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jacobstime

The State of West Texas Debate

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You and I will never see disclosure the same way and I am okay with that whether you are or not. We both think eduacation and improvement is important, but we disagree on how that should occur. Schools that host tournaments that mandate case disclosure have areas of the invitation and information section on JOT that encourage schools to seek other competiton oppurtunities if you do not wish to comply with otheir case disclosure policies. Have you told them that they have terrible logic as it is the logic of sectionalism and has proven to breed disparities in the quality of debate? I doubt you have or have the nerve to do so in the future. You may have competed at these tournaments. While I disagree with those hosts' views, I respect their right to have such views and mandate such policies. They do not hide it in the fine print. It is easy to find and plain to see. They do not seek to permanently change the views of those that choose to attend. They only seek guests' compliance while they are there. The whole JOT posting is very professional and the schools and their staffs are highly respected. You want the world to think for themselves and not be mindless robots. Do you really feel that way? If so, accept the fact that not everyone thinks like you and your partner. You 2 would be great with a world full of mindless robots as long as they thought like you and you held the remote controls. Your hypocrisy is laughable. I am not saying the world should think like I or any of my friends do, except with regard to being open minded and accepting of the thoughts of others. Why should we be so open minded about disclosure and other things this thread mentions when you are not open minded enough to accept us for the way we are. I ask no one to change simply to agree with me. People should change or not as they see fit. Accept me and others as different or not. Persuade the ones you can, but accept or at least avoid the ones you can not.

Squares are rectangle but not all rectangles are squares.

 

Forcing disclosure makes clash inevitable, where as not disclosing doesn't. Regardless of the PREFERENCE or STYLE of teams they always clash. "You want the world to think for themselves and not be mindless robots" You want the world to think for themselves and not be mindless robots too so its a question of the most effective way to achieve that.

 

The difference is that openness isn't inherently an ideological one, where as non-disclosure is. 

 

Your argument is one from analogy. Forcing restaurants to serve black people wasn't inherently pushing notions of liberalism or equal rights, just making sure everyone had autonomy. Being discriminator to discriminators isn't thus discriminatory. Its a reciprocal response to something stupid. We proved why disclosure was good above.

 

"when you are not open minded enough to accept us for the way we are" 

 

Its a question of a majority of the region not being open to everything else. There is no such thing as reverse discrimination. I know you are probably one of the more ideological people in the region and i'm sure most kids in the region are HAPPY to have you in the back. Our argument is that their should be more people who judge similar to you in the back of the room.

 

Just imagine a tournament with 30 minutes between each round. The judge spends 5-10 minutes deciding the round, and the teams in that round can begin prepping for the next. The judge returns the ballot to tab and comes back. The give their decision, explains, and takes questions. That takes 10-15 extra minutes giving those teams enough time to the next round. The educational benefits of a 10-15 discussion are MASSIVE, and most of the time would fit into a normal tournament schedule. Not everything can fit into a tiny square on a ballot. I have yet to see a negative side effect, aside from scheduling, which all of the circuits in Texas prove can be negotiated.

Edited by jacobstime
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The mindless robots comment will seem out of place to some because it refers to comments posted elsewhere.

http://www.joyoftournaments.com/tx/utexas/info.asp?p=3 Quote below is from this link.

" Please write your comments during the performance. Do not wait until the end of each presentation to record your comments. This will help to insure that rounds proceed according to the time schedule. Please also allow students who are cross-entered during a pattern or who must depart in time for an Extemp Draw to leave early from a round. Students who do not meet either of these circumstances should not depart rounds until the last speaker has performed. Please do not disclose ranks or ratings to competitors. "

 

Austin is clearly out side of West Texas. UT has a well respected reputation as educators. Disclosure after a round is not the only way to educate. UTNIF also has an excellent educational reputation. How many of you criticizing West Texas for post round disclosure policies will criticize UT for having the same policy? Anyone? Is anyone going to say that UT is not being an educator? Some of you have me email address. Send a critical message to UT and CC me to prove you will or not. I say this not to say you are wrong. My point is this is a difference with no one as right or wrong and that West Texas is not the only area with no post round disclosure practices. If we in West Texas are to be criticized for this, cross apply your standards and contact UT. Better yet, just accept the differences and the rights of tournament directors to determine the policies at their tournaments.
 
Debate fool makes some good points and did so in a professional manner. Click to see who all up voted his/her post. Note that he got an up vote from 2 people that are on opposite sides of this debate on post round disclosure. I will never be for pre round disclosure. Back to post round disclosure. I think the ideal would be a comprimise that meets everyone's goals if I am understanding all of those goals properly. As a judge, I fill out complete ballots and turn in all additional notes taken. I do not disclose or give oral critiques with the exception of brief oral critiques to novices at one tournament where the host is for that. After turning in my ballot, during the lag time used to tab round A and post round B, I would be willing to discuss ballots and thoughts in a meeting of the 4 Cxers and/or their coaches so that any help gained from the conversation could be applied in round B vs waiting until the coach was able to get the ballot and go over it with their students. Coaches have a lot to do for a lot of students all at the same time and can not be in two different  places at once. I know that is obvious, but I did not want anyone to think that I was implying that coaches ignore the immediate needs of CX speakers. This confines the ballot's decision to the debate that went on in the round and prevents the possibility of post round discussions about the round to influence the debate decision on the ballot. When hosts allowed this, it would be ideal for me.
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Squares are rectangle but not all rectangles are squares.

 

Forcing disclosure makes clash inevitable, where as not disclosing doesn't. Regardless of the PREFERENCE or STYLE of teams they always clash. "You want the world to think for themselves and not be mindless robots" You want the world to think for themselves and not be mindless robots too so its a question of the most effective way to achieve that.

 

The difference is that openness isn't inherently an ideological one, where as non-disclosure is. 

 

Your argument is one from analogy. Forcing restaurants to serve black people wasn't inherently pushing notions of liberalism or equal rights, just making sure everyone had autonomy. Being discriminator to discriminators isn't thus discriminatory. Its a reciprocal response to something stupid. We proved why disclosure was good above.

 

"when you are not open minded enough to accept us for the way we are" 

 

Its a question of a majority of the region not being open to everything else. There is no such thing as reverse discrimination. I know you are probably one of the more ideological people in the region and i'm sure most kids in the region are HAPPY to have you in the back. Our argument is that their should be more people who judge similar to you in the back of the room.

 

Just imagine a tournament with 30 minutes between each round. The judge spends 5-10 minutes deciding the round, and the teams in that round can begin prepping for the next. The judge then tabs the ballot the tab and comes back. The give their decision, explains, and takes questions. That takes 10-15 extra minutes giving those teams enough time to the next round. The educational benefits of a 10-15 discussion are MASSIVE, and most of the time would fit into a normal tournament schedule. Not everything can fit into a tiny square on a ballot. I have yet to see a negative side effect, aside from scheduling, which all of the circuits in Texas prove can be negotiated.

Your last paragraph is almost the same as what  I was typing and posting at the same time. see it below.

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The mindless robots comment will seem out of place to some because it refers to comments posted elsewhere.

http://www.joyoftournaments.com/tx/utexas/info.asp?p=3 Quote below is from this link.

" Please write your comments during the performance. Do not wait until the end of each presentation to record your comments. This will help to insure that rounds proceed according to the time schedule. Please also allow students who are cross-entered during a pattern or who must depart in time for an Extemp Draw to leave early from a round. Students who do not meet either of these circumstances should not depart rounds until the last speaker has performed. Please do not disclose ranks or ratings to competitors. "

 

Austin is clearly out side of West Texas. UT has a well respected reputation as educators. Disclosure after a round is not the only way to educate. UTNIF also has an excellent educational reputation. How many of you criticizing West Texas for post round disclosure policies will criticize UT for having the same policy? Anyone? Is anyone going to say that UT is not being an educator? Some of you have me email address. Send a critical message to UT and CC me to prove you will or not. I say this not to say you are wrong. My point is this is a difference with no one as right or wrong and that West Texas is not the only area with no post round disclosure practices. If we in West Texas are to be criticized for this, cross apply your standards and contact UT. Better yet, just accept the differences and the rights of tournament directors to determine the policies at their tournaments.
 
Debate fool makes some good points and did so in a professional manner. Click to see who all up voted his/her post. Note that he got an up vote from 2 people that are on opposite sides of this debate on post round disclosure. I will never be for pre round disclosure. Back to post round disclosure. I think the ideal would be a comprimise that meets everyone's goals if I am understanding all of those goals properly. As a judge, I fill out complete ballots and turn in all additional notes taken. I do not disclose or give oral critiques with the exception of brief oral critiques to novices at one tournament where the host is for that. After turning in my ballot, during the lag time used to tab round A and post round B, I would be willing to discuss ballots and thoughts in a meeting of the 4 Cxers and/or their coaches so that any help gained from the conversation could be applied in round B vs waiting until the coach was able to get the ballot and go over it with their students. Coaches have a lot to do for a lot of students all at the same time and can not be in two different  places at once. I know that is obvious, but I did not want anyone to think that I was implying that coaches ignore the immediate needs of CX speakers. This confines the ballot's decision to the debate that went on in the round and prevents the possibility of post round discussions about the round to influence the debate decision on the ballot. When hosts allowed this, it would be ideal for me.

