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whit211 last won the day on April 23 2007

whit211 had the most liked content!

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About whit211

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    Longtime Member
  • Birthday 07/25/1979

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  • Name
    Whit Whitmore
  • School
    University of Michigan
  • Biography
    Assistant Coach - University of Michigan
  • Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
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    Glorified Bum
  1. Westminster lost round 7 to Carrolton DU.
  2. Thank you, quote of the day: It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor. - Neil Gaiman
  3. I'm not under the delusion that my previous post will end the practice of reading emails as evidence in debates for all eternity. A lot of those arguments were written to be made in round. Hopefully it will guide teams who want to write a theory block to said arguments. Other potential benefits include changing or reinforcing judges/coaches views on the subject and deterring teams who may want to pref me from reading email evidence (my judging philosophy is in dire need of a thorough updating). Obviously, I don't see eye to eye with some on this issue and to some extent there is a debate to be had. I just wanted it to be clear where I stand on that debate. It also became clear from the conversations at http://www.3nr.com that some people hadn't considered all the intricacies of the practice. Antonucci's "lit doesn't exist" example is a clear indication that even my longwinded post hadn't considered all other instances. I think that holding the negative to a higher standard on questions of politics link evidence and counterplan competition probably solves some of the need to find evidence on unspoken yet obvious truths. Also, (keeping in mind I haven't actually looked into these things) I would not think it is that hard to find evidence that changes to the U.S.'s nuclear posture are covert, or at least not publicized. I would also think it naive to believe that a.) congress wouldn't know/be informed/care, or b.) leaks wouldn't happen. People write uniqueness evidence about targeting, alert status, etc. If they know, it's not a secret.
  4. The Case Against Emails 1. Publication a. None - No one seems to be defending being able to read unpublished emails, so I not going to spend the time spelling out the obvious reasons why this is an awful idea. If someone doesn't understand the problems, they can look at the rest of this post and magnify the impact by 10, and it would give them a pretty good idea. b. Location - Emails end up getting posted in the most questionable places. The history of this practice tells us that emails will get published on: wikis, blogs, random cross-x pages that are inaccessible from the forums because Kerpen gave someone the hook-up. These webpages usually can't be found on google or other traditional methods of research. Let's not kid ourselves. There is always a perverse incentive to keep the emails secret until deployed in round for the first time. Isn't this true of every new file or argument? Yes, but with other arguments there is always a chance that I found the same article you did anticipated the argument and wrote a response. Emails posted to websites that can't be found in searches eliminate the ability to predict arguments based on research of the topic's literature base. The potential for abuse is obviously outlandish as well. A professor or graduate assistant could put these emails in a university library under a course reserve and claim it's available for anyone to peruse. c. Timing - History also teaches us that emails are usually posted to these hidden websites minutes before the round begins. This obviously makes it impossible to anticipate and prepare for the argument. It if functionally the equivalent of not posting at all (in the first instance). Don't people get caught off guard by new arguments all the time? Yes, but it is usually because of a deficit in their research. If you developed a position based on an article in an obscure journal that another team didn't read, then kuddos to you and shame on them for not finding it. However, we can't expect teams to anticipate every email you would send and the possible responses you would receive. Would waiting until the 'webcrawlers' have found my website so that it shows up in searches solve this problem? Perhaps, but that brings me to other issues with email evidence. 