Jump to content
Nelsonwins94

Is speed killing debate?

Recommended Posts

You're taking it entirely out of context. What I'm saying isn't an elitist statement that only the best that there are should debate, but that only those who are committed should do it. Quality over quantity.

 

I'll take 1 TOC champ-level debater over a hundred novices who are intimidated by debate any day.

You're assuming that a timid novice will never become a TOC champ-level debater. That is facile. Novices who do not have fun, who do not understand what is going on, and who do not feel welcome will not stick around long. Whether those novices are intimidated, humiliated, bored, smart, dumb, lazy, or driven is a minor point compared to what they have in common: they don't want to do Policy and it's not because they don't like the subject matter. But if you can attract novices and make the event something they want to remain involved in, then there's no limit to how high they can climb.

 

If you don't mind the event continuing to shrink, then feel free to continue the attitude of "fuck any novice who can't take the heat from Day One." But there aren't enough of those novices entering CX every year to replace graduating seniors and there haven't been for many years; it's an unsustainable philosophy. But if you care about CX's future viability, then you should work to be part of the solution. That doesn't mean debates need to be dumbed down, they just need to be more accessible and understandable. A shallower learning curve for new debaters need not top out any lower than CX's current, very steep curve.

 

 

Also, worthy repeats from earlier in the thread:

 

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

 

debate should die an honorable death instead of being noob friendly

So the answer of the question of the thread is, "yes, speed is killing debate, and that is good because speed is equivalent of honor and it is better to have honor than avoid death." We should value speed in the event over the existence of the event itself. Interesting argument.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're neglecting discussion of the solution.

 

How can we get more novices in debate while not making policy less educational?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're neglecting discussion of the solution.

 

How can we get more novices in debate while not making policy less educational?

This is a hard question to answer, and it only makes me appreciate and respect instructors at debate camps even more.

I don't think I'll ever understand the seamless fashion in which they teach and make complexities become simple and the deepest intricacies of debate still be an engaging, interesting conversation and lecture without confusing or scaring novices.

 

For some people, you could be the best debater in the world and not know how to really TEACH. Lately, I've been teaching LOADS of novices on my team, and I find that you have to do two things:

First, don't lie to them and act like it's easy and doesn't require much work. Be honest. Say things like, "It's a lot of work and it isn't easy, and it might not be for you, but just let me take you to one tournament. No strings attached, you can leave if you don't fall in love with it."

Then, when teaching them, EASE THEM IN. Very basic concepts can go a long way, so don't try to teach crazy stuff right off the bat.

 

I dunno, though. Just my experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're neglecting discussion of the solution.

 

How can we get more novices in debate while not making policy less educational?

I've written before about the benefits of separating novices from experienced debaters. So if I were looking to revive CX in an area, I'd implement some form of "novice bracket" or other way to keep Freshmen from hitting Seniors until they have some experience in the event.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the relative handful of grown-ups still hanging around here want to revive this discussion for the umpteen millionth time, knock yourselves out. You're wasting your time, of course, but it's yours to waste...

 

It certainly doesn't advance the discussion at all to trot out the old "false dichotomy" fallacy, like this:

we shouldn't make debate "Kiddie-style" or sugarcoat it just so that people will start liking debate more.
Those are the only choices? Go fast or go stupid? Who knew? And silly us for thinking making people like debate more would increase participation rates...

 

It also doesn't help to swallow the planted axiom in statements like this:

We're neglecting discussion of the solution.

 

How can we get more novices in debate while not making policy less educational?

Any intelligent conversation about the effects of hyper-fast delivery on policy debate needs to acknowledge that there is no evidence--as in, none at all--that such delivery rates are the key to the educational value of debate. And, by the way, the folks who think fast debate = smart debate have a lot to answer for, given how many thousands of kids will never get a chance to get any educational benefits from debate AT ALL because their schools' programs died (or were never begun in the first place). People who say delivery style had nothing to do with that are deluding themselves...
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ian, thanks for the bump of my comment. I am going to direct those interested to a couple threads containing analysis and discussion which is potentially relevant.