 

 

 

Its not a question of the which action in a vacuum is best, but adding a bunch of unique practices to MAXIMIZE that practices.

 

It sounds like you are on board with dialogue, but how can debaters discuss the most important parts of a debate without discussing who won/lost, and even if they could why would you deny telling them the effectiveness of it (saying who won/lost) right then. Often times ballots are too small and illegible to fit all that info in. I would beg to see you differ. I don't know why you would put extra strain on coaches to have to run around just for the students abilities to discuss the round. Immediate feed back contextual to the round, with the ability to elaborate allows to students to understand what the judge was thinking, instead of just disregarding a judges scribbles on a ballot. Plus most of these debaters have more rounds to go to, so its important to get that instant feedback about their arguments. 

 

Also forcing kids to wait for decisions until way later in the day only adds to the stress of a debate tournament. Its important to know where you stand in a tournament for practical and psychological reasons.

 

I'm merely touching the iceberg about why disclosure is good. I'm sure Hunter can copy/paste some from a discussion we had on fb a while back. 

 

BTW thanks for joining the discussion!

Edited by jacobstime
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Debate fool makes some good points and did so in a professional manner. Click to see who all up voted his/her post. Note that he got an up vote from 2 people that are on opposite sides of this debate on post round disclosure. I will never be for pre round disclosure. Back to post round disclosure. I think the ideal would be a comprimise that meets everyone's goals if I am understanding all of those goals properly. As a judge, I fill out complete ballots and turn in all additional notes taken. I do not disclose or give oral critiques with the exception of brief oral critiques to novices at one tournament where the host is for that. After turning in my ballot, during the lag time used to tab round A and post round B, I would be willing to discuss ballots and thoughts in a meeting of the 4 Cxers and/or their coaches so that any help gained from the conversation could be applied in round B vs waiting until the coach was able to get the ballot and go over it with their students. Coaches have a lot to do for a lot of students all at the same time and can not be in two different  places at once. I know that is obvious, but I did not want anyone to think that I was implying that coaches ignore the immediate needs of CX speakers. This confines the ballot's decision to the debate that went on in the round and prevents the possibility of post round discussions about the round to influence the debate decision on the ballot. When hosts allowed this, it would be ideal for me.

 

 

 

 

Can we all just take a moment to realize that this page has thirteen subscribers and 29 posts?!

 

Don't you dare tell me that democratization can't happen through discourse as simple as this discussion. We educate and share our thought's with others so that everyone best understands where we are coming from.

 

RFD disclosure is inherently nothing more than that, in the same we that we all are using this thread Judges can use their voice to express how they feel, educate on their thought's and opinions etc and once one person does it it reaches out to more.

 

Despite the "dominant paradigm" or the "views of the locals" I don't think many people would argue they want to take education and progress out of the equation for a debate career, all the advocates of this post are supporting is that this is just another way to equate to a larger sum. I think this is what needs to be understood, even you yourself said the ideal is to meet something everyone could agree on. I think everyone could agree on education furthermost. 

 

Also we would literally be revealing work of coaches ie: finding out results (because honestly what debater actually waits untill postings to know if they broke), or dealing with tab room. We could help to relieve this by disclosure.

Edited by thatladlogan
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Its not a question of the which action in a vacuum is best, but adding a bunch of unique practices to MAXIMIZE that practices.

 

It sounds like you are on board with dialogue, but how can debaters discuss the most important parts of a debate without discussing who won/lost, and even if they could why would you deny telling them the effectiveness of it (saying who won/lost) right then. Often times ballots are too small and illegible to fit all that info in. I would beg to see you differ. I don't know why you would put extra strain on coaches to have to run around just for the students abilities to discuss the round. Immediate feed back contextual to the round, with the ability to elaborate allows to students to understand what the judge was thinking, instead of just disregarding a judges scribbles on a ballot. Plus most of these debaters have more rounds to go to, so its important to get that instant feedback about their arguments. 

 

Also forcing kids to wait for decisions until way later in the day only adds to the stress of a debate tournament. Its important to know where you stand in a tournament for practical and psychological reasons.

 

I'm merely touching the iceberg about why disclosure is good. I'm sure Hunter can copy/paste some from a discussion we had on fb a while back. 

 

BTW thanks for joining the discussion!

Reread my post and you will see that while having coaches present is ideal, I know it is not possible most of the time and acknowledged that. I think you misunderstood the ideal as a prereq. It is not.

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Can we all just take a moment to realize that this page has thirteen subscribers and 29 posts?!

 

Don't you dare tell me that democratization can't happen through discourse as simple as this discussion. We educate and share our thought's with others so that everyone best understands where we are coming from.

 

RFD disclosure is inherently nothing more than that, in the same we that we all are using this thread Judges can use their voice to express how they feel, educate on their thought's and opinions etc and once one person does it it reaches out to more.

 

Despite the "dominant paradigm" or the "views of the locals" I don't think many people would argue they want to take education and progress out of the equation for a debate career, all the advocates of this post are supporting is that this is just another way to equate to a larger sum. I think this is what needs to be understood, even you yourself said the ideal is to meet something everyone could agree on. I think everyone could agree on education furthermost. 

 

Also we would literally be revealing work of coaches ie: finding out results (because honestly what debater actually waits untill postings to know if they broke), or dealing with tab room. We could help to relieve this by disclosure.

This is the best post on here so far. Thanks for getting the part about coaches presence being ideal but not required as they are super busy with other events etc. To be fair, I am sure JB would have gotten that too had he not read to quickly before getting back to sem exam prep. Upvotes for both.

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I wouldn't be surprised by a lack of people responding to this thread.  Cross-X.com isn't exactly the most "friendly" environment for a dialogue about such heavy ideas and pedagogy.  It's great that you want to have this discussion.  But, I'd encourage you to have the discussion via a more neutral and professionally appropriate channel.  (I wish I had a suggestion.)  The problem is that you're critiquing the very foundation of many of these professionals.  Even if it is not your intent, it's hard not to see that as an attack (which I genuinely understand is NOT the intent).  You're also asking a bunch of professionals (many of whom are not members of this forum and probably don't like being backed into a corner) to come and play on your terms.  Again, I get what you're trying to do, but just wanting you to see that perception.

 

Also just a few notes.  I've skimmed this thread and I don't debate (or coach) in West Texas, so take all of this with a grain of salt.

 

The premise behind the thread confuses me.  Can you clarify it once more, with these questions in mind?  Is the goal for the thread to convince "West Texas" to shift to more progressive debate pedagogy?  (In other words, should all judges be tab?  Is it "wrong" to be a stock issues judge?  Etc...)  Is the goal merely to address evolving debate practices (including but not limited to spreading, Kritik reading, disclosure, post-round critiques, etc...)?  Is the goal, as one poster alluded to, to create a more homogeneous sampling of debaters and judges?  Or, are differences among coaches, debaters, judges acceptable?  With a "mission" like yours (which certainly has its merits), I'd just be 100% clear on what you think ought to be gained from it.

 

I'd argue that it's important to recognize that debate is (and ought to be) a heterogeneous sampling of participants at every level.  There may always be a "norm" of debate, but I think that each debater ought to be empowered to express her- or himself in a way that fits by the "rules" (which are actually very few all things considered).  When students ask my paradigm, I generally always say that I want my debaters to explain how each argument functions (both in the round and in the argument -- ballot implications).  Lots of debaters ask me about adaptation and I actually think I'm better served as the adjudicator of the round if I adapt to the debaters.  While that can be confusing, I think it ought to be up to the debaters to limit my role in the debate.  This paradigm, in my humble opinion, allows debaters to express themselves in numerous ways while empowering them to learn and self-discover.

 

But, I don't think that every judge ought to agree with me, necessarily.  I respect the difference of opinions that many of my colleagues have.  I would never want to shame or embarrass them into changing their ideas.  I'll also respect (and try to take their perspective and give every bit of my attempt to understand) their paradigms and teaching styles.

 

With regards to tournament practices, I really would caution you to re-think some of these comments and attempt to understand what it's like in the minds of a tournament director.  Policy debate is expensive to run.  Minute for minute it's the most time consuming event (Congress is a close second) so there's usually the expectation of higher pay for judges, it requires the most knowledge (e.g. you're dealing with a limited talent pool), it can easily get behind in the schedule (if oral critiques and disclosures happen), and it requires a great deal of room space which many tournaments cannot hold (hence the potential reason behind limiting the CX pool of participants).  Several tournaments are looking at (and have begun to) cutting policy debate all together.  As a tournament director, sometimes you just try to get through the day.  Many judges for policy are college students and (speaking from experience) can be extremely flaky.  It's a really frustrating process.  Any solution to these "problems" would need to keep these realities in mind.  (Also, it seems really fallacious to say that "if UT didn't have to accelerate to keep the weather in mind, other tournaments shouldn't either."  As a coach, I have to respond to parents when I get home after midnight or when I risk lives in dangerous travel concerns.  Many times the higher power administration makes the call about student safety.)

