in college, most people are pretty quick, and in high school, most people are fairly quick but not too quick, and the difference isn't insurmountable.

 

At most, I think one can argue that these authors think exclusive practices of communication are bad, but I think the way speed functions in debate is a lot more egalitarian than any practices these authors would be writing about (such as state propaganda, or apocalyptic rhetoric, etc)

 

The bottom line, though, is that debate is a competitive activity, and that means some people are going to be better at it than others. If you aren't good at one part of the activity, either get good at another part of it to overcome your deficiencies, or join another activity that doesn't emphasize something you're bad at. Or be okay with losing a lot.

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At most, I think one can argue that these authors think exclusive practices of communication are bad, but I think the way speed functions in debate is a lot more egalitarian than any practices these authors would be writing about (such as state propaganda, or apocalyptic rhetoric, etc)

 

The bottom line, though, is that debate is a competitive activity, and that means some people are going to be better at it than others. If you aren't good at one part of the activity, either get good at another part of it to overcome your deficiencies, or join another activity that doesn't emphasize something you're bad at. Or be okay with losing a lot.

Your two paragraphs seem at odds. Which is it? Debate is egalitarian, inclusive, and exclusive communication is bad, or should we embrace speed reading that makes some better than others (not egalitarian), tell them to do other activities (not inclusive), and silence them with loses (exclusive communication)?

 

Reading fast is an adaptation to a specific type of judge. In some circuits that type of judge is more prevaliant than in others. It isn't a 100% good thing or a 100% bad thing, it is an adaptation thing.

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Speed enables conversation?
Really!?!?!??!?!?!

 

If that were true we wouldn't need print outs for the other team to read.

 

See also: disables (real) communication above.

 

Also, if this were true, we wouldn't need an elite set of judges to judge the event.

 

This is even more punctuated when you listen to some of the online recordings of debates--(part of this is acoustics and part of its that debaters aren't always AV saavy...but its downright ridiculous when you can't make out more than 70% of what they are saying)

 

Reading fast is an adaptation to a specific type of judge. In some circuits that type of judge is more prevaliant than in others. It isn't a 100% good thing or a 100% bad thing, it is an adaptation thing.
Speed, though, results in a specific type of activity...one in which the judge is often cut off from....or one of the teams is cut off from. Being communicators is different from being sports stars because of the communication context. Also, even in sports its considered bad form to run up the score (see also: Bobby Bowdin of FSU). If I gave a science presentation to a room and didn't adapt my presentation to greater than 67% of the room...wouldn't a be doing a disservice as a communicator.

 

Also, there is a linear-ish relationship between speed and lack of clarity. The assumption is if the judge hears 80% of the tage and a sentance or two blip of the evidence everything is fine. This is absurd!!!!!!

 

Or wouldn't the scientists who tried to use big words (or speed) to outsmart his/her opponent in an academic debate lose credibility from such a practice? Isn't this the same practice almost as speaking Russian to an english/american audience or even speaking in Da Da (from da-daism) to anyone. Communicators have fiduciary obligation to be translators...in addition to being (mere) transferers of information (otherwise there is no communication process).

 

And all of this side steps the question of if 2.5 sentance cards from the Sacramento Bee can communicate anything with meaning & context. (a bit of a perf. con I know, but you get the point)

 

Whose to say that the NASCAR driver, the speed pac man player, or the speed chess player is any better than those that play at a slower rate??? (more does not equal better). Its like the Hungry-Hungry Hippo version of education....at the end of the day you're still just left with shiny marbles.

 

Why does the context of a debate round change the norms that communication should be audience centric?

 

Whats the brightline? We give speaker points & analogously we know how fast fast is. When your flow is choppy because you're inhaling gulps of air....you're probably unclear and you're trying too hard.

 

---------------------------------------

As a side note:

"This report is a snapshot of what the information revolution means to the average American on an average day, who consumes 34 gigabytes and 100,000 words of information," said report author Roger Bohn, director of the Global Information Industry Center at UC San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. “The total volume of 3.6 zettabytes consumed last year is much larger than previous studies have reported, partly because they measured different views of information, such as information creation rather than consumption. Also, nobody had looked at the role of computer games, which generate a staggering number of bytes."

 

 

 

The new report estimates that between 1980 and 2008, bytes consumed increased 350 percent, for an average annual growth rate of 5.4 percent. According to the report, the average American’s information consumption of 34 gigabytes a day is the equivalent of about one-fifth of a notebook computer’s hard drive, depending on the model.

