Jump to content
OceanDebater

How to argue against Exploration Affs

Recommended Posts

These are so annoying to go neg against, especially with lay judges.  What are good strategies?  I'm talking NOAA exploration, OSEA, mapping, etc.  Lay, so no Ks, and I can't run politics.

 

Also willing to trade for good files.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exploration affs are typically abusively vague.  They don't specify what data they want to collect or how - exactly - that data is key to whatever problem they're trying to solve, or what they do with that data that leads to solvency. 

 

Basically, research affs in policy debate tend to be equivalent to the Underpants Gnomes business plan (from South Park), which is:

 

Phase 1: Steal Underpants  (Collect data)

Phase 2: ???

Phase 3: Profit (Solvency)

 

Phase 2 is the important part.  That's what the round should be about.  Does the data they collect actually permit for a step 2 which gets to solvency?  Are their methods of collecting data going to get them the data they need?  That's the ground for debate against an exploration aff, and *they don't say anything about it*.

 

When scientists write grant proposals, they don't say 'it would be nice if we had more data'.  They specify what data they want to collect, how that data will be collected, and why that particular data is important.  An exploration aff should be treated like a grant proposal - if they don't answer those three questions, they should lose on presumption.

 

My file dump (in evidence trading) includes a Scientific Method Krit Spec.  Just file off the 'krit' part, it should be perfectly understandable to a lay judge.  It makes this argument.

 

Something else valuable to do is to get a list of programs or relevant equipment or teams which are currently collecting related data.  For example, against a climate satellite aff you should get a list of all the climate and monitoring satellites there currently are.  Ask them what plan does which isn't currently done by the list.  Ask them to be specific.  (Even better if you can have an annotated version of that list that you can reference which says what all of them do).  Many of these plans have serious inherency problems, because we are collecting a *lot* of data in the status quo.  (Run inherency as a theory argument with standards and voters if 'stock issue' isn't sufficient).

Edited by Squirrelloid
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just out of curiosity's sake, why can't you run politics? 

 

 

-NASA Tradeoff

-Info Sharing DA

-Biopower

 

 

 

EDIT: Ignore Biopower, my mind glossed over the "no ks" part. But, I'm sure if you thoroughly explained it to a lay judge they would understand.

Edited by Emmaslaysdragons

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Ok : The Data Spec K that Squrilloid posted up , i honestly would re-tag to not be a Kritik , but a solvency turn .

Then on T I guess and/or ( i know it sucks but a T violation is always a good idea)

 DA- Why not Politics- you'll get better impacts than them on this level . 

 Case - Impact turns  honestly exploration aff's only have Biodiviersity and Global Warming ..................(correct me if wrong )

 and answers to no war if they have a no war claim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they only fiat data collection they can not really claim any impacts because they can't solve. Who cares if it's a prerequisite to effectuate change -the plan doesn't fiat the implementation of that data so for all they fiat they could literally just collect data and do nothing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exploration affs are typically abusively vague.  They don't specify what data they want to collect or how - exactly - that data is key to whatever problem they're trying to solve, or what they do with that data that leads to solvency. 

 

Basically, research affs in policy debate tend to be equivalent to the Underpants Gnomes business plan (from South Park), which is:

 

Phase 1: Steal Underpants  (Collect data)

Phase 2: ???

Phase 3: Profit (Solvency)

 

Phase 2 is the important part.  That's what the round should be about.  Does the data they collect actually permit for a step 2 which gets to solvency?  Are their methods of collecting data going to get them the data they need?  That's the ground for debate against an exploration aff, and *they don't say anything about it*.

 

When scientists write grant proposals, they don't say 'it would be nice if we had more data'.  They specify what data they want to collect, how that data will be collected, and why that particular data is important.  An exploration aff should be treated like a grant proposal - if they don't answer those three questions, they should lose on presumption.

 

My file dump (in evidence trading) includes a Scientific Method Krit Spec.  Just file off the 'krit' part, it should be perfectly understandable to a lay judge.  It makes this argument.

