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The never ending march of progressive debate

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What is progressive debate?

As many of you know other forms of debate have slowly become what some people call more and more progressive. The term progressive in this context refers to the shift of debate types away from their original form and to forms more like (for lack of better method of description) policy. The atmosphere of what arguments and strategy's are popular is called the Meta, as arguments fall out of fashion they leave the meta, and as others grow more popular they join it. One great example is spreading. Now as policy debaters I'm sure we all enjoy the element spreading brings to our debate, but as other debates such as Public Forum or Lincoln Douglas have become more progressive the practice of spreading has become both present in the meta but also dominant. The same can be said of various argument structures (Counterplans, K's, Theory). 

 

Why should we care?

While these elements can and do bring a new dynamic to debate that can often make them more interesting and fun they can also have the opposite effect. One of the issues a dramatic meta shift can have for a debate tournament is leaving debaters and entire schools or even regions behind. While the newest cutting edge of kritical and theoretical arguments dominate the meta at the TOC smaller regions reside in a more traditional meta where spreading is looked down upon and judges refuse to vote on things like counterplans. If the progressive meta is good or bad for debate is beside the point, whats important is that (in my experience which is extremely limited compared to that of others) these smaller regions and sections of debate often neither contain and often discourage progressive debate and should those debaters from those regions ever make it to a tournament outside of their normal circuit they are sure to be destroyed by the onslaught of progressive arguments which they are not prepared for. I can't think anyone wants this, that is sections of the debate community doomed to failure at larger tournaments and rounds where one side cant even start to comprehend the arguments at hand. Worse still in these regions with a traditional meta we also see a resentment towards progressive debate (we all know that one traditional judge who doesn't like speed) which further discourages learning progressive debate and thus sets these debaters up for even more failure at larger tournaments. Having established a clear problem then there lie two lines of reasoning in order to solve it, stop progressive debate or ensure its teaching and understanding in areas with a traditional meta. I'm of the opinion that the first option is the best for a few reasons:

  1. Traditional debate types offer distinct experiences from policy which are erased with the meta of progressive debate. I have competed in every debate type (save for parli) this year and while I do love policy debate even I could not help but appreciate the attention to link chains and evidence qualifications in Public Forum debate or the thoughtful discussion of LD. Some might think that these elements wont be erased entirely by progressive debate and they might be right, but ultimately allowing progressive debate to continue on its transformation of other debate types ensures a constant transition away from these elements and towards what will essentially be policy debate with different times resolutions and team counts.
  2. Policy Debate is the most unfriendly debate to a large majority of those who are disabled or socially anxious. This may seem rather untrue considering the wide spread use of critical argumentation but the fact is that no debate is more hostile to those of speech impediments, blindness, social anxiety, having English as a second language, and those of lower income than Policy debate. I'm sure a lot of you out there would make the best of efforts in rounds with some of these people to ease the burden they have but this ignores that a vast majority of people who would be disadvantaged by the format of policy would most likely not even try to get into policy in the first place due to these very reasons. Debates like LD and PF which are far more friendly to people with speech impediments or have English as a second language because of their lack of spreading, those who are socially anxious or of lower income thank to things like thousand dollar debate camps.
  3. Progressive debate destroys spaces in which other types of debate could occur. Whether or not other forms of debate are better or worse a world in which all debates (save congressional debate, more on that in how do we stop it) trend towards progressive metas excludes people who wish to debate in traditional or non progressive forms. Are we as a community willing to allow the exclusion of people who simply wish to engage in critical thinking differently? I'm certainly not.
  4. Progressive debate will always leave people behind. Try as we might to teach progressive debate and make learning resources available there will always be those who simply are not taught progressive debate because their mentors or coaches have no knowledge because in their time progressive debate wasn't practiced.

 

Why does it happen?

Progressive debaters win, a lot. Even in policy where K's are common practice there are circuits (like mine) where reading critical arguments allows you to beat a large amount of the competitors simply because they don't understand the arguments at hand. Combine a high win rate with a competitive activity and you have the answer as to why we see progressive debate weeds its way into every debate type (save congress).

 

How do we stop it?

