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Everything posted by Hartman

  1. A couple hours ago, Mr. Dubois posted the following DCI reform proposal on Ad Astra. For what it's worth (which isn't much), I think the idea is brilliant. Comments/thoughts/concerns should be voiced on Ad Astra so that the discussion is centralized. Members of the Kansas debate community: There has been a great deal of discussion and debate over the mechanics of the DCI. The challenges posed by an expanding field, and by the logistics of hosting the tournament alongside an ever-larger Novice State event, have made the duties of the tournament host and the DCI bid committee progressively more difficult. This year we have the added difficulty of having lost our awards supplier to a fire. The committee is asking for the community’s support in making rules adjustments to make the process of putting DCI together more manageable. Central to our difficulties is the unpredictable nature of the tournament field. The coaches have collectively expressed a preference for an inclusive approach to DCI qualification as opposed to an exclusive one. This principle, however, has produced an environment where the size of the field is wildly variable and subject to chance. It has become nearly impossible to budget for awards, arrange for meals, or set aside an appropriate block of rooms. It is not necessary to make the tournament radically smaller to solve these problems; it IS necessary to establish criteria that place the number of potential qualifiers within a narrower range. The committee has discussed many possible approaches to this problem. In our collective opinion, raising the threshold of the number of bids required to attend the tournament is not particularly helpful—the data suggest that doing so would shrink the tournament substantially without providing any significant degree of predictability. It has been impossible to establish a clear consensus of what form of bid “tiebreaker†would be least arbitrary. Proposals that a fixed number of teams should qualify (as opposed to however many teams meet a fixed standard) run afoul of the same tiebreaker problems. Nor does the committee support the elimination of the bid system in favor of either admission by coach vote or a hybrid system involving a coach vote; we feel that objective rules for qualification will always be better than subjective decisions made by interested parties. The committee has come to a tentative proposal that we feel would provide for a reasonable degree of predictability while still preserving an inclusive approach. We would like to see this proposal discussed and possibly modified with an eye towards an eventual vote at the DCI coaches’ meeting and possible implementation in 2014. Under our proposed system, the present system of bid assignment would be adjusted to a system in which bid points are awarded. The champion of a DCI bid tournament would receive 5 bid points; the runner up, four points; losing semifinalists, three points; losing quarterfinalists, two points; non-advancing octofinalists with a .500 or better record in prelims, one point. A bracket closeout would afford both teams with the points that the winner of the round would have received. Qualification from an NFL or CFL qualifying tournament would be worth two points. The majority opinion of the committee is that debaters who received four bid points over the course of the year would be considered qualified for the DCI. This is not the universal sentiment of the committee; below, we present data for your consideration as to how both a four-point threshold and a three point threshold would affect the size of the qualified field. A four-bid threshold means that a debater could qualify to DCI with a single finals appearance at a DCI invitational; a three bid threshold would allow a semifinalist to auto-qualify. Under either standard, qualification to both national tournaments would be sufficient, but a team qualifying to only one national tournament would need to earn points elsewhere. The primary category of debaters included under the old system but excluded under the new would be debaters who currently qualify as non-advancing octofinalists at multiple tournaments. The number of qualifiers in this category varies wildly from year to year and is the principle source of the field predictability problem; we expect this unpredictability to increase now that there are a far larger number of octofinals bids in play. While there are no doubt many good arguments to be made as to whether one team or another in this category “deserves†to go to DCI, the fact of the matter is that it is unmanageable to include all such teams and engage in reasonably accurate event planning. Seen from this perspective, we see the points system as the least worst option. The proposed system places a premium on winning elimination rounds at bid events; unlike the current system, it does not treat a team that finishes 3-2 with poor speaks but slips into 15th place as the equivalent of a top seed which drops on a 2-1 in semifinals. We feel that the new system rewards teams for excellence at Kansas tournaments and provides all teams, regardless of geography, style, or travel preferences, with a fair opportunity to attend Kansas’ premier tournament. We invite discussion of this proposal, as well as suggested alterations. We will try to make available data on the affects alternate proposals would have on the size and predictability of the DCI field. We do ask that all discussion participants make their identity known in their post. The forum moderators will not look leniently on posters who decline to do so. -Steve DuBois for the DCI Committee FOUR POINT THRESHHOLD 2008 – 33 teams (smaller by 3 teams) 2009 – 32 teams (smaller by 6 teams) 2010 – 39 teams (smaller by 4 teams) 2011 – 31 teams (smaller by 10 teams) 2013 – 37 teams (smaller by 19 teams) THREE POINT THRESHHOLD 2008 - 37 (+1) 2009 - 44 (+6) 2010 - 42 (-1) 2011 - 43 (+2) 2012 - 46 (-10) Thanks to Eric Skoglund for crunching the numbers.
