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colindownes last won the day on July 6 2005

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About colindownes

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  1. Solar power satellites could be pretty sweet: http://spacefuture.com/archive/a_fresh_look_at_space_solar_power_new_architectures_concepts_and_technologies.shtml http://www.spacefuture.com/archive/conceptual_study_of_a_solar_power_satellite_sps_2000.shtml
  2. I learned about this last summer at a program on decision theory. Obviously, I don't really have an answer other than to say that options that involve ditching one of the criteria of the theorem are pretty interesting. This may seem somewhat anachronistic, but it tells us about the preferences of the United States. Just like we want a Senate to balance out the differential in power between states that a purely population based system of representation would create, we have the electoral college to dilute the power of big states and increase the relative power of small states in the presidential election. I don't think that's such a bad thing.
  3. T: "public" = government with an F/X T standard, the health assistance has to be provided by state, either US or target countries, not some random NGO. K: Cultural imperialism CP: Fund Tostan programs only in countries that practice FGM (get this list ahead of time...), spending and "representing all SSAfricans as female mutilating savages ain't cool" as NBs - as written, that plan text implies that you fund in all countries in SSA, but FGM isn't practiced in all of them. Check this in cx of course, "so which countries will you fund Tostan programs in?" If they say all, you're golden. If they say only where FGM takes place, push them for details, ask them to specify which countries. If they can't, throw down some vagueness theory instead of the CP, since it's impossible to generate an estimate of the implications or expenses involved if you can't even know what the hell they're going to be doing. Not the worst abuse story ever, at least. Anyways, if they're really on the ball and give you a list in CX, then ditch this and you can start doing decent country specific disads. And then on case... generic solvency: -The Tostan model has a 2-3 year timeframe in each village. This'll be key on the impact calc debate if you're running country specific disads instead of the CP. -The Tostan model is designed for small communities with substantial intermarriage. What'll you do about the large urban centers where FGM is practiced? -Tostan only enters communities that invite them. No effect in areas that are deeply committed to FGM, cf northern Senegal which has seen none of the success that Tostan saw in the south. patriarchy adv: -two card third world feminism K as case turn, just a link and an impact -two card feminist rights talk K as a case turn, same as above (Tostan uses an educational program based on human rights) -do you claim discursive impacts on here? if so, they make no sense - the west already finds FGM repugnant for the most part and what happens in round doesn't affect the SSAfricans' discourse one bit. -communities doing Tostan don't stop FGM because they're convinced about the human rights of women or because they've decided to reject patriarchy - all the articles that interview actual Senegalese who decide to stop FGM after Tostan programs report that they stop because they're convinced by the health arguments. -you don't solve patriarchy, you solve for a symptom of it - doesn't get you access to your sweet, sweet patriarchy impacts dehum adv: -Neg accesses through K, turns case. Neg impacts take priority anyways because you're dehumanizing SSAfricans with your rhetoric in round when you represent them as violent savages who need Western values imposed on them, whereas you only solve for the dehum impacts of FGM post plan.
  4. I'm not sure if that could work - I mean, since the law is triggered by the participation of other states, it seems like it'll be a de facto interstate compact no matter what. But as the folks behind this have articulated it, it's an interstate compact. (http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/pages/misc/888wordcompact.php) Given that measures to eliminate the electoral college have been filibustered in the past, it would probably still need a 2/3 supermajority in the senate. I'll grant that it's easier to push through than an amendment, but not really by much.
  5. I've really never understood what's supposedly wrong with the electoral college. I guess the idea is that the possibility of our president being somebody that the majority doesn't want in office offends the idea of democracy. But that happens in a strict plurality voting scheme anyways. Election Scenario A 47% B 48% C 5% Assume that everyone voting for A would rank the candidates in order of preference as {A,C,B} and that everyone voting for C would rank them as {C,A,B}. In a strict plurality system, the result is that the winner of the election was the majority's last choice. Anyways, as an interstate compact this NPV thing needs congressional approval, which seems to mean it'll hit most of the same snags Waldman describes as confronting proposed amendments to eliminate the college.
  6. What possible significance does an affirmative or negative answer to this question have?
  7. Couldn't you find a more important violation of the Constitution to get your undergarments knotted up about?
  8. http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/2008-April/074954.html
  9. This may sound kinda silly, but I find that I can take myself more seriously when I'm dressed up for debate. It gives me a little more gravitas, a better "stage presence" in the room. And no matter how flow-centric a judge is, those things matter.