 

Something else valuable to do is to get a list of programs or relevant equipment or teams which are currently collecting related data.  For example, against a climate satellite aff you should get a list of all the climate and monitoring satellites there currently are.  Ask them what plan does which isn't currently done by the list.  Ask them to be specific.  (Even better if you can have an annotated version of that list that you can reference which says what all of them do).  Many of these plans have serious inherency problems, because we are collecting a *lot* of data in the status quo.  (Run inherency as a theory argument with standards and voters if 'stock issue' isn't sufficient).

So I looked through the scientific method file and it looks good.  Only thing is, the exploration aff stock answer to that would be that exploration precedes hypothesis making and research in the SQ, as it's going to parts of the ocean never "explored" before- discovery and observation oriented rather than seeking to prove/disprove a hypothesis.  I do like the zero solvency point though-that will stick with the judges.

Edited by DebateSquash

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I looked through the scientific method file and it looks good.  Only thing is, the exploration aff stock answer to that would be that exploration precedes hypothesis making and research in the SQ, as it's going to parts of the ocean never "explored" before- discovery and observation oriented rather than seeking to prove/disprove a hypothesis.  I do like the zero solvency point though-that will stick with the judges.

 

I don't have a source for you, but as someone who has been a research scientist I can tell you that *science doesn't work that way*.  Don't get me wrong, scientists often collect other data as long as they're collecting some data, because they're already there and it's not that hard, but what motivates people to fund research is specific methodologies to get specific data to answer specific questions.  If you can't say what data, how you collect it, and why that's important, there isn't a single federal funding agency that will give you money.  (The why is usually phrased in terms of the importance to scientific knowledge and how relevant and interesting the question to be answered is, not policy impacts).

 

So let's take deep sea ecology as an example, since I'm a published author in the field.  Even if it's a totally unexplored area of the ocean, the parts we have explored give us a basis to start asking questions.  There's quantitative community data for the deep sea in the Western North Atlantic, and at least qualitative data for the Antarctic, and the eastern North Pacific (and probably parts of the western Pacific too) - and that's just the ones I remember offhand.  So sure, we don't really have good data for the South Atlantic (there's a little, but not much), for example, but we can use those other surveys to make predictions, suggest sampling techniques, and motivate the importance of the data you're after.  What they want to know is critical for method of sampling, the how.  If they want macrobenthos community data, then they need to use a trawl or a boxcorer - and which of those they use depends on the trade off between qualitative (and more area sampled) or quantitative sampling.  But if they want to know about the *microbenthos*, they need to use a multicorer, which won't sample the macrobenthos effectively at all.  (On the flip side, the other methods fail to sample the microbenthos).  Deep sea ecology is a great example here, because that hasn't gotten out of the exploration phase yet, and the scientific community still expects hypotheses and good methodology - especially important because ship time is expensive, and you can't just go back and 'do it over' a month later if you screwed it up.  

 

Basically, an exploration aff should be about a scientific debate on the methodology and merits of its research program, and in order to have that debate, they need to explain the project methods and goals.  Are the goals valuable?  Do the methods achieve them?  That's what the round should be about.  I can't even imagine what else the on-case debate would be about if not that.  Not presenting these things means they haven't presented a complete case, and the negative should win on presumption.  

 

Basically, exploration does not preclude hypotheses, the lack of knowledge merely leads to more broad hypotheses.   It's not like exploration-type programs apply for different grants - the deep sea ecology researchers are competing with all the other ecology researchers for NSF funding in the status quo - and being judged by scientists who aren't necessarily specialists in their environment.  And methodology precedes exploration.  Always.  Bad methodology means your exploration will fail, so you better figure that out first.

Edited by Squirrelloid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Ok : The Data Spec K that Squrilloid posted up , i honestly would re-tag to not be a Kritik , but a solvency turn .

Then on T I guess and/or ( i know it sucks but a T violation is always a good idea)

 DA- Why not Politics- you'll get better impacts than them on this level . 

