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Switching From Cx To Ld

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So, I'm switching from policy to LD, due to lack of partner.

 

 

How fucked am I on a scale of 1 to GeorgeBush

About a Bill Clinton. Honestly I got over it, after the Monica Lewinsky phase.

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Depends on the circuit. If you are on a progressive LD circuit or the national circuit you'll probably be fine. Lay and traditional, forget every thing you know about debate and then opposite of what sounds fun.

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If you're on the national circuit, be prepared for the worst theory debates you can possibly imagine. Frustrating, stupid, underdeveloped (time constraints), and the round often hinges on them. Plus, many LD resolutions are awkwardly worded or have issues in them that the framers didn't anticipate.

If you're on a traditional circuit, you might hate it. LD is different than policy because it deals less often with questions of easily discernable objective facts. This means that stupid judges have even more opportunities to be stupid, as do stupid debaters. Moreover, most traditional judges like persuasion. However, in my experience the arguments I objectively consider to be best about morality are complex and often clash with the biblical or political morality that a significant portion of judges will have been raised on. Unfamiliar ideas are difficult to understand but easy to reject. All of this is magnified by time constraints. This means that competitive success in traditional LD is largely about spoonfeeding judges their prior beliefs, because there aren't a lot of other viable options. This in turn means that those who are best at traditional LD are those who are experienced debating in front of that circuit's judges, and those who have coaches who give good advice. The ability to spout prose is also important, though. (Cleverness does come into play, but not nearly as often as it should. However, if you like, consider LD as a speaking event and a test of your persuasive abilities. This might help get you through it, and to enjoy the challenge.)

I will say that there are probably degrees of traditionalism, though. If your circuit has some progressive judges, it might be fun regardless, if you can handle just ignoring the ballots of your worse judges and only paying attention to the good ones. This is what I did my senior year. I think it was better than quitting debate altogether, but not by too much. If your circuit is more progressive than mine was, which wouldn't be too hard, then you'll probably enjoy it overall.

Regardless of what sort of circuit you're on, you need to work on increasing your prep time efficiency (no partner to write arguments with). You'll also need to figure out how you'll deal with the massive time skew against the affirmative (hint: it involves balancing the need for a strong core idea of the AC with the need for multiple paths to victory, so the negative can't simply outspread you on offcase or beat you on oncase, but figuring out the specifics is tricky). Lastly, you'll have to figure out how to write generic negative cases, which isn't a skill that you develop in policy because it's not whole rez, while LD usually is. Lots of people starting out make cases that clash well with most affirmative cases, but unless your case clashes well with all or almost all of them you'll possibly end up in trouble if your opponent is sneaky/strategic. I suggest having a massive brainstorming session where you write down every argument you can think of at the beginning of prep, this will usually help you to write your own cases and to anticipate the cases of your opponents.

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Quick Advice.  You should get your mind around the following issues.  

  1. Criteria.  Learn how this works.  It effects everything else.
  2. Value observation--these are distinctions which can follow definitions and are quite helpful.
  3. How Ks and theory are a bit different in Lincoln-Douglas.  I'm not deep enough here to
  4. Watch quality debates online.

Advice:

Invest in some books (LD specific & philosophy.  Invest in research briefs.

 

What should I get?  How much should I spend?

  • Time investment: You spend 2+ days for travel tournaments.
  • Monetary Investment:You spend $50 to $175 for travel tournaments.  Probably around a $100 if you have to pay for hotel.
  • Reality Check: Paying $30 bucks to get about 30 to 100 hours of debate work is an easy equation.  Thats pennies--literally pennies.

The best here....is Victory Briefs.   Plus, this helps you with competitive intelligence, because they are used by a ton of people.

If you decide to get Planet Debate ones...thats cool too.

Books & briefs aren't a replacement for camp....but they are a TON cheaper.  If you invest in one, you should invest in the other.

 

VBI I believe are used by some of the top debaters at the TOC.  That isn't to say that Victory Briefs will make you a champion--just to say that using them can be a pretty decent help to you getting better.