Edited by nathan_debate

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Your two paragraphs seem at odds. Which is it? Debate is egalitarian, inclusive, and exclusive communication is bad, or should we embrace speed reading that makes some better than others (not egalitarian), tell them to do other activities (not inclusive), and silence them with loses (exclusive communication)?

 

This is a fair objection, and was something I thought about, but was too lazy to mention. I think that speed is accessible in the sense that it's something that certainly is difficult, but with enough work, I think virtually anyone can get up to snuff. A friend of mine, for example, was diagnosed with a number of speech impediments as a child/teen, but he liked debate enough that he basically willed himself to overcome them, and now he's a competitive college debater (certainly not the fastest on the circuit, but he's fast enough to keep up). Like any other activity, there are limitations on this, of course. For example, I'd imagine it's very difficult for mute people to compete in policy debate - the same goes for the deaf and blind. I don't think it's fair to call our event exclusive because people such as these find debate more difficult, though (although the issue of "disabilities" is something that I admit I haven't thought about enough). I think there is a distinction between speed and the types of exclusions critical authors write about, but I admit that I cannot think of a differentiation between them that I'm terribly confident in - what I came up with in my head was relatively arbitrary, relating to the degree to which certain persons are excluded from politics versus debate.

 

Certainly though, there are elements of contemporary debate that teams like Louisville and Towson are right about, at least to some extent, and speed is no exception. Debate is exclusive, and that's shitty. That doesn't mean people whining about how "it's not what debate is supposed to be" or "it makes you look ridiculous" or "it doesn't help you prepare for a career in anything" are correct. My thoughts on this are largely reflected by a shanahan video on youtube (no, not that one) -

 

also - nathan, cutting out the key part of a sentence and then typing a wall of text to answer it isn't very good argumentative practice - I believe they call it a "straw man." the point is that the way contemporary debate functions makes conversations just as possible at high speeds (because of the hard work put in to be able to talk and listen that fast), but at much greater depth, allowing for more critical thinking etc which is probably good. to say that speed disrupts "real" communication is begging all sorts of questions about what real communication is, what the brightline is, etc

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also - nathan, cutting out the key part of a sentence and then typing a wall of text to answer it isn't very good argumentative practice - I believe they call it a "straw man."
Please don't blame me for your avoiding arguments. Let me be clear.

 

I. My argument was hardly a straw person. It was rather:

 

A) An answer to that claim.

B) And a robust criticism of the underlying assumptions of (almost) ANYONE who uses speed as a strategic tactic.

 

II. Correction: A straw person would have been to address a particularly egregious type of spreading. 90 to 95% of my answer didn't do that at all (it might be argued a very small portion did). So you ignored the 90% of my argument that wasn't straw-person. For it to be a strawperson I would have had to mischaracterize the arguments.

 

The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position.
I answered the assumptions about communication, ethics, education, and responsibility at the heart of speed. To that extent--I turned the argument on its head (link turn style--and explaining how your framework can never access those impacts). To say I summarized an argument is not sufficient to suggest that its a strawperson. Summary in debate is inevitable--which under your interp seems to suggest strawpersons always happen. Also, you have the option of answering the argument on its merits....

 

I'm sorry if I didn't answer what your interpretation of conversation is.

 

the point is that the way contemporary debate functions makes conversations just as possible at high speeds (because of the hard work put in to be able to talk and listen that fast), but at much greater depth, allowing for more critical thinking etc which is probably good. to say that speed disrupts "real" communication is begging all sorts of questions about what real communication is, what the brightline is, etc
Of Debate Assumptions: My post questions that debate is a communication activity. If it is not a communication activity and if debaters are just shouting--its all sound and fury. Arguably just as much critical thinking could go down in & more (quality) clash would actually happen. I'll spot you that "critical thinking" **might** be answer to my just marbles argument.

 

Of Brightline arguments. You're brightline argument is inevitable in almost all ethical claim & link debates. Inability to quantify is insufficient reason to reject (maybe you can't make a government law based on it, but a debate ballot it isn't 100% necessary. Actually the common person standard is I believe used in law). For instance that you're **more* racist or sexist than me is sufficient--not that I tell you exactly how much.

 

As a judge ask the question--is there a link? Yes or no...thats the only bright line thats necessary (in the same way that good customer service or good debate isn't crystal clear--but sufficiently clear to make judgments about). James, you know no threshold is never a winning argument.

