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ThinkOutsideTheBallot

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About ThinkOutsideTheBallot

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    Julian Park
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  1. Did Foucault lift significant elements of his thought from the Black Panthers? Discuss. http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showthread.php?p=1810535#post1810535
  2. Ironic that you fail to mention the primary non-Westerner cited in Spanos's critique of Western metaphysics: Edward Said.
  3. I am far from a D&G expert, haven't even gotten round to reading more of ATP than the intro, so please feel free to push back on what follows... I think Gayatri Spivak in her essay "Can the Subaltern Speak?" (http://www.scribd.com/doc/31645036/Spivak-Can-the-Subaltern-Speak) makes a pretty important argument against both D&G and Foucault – which is more or less a combination of three points. 1) They tend to homogenize/staticize the (resistant) other, especially when it comes to difference within the international division of labor, 2) overestimate the ability of that Other to resist or at least have their resistance heard (especially with regard to the question of "how poor must someone be before their entitled to their own opinion, it is worth considering the fact that in practical reality, the only people with opinions that are heard or matter are the wealthy - Marx said it best, the ruling ideology is the ideology of the ruling class) and 3) they fail to examine the ways in which their own subject-positions are dependent upon the exploitation of others, especially subaltern others (this seems to me to be strongly related to 1 & 2). Especially with regard to D&G's elaboration of desire, I think Spivak makes a wonderful argument - that "the failure of Deleuze and Guattari to consider the relations between desire, power, and subjectivity renders them incapable of articu- lating a theory of interests" (273). In other words, because they do not make the connections between these three elements they refuse a critique of ideology (which makes them blind to their own privilege), which Spivak also criticizes Foucault for. I'd say that Zizek's critique of ideology, and Althusser's before him, are pretty good reasons why one may consider the benefits of the Lacanian side of things. Though of course, to my knowledge, they both fail to turn the gaze inward, at least explicitly, which seems to be a trend amongst Western academics... Then again, it is largely Spivak's Derridean influences which guide her towards challenging of her own positional of privilege (she holds up Derrida, to an extent, against either Foucault & D&G). With regard to nomad and schizophrenic subjectivities, I've heard it argued (not in debate, a world I've been out of that world for years now) that they idealize them both, realities that are far more troubling than their depictions. I recognize (as do many people arguing this) that what D&G are talking about operates in more of a metaphorical sense – they aren't saying it's awesome to live nomadically, as many dispossessed peoples do, or as a schizophrenic – nonetheless, I think it's a decent point that in the hyper-reified space of debate (or academia for that matter), it isn't necessarily that important how they intended these terms to operate as they can have effects far beyond their intentions - especially once these terms become as flat and isolated from context as pieces of evidence are. If at the end of the day people walk away thinking "nomads & schizophrenics are cool" then that can have terrible implications to the ways they related to actual nomads and schizophrenics. Consider for example, the wealthy kid who drops out of school to "hobo it" for a while – while they have the privilege to live in that manner, many many people live without a home because they have to. This by no means they aren't fantastic things to think and talk about, I just know for me I couldn't make those points without contextualizing them within their often harsh realities.
  4. Another plan that could work would be the United States should make itself a party to the International Criminal Court. This deals with any concern over having non USfg actor CPs. Nonetheless, I still do think that NGO fiat is reasonably legitimate- if policy comparison is just a thought experiment the only real question is whether the UN or some other well known body is an unfair actor. Well it is very predictable on a poverty topic, and there is a fair argument that topical CPs infringe on aff ground. Let me just say it again that I don't think this CP is an A strategy- it is in my opinion theoretically legit and a strong argument but has the major downside of being so general and predictable. That said, I think that those committed to leftist arguments have a decent option here if they are sick of the disadvantage debate.