The only debate to avoid the onslaught of progressive debate (as far as I know, which again is extremely limited) is congressional debate. The reason being mainly that congressional debate functions fundamentally differently than other debates, it is highly structured and in reality far less of a debate and more so a highly structured series of IEs with rules and regulations governing them. While the idea of congress of its own certainly helps if there was no parliamentarian or set list of regulations that were heavily adhered to we would (At least I think) see the growth of progressive debate in congress as well. The lesson to learn here is that regulations and methods of removing the power to change the structure of debate itself from debaters halt the onslaught of progressive debate and that applying rules and restrictions which were followed and more over were enforced and brought up mid round such as in congressional debate can help preserve traditional debate.

 

 

So yeah, that's about it, if you think differently or have some points to make I would love to hear them. I personally think the meta of the debate community, not just policy, and how they all interact is fascinating and I'd love to discuss it further!

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what is a meta

 

edit:

 

How do we stop it?

The only debate to avoid the onslaught of progressive debate (as far as I know, which again is extremely limited) is congressional debate. 

Wait. Now I'm pretty sure this is a troll post.

Edited by Snarf
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what is a meta

 

The atmosphere of what arguments and strategy's are popular is called the Meta, as arguments fall out of fashion they leave the meta, and as others grow more popular they join it. 

 

 

 

Wait. Now I'm pretty sure this is a troll post.

I agree that its pretty silly with congress being congress, but one has to appreciate the maintaining of its meta, no other debate is so static.

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I've never heard the term "meta" used outside League but it's pretty applicable here. 

I agree with just about everything...

One great example is spreading. Now as policy debaters I'm sure we all enjoy the element spreading brings to our debate, but as other debates such as Public Forum or Lincoln Douglas have become more progressive the practice of spreading has become both present in the meta but also dominant. The same can be said of various argument structures (Counterplans, K's, Theory). 

 

...except that. 

I think the root of the exclusion perpetuated by "progressive debate" is the practice of spreading (RIP my positive rep). From my past thread on the matter, I know that there is definitely room for debate here, but my main point is that even if certain privileged teams make high theory arguments that aren't easy to comprehend by lower teams, as long as the discussion isn't incomprehensible, a lower team still has the ability to answer back. Spreading seems to be the factor that leads to the loss of comprehensibility of arguments. I remember getting absolutely shreked at an invitational my novice year because everyone there was spreading, but when I went over the flow after the rounds, I realized that the arguments had clear fallacies I hadn't been able to notice because I was too caught up in trying to understand the speakers.

 

Aside from comprehensibility, the number of arguments read by teams also seems to be a cause for why lower teams can get destroyed in debates. Again, it's not so much that the arguments themselves are hard to understand, it's the fact that when a team spreads they are able to put out more evidence and more arguments. The lower team would not be able to respond to the arguments with as much depth if they were not able to spread. And this in turn would lead to them being overrun by arguments, which destroys any education for both teams in the debate.  

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What is progressive debate?

As many of you know other forms of debate have slowly become what some people call more and more progressive. The term progressive in this context refers to the shift of debate types away from their original form and to forms more like (for lack of better method of description) policy. The atmosphere of what arguments and strategy's are popular is called the Meta, as arguments fall out of fashion they leave the meta, and as others grow more popular they join it. One great example is spreading. Now as policy debaters I'm sure we all enjoy the element spreading brings to our debate, but as other debates such as Public Forum or Lincoln Douglas have become more progressive the practice of spreading has become both present in the meta but also dominant. The same can be said of various argument structures (Counterplans, K's, Theory). 

 

Why should we care?

While these elements can and do bring a new dynamic to debate that can often make them more interesting and fun they can also have the opposite effect. One of the issues a dramatic meta shift can have for a debate tournament is leaving debaters and entire schools or even regions behind. While the newest cutting edge of kritical and theoretical arguments dominate the meta at the TOC smaller regions reside in a more traditional meta where spreading is looked down upon and judges refuse to vote on things like counterplans. If the progressive meta is good or bad for debate is beside the point, whats important is that (in my experience which is extremely limited compared to that of others) these smaller regions and sections of debate often neither contain and often discourage progressive debate and should those debaters from those regions ever make it to a tournament outside of their normal circuit they are sure to be destroyed by the onslaught of progressive arguments which they are not prepared for. I can't think anyone wants this, that is sections of the debate community doomed to failure at larger tournaments and rounds where one side cant even start to comprehend the arguments at hand. Worse still in these regions with a traditional meta we also see a resentment towards progressive debate (we all know that one traditional judge who doesn't like speed) which further discourages learning progressive debate and thus sets these debaters up for even more failure at larger tournaments. Having established a clear problem then there lie two lines of reasoning in order to solve it, stop progressive debate or ensure its teaching and understanding in areas with a traditional meta. I'm of the opinion that the first option is the best for a few reasons:

