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The Watcher

From The Topic Selection Meeting

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I know nothing at all about Venezuela. Nothing. Like, where the hell is it? I certainly don't know.

 

Update:

 

BAM.

 

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Export controls seems like a pretty sick topic. A lot of aff ground for sure.

 

Way too many technologies can be considered dual use for it to make sense, in my opinion. Almost everything has a military application. That, plus the fact that there's five different countries involved, makes it way too broad of a topic. This would be one of the biggest topics ever, and I think that would be bad.

 

Latin America is better for limits and still fairly interesting. It'll be more about economics and government than about specific technologies, too, and I think that's more interesting and is a better sort of education. Very few people will need to know anything about specific dual use technologies, which is what every affirmative will be, and debating the geopolitical and economic consequences of certain technologies doesn't sound like it would be as useful as debating the geopolitical and economic consequences of changes in economic policies.

 

My only reservation is that the phrase "economic engagement" is vague. I still like the topic better and think it will be more limiting, but I'm worried that the topic will be hurt by the vagueness and breadth of that phrase. Can they still modify the wording at this point?

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I know people don't like the inelegant "and/or" but it would have improved the Latin America resolution. An Aff that engages with Cuba will confront a large Venezuela "alternate cause" and vice-versa. Saying "and/or" would've left the Aff a choice; broadening the scope of engagement would strengthen your solvency and advantage claims but you'd be vulnerable to PICs. Maybe the Aff would choose to strictly engage one or the other but I don't see any downside in affording them that choice. The original author's resolutions all included "one or more of the following." Can anyone with knowledge of the deliberations explain why this was modified?

 

The EC topic resolves this by saying "one or more of the following." The list provides a limiting function while preserving Aff flexibility.

 

The paradox of this is that the advantages Affs will claim in EC are more likely to be compartmentalized (specific to the country in question) while the advantages to Latin America Affs will likely be broad (trade/protectionism, etc.) I wish it were possible to flip flop which resolution allowed the Aff flexibility and which locked the Aff into a specific area.

 

I'll be excited to work on either topic but initially favor Export Control.

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I know people don't like the inelegant "and/or" but it would have improved the Latin America resolution. An Aff that engages with Cuba will confront a large Venezuela "alternate cause" and vice-versa. Saying "and/or" would've left the Aff a choice; broadening the scope of engagement would strengthen your solvency and advantage claims but you'd be vulnerable to PICs. Maybe the Aff would choose to strictly engage one or the other but I don't see any downside in affording them that choice. The original author's resolutions all included "one or more of the following." Can anyone with knowledge of the deliberations explain why this was modified?

 

The EC topic resolves this by saying "one or more of the following." The list provides a limiting function while preserving Aff flexibility.

 

The paradox of this is that the advantages Affs will claim in EC are more likely to be compartmentalized (specific to the country in question) while the advantages to Latin America Affs will likely be broad (trade/protectionism, etc.) I wish it were possible to flip flop which resolution allowed the Aff flexibility and which locked the Aff into a specific area.

 

I'll be excited to work on either topic but initially favor Export Control.

 

 

I completely agree that and/or would have been a preferable phrase--coming from the perspective of the international oil industry, there are a lot of awesome Mexico/Venezuela cases to be made.

 

In my opinion, I think the motivation for only using "or" came from the idea that it's inadvisable to do multiple countries because of the possibility of the PIC. In spite of this logic, a good Aff can overcome either country PIC. I really would be more in favor of the topic if it had done "And/or". However Export controls is kind of difficult too--a VERY wide array of HEAVILY researched international actors...It feels like if we go with Export controls, we'll have bitten off more than we can chew. In addition, I have no idea what shape "T - Strengthen" might take...so I'm leaning towards Latin America right now.

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