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Posts posted by Screech

  1. http://www.mediafire.com/?aq23l41biagygkw


    I guess I'll just make a thread for this. Someone let me know if there's a forum or a thread somewhere where this kind of thing gets posted, the only thing I've been able to find is the K books thread.


    This book is essential for anyone running any type of Space Mil aff. It adapts 19th-century geopolitical theory for use in potential space militarization efforts ("Astropolitik") and does in-depth analysis of the tactical and strategic level ("Astrostrategy").

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  2. I don't necessarily disagree with most of your post, just about the scale of the possible harms and that they outweigh the potential pedagogical benefits.


    1.) That's an indicator that debate is not adhering to the academic precedent of people whose job it is to actually arrive at truthful conclusions, not win debate rounds. If the body of scholarship and its respective scholars are not as in depth on an issue as you would prefer, that's probably an indicator that a lot of very qualified people don't feel like such a discussion would be pedagogically of value.


    So stuff policy debaters can read as evidence in a debate round should mostly consist of stuff already published in a credible publication, preferably peer-reviewed. This debate has been sort of ongoing in this thread. Obviously, there is some kind of cost to research skills. But I still contend the value of substantive education, engagement with a scholarly community, etc. balances this at least somewhat, and I don't think there's any risk of debaters replacing all their cards with e-mail correspondence. It's more of a "really need this one perfect card for the 1AC" sort of thing. Plus, it's kind of an empowering experience, and really humanizes the scholars we rely so much on (at least, when I've tried to contact authors, although only for clarification and discussion). Those standards probably wouldn't get you far in a theory debate, but I still think they matter.


    Finally, and this is kind of a weird argument, if there is actually a risk of seriously undermining these research skills, and kids will just go ask experts whenever they need a new card, doesn't that imply that these research skills are unnecessary, because academics are extremely open and helpful?

  3. Transparency is irrelevant. When hendrickson is too lazy to cut cards to answer arguments to the point where they e-mail authors to get them to write them, that's just bad.


    I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that "laziness" is an issue the community should make norms around. Judges don't police whether kids steal camp files, either.

  4. Look, what I'm saying is this: if the practice is unethical, don't allow the practice. But if the practice is just hard to police, that doesn't make it unethical. It being hard to determine when unethical things have happened is not equivalent to unethical things having happened.


    1. Welfare fraud is unethical.

    2. It's hard to figure out when welfare fraud has occurred

    ------------------------------------------------------- <-DOES NOT FOLLOW.

    Therefore welfare is unethical.


    The questions we have to ask are

    a. How hard is this practice to police?

    b. If it's too hard to police, how bad is the possibility of abuse?

    c. If the possibility of abuse is bad, how much do we give up if we abandon the practice?


    You may have your answers to those questions; it sounds like you're saying a. too hard b. bad enough and c. not much. My answers differ. But I'm not doing what you're accusing me of doing.

  5. This basically amounts to "we shouldn't stop specific instances of cheating because cheating happens elsewhere."


    I think I didn't articulate myself fully enough. What I'm saying is not that cheating occurs elsewhere -> do not stop cheating. You need to somewhat separate the legitimacy of the practice from the possibilities for cheating it creates.


    This particular practice (e-mail exchanges with authors) is not any more vulnerable to cheating than other practices (cutting evidence from blogs, say). If the practice itself is unethical or unfair, obviously we should stop it. If the practice makes it essentially impossible to detect and stop cheating, we should also probably stop it (unless we have a damned good reason). But if it's merely amenable to cheating, but not particularly more so than other practices we would not choose to reject, there's no reason to reject it. You wouldn't have people stop reading cards in debate rounds because reading cards is necessary to clip cards.

  6. I have to wholeheartedly endorse nathan_debate's suggestions for policing th type of author engagement by including more members of the community. Not only does it solve back the fairness concerns, the education and real-world engagement with actual academics more than outweighs potential losses to fairness.


    A few comments.


    I don't think anyone's saying that refraining from emailing authors is a panacea for cheating.