 

Read these.  They only disadvantage of research services is they used to take a while to get them, but I assume email solves this problem (instant delivery versus waiting 4 days or so)  Also, given that these topics have repeated a number of times since I debated--they have more pre-prepared content.

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Everything Hubris said. You'll need to say which state you're debating in if you want to get a better idea. LD norms vary widely. In any area, there will be a few TOC bid tournaments which will be progressive, but in most places outside of Texas and the Northeast, local circuit tournaments will be primarily lay, sometimes with 1 or 2 good judges in the pool. National circuit debate has way more theory, fewer kritiks, and more philosophy (almost entirely from a separate canon of literature than policy K lit) than policy. Many LDers will also use policy arguments like DAs and CPs, but they usually only have a rudimentary understanding of them. Local circuit LD is more like PoFo with values.

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I'm going to the VBI 3 wk. Advanced session in a week from now, thoughts?

 

EDIT: Also I'm in Texas, what K lit should I be reading up on?

Also, why can't the usual philosophers from CX not be useful in LD? I've heard of plenty of D&G and Baudrillard based cases 

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I'm going to the VBI 3 wk. Advanced session in a week from now, thoughts?

 

EDIT: Also I'm in Texas, what K lit should I be reading up on?

Also, why can't the usual philosophers from CX not be useful in LD? I've heard of plenty of D&G and Baudrillard based cases 

Let me go ahead and clarify EVERYTHING for you now that I have the time.

 

First off, let me give you my credentials so you don't immediately accept or reject the information I'm about to give you,

 

All of my experience is hands-on, I have done policy debate, and I proactively work with my schools policy teams although I have been doing LD for the past 2 years. I am extremely progressive, handling even a homecut D and G state PIC, as well as a multitude of D and G K's, and many more offcases. Both years i've been doing LD i made it to state quite easily, but found I was either bested by someone clearly better than me, or had a judge that simply hated my cases (partially lay, yes, even at state). 

 

So, let's address the first part of your question- My mentor, a former LD'er who was influenced to the dark side of debate (PF) went to VBI, and he told me it was extremely helpful, I unfortunately am self taught and have never been to camp, so that is the only piece of information I can give you unfortunately.

 

Now onto to the Texas question, first, Texas surprisingly has many more flow judges in LD than most other states, this is good for you. Here's what you should be reading up on for sure though- Anything Nietzche (kids new to offcases tend to run Nietzche in any arg's), a little bit of D and G (You can skip AO and go straight to ATP, but i recommend both plus Edmund Zagorin's lecture on debatevision)

 

Here's the problem with LD, it is a much wider range of philosophy than CX. Let me clarify here before the downvotes come in, it is NOT MORE COMPLEX, but it is wider ranged, meaning a multitude of philosophers will be used. The problem with CX philosphers though, is they are critical, objective, or completely unqualified (yes lay judges and kids that don't know what offcases are ask for qualifications). They also lack a stance in terms of a philosopher, for instance, If i were to run a Bostrom and Ochs card (extinction) as an impact card it would be labeled "progressive" which is essentially policy oriented LD. This doesn't sit well with lay LD judges, and even some flow judges, who immediately reject impacts such as Nuke War and Extinction. With that said, YOU CAN use D and G and Baudrillard cases, but go easy on both. What do I mean by that? Well, don't spend 3 minutes in your 1NC reading a 1 off on Hyperreality or on Nomadism. Also be extremely careful with alt's, half the time in LD an alt on a kritik is to vote neg or to simply reject the AC, because alt's come into question frequently. I've written well over 50 kritiks, 10 of which are affirmatives, and I can happily say about 11 of them are D and G oriented, only 2 however have any Baudrillard literature and one of which is a Death K with Schop and Baudrillard. In terms of success, Aff kritiks have never been doing well for me, even if I win every argument including theory. In terms of Neg strats, I never go 1 off unless i know my opponent is going to run theory, usually pair a few DA's with a K (so a basic 3 off). Make sure to portion your time wisely, don't spend over 4 minutes of your 7 minute speech reading cases, even if they are A Priori. Switch sides debate is fine, but always assume your opponent will run theory on you, and always assume that fairness is going to be the voting issue in the round. The reason being, your opponent 75% of the time will simply use abusiveness as a voting issue, in which in my case completely debunk their claims or turn fairness into an RVI and win off of that. If theory is a wash (many times it has been at high level debates for me) judges will vote on K's or DA's before anything else. So the order in LD is as follows- Theory, Kritik (perms apply), DA, CP (Perm apply's), AC. The affirmative has a clear disadvantage in LD, sure they get 3 speeches and sure they get 1 extra minute, but your entire 1AC can easily be wasted on your opponent running an Absurdity K. So, at high level TOC bid tournaments and at state, consider Theory Spikes in your AC's. For example, Last year at state, I ran a plan that included framework and a theory spike, but 0 inherency. Inherency wont get you very far when running an AC plan, so don't bother, remember, LD is far less pragmatic than CX.  