  1. Traditional debate types offer distinct experiences from policy which are erased with the meta of progressive debate. I have competed in every debate type (save for parli) this year and while I do love policy debate even I could not help but appreciate the attention to link chains and evidence qualifications in Public Forum debate or the thoughtful discussion of LD. Some might think that these elements wont be erased entirely by progressive debate and they might be right, but ultimately allowing progressive debate to continue on its transformation of other debate types ensures a constant transition away from these elements and towards what will essentially be policy debate with different times resolutions and team counts.
  2. Policy Debate is the most unfriendly debate to a large majority of those who are disabled or socially anxious. This may seem rather untrue considering the wide spread use of critical argumentation but the fact is that no debate is more hostile to those of speech impediments, blindness, social anxiety, having English as a second language, and those of lower income than Policy debate. I'm sure a lot of you out there would make the best of efforts in rounds with some of these people to ease the burden they have but this ignores that a vast majority of people who would be disadvantaged by the format of policy would most likely not even try to get into policy in the first place due to these very reasons. Debates like LD and PF which are far more friendly to people with speech impediments or have English as a second language because of their lack of spreading, those who are socially anxious or of lower income thank to things like thousand dollar debate camps.
  3. Progressive debate destroys spaces in which other types of debate could occur. Whether or not other forms of debate are better or worse a world in which all debates (save congressional debate, more on that in how do we stop it) trend towards progressive metas excludes people who wish to debate in traditional or non progressive forms. Are we as a community willing to allow the exclusion of people who simply wish to engage in critical thinking differently? I'm certainly not.
  4. Progressive debate will always leave people behind. Try as we might to teach progressive debate and make learning resources available there will always be those who simply are not taught progressive debate because their mentors or coaches have no knowledge because in their time progressive debate wasn't practiced.

 

Why does it happen?

Progressive debaters win, a lot. Even in policy where K's are common practice there are circuits (like mine) where reading critical arguments allows you to beat a large amount of the competitors simply because they don't understand the arguments at hand. Combine a high win rate with a competitive activity and you have the answer as to why we see progressive debate weeds its way into every debate type (save congress).

 

How do we stop it?

The only debate to avoid the onslaught of progressive debate (as far as I know, which again is extremely limited) is congressional debate. The reason being mainly that congressional debate functions fundamentally differently than other debates, it is highly structured and in reality far less of a debate and more so a highly structured series of IEs with rules and regulations governing them. While the idea of congress of its own certainly helps if there was no parliamentarian or set list of regulations that were heavily adhered to we would (At least I think) see the growth of progressive debate in congress as well. The lesson to learn here is that regulations and methods of removing the power to change the structure of debate itself from debaters halt the onslaught of progressive debate and that applying rules and restrictions which were followed and more over were enforced and brought up mid round such as in congressional debate can help preserve traditional debate.

 

 

So yeah, that's about it, if you think differently or have some points to make I would love to hear them. I personally think the meta of the debate community, not just policy, and how they all interact is fascinating and I'd love to discuss it further!

upvote for the stolen LSPEC violation from Texas AM Consolidated

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Is event diversity really such a valuable thing? If all argumentative styles eventually converge into one style due to competitive pressure, I am somewhat inclined to view that as survival of the fittest. What good things exist in traditional PF and LD that are lost by becoming more progressive? The only argument I can think of here is that technical line-by-line oriented debate sometimes misses the forest for the trees, but I think that is rare and outweighed by the risk that holistic debate ignores important details in favor of persuasive gloss.

I'd rather try to think of ways that traditional debate and progressive debate can be made more compatible, than try to stop one or the other. If I have to choose though, I probably prefer progressive debate.

