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Johnathan

Topicality Terminal Impacts

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So the general way terminal impacts on T function (I think) is that perceptions of what is and isn't topical or rather what will be able to win against T and what will loose against T will be shaped based on the judges vote meaning that if the judge doesnt vote on T the debate community will think the the aff is fine to run they will run it and affs like it and those in turn will lead to instances of abuse. This seems like a really silly link chain to me for a few reasons:

  • Unless its a high level elim round at a big tournament no one is going to care, I dont see how prelim round 3 at X regional tournament is going to be the next step in shaping policy debate, if they say its a linear progression with each instance progressing in the change of policy then it seems like a drop in the bucket compared to what else will be changing policy (important rounds, ptx uniqueness, etc.)
  • Perceptions of what will and will not be argued at almost entirely formed at camps and remain that way for the rest of that years resolution, any rouge affs that get run are a drop in the bucket and the odds that one of them will be made mid season based on perceptions from various rounds is super small
  • The meta of policy debate ensures that even if enough t rounds turn out aff to cause that aff to be run a lot that same perception of it being good and thus being run of aff ensures that people will prep neg cases out for it which ensures no in round abuse.

I'm wondering if any of these are valid points if not why, and if so how to use them in round to win T flows.

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My personal opinion is that there's really no impact to T except a little bit of fairness. I do think jurisdiction can be argued well though. Your points are reasonably valid, but I think there is one area where you're wrong. If a T runs a borderline aff, and consistently loses to the interpretation you're arguing against, they're obviously going to stop running that aff.

But you're right, it has little impact on the overall community.

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My personal opinion is that there's really no impact to T except a little bit of fairness. I do think jurisdiction can be argued well though. Your points are reasonably valid, but I think there is one area where you're wrong. If a T runs a borderline aff, and consistently loses to the interpretation you're arguing against, they're obviously going to stop running that aff.

 

But you're right, it has little impact on the overall community.

For sure, I should have clarified in my post above, I am talking about the link chain for out of round abuse IE its not what you do its what you justify. These arguments are means to limit the scope of T impacts to only in round abuse since usually a team runs T not because there actually is any sort of fairness issue in the round but because T is a great time suck arg.

 

On your point about affs not being run because they constantly loose to T I think there needs to be a clear distinction that thats only a good thing if that aff caused in round abuse, all the points above are reasons why if they lost on out of round abuse that aff was probably T and didnt have an impact, if they did have an impact on fairness in that round then that is totally fine, but it is not a reason to consider out of round abuse.

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The only Topicality file you'll ever need, best impact ever ;)

Nah but for real, impacts on other rounds is a pretty weak argument, most judges I know won't vote on it. Topicality doesn't really need a impact, all you have to do is convince the judge that the round in unfair in someway.

 

Also I would probably answer you points by pointing out the Wiki and how it influences the community. All the regional rounds i've been at, ive upload onto the wiki so just because its not a ToC final round doesn't mean it wont affect the community. 

 

Second point isnt necessarily true, ive seen affs that weren't touched at camps gain a major foothold in the debate scene after they were ran at a major tourney (GBtL this year is a prime example)  

Your to topical.docx

Edited by Da4days
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So the general way terminal impacts on T function (I think) is that perceptions of what is and isn't topical or rather what will be able to win against T and what will loose against T will be shaped based on the judges vote meaning that if the judge doesnt vote on T the debate community will think the the aff is fine to run they will run it and affs like it and those in turn will lead to instances of abuse. This seems like a really silly link chain to me for a few reasons:

  • Unless its a high level elim round at a big tournament no one is going to care, I dont see how prelim round 3 at X regional tournament is going to be the next step in shaping policy debate, if they say its a linear progression with each instance progressing in the change of policy then it seems like a drop in the bucket compared to what else will be changing policy (important rounds, ptx uniqueness, etc.)
  • Perceptions of what will and will not be argued at almost entirely formed at camps and remain that way for the rest of that years resolution, any rouge affs that get run are a drop in the bucket and the odds that one of them will be made mid season based on perceptions from various rounds is super small
  • The meta of policy debate ensures that even if enough t rounds turn out aff to cause that aff to be run a lot that same perception of it being good and thus being run of aff ensures that people will prep neg cases out for it which ensures no in round abuse.

I'm wondering if any of these are valid points if not why, and if so how to use them in round to win T flows.

Lost you there

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Lost you there

What do you mean? T is nothing more than a real world DA. Your UQ is your interp, your link is the violation, your IL is the standards, and the impact are the voting issues. When we go up and say "education/fairness", those are real world impacts. We lose the critical thinking and other portable skills that are usually given to us in a fair debate when a team is nontopical, and fairness claims have impacts like people quitting debate, etc.