 

I will always respect a tournament director's rules regarding start times of rounds (impacting pre-round prep), disclosure, and oral critiques.  I'd encourage everyone to do so as well.  Although this number is decreasing, many tournaments try to allow for cross-entry in public speaking events and policy debate.  When this occurs, a schedule is vitally important.  Try schedule six rounds of debate (three prelims and quarters) and three rounds of extemp (prelims, semis, and finals) that can coexist.  The two hour cushion and time to disclose and oral critique sounds like an easy fix, but it may not be a reality that can work.  Again, tournament director discretion.  They should weigh the pros and cons and make that decision for themselves.  Having done it both ways, fiscally I often elect to allow cross-entry and limit disclosure and oral critiquing.

 

On the question of oral critiques: there are many programs that are coached by one coach with no assistants or college-level helpers.  My program is one of those.  While I 95% agree that oral critiques are exponentially beneficial (the 5% difference being because many judges, typically college-aged students, lack the professionalism necessary to discuss debate with 14-year-olds), as a coach, I want to be able to read those critiques.  I prefer the ballots to have more than just "Oral" or "RFD" with a single sentence.  I want to see as much of a play-by-play of the round as possible.  Then, I can reinforce some of the things I read with my students.  I don't have to rely on the "words" of my students to tell the whole story.  I have something to go back to them with.  For novice debaters (and even young varsity) this is crucially important to help them understand the round.  My advice for all judges: write as much as you can.  If there's wifi at the tournament, resist the urge to Facebook or cut cards.  Fill out your ballots as completely as possible.  Even if you're "going to say everything that you wrote in the oral critique" it will still help that coach and will still help to reinforce your ideas to the students.  I think a lot of judges forget that they are being paid for a service.  There is more expected than simply to "show up".  Professional decorum is extremely important.  Call me old-fashioned for that, but I don't see any compelling argument for NOT adhering to norms of professional interaction with high school students.  In an age where debate programs have to fight for financial support, it does little to that cause for students to come home and repeat unprofessional encounters that turn off financial backers (community, administrators, etc...).  (Or for those backers to witness it themselves.)

 

I hope that my contribution is helpful and lays some useful parameters for discussion.

 

One final thought.  Although it's not impossible (Hunter indicated he learned a lot through Facebook), many students venture into the opportunities of "better" debate by spending money.  Much education occurs at debate camps and many perspectives are broadened by this experience.  The problem is that while some camps are affordable, many are not.  The "elite" camps are several thousand dollars.  I know the answer to this argument, and I would reiterate it to my students as well: "there is ALWAYS a way around it" OR "there's always a way to earn and make this a priority".  That's true.  But it still speaks to the cause of such division in policy debate.  Even the higher level tournaments have more expensive entry fees and often require travel.  The norm now also seems to include numerous "assistant" coaches.  I'd encourage everyone to do some looking into other states (or encourage others to chime in).  Policy Debate in Texas is just different.  The number of circuits and the sheer size of the state make it so.  UIL began with policy debate over 100 years ago.  They have continued to support policy debate as an inclusion to the UIL Spring Meet.  This support necessitates other schools to participate.  Administrators see the requirement of UIL and are more willing to fund it.  Policy debate would not exist in places like West Texas without UIL.  I don't know that I making much of a point with this last paragraph.  Just continue to go forward by taking the perspectives of others.

 

Hopefully this will be a positive dialogue.

Edited by LindaleDebateCoach
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Lindale Debate Coach,

This is a great post. Idaho debate limits novices to only three plans until they gain more experience. Whitefish Bay Foensics in Wisconsin competes well locally and nationally with NO SCHOOL FUNDING, per their Twitter feed. Texas is not that bad.

 

I will only speak for my goals on this thread as I am a respondent and not the author of the 1st post in the thread. My goal is to read and learn what others think while letting them know what I think. I am not out to change anyone and only seek an attitude of professional communication that is accepting of different views and ask only that others accept mine. The minds of those on this forum do not have to change in one direction or the other. I just strive for mutual acceptance and respect for different views and the people that hold those views.

I am familiar with Lindale HS and have met an alum that competed in AFA speech and even judged some HS rounds with them. I also know of J.C. and have communicated with them via email and have saved files that I found to helpful lessons for the future. I hope your thread will be up voted by all that come to this forum. If I make it to Austin for UIL State, I will look you up. I would like to meet you and J.C, and shake hands with each of you. I agree with your whole post.

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Primarily in response to Lindale Debate Coach:

 

For the record, I'm also not from anywhere near Texas, west or otherwise.

 

I understand the frustration with judges who don't write adequate ballots.  I've come to find that this isn't a consequence of disclosure or oral critiquing.  Judges who give little to no oral critique, or give a critique but don't disclose, can write maddeningly unhelpful ballots too.  I just had a ballot for some of my students, for a round *I got to watch*, where the judge gave a brief oral critique purely on style and not arguments, and the ballot didn't even have an RFD.  I have no idea why my students won the round (I would have voted against them), and I even got to hear the oral critique.  (Ballot was ~4 sentences directed at each team).  And its not like he was a lay judge, my school is part of a UDL which requires judges to receive judge training if they don't have previous policy experience.

 

Now, there are certainly those awful ballots that say 'reason given in oral critique'.  I'm actually somewhat more okay with those than the above situation, because my students at least got to hear what was probably a former debater explain what happened from his perspective, and that was probably valuable.  More valuable than the small style critique and useless ballot mentioned above.

 

My own experience as a judge is the reverse.  I frequently *run out of room* on the ballot to write.  I make notes about presentation, strategy, and argumentation on the ballot during the course of the round, directed at each speech, usually during prep time or cx.  This might capture some of the flow, but its only things that jump out at me, so it leaves vast swaths of the flow unmentioned.  By the time the debate is done, I don't have *room* to describe the flow adequately, nor really the inclination to spend 15 minutes writing out a ballot that summarizes the flow even if i had another page on which to do it.  The RFD is necessarily an incisive summary of the key issue which dictated the ballot.  I absolutely need oral critiquing time to convey valuable commentary on how I evaluated the flow, and frequently good teams will have additional questions about how I evaluated particular arguments that weren't relevant to the RFD for that round.

 

Now, I like my debate fast, aggressive, and well-articulated, at least one of which is probably frowned on in West Texas.  But I highly doubt any West Texas judge adequately captures the flow on their ballot, and probably not even in a way that is very helpful to the debaters. 

 

Oral Critiques will always be more detailed than written ballots, will better relate to the flow than written ballots, and are responsive to debaters, letting them target the areas they want or need feedback on.

 

That's somewhat separate from disclosure, but its really hard to talk about how I evaluated arguments without revealing who won.  So I see no point in not saying outright what can be trivially inferred.  Being asked by the tournament not to disclose just creates the silly situation where all the debaters in the round figure it out, but I can't actually say it.

 

And honestly, I wish more judges were more honest and pointed in their oral critiques.  I have one successful debater in novice who refuses to flow in a manner conducive to following the round.  She drops arguments all over the place (and in at least one round I've witnessed I can only assume the judge intervened to not vote against them because of it), but she won't listen to myself or our other coaches about her flowing, and takes her success as evidence its fine.  A judge really needs to tell her that her flowing is poor, and its really hurting her argumentation.  If they keep voting for her despite the dropped arguments, and don't even tell her its an issue, she's never going to improve.

Edited by Squirrelloid
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Reply to Squirrelloid,

I like the first paragraph about how disclosure and oral critiques do not eliminate judging issues. I am suprised at the UDL trained judges are sometimes an issue. I have found the NAUDL and chapter websites of it to be very helpful in a variety of areas. I am okay with the second paragraph. I like the 3rd paragraph as I often run out of room on the ballot an duse notebook paper for the rest. I just turn it all in with the ballot and our area is okay with that.  Paragraph 4: As a judge in this area (West Texas) I will leave the assumptions you made up the students I have judged. Some have posted in this forum in previous posts stating they like my ballots as least in the details written down. Speed is not common in our area, but that is growing and depends on the judge or judges present as to how fast the speakers will go. P5 - I agree with that and feel that the ballot should be completed and turned in before a converstion with the 4 debaters takes place. That way, a post round debate does not alter of affect the outcome of the contested round and education occurs during the time gap used to tab and post the next round. Also the info is still fresh on evryone's mind and not jumbled by mixing the details of other debates together. P6 makes sense. P7 I agree that judges should be honest and constructive. A lack of criticism just leads to a false sense of security as you describe. I would have her flow a good debate along side some of your best debaters in term of flowing and then compare the flows and show how she could get better by flowing better. She will likely remain reluctant to change until her luck runs out and failure leads her to adapt and improve her flowing skills.

Finally, I appreciate your post and would like tell you and other readers that the reason I answered i the format I did is so that I culd give this post the up vote I feel it deserves while making it clear exactly where I agree, am neutral, an disagree. Thus my my upvote is not misinterpreted as total agreement and a lack of vote or down vote seen as total disagreement.

What state are you from? I can not get the click on your profile to work.

Thanks again.