Edited by Chaos
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What good things exist in traditional PF and LD that are lost by becoming more progressive?

 

 

  1. Traditional debate types offer distinct experiences from policy which are erased with the meta of progressive debate. I have competed in every debate type (save for parli) this year and while I do love policy debate even I could not help but appreciate the attention to link chains and evidence qualifications in Public Forum debate or the thoughtful discussion of LD. Some might think that these elements wont be erased entirely by progressive debate and they might be right, but ultimately allowing progressive debate to continue on its transformation of other debate types ensures a constant transition away from these elements and towards what will essentially be policy debate with different times resolutions and team counts.
  2. Policy Debate is the most unfriendly debate to a large majority of those who are disabled or socially anxious. This may seem rather untrue considering the wide spread use of critical argumentation but the fact is that no debate is more hostile to those of speech impediments, blindness, social anxiety, having English as a second language, and those of lower income than Policy debate. I'm sure a lot of you out there would make the best of efforts in rounds with some of these people to ease the burden they have but this ignores that a vast majority of people who would be disadvantaged by the format of policy would most likely not even try to get into policy in the first place due to these very reasons. Debates like LD and PF which are far more friendly to people with speech impediments or have English as a second language because of their lack of spreading, those who are socially anxious or of lower income thank to things like thousand dollar debate camps.
  3. Progressive debate destroys spaces in which other types of debate could occur. Whether or not other forms of debate are better or worse a world in which all debates (save congressional debate, more on that in how do we stop it) trend towards progressive metas excludes people who wish to debate in traditional or non progressive forms. Are we as a community willing to allow the exclusion of people who simply wish to engage in critical thinking differently? I'm certainly not.
  4. Progressive debate will always leave people behind. Try as we might to teach progressive debate and make learning resources available there will always be those who simply are not taught progressive debate because their mentors or coaches have no knowledge because in their time progressive debate wasn't practiced.
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Is event diversity really such a valuable thing? If all argumentative styles eventually converge into one style due to competitive pressure, I am somewhat inclined to view that as survival of the fittest. What good things exist in traditional PF and LD that are lost by becoming more progressive? The only argument I can think of here is that technical line-by-line oriented debate sometimes misses the forest for the trees, but I think that is rare and outweighed by the risk that holistic debate ignores important details in favor of persuasive gloss.

 

I'd rather try to think of ways that traditional debate and progressive debate can be made more compatible, than try to stop one or the other. If I have to choose though, I probably prefer progressive debate.

Perhaps some people join debate for reasons other than competition? What you call "persuasive gloss" is rhetorical skill, the ability to sway other people to your point of view, a skill that is arguably more applicable to our lives than line-by-line refutation. While policy debaters are often quite happy to escape to our little ivory tower, where we can talk about Baudrillard at 350wpm, and forgo all persuasive tools in favor of efficiency and strategy, some people still see debate as debate. That is, an exercise in discourse, meant to hone our abilities to persuade and to think on our feet. In policy debate, we are only discourse insofar as two nerds playing a mental chess match by shouting directions ("Knight to B8, takes your Rook") are involved in an intelligent conversation.

 

Plus, the way you blatantly ignore all of OP's points and simply assert your own instinctual position on the matter doesn't seem characteristic of a debater of any kind...

 

EDIT: "Knight to B12" isn't a valid chess move :P

Edited by Nodulux
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quotes self

 

I was asking for you to be more specific and persuasive about point 1. I don't see why discussing evidence qualifications is so valuable, or why it would be any rarer in progressive PF than traditional PF. If progressive arguments are able to outcompete traditional arguments, I think a lot of that is because progressive arguments are genuinely better or more important.

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I was asking for you to be more specific and persuasive about point 1. I don't see why discussing evidence qualifications is so valuable, or why it would be any rarer in progressive PF than traditional PF. If progressive arguments are able to outcompete traditional arguments, I think a lot of that is because progressive arguments are genuinely better or more important.

Even if the benefits of other debates are questionable or don't exist I think its inherently bad to exclude other forms of discourse as stated in point 3. Being inherently exclusionary to other types of discourse is bad in my opinion since spaces already exist for critical policy esque debate.

