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The Spork

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The Spork last won the day on March 17 2009

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About The Spork

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  • Birthday 04/09/1989

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  1. Are you insane? You really don't think the omission of "debate coach" is relevant when discussing author qualifications/bias? You don't think there's a difference between a published article and a letter to the editor? That there isn't a difference between a 2nr overview which is based on arguments made previously in the round with some basis in fact and stemming from outside literature, and a modification to the literature base to change the arguments and introduce new claims that previously did not exist? Writing a letter to the editor as Justin Skarb isn't fabrication. Publishing an article and not including the information that he is a debate coach is. I'd love to see one of these definitions which you think doesn't apply to the fact that he manufactured an identity which seems more legitimate than his own and wrote a paper which he implied was based on independent research and analysis. It's sweet that you think we should ruin debate so that what Skarb did would have no impact on the activity, but until we make these changes, all your arguments are a waste of time because in the current state of debate, it's cheating.
  2. If anyone is still looking for a judge for NCFLs, Zachary Levine (a former Edgemont debater who did pretty well nationally) is available. He has transportation but would like housing, although might be able to figure something else out if necessary. His email address is caeruleuss@gmail.com.
  3. Agreed that Damien didn't do anything unethical, but that's not the argument. Mikey13 points out a few ways the mere existence of the article impacts other teams prepping for the TOC, and I can vouch for that - when we found out about it we had a discussion over whether we should actually read it at the TOC, and we're just lucky that situation didn't arise. I've talked to other coaches who were equally conflicted. And it's not comparable to a blog, because a blog cites the actual author rather than a pseudonym and is obvious from the cite that it is a blog, whereas in this case Space Review sounds like a legitimate publication so teams will be less likely to call other teams out on it. And Space Review is definitely not peer reviewed. The article would probably be mocked during the peer review process if it were submitted to a legitimate journal. Everything that makes it great for debate would make it a terrible piece of academic literature. But your interesting defense still fails to justify the use of a pseudonym, which I think is the biggest problem with the situation.
  4. You're conflating two seperate ethics claims. The Damien debaters, and the team as a whole, did not do anything unethical since it wasn't used in a debate round. Perhaps we should applaud them for their ethical decision not to use the article because of the source. That doesn't make the publication of the article by Skarb, especially considering the circumstances (pen name, days before the TOC, clearly written for debate with several DAs and a CP strategy in a manner that would not meet most academic standards for publication) ethical. That is something that was done, which can be unethical. You also kind of sound like a tool when you say "Potential abuse isn't a voter in this scenario." When it comes to the question of whether this publication is ethical, I'm kind of on the fence. There are several very valid reasons why coaches should not be discouraged from publishing articles, but there's no defense of a) A pen name, which prevents the in-round discussion of intent and bias which is necessary for evidence comparison. If it were written for academic purposes, he should have been proud to attach his name to it. The timing and lack of notification. Rather than being published in some sort of peer reviewed journal, it was posted on an obscure site with lax submission guidelines, and only days before the TOC so there was very little time for it to show up on google searches and for teams to find out about it. Obviously there are certain circumstances in which timing would be difficult to control, because journals have submission and publication deadlines etc., but they also have higher standards for publication and have a broader range of readers which increases the chances of discovery, both of which seem to balance out the timing issue somewhat. In this situation, that was clearly not the case. c) The debate-centric manner in which it was written, which RJ discussed earlier. It would be nice to know why Skarb chose to do those things, which undoubtedly made his article more controversial than it otherwise would have been, without any obvious benefit if the intent was not competitive gain. Hopefully he can publicly clarify this for us. We should at least listen to his reasoning before condemning him. Perhaps the Scu is right when he proposes several guidelines for the publication of work by debate coaches. Publication should probably be encouraged, or at least not discouraged, and perhaps it is even beneficial for evidence written by coaches to be read in debate rounds, but in the future I think at the very least it is essential for the author to make their identity clear.
  5. From Edgemont Sam Gelb - Columbia Abhinav Shrestha - Uchicago Dillon Browne - Champlain Joe Kim - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute And you already have Harsh up there, I guess cuz he's such a baller.