  10. No, Rand proposes one's own life as the ultimate value, not greed as the ultimate virtue. There's a difference. The argument runs something like this: Human beings are confronted by a fundamental choice between life and death. If death is chosen, you don't need a system of ethics (a guide to action), because you can achieve your goal by just doing nothing. If you choose life, well, then, your life is now your standard of value, the value by means of which you evaluate all others. The best place to go for a systematic and concise explanation of Objectivist ethics with a minimum of Randian rhetoric (which sometimes clouds the point, and may be a source of some of the misconceptions of your interlocuter) is Ch 7 of Leonard Peikoff's "Objectivism: The philosophy of Ayn Rand". Get it at the library so as to deny Peikoff the income he's been harvesting from Rand's dessicated corpse for years.
  11. I'll be there, in the critical track.
  12. Fifth, you still cannot prove objectivism to be true without assuming that it is so. How can you prove that objectivism is true without the assumptions of human greed? I still think that's a strawman, Poneill. If you know enough about Objectivism to know why The Third is misrepresenting Rand, then you know that Objectivism doesn't "assume human greed". It posits greed as a virtue, not an essential quality of the human animal (cf my previous two posts on this threat). I know pestering Objectivists is fun, but you should at least pester them about Objectivism.
  13. You went from defensive arguments (at best) to 'should/would'-esq argumentation. I don't really understand what you're accusing me of. Regardless, questions about whether or not reparations would be just - if that's what you mean by "should" argumentation - are precisely what lies at the core of this controversy. It would probably end up being more of a values topic than a policy topic. You might think that would suck, but that's a very different claim from "there's no neg lit on reparative justice lol". really, you're arguments are bad. Even if that was only a minute and a half of googling, you really WON'T find better arguments after 2 and a half YEARS of research. Just making fun of David Horowitz (admittedly a perfectly legitimate pasttime) doesn't really warrant either of those claims. They don't offer warrants though, or even better, negative implications from said injustice. Right. Thompson's Ethics article had no warrants. Whatever. And I don't even know what you mean by negative implications from injustice. We ought not to do unjust things because they're unjust. Or, if you like, it turns the aff ethical advantage (the most prominent advantage in the literature). The burden, when choosing a topic, is on the one that supports a topic to determine what would be 'adequate ground'. Asking this question in return means that you really don't have a good grasp of what ground would be, in terms of debate, 'real ground'. I'm not going to let you play burden of proof ping-pong on this. I'm denying your claim that: negatives are limited to: A) zizek/multiculturalism bad Racism good/Exclusion good C) My oppression comes first. by arguing that there is very substantial literature on the ethics of reparative justice, and that negatives could get a lot of mileage out of that literature in the round. I'd go so far as to say it would be the core of the negative ground in the unlikely event this topic is chosen. You then said it's not "real ground". The burden is on you to identify the necessary and sufficient conditions something would have to meet to have "real ground" in your opinion, since you're the one introducing that term of art. Japanese Internement reperations. look em up. How do WWII Japanese internment reparations N/U ethical questions relating to reparative justice? I just don't understand your point. If you aren't talking about this ethics business, but rather about ptix or econ or relations or whatever damn generic DA you want to use, then I still don't get your point. The political/economic/geopolitical situation is obviously very different in 2008 than it was in 1988. Moreover, the nature of the reparations paid was qualitatively distinct from the areas considered in the topic paper. Reps were paid to survivors, not people connected to a historical injustice in the distant past. And it wouldn't be Japanese internees, so the issues at stake would be different. The political consequences for a congressman supporting reparations for slavery are very different from the political consequences for supporting reparations for locking people up in Manzanar. So much distinguishes these issues that Japanese internment is basically a red herring.
  14. Ayn Rand doesn't think we have a basic instinct of survival. From For the New Intellectual: "Man has no automatic code of survival. His particular distinction from all other living species is the necessity to act in the face of alternatives by means of volitional choice. He has no automatic knowledge of what is good for him or evil, what values his life depends on, what course of action it requires. Are you prattling about an instinct of self-preservation? An instinct of self-preservation is precisely what man does not possess. An “instinct” is an unerring and automatic form of knowledge. A desire is not an instinct. A desire to live does not give you the knowledge required for living. And even man’s desire to live is not automatic: your secret evil today is that that is the desire you do not hold. Your fear of death is not a love for life and will not give you the knowledge needed to keep it."
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