    No one's saying it isn't, either. They're just saying this type of thing isn't uniquely vulnerable to cheating so there's no particular reason to reject it.


    I think that if it's a true or credible argument, then you can find it in the literature base.


    That's just wrong, especially at the level of detail policy debates get into. It may be true in many or most circumstances, but to claim it's true in all or almost all cases is a remarkable leap of faith that the interests of IR and poli sci scholars writing in specific fields has a 1:1 correlation with every claim a policy debater might be interested in making. Qualified experts getting asked questions they haven't thought about yet is the fundamental mechanism of the advancement of their field. "All potential arguments already have evidence for them in the literature" is a very peculiar view. You don't have to insist that debate should just become a game of author correspondance presentation and no one should ever do research to say it's sometimes a useful tool to fill in gaps in the literature.

  7. However, I'm not sure how these value comparisons are all the different from the ones every other affirmative makes (except perhaps with far more supposed precision).


    For instance: I wish our education system was more perfect--we should support pre-k and afterschool programs--this will save lives now and in the future.


    See the distinction I draw below. Pre-K programs are good, say, because they improve the lives of future children or prevent their future deaths, not because it causes them to live.


    Given this, the logical conclusion of a rejection of these calculi is paralysis and an end to policy reform.

    Only if we reject population ethics as a whole rather than modifying it in some way, which the encyclopedia of philosophy article is quite good on.


    Response 1: One response would be 2.1.1, average utilitarianism - a smaller population with greater average happiness might be preferable, all in all. There's a problem with that to the extent that it might imply an opposite repugnant conclusion - that we should have only one, supremely happy person with ALL THE RESOURCES. I think that's implausible, and that you start to get diminishing marginal returns below a certain point of population reduction, because A. people are fundamentally social and this would make them terribly unhappy and B. the expansion of families and tribes (which can provide social interaction that I think people rely on for their mental health) into societies with more complexity and a greater opportunity for individual self-actualization according to their capacities and desires is good for human welfare.


    Response 2: My preferred response is a form of temporal modification of either average or aggregate util (2.3, though I find the alternatives presented in the article somewhat confusing): we only have moral obligations to people rather than potential people. Essentially: we should care about the future; we should care about people living in the future; we should even care about people dying in the future. But we shouldn't care about people not being born. That is, we have a moral obligation to ensure that bad things don't happen to future people, but not to ensure that future people will live. Life imposes a duty to preserve, not a positive burden to create.


    How is this "temporal modification"? It implies that badness of the impact is relative to whether the people affects exist yet. If person X exists at time Y when impact Z occurs, it's obviously bad. If they don't exist yet, how could they be affected by it?


    Reasons to prefer: I prefer this view for a few reasons.


    First, it lets us avoid concluding that, say, contraception is morally wrong. Or even that choosing not to have sex at any given point in time is morally wrong. If the repugnant conclusion is true, it implies that we have a responsibility to continue having as many children as possible until the point where all lives are almost - but not quite - not worth living. So there must be something wrong with the idea that adding potential lives has positive moral value. Second, it concords with an intuition I've long had, which is that if all humans spontaneously chose to not have children, and the human race became extinct after this generation, the non-existence of the human race would not be a moral wrong as long as the last person died happily and voluntarily.


    And a world in which we adopted this ethic would leave most of our decisionmaking intact: humans dying now is a value; humans dying in the future is a value; even human extinction is a value if it comes about because all humans die in the future. But it's not wrong because future humans will never have a chance to exist.


    Obviously, we still want to think extinction is a value, but if it's not a value for "potential lives lost," it has to be a value for some other reason. I'm unclear what the immediate response to this is, I have to do some reading on JSTOR and get back to it.

    Which, now that I think about it, sort of resolves this question. Human extinction is wrong because lots of humans die. But between 5.999,999,000 and 6,000,000,000 people dying there's just a linear increase in the scale of the moral catastrophe, not a fundamentally different sort of situation (extinction vs. non-extinction). So Schell and Bostrom would be wrong, and not just wrong, but dangerously wrong (because their interpretation that potential future lives have value implies the repugnant conclusion, which is the wrong kind of population ethic).