  6. Fair enough, but I think there is a mindset that some people have that they need to judge differently because it's the TOC, and I think that point of view is flawed. Not a big deal, but worth noting.
  7. I disagree and this mindset is something which sort of bugs me. It wouldn't be any more irresponsible to decide finals of the TOC in 2 minutes than it would be to decide the same debate in 2 minutes had it occurred in a prelim round at a local tournament. The importance of the round shouldn't change the manner in which it is judged, its just more probable that a round of such high quality that it requires a long decision occurs in the TOC finals. But if it wasn't a close debate, it would be irresponsible to sit there for an hour and waste everyone's time just because it's finals of the TOC. edit: Congratulations to Westminster and Bellarmine and everyone else who competed at the TOC this year. It was a great and extremely talented group of debaters that were a pleasure to watch all year.
  8. Jason, this is kind of interesting but I think your application of it would make debates messier without really gaining anything. If a team deploys this as impact defense by saying "you get politics and heg good which means there's no ground impact to topicality," this is probably a flawed approach, in the same way that "you have a case neg so there's no abuse" is a flawed approach, but your metric doesn't respond to it, because your offense is "you justify new affs (and go to the right)" but since all of those affs are guaranteed to link to the politics disad, the "impact defense" still applies - the negative still has the same politics ground, so it's fine that you justify all those affs. In other words, the impact to your "aff defensive arguments bad" argument is taken out by those same aff defensive arguments. There are two ways to get around this 1) Answer their defense. "You get politics disads" is not great defense against a good ground argument, and if you do that, then you get to weigh your "you justify affs that only link to politics disads" argument. But if you can do that, you might as well just answer the defensive argument in the first place and not get into this whole secondary debate. 2) Win an external impact. Obviously there are also external impacts, like justifying all these stupid affs unlimits and means stupid debates, but it seems like those arguments apply to the counter-interpretation already and so arguing that "their defensive argument that we get politics is a link to our underlimiting/education argument" seems to be confusing and a waste of time. It's like reading a politics disad with a link to an add-on they read instead of to the plan itself. It probably works but its messier and unnecessary. I don't understand why you wouldn't just say their original interpretation unlimits the topic and justifies all these bad affs, and then answer their "you get politics ground" argument with "politics disads are dumb ground and they aren't about the topic." As a side note, I think the better defensive argument would be to say something like "you get politics links based off the perception of the aff as social services" Edit: I just read some more of the thread so it makes sense to make your argument in a situation where they have a reasonable counter-interpretation and make this defensive argument that you try to use it as a way to expand their interpretation and generate more offense, but first of all, teams that have more reasonable counter-interpretations should have better defensive arguments (so for example, they should be saying you get social services based politics links), and more importantly, I think you're artificially constructing this justification argument - just because one reason their interpretation isn't terrible is that you get generic ground does not mean that they are forced to defend everything that generic ground links to - and if it does, this is a flawed way to look at topicality, and messes up the neg too, because every ground argument they make can then be used to artificially expand their interpretation and generate offense - so for example, if they say something like "our interpretation is key to ensure ground to oil price disads" then it seems like the aff could argue that the negative interpretation would allow every aff which linked to an oil price disad.