  2. I'm in the same situation as Mason. I'll almost certainly be judging at KCKCC, it's just a question of whom I will be judging for; the school I was going to judge for no longer needs me. I debated for ONW for four years, finished 5th at DCI, currently debate at K-State, and will be available for all rounds. If you need a judge who is slightly less qualified than Mason, feel free to contact me at lukehartman3[at]gmail[dot]com.
  3. There's a successful team from UMKC that runs a performative Eurocentrism/Afrocentrism argument on the neg. I debated them last weekend, and they read some cards from this book by Carlton and Barbara Molette that you may find useful. They didn't send us much of the evidence they read, but here are the two [somewhat] relevant cards I dug out of the speech doc we received.
  4. Got this slayer question last year at a ToC bid tournament after reading the 1AC: "So if all these bad things are happening in the status quo, why aren't you out in the real world doing things about them?" The worst part was that it didn't even segue into a K. Once I responded, there was an extended period of stuttering, followed by questions about the merits of electric vehicles and a 1NC strat that consisted of an Oil DA, two Politics DAs, and a States CP.
  5. Close. He won the NDT twice and the Copeland Award twice. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a single other debater who has accomplished that feat. But yeah, I voted for him and Branson. They were pretty much unstoppable.
  6. Almost added them, but I decided not to make exceptions to my criteria of "must have won the Copeland Award and/or the NDT". Klinger's still up there for the year he won the Copeland Award, though.
  7. To be fair, many Copeland/NDT winners from this time period didn't attend CEDA. (Specifically: Northwestern, Emory, Michigan State, and Georgetown) The NDT-Copeland sweep, in my opinion, is the crown jewel of postseason debate accomplishments. (This is obviously not to say that a CEDA-NDT sweep isn't incredible - it is. But being the #1 ranked team in the country during the regular season and then beating the best to prove it? It doesn't get any better than that.)
  8. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you're the one who voted for Bricker and Johnson?
  9. I've included all NDT and Copeland Award winners from 2003-2013. Who's the best?
  10. Short-term years of cooling don’t disprove the warming trend Somerville 11 Richard Somerville, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Research Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, Coordinating Lead Author in Working Group I for the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 3-8-2011, “CLIMATE SCIENCE AND EPA'S GREENHOUSE GAS REGULATIONS,†CQ Congressional Testimony, Lexis The 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) described "an unambiguous picture of the ongoing warming of the climate system." This trend is continuing. Small year-to-year differences in global average temperatures are unimportant in evaluating long-term trends. During a warming trend, a given year is not always warmer than all the previous years, because the ongoing warming is sometimes temporarily masked by internal climate variability, a normal and natural phenomenon. For example, 2008 was slightly cooler globally than 2007, in part because a La Nina occurred in 2008 (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2009). Such natural events can lead to slight temporary cooling. Solar output was also at its lowest level of the satellite era, another temporary cooling influence. Quantitatively, the global average near-surface atmospheric temperature in 2008 was only about 0.1 deg C less than in the years immediately preceding it. Such a small difference over such a short time is not statistically significant in evaluating trends. It is noteworthy that 2008, while at the time it may have been the coolest year since 2000, was one of the ten warmest years since instrumental records began in mid-19th century, and the most recent ten-year period is still warmer than the previous ten-year period. The long-term trend is clearly still a warming trend (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2009). Its magnitude is about 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade, consistent with IPCC AR4 projections. This is equivalent to about one third of a degree Fahrenheit per decade.
  11. Warning: the following block was written off the top of my head after 2 a.m. Satisfaction not guaranteed. Gotta Have a Solvency Advocate in the 1AC 1. The 1AC lacks a solvency advocate - means the neg can't generate stable offense because there's no concrete indication of what the plan does. 2. Hold the aff's solvency advocates to a high standard - allowing sketchy solvency authors ensures a proliferation of squirrelly affs, making it impossible to be negative. 3. Now is key - rejecting this aff can have an impact external to this debate. The beginning of the season is when teams decide what affs they'll run all year, so voting down bad affs now can lead to huge educational benefits when teams decide to run feasible affs instead that have more real world applications. 4. Voter for ground, fairness, and education. 5. Vote neg on presumption - no reason the plan solves any of their impacts, which means there's a zero percent risk of their offense and you should vote neg on presumption. 6. No sandbagging - the aff hasn't met the prima facie burden of having a solvency advocate in the 1AC. Vote them down - this skews 1NC strategy and time allocation. The 2AC is too little too late.
  12. If you're interested in learning specifics about the prestige of colleges' debate programs and the types of arguments they tend to run, there are plenty of knowledgable people on this site who'd be willing to help. Aside from that, I agree with Japan - don't be shy about emailing the programs' Directors of Forensics.
  13. Hartman