    TLDR: We should have a moral obligation to ensure that bad things don't happen to future people, but not to ensure that future people will live.

  8. Well, if you're winning timeframe on your impacts and plan results in a net reduction in extinction risk it won't matter in the first place (because there is some chance of colonization in the squo and plan decreases it by extinction/destroying infrastructure etc).


    Responding to the claim proper instead of just winning it with a turn: Bostrom is making separate claims. First, he says that "potential lives" are morally important in the abstract, because we're "losing" future colonists. The response: Parfit's repugnant conclusion. Cut some article of somebody rejecting the repugnant conclusion and beat back the impact framing - potential life doesn't matter, we should be average rather than aggregate utilitarians.


    Obviously, we still want to think extinction is a value, but if it's not a value for "potential lives lost," it has to be a value for some other reason. I'm unclear what the immediate response to this is, I have to do some reading on JSTOR and get back to it.

  9. Like what, that leaving before an asteroid hits the earth is bad? Seriously, next year everyone's gonna have to read like 6 minutes of framework before we start debating anything else.


    No, you just need to

    1. win at least a little bit of SQ solvency on the get off the rock impact

    2. win on timeframe

    3. with an impact that

    a. causes extinction or

    b. sufficient damage to the infrastructure to push the timeframe of aff solvency back or delay it indefinitely

  10. Ah! This is a strategy that would make Kerpen proud. This is called plan-plan.


    I'm familiar with plan-plan, but what I'm saying instead is that a sufficiently good tradeoff argument plus good CP solvency could function as net benefits competition and beat the perm. Sorry for the confusion.

  11. Actually I think interesting stuff will happen with regard to CPs because there's so much tradeoff evidence for tech development related stuff (not sure if that's what you mean by "process CPs.") For example, you could win a non-mutually exclusive CP purely on solvency by arguing "do Y technology instead of X" and private capital, tech development, and focus tradeoff. Developing ion drive might work; nuclear pulse propulsion might work slightly better; developing both ion drive and nuclear pulse will probably work less well than focusing on either (fewer economies of scale, private capital and tech research is split). Even without the funding tradeoff arg, which admittedly isn't very good, government can't fiat more private tech research or interest in space tech.


    It seems like that would be a viable strategy for any aff based on a specific project; you could run some other aff with comparable advantages as a CP and just out-tech them.


    Just a thought. Comments or critiques on this idea?

  12. How about the colonization of Mars so Mars can be a socialist planet with a socialist market economy where everybody gets free education, housing and basic needs and the profit they earn is divided.


    You mean, the plot of the Mars Trilogy?


    I support this.

  13. In case I don't find it, I've put in an ILL request at my university library so I'll have it up in about a week.


    EDIT: Can't find it at home. It should hopefully arrive by Friday in which case I'll have it up this weekend.

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  14. Why would anyone even need to run performances? You could be running Mars Colonization or Space Elevator or Alpha Centauri probe or new ISS or new new Hubble or space solar panels or moon base or Kuiper Belt mining or Galilean Moons exploration or sending a telescope out of the plane of the elliptical and that's just off the top of my head! And the neg is going to be incredible - space mil and cap and every K of tech ever made! Space imperialism!


    I just don't know why you would ever want to do anything but debate the topic. There is infinity lit!

  15. Your first point is laughable. Because they controlled land that means that they aren't nomadic?


    No. I was pointing out that examples of "Iraqi nomads" someone else had given were, in fact, Mongol, Turkmen, and Persian nomads who conquered Iraq.


