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The X Factor

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The X Factor last won the day on December 27 2016

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About The X Factor

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  • Birthday 06/25/1995

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  • Name
    Alex
  • School
    University of Rochester
  • Location
    Illinois

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  1. Honestly, it depends on the culture of the team you're joining. At big, hypercompetitive squads (think Northwestern and the University of Michigan), good high school debaters are often given scholarships for recruitment and other good high school debaters flock to those teams because of their reputation. As a result, they can afford to be (and almost universally are) pickier about who gets to go to tournaments and who's cutting cards in the background. One of my friends and former teammates was exceptional in her freshman year and skyrocketed to being one of the top three teams at one of the highest-performing squads in the country, so it's possible to hit the ground running, but the competition within the team is much fiercer. Squads that prioritize learning and community-building over (and sometimes at the expense of) competitive success are easier to jump right into and start competing, but don't expect to wind up with a first-round NDT bid at one of these schools unless you take the initiative and really push for it. Don't pick a school exclusively or even largely based on their debate team, but do keep the culture of the team in mind when you choose where you go. One of the best things I can advise is to see if you can meet a debater or coach to talk about the team's culture and goals, or even sit in on a practice, while you do the rounds of college visits. If you think you want to continue college debate, it's a reasonable request, and one that a lot of people will be thrilled by. And if they decide they don't have time for you, that sends a message about the team culture loud and clear as it is.
  2. So judges are allowed to give feedback after each round but submit the ballot and RFD to you, Beck? Just clarifying to make sure that I'm not misreading anything.
  3. Philosophies that win you my ballot: I'm happy and comfortable voting on a wide variety of arguments, ranging from agent counterplan with politics to T to identity politics to Baudrillard. If you go for a high theory argument, it is in your best interest to explain your interpretation of the argument as clearly and simply as you can. Overuse of buzzwords or using shortcuts on the assumption that I'll do the extra work for you since I'm well-read on most K authors is unclear at best and tells me that you have no idea what you're talking about at worst. Aside from ideas about permissible language (read: slurs and bigotry are bad), I do my best to leave my opinions at the door and vote based on the arguments presented in the round. In very close decisions, I tend to be slightly left-leaning in terms of K and framework debates, but ultimately if you're confident in your ability to debate an argument well then you should not feel like it is a strategic disadvantage to debate that argument. Philosophies that win you my heart: shrink your overview (or just don't have one!) and expand the line-by-line. I reward analyses that go beyond explaining your own arguments and go on to meaningfully interact with the specifics of theirs. Rely on being smart to win rounds, don't rely on your opponents to drop the ball. The cleaner my flows, the happier I am, and since you get to look at your opponent's speech doc as you prepare and upload your own you have no excuse for messy or unclear ordering. Pulling specific lines from their evidence, discussing other parts of the same sources that your opponents read that undercut how they use the argument, and talking about conflicting assumptions of the authors from different pieces of evidence are all criminally underutilized strategies of evidence comparison that are easier to pull off in a V-debate format and will earn you high speaker points. If I end up judging your round and you have more specific questions than what I've covered here, don't hesitate to ask.
  4. Impact turns, impact defense, and advantage counterplans are probably the highest priority because they're ultra-generics and constitute a full neg strat on their own. Turning one advantage and counterplanning out of the others was my bread and butter against less popular policy affs when I was competing, and holds up really well.
  5. I'll volunteer to judge for this one. I can provide a judge philosophy on request.
  6. Anyone have a link to the round? I can't seem to find it anywhere.
  7. Mod note: moved this over to the region subforum!
  8. I'm not super familiar with the platform, could you move me (alexwhiteplays) to the judge section?
  9. Mod note--I moved the messages about setting up the debate to this thread, since it makes more sense for them to be here.
  10. Mod note--I moved the posts in this thread about setting up the debate to the other thread where the debate was announced so that this discussion wouldn't be derailed.
  11. Forgot to mention this, but if anyone else has good ideas on possible cross-x alternatives totally feel free to post them here! I'm happy to take the lead in helping to re-form this community elsewhere if and when it becomes necessary.
  12. Hey, I totally hear your feedback on the site and wanted to give some insight about what's going on behind the scenes. I have a feeling that a lot of people on the forums aren't super familiar with how the system works (I know I sure wasn't before I became a mod) and I think this is as good a place as any to give some insight. This is especially important given the manhood academy troll. So there are three levels of users (technically four, which I'll touch on in a moment). First is the member, which is anyone with an account. Second is moderators, and what mods can do is sometimes a point of confusion for people because mods have localized power. Any mod can issue warnings to any member, with punishments ranging from a verbal warning to a permanent ban depending on the number of warning points associated with the infraction. However, we can only delete, move, lock, pin, and merge posts/threads in the specific subforum that we're a moderator of (for example, mine is Culture). This is why some threads stay up after a poster is banned, as the mod that did the banning may not necessarily have the power to remove the post. The technical third is supermods, but we currently don't have any and the last one we had was done within a year of me joining the site, so I'm not as clear on what their powers are. I know that they can do thread moderation for any subforum, but I don't know if they have any other powers or responsibilities. Last is administrators, and this deserves a paragraph of its own. The site was initially administrated by Phil Kerpen, who is now a conservative hack at places like Fox and American Commitment. The leadership was passed down to two people who co-bought and co-ran the site, South-X and David. South-X eventually left, citing his professional life, leaving David as the sole administrator. We don't know how recently he's been around because he turned off his "last online" tracker on his profile page, but he hasn't posted since November 11, 2014. Thursday Files stopped happening because people stopped being paid, and the only one who can issue Evazon payments is the administrator. Mods are chosen by election, but the only level of user that can add and remove mods is the administrator, so we currently can't change mods or add a supermod. We also haven't had a mod election in years, so several mods are no longer active on the site. Those of us who are left are trying to do everything we can to salvage the site. Cross-x was a great resource for me when I was a debater, it gave me a sense of belonging and community that I really value and it gave me a soundboard for arguments that I could use to get better at the activity. It's important to me to try to preserve that as much as possible for future generations of debaters, but it feels like we're fighting a losing battle. I've been exploring other alternatives to these forums that might give us better tools to keep the community engagement up even if cross-x eventually is crushed under the weight of absent leadership. Facebook groups seem like an option worth exploring, since while it removes anonymity it also provides a space for conversation and a fresh start for finding active and engaged mods. One final note on the troll--whoever it is, they're deliberately obscuring their IP address. An IP ban wouldn't be enough to stop it permanently, and mods don't have the ability to do one anyway. The regularly active mods have no choice but to play whack-a-mole whenever a new account pops up. Happy new year, everyone!
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