2. Annoyance I've seen how upset librarians can get at camp when dealing with a limited pool of kids in the community asking for research assistance, and they actually get paid for doing it. I can only imagine how quickly an author would grow tired of answering emails from high schoolers about their silly debate topic. It would seem that this method of research would favor the proverbial early bird and would not provide a replenishable resource for the community. This means that if the author is vague or ambiguous in their initial email, future attempts at clarification my find their way to the spam box. 3. Verifiability How can we prove that the person emailed is in fact qualified or an expert? The Marburry incident seems to indicate that this misdirection can happen. I've got emails from 'doctors' telling me that taking a pill will lead to significant male enhancement. Can I use that as evidence? The problem becomes more acute when authors stop responding because of the annoyance da. This can cause suspicion and tension to rise in the community. Also, how can we be sure that the author is actually the one responding to the email, and not a clerk or aid, or staff person, or secretary, or personal assistant (insert slumdog millionaire outsourcing joke here). 4. Fishing The questions that are asked of these authors are often very leading, and may lead to author to say things that have an impact on the debate community that they don't fully understand. Such as, "specifically, in the context of 'alternative energy incentives', what would be a 'substantial increase'?" The questions are always loaded. Anyone who has done elections research about polling knows the way you ask the question affects the answer you receive. Tricking an author into using resolutional wording isn't good research. It's deception. 5. Casualness Emails with experts aren't subject to same standards as published material. There is no peer review process, no fact checking, no editorial board. Authors may have very strong (read biased) opinions on matters that would never make it into one of their published works. It's also unlikely that in typing out a response the author engaged in the amount of academic rigor they would put into a published work. You are likely getting a knee-jerk response, because it's highly doubtful they consulted Webster's for your T question or U.S. Code for you counterplan competition question. There is an issue with appealing to the authority of an author of an email when they may not be writting in that capacity. Authors are also unlikely to take the conversation as seriously as the debater will. One need only search edebate for the Stratfor staff's mocking of Brad Hall to find proof of this. 6. Cherry Picking There is no way to force teams to post every email email exchange they have had. Teams are only going to post the conversations that benefit them. You can email 25 authors and put the best response up on your wiki to read in a round. This extra layer of opacity in disclosure always benefits the emailer and not the teams trying to answer it. It's also impossible to verify that you have posted the entirity of the email exchange. Are you going to hand over the password to your email account? What if you've deleted an email? Sure, I could email the author to make sure he actually wrote that exact reply and that the exchange lasted for 4 emails not 6, but see Annoyance DA. Also, if you've already pestered dissenting authors for their opinion, that decreases the likelyhood that I can email them for a response to your new sweet ev. 7. Linchpins Let's face it. People don't email their authors to get a 5th uniqueness card for their 2NC block. It is ALWAYS to obtain a critical argument that would make the position otherwise unviable. Maybe it's T question. Maybe counterplan competition. Maybe a disad link. Regardless, it always expands the research burden by making a new case/strategy viable or eliminating the viability of pre-existing case/strategy. Argument innovation can be a good thing, but only when it's predictable and grounded in literature. 8. Students should email authors for assistance in guiding their research and deploying their arguments Counter Interpretation solves all your offense. There isn't a reason why emails need to be read in round. Authors can point kids in the direction of literature they haven't read or places to look for the evidence. All of the educational benefits of this practice can still be obtained. ***The out of context exception. If you feel a team is reading a card out of context or misinterpreting the author's intent, then in this limited instance I think it would be ok to introduce an email exchange. However, you should probably make every effort to let the offending team know that you think they are in error and disclose the exchange to them in an effort to prevent the infraction in the first place.
  5. Version