 Case - Impact turns  honestly exploration aff's only have Biodiviersity and Global Warming ..................(correct me if wrong )

 and answers to no war if they have a no war claim

That is quite possibly the worst T violation I've ever heard of.  I mean, not only is it pretty unambiguous, but there's literally no way you could possibly garner a violation.

 

I don't have a source for you, but as someone who has been a research scientist I can tell you that *science doesn't work that way*.  Don't get me wrong, scientists often collect other data as long as they're collecting some data, because they're already there and it's not that hard, but what motivates people to fund research is specific methodologies to get specific data to answer specific questions.  If you can't say what data, how you collect it, and why that's important, there isn't a single federal funding agency that will give you money.  (The why is usually phrased in terms of the importance to scientific knowledge and how relevant and interesting the question to be answered is, not policy impacts).

 

So let's take deep sea ecology as an example, since I'm a published author in the field.  Even if it's a totally unexplored area of the ocean, the parts we have explored give us a basis to start asking questions.  There's quantitative community data for the deep sea in the Western North Atlantic, and at least qualitative data for the Antarctic, and the eastern North Pacific (and probably parts of the western Pacific too) - and that's just the ones I remember offhand.  So sure, we don't really have good data for the South Atlantic (there's a little, but not much), for example, but we can use those other surveys to make predictions, suggest sampling techniques, and motivate the importance of the data you're after.  What they want to know is critical for method of sampling, the how.  If they want macrobenthos community data, then they need to use a trawl or a boxcorer - and which of those they use depends on the trade off between qualitative (and more area sampled) or quantitative sampling.  But if they want to know about the *microbenthos*, they need to use a multicorer, which won't sample the macrobenthos effectively at all.  (On the flip side, the other methods fail to sample the microbenthos).  Deep sea ecology is a great example here, because that hasn't gotten out of the exploration phase yet, and the scientific community still expects hypotheses and good methodology - especially important because ship time is expensive, and you can't just go back and 'do it over' a month later if you screwed it up.  

 

Basically, an exploration aff should be about a scientific debate on the methodology and merits of its research program, and in order to have that debate, they need to explain the project methods and goals.  Are the goals valuable?  Do the methods achieve them?  That's what the round should be about.  I can't even imagine what else the on-case debate would be about if not that.  Not presenting these things means they haven't presented a complete case, and the negative should win on presumption.  

 

Basically, exploration does not preclude hypotheses, the lack of knowledge merely leads to more broad hypotheses.   It's not like exploration-type programs apply for different grants - the deep sea ecology researchers are competing with all the other ecology researchers for NSF funding in the status quo - and being judged by scientists who aren't necessarily specialists in their environment.  And methodology precedes exploration.  Always.  Bad methodology means your exploration will fail, so you better figure that out first.

I think another argument that would probably work well with this (really less of an argument than a statement of fact) is that anything more vague than this has pretty much zero chance of solving for anything, even if they could get the funding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a source for you, but as someone who has been a research scientist I can tell you that *science doesn't work that way*.  Don't get me wrong, scientists often collect other data as long as they're collecting some data, because they're already there and it's not that hard, but what motivates people to fund research is specific methodologies to get specific data to answer specific questions.  If you can't say what data, how you collect it, and why that's important, there isn't a single federal funding agency that will give you money.  (The why is usually phrased in terms of the importance to scientific knowledge and how relevant and interesting the question to be answered is, not policy impacts).