 

Lay Judges are the absolute worst, for every single tournament you go to, always bring your pile of offcases, but always have at least 1-2 "lay" cases for each side. This means no spreading, no theory, absolutely nothing. Also, if a judge says they are fine with everything, DO NOT pull out your kritiks, ask specific questions first such as "what kind of kritikal arguments do you prefer to see?" or "what type of kritikal literature are you best versed in?". If they give you a clear answer such as "I enjoy D and G" or "I'll roll with anything, but i love Baudrillard and any Hyperreality arguments" then go for it. If they simply say "everything's fine" just be safe. Always look up paradigms before rounds if the judges are posted (they will be at state and any TOC tournaments in Texas). 

 

Sorry about jumbling up everything, if you have any more questions feel free to ask me.

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Regarding utilitarianism/consequentialism.
1. They actually take deontology seriously here, so you'll have to do more than read the Issac card about dirty hands to win rounds.
2. LD judges have weird default understandings of risk and seem to think that probability is a weasel word, at least in my neck of the woods. The argument that "we can't predict the future with 100% certainty, thus reject consequentialism" is given credence.

3. The most interesting and popular argument in LD against util comes from Bostrom's infinitarian ethics article. Read and prepare for it. http://www.nickbostrom.com/ethics/infinite.pdf
4. Lay judges and some dinosaurs seem to have the impression that utilitarianism justifies slavery and so must be automatically wrong. You can't win util in front of these judges.
5. Because of all of this, many people like to smuggle util in through different guises, such as public welfare, safety, etc. Apparently this works for them though.

A general note: familiarize yourself with these two fallacies as they're very popular.
1. (I don't actually know whether this one has a name so I'll just invent one - the conflation of intrinsic and instrumental value.) Sometimes, certain things cause others to happen. However, just because the consequence is intrinsically valuable, that doesn't mean that the cause is. People like to use this to pretend their value is "prior" to their opponent's (what that priorness means for the round is never explained, though) or that other values "assume" their value. For example, someone might argue that their opponent's value of life is secondary in importance to the value of water, because water allows for life, therefore we should maximize the amount of water there is (rather than maximize the amount of life, so even at the cost of some life we should increase water). Obviously, this is inane and basically contradictory. But when the same argument is made and "freedom" is substituted for life and substantial amounts of prose are added, people find it very compelling. Go figure.
2. Argumentum ad Consequentiam. (Appeal to the consequences.) People use this because building a moral framework from scratch is difficult, and most don't even notice they're committing this fallacy. For example, when I read a variation of relativism a couple years ago many people said that relativism is incorrect because it justifies the conclusion that murder is okay. However, since they never proved murder wasn't okay, obviously their argument was flawed. Nonetheless, some judges found this argument persuasive anyway.

I suggest you read Baldwin's Logic in LD Part 3 and 4. I disagree with his alternative to the V/C format, but his criticism of it is spot on. It will help you anticipate some frustrating problems you'll run into when building cases or doing comparative impact evaluation.