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What do you mean? T is nothing more than a real world DA. Your UQ is your interp, your link is the violation, your IL is the standards, and the impact are the voting issues. When we go up and say "education/fairness", those are real world impacts. We lose the critical thinking and other portable skills that are usually given to us in a fair debate when a team is nontopical, and fairness claims have impacts like people quitting debate, etc.

Relax. It was a simple jest.

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Relax. It was a simple jest.

Fair. I wasn't sure if you were kidding or not, so I figured I'd try to assist just in case.

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Topicality has no terminal impacts. Debate will never be fair, and untopical cases probably bring more education than common topical affs.

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Topicality has no terminal impacts. Debate will never be fair, and untopical cases probably bring more education than common topical affs.

I can't tell i you're serious or not.

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I'm not.

 

However, the reading of some blatantly untopical 1ACs were more educational than the classic drones or PRISM this year, and I don't believe that topicality succeeds at ensuring fairness.

Edited by Raj

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I'm not.

 

However, the reading of some blatantly untopical 1ACs were more educational than the classic drones or PRISM this year, and I don't believe that topicality succeeds at ensuring fairness.

Depends on the education you're talking about. Topic education, sure. Things like 702, Puerto Rico, and other squirelly things may expand knowledge of the topic, but in terms of clash based education, affs that are T are definitely more educational. When you have an nontopical aff, how is the neg supposed to generate offense, or prep for these kinds of args? Preparation is uniquely key to clash, and with clash, we gain access to higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy, such as comparing and contrasting, and other critical thinking skills.

 

T can ensure fairness within round. Sure, you reading a violation in prelim R3 at [insert school no one has heard of] isn't going to reshape the debate community, but protects you from the abuse in the round. I'd argue that T should function as a shield, not a sword. Giving the judge the option to vote on that abuse is what counter-balances the abuse taking place to begin with.

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There are other issues that affect the fairness in debate just as much as untopical affs though.

 

 

How does the act of reading a topicality arg increases education? Some affs argue that it decreases topic focus and increases focus on the discrepancies of words. I always said this when T was pulled on my PRISM Aff.

 

I think depth and breadth may come into play here. Sure, a topical drone/702 Aff could increase education in terms of depth, but talking about health surveillance, Tohono, common core and other affs that may be untopical in one way or another greatly expanded education in terms of breadth.

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There are other issues that affect the fairness in debate just as much as untopical affs though.

 

 

How does the act of reading a topicality arg increases education? Some affs argue that it decreases topic focus and increases focus on the discrepancies of words. I always said this when T was pulled on my PRISM Aff.

 

I think depth and breadth may come into play here. Sure, a topical drone/702 Aff could increase education in terms of depth, but talking about health surveillance, Tohono, common core and other affs that may be untopical in one way or another greatly expanded education in terms of breadth.

Reading the T argument itself doesn't increase education - The argument is that you're denying the neg clash based education by having the nontopical aff, and because of that, you should lose. It might focus on discrepancies between words, but that's what happens with actual policies in Congress. Policymakers revise bills plenty of times on end to ensure the wording is just right.

 

I find the depth/breadth debate to be fairly irrelevant in round, because it still focuses on content based education. Referring to my previous post, content based education is distinctly different from clash based education. Debate is the only activity where we, as highschool students, can actually defend  stance against multiple other stances. It's the only place where we actively have to analyze our opponents arguments, and create new ones in response. We can get content based education in other forums, but clash based education is unique to debate. Plus, what are the chances you actually use the education regarding what you talk about in round? Chances are, you'll here about X type of surveillance, maybe talk about t with your friends, maybe write a paper on it for a class, but that doesn't get you far in the long run. Clash based education, however, can follow you through life into adulthood. Chances are, you'll be doing more comparing and analyzing of different viewpoints than you will be talking about surveillance in your lifetime.

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I'm really tempted to post multiple cards that say surveillance education key to outweigh your clash-based impacts but I'll refrain from it.

 

Also, why is mirroring the real world good? It justifies things like "plan wont pass" circumvention and conditionality and a lot of specification.

 

I don't think preparation is a problem with untopical cases (the ones we are discussing), because when people ran T against cases like HIPAA, Tohono, etc they are prepared enough to have specific K and D/A links and case Args. Maybe that's why case negs are put on open evidence.

Edited by Raj

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I'm really tempted to post multiple cards that say surveillance education key to outweigh your clash-based impacts but I'll refrain from it.