 

So let's take deep sea ecology as an example, since I'm a published author in the field.  Even if it's a totally unexplored area of the ocean, the parts we have explored give us a basis to start asking questions.  There's quantitative community data for the deep sea in the Western North Atlantic, and at least qualitative data for the Antarctic, and the eastern North Pacific (and probably parts of the western Pacific too) - and that's just the ones I remember offhand.  So sure, we don't really have good data for the South Atlantic (there's a little, but not much), for example, but we can use those other surveys to make predictions, suggest sampling techniques, and motivate the importance of the data you're after.  What they want to know is critical for method of sampling, the how.  If they want macrobenthos community data, then they need to use a trawl or a boxcorer - and which of those they use depends on the trade off between qualitative (and more area sampled) or quantitative sampling.  But if they want to know about the *microbenthos*, they need to use a multicorer, which won't sample the macrobenthos effectively at all.  (On the flip side, the other methods fail to sample the microbenthos).  Deep sea ecology is a great example here, because that hasn't gotten out of the exploration phase yet, and the scientific community still expects hypotheses and good methodology - especially important because ship time is expensive, and you can't just go back and 'do it over' a month later if you screwed it up.  

 

Basically, an exploration aff should be about a scientific debate on the methodology and merits of its research program, and in order to have that debate, they need to explain the project methods and goals.  Are the goals valuable?  Do the methods achieve them?  That's what the round should be about.  I can't even imagine what else the on-case debate would be about if not that.  Not presenting these things means they haven't presented a complete case, and the negative should win on presumption.  

 

Basically, exploration does not preclude hypotheses, the lack of knowledge merely leads to more broad hypotheses.   It's not like exploration-type programs apply for different grants - the deep sea ecology researchers are competing with all the other ecology researchers for NSF funding in the status quo - and being judged by scientists who aren't necessarily specialists in their environment.  And methodology precedes exploration.  Always.  Bad methodology means your exploration will fail, so you better figure that out first.

Your argument does make a lot of sense and I think I know how to argue it more effectively.  However, how would you interpret this card differentiating research and exploration?

 

McNutt 6 ~ Marcia McNutt is the Chair of the Geoengineering Climate committee of the National Academy of Sciences, editor-in-chief of the journal Science, and former director of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and science adviser to the United States Secretary of the Interior. “THE NATIONAL OCEAN EXPLORATION PROGRAM ACT OF 2005 AND THE UNDERSEA RESEARCH PROGRAM ACT OF 2005”, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-109hhrg28758/html/CHRG-109hhrg28758.htm

Ocean exploration is distinguished from research by the fact that exploration leads to questions, while research leads to answers. When one undertakes exploration, it is without any preconceived notion of what one might find or who might benefit from the discoveries. Research, on the other hand, is undertaken to test a certain hypothesis, with the clear understanding of the benefits of either supporting or refuting the hypothesis under consideration. Often novel discoveries are made accidentally in the process of performing hypothesis-driven research, but with a purposeful exploration program, those discoveries are more likely to be appreciated for what they are, properly documented, and followed-up. Here is a concrete example. One of the greatest surprises in oceanography in the 20th century was the discovery of the hot-vent communities, deep-sea oases that thrive in sea water geothermally heated to several hundred degrees centigrade. These animals form an entire ecosystem completely independent of the sun's energy, and their existence opens up huge new possibilities for how life might be sustained elsewhere in the universe. This discovery led to a host of new research questions. What is the energy source for this new style of community? How do proteins fold at such high temperatures? By what reproductive strategy do deep-sea vent organisms manage to find and colonize new, isolated vent systems as the old ones die? These are important questions, but ones that we would not know enough to even ask had the discovery not happened. And it almost didn't. The shipboard party involved was entirely geologists and geophysicists. There wasn't a single biologist on board to appreciate the significance of what was to become the most important discovery in marine biology. Ever. Lacking basic biological supplies, the geophysicists had to sacrifice all of their vodka to preserve the novel specimens they collected. Such discoveries don't need to be rare, accidental, or potentially unappreciated with a strong, vigorous, and systematic ocean exploration program. I created a graphic (Figure 1) to show how NOAA's OE program might ideally relate to the broader ocean research agenda and to the NURP program. The upper box is meant to represent NOAA's Ocean Exploration program. New discoveries are made by exploring new places, and/or by deploying new tools which ``see'' the ocean in new dimensions. With roughly 95 percent of the ocean still unexplored, and new tools that image the physics, chemistry, biology, and geology of the ocean at all scales being developed constantly, the opportunities for discovery are virtually limitless.