    Dci Reform

    I just want to know where KSHSAA gets the money they spend on advertisements, because they air a truly ridiculous number of highly misleading, totally unnecessary radio ads.
  14. http://youtu.be/EvNNtEVkckc?t=2m47s
  15. This is the most intelligent, well-reasoned article I've ever read. Thank God we have people like Ralph Peters in our military!
  16. I needed to fulfill a fine arts credit, and I can't sing, draw, or play any instruments.
  17. Hartman

    Dci Reform

    Interesting idea. It seems to solve all of 2+2's offense while guaranteeing that we will never over-limit the number of teams in the tournament (Anderson's offense). I can see only one problem: the fact that the threshold would [likely] change from year to year means teams who want to debate on the national circuit once they're DCI-qualified would find it difficult to determine when they're actually qualified. In other words, until the conclusion of the NFL qualifiers, there would be a lot of teams "on the bubble" (most years). However, this issue seems minor relative to the [slight] risk of over-limiting the number of DCI participants. I would certainly prefer your proposal over the squo method. Also, I intended to respond the the "+ rounds aren't an official stat" argument in my first post, but it looks like I forgot. You're exactly right - even though the statistic isn't yet an "official" qualification parameter, it does a great job of differentiating between teams with equal numbers of bids. I agree that neither of those two arguments poses much of a problem. The main issue with having "bubble" teams, I believe, is the concern I raised above. As far as the geography argument, I would even take your response a step further; there is functionally no difference between the status quo and your plan in terms of teams being put at a geographic disadvantage. In "The Fowler System", I would anticipate that, in the foreseeable future, DCI qualification would never require three bids. This means that teams on the bubble may be motivated to attend one, maybe two, more DCI-qualifier tournaments, which is not a travel burden that is substantially higher than the one that exists in the status quo (where teams often travel to extra tournaments in search of their 2nd bid). This is indeed a complex problem that could be addressed in many ways. I would advocate a simpler solution: each individual debater counts as half of a team. This way, debaters qualify on an individual basis (as they do in the squo), and they are eligible to attend the tournament with any other qualifier from their school (again, same as the squo). Individual qualification also prevents qualifiers from attending DCI with non-qualified partners.
  18. Hartman

    Dci Reform

    The expansion of all qualifier tournaments to octos bids probably solves the bid distribution issue. Under a system where we're guaranteed to give out over 200 bids, I don't think it's mathematically possible for a few power teams to hog so many bids that a 2+2 is an "intolerably high threshold". The 2012 season is the only concrete evidence we have of what an all-octo-bid season looks like, and we ended up with 56 qualifiers. If 2+2 had been the cutoff, approximately 31 teams would have attended DCI, which is darn near perfect (in my opinion). Agreed. I think 2+2 (or a similar number) is a good compromise. I concur with all three of these statements. These are all reasons why I believe it's a good idea to simply raise the threshold for qualification; such an approach does not require applications and allows the current tournament structure to remain in place.
  19. Hartman