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Let me go ahead and clarify EVERYTHING for you now that I have the time.

 

First off, let me give you my credentials so you don't immediately accept or reject the information I'm about to give you,

 

All of my experience is hands-on, I have done policy debate, and I proactively work with my schools policy teams although I have been doing LD for the past 2 years. I am extremely progressive, handling even a homecut D and G state PIC, as well as a multitude of D and G K's, and many more offcases. Both years i've been doing LD i made it to state quite easily, but found I was either bested by someone clearly better than me, or had a judge that simply hated my cases (partially lay, yes, even at state). 

 

So, let's address the first part of your question- My mentor, a former LD'er who was influenced to the dark side of debate (PF) went to VBI, and he told me it was extremely helpful, I unfortunately am self taught and have never been to camp, so that is the only piece of information I can give you unfortunately.

 

Now onto to the Texas question, first, Texas surprisingly has many more flow judges in LD than most other states, this is good for you. Here's what you should be reading up on for sure though- Anything Nietzche (kids new to offcases tend to run Nietzche in any arg's), a little bit of D and G (You can skip AO and go straight to ATP, but i recommend both plus Edmund Zagorin's lecture on debatevision)

 

Here's the problem with LD, it is a much wider range of philosophy than CX. Let me clarify here before the downvotes come in, it is NOT MORE COMPLEX, but it is wider ranged, meaning a multitude of philosophers will be used. The problem with CX philosphers though, is they are critical, objective, or completely unqualified (yes lay judges and kids that don't know what offcases are ask for qualifications). They also lack a stance in terms of a philosopher, for instance, If i were to run a Bostrom and Ochs card (extinction) as an impact card it would be labeled "progressive" which is essentially policy oriented LD. This doesn't sit well with lay LD judges, and even some flow judges, who immediately reject impacts such as Nuke War and Extinction. With that said, YOU CAN use D and G and Baudrillard cases, but go easy on both. What do I mean by that? Well, don't spend 3 minutes in your 1NC reading a 1 off on Hyperreality or on Nomadism. Also be extremely careful with alt's, half the time in LD an alt on a kritik is to vote neg or to simply reject the AC, because alt's come into question frequently. I've written well over 50 kritiks, 10 of which are affirmatives, and I can happily say about 11 of them are D and G oriented, only 2 however have any Baudrillard literature and one of which is a Death K with Schop and Baudrillard. In terms of success, Aff kritiks have never been doing well for me, even if I win every argument including theory. In terms of Neg strats, I never go 1 off unless i know my opponent is going to run theory, usually pair a few DA's with a K (so a basic 3 off). Make sure to portion your time wisely, don't spend over 4 minutes of your 7 minute speech reading cases, even if they are A Priori. Switch sides debate is fine, but always assume your opponent will run theory on you, and always assume that fairness is going to be the voting issue in the round. The reason being, your opponent 75% of the time will simply use abusiveness as a voting issue, in which in my case completely debunk their claims or turn fairness into an RVI and win off of that. If theory is a wash (many times it has been at high level debates for me) judges will vote on K's or DA's before anything else. So the order in LD is as follows- Theory, Kritik (perms apply), DA, CP (Perm apply's), AC. The affirmative has a clear disadvantage in LD, sure they get 3 speeches and sure they get 1 extra minute, but your entire 1AC can easily be wasted on your opponent running an Absurdity K. So, at high level TOC bid tournaments and at state, consider Theory Spikes in your AC's. For example, Last year at state, I ran a plan that included framework and a theory spike, but 0 inherency. Inherency wont get you very far when running an AC plan, so don't bother, remember, LD is far less pragmatic than CX.  

 

Lay Judges are the absolute worst, for every single tournament you go to, always bring your pile of offcases, but always have at least 1-2 "lay" cases for each side. This means no spreading, no theory, absolutely nothing. Also, if a judge says they are fine with everything, DO NOT pull out your kritiks, ask specific questions first such as "what kind of kritikal arguments do you prefer to see?" or "what type of kritikal literature are you best versed in?". If they give you a clear answer such as "I enjoy D and G" or "I'll roll with anything, but i love Baudrillard and any Hyperreality arguments" then go for it. If they simply say "everything's fine" just be safe. Always look up paradigms before rounds if the judges are posted (they will be at state and any TOC tournaments in Texas). 

