Jump to content
Phantom707

How Has Debate Messed You Up?

Recommended Posts

My attitudes towards piracy have weakened (I really need just a couple cards from this book and it's not like I'm keeping it!). 

 

Do you have any reliable websites? I can never seem to find the books I want. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only a debater could ask the question, What's wrong with celebrating human misery for an aff? and not understand the obvious answer. 

 

(which is sort of Mitchell's point).

 

1. I'm a consequentialist, more or less. Make arguments instead of implying that debaters are evil or that morality is obvious.

2. Debaters don't feel happy about the suffering itself, they feel happy that they're able to use events beyond their control to help their own lives. Very few debaters would or could intentionally cause suffering just for the sake of an affirmative case. They make the best of a bad situation. I don't see any value to feeling bad about the suffering of others if feeling bad about it doesn't help stop it, but I do think that feeling bad is intrinsically bad and something that people should avoid. Why discourage happiness, whatever its source?

3. I think it's better that debaters enjoy discussions of suffering and how to solve it than for them to dislike them, because I think people are more likely to discuss suffering if they enjoy doing so. I think that discussing suffering and how it can be fixed is good because it helps us to understand and fix problems.

  • Upvote 2
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

GORDON MITCHELL in 1998: 

 

While an isolated academic space that affords students an opportunity to learn in a protected environment has significant pedagogical value (see e.g. Coverstone 1995, p. 8-9), the notion of the academic debate tournament as a sterile laboratory carries with it some disturbing implications, when the metaphor is extended to its limit. To the extent that the academic space begins to take on characteristics of a laboratory, the barriers demarcating such a space from other spheres of deliberation beyond the school grow taller and less permeable. When such barriers reach insurmountable dimensions, argumentation in the academic setting unfolds on a purely simulated plane, with students practicing critical thinking and advocacy skills in strictly hypothetical thought-spaces. Although they may research and track public argument as it unfolds outside the confines of the laboratory for research purposes, in this approach, students witness argumentation beyond the walls of the academy as spectators, with little or no apparent recourse to directly participate or alter the course of events (see Mitchell 1995; 1998).

 

The sense of detachment associated with the spectator posture is highlighted during episodes of alienation in which debaters cheer news of human suffering or misfortune. Instead of focusing on the visceral negative responses to news accounts of human death and misery, debaters overcome with the competitive zeal of contest round competition show a tendency to concentrate on the meanings that such evidence might hold for the strength of their academic debate arguments. For example, news reports of mass starvation might tidy up the "uniqueness of a disadvantage" or bolster the "inherency of an affirmative case" (in the technical parlance of debate-speak). Murchland categorizes cultivation of this "spectator" mentality as one of the most politically debilitating failures of contemporary education: "Educational institutions have failed even more grievously to provide the kind of civic forums we need. In fact, one could easily conclude that the principle purposes of our schools is to deprive successor generations of their civic voice, to turn them into mute and uncomprehending spectators in the drama of political life" (1991, p. 8).

 

 

GORDON MITCHELL in 2002: 

 

Politically I have moved quite a bit since 1998, when I wrote that debate institutions should pay more attention to argumentative agency, i.e. cultivation of skills that facilitate translation of critical thinking, public speaking, and research acumen into concrete exemplars of democratic empowerment. Back then I was highly skeptical of the "laboratory model" of "preparatory pedagogy," where students were kept, by fiat, in the proverbial pedagogical bullpen. Now I respect much more the value of a protected space where young people can experiment politically by taking imaginary positions, driving the heuristic process by arguing against their convictions. In fact, the integrity of this space could be compromised by "activist turn" initiatives designed to bridge contest round advocacy with political activism. These days I have much more confidence in the importance and necessity of switch-side debating, and the heuristic value for debaters of arguing against their convictions. I think fashioning competitive debate contest rounds as isolated and politically protected safe spaces for communicative experimentation makes sense.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's become harder to explain the basis of my political opinions to my friends since those opinions are generally very tied with Kantian ethics/metaphysics/political philosophy.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GORDON MITCHELL in 2002: 

 

Politically I have moved quite a bit since 1998, when I wrote that debate institutions should pay more attention to argumentative agency, i.e. cultivation of skills that facilitate translation of critical thinking, public speaking, and research acumen into concrete exemplars of democratic empowerment. Back then I was highly skeptical of the "laboratory model" of "preparatory pedagogy," where students were kept, by fiat, in the proverbial pedagogical bullpen. Now I respect much more the value of a protected space where young people can experiment politically by taking imaginary positions, driving the heuristic process by arguing against their convictions. In fact, the integrity of this space could be compromised by "activist turn" initiatives designed to bridge contest round advocacy with political activism. These days I have much more confidence in the importance and necessity of switch-side debating, and the heuristic value for debaters of arguing against their convictions. I think fashioning competitive debate contest rounds as isolated and politically protected safe spaces for communicative experimentation makes sense.

