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I've graduated from high school debate, but I still pay attention to the resolutions, and I was genuinely surprised that this won. It seems like a poor topic for debate.

 

Cases and advantages outlined in the topic paper:

 

- Economy

- Spin-off Technology

 

While these are reasonable advantages, the reality is that they're going to be tangential to the actual space exploration suggested by the topic. The counterplan of "Do the aff, but don't launch the device into space" is far too tempting here, and that's just the first thing that comes to mind...

 

- Preservation of the Human Race

- Discovery

 

These two are unlikely at best. The former requires a habitable planet to go to, and there aren't any for light-years around. The latter requires something meaningful to actually find - and if we don't know it exists, we have no way to claim an advantage off it.

 

- US Hegemony

 

Ha. This might be a reasonable advantage, but it has the same problem the economy advantage does - the act of space exploration is tangential to the advantage claimed.

 

- Resource Mining

 

There's no way this is efficient enough to justify the fuel costs.

 

- SETI

 

Dozens of years of research, and SETI has resulted in... absolutely nothing. My hopes aren't high for this being an advantage you can claim.

 

- Threat detection

 

This is the only reasonable advantage I can see for this topic. Asteroids, if they were to hit the planet, could be a disadvantage on par with nuclear war.

 

Overall - I'm just not happy with the variety in advantages that can be claimed. I suppose there are a few options for critical affs - but not much there, either. (FemSpace?)

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The counterplan of "Do the aff, but don't launch the device into space" is far too tempting here, and that's just the first thing that comes to mind...
I think most of the advantages claimed will be from the actual exploration. What satellite works even 1/2 as well when its on the ground?

 

1) Economy/Competitiveness

2) the search for scientific truth (ethics)

3) New conciousness (techno ethic)

4) New conciousness (eco ethic)

5) overpopulation (specific resource scarcity/malthusian/overpopulation scenarios)

6) colonization good

7) various relations scenarios (perhaps China, Japan, Russia, various EU countries, and perhaps Australia)

8) various forms of monitoring (eco-monitoring being the most significant, besides asteroid & space junk tracking/monitoring)

9) if you run out of impact areas...political based scenarios are an option

10) K affs

11) ethics/deontology

12) various discussions of nuclear power in space (nuclear sats, etc..)

13) asteroids bad

14) mining good (mining good for specific industries, technologies, or national strategies)

15) militarization (NMD, etc.) (country by country scenarios)

16) diseases (ie Aids research--I don't know what the disease de jure is here)

17) solar power (in space & on earth--also research for future tech)

18) probably treaty compliance, international law, and weak internals to soft power.

19) tech spin-offs & biotech (of course that goes both ways)

20) Aliens/ET/SETI

21) Explore Mars/Colonize Mars (???)

22) Warming research (although this is the SQ probably)

23) Natural disaster tracking/monitoring/weather research

24) nuclear prolif (?)

25) Irony (control the weather?--actually any of the above is probably suitable for an irony aff)

26) Fix space debris (although thats a little FX-T)

27) Nano-tech

 

While there were probably "better" resolutions available--keep in mind, these debates are still about 5 months away (150+ days & another 100 or so additional days until season openers). I think you're underestimating the literature base & the creativity of debaters.

 

I think a lot of debates may boil down to timeframe as most of these advantages, with the exception of competitiveness have a timeframe of 5 years or longer.

 

I don't know how deep the literature on satellites is likely fairly rich.

 

Also keep in mind....Hubble got-chu!!!!

Edited by nathan_debate
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Heck...I set in on a lecture last week that said we can achieve a better understanding of gravity mapping by putting two sattelites up at about 220K and 500 m apart - which will lead to a better understanding of oceanography and glaciology, among other things. The lecturer cited better corp management, drought warning, etc..just from that simple action, which then spirals off into a lot of advantages. Good news, the program costs less than 37 million....better news, it's a 100% increase over the current program..lol.

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Heck...I set in on a lecture last week that said we can achieve a better understanding of gravity mapping by putting two sattelites up at about 220K and 500 m apart - which will lead to a better understanding of oceanography and glaciology, among other things. The lecturer cited better corp management, drought warning, etc..just from that simple action, which then spirals off into a lot of advantages. Good news, the program costs less than 37 million....better news, it's a 100% increase over the current program..lol.

 

it'll be interesting to see if these kinds of high tech affs can hold up in debate disneyland, given the extremely long timeframe for solvency and indeterminacy of terminal impacts vs the short term economy or politics DAs. not that this represents a remotely rational cost benefit analysis but it seems like that's how these debates always end up.

Edited by Needs More Consult Japan

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Generally, I agree with you James. But the case Duane mentions may not have that long a time frame. We already have the satellite technology, right?