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Critical debate is better than a lack of critical thought, I'd argue. With being critical comes nuanced claims and a lot of different terms to explain in depth, thus spreading ... it's not that people are purposely saying "I want to screw over those that don't speak English as a mother language", it's that people want to make critical debate and want to do it well enough for it to have meaning. In traditional PF, there are 4 minutes in the longest speech, definitely not enough time to make a reasonable claim or to make a critical one; in Congress you are limited from the time of ONE to THREE minutes (and getting yelled at if you go over), so the problem is worsened. In traditional LD, there is always a long framework debate so there is truly only 5 minutes in the longest speech and it never allows for people to substantially engage with the ideas presented.

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I largely disagree with most of this post. Yes, there are aspects that are exclusionary to a degree, however, adding a competitive aspect to ANY forum is ultimately exclusionary. 

 

I guess I'll just sort of create an assemblage of random text that largely disproves most of your arguments:

 

Debate, specifically hard, rigorous debate is good. The reason for such a massive amount of participation in the "progressive" form of debate is because of the sheer amount of education, fun, and competitiveness involved in the act of argumentation. Especially if that argumentation comes at a very rapid pace over a wide range of complex subjects (think assorted criticisms, lengthy, intelligent link chains, smart pic's, etc.). Here's the kicker about this era of policy debate, it's surprisingly inclusive. Yes, spreading, certain highlighting's of text, etc. are ableist and exclusionary, I agree; however, the amazing thing about debate is the ability to have a discussion about how to make the entire structure of debate better (hence when individuals give personal narratives and discuss the way debate has affected them and where they think we should go from here). Personally, I have never seen another type of debate (PFD, Congress, etc.) where those types of discussions are included without FIRST being condemned. LD might have some similarities as policy, however, that comes from an influence of policy debate. I, for one, have debated at a small school in east Texas, where the local debate circuit condemns spreading, counter plans, k's, etc., and while yes, there are some pedagogically productive effects such as the development of novice debaters and those who wish to master the skills of debate, there was personally not growth in my case once I reached a certain point in debating on these local circuits. Now, I'm basically done with my senior year of debate, I never had too much success (not to make excuses but I will partially blame this on not being exposed to "progressive," national circuit debate until my junior year), but I will be continuing my debate career at UT Austin, and there's no way I would've been able to do that without the support and exposure to "progressive" debate from my coach (who was a local debater and didn't debate much on the national circuit). Also, I don't think there's a great benefit to PFD or Congress when I have learned those skills through policy (no, my public speaking is not just double breathing and speaking really fast like I'm guessing your assumption will be). Sure, those are debate events, I think comparatively the benefits gained from what you call "progressive" debate far outweigh those gained through any other form.

 

Sorry if the grammar in this is bad, only running on a few hours of sleep sooooo 

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Critical debate is better than a lack of critical thought, I'd argue. With being critical comes nuanced claims and a lot of different terms to explain in depth, thus spreading ... it's not that people are purposely saying "I want to screw over those that don't speak English as a mother language", it's that people want to make critical debate and want to do it well enough for it to have meaning. In traditional PF, there are 4 minutes in the longest speech, definitely not enough time to make a reasonable claim or to make a critical one; in Congress you are limited from the time of ONE to THREE minutes (and getting yelled at if you go over), so the problem is worsened. In traditional LD, there is always a long framework debate so there is truly only 5 minutes in the longest speech and it never allows for people to substantially engage with the ideas presented.

It would almost seem as if those debates were never intended for critical debate, critical debate can be good yes, that's why we do policy debate, but there are those who would rather debate traditionally and (in my opinion) they should be allowed to do that without fear of standing no chance what so ever because someone else changed the way the debate functioned and happened. Critical debate can still happen in a world of traditional LD and PF, we still have policy.

 

 

 

The reason for such a massive amount of participation in the "progressive" form of debate is because of the sheer amount of education, fun, and competitiveness involved in the act of argumentation.

While there can be some growth of progressive debate purely because people like it, it would be foolish to assume that A, everyone likes critical debate better than traditional debate, and B peoples decision to run K's are not influenced in any way by the winning that comes with them.