  5. Let me start off by saying that I agree with the statement that anarchy should be run as a kritik if that is at all possible, because the personal anarchy and ontological anarchy arguments are in my opinion so compelling. That said, I do think that an anarchy counterplan can be useful in a round in which a judge is a firm policy maker and will not listen to kritiks. In this case I do think that an anarchy counterplan can be a compelling and all-purpose argument for situations when you have little else to say. If you grant the affirmative's solvency and read evidence that reforms will coopt any revolution (which is easy to find), then read evidence from page 271 of On the Justice of Roosting Chickens by Ward Churchill (yes, I know him, but his argument is good on this issue) until the end of the book, talking about considering "adequate nutrition, health care and housing" as "fundamental human rights," and then shortly after a statement that if smaller states were to enforce their rights (and their people's) through international institutions it would cause a break down of statist forms. You fiat the UN does something along those lines, which should be easy to argue in a world of NGO CPs. The breakdown in the US state allows the revolution to be successful. The perm fails because any reform will coopt the weakening of the state that provides the present opportunity for revolution. Any hint of an economic turn around will improve economies around the world that are all also on the brink of governmental collapse and make revolution right now so possible. The Churchill evidence is itself a good response to the perm. Actually, I think that running both of those arguments, the kritik and the counterplan, and advocating both is a very strong argument.
  6. I'm sorry but that is one of the lamest comments I have ever seen. This entire thread is a testament against your claim that "meditation k's are illegit". If you plan on sharing with us a warrant maybe something productive could arise from it... In anycase, I see no reason that meditation k's are on face any less legitimate than any other kritik (although probably less common), or any other argument for that matter. Maybe some forms are poorly put together or poorly argued but even those do not mean that other similar arguments are inherently illegitimate. Indeed, I would argue that the general lack of spiritual discussion in fields of policy and education are very serious and so would people like Vine Deloria and Robert Thruman, and Krishnamurthi, as well as many others. Meditation is simply one form of that spirituality (although some might say there is nothing inherently spiritual about it), and I think a very valuable one at that.
  7. I've gotten some requests to reup that above file. I'm not sure if this is the some one or not- but its got some decent poetry cards. http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=df5d80b31f850df6d2db6fb9a8902bda
  8. I gotta say, I've always thought that topicality debates are too definition heavy myself. And really, I'm not defining any of the resolutional terms differently, I'm just splitting what some people may consider a compound term 'alternative energy' and then using that to read what the topic already says differently. I think definitions are when you want to quibble about the exact meaning of a certain word, but in the case of re-interpreting the whole topic I don't know that they are necessary. And honestly, who needs evidence when you have arguments? If I can argue why my interpretation is better than yours, where is it exactly that I need to read a card saying what 'incentive' or 'alternative' or 'energy' means?
  9. Well thank you, and yeah I didn't really mean to say that it's only useful for kritikal affirmatives, it's just that I'm kritik kind of guy and so that's how I've been thinking of it. But I definitely am open to the interpretation being used for anything. Just trying to encourage people to think about the topic differently. Edit: One concern I have for people running this interpretation with a policy affirmative- without kritikal defenses to help you on topicality, it may be a bit more difficult to defend the splitting of (what some people consider to be) the compound term 'alternative energy'.
  10. Well first of all, I don't think that reading the topic to mean 'incentives to use energy in alternative ways' necessarily means that the affirmative must be based on individual action. I really don't see that as being inherent to this interpretation of the resolution. I think that justifying 'people power' or individual action is part of a different debate, although as I did refer to 'organizations or individuals' I see how I may have misled. In any case, I'll answer your question. I think a couple powerful definitions to use to justify individual action for any affirmative is the old United States federal government means 'We the people' (the constitution) or USfg means 'a government of the people, by the people, for the people' (President Lincoln). I personally think that there is good argument for the predictability of these interpretations since they are part of our cultural tradition, they are phrases we hear on TV, the radio, and in school. You don't have to read a dictionary to find them. But again, let me reinforce that I think that it is possible that the more debate-traditional understanding of what the USfg means can also be the actor for what we are talking about here. For instance- if congress passed a law that banned industrial agriculture, that would certainly be an incentive for people to use that energy previously devoted to that towards local agriculture. Again, what you are talking about here is not a about the interpretation of alternative energy, but the interpretation of USfg. In any case, in response to 