 

Duane, were there any links mentioned in the presentation?

Edited by birdwing7

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The paper will be available soon through our paper library at AIAA. It was one of our graduate award winning resarch papers. We do have the tech now - BUT - the GRACE project, which currently is doing the mapping, will be obsolete in 3 years - this was the proposal for the replacement (so there is no assumption that it will actually be done). , and how Another lecture in the same session was on sattelite tethers, and how tethers can improve fuel efficiency and mission lifetime by allowing for tighter formation "flying" in space.

 

To start getting an overview of the technical papers and policy papers out there on space, check out the electronic library at http://www.aiaa.org (it will be in the middle, right of the page). For a sense of what matters to the space community right now, as far as policy goes - you check out our position papers at http://www.aiaa.org/pdf/public/AIAA_2011_Key_Issues.pdf .Chief among the space issues are: Government Acquisition issues, Orbital Debris, Increasing NASA Tech budgets and drafting a comprehensive and strategic space policy, and earth observations.

Edited by hylanddd

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If the timeframe question will be the definitive questions in soooo many debates next year, it certainly merits investigation, research, and in-depth strategizing. To that end, here are eight ways to solve the time frame question on the upcoming high school space exploration resolution (if you can think of more or you would like to take issue with any of the 8, feel free to add your suggestions):

1) Perception based advantages:

-competitiveness

-hege (and various forms of space weapons & militarization)

-softpower

-international law/treaty compliance

-trade/coop

 

2) Relations based advantages:

-china, russia, japan (although the links into this debate will likely go the other way, except with coop cases--which seem extra-topical)

 

3) Ethics based advantages:

-scientific discovery/knowledge

-innovation/technology

-US = uniquely qualified

-ecological ethics

-disaster based (like hunger)

-probably diseases

 

4) Niche Affirmatives with quick timeframes. Relatively small affs like Duane talks about (perhaps threat tracking or monitoring or perhaps disease tracking)

-weather

-disaster

-disease (?)

 

5) Critical Affirmatives.

And obviously **most** critical affirmatives generally avoid timeframe debates (except when disad turns the case or the speed of conciousness raising/mindset shift is in question. I've never seen a debate where this was a deciding factor for a critical affirmative unless they accepted DAs as legit)

 

6) Specific evidence.

-Advantages that change the risk calculus (evidence de jure on assessing impacts--my guess is innovation and technology based solutions have evidence specifically on this question which justify health research which may take decades to yield a viable solution to a disease which kills 100,000k to millions.)

-Advantages that quantify the risk. (I'm pretty sure evidence on this question exists in at least 3 areas of debate, but I'm sure more: malthusian/space/asteroid)

 

7) Indicts of Timeframe based thinking or frameworks (aka DA to your impact calc)

Some of this falls under #6, but I've seen poetry used on this question.

 

8) Credible Systemic Impacts (or hows its almost always been done):

And I'm sure there are a handful of other ways that people will find at camp. And decent system impacts outweigh fast, but probabalistic and contrived and historically disproven DA--otherwise we would never take any risks which results in paralysis.

 

Otherwise check out the lecture from Georgetown on the question of impact comparison (both the traditional impact assessment lecture and the exploding traditional methods lectures as well as the included document download for the evidence Batterman points to) and the files from Open Evidence on impact assessment and comparison (I think the only file on this question is from last years michigan files). And obviously check out the high school caselist wiki for existing evidence on this question (you might find 4 to 6 cards). Otherwise, investigate the literature on policy analysis and risk evaluation.

Edited by nathan_debate

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Thanks, Duane. That looks like an excellent resource.

 

Nathan: I don't see competitiveness and heg as particularly perception based. Either the U.S. is more competitive based on productivity (or whatever) or its not. Maybe soft power is perception based.

 

I also don't think next year's disadvantages are particularly contrived. I mean, spending is a real issue for space development, right?

Edited by birdwing7

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Lewis 04 is the best space debris impact card around. Just saying.

Edited by Chaos

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I don't see competitiveness and heg as particularly perception based. Either the U.S. is more competitive based on productivity (or whatever) or its not. Maybe soft power is perception based.
Somewhat agreed. Almost all economics is a combination of perception and actuality. As debated, competitiveness can potentially be perception based. Also, economic decisions (ie investment & trade) are made based on upcoming future projections of shifts.

 

Also, hard power is perception based to the extent that you speak to the issue of deterrence. In one sense it doesn't matter if our weapons actually work, but rather if they deter war. (assuming they don't attack). Admittedly, various nations have demonstrations to "prove" this to theoretically increase fear/prestige/deterrence. Even then, the actual ability for the weapons to work isn't important as much as the perception of other nations that they work & exist.