  9. Don't need transportation, probably need a place to stay but I might be able to figure something out. Debated nationally for Edgemont and judged and coached for them at a bunch of tournaments these past two years. If you need more than one person I can talk to/put you in touch with a bunch of other Edgemont alums too. josh.waizer@gmail.com
  10. And they have been phrased as "should" to incorporate the assumption of fiat. If I ask you "should the USFG increase alternative energy incentives?" a response of "no, it won't" does not address the question, but a response of "no, because it would cost capital which trades off with other policies" is responsive to that question. http://ddw.wikispaces.com/fiat+lecture Ken Strange's lecture in which he explains that fiat was created to avoid the question of will it happen and simply answer the question of should it happen. He also discusses disads to fiat, and rejects an interpretation of fiat which allowed these disads because it "failed at the purpose of fiat" by "focusing on the fiat assumption itself rather than the merits of policy." This all seems consistent with my arguments on the purpose of fiat, and the rejection of your interpretation for "failing at the purpose of fiat" because it excludes argument that question desirability and also focuses on the fiat assumption itself. I'll admit I didn't watch the whole lecture, so I might be shooting myself in the foot because its possible he mentions politics disads later and agrees with you. Some more support for my claim. http://www.willamette.edu/cla/rhetoric/workshop/Lectures&Exercises/fiat.doc http://www.planetdebate.com/novicecenter/novicecenter_faq_details.asp?I=69 No, its a pretty stupid argument, but the link isn't stupid, we just inflate impacts to compete. Political opposition and the cost of overcoming it can be the strongest reason to oppose a policy even if the debate impact is unrealistic, because the impacts to all the other disads are equally unrealistic even if the links are not. But this is also a bad example, I specifically said "certain" policies, brownfields probably wouldn't have great politics links. Presumption is different from negation theory. It exists because the question is should we change the status quo. The aff obviously needs to prove that yes, we should make some sort of major change before we do it.Some support for the reasons behind presumption: Debate: http://debate.miami.edu/materials/stockissues.doc Law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presumption_of_innocence This presumption is seen to stem from the Latin legal principle that ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (the burden of proof rests on who asserts, not on who denies). It's not like the negative made some backroom deal with the debate lords saying "we ignore questions of process, you give us presumption." It's just the way things work. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The negative meets its burden of rejoinder if a plan text says "The USFG should <act>" because the politics disad is responsive to the question of "should". If a plan text solely addressed implementation, I agree that a link based off passage would not meet the burden of rejoinder. That doesn't happen tough and its arguably not topical. This was a joke.
  11. Disagree. That's some nice revisionist history though. Fiat was created to shift the focus from "will" to "should," not to deal with time constraints and eliminate the best arguments. Pol cap disads still address the question of "should" and so are still relevant. Out of round research solves your time constraints arguments. Out of round research also leads you to find that the best arguments against *certain* policies are that there would be massive political or monetary consequences as a precondition for passage. We do the out of round research to weed out the stupid arguments that would take 10 hours to go through and pick the strongest and debate about those. I think the negative has presumption, don't see why it's relevant. I also don't know why you assume that I think "old school theories are passe" without knowing me. I like to think I'm pretty open minded when it comes to argumentation. Ks suck though, so that preempt was unnecessary.
  12. Sure thing. A lot of it was the discussion of O and -P but that was probably unnecessary complication. The first argument was that the nature of political capital is such that it cannot be definitively reduced to zero, so there is not a scenario in which lack of political capital could make the plan incapable of passing. The second argument is I think one that you are more likely to accept because it assumes the second half of your either/or statement, which is that the link is false. So, my argument is that the nature of debate is that opposing teams make arguments which are inconsistent with each other, although the same team may not. The negative would not make the claims that a) bill X will pass now because of political capital the plan requires political capital for passage c) obama has no political capital Similarly, the aff would not make a claim that a) global warming --> extinction the aff solves global warming c) global warming is not real In both cases, if argument c is true, then arguments a and b must be false. Argument c is an argument which would be made by the opposing team, and the judge, at the end of the debate, is forced to conclude that, at most, two of the three claims above are true. For a team to win their politics disad, they obviously have to win that Obama has political capital, otherwise there is no uniqueness to their disad. If they don't, and the aff wins he has no capital, the judge can then conclude that the link is false; the plan does not require political to pass. Similarly, if a judge concludes global warming is not real, then neither does it cause extinction, nor does the plan solve it. If argument c is won by either team, arguments a and b are false. But, argument c is simply an argument that the team making arguments a and b has to answer and win definitively for the judge to accept their other arguments, it is not a theoretical reason to prevent a team from making the arguments in the first place. So yes, if a team wins that Obama has no political capital, then the link is false, and there's probably no uniqueness to the disad. Then its tough for the negative to win the disad. That's not a reason to exclude it on a theoretical level. There is a huge difference between arguing a disad is stupid and a judge should not vote on it because it makes no sense, and arguing it should be theoretically excluded from evaluation. My third argument has to do with the purpose of fiat, which is to make it possible to debate about the desirability of the plan while ignoring the questions "will it happen." That's because the likelihood of it occurring is not a response to the question of