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Chase last won the day on June 5 2008

Chase had the most liked content!

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About Chase

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    This is my ninja school!

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  • School
    Berkeley / St. Francis
  1. Chase


    Right, thanks - whichever Centerville Sam Halter & Ellen Lu, who were at New Trier last weekend, attend. Hopefully someone out there with a better head for schools than me knows which one this is.
  2. Would really appreciate it if anyone from here would send me an email, or if they don't check cross-x, if anyone who knows the contact info for any of their coaches/debaters would send it to me. chase dot burton at gmail dot com. Thanks a bunch.
  3. If you're around, sign onto aim for a bit. :)

  4. Chase


    hit me up please chaseburton@berkeley.edu thanks
  5. Ol' Nicholas isn't the sharpest when it comes to reading comprehension.
  6. Economic: -8.25 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -9.13
  7. Well, this is extremely fucked up and offensive, and I wanted to email him. But it seemed very unlikely that he would be willing to listen to arguments about how warped his understanding of the world is. On the other hand, if we are to have productive interactions with people like this, we need to begin engagement in some way. So, I took the approach of trying to write a noncombative email focusing on a single idea, rather than the overarching issue of racism. Hopefully he will respond, and I can use this single issue as a starting point for a broader discussion with this man. I feel that would be more productive than me unloading anger. Below is a copy of the email I sent. I did not edit it due to laziness, so there may be mistakes (I have not read it and do not know). Subject: RE: Towson U. "Great Debaters" Mau Mau Liberal Judges Hello Nicholas, My name is Chase. I'm an ex-four-year high school debater, and will be a college debater when I start as a freshman this fall. I like the activity of debate a lot, although I think it would be nice if it changed in some ways. Nothing is perfect. I'm also going to mention that I'm white. I don't think that should matter for the purpose of this discussion, but you might disagree. I'd be interested in perhaps hashing out those differences later, but right now I'm interested in something else. To be honest, I disagreed with a lot of things in your article I just read (see the subject heading). I disagreed with interpretations, assertions, presuppositions, and more. But I really doubt that I will be able to change your mind on any of those topics in this email, and I know you wouldn't be able to change mine with a response. Since debate teaches us to persuade the audience that we are correct, it seems pointless to have an email exchange about debate that involves yelling at each other with no resolution of arguments, doesn't it? I'd like to try and persuade you to reconsider your view of one single point in your article, for now. "Evidence and logic are just so white." You wrote it sarcastically, but I think there's some serious merit to it. Here's the thing - what is meant by evidence and logic? For example, if logic is "reasoning conducted or assessed according to a strict principle of validity" (the OED definition) and nothing more, in the abstract sense, you might be right - that doesn't seem very white. But I don't think Towson (and I hope I'm not dead wrong about this, because I do not know the Towson team, nor do I speak for them) is critiquing the abstract concepts of evidence and logic, but rather a specific application of those concepts. Here's what I mean: who decides what is evidence? Who decides what is logic? I could publish an article about iranian proliferation on my geocities page right now. Is that legitimate 'evidence' of something to cite in a debate? I know a lot of people who would say no. Interestingly though, I'm also pretty sure I know some people who would say yes (I'd go with the former, myself). So how do we determine what evidence is? And the same questions apply to logic. What makes something 'reasonable'? The OED says that reasonable implies "having sound judgement". I think that in many ways, it would be very possible for people of good faith and good intentions to disagree on what a sound judgement would be. So where does whiteness, and race in general, enter the picture? How does this become relevant? Here's a link to a video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6120445816765109780&ei=OdRnSODSMoOU-wHKocnNCA Now, most of it is interesting, but not very relevant to this discussion (it's about the idea of scientific support for telepathic abilities). But the presenter does provide some useful information to think about. You can skip most of it if you want, but before reading further I'd appreciate it if you'd watch say, from 11:30-18:30. There's some other stuff in there, but in that area of the video the presenter explains some distinctions between western and eastern thought. Have you watched that section? Assuming that you have, can you see how a question of 'evidence' and 'logic' in a specific context might very well be racial? Taking the question of the brain and whether it creates or is created by the mind - something that seems almost impossible to answer with absolute certainty, so I hope we can agree to disregard the concept of a 'right' answer to this chicken and egg question - we see very clearly that in different places, different groups have come up with different ways to answer it. And in the course of the presentation, you see how those assumptions that we are taught here in the West (and in the East) become capable of shaping and influencing what we consider legitimate science. If you watch the first 10 minutes of the video, 'evidence' is presented for claims (say, that a certain experiment was the first of its kind and proved a certain thing - this evidence is presented in the form of a news article, quotable in debate) that the presenter is able to show may in fact not be true at all (there were four other experiments previously) but which are accepted as fact because of the way people in the West have been taught to evaluate what makes good or bad knowledge or sense. Now, I don't have any special expertise or insight into what Towson talks about. But isn't it entirely possible that in a forum like debate, which is historically very white and male, a very white-male identity has had a prominent role in shaping what is considered to be logical, or what is considered to be good evidence? The abstract principles of evidence and logic might not be tied to any particular race, but perhaps the way those principles are deployed specifically in debate could be. My point is that I feel as though the sarcasm of your statement doesn't give Towson's argument enough credit. How do you know what you know, Nicholas? There is a substantial field of study dedicated to the question of how we come to know knowledge. Towson may simply be asking us to question our presuppositions. I hope you are able to take something from this, Chase
  8. Stop saying this. No one is suggesting we hate McCain because he's rich, or that we should hate rich people. In fact, the rest of your post actually referenced what the argument is really about (McCain not supporting the GI bill while taking military benefits), so I know that you know you're creating a strawman. You can disagree with Rayl's post over whether McCain not supporting the GI bill makes him a douche (personally, I agree wholeheartedly with him) but blatantly distorting the truth so you can accuse us of class warfare is uncalled for. P.S. I also feel like the implicit comparison of Rayl to Benedict Arnold is uncalled for. If McCain is really right about the GI bill, you shouldn't have to resort to things like that to defend him.
  9. Chase