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Reply to Squirrelloid,

I like the first paragraph about how disclosure and oral critiques do not eliminate judging issues. I am suprised at the UDL trained judges are sometimes an issue. I have found the NAUDL and chapter websites of it to be very helpful in a variety of areas. I am okay with the second paragraph. I like the 3rd paragraph as I often run out of room on the ballot an duse notebook paper for the rest. I just turn it all in with the ballot and our area is okay with that.  Paragraph 4: As a judge in this area (West Texas) I will leave the assumptions you made up the students I have judged. Some have posted in this forum in previous posts stating they like my ballots as least in the details written down. Speed is not common in our area, but that is growing and depends on the judge or judges present as to how fast the speakers will go. P5 - I agree with that and feel that the ballot should be completed and turned in before a converstion with the 4 debaters takes place. That way, a post round debate does not alter of affect the outcome of the contested round and education occurs during the time gap used to tab and post the next round. Also the info is still fresh on evryone's mind and not jumbled by mixing the details of other debates together. P6 makes sense. P7 I agree that judges should be honest and constructive. A lack of criticism just leads to a false sense of security as you describe. I would have her flow a good debate along side some of your best debaters in term of flowing and then compare the flows and show how she could get better by flowing better. She will likely remain reluctant to change until her luck runs out and failure leads her to adapt and improve her flowing skills.

Finally, I appreciate your post and would like tell you and other readers that the reason I answered i the format I did is so that I culd give this post the up vote I feel it deserves while making it clear exactly where I agree, am neutral, an disagree. Thus my my upvote is not misinterpreted as total agreement and a lack of vote or down vote seen as total disagreement.

What state are you from? I can not get the click on your profile to work.

Thanks again.

 

UDL Judges: There's two issues - (1) I'm not necessarily doubting the competence to judge.  Some intervention is reasonable in novice, and his decision wasn't totally crazy, but my own inclinations are almost purely tab.  I think the UDL training is decent enough to get reasonable decisions, and vastly improves the quality of judging.  (2) Competence at ballot writing, otoh, is not taught.  Its not that I can't imagine interventions to explain his decision, its that I can't figure out which interventions he did make and why.  This makes the ballot really uninformative, especially as he doesn't even say what argument(s) he voted on, and so I can only guess.  Since I *saw* the round, i can make pretty good guesses, but getting ballots like that when I didn't see the round is really frustrating, because I can't even start to interpret it for the debaters.

 

Re: P4 - my impression was that West Texas, like a lot of insular regional debate communities, didn't like speed.  (I have some experience with that kind of situation.  My highschool was in WI, and the local tournament scene was not generally receptive to speed).  The attempt at a joke may have fallen flat.

 

Re: P5 - totally agree, the judge should not begin critiquing until completing his ballot.  Critiquing is not a conversation to determine the ballot, but an explanation of how you evaluated the round and thus wrote the ballot.  (Most of the tournaments I've been to as a judge/coach use runners to grab ballots directly from rooms so the judge doesn't have to run to the tab room and then back, or hold the ballot needlessly while critiquing).

 

I'm in Chicago

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Primarily in response to Lindale Debate Coach:

 

For the record, I'm also not from anywhere near Texas, west or otherwise.

 

I understand the frustration with judges who don't write adequate ballots.  I've come to find that this isn't a consequence of disclosure or oral critiquing.  Judges who give little to no oral critique, or give a critique but don't disclose, can write maddeningly unhelpful ballots too.  I just had a ballot for some of my students, for a round *I got to watch*, where the judge gave a brief oral critique purely on style and not arguments, and the ballot didn't even have an RFD.  I have no idea why my students won the round (I would have voted against them), and I even got to hear the oral critique.  (Ballot was ~4 sentences directed at each team).  And its not like he was a lay judge, my school is part of a UDL which requires judges to receive judge training if they don't have previous policy experience.

 

Now, there are certainly those awful ballots that say 'reason given in oral critique'.  I'm actually somewhat more okay with those than the above situation, because my students at least got to hear what was probably a former debater explain what happened from his perspective, and that was probably valuable.  More valuable than the small style critique and useless ballot mentioned above.

 

My own experience as a judge is the reverse.  I frequently *run out of room* on the ballot to write.  I make notes about presentation, strategy, and argumentation on the ballot during the course of the round, directed at each speech, usually during prep time or cx.  This might capture some of the flow, but its only things that jump out at me, so it leaves vast swaths of the flow unmentioned.  By the time the debate is done, I don't have *room* to describe the flow adequately, nor really the inclination to spend 15 minutes writing out a ballot that summarizes the flow even if i had another page on which to do it.  The RFD is necessarily an incisive summary of the key issue which dictated the ballot.  I absolutely need oral critiquing time to convey valuable commentary on how I evaluated the flow, and frequently good teams will have additional questions about how I evaluated particular arguments that weren't relevant to the RFD for that round.

 

Now, I like my debate fast, aggressive, and well-articulated, at least one of which is probably frowned on in West Texas.  But I highly doubt any West Texas judge adequately captures the flow on their ballot, and probably not even in a way that is very helpful to the debaters. 

 

Oral Critiques will always be more detailed than written ballots, will better relate to the flow than written ballots, and are responsive to debaters, letting them target the areas they want or need feedback on.

 

That's somewhat separate from disclosure, but its really hard to talk about how I evaluated arguments without revealing who won.  So I see no point in not saying outright what can be trivially inferred.  Being asked by the tournament not to disclose just creates the silly situation where all the debaters in the round figure it out, but I can't actually say it.

 

And honestly, I wish more judges were more honest and pointed in their oral critiques.  I have one successful debater in novice who refuses to flow in a manner conducive to following the round.  She drops arguments all over the place (and in at least one round I've witnessed I can only assume the judge intervened to not vote against them because of it), but she won't listen to myself or our other coaches about her flowing, and takes her success as evidence its fine.  A judge really needs to tell her that her flowing is poor, and its really hurting her argumentation.  If they keep voting for her despite the dropped arguments, and don't even tell her its an issue, she's never going to improve.

 

Thanks for the response.  I agree that oral critiques are infinitely educational (minus the 5% of the time I explained originally).  Personally, I'm in favor of them.  But I would still err on the side of the tournament director's wishes.  Also, I still don't see why this has to sacrifice for a well-written ballot (so that education can continue after the round as well).  I accomplish both without much issue (it seems as though you do as well).  Ultimately, again, tournament official.  As a point of solution/compromise: I tend to put my email address or contact information on ballots when my oral critique is limited or I wish to provide a more educational experience.

 

With regards to disclosing, again I err on the side of the tournament host.  I don't have a problem with it personally and if allowed, I usually do.  Still, I don't see the need to disclose.  Sure, good orals often reveal who won.  Still, if the point of an oral critique is to provide education, I don't know that the W or L has to be included.  I'm less opinionated here, because I don't personally care.  What bothers me is when the tournament director explicitly puts in their invitation that they will not be allowed (often providing a warrant with it) and the instruction is blatantly not followed.  If you're a tournament hired judge, you're breaching your contract.  If you are a school-hired judge, you're not representing that school appropriately.  I think we need to see judging more as a "job" that requires professionalism than an easy way to make a buck and behave however you please.

 

All of these impacts from orals/disclosure can be accomplished with just a little more effort on the part of the judge.  The judge can put contact information on the ballot.  They can find debaters after ballots are turned in.  They can track down a coach and give other messages.  But, again to clarify.  I don't mind oral critiques or disclosure (actually, possibly prefer them).  But I always defer to the tournament director's wishes and would hope that everyone would adhere to that.

 

Again, thanks for the dialogue.

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I like the idea of an email address on the ballots. I have done that some this year. Sometimes I forget, but around here, all of the coaches know how to get ahold of me or will know someone that does. I need to get used to doing this more consistently.

UDL judges training may just need a class on writing their decisions down on the ballots. They seem to be well trained regarding the decision making process as the Chicago poster stated.

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Something that has been bothering me for a while that has been echoed through a lot of these posts is this:

Appeal to tradition is a logical fallacy. Logical fallacies are not really arguments.
Not only that, but appeal to tradition (among all logical fallacies) are bad. So bad it spurs discussion that is negative like insinuating "if you don't like it, leave." I have seen this kind of dialogue on facebook and even one of the posts above. 

What I was hoping would happen in this thread was more testimony from debaters from the WT area. I see a lot of discussion on facebook and a lot of backlash from coaches. We (Hunter, Jacob, I, others) realize that a lot of these things seem like attacks but we cannot stress enough that this isn't. Thus why this forum exists: solutions. I applaud some coaches inviting discussion on their facebooks but I still urge debaters that are former (and especially CURRENT) debaters in the area to please speak up, we want your voice heard. 

-KT

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Something that has been bothering me for a while that has been echoed through a lot of these posts is this:

 

Appeal to tradition is a logical fallacy. Logical fallacies are not really arguments.

Not only that, but appeal to tradition (among all logical fallacies) are bad. So bad it spurs discussion that is negative like insinuating "if you don't like it, leave." I have seen this kind of dialogue on facebook and even one of the posts above. 

 

What I was hoping would happen in this thread was more testimony from debaters from the WT area. I see a lot of discussion on facebook and a lot of backlash from coaches. We (Hunter, Jacob, I, others) realize that a lot of these things seem like attacks but we cannot stress enough that this isn't. Thus why this forum exists: solutions. I applaud some coaches inviting discussion on their facebooks but I still urge debaters that are former (and especially CURRENT) debaters in the area to please speak up, we want your voice heard. 