    Dci Reform

    I feel as though the prevailing sentiment among members of the Kansas debate community is that DCI has grown too large and requires reform. Several debaters and coaches expressed such opinions back in January, but as far I know, no concrete action has been taken in order to shrink the field. In this post, I’ll explain why DCI’s current size is a problem and propose a couple alternatives to the current system. Please keep in mind that as my high school debate career is now over and I’m [currently] not coaching anywhere, I have no bias toward any particular high school or style of debate. My only aim is to make DCI a better tournament. Problems with the current size of the tournament Let me be clear: I do not wish to reform DCI because I feel as though the tournament has “wronged†me in some way or because I was disappointed by my results. In fact, I was a beneficiary of DCI’s size. Due in part to the reasons I will outline next, Alaina and I managed to finish in 5th place, while teams such as BVW MN (one of three teams in the state with a TOC bid), placed outside the top ten. There are several reasons why the number of teams that compete at DCI is a problem. First, and most importantly, the combination of the tournament’s structure and number of participants destroys the possibility of a “fair†tournament. I will explain why this is the case while simultaneously responding to an argument I’ve heard several times before: “A team with two octos bids got 2nd place. If the field was smaller, they wouldn’t have been able to participate.†This argument falls apart under even the most cursory of examination. A quick check of the Bid Tracker and NFL website reveals that after qualifying for DCI by receiving a bid at each of their first two tournaments, this team departed for the national circuit—their last three tournaments were Caucus, KCKCC, and Glenbrooks (plus qualifiers and postseason tournaments). Thus, the reason they failed to acquire any more DCI bids: they didn’t really try to. Had DCI qualification necessitated 3 bids, for instance, they would have spent more time on the local circuit before venturing out to Iowa and Illinois. Furthermore, I believe the above argument is a demonstration of the problems a 47-team tournament presents, rather than a reason to let the pool remain large. Statistics from this year’s tournament make it crystal clear that huge variations exist in the schedule difficulty of teams who placed near each other. Consider the following: · This year’s 2nd and 3rd place teams each had 24 opp wins—the fewest of any medalists. · The 5th, 6th, and 7th place teams each had 32 opp wins. This means the 2nd and 3rd place teams’ opponents lost more rounds than they won, while those other three teams’ opponents averaged (roughly) 4.6-2.4 records. · 11 4-3 teams, seven 3-4 teams, four 2-5 teams, and even a 1-6 team had more opp wins than the 2nd and 3rd place finishers (or the same number). · Neither the 2nd nor 3rd place finishers had to debate the 1st place finisher. The trend should be the opposite—in order to place among the top few teams in prelim rounds, a team would ideally debate several of the other top teams to ensure the highest possible degree of accuracy in terms of where each team places. Usually, power matching takes care of this…but as the tournament’s size increases and the number of rounds remains the same, this degree of accuracy decreases. (This is simply a statistical truism—this year, a one-round tournament wouldn’t have been accurate at all in determining who the best teams were, while a 46-round tournament where each team debated every other team would have provided a virtually perfect picture of whom the best teams were.) In January, Birzer provided statistics that shed further light on DCI’s skewed results: · Only 2/7 teams that were in quarters at KCKCC placed in the top 10 at DCI (KCKCC is arguably the best judged tournament in the state, bar none) · Only 3/19 NFL qualifiers place in the top 10 at DCI (this includes teams that did not attend DCI) · BVW MN who is 1 of 3 teams in the state with a TOC bid and cleared at multiple TOC tournaments did not break top 10 (referenced above) · SMS MO who also cleared at multiple TOC tournaments did not break the top 10 Clearly, allowing so many teams entry into DCI is skewing the results by forcing some teams to face a series of very difficult opponents en route to a medal (or no medal) while other teams have a comparatively easy road to a solid record. This is especially important considering that at the current pace, there will be at least one 5-2 team at who doesn’t medal at this year’s DCI. I should add that I certainly mean no disrespect to any of the aforementioned teams. SME RT beat us head-to-head for 2nd place in Round 7, and Hutch CK is clearly a great team, judging by their finishes at NFL and CFL. I’d be willing to bet both teams will make repeat top-five appearances at DCI in 2014. My point is merely that the combination of DCI’s current tournament structure and size makes large disparities in schedule strength inevitable, which is a threat to the tournament’s integrity (since the tournament lacks out-rounds to make up for these imbalances). Second, the volume of teams dilutes the judging pool. This fact is simple—as more teams qualify, more inexperienced judges must be recruited to satisfy the number of judges the tournament requires. This is especially true given that, as Chris pointed out several months ago, DCI falls on a weekend where a huge proportion of college debaters are at the Texas and Cal swings, which limits our ability to recruit experienced judges. To quote OMac, “If the 2AR in round 7 of DCI starts with ‘My dad once told me...’ then there is a problem with the system.†Third, allowing so many teams entry into the tournament decreases its prestige. When it comes to postseason tournaments, “the more the merrier†does not apply, as some have previously suggested. I am sure that none of us want DCI to go down the same road as State, which is largely low quality and uncompetitive until the last few prelims and out-rounds. How to shrink the field As has been demonstrated by previous discussions, there is no “perfect†solution to the problems that exist in the status quo. But the fact of the matter is, any action intended to shrink the field is better than sticking with the status quo (see previous section), and I believe some pretty good options exist. As I made clear throughout the first chunk of this post, I believe the ideal approach is to limit the size of the field. Not only would such a course of action solve schedule strength disparity, judging pool dilution, and tournament prestige, but it would also prevent the necessity of out-rounds. (The community has long rejected the possibility of out-rounds at DCI, and I probably agree with that stance; such a tournament would likely require three days to complete, and most teams would leave before the announcement of the winner.) There are two [primary] possible ways to decrease the number of teams at DCI: 1. ADJUST THE NUMBER OF BIDS GIVEN OUT Various alterations in the way bids are distributed have been proposed in the past, but this year, the coaches settled on handing out 16 bids at each qualifier tournament. This does seem to make sense considering all qualifier tournaments exceeded 48 entries last year, and this system prevents novices/JV folks from being thrown into the unforgiving world of Varsity debate only to reach the 48-team threshold. By leaving this policy alone and toughening the qualification requirements (see below), we can limit the size of the field while preventing the young, innocent debaters from being corrupted and disheartened. 2. CHANGE THE THRESHOLD FOR QUALIFICATION I would support raising the threshold for qualification to either 2+2 or 3 bids. Either system would limit out teams who would previously have qualified with two octos bids, etc. The reasons I would specifically support a 2+2 cutoff are as follows: · Last year, a 2+2 cutoff would have weeded out 25 of the 56 qualifiers, leaving us with approximately 31 teams (after adding the teams that would have gone to more local tournaments in order to qualify, and subtracting the teams unable to attend due to illness or lack of will). From a mathematical perspective, a ~31-team, seven-round tournament makes a lot more sense than the ~50-team, seven-round tournament that we’re headed for in the status quo. · If a top team wants to travel to 3-4 national circuit tournaments but still attend DCI, they should still be able to qualify for DCI in two tournaments. In order to qualify in a three-bid system, however, such a team would have to attend at least three local tournaments. (Finals appearances and bids earned at qualifiers would create exceptions.) As previously mentioned, no solution is perfect. But given the problems that have arisen as a result of the relationship between DCI’s size and structure, doing nothing is not an option.
  20. Hartman