 

Here's the kicker about this era of policy debate, it's surprisingly inclusive. Yes, spreading, certain highlighting's of text, etc. are ableist and exclusionary, I agree; however, the amazing thing about debate is the ability to have a discussion about how to make the entire structure of debate better (hence when individuals give personal narratives and discuss the way debate has affected them and where they think we should go from here).

Debate is highly inclusive to anyone who can afford to go to camps whos high prices and rigorous curriculum are only made possible by the progressive meta but that is another post for another time. I do agree that critical metas allow for cool stuff, but I'm not advocating for a world devoid of critical debate rather a world that is not devoid of traditional debate. The great thing about the debate community is that theres something for everyone, but it would be foolish and rude of us to assume that everyone will thank us when every debate becomes increasingly policy esque and starts to exclude those who do not like or wish to partake in a critical fashion of debate. 

 

Personally, I have never seen another type of debate (PFD, Congress, etc.) where those types of discussions are included without FIRST being condemned. LD might have some similarities as policy, however, that comes from an influence of policy debate.

And it would be unfortunate to have the uniqueness of every other debate smothered by policys influence.

 

I, for one, have debated at a small school in east Texas, where the local debate circuit condemns spreading, counter plans, k's, etc., and while yes, there are some pedagogically productive effects such as the development of novice debaters and those who wish to master the skills of debate, there was personally not growth in my case once I reached a certain point in debating on these local circuits. Now, I'm basically done with my senior year of debate, I never had too much success (not to make excuses but I will partially blame this on not being exposed to "progressive," national circuit debate until my junior year), but I will be continuing my debate career at UT Austin, and there's no way I would've been able to do that without the support and exposure to "progressive" debate from my coach (who was a local debater and didn't debate much on the national circuit). 

Your life story is exactly what I'm talking about when I say that progressive debate leaves people behind, we doom those debaters who simply chose the wrong town to live in to failure at the national level. Your other examples of people benefiting by traditional debate is why I think we should preserve a traditional meta in other forms of debate.

 

Also, I don't think there's a great benefit to PFD or Congress when I have learned those skills through policy (no, my public speaking is not just double breathing and speaking really fast like I'm guessing your assumption will be). Sure, those are debate events, I think comparatively the benefits gained from what you call "progressive" debate far outweigh those gained through any other form.

Even if one assumes the benefits of other debates are negligible that is no excuse for the exclusion of debaters who prefer them, and for those who are left behind by critical debate they gain the benefits of neither, spending all their time in a hopeless battle to understand critical debate which teaches them nothing and abandoning any education that could be gained by becoming a better traditional debater.

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It would almost seem as if those debates were never intended for critical debate, critical debate can be good yes, that's why we do policy debate, but there are those who would rather debate traditionally and (in my opinion) they should be allowed to do that without fear of standing no chance what so ever because someone else changed the way the debate functioned and happened. Critical debate can still happen in a world of traditional LD and PF, we still have policy.

It just kind of sounds like that you're salty because you're losing to critical teams..

 

 

While there can be some growth of progressive debate purely because people like it, it would be foolish to assume that A, everyone likes critical debate better than traditional debate, and B peoples decision to run K's are not influenced in any way by the winning that comes with them.

 

 

Debate is highly inclusive to anyone who can afford to go to camps whos high prices and rigorous curriculum are only made possible by the progressive meta but that is another post for another time. I do agree that critical metas allow for cool stuff, but I'm not advocating for a world devoid of critical debate rather a world that is not devoid of traditional debate. The great thing about the debate community is that theres something for everyone, but it would be foolish and rude of us to assume that everyone will thank us when every debate becomes increasingly policy esque and starts to exclude those who do not like or wish to partake in a critical fashion of debate. 

Not true, I cleared in novice at national circuit tournaments without going to camp, and I went even or cleared at all national tourneys (except MBA, but that's another story) that I attended, and I went to a 2 week, cheaper camp. Honestly, all the materials necessary are on youtube, (i.e. practice rounds, and lectures from camp are all there)

 

 

And it would be unfortunate to have the uniqueness of every other debate smothered by policys influence.