 

http://www.cross-x.com/topic/48184-nfl-nationals-post-discussion/

http://www.cross-x.com/topic/35773-toc-qualifiers-calendar-2008-09/ (go later in this thread for my posts on TOC bid tournament distribution)

 

And to reiterate, until judges stop their exclusionary judging practices, no 'solution' is relevant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe answer the alt causes before saying the speed good crowd has a lot to answer for.

 

Thanks, but I don't think I will. The "speed good" defenders DO have a lot to answer for, and the fact that you've trotted out the usual "explanations" doesn't change that one bit...

 

As for your so-called "alt causes," let's take them in order...

 

1) The necessary time investment to be successful in either of those two events is significantly less than the time you have to invest in Policy debate.

 

Policy debate has ALWAYS been time-intensive. Seriously, are you arguing that in these times of the internet, cheap printers, etc. that policy takes MORE time than it used to take when kids had to go to the library, spend hours photocopying original books and magazines, etc.? That is absurd. And sorry, but the time spent organizing your 400-page A/T Time Cube camp file doesn't count as "work," either...

 

2) Policy debate is significantly more complex and requires a deeper understanding of strategy than either of those events.

Policy debate has ALWAYS been complex. That didn't used to matter, as policy programs thrived for decades, even after the invention of LD. Your apparent belief that modern students are mostly turned off by what you call policy's "complexity" is self-serving at best, obnoxiously condescending at worst. Kids aren't giving up on/never taking up policy debate because it is "too complex" for their little brains to comprehend. I can't believe you actually think kids would rather do PF or LD because the rounds take less time to run... :rolleyes:

 

3) Coaching PF and LD is significantly easier than coaching Policy.

Coaching policy has ALWAYS been challenging, for veterans and newcomers alike. To argue that folks have given up on coaching policy because PF and LD are "easier" is insulting. And if you think that the coaches who have given up on policy but still coach PF and/or LD suddenly have a lot more time and money on their hands because of that decision, I would suggest that you talk to some more coaches in that situation. I'm sure they'd be happy to explain to you how asinine your "point" is...

 

4) Those forms of debate are more accessible. Even slow Policy debates are more challenging to watch than most PF and LD debates.

Hmmm. Normally, something labeled an "alt cause" is something DIFFERENT from what your opponent has isolated as a cause. Saying "policy is tough to follow" isn't an alternative to someone saying "We can't understand a word these kids are saying, assuming they're actually saying words in the first place..."

 

The entirety of your so-called "alt causes" argument boils down to a bunch of self-serving ad hominem blather about how LD/PF debaters and coaches are too lazy and/or stupid to do policy. Is this the best you can do?

 

Yo Ian, John, Ankur, et. al.: You really think anything about the conversation will be different this time? Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, mes amis...

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an overview to the argument that "things which have always been true are not alt causes": you're correct in an abstract sense. You ignore, however, the context which these arguments are placed in. The relative newness of PFD should be reason enough to think about these things more critically. The argument has been advanced pretty consistently for a while now that the creation of PF essentially constituted a release valve for folks who didn't enjoy or couldn't compete in policy debate for any number of reasons, whether that reason be speed, time commitments, funding, complexity, argumentative type or interest. The likely response is that LD has been around for nearly four decades, and thus should have caused this already. I would respond by saying: 1)It probably did back when LD was in its nascent stages. 2) PF has (superficially, at least) some structural similarities to Policy that LD never did and never will. You debate with a partner, there are an even number of speeches, and, as the "crossfire" model implies, students are intended to debate subjects that are timely and relevant. More importantly than that, you're still being dismissive. Labeling an explanation as an ad hom when there's no real reason to believe so (there are plenty of legitimate reasons why a student would choose to engage in an activity that involves less time commitment and resource commitment) isn't productive in any real way.

 

Policy debate has ALWAYS been time-intensive. Seriously, are you arguing that in these times of the internet, cheap printers, etc. that policy takes MORE time than it used to take when kids had to go to the library, spend hours photocopying original books and magazines, etc.? That is absurd. And sorry, but the time spent organizing your 400-page A/T Time Cube camp file doesn't count as "work," either...