    Mod Elections

    We haven't had mod elections in over two years, and some of the mods are no longer active users. Can we plan another round of elections for the near future?
  21. Good call. There shouldn't be any performance issues when using Bootcamp; since it can boot directly to Windows without running OS X, all your computer's resources/hardware will be available for use by Windows.
  22. Agreed. I'm not entirely sure what you're asking, but "Draft View" (bottom-left corner) eliminates page breaks. If that's not what you were looking for, I'm not sure I can be of much assistance. I've never used a "click to switch pages" button, and I imagine viewing an entire page at a time would make the text uncomfortably small. I just zoom in to ~145% and scroll so the text is nice and easy to read.
  23. I'm gonna be honest, this process is a nightmare. Not a fan. Or maybe I'm just not that great with computers Bootcamp is probably the way to go if you have a 500+ GB hard drive. All you have to do is use Disk Utility to partition it and off you go. But if you're stupid like me and bought a MacBook Air with a puny 120 GB hard drive, your only option (as far as I know) is to download Parallels (which costs $40 with the student discount and $80 without) and install Windows on an external hard drive, as I did. Once installed, Bootcamp allows you to boot directly to whichever OS you please, maximizing the resources available to the OS and optimizing performance. Parallels, on the other hand, runs Windows as a virtual machine within Mac OS X, meaning you have a Windows window (heh) while using OS X. This is nice because you don't have to shut down and reboot to use a different OS, but running both at the same time does slow things down a little. (Thus, if you want to be able to play any PC games on a Mac, Bootcamp is the only option.) If you have any more questions, I'd be glad to help. I spent way too many hours trying to figure this nonsense out while the frustration drove me toward insanity...and I wouldn't wish that on anyone else
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