    Your debut album

    Kua "A Flock of Goats"
  10. And I'm not saying the NCFL is universally bad, I'm sticking up for teams who you and others are accusing of 'cop outs' which is a term I resent (under your definition or mine). I'm also suggesting you may be inflating the benefits of the NCFL. I'm not saying the NCFL is bad, I am saying that suggesting that the NCFL is the single universal best way oh my god ever method to teach kids to cross-x or attack Ks is dubious. My point was that a string of examples from outside NCFL (high school debates at "national circuit" tournaments, demonstrate that teams lose if they give a bad cross-x outside NCFL too. I've lost rounds because I gave a bad cross-x. I've beaten other teams because they gave a bad cross-x. I know in at least several instances this resulted in substantial shifts in the cross-x style of teams (including my own). The teams that give a bad cross-x normally lose quickly (if they clear) outside the NCFL, too - just like you said. You claimed that these arguments (Cross-x, the other ones) were "offense" for the NCFL over other tournaments. I don't understand what it is you think makes the NCFL so special. What the hell? You think debaters are "timid" to make "smart" arguments at fast paced tournaments? Smart arguments are often rewarded with speaker points and wins in my experience. Sure, some teams will always choose to impact turn - why is that bad? Say the disad is a net benefit to the counterplan that solves the case that the aff doesn't have independent das to - strategically, just impact turning the da with no link defense on it for 3 or 4 minutes seems like a decent option. Offense wins debates, but the case is offense. If your link evidence was really that atrocious and impact turning wasn't strategically necessitated, I don't think teams would be too "timid" to say there's no link to the da so case outweighs. Is your issue with non-NCFL tournaments really that they encourage impact turn debates? My point was that you're picking and choosing in a way that rigs your analysis. Take the discussion above about impact turns - you said "good NCFL teams" would spend time with the link, and then just said teams in general outside the NCFL would impact turn. You want to talk about why top tier debaters at the NCFL prove its good, and why average debaters outside it aren't as good. My point is that if you exclusively focus on the best teams at any tournament, you're much more likely to find quality debate. The fact that teams making it past the first few elim rounds at the NCFL are hot shit doesn't prove the tournament is superior to anything; the teams making it past the first few elim rounds at the toc are also usually hot shit. Or it forces them to lie about what their evidence says. You know, either way. Look, research is an important skill to have, and an important part of debate as a game, so verifying its quality is good. Calling for and reconstructing completely unexplained arguments happens, and I agree it's unfortunate, but many judges try to limit themselves to arguments that met a certain threshold of explanation. Because that line of analysis is so successful at other tournaments. I'm not denying teams say this, but they aren't rewarded for it in the way they would be for high quality evidence comparison - the system tends to encourage better args than this. Have you heard very many RFDs that were "you know, the neg said 'it's bad ours is better,' and that was just devastating to the aff"? I agree, cross-x matters. Non-NCFL debate is not exclusive with good cross-x. Combining cross-x and evidence scrutiny leads to superior scrutiny of K alts. This is also not offensive, despite your labeling of it as such - good debaters outside NCFL are simultaneously fast and efficient. This doesn't really impact my point, which is that you are ill-equipped to judge the accuracy of other teams justifications for why they do not want to go. The phrase cop out lends an aura of illegitimacy to excuses to which it is applied, and you reinforce this yourself ('excuses that are not accurate'). There is no reason teams need to provide an 'accurate' excuse, whatever that means, not to go to NCFLs. Not every team is obliged to attend every tournament. You are proof that NCFL works for some people, I am proof that it does very little for others, and that's a subjective determination that each team has to make individually. Simply because someone has a different perspective of the tournament's pedagogical success than you does not make them wrong. That's really all I'm getting at - I resent being told that I'm just taking a 'cop out' to not go to NCFLs. Okay, that doesn't mean you need to apply terms with pejorative connotations to teams that choose not to attend (cop outs are not usually good things). That's just a cop out.