 

You right. Again, think about this in the context of shrinking budgets, new events and the variety of activities students may engage in. Similarly, while it's not a leap to suggest that technological developments have made it easier to cut individual cards, those same developments have massively increased the amount of information and evidence available to students. Along that same time line, the pressure to prepare specific case neg to individual affirmatives, cohesive negative strategy sets, and the affirmative answers to that multitude of arguments and strategies means more evidence. Again, this isn't solely attributable to speed. While speed may increase the amount of arguments deployed (though I find it often also means deeper analysis of those arguments), it does not increase the amount of arguments created.

 

Similarly, students are active. If you're a member of Thespian Society, Chamber Choir, Gay-Straight Alliance, Freshman Mentors, Scholar Bowl, Student Council, Forensics AND Debate, it's difficult to find time. My senior year of high school, for example, I was a member of Thespians, Choir, GSA, Freshman Mentors, Scholar Bowl, Forensics and debate. In addition, I was at Youth Group every Wednesday night, and often attended Foreign Exchange functions because my family hosted a student from Hong Kong. Much as I would've liked to have competed in Policy that year, I ended up just participating in Student Congress and LD. Maybe give us more credit than just labeling reasonably explanations for why students and sponsors may not have interest in something to be ad hominems. Similarly, if you're going to sell out for calling arguments ad homs, it's probably better not to try and delegitimize the work people do (Time Cube HURRRRRRRR).

 

Policy debate has ALWAYS been complex. That didn't used to matter, as policy programs thrived for decades, even after the invention of LD. Your apparent belief that modern students are mostly turned off by what you call policy's "complexity" is self-serving at best, obnoxiously condescending at worst. Kids aren't giving up on/never taking up policy debate because it is "too complex" for their little brains to comprehend. I can't believe you actually think kids would rather do PF or LD because the rounds take less time to run... :rolleyes:

 

As someone who participated in high school within the last 3 years and who still regularly judges high school debate, I can tell you absolutely that there are student competitors who dislike policy debates precisely because of the length of those debates. More than that, the complexity is similarly a time commitment question. Besides, the length argument wasn't even intended to say students dislike rounds for that reason so much as it explains in very simple terms why that event is inherently more complex. Nobody said anybody was stupid until you made the assumption, Terrance, so bully for you and your strawperson. Anecdotally, though, I can tell you that long conversations about negation theory and argument strategy are things that I've heard students express disinterest in.

 

 

Coaching policy has ALWAYS been challenging, for veterans and newcomers alike. To argue that folks have given up on coaching policy because PF and LD are "easier" is insulting. And if you think that the coaches who have given up on policy but still coach PF and/or LD suddenly have a lot more time and money on their hands because of that decision, I would suggest that you talk to some more coaches in that situation. I'm sure they'd be happy to explain to you how asinine your "point" is...

 

And? I think my original argument involved something about budgets (it was the main argument, in fact, and you give it almost no play. When you do, it's not at all responsive). I'm glad to see the numerous decades you've spent teaching and coaching have revealed to you that misrepresenting someone's argument and then engaging that misrepresentation head on is a productive way to have a discussion. That said, I guess I'll engage you. I'm not using names for a number of reasons (name dropping is silly, conversations may occur in confidence, people have jobs, etc.), but I DO know coaches who have stopped coaching policy because they had individual philosophical problems with the way the activity had evolved. They were disturbed by social aspects of the activity, they didn't have the funding to allow for a full speech and debate squad while maintaining a productive policy team, they didn't like specific arguments, and sure, some of them don't like speed. But it's rarely just one of these things (and I've NEVER heard of speed as a singular reason for a program leaving the event). Most all of those are perfectly legitimate, but they're separate issues. Money matters. Printing costs are incredibly high for policy (though paperless is cutting back on this some), the amount of bonus pay they get for being a coach is often not high enough to account for the extra hours they'd have to spend working. Policy entry fees are often higher than other events. There's a lot of start-up capital involved to be competitive these days, and sometimes you just can't justify it. Perfectly reasonable.