if the "usfg should act." Fiat allows us to circumvent the question of will and go straight to the question of should. That is all it does. If there is a political cost to the passage of the plan, that is responsive to the question of whether the usfg "should" act and not the question of whether it "will" act, and so is consistent with the logic of fiat. To ignore it, while consistent with one small aspect of your interpretation of fiat, is inconsistent with the broader purpose of fiat, and the reason it exists in the first place. The thing which defies logic is fiat itself, but we are forced to fudge it a bit to debate about the desirability of the plan. That is hardly a justification to abandon reality in its entirety to establish perfect consistency (which I doubt is acheivable, and if it were, would not really be fun or educational). If there's a small hole in the road that you fill with some concrete and it causes a tiny bump, it's inconsistent. Most peoples solution is to ignore that small bump because it doesn't have any impact, even though in theory someone could hit it and send their car careening off a cliff to their death. Your solution seems to be to blow up the road so that there's no more bump. You establish total consistency, but abandon any possibility of reaching the goal that the bump was placed there for to acheive. The fourth argument, which wouldn't fall under the "no link" category but is probably just as important a response to this argument is that this logic can be used to exclude all of the best negative arguments. Your argument is that links cannot be generated off of anything that is a precondition for the plan. If money is necessary for the plan, then since "no money" arguments can theoretically prevent passage, spending and tradeoff disads are out. Constitutionality arguments are out. Teams can't argue that the plan violates the constitution and would be rolled back. Teams also can't argue the plan violates the constitution and that destroys seperation of powers etc. and is bad. Teams also can't argue that a precondition of the plan is that it would have to modify the constitution ino order to avoid this rollback, and that modification would be bad. Those are directly on the level of passage, but I don't think there's a logical reason why it shouldn't be expanded to mandating things which could potentially not exist. Mandating plan passage in absence of political capital is "fiating" the use of something which could theoretically not exist. If an aff took people from the reserves and reclassified them as part of the armed forces, a sweet disad to that would be "reserves good." By your logic, that disad could not be read, because there's a possibility of having no people in the reserves, and people in the reserves is a precondition for the aff, so we can't read disad links to that trade off. On this topic, its especially damaging. The topic mandates the provision of an incentive. There is, in most cases, a theoretical possibility the incentive does not exist, in which case it is impossible for the plan to pass. Therefore, teams would never be able to read disads to incentives. There are two "impact magnifiers" to this argument. The first is that the types of disads people do run would get significantly worse, because they would be disads that would not apply to the policy in the real world but are based entirely off of the notion of fiat, such as sacred cow, rider disads, this wto disad, etc. Links off of the durability and instaneous nature of the plan rather than the plan itself would proliferate, because they are guaranteed uniqueness (there is no other policy that would fiat itself into existence, so the generic links have super-uniqueness for debate) but apply to every aff that uses fiat. Counterplans which compete off of the idea of fiat become more strategic and competitive, because they are some of the only options left, and some of the stronger options in negative arsenals. Sunsets CP, which mandates that a sunset provision be attached to the plan so that it can be reexamined in 5 years becomes a sweet counterplan. The consult counterplan is also sweet, because its super-competitive because theres a possibility that the plan won't pass, even if no one reads that evidence (so yeah, the consult counterplan is more competitive through your logic...). Neg arguments, rather than shifting from desirability of passage to solely desirability of existence (which, by the way, I think is stupid, because its educationally bankrupt to consider the desirability of existence without factoring in consequences of passage) shift to the desirability of any plan being automatically "fiated into existence" regardless of the actual mandate of the plan. Second is that affs pick some of the less desirable plans because a large reason why some policies are undesirable is cost, political backlash, opportunity cost, and other preconditions to passage. If those aren't considerations, some of the stupid policies suggested by a third grader which sound sweet but aren't realistic become the best debate affs because there are no disads to them if they are just "fiated" into existence. Aff wins, we learn nothing useful. I think this is a pretty terrible fate for debate. Lets be honest, if you got rid of the politics disad, this isn't the likely outcome (at least not the two things I labelled "impact magnifiers", I honestly believe that the educational value of debate is significantly lowered if you exclude some of the best literature in opposition to the plan because it is based off of preconditions for passage which is a direct result of your argument) but it is possible and it is what your logic "justifies" since that is the language we are all using. Since your argument is based entirely off justification, since the status quo literally disproves your impact, since these links are being read and yet fiat also exists and people aren't killing themselves over a logical impossibility, what your logic "justifies" is a whole lot worse than what mine does. I think there were some smaller details that were direct reponses to other claims but I don't think they were that important. This was also a more elaborate explanation than before. ----- I don't think we disagree about the 2ac issue. I think it's a fairly easy argument to make and pretty stragic both in terms of the time tradeoff it gets you and because if they drop it and don't read another link, it's a round winner, so that wouldn't be a reason it's wrong. The reasons its wrong are above. Another thing that I should probably mention is that my real thoughts on this specific argument are probably similar to my thoughts on conditionality and a ton of other theory arguments, which is that it is not something which cannot be definitively resolved and should be debated about in a round. I just felt like someone should defend the politics disad since its pretty sweet.