 

Sorry about jumbling up everything, if you have any more questions feel free to ask me.

When you talked about adding the theory and framework spikes, what was it for? I mean the certain situation, not the purpose :P

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When you talked about adding the theory and framework spikes, what was it for? I mean the certain situation, not the purpose :P

This isn't policy. The Aff in LD has a major disadvantage, time and strategy wise. You add things called Spikes in your 1AC (the opening speech) to better handle such a disadvantage. A spike is some sort of text whether it be pure analytics or evidence that you can easily extend and that can be voted off of. The negative can just read a 2 off and completely erase your 1AC, so a spike is a check for that. You can also add in burdens if you'd like to turn the tables on a knowingly progressive opponent, unless of course you aren't good at theory. 

The situations in which you'd run these theory spikes and framework spikes are for knowingly progressive or political opponents.

 

The best example I can give is here, http://circuitdebater.wikispaces.com/Independent+BC+(Brennan+Caruthers) LOOK THROUGH THE FOLLOWING ROUNDS CASES (RD1 RD2 RD3 RD6 RD7) BUT READ THE BOTTOM TEXT HERE FIRST

 

Brennan Caruthers hit 5 of the Top Ten Texas Ld'ers (Hunt, Hewitt, Gmitro, Lewis,Woodhouse) at the TOC, and he clearly did his research versus John Lewis, who is an extremely political LD'er who focuses more on politics than anything else and forces policy esq debates (not kritikal, just pure politics, he floods cards). So what Brennan did was read theory in the 1AC, then go for defense on politics, his two best options and he won the round. If you look at his 7th round versus Matt Gmitro, another one of the best Texas Debaters, Gmitro floods text, not necessarily evidence, so Brennan threw out theory and went straight for a plantext aff. Look at all of Brenan's cases vs the 5 Ld'ers I named, it will REALLY help you understand Texas debate. I know Brenan isn't from Texas, but he did very well versus all of them (The Texas Debaters he hit). All 5 of these Texas debaters are extremely consistent, and are the cream of the crop of texas (although Greenhill RK is on another level). If you have ANY questions at all, feel free to ask, I typed this up in 3 minutes so i apologize for spelling errors and jumbling once again. Hope this helped!

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Probably a good question to ask - in Policy, are you a traditional Policy debater or a K debater? Depending on how you debate now, I can try to give better advice

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I'm going to the VBI 3 wk. Advanced session in a week from now, thoughts?

 

EDIT: Also I'm in Texas, what K lit should I be reading up on?

Also, why can't the usual philosophers from CX not be useful in LD? I've heard of plenty of D&G and Baudrillard based cases 

VBI 3wk should be a major help. Texas is one of the best places you can be for circuit debate.

 

The most important reading you could do would be in analytic philosophy. This is probably where you're most behind compared to other LDers. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is the Bible of LD. There are quite a few debaters who go for deontology or skepticism every neg round, but 1 off K debaters are far less frequent. 

 

The short answer to the last question is that CX philosophers can be useful in LD; they just aren't the norm. There are fewer K debaters but they're not less successful. Ed Hendrickson (the only K debater on the circuit this year) broke at the TOC.

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The short answer to the last question is that CX philosophers can be useful in LD; they just aren't the norm. There are fewer K debaters but they're not less successful. Ed Hendrickson (the only K debater on the circuit this year) broke at the TOC.

Rebecca Kuang, who won the TOC, ran K- oriented affs and some K negs this year.

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Rebecca Kuang, who won the TOC, ran K- oriented affs and some K negs this year.

She was only left-of-center on the LD spectrum. Every aff she read last year defended a policy, and she went for the CP way more than the K. Plenty of debaters read kritiks. Hendrickson was the only K debater.

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