 

Hmmm. Normally, something labeled an "alt cause" is something DIFFERENT from what your opponent has isolated as a cause. Saying "policy is tough to follow" isn't an alternative to someone saying "We can't understand a word these kids are saying, assuming they're actually saying words in the first place..."

 

This is distinct from a speed argument. You ever watched a lay judge react to policy and watched that same judge reacts to PF? They often have different responses, even when there's no real difference in rate of delivery. This seems pretty intuitive. One event is designed as a substantive discussion and assessment of policy propositions, and another is a short-forum version of a CNN show that was cancelled because Jon Stewart was too awesome for it.

 

The entirety of your so-called "alt causes" argument boils down to a bunch of self-serving ad hominem blather about how LD/PF debaters and coaches are too lazy and/or stupid to do policy. Is this the best you can do?

 

Again, you assume too much. It's perfectly reasonable for people to not want to have to spend the time, money or stress that often goes into policy but still wants to be involved in debate somehow. That is why it's an alt cause. It's an explanation that doesn't boil down to speed (which is the point of the topic). I would have hoped that you'd be more willing to have a discussion in good faith, but I suppose that's too much to expect when you've got an ax to grind. Obviously there are some uniqueness questions here: LD, etc. Again, PF is new and changing, policy has been changing rapidly over the past 15 or so years, budgets are tighter than ever, and sometimes you get fed up with something for legitimate reasons and decide you've just had enough.

 

On narrative building: I still think the xkcd image is relevant. You can build self-serving narratives around abstract data all you want, but it doesn't mean anything. Thinking about a discussion I had with a Poli Sci professor recently: There are folks in the Political Science and IR fields that are resolute in their belief that political science is a hard science. His response is that you can run all the SPSS data set regressions you want, but the theories and arguments we come up with are still mostly bullshit. It's really just about taking off the blinders.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

no and yes.

 

NO:

you get more arguments in the flow that the other team does not have time to answer.

 

YES:

several judges don't understand

it's consider abusive.

 

honestly i don't care as long as i have access to their evidence

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you get more arguments in the flow that the other team does not have time to answer.

I feel like that's the worst perspective on why going fast is good. Greater analysis and more in depth discussions and points brings greater education. That's my view on it.

 

several judges don't understand

If a team can't adapt to a judge that doesn't like speed, then they deserve to lose.

 

it's consider abusive.

There's no reason why. It's apart of the activity. If one can't keep up on the varsity level, then they probably won't do well on the varsity level and may want to reconsider doing it. Even the debaters who read arguments critical of the activity can keep up with and respond to people spreading. If a team isn't comfortable with spreading in rounds, they should ask the other team not to do it. Simple as that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spreading is really good for debate, anyone who says otherwise isnt working hard enough

 

Amen stantheman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amen stantheman

 

Teams who rely on speed to win them rounds don't know the first thing about debate.

 

Shall I congratulate myself on this revelation now? Or wait 'til someone else slaps me on the back for a job well done?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone sights that one example as if its suppose to make up for the hundreds of thousands of people that cant do it. i dont now the specifc situation so i cant comment further

 

 

But thats the thing, people with learning or physical disorders are able to function in the rest of life. college they can do and they can hold jobs and do jsut fine in life. but debate is on a level so far above that this it excludes those people that cant do it.

 

 

Just within the last 2 years five teams in northern wisconsin changed completely to pf. and more teams leave every year.

 

 

and in the last 10 years speed has shown up, its more new than most people realize. i understand you have time restraints and need to speak faster to get some stuff in. but when your running 6 t blips and 7 das 3 ks and a cp it gets unfair and abusive. this is whats making teams leave. not everyone has the ability to speed like the pros. weather its equipment or time or money or skill. not everyone can get to this point, in fact most cant get to this point. shouldnt this majority be considered in the world?

 

Ok honestly who runs 17 off?? This is where conditionality comes in. If a team has totally just shifted to pf because they consistently hit 17 off case strats, there are two possible scenarios: 1. They don't know how to count. OR 2. They don't know how to utilize theory. If you honestly think that speed is killing debate run Freire and a speed k and go on your merry way...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) Spreading came about in the 60's (If I remember correctly)

2) Your logic is flawed, unfortunately people with speaking disabilities will be at a severe disadvantage in policy debate much like cripples and paraplegics would be at sports. Fact is that not all activities are meant for everybody. We try to make debating as open as possible to all schools (open evidence project, debate wikis, hell even sites like this, but watering down a highly competitive activity like policy debate would kill the fun of it for a lot of us. PF, congress and LD are always open to them.