 

-KT

I agree with your thoughts on tradition for the sake of tradition. Personally I do not advocate tradition for the sake of tradition any more than I advocate change for the sake of change. I advocate everyone choosing what they feel is the most right logical thing for them to do. Whether I share their opininions or not, I respect their right to form and hold the opinions they have. Whether people in or beyond West Texas agree with the hosts' customs or not, everyone is welcome here as far as I am concerned. As for the customs elsewhere, those are determined by the people there and I adhere to those while there. We can all be different and peacefully coexist while furthering the educational aspects of debate. Students can find info here @ CrossX.com and elsewhere if they feel limited by their coaches approach to debate. I do wish more people would join CrossX and post. Anonymity is possible when signing up for an account simply by using psuedonyms and leaving out the other details. All CXers should be have an account just for trading info and learning from other CXers on here even if they decide to avoid discussions such as this thread. To me this whole thread is a clash of generations. A generation of increasingly progressive debaters are sometimes still being judged by older, less progressive and more traditional judges. Evolution is a slow process that will continue to make debate increasingly progressive. As that happens, be patient and adapt to traditional judges as you feel is needed. Evolution is occurring and a revolution advocating immediate changes should not be forced by either the progressives or the traditionalists. Elsewhere I have become aware of a discussion wondering if Texas should have a traditional and a progessive division. I do not think that should be done, but there are those that do, thus the discussion. If I came across in earlier posts as "If you do not like it leave" when what I want to get across is that people do not have to like it to be welcome and stay. They only have to accept it while they are here at tournaments directed by someone else just as this area would have to accept the mandatory pre-round case disclosure policies of other hosts when attending such tournaments. To me, this whole thread comes down to

1. Live and let live

2. When in Rome, do as the Romans

3. When at home, do as you please

4. Assmilate to your surroundings as they will not always accomodate you

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The State of CX Debate Address – Issues, Ideas, and Possible Solutions, My Thoughts

Zachary J. Zachary December 6, 2013

Pre-round Disclosure:

I am not a fan of this. I know some people and schools like it and even require it at their tournaments. I will give credit as it is due. The information when registering online is honest and upfront about their expectations and the penalties for failure to comply after arrival. There is no hidden fine print. Coaches are welcome to register or not as they choose. Those who disagree with the host schools’ pedagogy on disclosure are politely encouraged to seek other tournaments to enter. Clash is the burden of the NEG. If there is a lack of clash, the AFF wins the agreement and the ballot. I fail to see disclosure as a prerequisite to clash or education. Debaters leave rounds and should research to find cards to refortify their position and/or serve as projectiles to attack their opposition’s case. How does disclosure prevent that educational process from happening? In my opinion, disclosure does not prevent follow up research or the education that occurs in the process. Education is an important factor in debate. To those that say education is the purpose of debate, I pose the following question. Would you still debate if there were no ballots, if there were no victories, if there were no defeats, if there were no awards, if there were no trophies, if there were no scholarships and only the exchange of structured speeches and the education that ensued? I seriously doubt it. If it was truly only about the education, you could accomplish that just by doing a lengthy research paper on the pros and cons of affirming the resolution. The purpose of debate is victory via the use of superior research skills and work ethic combined with public speaking skills, thus the ballots, awards, and trophies. Education gained in the process is an important benefit as is the entrance into a guild of debaters that started out as opponents, became rivals, and eventually ends up as friends well beyond debate interests and careers. Notice my wording regarding the victors and the defeated. There are no losers in debate. The only losers are the nonparticipants that lose out on all debate has to offer. My final thought on disclosure is this. I do not owe my opponents any more than personal respect and adherence to the printed rules of the league sanctioning the debate. I do not owe my opponent anything that makes their task easier or my task harder. The same standard applies to my opponent. I am owed nothing beyond personal respect and adherence to the printed rules.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judges and Judging:

A tournament should strive for the best judging pool possible. Municipal population and location relative to a college can be big factors in this endeavor. Ideally, the judges should be as close in age as possible to the age of the competitors. This would create the best likelihood of contemporary performing styles with contemporary judging paradigms. Older judges are intelligent and knowledgeable, but may have less contemporary, but no less valid paradigms as they have less preference for contemporary progressive debate styles being taught in universities and by recent graduates that go into coaching. Lay judges are okay if that is all that is available. I have students from multiple schools glad to see that I have their ballot because they do not see me as a lay judge. I remind them that I was once a lay judge and that I have only been judging since 2006. I discovered Forensics late while going back to college for teaching certification. Do not judge a book by its cover. My cover is 47 years old, but my paradigms are more contemporary and progressive than some people my age because I started later and have been exposed to such teaching by instructors and speakers. Panels of three judges are ideal. Finding that many volunteers can be difficult and hiring that many judges can be expensive. Multi-day tournaments have the added difficulty of finding people who can miss part of one work day and possibly part or all of the next day, Collegiate debaters have busy travel schedules, jobs, classes, and homework issues to contend with. That coupled with drive time from the college town to the host town only complicates schedules more. Some former HS debaters attend college without debating in college and that is a possible judge resource. Hosts should reach out to nearby universities and advertise via the school website that students use for online classes and email, the campus newspaper, and TV/radio station with enough notice that interested parties could adjust their schedules and plan ahead. Ideally, some extra money could be paid. If not and the drive is short enough, some would do it just for the free home cooked food provided by parents. Judges should be open minded. I started out only knowing the stock issues. Then I found myself helping CX campers with research while getting class credit towards speech certification which exposed me to case writing, Disadvantages and Counterplans, responses to DAs and CPs, the uniqueness, link, brink, takeout one and the whole DA falls, etc. That was 2008. I returned to camp in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013. Knowledge became more ingrained and familiar as it also became more contemporary and progressive in the last 2 years due a rotating roster of instructors from around the state and nation. Three have worked on both coasts with combined service at the college and HS level. They are from West Texas! One is now finally a lawyer, but the other two lead a nationally recognized interp and debate program. They have achieved an NFL School of Excellence Award in less than three years at their current location. The multiple varieties of instructors and coaches here along with their students have exposed me to a forensic buffet of ideas and styles. If I can understand the vocabulary and the logical argumentation, I can flow the ballot to that side and give a valid reason for my decision. My knowledge of CX has grown beyond the stock issues I started out with to include Ks, PICs, SPECs, Framework, Theory, and if I feel the 2 sides are mutually exclusive I will vote for the best one regardless of the argumentation means used to get to the ends. Speed is something I have gotten better at listening to and speaking in camp drills. This just takes exposure and practice. I need to continue to improve that aspect beyond the 350-500 I can sometimes listen to now. Somebody should invent an app that allows vocal recordings to be sped up and actually displays the wpm being played. Some judges feel that CX is still a communication event that should not go faster than normal conversational speed. That is their paradigm and one I respect when I hear it. I feel that CX is a persuasion event with the goal of persuading the judge/s to vote for you. If I as a judge can flow the speed being used, I do not care if the other team can or not. Remember my earlier statement about only owing them personal respect and adherence to the printed rules. It applies here. CX is the verbal Autobahn. There is no speed limit by rule. Before rounds, opposing CXers may have a conversation about a favorite TV show over hot chocolate and after the tournament may end up at the same table if their teams go to the same restaurant. When a CX round starts, it is verbal chess played by gladiators in suits whose only goal is the judge/s’ ballot by any means within the league’s printed rules. Camps sometimes teach students skills that their coaches are not the most comfortable with. Coaches, if possible, should attend camp with their students and learn beside them. State education boards should count such attendance towards the credits needed to renew teacher certification every 5 years. I have never understood coaches that send their students to camp and then ask them not to use everything they learned while getting beat by teams that use those methods. I told the students (via the ballot and at awards) that they needed to please their coach in class but the judge in the round. Use whatever techniques you know to better your case. They eventually went against their coaches’ view on DAs and CPs and won a tournament. They were former CX campers of ours and I wish I could have been at that tournament to congratulate them. They only ran the cases they did after the supportive advice of one of the host school’s CXers re: a break the DA refresher course. Speakers should always ask for paradigms and speed preferences. I suggest keeping an English Essay that has nothing to do with the topic and spread the fastest you can until the judges slows you down to a speed they can understand. Students should be prepared to cut info or summarize if the judge/s is/are only a conversational listener. Adapt as best you can and hope for the best. Roadmaps and/or signposts are really helpful for the judge. In conclusion, I would like to say that a judge should keep an open mind because most of what I have learned about CX has been from listening to the rounds I am judging. The internet has helpful articles, videos, and user forums that are good for learning more about debate and improving skills. Some books are also helpful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coaches and Coaching:

Any coach that has success is doing something right. I have met a lot of CX coaches from around the region and at different times have seen their students do well in my rounds and go on to win later rounds with other judges. I have yet to meet a CX coach I have not taken ideas about the debate process from. When I have asked about something that was new to me, they were helpful and informative. I emailed one beyond our area that I had met in our area and asked what I thought would be a short answer question. He sent back several pages with full source info. He said he did not know but spent some time looking it up. Google was of little help that night for either of us. He finally found it at Planet Debate and even there he had to dig through info to find it for me. We recently talked over the phone about Neg approaches to an Aff case and that was helpful. As the previous post pointed out, several area CX alums have done well on the national circuit in college in both CX and Parli or had to move for parents’ job advancement opportunities and done well on the national HS circuit. If our area is so bad, what accounts for that level of success? Besides the debate successes the thread has referred to, area debate students have gone to George Mason University, Georgetown Law, and I am sure there are others I have lost track of that are also doing well. Both of Friona’s former 2 time State CX champions are now lawyers.  I think coaches played a role, a big role, as did the interest, ability, and work ethic of the speakers.