'there is an infiinte numer of actions that we as individuals can that as opposed to big gov action' I would say that there is also an infinite number of actions that the big government can take as opposed to the ones individuals can take. Basically- your limits argument relies on an assumption of predictability, so as a strictly limits issue neither is worse than the other. In fact, if you think about it, although there is an infinite number of things a person can do they can only act as individuals, which is to say there is a physical limit to individual action. What is more complex, one individual or a huge organization made of many people? I would say that government action is far more expansive than individuals- I can't put a law into force, I can only act on the reality in front of me, but the state can make laws, make court rulings, pass treaties on an infinite number issues in an infinite number of ways. In response to your predictability argument I say why? Why is 'getting people to recycle more' 'a lot less pred than a nuclear power aff'? Because more people write threads about nuclear power than recycling? Does that mean it is more predictable, or that more people want to be able to talk about how many nuclear war scenarios there will be? Predictability is subjective, how can you know what I find predictable? I think there is an argument to be made that predictability is impossible at best, and oppressive at worst. Why do you get to decide what is predictable for me? Ultimately though, I think the best way to defend against arguments like yours are by thinking of topicality as a disad, and standards as the impacts. Okay, I've mitigated your two impacts and my impact turns to your interp is that a) your interp denies the possibility of activist education which will be crucial to solving the impending ecological crisis at hand (got a Zizek card for that), your assertion of predictability excludes other world views and reinforces a politics of genocide (a santos card). And I recognize that these are sorta generic kritik of topicality arguments, and although I think they are good ones, any good kritik of topicality really must be much more dependent on arguments specific to the affirmative at hand- its just in this case I don't have an affirmative at all. One last thing- I'm gonna go ahead an respond more generally to the issues of limits and predictability in relation to the interpretation of the topic I want to discuss. In terms of limits- again I don't see any reason why 'USfg incentives to produce alternative energy' is any more limiting of an interpretation than 'USfg incentives for using energy in alternative ways'. In fact, I think mine is a bit more limiting- there are an infinite number of new technologies and new incentives and new ways to use new technologies, while my interp only demands that people learn about new ways to use old energy. In terms of predictability- I think that again there is no ground to determine which interpretation is more predictable. And furthermore, I think that the fact that the word produce never appears in the resolution gives the debate community the room to wriggle into interps like mine. And one unique answer- my interpretation encourages conservation- it is about finding better uses for what we already have, rather than demanding new energy for the infinite suburban expansion that is the United States.
  11. Honestly I am hardy an expert on Caldwell... but no. It's not about preemption- it's not a suggestion for government action. It's just the idea that if nuclear war happened tomorrow it wouldn't be the worst thing ever (he says it would destroy industrial civilization before it destroys the planet, and that a post-nuclear world would be one in which we disarm). It is better that nuclear war happens today rather than a few years down the road, because the longer we wait the more irreversible damage to the earth we do. And that we would survive nuclear war (I believe...).
  12. Are you insane? That is not what Caldwell is saying here at all- his argument has always been and still is a de-development argument ('spark' just says nukes will fly sooner or later and if we want to survive/want the biosphere to survive, sooner is better than later). If you read this evidence in the context of a hegemony good case than you are crazy. And I quote: "If I were to suggest any single thing to improve the quality of life for the US middle class and third-world countries, it would be to cancel all debt and to forbid the charging of compound interest (and preferably the charging of simple interest as well, except perhaps at very low levels, such as one percent per annum for purchase of homes), and to eliminate debt-based money. This fundamental change to the money and banking system would bring a halt to global economic growth, and allow industrial production to operate on a “no-growth” maintenance basis (once it falls to modest levels, after the inevitable (and imminent) collapse of global industrialization). But these are simply temporary measures, and will do nothing to prevent or delay the catastrophic collapse of the US and global industrialization. It will simply make the quality of life a little better for the middle class and poor for a short time. In order to set up a long-term-sustainable society (with humankind in balance with a stable biosphere) economics must be abandoned (as Keynes observed). A long-term solution to the present problem will be based on a totally different paradigm of planetary management, not on growth-based economics." If ever there was an argument against heg advantages (and all their economic domination of the world implications) it is this. Industrial civilization will soon be dead, so in the mean time it is crucial that we secure the planet from the rise of a hostile global rival?
