Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by birdwing7

  1. The abstract doesn't say anything about space, as far as I can tell. And it seems like if arsenic really was a WMD, putting it aboard a potentially explosive rocket and sending it through earth's atmosphere towards an asteroid would be quite risky.


    I don't think anyone is suggesting putting arsenic on a rocket. The point is, solar powered satellites would rid the earth of the need for burning fossil fuels. Any renewable energy source could access the same advantage.

  2. The converse being that the mining of materials needed to build the solar panels would also cause this arsenic to be released.


    Likely much less arsenic release than continued burning of fossil fuels. And, although I've only read the abstract, I imagine the author provides evidence on the point.

  3. Has anyone run across an argument in debate rounds regarding arsenic accumulation? SU Dani, a Brazilian researcher, says that the mining and use of gold, coal and oil release anthropogenic arsenic into the atmosphere, which is really bad. From the abstract: "The potential rise of successful forms of inborn resistance to arsenic in humans will make it certain that a number of other hardly won, nicely balanced human-specific adaptednesses will decline. These include a decline of encephalization and life-span, and consequentially intelligence and longevity. These changes are likely to have far-reaching impacts on biological and cultural evolution of mankind. The only efficient way of reducing chronic global exposure to arsenic and avoiding further human losses is the inactivation of important sources of anthropogenic arsenic such as hard rock mining and burning of fossil fuels."



    It strikes me that a case to build solar powered satellites and mine asteroids would move mining off of earth and stop the burning of fossil fuels.

  4. I think next year's topic may have a negative bias. How does the affirmative get past time frame arguments? Affirmative will spend a (generally) huge amount of money now for an advantage that occurs several years from now. Politics and spending, however, are relatively immediate.

  5. First, a debate round has nothing to do with me buying a sandwich. I dislike analogies because I think they generally cloud issues. I think your analogy is so far removed from public policy and debate that it clouds this issue.


    Second, if I assume someone has the authority to force that guy to buy me a sandwich, it might make sense for me to have him buy it for me. That would depend on the net benefit. Which one of us can better afford the sandwich? Is there some legal or moral (or other) reason why that guy should buy a sandwich for me? If I think there is a risk that my buying a sandwich risks nuclear war, but him buying me the sandwich will not run that risk, I won't buy the sandwich.

    • Upvote 1


    Birdwing: Put bluntly, you're missing the point. Your arguments about 'net benefit' can successfully prove that private companies should do the plan; that is, if private companies eliminate space debris, then that would be better than the SQ. However, this does not apply in a debate round, because the Negative's goal is not to prove that there is some other actor that could do the plan and have it be better than the USFG; the Negative's goal is to prove that the USFG should not do the plan. The only way to do this, by definition, is to prove that there is some other option that the USFG should do instead, that would be mutually exclusive with the Affirmative plan. In the case of DA's, this alternative option is 'do nothing'; i.e. preserve the SQ. Saying that private companies should eliminate space debris has no bearing on whether the USFG should. You keep talking about a 'net benefit', but it doesn't really matter if private companies won't do the plan anyway.

    If you still don't understand my point, consider this: in a round where the Aff presents a plan, and the Neg presents a private CP, what are the presented possible courses of action for the USFG? The USFG could do the plan, the USFG could do nothing (SQ), or... what? With a private CP, what are you arguing that the USFG should do?

    You are obviously not advocating that the USFG should do the plan; also, the plan text of a private CP will not even mention the USFG, so you can't be advocating that the USFG do some other plan. Thus, the only option that you could possible be advocating would be that the USFG do nothing, to 'let' private companies eliminate space junk. However, this is where the problem with your argument becomes apparent. Let me explain:

    First, we must determine what 'should' really means. If Actor X should do Action Y, then that means that, of the list of mutually exclusive possible courses of action for Actor X that includes Action Y, Action Y is the best; it will create the most advantages. So, the Affirmative must prove that, of all possible actions that are mutually exclusive with the Affirmative plan, their plan is the best. Now, as I previously stated, regardless of what private companies should do, the private CP must be advocating that the USFG do nothing. So, the question of 'should the USFG do the plan' can be rephrased as 'if the USFG did the plan, would it be better than the alternative (in this case, doing nothing)'. In answering this, we compare the effects of both options. If the plan is enacted, then all of the advantages happen, as well as any DA's presented by the Negative (i.e. the 'net benefit' that you keep mentioning). If the other course, inaction, is taken, then the DA does not happen, but the advantages of the CP don't either. So, as long as the Affirmative can prove that their advantages outweigh the DA, then they win. The point that I have made approximately 4 times now, and that I assume I have been unclear on (because that seems to be the only possible explanation for the fact that you continue to make arguments that completely ignore it), is that the statement 'private companies should do the plan' does not mean 'the USFG should not do the plan'. Even if they are mutually exclusive, such an assertion does not warrant a Negative ballot.


    You're right about this: I'm missing your point. First, I said nothing about "good for debate", so I'm ignoring that part of your post.


    Assuming your view of counterplans (which I think is a distinctly minority view), in light of a private actor counterplan, the USFG should do nothing. Once a private actor solves the problem, there is no reason for the USFG to act, and given the net benefit, it would be better for the USFG not to act. That justifies a negative ballot, in my opinion.

    • Downvote 1

  7. Birdwing: You say that if private companies got rid of debris, then there'd be no reason for the USFG to do so. This is correct, but it is not what the debate round is about. That simply proves that the CP is mutually exclusive, and any 'net benefit' simply proves that it would be better for private companies to eliminate debris. So, a 'perfect world' scenario is one in which private companies decide to eliminate space debris; I don't disagree. However, we all know that such a world does not exist, so therefore the USFG should choose to eliminate space debris; if it doesn't, then the debris will not magically go away.

    Also, birdwing, keep in mind that the inverse of your statement is also true: if the USFG acts, then there is no longer a reason for private companies to act.


    If the negative wins that the counterplan is mutually exclusive or net beneficial, I think for most judges it is round over. The counterplan does not advocate debris going away "magically". It advocates having private companies do it instead of the USFG. And the net benefit shows why the USFG shouldn't do it.


    As to your inverse statement, I don't see that it helps you. Any net benefit to private action over government action, provides the reason for private companies to act.

  8. If private corporations clean up space debris, there is no longer a reason for the USFG to act, and the affirmative has no advantage. Pretty much any net benefit would result in a negative ballot.


    Perm and impact turn the net benefits.

  9. One way to run the case would be: Lasers for space debris are inevitable. Using powerful lasers threatens other countries with military satellites, increasing risk of miscalculation, harming relations, etc. Plan uses low-power lasers, which are not a threat to satellites.

  10. The SPS case will be very common and the negative will have lots of good arguments against it from the energy topic. There is a chance that everyone will be lazy and not update their stuff, but it is a slim one.


    I don't mind the negative having lots of good arguments, so long as I feel my turns are specific and persuasive. I prefer predictability.

  • Create New...