 

You say:

hard work put in to be able to talk and listen that fast

 

Clarity kills this. To say that any person gets more than 60% to 65% in most high school high speed debates is streaching the truth.

 

Metaphor & method: The notion would be to suggest that debate resembles the rauckous summer townhall meetings more so than an open and honest academic exchange. It would apply Martin Bubers notion of the I-Thou relationship as opposed to the I-it relationship which exists in debate in 95% of debates.

 

On a separate note, if my tone above hasn't been fair, academic, or respectful in anyway....I apologize. It was a bit of a rant.

 

Buber believes in community of otherness which revolves around the self, other, and shared principles (not the same principles). The importance with the community, Buber would believe, is that the members participate in a dialogue about the differences. The second dimension of Buber's theory is the I-It relationship, which is formed when monologue is produced. This, in reality, is the kind of relationship that most human beings encounter every day. The I-It relationship is manipulative because it's focus is self-fulfilling, or self-serving. This is what Buber refers to as polarized communication. Polarized communication is where people feel that meaning is possessed within each individual, and each individual has a goal to reach. In polarized communication there is my side and their side, and the other side cannot be seen.

 

Two side notes:

I think there are other ways to make this more viable in debate and allow for more clash. For more on I-Thou. I imagine the Stanford Encyclopedia has more:

http://www.colorado.edu/communication/meta-discourses/Papers/App_Papers/Ralph.htm

 

To make this a viable argument it would need an 1) answer to switch side debate good (which wouldn't be hard--we solve too--just better) 2) the use of the generic he (using X to erasure).

Edited by nathan_debate

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Metaphor & method: The notion would be to suggest that debate resembles the rauckous summer townhall meetings more so than an open and honest academic exchange. It would apply Martin Bubers notion of the I-Thou relationship as opposed to the I-it relationship which exists in debate in 95% of debates.

 

On a separate note, if my tone above hasn't been fair, academic, or respectful in anyway....I apologize. It was a bit of a rant.

 

For more on I-Thou. I imagine the Stanford Encyclopedia has more:

http://www.colorado.edu/communication/meta-discourses/Papers/App_Papers/Ralph.htm

 

I do not believe establishing such a relationship is possible in a zero-sum activity, i.e., where I win only if you lose. Authentic communication is the last thing in which you would wish to engage if you want to pick up rounds (since this would require actual, as opposed to strategic, concession and a true synthesis of extreme positions). It's a great book though.

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the points that have been brought up about exclusive practices in debate, including that of speed for depth vs. spreading, are all on point and an interesting discussion.

 

but regarding the OP:

 

Debate is exclusive, and that's shitty. That doesn't mean people whining about how "it's not what debate is supposed to be" or "it makes you look ridiculous" or "it doesn't help you prepare for a career in anything" are correct.

 

this. the OP wasn't concerned about exclusive practices in debate. basically, he was bitching that debate was "too hard".

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Debate is a specialized activity that rewards a specific set of skills. Some people aren't good at research, does that mean evidence is killing policy debate? Some people are bad at throwing, should we adjust football to accommodate them?

 

1) the point is not slowing down debate to allow for everyone. what about if we sped up football to the point that no one can follow it? gave it super complicated rules, or made it so specialized that no one cares anymore and no one wants to be part of the community. thats what speed represents. it represents something thats become so specialized that no one outside the activity cares or wants to be a pat of it.

 

2)Yes reward skills.but how about rewarding the right ones. the researchers and the clear communicaters. the ones that can four point an arguement and understand everything they run. thats whats need to be rewarded, not speed.

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@MLD

 

I think your perspective is interesting and informative, but ultimately a non-starter.

 

If you're argument is true then all claims of fairness & otherization should be thrown out the window because competition makes them impossible. My argument isn't for perfection, but a significant improvement over the sorry state of the activity. Not all camps even participate in the open evidence project (GDI, UNTIF), but more importantly the level of respect in rounds is horrendous at times. Finally, I think the spread even if they can't hear or comprehend me is a respect issue. Its also the core of the argument. In all of these areas perfection is impossible--but again its above progress & improvement not perfection.

 

And it may be that Buber's argument isn't quite a 1 to 1 fit with the nature of the argument or the activity, but its possible that some of his literature might be.

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I think your perspective is interesting and informative, but ultimately a non-starter.

 

If you're argument is true then all claims of fairness & otherization should be thrown out the window because competition makes them impossible.