Coaches should attempt to learn and teach everything they can about CX. Time and the ability of the students to grasp the information should be the only limits on a student’s educational opportunities. The stock issues are a good place to start, but there is so much more to debate. Learn and teach the DAs, CPs, PICs, SPECs, Framework, Theory, Ks. etc. Do not try to limit strategies to 1-2 of your personal favorites. Let students explore strategies and techniques and decide for themselves what they want to run. Trial and errors or successes will tell them when to change or hold course. Ships are the safest moored to the harbor’s dock, but that is not what ships are made for. Let your student sail their CX ships into the seven seas of the topic and go where the winds and currents of victory and defeat take them. The more diverse a CX team’s repertoire is, the harder teams have to prep against them. If students are tied to only 1-3 methods, they will soon get bored and the opposition will zero in on those 3 strategies and have well designed blocks. The three terminal impacts are death, dehumanization, and quality of life. A bored student lets grades slip which impacts their quality of life. They feel dehumanized if stripped of their autonomy in case construction. The maximization of educational opportunities has been killed. Stifling the knowledge or use of knowledge leads to the three terminal impacts of a DA that you want an affirmative case to avoid. Resolved: a student’s educational opportunities should not be limited by being confined to only three argumentation strategies. Coaches should affirm that and avoid the previously mentioned 3 terminal impacts of the disadvantage limitations create.

 

 

Ballots:

These should be complete and offer constructive criticism to both sides of the debate. A reason for decision should always be clearly explained and based on the argumentation. Speaker points are deducted for anything that distracts from a professionally delivered speech other than speed. Low point wins are possible. Example; I have seen speakers that could debate well but they rocked and swayed the whole time due to nerves. I kept marking them down, but less each time as they gradually got more comfortable with the event. By the year’s end, posture was confident and poised. Judges should not feel limited by the size of the ballot. I can write fast or small, but not fast and small, I often turn in 1-2 sheets of notebook paper besides a full ballot. The RFD is clearly circled and labeled. The role of the ballot should be to determine the victors and the defeated while helping all 4 improve argumentation and delivery skills.

Scouting, Sharing Evidence, Telling others what you just hit:

I am personally against these. That is a cultural rule of mine. As such, it is not enforceable. Only printed league rules are enforceable. Use the printed rules to your maximum advantage. Be aware of the potential damage done to your reputation if you choose to violate cultural norms. Know the rules, know the customs, know the costs of breaking standards in each category and proceed with caution. If you commit the actions, be prepared to accept the consequences.

Results Disclosure:

Unless I am directed to by the host officials I will not disclose results of my ballot even if it is a paneled round and the others do. No, not even if the other 2 split. I will not disclose unless directed to by tournament officials prior to the round. The ballot will include my email address and you can usually catch me after awards for questions. I say usually because if I rode with someone else, I am at the mercy of how quickly they want to leave, thus the email. Ask what you want, get an answer and accept it without an argument. Clarification questions are fine. You deserve a full explanation that you understand. If you attempt to start a debate about the ballot, I am done. I will not be drawn into an argument about something I cannot go back and fix. Am I the perfect judge? NO! Am I the worst, I hope not. You always have the option of asking your coach to have me coded against you if you feel I lack the intellect or objectivity to give you a fair ballot.

 

 

 

 

 

Professional Etiquette Online:

Facebook, Twitter, CrossX.com, and other sites provide an easily accessed forum for the exchange of information. The entire forensic community from the youngest students to the oldest coach/judge/fan suffers damaged credibility when dialogue becomes personal attacks, uses profane or vulgar language, and makes a list of issues seeking a solution sound more like a list of vitriolic complaints that lack constructive suggestions, etc. If we are to reach a civilized ends, we must do so by a civilized means. If you are in a hurry and lack the time to edit and construct a professional looking post, come back later. If you are too angry to type without profanity, come back later. Acronyms and text speak are okay on Twitter, but other forums should be more formal when discussing business or educational matters so as to maintain an air of credibility and respectability.

If you have made it this far, I appreciate you reading this and welcome any tactful communication that has the goal of improving relations without the prerequisite of either party having to partially or fully agree with the other. Vote up, down, or not at all as you see fit. My down votes were based on the wording that was used.

Respectfully,

Zachary J. Zachary

West Texas CX Proud, Now and Forever

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I am not a fan of this. I know some people and schools like it and even require it at their tournaments. I will give credit as it is due. The information when registering online is honest and upfront about their expectations and the penalties for failure to comply after arrival. There is no hidden fine print. Coaches are welcome to register or not as they choose. Those who disagree with the host schools’ pedagogy on disclosure are politely encouraged to seek other tournaments to enter. Clash is the burden of the NEG. If there is a lack of clash, the AFF wins the agreement and the ballot. I fail to see disclosure as a prerequisite to clash or education. Debaters leave rounds and should research to find cards to refortify their position and/or serve as projectiles to attack their opposition’s case. How does disclosure prevent that educational process from happening? In my opinion, disclosure does not prevent follow up research or the education that occurs in the process. Education is an important factor in debate. To those that say education is the purpose of debate, I pose the following question. Would you still debate if there were no ballots, if there were no victories, if there were no defeats, if there were no awards, if there were no trophies, if there were no scholarships and only the exchange of structured speeches and the education that ensued? I seriously doubt it. If it was truly only about the education, you could accomplish that just by doing a lengthy research paper on the pros and cons of affirming the resolution. The purpose of debate is victory via the use of superior research skills and work ethic combined with public speaking skills, thus the ballots, awards, and trophies. Education gained in the process is an important benefit as is the entrance into a guild of debaters that started out as opponents, became rivals, and eventually ends up as friends well beyond debate interests and careers. Notice my wording regarding the victors and the defeated. There are no losers in debate. The only losers are the nonparticipants that lose out on all debate has to offer. My final thought on disclosure is this. I do not owe my opponents any more than personal respect and adherence to the printed rules of the league sanctioning the debate. I do not owe my opponent anything that makes their task easier or my task harder. The same standard applies to my opponent. I am owed nothing beyond personal respect and adherence to the printed rules.

 

I think we should camp on this point for now.

 

This is a serious double turn in your pedagogy. On one hand you are saying the skills learned from research and prep are the BEST thing about debate. and on the other you are literally saying that you shouldn't have to make that preparation possible. You aren't making anyone's job easier you are making it POSSIBLE. Seriously look at the resolution, and look at the way policy debate happens. Topics are are to BROAD and affirmatives to SPECIFIC to make what you think debate should look like without disclosure even remotely possible. If i research a generic argument about LA EE being bad, the only the affirmative has to do to win the debate, in front of everyone but a hypo-tester, is say they aren't that bad form of engagement. I know, there is no strategy that I could read in WT that would win me every negative debate if I didnt know the affirmative. Could I prep a strat after I found out? Maybe, but that was based on previous research SPECIFIC to that affirmative.

 

You owe EVERYTHING to your opponent. They are the ones who make your research possible! Why would they ever want to debate, if you made the playing field slanted. Your argument about research AFTER tournaments doesn't make much sense without a stable mechanism to make previous arguments disclosed, which you said you disagreed with, so all of what I'm about to say still links. The only way you can access your arguments about speaking skills is if you have information to talk about to refine those skills. Again, disclosure is a pre-requisite. 

 

If you are so focused on winning that you are willing to manipulate every instance of the debate to make it fundamentally harder for the negative to simple know what they must refute, (not just answer, turn, etc) you are making the activity simple undesirable. Encouraging skills like line by line refutation, high speed analytic reasoning, complex dialogue about IR to Philosophy. What is the point of speaking pretty if I'm not saying anything important. There is no reason why we shouldn't be encouraging the practices that come with more and more clash. 1. there is no negative side effect other than "It makes it easier for them and harder for me" (which ill get to) 2. That skills are extremely valuable in the real world

 

Your notions of fairness as something that is zero sum is overly simplistic and offensive to academia. Debate isn't trickery. DEBATE isn't TRICKERY. WT looks alot like highschool drama in regards to pre-round prep. People spreading rumors, whispering to friends, etc. People are going to find out the arguments teams are making anyways, but discouraging openness and subsequently more original research and prep from that openness results in teams mis constructing arguments to their "gossip squads" which results is decreased pedagogy and breads ineffective communicators that have manipulated understandings of arguments.

 

If everyone knows what your affirmative is they will all people able to prep independently, and that results in way more original research compared to the random cards you friends flashed you before the round that "totally answer this aff"

 

Just because they know your aff doesnt mean its harder for you. I'm sorry but this frankly isn't debate. If them simply knows your arguments makes it harder for you to debate you rely on trickery and glitter. This is literally denying pedagogy if you are hiding your arguments. What about the value of negative prep and negation skills? There is no reason why making debate harder for you is a reason to forsake the negative simple ability to negate you. The topic is TOO BIG for a one size fits all strategy! You should buckle down and prep MORE! You would increase those research and prep skills which you say is so valuable. 