Please post cites and a link to the original article/website/book because this looks awful sketch to run in a round. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please post cites and a link to the original article/website/book because this looks awful sketch to run in a round. 

we read the mitchell card, and Niles West read that against us with this tag:

 

They say that role playing causes others to lose their identity but Mitchell changed his mind changed his mind – debate as a political safe space is key to true political experimentation

Mitchell 2 (Gordon, debate coach at Pittsburgh, Nov 09, http://www.ndtceda.com/archives/200211/0136.html)JFS

 

 

EDIT: Sorry about broken link, that's not on me

 

also we still won ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mitchell did actually post that, but the original is no longer available.

 

I don't think that card is responsive, though, because some elements of policy can be educational and valuable (discussion of two sides of an issue in a safe space) while other elements can produce desensitization (the advent of spreading, the race to nuclear war/exinction, and the use of offense-defense combined with mini-max disad reasoning - all of which are mutually reinforcing dynamics). These latter dynamics are what makes " the barriers demarcating such a space from other spheres of deliberation beyond the school grow taller and less permeable".

 

We dont need spreading and mini-max disads to have a safe space and SSD, which means Mitchell (2) is unlikely to respond to the K in which Mitchell (1) is being used, unless its specifically a kritik implicating SSD.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For better or worse,

 

Debate has made me into a Nihilist - I came fresh out of a catholic middle school after 10 years of semi-religious education and realized that none of that shit was real. Contrary to popular belief, it has made me less opinionated about everything. I have become very introspective and think critically about everything. I can read peoples justifications, dispositions, attitudes, and reasoning very accurately and find my self thinking about what other people are thinking about (thinkception). Despite not holding any strong opinions, I have gained a more pessimistic view of governments ability to do anything correctly (I read policy stuff and kritik stuff, no specific preference). I hate police officers, officials, and people who think that their name tag entitles them to be able to speak over other people. I have become significantly smarter. There are times when making other teams lose is sometimes more enjoyable than winning (IE smashing big programs because they have coaching and resources that I didn't). I have made a lot of friends with a lot of great people, I have come to understand that making money is not the meaning of life. I have come to enjoy the game.

 

well, that's all I could think of.

  • Upvote 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After becoming an avid K debater- it fucks up my thought process. I say "Methodology", "pedagogy", "epistemology", and "ontology" way more than any normal human being should. Not to mention how many times I think about this shit for no reason.

 

One night after winning a local tourney with about 6 rounds in one day, I call up my girlfriend at 1 am. Apparently I was cross-xing her in my sleep.

  • Upvote 5
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saw that my favorite baseball team was 2-1. My immediate reaction was "At least they won't hit anyone in the undefeated bracket!"

 

Along the same line, there was a report on the radio about two high school teams in my state who played each other the last game of the season. As it worked out, they were also going to play in the first round of the playoffs. My immediate thought was "Well who was Aff this time because they are going to get to go neg..."

 

That's not how sports work.

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For better or worse,

 

Debate has made me into a Nihilist - I came fresh out of a catholic middle school after 10 years of semi-religious education and realized that none of that shit was real. Contrary to popular belief, it has made me less opinionated about everything. I have become very introspective and think critically about everything. I can read peoples justifications, dispositions, attitudes, and reasoning very accurately and find my self thinking about what other people are thinking about (thinkception). Despite not holding any strong opinions, I have gained a more pessimistic view of governments ability to do anything correctly (I read policy stuff and kritik stuff, no specific preference). I hate police officers, officials, and people who think that their name tag entitles them to be able to speak over other people. I have become significantly smarter. There are times when making other teams lose is sometimes more enjoyable than winning (IE smashing big programs because they have coaching and resources that I didn't). I have made a lot of friends with a lot of great people, I have come to understand that making money is not the meaning of life. I have come to enjoy the game.

 

well, that's all I could think of.

 Damn it Ben, Jon got to you.

  • Upvote 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I often find myself speaking much faster then necessary. Whenever I have to give a speech for a class outside of debate I have to constantly remind myself to slow down, or when I get into an argument with somebody I speed faster and faster.

I always see problems in today's transportation infrastructure. 

 

It has come to the point that losing my flash drive is more of a tragedy then losing my phone.

 

How am I spending my summer? Writing four cases for debate season..which is still months away. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • i started to spread all of my school presentations and had to talk of what i thought was the slowest possible for them to be able to understand it and sound normal.

i waste time on debate tumblr blogs and go on this site instead  of actually doing homework.

my friends think i'm crazy when they call me on a weekend and i'm at a tournament that started extremely early and have drank extreme amounts amount of coke to stay awake and i'm arguing like crazy or extremely quiet because i'm thinking about the team i'm hitting and possible arguments. 

i talk too much about current events and k epistemologies during supposedly normal teenage conversation

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

During extemp or class presentations, someone will tell me I have 1 minute left to get the rest of my 10 page mind speech out.  #panic #startspreading

 

ex-friend: So you debate? That's awesome!  What do you debate about?

me: Whatever the resolution is.

ex-friend: Whoa, thats cool!  How about this "resolution"?  Hmm, strawberries are better than bananas!  Let's debate! I like strawberries because...

me: *state of fury* *punches friend in the face*

 

My plan last year was some batshit intersection and they made a plan to build one in my town in January and they haven't yet and its october and I refuse to drive on that road until the intersection is built.