I can 100% guarantee that a card that says high school debaters talking about surveillance solves for NSA abuse or heg war is total bull shit.

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I'm really tempted to post multiple cards that say surveillance education key to outweigh your clash-based impacts but I'll refrain from it.

 

Also, why is mirroring the real world good? It justifies things like "plan wont pass" circumvention and conditionality and a lot of specification.

 

I don't think preparation is a problem with untopical cases (the ones we are discussing), because when people ran T against cases like HIPAA, Tohono, etc they are prepared enough to have specific K and D/A links and case Args. Maybe that's why case negs are put on open evidence.

I mean, you definitely can, but how are we supposed to get both sides of the surveillance education (aff and neg) if neg can't debate?

 

Mirroring the real world is good to an extent - Obviously, "Plan won't pass" is dumb, but that's why fiat and role-playing frameworks exist. In terms of conditionality, that's probably a good thing. People are still already specific - Teams still use plan planks, and on the oceans topic, I hit an aff that specified even what they were going to tax, and how much, to get funding for the plan. Talking about real world things is better for debate - We have to deal with realistic scenarios literally every day of our lives, why shouldn't we keep the debate space realistic too? 

 

And, like all theory arguments, it's not what you do, it's what you justify. Teams may have negs, but they shouldn't have to have these to begin with. Other teams in other rounds may be prepared for topical affs, but not nontopical ones, with good reason, too. As Scott Harris wrote in his 2013 NDT ballot "I could stay up tonight and put a strategy together on eco-pedagogy, but .  .  .  why should I have to?"  In application to this argument, teams shouldn't have to prepare for nontopical affirmatives. Teams might have actual offense, but that isn't because the case is predictable, that's because someone saw it on a caselist, hit it in round before, etc. Also, you think just because a camp puts out a file, that makes it topical? That's not even close to true. Even further, you say that camps put out negs online, and that should solve any unpredictability args. Camps don't make negs for every aff that gets run, especially he nontopical ones.

 

 

 

 

I can 100% guarantee that a card that says high school debaters talking about surveillance solves for NSA abuse or heg war is total bull shit.

 

And this

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I'm really tempted to post multiple cards that say surveillance education key to outweigh your clash-based impacts but I'll refrain from it.

all of your surveillance education good cards aren't offense, if you were topical you could access education from CLASH for BOTH TEAMS in the context of surveillance, which is probably better

Also, why is mirroring the real world good? It justifies things like "plan wont pass" circumvention and conditionality and a lot of specification.

um, what?

mirroring the real world to an extent is probably good, fiat solves every other example you gave.... mirroring the real world also doesn't justify condo, I promise that an old white dude in Congress isn't reading Wilderson while the other argues the XO counterplan 

 

I don't think preparation is a problem with untopical cases (the ones we are discussing), because when people ran T against cases like HIPAA, Tohono, etc they are prepared enough to have specific K and D/A links and case Args. Maybe that's why case negs are put on open evidence.

This is a bad arg- the extent of your argument is literally just that "you can be prepared because its on openev", which

a. Still skews bias in favor of the aff because they can predict all neg args, also means that we would never learn anything new under your model of debate since it'd just be the same stale args everytime

b. Just because a team has args doesn't mean they should've had to prep for the aff in the first place, without being able to functionally limit debate teams would inevitably quit because there would be a race to the fringes of what is least topical

 

Your attempt to say that there's no "terminal impact" to fairness is pretty bad

1) Obviously there can never be absolute fairness, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't attempt to create a level playing field in the face of other things that make debate unfair

2) Small Schools prove that fairness is probably important considering that they don't have 20 coaches to research new affs before every round 

 

 

 

Edited by CapitalismIsNotCool
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I mean, you definitely can, but how are we supposed to get both sides of the surveillance education (aff and neg) if neg can't debate?

 

Mirroring the real world is good to an extent - Obviously, "Plan won't pass" is dumb, but that's why fiat and role-playing frameworks exist. In terms of conditionality, that's probably a good thing. People are still already specific - Teams still use plan planks, and on the oceans topic, I hit an aff that specified even what they were going to tax, and how much, to get funding for the plan. Talking about real world things is better for debate - We have to deal with realistic scenarios literally every day of our lives, why shouldn't we keep the debate space realistic too?

 

Are bills really rejected in Congress just by a word? I think I have a card written by a legislator saying that they get fixed then passed. And is there a bright line that determines that extent that you refer to?