  13. Max - no way. its a blip for the 2ac, the time tradeoff works in the other direction because the neg is forced to spend a ton of time dealing with this stupidity, and if they win, they're only back where they started and still have to win the substance of the disad. plus, a no link is never a voter. there hasn't been sufficient analysis to justify winning a no link argument, there's been absolutely no analysis to justify rejecting a team. brorlob - Sorry, I don't think I was very clear. My intent was to use the 1-10 scale as a rating scale - 10 being the best, 1 being the worst, like in gymnastics or something. 9 is by definition more desirable than 1. I was taking a 1-10 scale of desirability and a 1-10 scale of real world and assuming a direct correlation. In that case where we disagree is on the correlation between desirability and how "real world" arguments are, so your 9 would not be a world in which everything was as realistic as possible except for "plan won't pass" arguments, it would be a world of logical consistency with lots of bad arguments. But lets roll with your reframing of my (admittedly poor) attempt to simplify this. With 1-10 being solely a measure of how real world something is, if your argument is the extremities are the most desirable because they are the most consistent, your interpretation would not fall under a 1, it would be maybe a 5 or 6. You don't exclude everything relating to the status quo, which is why uniqueness on other disads are still relevant, enforcement disads are still relevant, and other real world arguments are still relevant. A 1 would be an examination of the plan in a complete vacuum, which would be pretty useless and boring, but logically consistent. I don't think that's desirable or educationally valuable.
  14. This got really messy. I've made three different categories of arguments, and I don't think any of them have been sufficiently responded to beyond blanket assertions that they are wrong. 1) "No Link" arguments. I made several arguments why the claim that the logic of political capital disads allows for "plan won't pass arguments to be made" is flawed. Most of that was labelled as an answer to meanmedianmode in my prior post. All of you respond by reasserting that the two are logically incompatible and say that trumps my arguments without responding to this. It seems difficult for someone to accept your argument when you can't defend the truth value of the only remaining warrant why these disads are illegitimate. 2) "No Impact" arguments. The status quo in debate accepts these disads and the world has not exploded. Your theoretical reasons the disad is incomptable with the logic of fiat never manifests itself in an actual debate round because it relies upon winning claims which are very difficult, if not impossible to win in their entirety, so no one is ever forced to reconcile this logical impossibility. Furthermore, I explained how the judge can always find a way to reconcile this situation without creating a logical impossibility (also above, I won't bother to repeat it). An interpretation of fiat as the minimum necessary to ensure passage and overcome inherency arguments so that we can debate about the desirability of the plan still allows process links and seems fairly reasonable and the accepted by the majority of the debate community. 3) The "Impact Turn" arguments. It seems like most of you tend to agree with the real world education and negative ground arguments, but argue that the logical incompatability argument trumps that. I disagree. To use debate terms, you need to win full weight of your impact in order for it to outweigh. We can fudge logic a bit to get what we want; in fact, even in your worldview, fudging logic is somewhat necessary in order to justify the inconsistency between the claims about enforcement or passage; fiat itself is fairly illogical and requires us to suspend certain assumptions about the world. The status quo proves that your impacts are only possible in the abstract, they never actually occur in debate rounds. On the other hand, I have presented multiple warrants as to why debates in which we ignore links based off plan passage would be educationally bankrupt and destroy negative ground because they eliminate all of the best research and most realistic arguments against issues, and result in the proliferation of stupid fiat based link arguments. A world of fuzzy logic which allows the politics disad is better than a world of perfect logic where the rest of debate is stupid. Hunkbaconstrong - didn't miss it, apparently you missed the very long response Brorlob - plan won't pass questions feasibility of passage, whereas political consequences like disads to passage question desirability. Both are "real world" but they are real world answers to different questions. Furthermore, excluding one real world argument because it makes debating about desirability and the other important real world and educational arguments