    I'm not arguing for the Affirmative itself (I don't know what it claims as it is) but rather that there are nomads. Furthermore, the Kurds are not entirely pro-U.S. Not to mention, they serve as a great example of a nomadic culture attempting to do away with external control and militarization as an ethnic resistance group to Iraq under Saddam and their resentment of past militarization attempts by the U.S., which resulted in them being ignored. They are more outside of U.S. control, not simply because they are "loyal," but rather because they are more resistant and less "threatening" than groups like Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. Their support of the U.S. is purely an attempt to be rid of external, non-nomadic, control.

    That's an interesting point, though I would dispute your generalization of the Kurds as a primarily nomadic culture. It's probably more true than of Iraqi Arabs in general, however, and is a bit more specific - and less useful - of an argument than "Iraqis = nomads," the advocacy of the aff, especially given that I would hesitate to include "Kurds" in the category "Iraqis."

    Also, for the purposes of the Aff, if Kurdish cooperation with the US to throw off their immediate oppressor is a legitimate strategy and an instance of nomadic politics, it might imply that rejecting capitalism is not necessary, and that nomads can be hard-headed pragmatists about the real possibility of liberation. Not a 100% response, but food for thought.


    No nation-state has a nomadic culture anymore. Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, the U.S., etc. have all lost their nomadic culture in regards to the identity and government itself. However, countries like the U.A.E. (as much of a token of "civilization" as you can get) still have respect for the nomads. The same is true in Iraq. Now granted, unlike the U.A.E., they have a deep, long, history of non-nomadic peoples. However, to claim that they reject their nomadic history and those nomadic groups that have come and go throughout that time is ridiculous and untrue.

    True, insofar as almost all societies have abandoned their nomadic roots (with notable exceptions, like Mongolia, and many stateless minorities), but I dispute "the same is true in Iraq" part. You have yet to provide evidence for this claim. If we're going to use an example of nomadism, why not pick Afghanistan? All societies have nomadic roots; my point is only that Iraq is the worst possible example to pick. Why not choose some American nomadic tradition for the Aff to focus on, like the Great Plains tribes, or, like, Jack Kerouac? Probably because it would sever the aff's tenuous connection to the resolution. I think it's just trying to make an argument fit that doesn't really make sense in this context.


    It would not be the worst possible, but inversely, the best possible. If what you say is true, that they have no nomadic culture because of their historical role as the cradle of civilization, then those groups that reside there that have a nomadic culture would be exactly what is desired. Understand that, even in Iraq, groups like the Bedouin are not subject to things like border laws because of the respect for those groups - BECAUSE of their historical influence upon their CULTURE. Don't assume that, because Iraq was the cradle of civilization that they have had some sort of stable, anti-nomadic, identity.

    This is kind of reaching. Why even have the conceit of the "Iraqi nomad" if you're going to concede that they're relatively insignificant? Why not appeal to some other tradition? Why not just talk about Afghanistan? I mean, your argument is "If X society has a nomadic culture, the K links; if X society does NOT have a nomadic culture, the K links." Huh?


    I guess my claim is "no impact" but it's really more like "I just don't give a shit"...but that's mostly just because I have things to do other than argue about whether or not iraq ever had nomads (especially considering the stark lack of importance that has with this aff).


    Alright, let me break it down for you. Your aff is claiming, as far as I can tell, that we should adopt the ethic of the "Iraqi nomad."

    To combat fascism, we invoke the ethic of the Iraqi Nomad – a political force which resolves conflict at the local level of tribe, clan and family. The Nomad has become a minority force in Iraq – constantly coded and stratified by United States military forces as the US seeks to militarize Nomads to bolster the war effort. The figure of the nomad is alive today, but its message and potential is smothered by militarism. Ultimately, we must seek a free Nomad, disconnected from the state and its desire for purified goals and objectives. Before meaningful political change can be made at the macro level, we must learn from the ethic of the Nomad.


    I respond that you are invoking an ethic of an imaginary figure that you have invented because you do not understand the history and demography of Iraq. Maybe that's not a good 1NC response. Do I care? You're still making things up. Your K project is unrealistic in the sense that it does not refer to something real. Is this not a problem for you? Fine. But I think it is, and that this is an issue you should engage with instead of just bloviating.

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