 

 

And, like all theory arguments, it's not what you do, it's what you justify. Teams may have negs, but they shouldn't have to have these to begin with. Other teams in other rounds may be prepared for topical affs, but not nontopical ones, with good reason, too. As Scott Harris wrote in his 2013 NDT ballot "I could stay up tonight and put a strategy together on eco-pedagogy, but . . . why should I have to?" In application to this argument, teams shouldn't have to prepare for nontopical affirmatives. Teams might have actual offense, but that isn't because the case is predictable, that's because someone saw it on a caselist, hit it in round before, etc. Also, you think just because a camp puts out a file, that makes it topical? That's not even close to true. Even further, you say that camps put out negs online, and that should solve any unpredictability args. Camps don't make negs for every aff that gets run, especially the nontopical ones.

 

I did not say that camp posting a neg case makes the specific Aff topical, I just said that it could assist the neg in preparing against said aff . I also am referring not to critical ones nor all untopical ones (notice the parentheses) , but affs like Tohono and health surveillance, which could be argued to be untopical or extra. I was playing witness to that in rounds when these cases were run and a T was ran back in response, the T was accompanied by various arguments that were specific to the Aff itself. The substantive off case positions linked pretty well, so I assume that the neg teams were prepped enough. I never said that the act of posting neg cases would solve any type of unpredictability offense, but only that I doubted that predictability would really be a problem in the instances that I observed.

 

As for the surveillance education, I think public debate about surveillance and surveillance education won't solve such extreme impacts, but rather that it still bears importance. I heard last year that Michael Mimoso wrote that debate has some sway with policymakers.

Edited by Raj

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Are bills really rejected in Congress just by a word? I think I have a card written by a legislator saying that they get fixed then passed. And is there a bright line that determines that extent that you refer to?

 

 

 

I did not say that camp posting a neg case makes the specific Aff topical, I just said that it could assist the neg in preparing against said aff . I also am referring not to critical ones nor all untopical ones (notice the parentheses) , but affs like Tohono and health surveillance, which could be argued to be untopical or extra. I was playing witness to that in rounds when these cases were run and a T was ran back in response, the T was accompanied by various arguments that were specific to the Aff itself. The substantive off case positions linked pretty well, so I assume that the neg teams were prepped enough. I never said that the act of posting neg cases would solve any type of unpredictability offense, but only that I doubted that predictability would really be a problem in the instances that I observed.

 

As for the surveillance education, I think public debate about surveillance and surveillance education won't solve such extreme impacts, but rather that it still bears importance. I heard last year that Michael Mimoso wrote that debate has some sway with policymakers.

Yes, bills are definitely rejected by a word. Ever wonder why "curtail" was used in the resolution, not "reduce"? The specificity of the word is exactly it. And yes, they do get fixed in Congress. So at the end of your tournament, go home, "fix" your aff, and bring it back next week. There's no specific brightline in congress, but if a representative thinks it should be changed, they talk about why it should be changed, then it is either changed or it isn't.

 

You say that camps help with predictability, which is true, but that still leaves all the affs that camps don't cover. Not a single camp made a Puerto Rico neg, yet teams in my circuit still read it. And again, the negative teams shouldn't have to prepare for that to begin with. That's why the T arg exists, when someone is nontopical, and you lose because of that, T is the offense you need to point out why that is wrong. Furthermore, what about the teams that aren't prepped for nontopical cases? They can't get the clash based education, meaning they miss out. That also creates a flawed epistemology for the audience and an aff bias - When the neg can't argue a case, the audience assumes the case to be a good idea, regardless of whether it is or not, simply because the neg couldn't debate it. For some affs, camp files will help. For any nonT aff that was home-cut, they won't.

 

Even if debate has some sort of influence in policy making, it can't be a lot. Otherwise, capitalism would be abolished, there'd be no government surveillance, there wouldn't even be a state, all of the world's conflicts would be avoided, etc. The education you get from actually participating in debate and being able to debate an affirmative far outweighs any real effects the content of the debate has on the real world, on all 3 impact calc levels.

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Are bills really rejected in Congress just by a word? I think I have a card written by a legislator saying that they get fixed then passed. And is there a bright line that determines that extent that you refer to?

... this isn't responsive, what you're talking about would literally be revision- that can be accomplished through T via a topical version or forcing a team to phrase their plan text to be topical 

definitions are the bright line, the team that argues their definition best wins, that's a T debate

 

 

 

I did not say that camp posting a neg case makes the specific Aff topical, I just said that it could assist the neg in preparing against said aff . I also am referring not to critical ones nor all untopical ones (notice the parentheses) , but affs like Tohono and health surveillance, which could be argued to be untopical or extra. I was playing witness to that in rounds when these cases were run and a T was ran back in response, the T was accompanied by various arguments that were specific to the Aff itself. The substantive off case positions linked pretty well, so I assume that the neg teams were prepped enough. I never said that the act of posting neg cases would solve any type of unpredictability offense, but only that I doubted that predictability would really be a problem in the instances that I observed.