3) Thats not always the case. There are national circuit teams who speak in my cross x voice throughout their speech but just kill on the line-by-line. Technicality in debate isn't everything, there's a kid at another school in my state that's ridiculously fast (which does grant him some advantages) but still has lost rounds due to poor argumentative skills and bad decisions.

4) vDebates check

5)I don't think you understand the amount of time some teams put into these things. Ya it pisses me off as well, but compared to a team that meets twice a week and maybe does work once a month before tournys to a team that does speed drills every day and then goes home and cuts cards, well its obvious one will win.

6) There are Ks against speeding as well, and teams often win on them. If you feel passionate about it, it wouldn't be a bad idea to consider trying that arg as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok honestly who runs 17 off?? This is where conditionality comes in. If a team has totally just shifted to pf because they consistently hit 17 off case strats, there are two possible scenarios: 1. They don't know how to count. OR 2. They don't know how to utilize theory. If you honestly think that speed is killing debate run Freire and a speed k and go on your merry way...

 

 

Its not speed that kills the activity - its the judges who are rewarding sped with no regard for the argument being advanced who are killing the activity.

Bankrupt judging = death of policy debate.

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone sights that one example as if its suppose to make up for the hundreds of thousands of people that cant do it. i dont now the specifc situation so i cant comment further

 

 

But thats the thing, people with learning or physical disorders are able to function in the rest of life. college they can do and they can hold jobs and do jsut fine in life. but debate is on a level so far above that this it excludes those people that cant do it.

 

 

Just within the last 2 years five teams in northern wisconsin changed completely to pf. and more teams leave every year.

 

 

and in the last 10 years speed has shown up, its more new than most people realize. i understand you have time restraints and need to speak faster to get some stuff in. but when your running 6 t blips and 7 das 3 ks and a cp it gets unfair and abusive. this is whats making teams leave. not everyone has the ability to speed like the pros. weather its equipment or time or money or skill. not everyone can get to this point, in fact most cant get to this point. shouldnt this majority be considered in the world?

 

 

1. Equipment, time, and money have nothing to do with SPREADING. You don't need fancy equipment, or even debate evidence. You can learn to spread out of books, articles, or magizines. If oyu don't own a book, go get one from your library or borrow one from a friend. Time- I think most people can sacrifice 15 minutes out of their schedule to do drills everyday. There are times that you can always be doing drills, before school, while waiting for the bus, when you first get to school, in the shower. And as for money, you don't need mney to be a good debater. I come from a small school in Louisiana. We have no funding, so we do fundraisors. A member on my squad has very little financial means, he spends all his time at the public library researching and cutting cards because he can't afford a computer. So he can afford to go to tournaments, he sells candy, and goes around basically begging. He received a scholarship to go to UTNIF this summer and he is having a lot of success this year. If you do drills, you will be able to spead. Maybe you won't get up to like 500 words/min, but not everyone is supposed to. My partner is very fast, I am not but that doesn't prevent me from doing well. If anything, it just increases my critical thinking because I am always thinking about time allocation. And you don't have to spread. Winston Churchill BL has TOC bids, and it's not like they are fast, they are just good. Debate may not be for everyone, you talk about people not having skill enough to debate, but skill is not speed. Debate is not bad becuase some people don't want to work at it. You get out what you put in. Period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the relative handful of grown-ups still hanging around here want to revive this discussion for the umpteen millionth time, knock yourselves out. You're wasting your time, of course, but it's yours to waste...

 

It certainly doesn't advance the discussion at all to trot out the old "false dichotomy" fallacy, like this:

Those are the only choices? Go fast or go stupid? Who knew? And silly us for thinking making people like debate more would increase participation rates...