  13. Something I have been thinking about a lot lately is the vagueness of the phrasing of this resolution. I realize resolutions are often (intentionally) left vague so cases have a larger variety, and I think next year's topic does this in a really interesting way. The resolution: Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the United States. Now, this resolution is commonly read to mean that 'the usfg should substantially increase incentives for organizations or individuals to produce some type of alternative energy'. Most cases people have been talking about on this forum interpret the resolution this way– be it 'alternative energy' that can be produced or derived from nuclear power, solar panels, hemp, Helium-3, ethanol, or whatever. The question I am interested in is if we read it another way- what happens to the affirmatives we can write if you interpret the topic to mean 'the usfg should substantially increase incentives for organizations or individuals to use energy in an alternative way (to the way they currently do)'. No longer are you dealing with an enormous (and possibly infinite) number of new technologies or new incentives to produce new technologies or incentives to increase the use of technologies, you are now talking about how we can use what we have right now in a better way. You are now talking about sustainability, you are are talking about rethinking the way we live. I am primarily concerned with what this reading can do for people interested in critical affirmatives, but I'm certain, no matter what style of debate you enjoy, this definitely switches everything around. It opens up the possibility for all sorts of variations of de-development or sustainable development affs, local agriculture affs (which may be a component of one of the previous two)... I also think that this is an interpretation that could be used to justify a whole host of banning affs- be it ban fossil fuels, ban arms production, ban corporations... Anyway, just something that has been on my mind for a while and thought I might just share it with the community.
  14. In general, I like it- and I congratulate you on the effort/work put into making this affirmative happen. I haven't had as much time lately as I hoped I would, so if I ever put out a version of this aff too, it's gonna be a little bit. That said I do have some suggestions and criticisms, and a few questions. First of all- are you planning on spreading this 1ac? I would hope not, just because I think it would be hard to truthfully engage in constant awareness of every word you speak if you are spitting the words out a mile a minute. Second- get rid of that card from the Washington Post- all it does is prove the meditation can be coopted by capitalists to make the system run more smoothly. And it is an example of completely superficial engagement with meditation, because if those workers really meditated on their lifestyles, they'd realize they were taking part in a system that exploits and dominates many many beings and lifeforms. If you can't find a better card than that using the word energy in the context of meditation, then you aren't trying hard enough. Third- there are a couple places in there that are in danger of being quite dualistic and or reinforcing the concept of selfhood. Using the words 'key' and 'only' and alike are dominant exclusive terms that have no value in this aff. Realize- you don't need to be better than every other approach to introspection/whatever, you just need to be good. Competition demands that the neg's counter advocacy be mutually exclusive to yours, not better than yours, so don't try so hard to prove that you are better than everyone else, just be ready to perm whatever the neg suggests might also be a good thing to do (like repeating mantras). I think that using the Kappelar card is a good idea, but you need to retag it. The idea isn't that 'we' are 'responsible' for every 'choice' 'we' 'make'- you are misinterpreting the card when you say 'circumstances aren't responsible' in a way that could be dangerously contradictory to the rest off your aff- strictly speaking- everything is part of interconnected circumstances (at least according to the philosophies that recommend meditation). It's not that 'we are responsible' it's that we are part of the interconnected whole, and so, yes we have to take responsibility, but in the context that everything effects everything, and that pretending only the president makes the decisions that matter obscures the influence everyone has in creating our realities. Four- I think you need to do a bit more work interpretting the resolution/explaining your interpretation of the resolution. Last- this is mostly just a stylistic thing, but the way your aff is presented is in a much more calculative manner, than in a meditative one. I would recommend fewer emphasis on evidence and more emphasis and your own personal rhetoric. I'd get rid of the whole 'contentions' and 'advantages' thing if I were you, but like I said, that's just my style, so roll how you like
  15. You are of course forgetting the 5th element- beat boxing. Personally, I think this is something of a silly argument- whether the genre of music is hip hop or rap. The reason I think it makes sense sense to call the music of hip hop culture 'hip hop' is because it often involves several elements- rapping, DJing, and beat boxing. To call the music rap I think is misleading because there is more going on than just that one element. Although I think in a truer sense, hip hop certainly doesn't 'exist' on MTV or in the programming of other mass media, although it can often be found there.
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