 

Also your argument about how its the "burden of the negative to clash" is especially damning in this context. You can't clash if your entire negative strategy was continent on what they say, and what they say is being with held. Its the burden of the affirmative to be negatable, which is obviously a prereq to whatever the negative has to say.

 

"Would you still debate if there were no ballots, if there were no victories, if there were no defeats, if there were no awards, if there were no trophies, if there were no scholarships and only the exchange of structured speeches and the education that ensued?"

 

This is a false dichotomy and a logical fallacy. Also gut check, yes. Scholars do this every single day. 

 

"The only losers are the nonparticipants that lose out on all debate has to offer. "

 

This begs the question of what constitutes nonparticipation. A team that has literally nothing to say to their opponent is pretty close to not even participating. Arguments about thinking on the spot are still a non starter considering the depth of this topic.

 

The idea that we should expect high school students to have an in-depth debate about, aid funding to stop gang violence in Mexico, for example, that involves clash and dialogue about the intricacies of those actions is as ludicrous as it is obvious how bad this paradigm is. I know 30 minutes before the round isn't going to fix this, but a continual framework for disclosure can and would help.

 

I would get to the rest of your post, but I simply don't have time. Although I do see it riddled with arguments to authority ("Older judges are intelligent and knowledgeable") arguments to tradition, and mostly don't provide a clear link as to what we are saying as mutually exclusive. 

Edited by jacobstime
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The red text is WTJAZZ. The black text is what I am addressing.

I think we should camp on this point for now.

This is a serious double turn in your pedagogy. On one hand you are saying the skills learned from research and prep are the BEST thing about debate. WRONG! Read my post and you will note that the only times I used the word best was “Adapt as best you can and hope for the best.†I did say that education gained is an important aspect of  the debate process.

 and on the other you are literally saying that you shouldn't have to make that preparation possible. You aren't making anyone's job easier you are making it POSSIBLE. I do nothing to sabotage the efforts of anyone to anticipate my potential strategies or research the blocks of those strategies. I do not have to make anyone’s research burden easier or possible thru pre-round disclosure. People in this area do not practice pre-round disclosure and yet research on the topic still occurs thus proving it is possible. Seriously look at the resolution, and look at the way policy debate happens. Topics are are to BROAD and affirmatives to SPECIFIC to make what you think debate should look like without disclosure even remotely possible. I agree that topics are broad and that AFFs are specific. Debate without disclosure has been and remains possible in our area thus it is possible even if not practiced in your area or by you. If i research a generic argument about LA EE being bad, the only the affirmative has to do to win the debate, in front of everyone but a hypo-tester, is say they aren't that bad form of engagement. I know, there is no strategy that I could read in WT that would win me every negative debate if I didnt know the affirmative. Could I prep a strat after I found out? Maybe, but that was based on previous research SPECIFIC to that affirmative. I am sure you would win some rounds in this area. You are intelligent and well informed regarding both strategies and research information. I have no doubt that your intelligence extends into areas beyond debate.

You owe EVERYTHING to your opponent. Everything?  They are the ones who make your research possible! I make my research possible. I set time aside. I use it. I provide the tools like this computer, paper, printer, etc. Things like the internet, libraries, etc. make my research available to be found and gathered. How does my opponent make my research possible? I already know the topic. Kritiks are infinite. Knowing that I was about to hit a specific K would guide my research direction. Maybe that it what you meant by possible. A well written K based on lots of research is not likely to be effectively blocked by a team that has had less time to prepare for it than the K team had to write it so possible is really only a starting point at best and not an answer to your idea that I cannot conduct research without my opponent making it possible. The research may not be enough to win me the round, but it is mine and if I win my partner and I do not have to share credit with our defeated opponents. If we lose, we have only ourselves to blame. I like that concept. Why would they ever want to debate, Because debate is fun to win and a challenge to overcome when defeated is how I see it. Others can answer this for themselves.if you made the playing field slanted. I do not see the field as slanted if I do not disclose and my opponent also does not disclose. We each will have locked AFF/NEG rounds and in flip rounds the odds are always 50/50 to win the flip. How is that slanted to or against either side? Your argument about research AFTER tournaments doesn't make much sense without a stable mechanism to make previous arguments disclosed, The previous arguments from a round you just had should be on your flow notes which serve as a stable mechanism to guide post round research. which you said you disagreed with, so all of what I'm about to say still links. The only way you can access your arguments about speaking skills is if you have information to talk about to refine those skills. Again, disclosure is a pre-requisite. Do you research after a round and before you know what case you will hit next? I do. If you do, my post round research arguments hold and I stand by them. I stand by them as my beliefs whether you conduct such research or not.

If you are so focused on winning that you are willing to manipulate every instance of the debate to make it fundamentally harder for the negative to simple know what they must refute, (not just answer, turn, etc) you are making the activity simple undesirable. Then quit if you feel the activity is undesirable. That would really disappoint me given how intelligent I know you to be and the way you have helped decide on which camps may be the best for our needs and budget constraints. I think you want the NEG to be as easy as AFF is. It is not. The AFF knows what they are going to say and the NEG has to guess what the AFF will say. Hate the game if you want, but do not hate the way others choose to play within the rules. Encouraging skills like line by line refutation, high speed analytic reasoning, complex dialogue about IR I do not know what IR refers to. Enlighten me. to Philosophy. What is the point of speaking pretty if I'm not saying anything important. Do both. Spread all the while if possible. There is no reason why we shouldn't be encouraging the practices that come with more and more clash. I am all for clash. Otherwise it is an agreement and not a debate. I had a college parli debater ask me if I liked clash when she asked for judging paradigms. I told her that without clash, the side that spoke second would lose because a lack of clash would be an agreement and not a debate. There was clash.1. there is no negative side effect other than "It makes it easier for them and harder for me"  This applies equally to both my opponent and myself regardless of which of us has AFF or NEG. I do not want to disclose or be disclosed to. (which ill get to) 2. That skills are extremely valuable in the real world

 

Your notions of fairness as something that is zero sum is overly simplistic and offensive to academia. Both of us will get up and down votes on this thread and our thoughts from academic scholars in and beyond our home areas. Debate isn't trickery. DEBATE isn't TRICKERY. I do not see disclosure as trickery of any kind. I simply see it as a cultural norm that is not the norm for me or most of this region. I see it as something that takes ownership of what I accomplish or fail to accomplish away from me and a partner. WT looks alot like highschool drama in regards to pre-round prep. People spreading rumors, whispering to friends, etc. People are going to find out the arguments teams are making anyways, True. The only inherent barrier to disclosure is that it is not required by any leagues I know of. It is required by some tournaments, and occurs in some debate cultures by choice of the various debaters. You have made that choice for you. That is your right and I respect that. We have the right by current rules to not disclose unless the tournament host mandates such disclosure in the invitation. Accept that until you and those like you are in such numbers and league officer positions to change the current rules. That may happen someday, but until then I and others choose not to disclose.  but discouraging openness and subsequently more original research and prep from that openness results in teams mis constructing arguments to their "gossip squads" which results is decreased pedagogy and breads ineffective communicators that have manipulated understandings of arguments. Some people lie. Be cautious about believing them regarding a red herring disclosure. Maybe they will run a specific K and maybe they only spread that rumor hoping someone would fail to prepare for their actual intentions. I am not condoning such dishonesty, but that makes the potential for such no less of a reality.

If everyone knows what your affirmative is they will all people able to prep independently, and that results in way more original research compared to the random cards you friends flashed you before the round that "totally answer this aff" How is your research independent beyond your coaches’ and partner’s help if you are getting cards flashed over from friends. That is only independent in that you chose those friends. Get caught receiving flashed over info on your phone during a college exam and watch how fast you fail the exam, the class, face suspension, and maybe even expulsion with a hold on your transcripts because you were not independently taking the exam. I know debate is not an exam. My point is that I do not consider trading cards at a tournament between rounds to be independent research. Call it whatever you want and do that if you want. Whether there are rules against it or not, I see it as immoral. Others may agree or not.

Just because they know your aff doesnt mean its harder for you. It makes it harder for me to surprise them with something they are not 100% expecting and prepared for.  I'm sorry but this frankly isn't debate. It is debate, it is just not your preferred type of debate. If them simply knows your arguments makes it harder for you to debate you rely on trickery and glitter. This is literally denying pedagogy if you are hiding your arguments. What about the value of negative prep and negation skills? There is no reason why making debate harder for you is a reason to forsake the negative simple ability to negate you. The topic is TOO BIG for a one size fits all strategy! You should buckle down and prep MORE!  I could say that you should buckle down and prep your NEG research files out more. You would increase those research and prep skills which you say is so valuable. You would increase your research and prep skills by working harder in your NEG files. Did you miss the part where I am aware that I will also have to debate AFF & NEG just like others do? My disclosure views make AFF easier and NEG harder on me too, not just my opponents.

Also your argument about how its the "burden of the negative to clash" is especially damning in this context. You can't clash if your entire negative strategy was continent on what they say, and what they say is being with held. Its the burden of the affirmative to be negatable, which is obviously a prereq to whatever the negative has to say. The second side to speak in a debate must disagree with the first side that spoke or you have a 2 team platform speech that is an agreement and not a debate. I also addressed this in comments above. I can always disagree with the undisclosed argument even if I fail to win the ballot.