 

It also doesn't help to swallow the planted axiom in statements like this:

Any intelligent conversation about the effects of hyper-fast delivery on policy debate needs to acknowledge that there is no evidence--as in, none at all--that such delivery rates are the key to the educational value of debate. And, by the way, the folks who think fast debate = smart debate have a lot to answer for, given how many thousands of kids will never get a chance to get any educational benefits from debate AT ALL because their schools' programs died (or were never begun in the first place). People who say delivery style had nothing to do with that are deluding themselves...

tumblr_lwex8rShMO1qbi1f7o1_400.gif

tumblr_ls80qaFl9I1qii6tmo1_250.gif

tumblr_lu73itI9nK1qmd0bao1_500.gif

  • Downvote 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a very good debater in KS with a speaking disability (mostly in R's and S's) who did a good enough job speed reading, and what he lacked in speed he made up for in sheer skill. He realized he wouldn't be able to out-speed anyone, so he worked harder in order to get plain better than everyone.

 

If you have dyslexia or another learning disorder, chances are debate isn't going to be on the top of your "to do" list. If you can't write and listen at the same time, college is going to be a bitch and you have larger problems.

 

On the contrary. My screwed up Dyslexic/Dysgraphic brain has done just fine in policy. If you want to achieve it, you can. Just takes practice.

People who 'give up' aren't cut out for the rigor, thats all. Speed is fine as long as your diction is clear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the contrary. My screwed up Dyslexic/Dysgraphic brain has done just fine in policy. If you want to achieve it, you can. Just takes practice.

People who 'give up' aren't cut out for the rigor, thats all. Speed is fine as long as your diction is clear.

 

Because all Dyslexic people are the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread has gotten entirely too contentious.

 

Do we love fast debate? Of course we do.

 

Can we as rational individuals admit that having fast debate makes the activity exclusionary and intimidating? That it decreases the number of kids who might be willing to participate? That it increases the number of schools that, once they choose to start a debate program, choose not to include Policy debate as an option? That 99% of the public cannot understand a Policy Debate round if they saw one? That 99% of the public would see PF as a more appealing debate option if they saw one round of each style?

 

I sure hope we can admit these things, and still defend our fast debate. If we can't, we're simply victims of our own dogma.

 

 

What's the solution? I don't know--

 

What I do know is, it's a massive struggle each year to recruit Policy novices on a team where we offer 12 IEs, Congress, PF, Parli, and LD as alternate forensics options. I have to spend the better part of their novice year making life easy for them so that they're so bought-in to the activity there's no chance of them quitting out and going to PF.

 

 

 

All that aside, the main problem I've had with speed in debate lately is what I observe when some of these teams are forced to go slow. I come from California, where our state tournament has 3 judges in every round, and often it's quite lay. The last few years, I've seen VERY good teams completely unable to cope with how to debate in front of a lay panel. They place no effort on rhetorical techniques, no regard for their body language, or tone of voice. They take "lay panel" to mean that they have to speak at a snail's pace, and worst of all, the way they go about the round is quite condescending, as if someone who can't flow the spread has the mental faculties of an 8 year old.

 

 

As I said before, I love speed in debate. I just want Policy debaters to be able to understand the value of lay debating as well. There's more that goes into public speaking than the words coming out of your mouth. Lay debating is far more difficult for many Policy kids than just winning the flow, and it's a skill that should be developed and not considered an afterthought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think lay debating isn't particularly well suited to a competitive format. Lay judges have a wide range of biases which differ widely from person to person but which have significant impact on the round. The ability to persuade large numbers of normal individuals is what is useful politically. Having many judges would work well in a competitive format because judge biases would largely cancel each other out, except that it's obviously impossible to have large numbers of judges for every team at every round of a tournament. So there's not really a good way to implement large scale lay debating.

 

I agree that the skill is important, but I don't think this is a very good place to develop it.

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with TejaVepa. I spent my novice year doing the Texas UIL circuit, which is pretty much a circuit built on lay judges and adapting, but I at the same time learned the more competitive styles and more importantly, how to integrate them to be rhetorically pleasing, but still having good argumentation. As much as I hate to say it, this is a speaking activity, despite being theoretically advanced and fast paced even in slow rounds where you have arguments that work on multiple levels that you still have to explain within time constraints.