 

Your life story is exactly what I'm talking about when I say that progressive debate leaves people behind, we doom those debaters who simply chose the wrong town to live in to failure at the national level. Your other examples of people benefiting by traditional debate is why I think we should preserve a traditional meta in other forms of debate.

 

 

Even if one assumes the benefits of other debates are negligible that is no excuse for the exclusion of debaters who prefer them, and for those who are left behind by critical debate they gain the benefits of neither, spending all their time in a hopeless battle to understand critical debate which teaches them nothing and abandoning any education that could be gained by becoming a better traditional debater.

Similarlily, critical debate is frowned upon in traditional circuits like mine, for example, my friend and his partner did PuFo at a local tournament on the carbon tax topic, and edited an NWA song to put in words relevant to the case, and ran a Cap Bad K Aff. (he's never done policy, he's just a marxist), but he lost in finals on some blippy jurisdiction argument because the judges felt it was unfair to play music during speeches. 

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It just kind of sounds like that you're salty because you're losing to critical teams..

I debate policy, this is about the presence of critical debate outside of policy and in other forms of debate.

 

 

 

Not true, I cleared in novice at national circuit tournaments without going to camp, and I went even or cleared at all national tourneys (except MBA, but that's another story) that I attended, and I went to a 2 week, cheaper camp. Honestly, all the materials necessary are on youtube, (i.e. practice rounds, and lectures from camp are all there)

While not the determining factor I certainly think that money can play a large role in sucsess but thats a discussion for another time and altogether unrelated to the discussion of progressive metas in other debate forms.

 

 

Similarlily, critical debate is frowned upon in traditional circuits like mine, for example, my friend and his partner did PuFo at a local tournament on the carbon tax topic, and edited an NWA song to put in words relevant to the case, and ran a Cap Bad K Aff. (he's never done policy, he's just a marxist), but he lost in finals on some blippy jurisdiction argument because the judges felt it was unfair to play music during speeches. 

As stated in OP I am well aware that critical debate is looked down upon in local circuits but the great thing about critical debate is that it has a popular debate form where its widely accepted. The reason we should be trying to preserve traditional metas in other debate forms (besides the 5 points in the op) is becuase those debate forms are intended to be traditional and those debates deserve a space in which to happen.

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Critical debate is something that is done on a more broad level than just reading pomo shit in round. It is something that asks us to evaluate the underlying assumptions behind an argument or line of reasoning. It is not a bad thing that we are moving towards a more critical style because there are plenty of things that are just straight up bad about a lot of the assumptions that we make. 

 

As to spreading, this is a matter of personal preference. Yeah, it helps a ton if you spread, but until you reach the highest levels of competition, solid argumentation will still go a long ways towards winning and speaks. Also, when you do reach a high level of argumentation you can win without spreading if you know what to go for. 

 

What we should realize is that just because we call an argument something that doesn't make it mutually exclusive to the characteristics of other arguments, ie: why can't you call a DA a K? At the end of the day the name of the activity shouldn't matter. Every activity is a combination of logic and persuasiveness. 

 

You do a lot of talking about exclusion and leaving more traditional communities in the dust, but doesn't necessarily mean that 'progressive' debate is bad. What I see in terms of 'progressive' debate are debaters who care enough about the activity to go out and find new arguments and to learn that source material and become well versed in it in order to be articulate and persuasive as well as to learn how to apply it in many different contexts. Too many times I have called an argument something that it is not and the other team had no idea what was happening. This is because we get to caught up in what things are 'supposed to be' because of the names that we give them.

 

Different 'forms' of debate can still use the same arguments but in different fashion from congress being pretty much one hugh ie to ld's long framework debates to PFD's empty banter (being almost nothing but persuasiveness), policy is just a hard core community that has the time constraints to piece together a more complete argument. That doesn't mean that other forms of debate can't learn from policy. All it means is that the arguments will be mobilized in different ways.

 

tl;dr What is progressive debate? -> Putting in work to find new arguments and there is no reason why those arguments or permutations of them are bad until they have been beaten in round and empirically disproven.

 

Life is becoming and so is debate.