"Would you still debate if there were no ballots, if there were no victories, if there were no defeats, if there were no awards, if there were no trophies, if there were no scholarships and only the exchange of structured speeches and the education that ensued?"

This is a false dichotomy and a logical fallacy. I have had plenty of late night dorm room debates over politics, religion, etc. while playing cards or chess that were no more than friends taking a break from the college grind. There were no ballots, no awards, no trophies, no awards, and no scholarships. We debated just because we were different and we wanted to talk about those differences. Also gut check, yes. Scholars do this every single day. Brain check. We were and are scholars. I have my TTU BS 89 diploma and many college hours after that. I have written many research papers in a variety of fields that were not just for ENGL 1301 & 1302. Most were A papers, some Bs, and the occasional C. The point of the section of my post that you reference here had to do with the idea that if you think debate is or should be all about education, that you could get just as much education on the topic by researching it just for the sake of knowledge and nothing to do with debate. I went on to say that the purpose of debate was not education but persuading a judge to vote my way on a ballot. Education gained along the way is an important advantage, just not my primary goal. If it was, I would just spend time online and in libraries instead of going to tournaments. As explained in my post, disclosure does not prevent education between rounds or between tournaments.

"The only losers are the nonparticipants that lose out on all debate has to offer. "

This begs the question of what constitutes nonparticipation. A team that has literally nothing to say to their opponent is pretty close to not even participating. Arguments about thinking on the spot are still a non starter considering the depth of this topic. I meant the losers are the nonparticipants that are not in speech and debate lose out on the debate life and all it offers people like us. Other extracurricular activities are valued by those that participate in them for what they get out of sports, FFA, FCCLA, band, choir, industrial arts, art, orchestra, dance, theatre, cheerleading, yearbook, journalism, etc. I lose out regarding those I do not participate in.

The idea that we should expect high school students to have an in-depth debate about, aid funding to stop gang violence in Mexico, for example, that involves clash and dialogue about the intricacies of those actions is as ludicrous as it is obvious how bad this paradigm is.  I know 30 minutes before the round isn't going to fix this, but a continual framework for disclosure can and would help.  I guess this depends on what the subjective definitional burden we hold for in-depth is. I agree with your last sentence and think you may live to see a day when that framework is a rule and not a question of preferred cultural norms. Until that time we should simply accept and respect each other’s differences of opinion. I am not trying to change your mind. I am simply trying to explain my mind and my reluctance to convert to your ideals.

I would get to the rest of your post, but I simply don't have time. Although I do see it riddled with arguments to authority ("Older judges are intelligent and knowledgeable") arguments to tradition, and mostly don't provide a clear link as to what we are saying as mutually exclusive.

Whenever you have time is fine with me. Keep your grades first, your TFA/NFL/UIL/TOC debates second (WIN THAT TOC BID!!!), and this discussion somewhere after that.

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Reply to Jacobstime

Re: Arguments to authority

("Older judges are intelligent and knowledgeable") a partial quote you take out of context.

Full quote in context: Older judges are intelligent and knowledgeable, but may have less contemporary, but no less valid paradigms as they have less preference for contemporary progressive debate styles being taught in universities and by recent graduates that go into coaching.

At least quote me in by post the full sentence I used. Interested parties should read the whole Word document that was written Dec 6 and posted later by scrolling above.

It was not my intention for that to be taken as an argument to authority. If you want to take it that way, do so. You already have. I do feel that tournament directors have the authority to set tournament guidelines and that those guidelines should be complied with regardless of whether guests agree with them or not, Guests were free to not attend. If there is not a suitable alternative within their calendar and travel constraints, that is the problem of the guests and not the host. If arguments to authority are so bad, how come your partner was so quick to point out that NFL rules had nothing in print about file sharing at a tournament? That was an argument to the authority of the NFL rules over the custom of the district and/or hosts. Cross apply your criticisms to him or you just look like a two faced hypocrite, which I find laughable.

Re: Arguments to tradition

While customs are a matter of tradition and I am comfortable with the West Texas customs on disclosure, I gave reasons why that had nothing to do with tradition for the sake of tradition. I did not ask anyone anywhere to change their paradigms, customs, or traditions. I simply stated my thoughts and the reasoning behind them. Again I refer interested parties to read the full Dec 6 dated document above and judge for themselves. Change should not be advocated simply for the sake of change. People are free to change or not as they see fit and should do so based on their thoughts without regard to tradition or change. If the posts in this thread result in more people agreeing with you, I am okay with you accomplishing your goal of popularizing your beliefs.

Re: No clear link as to what we are saying as mutually exclusive.

If you will remember or go back and reread, I agree with you on speed and the idea that any strategy goes and should be flowed by judges. I do not care if you or anyone else in the debate universe agrees with me or not. I am secure in my beliefs and will only change them when I see a logical reason to do so. You see your paradigms, customs, and ideals as logical. That is fine. For you, there are. To me, some of them are not. That does not make one of right and the other wrong in my opinion. It only makes us different. I can accept those differences and respect you in spite of them.

My mission on this forum thread is to foster an attitude of mutual acceptance and respect. That existed on this end from me before this thread was started. There have been some bumps in this thread as some posts seem like personal attacks on my friends due to the way they are worded. The dialogue has since improved. You and others have made me and others aware of your beliefs and the reasoning behind them. I have done the same with the Dec. 6 document. Some readers may change their beliefs one way or the other as they read this thread. If only one person reads all of this thread from beginning to end and decides their paradigms, customs, and ideals for themselves while arriving at a point of mutual acceptance and respect, then I have fulfilled my mission and it has been well worth my time. I accept and respect you without asking you to change your beliefs. Extend that same courtesy to me and the rest of West Texas and the world that may not agree with you 100%.

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That stuff is happening at almost every tournament. We already had a conversation about why disclosure is extremely important for education on Facebook. 

 

Also that's just unnecessary. UT didn't accelerate its schedule because of the weather and i'm sure the debaters understand how long tournaments can go on for, and would probably take a 15 minute discussion about the round (which that time gap is inevitable because of tabulation) to learn what they did right/wrong, and improve.

 

"you like how this area does things, okay. If not, you can visit elsewhere as you see fit."  Also this is a terrible logic. Its the logic of sectionalism and has proven to breed disparities in the quality of debate. Why thats bad is answered above. 

Are other areas and tournaments sectionalistic because they ask people to seek other competiton opputunities if the pre-round disclosure policy of the hosts is unaccepatable to the guests? Unless I am mistaken you have attended such tournaments. As least they are adopting an attitude of mutual acceptance and respect. You should try that instead of the West Texas is bad, but others are not when it is the same thing and should just be viewed as different without labels of good/bad or right/wrong. Tournament directors should host as they see fit within the rules of the governing league. Potential guests can adapt or go somewhere else they are more comfortable adapting to. Hypocrisy gets a downvote everytime from me.

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I propose the creation of a thread on this sub-forum, that will be pinned, that contains a list of college debaters/former debaters/debaters open to more than just traditional debate and their contact info open to judging tournaments in the region. All tournament hosts will be contacted, and asked to post with updates, if we can advertise for them via proxy. Directors hosting tournaments can post in the thread, calling for judges, availability, payment, contact and tournament info. 

 

Not every person regularly checks joy of tournaments and it seems that often times tournament hosts fail to reach out to college and former debaters, in an effective manner. How about instead of contacting your facebook friends, you exclusively contact your debate friends. Cross-X acts as an automatic filter.

 

Those posting about availability can follow the thread, and get email (and mobile?) updates AUTOMATICALLY any time someone posts in the thread. 

 

While I don't think this will drastically increase the quality of judges, it organizes and mobilizes those who already exist in it.

No inherent barrier

Judging Philosophy Pages

Planet Debate

http://www.planetdebate.com/philosophies

Wikispaces

http://judgephilosophies.wikispaces.com/

CrossX.com

http://www.cross-x.com/topic/33917-judge-paradigms/

There are 2 Facebook groups for judges that this area uses. One is regional and the statewide. There may also be other sites similar to those above that I am not aware of.

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i don't understand why at the tournament today there were posters everywhere saying "no disclosure! no oral critiques!" it makes no sense

It was within TFA rules and the rights of the host to post and enforce such policies regardless of who agrees or disagrees and why they choose to do so.

Edited by WTJAZZ

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On evidence sharing:

When a student, team, or coach shares evidence with debaters from other schools without sharing it with everyone at a tournament or posting the evidence to a publicly accessible website, competition is skewed by those actions. It excludes some and they are faced with competing against more than a single opponent.  It does not matter if the reasons some are included and others are not is based on ganging up on a team seen as strong competition that one hopes is knocked out early or if it is just friends helping friends with no competition agenda in mind beyond making it easier and more likely for those friends to advance. The practice of team and school based selective file sharing beyond your own school is morally wrong whether rules prohibit it or not. Sharing with everyone meets the definitions of incresing clash and education that the proponents of evidence sharing cite as their reasons for favoring such policies. Selctive sharing only helps those that get the files and not debate as a whole.

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