    This is a violation to be used against teams that deal with agriculture or treat malnutrition. It is useful against agricultural biotech cases like the ones Colleyville and Greenhill read all year, and cases about food aid like the ones Dallas Jesuit read. The basis argument is that you have to treat communicable diseases to be topical, and malnutrition isn't one. *Microsoft Word File*

    1.00 USD

  6. Version

    This is a violation to be read against teams that read a single country AFF to South Africa. There are at least 6 independent reasons why South Africa should not be included in the list of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. These reasons are supported with evidence and there is additional evidence to prove how this undermines NEG ground. *Microsoft Word File*

    1.00 USD

  7. The packet was wrong. It broke ties using a random number (RND). The tournament used another, less arbitrary, method for breaking the ties.
  8. Version

    This is an AFF I wrote for the TOC. Unfortunately, the right opportunity to break it never materialized. Yes, it is expensive. Here's why: 1) I think it is the best file I have ever posted on this website. 2) It is in the interest of the buyer that the file not be purchased by lots of other people. In fact, once someone buys it, they can contact me via email (whit211@gmail.com), and I will remove the file from this site within 24 hours. I am unable to guarantee that only you will be able to buy it, but I will do my best to protect your investment. I'm not going to discuss what the AFF is in this discription (because I want you to be able to maintain the element of surprise), but I also don't want you to go into this blind and be unsatisfied with the product. So I will tell you the following: 1. This is NOT a critical aff. It is a "policy" aff. 2. This is NOT a small aff. It is very much a "big stick" aff with lots of impacts. 3. The aff is only directed to one country. Not a lot of teams have ran cases that go to this country, but it is NOT an obscure small country that there is little literature on. 4. The assistance that the AFF gives does not go to the government of the country that it acts towards. 5. Many people's gut reaction may be that this AFF is not topical, but I think the evidence to support its inclusion in the topic is very good. 6. There are lots of cards to answer topicality, disads, and counterplans. You will need to add analytical arguments, theory, and perms to the blocks. There are politics links/turns both ways and case specific answers to many popular consultation and international actor counterplans. 7. There are zero specific K answers. You will need to do this work on your own. 8. The U.S. key arguments are quality. If you have other general questions about the AFF, feel free to email me at the address above.

    150.00 USD

  9. No James is her brother.
  10. Cases that are being run (this is based on vague memory of a quick phone conversation last night....so it could be a little off): Water Condoms to Uganda Repeal Gag Rule for Kenya Rebuild the El Shifa pharmaceutical plant (Sudan) Disease Suveillance Djibouti/MEDFLAG Landmines Two agricultural biotech cases I'm sure there is more, but I can't remember...and don't even ask me to try and attribute schools to these cases...just consider it a primer for what to expect.
  11. When you concede that fiscal discipline is low and argue that the economy is still high, you have taken out the INTERNAL LINK to your disad. Sure perception arguments are sweet, but you're most likely not going to be able to control that debate. Most people THINK we are spending too much money. Unless you are talking about investor perception, but then good look winning that people who are smart will get freaked out by the US spending a few bucks in Africa. ...and any good 2ac block to spending is going to have multiple levels of uniqueness answers. FD low, econ low, new spending inev, etc.
  12. Hit him up at scottyp431@gmail.com to negotiate.
  13. Hey, if any of you public school kids want to put your teachers in a uncomfortable position, show them this article and ask them if they know of any historical examples of it happening to humans. I'm getting flashbacks of Noah Wylie's "I can't continue this conversation" from Donnie Darko just thinking about it.
  14. Seeing as how "aid" isn't in the resolution, no one will have to claim it 'on face.' ...and yes I'm saying most people won't be effectually topical. Most teams will directly increase 'public health assistance' to Sub-Saharan Africa. You are conflating assistance and aid, then conflating two different definitions of aid. People will give 'assistance' (read: money...although there is some debate over whether it can include other things). Regardless of whether that money assists or aids the people it is intended too, the aff has met its burden for topicality. Q: "But Whit, aren't there other definitions of assistance...I totally found a sweet one that I'm going to use to legitimate my totally abusive aff?" A: "Yes, but they're all stupid and bad for debate (a definition doesn't make you topical...a definition supported by a solid interpretation of the topic and some standards does). A majority of the community will adopt the standard that aid is money and that the modifier 'public health' means it has to go towards something related to that."
  15. Dude, I haven't seen the file, but I'll go out on a limb and say you don't have a single card that says both "Learn and Serve America" and "Urban Debate League" solvency advocate or not. Unless it is from an article from April that says a UDL did a public debate with LSA funds. ...but that is the only one. Providence Journal 4/11/07 l/n Yesterday, high school students from the Rhode Island Urban Debate League, the Providence District-Wide Student Government and Channel One-Central Falls debated the question, "Should Rhode Island students be able to drop out of high school at the age of 16 or should it be changed to the age of 18?" This was the first in a series of public debates organized by the debate league. This event was sponsored in part by Brown University's Swearer Center for Public Service and a grant from Learn and Serve America and the Rhode Island Campus Compact.
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