Arthur Schopenhauer 1897 ‘The Emptiness of Existence’ in Essays of Schopenhauer https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/s/schopenhauer/arthur/essays/chapter4.html

Our existence is based solely on the ever-fleeting present. Essentially, therefore, it has to take the form of continual motion without there ever being any possibility of our finding the rest after which we are always striving. It is the same as a man running downhill, who falls if he tries to stop, and it is only by his continuing to run on that he keeps on his legs; it is like a pole balanced on one’s finger-tips, or like a planet that would fall into its sun as soon as it stopped hurrying onwards. Hence unrest is the type of existence. In a world like this, where there is no kind of stability, no possibility of anything lasting, but where everything is thrown into a restless whirlpool of change, where everything hurries on, flies, and is maintained in the balance by a continual advancing and moving, it is impossible to imagine happiness. It cannot dwell where, as Plato says, continual Becoming and never Being is all that takes place. First of all, no man is happy; he strives his whole life long after imaginary happiness, which he seldom attains, and if he does, then it is only to be disillusioned; and as a rule he is shipwrecked in the end and enters the harbour dismasted. Then it is all the same whether he has been happy or unhappy in a life which was made up of a merely ever-changing present and is now at an end.

 

You don't have to view debate as ever changing if you view it as the nature of the activity is to find the best arguments. Just take debate as it exists and found yourself on solid logic and you shall prevail comrade.

Edited by ThomasDB8
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It just kind of sounds like that you're salty because you're losing to critical teams.

yep. this. thread is officially a salt mine.

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"progressive debate" isn't even a referent that exists. like, it's not a thing. old people spread, slow people read kritiks, LDers read Kant at 250wmp, PFers read Kant slowly, etc. there's no homogenous (or even clumpable) thing that is progressive debate. 

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yep. this. thread is officially a salt mine.

I'm not advocating for a change in the debate I do. This is a discussion about changes in Lincoln Douglas and Public Forum debate, I debate neither of these.

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Pathetic. you dont stop a great trend just so a few people at po-dunk nowhere can break at bid tournaments. they want tradish? go to nats.

 

EDIT: I do LD, both progressive and traditional. its far better and fosters competition with progressive arguments. 

Edited by CosmicLobster
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I am honestly really shocked by the way senior forum members in this thread are off-handedly dismissing OP's perfectly reasonable and thought out concerns. Rather than take the time to respond to, or even understand, the points OP is making, a lot of you are just circlejerking and upvoting eachother's petty jabs.

 

No, OP is not "salty". They are not whining about Ks or spreading in policy debate, as many of you who probably stopped reading at the title of the thread seem to think. They are making an intelligent argument, with clearly identified points, and it is the least you all can do to give it the intelligent response it deserves. Of course, some people in the thread are doing that, but some aren't, and it really annoys me to see posts with three or four upvotes that add nothing to the discussion, while you all downvote OP because you disagree with their points (hint: not what downvoting is for).

 

All in all, Samuel, I respect your civility, and your efforts to support your point in a clear and cohesive way. Others (hopefully you know who I am talking about) really ought to grow up and act like the critical thinking, intelligent debaters you claim to be. 

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I am honestly really shocked by the way senior forum members in this thread are off-handedly dismissing OP's perfectly reasonable and thought out concerns. Rather than take the time to respond to, or even understand, the points OP is making, a lot of you are just circlejerking and upvoting eachother's petty jabs.

 

No, OP is not "salty". They are not whining about Ks or spreading in policy debate, as many of you who probably stopped reading at the title of the thread seem to think. They are making an intelligent argument, with clearly identified points, and it is the least you all can do to give it the intelligent response it deserves. Of course, some people in the thread are doing that, but some aren't, and it really annoys me to see posts with three or four upvotes that add nothing to the discussion, while you all downvote OP because you disagree with their points (hint: not what downvoting is for).

 

All in all, Samuel, I respect your civility, and your efforts to support your point in a clear and cohesive way. Others (hopefully you know who I am talking about) really ought to grow up and act like the critical thinking, intelligent debaters you claim to be. 

This. Honestly, I couldn't agree with OP  more. A lot of people I know do PFD in order to escape the "progressive" debate that has become policy. Maybe its just because I'm from KS and don't see Ks or speed a lot, but I think these aspects should stay out of other forms of debate.

 

EDIT: grammar

Edited by coolbob5413

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