 

Also, this is what a lot of times the aff would bring up against me:  From http://deepseanews.com/2012/10/we-need-an-ocean-nasa-now-pt-3/

In an agency with a chiefly applied mission, those programs that are purely exploratory must eventually invent an applied focus or face the axe. For example, even under NURP, exploration often focused on corals and fish of considerable economic and conservation importance rather than those species of greatest novelty or knowledge deficit. The current situation at NOAA also highlights how less applied scientific programs are likely to be lost.

Edited by DebateSquash

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

McNutt is drawing a kind of nonsensical distinction.  Exploration is asking a specific question: "what is there?"  How you answer that question depends strongly on what you think you're looking for, which requires a hypothesis.  He seems to be thinking there's a difference in kind between highly specific hypotheses and very general hypotheses, instead of just a difference in degree of specification.

 

This isn't an environment which you can go visit in a productive way.  Most of the organisms in the deep sea are so small that you will not see them from a submersible, even if you had all the submersible time you wanted.  The average macrobenthic organism is maybe the size of your pinkie nail, and the sea floor is typically ooze so it's not just sitting on top of the floor to be looked at even if it isn't one of the ones which burrow (and many do - clams and polychaetes are pretty dominant in the community).  The microbenthos is so small it lives interstitially (between particles of sediment).  To sample these communities you literally need to haul sediment up to the surface and run it through a suitably sized sieve to separate the organisms from the ooze.  The few organisms that are readily observed by submersible or camera (megabenthos) are rare and sparsely distributed, and don't represent much of the ecological diversity.  (And that's not even getting into marine bacterial diversity, which Venter demonstrated was rather different than terrestrial bacterial ecosystems, and requires different methods).

 

Basically, exploration still needs a how, which requires a what and a why.  And if there is a what, you can phrase it in the form of a hypothesis, even if that hypothesis is 'I think it will be rather similar to this other known area in terms of diversity / biomass / etc...'  Which won't preclude finding new species, or even being wrong and finding something very interesting, but it's still a null hypothesis to be tested.  It's not like you can say 'we're going to go explore x area of the ocean' without saying how you're going to do that, with specifics.  No exploration happens without a method.  (Focus on this more than hypothesis testing if that's what you think is more persuasive).

 

(He's also grossly overstating the importance of deep sea vent discovery for marine biology, and that focus on vents is actually a large part of the problem with the current deep sea research program, because it means little funding is given to research on background communities, and so the supposed novelty of vents is likely grossly overstated - not that there isn't some novelty, there obviously is, but its probably less than we currently think because we just know a lot less about what lives on the sea floor when you look off the vent).

 

As far as the McClain article, the problem is that NOAA is too much like NASA in a lot of ways.  It has direct federal oversight, which steers it towards application and means that politics plays a role in what it does.  What we really need is more dedicated funding for pure research which doesn't have as much federal oversight - ie, more like NSF funding, where the process of determining which programs get the money is severed from national politics.  (That NASA has better resisted the push towards application is probably due to several factors, one of which is that space exploration captures the public imagination more than ocean exploration.  A close second is that there are more practical ocean problems which the public 'demands' solutions to.  Effectively, NOAA suffers more pressure to focus on application and gets less popular support for basic research.)  So McClain is right, something which doesn't get pressured for application research and which is focused on marine sciences (which have different minimum funding requirements than most of what they compete against for NSF funding) would be nice, but you can't claim large policy impacts out of that.  The moment they're claiming a policy impact, they're disavowing their connection to what the McClain article is arguing for - pure research has benefits solely in terms of knowledge production, not policy solutions.

 

(I almost wrote a case like that this year, actually, but my debaters would never understand why it mattered to them.  Also, none of them are particularly good on arguing epistemology or framework, which would have been a hugely important part of case).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...