  11. 1. Cross-x is a round winner at non-NCFL tournaments if teams are debating well. I've won rounds based on events that occurred in cross-x. I was at a coffee shop with someone who was in elims of the NDT this year yesterday, he beat another team (also in NDT elims) based almost entirely on what happened in cross-x. The format and nature of the NCFL in no way makes cross-x uniquely useful. Poor debates where cross-x is three minutes of repetition happen outside the NCFL; but they also happen in it. 2. The NCFL does not create some universal standard of higher argument scrutiny. I remember a team going for 13 minutes of OSPEC in the block against me when I was there last, that's not taking a step back for some deep strategic thinking. The point is that I feel like you're cherry picking top tier debates from the NCFL to create justifications for the tournament as a whole. 3. Debaters explain evidence in good debates outside the NCFL. 4. Politics has very little credibility with a lot of people outside the NCFL. This is entirely anecdotal, but there were about 30 kids in my lab at camp last summer, and out of those there was one kid who thought politics was credible. 5. I feel like the NCFL hurts scrutiny of kritik alternatives; one of the biggest problems with k alt scrutiny is shiftiness of the alt from a vague text. The aff's ability to have the judge double-check the negative's evidence to ensure their explanation is consistent with their advocates, instead of allowing the negative to re-interpret the evidence with no way to pin it down, seems very important to K alt scrutiny. Plus, talking faster = more words said about the alt. Assuming a good debate where people aren't just repeating themselves, that's hopefully more scrutiny. 6. I'm not sure what you mean by your race to the bottom argument. I probably disagree with it though. My point, by the way, isn't that the NCFL is bad. It's that you and I clearly have differing opinions on the NCFL and a lot of what we're discussing is anecdotal. My only point, really, is that I'm unhappy you referred to teams not going to NCFLs as a 'cop out' various times in your post. cop out: avoid doing something that one ought to (oxford english dictionary, 2005) There's no obligation to go to the NCFL (hence why I answered the 'offense' portion of your post). If you want to go to the NCFL, and you think it's good for your kids, fantastic - sign them up and buy the plane tickets or rent a van, by all means. But I don't think people need a legitimate reason like 'funding' (which you explained was an okay excuse, unlike desiring mpj), or whatever else you consider legitimate, to not go. If a team honestly feels like NCFL isn't doing it for them, for whatever reason they used to make that determination, it's not a cop out for them to stay home. Also, I feel like you're failing to understand the intersections between some of the reasons you highlight independently, and this leads you to make some bad judgements. For example, even if you really think mpj and judging are illegitimate reasons not to attend, if budgeting force a team to consider cutting NCFLs or one other tournament, and this team preferred mpj and the other tournament offered it, why shouldn't that team be able to attend the tournament that best suits their needs? I doubt many people choose not to attend NCFL for one reason, but rather a multitude. I feel the absolute worst judging I've ever had was at NCFL (and these are critics who voted for me, by the way). Ballots full of crazy ranting about how if we do the plan, Japan will invade the United States and enslave us do not, in my opinion, reveal much about debate. If you have had a different experience there, I am sincerely happy for you that you have discovered an educational tournament for your students. Clearly, you should continue making the decisions you feel are in their best interests. But that doesn't mean the rest of us have to follow suit.
  12. Deciding between Berkeley, Northwestern, and Emory.
  13. I agree; racist is too strong a word. I asked because a lot of people have been throwing it around in relation to Wright and I'm not sure it sticks so well. But to deal with this Farakhan angle - it seems like you're reaching a little if you want that to be relevant to the campaign. (Farakhan is racist, Obama's pastor likes Farakhan, Obama likes his pastor, vote for Clinton! In other news, Obama has an uncle who had a college roommate whose sister got married to a racist, it proves he's divisive, vote Clinton) Not sure how you intend this to be relevant? I don't mean that to be dismissive or insulting to any point you might be making; I sincerely don't get why Obama's preacher having a more abrasive and 'interesting' approach to preaching is a national news headline campaign issue. Could you clarify? Well, that Senator doesn't sound like a very good person; although I'm not sure that answers the broader question I was asking. But it's not terribly relevant anyways; it sounds like we've (mostly) agreed racist might not be the best term for Mr. Wright.
  14. What remarks specifically of Wright's do you feel were racist? If a person is racist, do you believe it's impossible for them to do good deeds?
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