 

My argument is that you cannot have an Ich-Du relationship when the nature of competition necessitates an Ich-Es one. I have to view my opponents instrumentally if I am going to win at their expense. This recognition does not mean that I advocate throwing fairness out the window or treating my opponents like crap. You're setting up a false dichotomy.

 

Moreover, you have not convinced me that debate is a communications activity except in the narrow sense of communicating with the judge in the back of the room. An Ich-Du relationship is characterized by actual dialogue, whereas an Ich-Es relation is characterized by monologue. However, true dialogue is impossible when the nature of the activity is adversarial (like in a courtroom with opposing sides that offer alternative narratives for a judge or jury to choose) rather than being an attempt to arrive at the truth value of the resolution (as one would hope would be the goal in an actual policymaking scenario, e.g., elected representatives trying to arrive at the best possible solution to a problem). The goal in a debate round is not to achieve truth, but to pick up ballots. This means competing monologues because there is zero incentive to compromise or arrive at consensus within the round.

 

My argument isn't for perfection, but a significant improvement over the sorry state of the activity. Not all camps even participate in the open evidence project (GDI, UNTIF), but more importantly the level of respect in rounds is horrendous at times.

 

Separate issues, no? Isn't this about spreading, not the free dissemination of evidence?

 

Finally, I think the spread even if they can't hear or comprehend me is a respect issue. Its also the core of the argument. In all of these areas perfection is impossible--but again its above progress & improvement not perfection.

 

When I was in high school (not really an issue in college), if the other team was slow, I went slow. That doesn't mean that I didn't want to win, just that I wanted to beat them on arguments, not spread them out of the round just because I could. I didn't have to do this, and I don't think it should be any sort of requirement, but it does seem to me to be the decent thing to do. It certainly wasn't because I was afraid of any Speed Kritik (since such things did not exist).

 

If you can win such an argument and spin it so that you're picking up the round, more power to you, but I suspect that most judges are pre-disposed to view such positions as whines. The more obvious remedy is to get better.

 

I just do not see how you're going to have much success forcing people to be nice if they are not pre-disposed to being nice in the first place. You are always going to have a sub-set of people of people who will act like jackasses, and the nature of competition actually encourages this sort of behavior. It just seems the nature of the beast.

 

All of this assumes, of course, unequal technical skill. I don't see the problem at all if both teams and the judge have the necessary skills to follow a fast debate.

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Many of you are missing the overall problem with speed. Its not merely a communication issue or a competition issue - inequity will exist whether the variable is speed, depth of research, extemporaneous critical thinking or anything other cognitive or tangible process in debate. None of you would complain if the runningback on your team was a 7'4" 900 pound behemoth who runs with his pads lower than a guy who is 4'6" can spin like a figure skater stiff arm like a battering ram and run a 40 yard dash in 2.3 seconds.

 

No, the problem with speed isnt that it makes it challenging for their opponents to compete - its that the judge in the back of the room is using such a bankrupt system of decisionmaking that it rewards the participant with the most number of arguments irrespective of quality and logic of argument. [And because I need to preempt some schmuck, no, I am not talking about dropped round/argument winners like turns.]

 

Just because the aff dropped nine answers claiming the disad to be non-unique while the neg only managed to respond to five of them does not automatically mean that conceding the other four indicates the disad to be non-unique. If that were the case, then the fastest debater should win every round in every instance. However, in these situations, most (if not all) judges will simply cede the affirmative's extension of the dropped non-unique arguments through the round and vote aff. Sometimes, this is appropriate decisionmaking, but many times it is not.

 

For a judge, its very tempting to make decisions based on measurable metrics because those are objective parameters free of the subjectivity debaters and coaches loathe [Yes, I can freely admit I have been guilty of it from time to time]. We judges use phrases like "insufficient offense/defense on argument X" failed to justify a ballot for the team. Debaters claim its unpredictable how a judge will view the content of the argument (i.e. whether nuclear war is believable given the scenario) but why should that desire for objectivity trump the factor of rationality? Debaters always say that what sets debate apart from other debate and speech events is that it is about the argument, not the rate, tone, or inflection with which it was spoken; yet the entire concept of extending dropped arguments for the win often runs contrary to the very essence of that claim.

Edited by Ankur
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No, the problem with speed isnt that it makes it challenging for their opponents to compete - its that the judge in the back of the room is using such a bankrupt system of decisionmaking that it rewards the participant with the most number of arguments irrespective of quality and logic of argument. [And because I need to preempt some schmuck, no, I am not talking about dropped round/argument winners like turns.]