difficult is not a reason to exclude those arguments as well. We exclude the argument "plan won't pass" through fiat precisesly so that we can get into questions of desirability, and your interpretation prevents us from answering those questions thoroughly. If 10 is most real world and 1 is least real world, just because we can't have 10 doesn't make 1 most desirable; it seems like we would be a lot better off with 9... giantchkn - I responded to the logic argument in an earlier post that apparently went ignored. I responded to your impact claim above, this is only true in the abstract, doesn't actually happen. Consult and timeframe counterplans are bad for other reasons, but also would not be excluded by the exclusion of process, because consultation is a different mandate, and timeframe is a time issue and not a process issue. These counterplans are also not common because they lose, and are better than the alternative, which excludes the most realistic reasons plans would be undesirable and causes onlt stupid disads which link based on fiat like sacred cow and sua sponte and don't question the desirable of plans in the real world. *All this being said, I do think this is a strategic argument to make in a debate round. If someone went all out on fiat means you dont get your passage based link, it wouldnt be worth the time trade off just to get back to square one, because this argument has no risk for the aff. On the other hand, I would just go for one the other links read in the block that wasn't based off the process of passage, so I think relying on this argument alone is very unstrategic. Political capital disads are sweet.
  15. Sorry, I'm not sure about the whole quoting thing, so I didn't get the names in. I also didn't respond individually to every word that was said because I felt like some of them were either not relevant to the discussion at hand or were responded to elsewhere. I also feel like most of you have a tendency to respond to minor examples I've given to support some larger arguments, when disproving the example does nothing to disprove the argument as a whole. See: the executive order question. If I missed something, feel free to flag it and say OMG YOU DROPPED THIS ARGUMENT I WIN!!!!! and I'll go back to it. I don't see a reason why this "real world" lens is bad. It seems like an effect of the plan is that political consequences (in this case loss of capital) occur and those are important to test the desirability of a policy. You keep asserting debates about passage make "plan won't pass" a legitimate argument, but there is no reason you cannot assume the plan passes (fiat) and then debate about whether that passage is desirable. Good arg. Unfortunately, a non-unique is not a reason a disad is illegit... Actually, this proves my argument. Some of the most common responses to these affs are politics disads with links based off passage because that is what the best response in the literature is. Were we to exclude the politics disad from debate, these affs would win a whole lot more rounds, and we would learn a whole lot less. This evidence below says the reason Obama isn't fixing Social Security is because he would rather spend capital on health care. That is a legitimate argument against a Social Security aff (ignore for a second that it isn't topical, I didn't want to bother to find a sweet link card for a topic I'm not debating on). Opportunity cost is a major reason lots of policies are undesirable, and excluding the politics disad prevents you from making those arguments. "Wouldn't it be a progressive achievement to lock Social Security in for everybody alive today and their children?" one person close to the issue asked me. "Why wouldn't we do it? [As for] how you do it, there will be a long discussion with stakeholders to get it done." The reason we wouldn't do it is that the President has a limited supply of political capital, and health care spending is a bajillion times the problem to the long-term deficit than Social Security is. It's just not an issue of deep concern, a rounding error practically compared to health care reform." False. Fiat was created to deal with these inherency issues, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't debate the consequences of dealing with these inherency issues. If there isn't enough support, fiat assumes that support has been generated, but the negative can make arguments that the generation of that support required political capital. If X bill is preventing the plan because the two are mutually exclusive, then the plan would prevent X bill, so negatives should be allowed to make arguments about why X bill is good. Affs don't automatically lose now which seems to disprove your argument. Meanmedianmode makes this whole modus tollens logical contradiction argument: Bad analogy. There is no absolute negation of political capital (which is a good argument as to why the logic of political capital disads are flawed, but not a reason to