... so how is this an argument, then?

Even if there's case negs on open ev that's shoddy defense at best to a predictability arg 

 

As for the surveillance education, I think public debate about surveillance and surveillance education won't solve such extreme impacts, but rather that it still bears importance. I heard last year that Michael Mimoso wrote that debate has some sway with policymakers.

this presumes that there was a debate in the first place, many T args say that being topical is a prerequisite to fair contestation which is the internal link to having a substantive debate; I think my previous response establishes how this isn't an answer to T because talking about surveillance AND having an equitable debate is possible in a world where you read T affs and is therefore net better 

Edited by CapitalismIsNotCool
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all of your surveillance education good cards aren't offense, if you were topical you could access education from CLASH for BOTH TEAMS in the context of surveillance, which is probably better Why are they not offensive? Technically, I can still access that clash-based education with Tohono, HIPAA, and etc.

 

um, what?

mirroring the real world to an extent is probably good, fiat solves every other example you gave.... mirroring the real world also doesn't justify condo, I promise that an old white dude in Congress isn't reading Wilderson while the other argues the XO counterplan Fiat is not real world, so what is the bright line that determines the extend u are referring to. About condo, assume there is policymaker A and Policymaker B. Policymaker A proposes a really bad policy. Policy maker B proposes two policies against Policymaker A. One of B's policies is really bad, and the other one turns out to be really good. Policymaker A's policy would be rejected, and one of Policymaker B's policies (the bad one) would be rejected as well. This justifies condo b/c Policymaker B gets multiple different ways to prove that Policymaker A's policy is bad, and B only has to prove that the policy is bad in one way, so he knows that if he proposes a bad policy, it will be treated as independent of the good policies he proposes. He could also stick with the squo (doing nothing) as well. 

 

This is a bad arg- the extent of your argument is literally just that "you can be prepared because its on openev", which

a. Still skews bias in favor of the aff because they can predict all neg args, also means that we would never learn anything new under your model of debate since it'd just be the same stale args everytime Neg can predict all aff args too. You assume that it is my argument, but that is false. It is only speculation, hence the word "MAYBE". I was using my own observations to determine that there is really no problem with preparation, as for the cases that were being discussed, the neg had solid and specific links to D/As like Terror, PTX and to Ks that I can't even remember. I was just speculating that open evidence had something to do with the neg having those args. I was only trying to establish a cause for those specific scenarios. When you say it skews bias in favor of aff, it seems theoretically logical, but experimentally, I did not see any aff victories when it came to cases like HIPAA, Common Core, and Tohono. I could say that D/A's like Political Question Doctrine, Drug Cartels, and Deforestation are less stale than Terror and that Ks like Legitimacy are less stale than Cap and Security. Also, aff should be prepared against neg args, if they aren't, it results in a low amount of clash-based education because neg would just extrapolate on any dropped argument,

b. Just because a team has args doesn't mean they should've had to prep for the aff in the first place, without being able to functionally limit debate teams would inevitably quit because there would be a race to the fringes of what is least topical That race is already happening, and debaters are quitting (and urinating in rounds 2). Also, I never argued that limits should not be in place. All I was arguing was that preparation was not really an issue with these affs.

 

Your attempt to say that there's no "terminal impact" to fairness is pretty bad

1) Obviously there can never be absolute fairness, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't attempt to create a level playing field in the face of other things that make debate unfair

I was joking when I said that, of course it was bad.

2) Small Schools prove that fairness is probably important considering that they don't have 20 coaches to research new affs before every round 

I don't think the aff team would know their own case enough to debate it if it was switched every round. 

 

 

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If the aff is straight up policy and teams wish to contest its topicality, every round I have seen the neg reads T, case, and 2 other off. I think that the links of those other off case check against unpredictability, because some how the neg was able to predict and prepare links and case arguments for that specific case. I haven't really seen any actual in-round abuse caused by a policy aff, which only causes T (and maybe some off that dont actually link). Like against drones, people run T on domestic and its, against PRISM, domestic, against the affs I were referring to, substantially, and still be hella prepped. I just don't think that teams run T to call the aff out on abuse as often as they did in the past. 

 

So yeah, I don't believe that T has much of an impact anymore when the neg teams read stuff that obviously shows that they are prepared. I have never been in a round where T has had a genuine impact before (fairness/education)*

 

*This excludes framework

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