 

That sounds like more of problem with bad judging than speed per se.

 

I agree that if someone drops an argument (or even a position), then it should not be an automatic "game over." Rather, you should reward the team who advanced the argument with the full weight of the implications for that position. A dropped solvency take-out, for example, should not necessarily mean that case has zero solvency. A much more rational approach is to weigh how much mitigation the evidence warrants against the overall chance of solving the harms, securing the advantage, etc. This is why smart teams minimize the damage of technical mistakes under the guise of "weighing the impacts."

 

I certainly agree, however, that you've identified a huge problem with the way that rounds are often adjudicated.

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However, true dialogue is impossible when the nature of the activity is adversarial (like in a courtroom with opposing sides that offer alternative narratives for a judge or jury to choose)
I still see this as a defensive argument rather than an offensive one.

 

Almost everything in life is characterized by striving toward a Platonic goal, when in reality that goal isn't 100% achieveable.

 

1) Respect for all 3 parties (including spectators)

2) Clear communication " "

3) Accessible communication " "

That perfect truth, justice, and ethics are "impossible" doesn't stop us from striving. (ps we're not going to solve the aff or its harms perfectly either--that doesn't mean we should stop trying)

 

If debaters were incentivized with the ballot--they would internalize that norm far more readily. Also, that pre-supposes what debate and competition are....not what they could be in a world in which the norms changed.

 

I think the parallel from basketball on the playground in elementary school vs. in your face street basketball--there is a fundamental. Also, if you've read anything about the X-prize....people do collaborate in competitions (or certainly there is that possibility). Also, runners run, but they don't do so at the cost of other runners. Moreover, there have been several viral videos about competitions which turned more altruistic over the last 3 years (the female who couldn't round the bases for her home run was picked up and walked around the bases by one of the players in the field). You're assumptive confines on empathy and the human spirit....is precisely what keeps you from realizing the possibility of the aspiration even if 100% utopia is "impossible."

 

It sounds like we're not going to agree on this...

Edited by nathan_debate

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That sounds like more of problem with bad judging than speed per se.

 

I agree that if someone drops an argument (or even a position), then it should not be an automatic "game over." Rather, you should reward the team who advanced the argument with the full weight of the implications for that position. A dropped solvency take-out, for example, should not necessarily mean that case has zero solvency. A much more rational approach is to weigh how much mitigation the evidence warrants against the overall chance of solving the harms, securing the advantage, etc. This is why smart teams minimize the damage of technical mistakes under the guise of "weighing the impacts."

 

I certainly agree, however, that you've identified a huge problem with the way that rounds are often adjudicated.

 

 

Huge doesn't begin to describe it. The equalizer to speed IS logic and strategy. Speed wouldn't have the appearance of the problem it is if judges were more like what you say and less of what I say. Offense-defense is another nonsensical tradition in judging. There is no logical reason why defense cannot win rounds and yet time and time again, judges will say "you lack offense." Every judge continuing to utter those words has no clue what they are doing in the back of the room.

 

Its intellectually bankrupt practices by judges which are making it difficult for entry into the activity.

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I didn't bother to read a bunch of the posts on this thread because they started to get repetitive but I think what was missing is the "so what". Even if debate is exclusionary, and spreading makes it impossible/unattractive for lots of people so what?

 

Debate is a self-fixing system. Your right, many people became aleinated by spreading, so they made new forms of debate, first was LD, now PF. Policy debate has become more and more specialized as years go on, making it more and more complex, but also more educational and more promoting of critical thinking, for those that can get up to that high threshold. For those that can't, there will always be another event. LD was first, and then started to evolve as policy has and so PF was created. It is honestly just like the process of natural selection. Debate evolves like anything else, and the NFL and other organizations then start another stone-age event, per se (bad connotation, but it is not intended). That is one of the most beautiful things about debate in my mind, is its ability to adapt and change as an organization. Now that the NFL and others have started to realize that it will continuously evolve, they have started to put restrictions and rules on Public Forum to keep it open and accessible to everyone (this can be a good or bad thing depending on your perspective).

 

What I'm trying to say is, speed, even if exclusionary, is not something we need to abandon or discourage, it is a natural evolution that has taken place. We can try to fight it, or devolve it (i.e. a speed k, or something of the sort), but ultimately policy debate will go how its participants find it most educational and best suiting for their ideals. Discouraging it does nothing for the activity, people leaving the activity would just be another evolution of the game, it would just be another corner to turn.

 

Maybe I'm just a nihilist though.

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