reject the link argument...) Also, O is not the negation of -O. A better example P = Plan passes O = Capital exists (and -O = capital doesn't exist) P --> -O If -O is true in the status quo, that doesn't negate P. Spending disad. Inherency: plan not passing now due to lack of funds. P-->M (Money spent). Since -M, then -P. Should we reject arguments about the cost of the plan now too? This makes debate stupid. You're taking away all the best arguments in the literature. The question is whether the USFG should do the plan, not whether the plan should exist. Obviously if there are consequences to the USFG doing the plan, that outweigh the advantages, it should not be done. Your argument also gives too much power to your interpretation of "fiat." Inherency: No time travel now because the technology doesn't exists. Plan: travel through time. P --> T and P is plan passing and T is use of time travel, then -T means -P and plan didn't pass. By your logic, negatives should then not be able to make the argument that time travel technology does not exist now because it allows the possibility of a plan not passing. Two mutually exclusive claims made by opposing teams also is not a theoretical reason to exclude the argument. The team that says P --> O is not the team that says -O. If the two arguments are logically inconsistent, the result is that only one can be determined by the judge to be true, not that both arguments should be excluded. If there is a debate over whether global warming is real (G) or not real (-G) and whether global warming causes extinction (E). G--->E -E does not mean -G, it could also mean that the statement G-->E is false and G is true. Or, G-->E could be true, and the statement -E could be false. The judge needs to resolve the arguments in a manner that is logically consistent, however that does not mean making the arguments is theoretically illegitimate. In your example, a judge would determine either that the claim Obama has no capital is false, or that the claim capital is necessary for passage is false. This is stupid though, because -O could never be definitively won because that is not how capital works. Evidence for a lot of arguments is not responsive. There isn't a theoretical reason people shouldn't read evidence about invading Iran, it's just stupid because teams would ignore it since it is not relevant to the discussion at hand. It is a legitimate argument, its just a legitimate argument without a link. If a team read a piece of evidence that the aff causes an Iran invasion, that evidence becomes relevant, otherwise they say "no link," but in neither situation is it excluded on a theoretical level. No one is arguing that politics disads should be read on the aff or without a piece of link evidence, but if there is a link to the plan, it is arbitrary to exclude them. When the core of the evidence opposing a topical plan is about the political consequences, that is very different from reading evidence on some random topic like invading Iran. Your scenario makes very little sense. There is no scenario in which people would say "disads with links of a specificity level of 7 or higher are legitimate, but below that, they are not." That doesn't happen for any other disad either. People agree that disads to the act of passage are legitimate. Period. Then, if the link is not specific enough, they lose because a) the aff has more specific link turn evidence the aff makes uniqueness arguments. if the evidence is generic to "legislation costs political capital" then "legislation passed now" takes out the disad. That is not difficult to judge. Specificity is a reason why these disads are good, because they are a large part of the literature against specific, topical plans. That does not mean a level of specificity is a standard for determining legitimacy. The logic of the link doesn't presume it's possible that the plan doesn't pass. The logic of the link presumes that if the plan passed, X would happen. You assume the plan passes. You then examine the consequences of that passage. This is not difficult to understand. Finally, there isn't really a terminal impact to this argument. Even if you win that it uses slightly fuzzy logic*, the only scenario in which they are logically incompatable never actually occurs. Debaters are able to reconcile these supposedly mutually exclusive claims, and if we need to fudge things a bit in order to have good and relevant debates, then it's probably worth it, because the alternative is the stupid debates I referenced in my earlier post. Plus, we control uniqueness. Politics disads are run now, and the logical inconsistency has not yet made the world explode, but it has made people a whole lot more educated and causes some pretty high quality debates. *This is a preempt. I'm sure someone will point to this as a concession that the disad is logically incompatable with fiat. It's not. Note the "even if" statement.
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