 

Spending is ok. Its just that the link and impact (and the internal link) are empirically denied. The balanced hasn't been balanced since Clinton--thats a decade plus of history that says its wrong & 12 post war recessions stand to prove that downturn doesnt equal war. I realize this doesn't take into account the contrived brink/now is the key time story and I'm sure it will win a handful of debates next year.

Edited by nathan_debate

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Spending probably is a less real world DA than whatever the advantages would be because economic decline impacts are terrible and because it's unlikely the plan would uniquely spend enough money to destroy the economy.

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1 off aliens da then case... All you need next year

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Spending is an entirely real issue with space programs.

 

By the same logic. Spending is entirely real every year. And politics is real every year because "political capital" and "elections" and "votes" are very real on every political issue.

 

1) That means the link--you spend $ off budget might be true. Doesn't mean the disad as a whole is true.

2) Perhaps means funding tradeoff is viable as an argument.

 

I realize the phrase "the disad is contrived" wasn't particularly specific or on-point.

Edited by nathan_debate

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Spending probably is a less real world DA than whatever the advantages would be because economic decline impacts are terrible and because it's unlikely the plan would uniquely spend enough money to destroy the economy.

 

Space affs tend to be very expensive to fund, so the link is more plausible than usual. When I debated this topic in 90-91, unless you were running SETI, space education, or asteroid mapping (and by the middle of the year virtually everyone was running these three cases, for this and other reasons-- some of which are outlined earlier in the thread), it was almost a given that there was going to be some sort of economy scenario in the round. It's difficult to leverage long term advantages against even the risk of a short-term impact now (particularly when there are no real link turns that could conceivably happen before the impact). Long advantage timeframes, soft affirmative impact scenarios, huge solvency problems (to the point that many, many rounds were won solely on what most people would consider purely defensive arguments), massive expense: these were the common features of most of the potential affs back in the day.

 

I'm hoping people are more resourceful and/or the evidence is better today, but I'm skeptical.

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Solar Sails a case that advocated international races in space experienced some success as well. The main claim I recall is that sports solve war, using the Olympics as a historical example.

 

I'm curious, though, if from a Congress-person's perspective that money spent on NASA/space exploration will trade-off with other health, science, and innovation research--rather than it will cause a WWII style depression.

 

Core Negative Generics:

1) Spending (Tradeoff/Economy)

2) Russia

3) China

4) Politics (winners win, political capital, elections, rider)

5) nasa focus/tradeoff (?) but I dont think this will be viable.

6) space militarization depending on the aff.

7) space spin offs bad (nanotech, biotech, but I'm sure more scenarios that are industry and technology specific).

 

Case:

1) space debris

2) nasa bad/inefficient

3) technology bad args. (including #7)

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I debated almost exactly this topic in '91. Wording additions I note, "it's" exploration...this is relevant to our case, which was astronomy education for kids. Since we could increase others' exploration, we were topical...not so sure on this topic without some serious FX. Also, "and/or development", which in my mind allows some non-scientific stuff like space mil, and even possibly privatization.

 

Cases that ended up being big for us that year, Asteroid mapping/detection, Space Junk cleanup, Space Station projects (keeping the dates in mind...a lot has happened), Passive SETI (spend on listening for radio signals) Active SETI (send out signals), Mission to Planet Earth (also called LandSats or remote sensing), and a few copycats trying to educate the kidz. There were some big projects like Mars, etc, but generally got crushed on timeframe to disads vs impacts. Although, one cool approach, run colonization on the big and claim the disads prove the need to leave the planet.

 

Most disads we heard were perception links to relations, or what would now be run as kritiks (knowledge, epistemological questions.) There were disads to spending, launch (eco impacts or space junk), various relations, environmental ethic...hmm, feminism (again, what would probably be a K now, it was sort of disposable planet/manifest destiny bad arguments.) Overall, I liked the topic, but I was doing some unorthodox stuff. I could see how it could get pretty hard to win on Aff unless you were doing some funky stuff.

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environmental ethic

 

Translation: environmental movements or deep ecological movements.

 

I think the launch das were mostly of the ozone variety, but I imagine CO2 and acid rain impact scenarios are possible.

 

Rob and others are welcome to correct--if I'm in error.

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disposable planet/manifest destiny bad

 

Could this be turned into an aff? i.e. Exploration demonstrates the futility of our attempts to get off the rock?

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one cool approach, run colonization on the big and claim the disads prove the need to leave the planet.

This. Space colonization affirmatives should claim that predictions fail to stop disasters and that if we keep all of our eggs in one basket for a long enough time the human race will eventually go extinct. That's a built in answer to the DA.

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