 

I've started just talking faster when I'm mad and using words like "outweigh" and "epistemological" and "perm do both."  The number of non-debate friends I have has decreased substantially.

Edited by andnuclearwar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spread my history and english debates and use *gasp* logic so i was banned from those debates... :( I wanted those grades but now I'm just a judge.

 

When the student government tried to remove cups from  the school in favor of people bringing water bottles I plastered the school with posters and made such a big joke out of the government (meme posters everywhere) that they have been treated in complete mockery ever since.  They tried to bring the issue up to debate...so I ranted about totalitarian government overreach...that was definitely a strategic choice

 

I have convinced everyone at my school that I am either a communist or an anarchist...somehow (and yes I know they are opposed).  The funniest part is that I am a moderate...

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have convinced everyone at my school that I am either a communist or an anarchist...somehow (and yes I know they are opposed). 

See no one takes me seriously when i say these things

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a really good discussion.  I hope that people take it very seriously.  I wanted to start a thread too with either this title, or 'why debate is bad.'  There is definitely not enough of self criticism of the activity.  Everyone always spouts off about how awesome debate is.  

 

To name a few criticisms.....

 

(1)  It's a huge distraction from what you ought to be doing.  That is, studying, developing personal values, planning for the future, etc.  Specifically, I wonder how many awesome chemical engineers never studied science because they were too busy with debate.

 

(2) You need values in life.  Debate doesn't do a whole lot to teach you about treating people respectfully, raising a family, not cheating on your partner, etc.,etc.  

 

(3) Drugs are rampant in debate.  At least they were when I was there.  High school students look up to 24 year old stoners instead of their parents and teachers.  

 

Everybody's story is different.  Everybody's team is different.  I know that debate has been a godsend for a lot of people.  But I probably know more ex-debaters with f**ed up lives than most people.  It's not the activity; it's the culture.  

Edited by Hephaestus
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a really good discussion.  I hope that people take it very seriously.  I wanted to start a thread too with either this title, or 'why debate is bad.'  There is definitely not enough of self criticism of the activity.  Everyone always spouts off about how awesome debate is.  

While I don't disagree too much with this thesis, I'm going to respond to each of your points.  I believe debate has problems (like everything), but i also feel like its benefits outweigh the negativities.

 

 

 

(1)  It's a huge distraction from what you ought to be doing.  That is, studying, developing personal values, planning for the future, etc. 

First, i hardly see how this is unique to debate.  Sports, friends and video-games all seem to have the same negativity.  Its all 

 

 

.  , I wonder how many awesome chemical engineers never studied science because they were too busy with debate.

.  

 

And how many awesome Political scientists, IR scholars, or philosophers came out of debate.  I hope to study IR in college, something I never would have done if i hadn't joined debate.  Debate also give you the foundation to question the certainty of things like science.  And science is required throughout school-whereas one takes far less gov't, econ, and philosophy classes if any.

 

 

 

(2) You need values in life.  Debate doesn't do a whole lot to teach you about treating people respectfully, raising a family, not cheating on your partner, etc.,etc.  

 

True to a certain extent (you're arguments are similar to Mitchell's-debate doesn't link us to the real world).  On the other hand, how many people now question capitalism and the inevitability of the state because they took debate and were exposed to those standpoints.  Debate arguements force us to rethink our moral standpoints.  Also, even if debate doesn't help you with your personal ethics, i don't see how it is zero-sum with them either.

 

 

(3) Drugs are rampant in debate.  At least they were when I was there.  High school students look up to 24 year old stoners instead of their parents and teachers.  

 

I think you have the cause-effect relationship backwards.  I think drugs are so prevalent because debate is a haven for social outcasts. A lot of "stoners" on my team last year hated almost all of school but applied themselves and succeeded in debate where they never has in any other educational activity.  Debate opens up a place for people to be competitive when then never could before.

 

 

  It's not the activity; it's the culture.  

I love the culture.  At least at my school, the debaters there are  group of good friends.  Tournaments are awesome because they combine an intensely educational and competitive arena into a place where you also get to hang out with your friends (and skip school :P).  

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the culture.  At least at my school, the debaters there are  group of good friends.  Tournaments are awesome because they combine an intensely educational and competitive arena into a place where you also get to hang out with your friends (and skip school :P).  

 

Definitely.  There is literally no smarter group of people you can find and just about everyone is really awesome.  Maybe its just me, but some of the coolest people i have met did debate.  While there may be some problems, hey, at least I win history/english debates by spreading.  

Even if the system of argumentation in debate is highly specific and somewhat contrived I think that at very least the argumentative and research skills do spill over to other things (not to mention all of the education - I can haz?)

  • Upvote 1

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...