 

Even at UTNIF, my lab leaders stressed sounding persuasive, ESPECIALLY at higher speeds. Even with a flow judge, they'll buy into your arguments more if they are presented well. Speaker points also are important, which speaking well tends to earn for a debater.

 

The fact that people think that speaking well should take a back seat to argumentation rather than working to integrate them together makes it pretty easy to understand why people turn away from CX and go for PF or LD. It sounds stupid to them as novices, because as novices they expect to hear varsity debaters be good at presenting rather than being machines that spit out arguments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think lay debating isn't particularly well suited to a competitive format. Lay judges have a wide range of biases which differ widely from person to person but which have significant impact on the round. The ability to persuade large numbers of normal individuals is what is useful politically. Having many judges would work well in a competitive format because judge biases would largely cancel each other out, except that it's obviously impossible to have large numbers of judges for every team at every round of a tournament. So there's not really a good way to implement large scale lay debating.

 

I agree that the skill is important, but I don't think this is a very good place to develop it.

 

This is rather silly. For every lay judge whose biases you claim taints the round, I can point to a circuit judge whose head is in a place where the sun doesn't shine. By that, I mean judges who won't vote on defense, case arguments, and agrees that dropped arguments are the same as conceded arguments. I'll taked biased yet logical against neutral and batshit stupid any day of the week. Just sayin'.

  • Upvote 2
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is rather silly. For every lay judge whose biases you claim taints the round, I can point to a circuit judge whose head is in a place where the sun doesn't shine. By that, I mean judges who won't vote on defense, case arguments, and agrees that dropped arguments are the same as conceded arguments. I'll taked biased yet logical against neutral and batshit stupid any day of the week. Just sayin'.

I don't think this is correct.

1. There aren't many judges who refuse to vote on case arguments. I think there are probably almost zero.

2. Dropped arguments are the same as conceded arguments. By definition. Unless I'm misinterpreting what those two words mean, which seems unlikely.

3. Judges don't vote on defense because no one ever challenges the O/D paradigm within round. Judges commonly default to the O/D paradigm, if you don't bother refuting the O/D paradigm or its specific applications when attempting to win a debate with only terminal defense then you deserve to lose against a team who references the O/D paradigm, both because the O/D paradigm seems somewhat intuitive and because judges are justified in using their biases to resolve issues that debaters do not.

 

Lay judges pose much more significant problems.

1. Certain arguments are completely unavailable to debaters (aliens, many Ks, most impact turns, essentially anything counter intuitive). That completely shifts the strategic dynamic of the debate and greatly restricts education.

2. Lay judges are highly biased on many issues (such as the 2012 election, or any other political issue, or the economy). Moreover, note that this is much more severe than the problems with circuit judges that you pointed out because it's no longer just an issue of how an argument is weighed within the round, but is now an issue of how an argument is assessed to be true or false, which has much more significant implications for the debate round.

3. Lay judges find it difficult to spot fallacies, because they haven't trained themselves to be alert for fallacies. I have had awful, awful experiences with this.

4. Lay judges confuse good argumentation to good rhetoric. While speaking skills are important, they should only be used to complement good argumentation. Good speakers who don't make good arguments are dangerous people, we shouldn't encourage this at all. I would rather have policy produce intelligent debaters who can't persuade the masses than idiot orators who can. Better impotent than dangerous (although this is a mischaracterization, because it's possible to have both if the judges aren't biased) Our priority should be good argumentation, but lay judges force us to prioritize "common sense" and good diction over intellectual concerns.

5. Lay judges intervene, and lots (often without even realizing it, sadly). That's much worse than simply misapplying certain arguments because they not only do that but they do so in a way that can't be anticipated at all, rather than in a way that happens frequently. Intervention is also inherently unpredictable for the debaters.

 

Much of this is inevitably based on my empirical experience. Maybe the average lay judge in my region is less capable than the average lay judge on the circuit. I don't think that would be the case though.

 

I think the solution to the lack of good speaking skills is to fix the speaker points system rather than to invite more lay judges. That way we get smart and pretty speakers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...