Vote for the Value topic but debate policy
Tue Jun 26 09:31:53 CDT 2001
Hi Michael and thanks for the response. I think you make some good points,
and perhaps I can clarify some other places where we might still disagree.
> From: michael l. hagan
> Sent: Monday, June 25, 2001 1:27 PM
> To: edebate at ndtceda.com; Woods, Steve
> Subject: Re: Vote for the Value topic but debate policy
> I don't know why people keep thinking that they can debate policy debate
> with a value laden/based resolution. It can't be done.
This is empirically denied. It HAS been done. I did it. Teams I coached
did it. CEDA did it. You may not have done it, but it has been done.
> Dr. Woods raises an interesting point when he says, "there could be more
> debates about debates." But I don't think that's a good thing. We want
> to learn about Native Americans this year but if we are doing policy
> debate with a value based resolution and instead find ourself debating
> about debating...then what's the point of the resolution? Why not just
> debate all year about debate? Resolved: We should debate a value based
> resolution rather than a policy one. It's ludicrous!
You have a good point here. Meta-debate is not always good debate. But a
couple thoughts. 1.) Even under policy resolutions, and specifically last
year, I didn't hear much about Africa and Africans at all. I heard a lot of
theory debate and debate about the US and congressional behavior patterns.
2.) Let me clarify about what I mean about debate about debate. What I
think would be a good debate about dbate would involve assessing the
evaluative criteria for decision making that most teams never compare or
implicitly agree upon. I think exposing the basis for decision making is a
possibility in value context, and even when a policy is present it still
must justify itself as a good or as a functional response to a problem based
on the way it conforms to the values expressed and advocated. This should
be done in context to the persons who are the subject of the resolution, not
just merely objects for debate.
> Second, why would a value based resolution necessarily create all of these
> good things that "should" happen. Also, even under a policy debate
> format, people are allowed to debate new ideas, introduce new ways of
> debating, it certainly didn't stop teams from running speed kritiks,
> deconstruction affirmatives or any other radical type of thought. The
> resolution should not be the starter of a debate revolution, at best, it
> should simply be the affirmation of a debate revolution, which we all know
> has not happened.
> Dr.Woods also noted that the current resolution "reinforces the idea that
> only certain ideas can be debated." However, I would argue that this is
> good to a certain extent in terms of limits. If we had a wide, blown open
> value based topic, the acceptable range of ideas would be so broad that
> nobody would learn jack about the resolution because they would be too
> busy hopping from one foot to the other trying to predict and prepare for
> every possible affirmative plan.
I am going to group here, not sure if I can, but I will anyway. I would
concede that a value resolution does not automatically create good things,
just like the "non-policy" division has not automatically manifested great
change or even interest. It is operationalized by the debaters and it is up
to their choices.
My hope would be that a more simply worded resolution that is broad in scope
would render meaningless PIC debates, Political DA's and return as the focus
the subject of the resolution to the center. My concern is that the
resolutions were written in a way to say certain arguments that could be
named and essentially outlined are acceptable and others are not. True,
people could still run whatever they want, but "framers intent" and
community hegemony would probably minimize their effectiveness in front of
many critics who are national circuit oriented.
Limits are an illusion. I think a broad topic ends up helping smaller
programs becuase there is more research available to them and more
strategies available to counter the depth and specificity that can be
generated by many programs. If I am limited to a few sets of legitimate
negative or affirmative approaches, unless I have access to all materials
related to them, I will be at a disadvantage.
> "Resolutions should have fewer words and more ideas, and that's the way it
> should be in many debate rounds as well."...wha?
> So in debate rounds, when we're speaking at Mach 1, that's not enough
> ideas...you want more? Also, I think everyone in debate strives to have
> better word economy, it's not exactly a groundbreaking statement that we
> should all use less words for the same ideas.
But if you are speaking at Mach 1 and all you are reading are
Bush/Clinton/Bush/Gore cards you DO NOT have more ideas. It is just a lot
of words about the same idea. However, if you have to defend your decision
making calculus as to how it relates to the value and subject embodied in
the reolution there probably is a greater chance that a greater diffusion of
ideas would exist.
> Sorry if this is somewhat antagonistic in tone but this has really
> bothered me.
No antagonism taken. We do have disagreement, but I can see where your
points about meta-debate and diversity even under policy based resolutions
are legitimate. But you are wrong about value topics not able to have
policies debated, and I still think my concerns about the topic process
trying to dictate content are still real.
Thanks for the exchange,
> >>> "Woods, Steve" <woodss at william.jewell.edu> 06/25/01 13:52 PM >>>
> Hey all,
> A value topic is not officially designated "non-policy" In revious posts
> have advocated that policy is in fact required to make clear what advocacy
> is being forwarded by the affirmative when debating values.
> If we voted for the value resolution, would there still be a non-policy
> division officially designated at CEDA Nats?
> Additionally, the low numbers of non-policy does show that there is little
> interest. I do support Jason Jarvis's claim to do a better job of selling
> policy to younger/less time available competitors. Novice and JV can be
> places where people learn without having the time commitment required by
> national circuit.
> Non-policy was supposed to breed more attractive, slower, "simpler"(?)
> debate. Yet all of the advocates claimed it was as rigorous as policy.
> Clearly it has not caught on. We should be able to sell policy debate to
> more students as valuable, and we should be able to have more space for
> differing approaches and delivery styles. A value topic just might allow
> that. A team running no policy would have to justify their actions
> argumentatively and vice versa. There could be debate about debate
> of the current compliance to a national circuit standard in delivery and
> argument choice (how many times are arguments referred to by the
> who originated and or runs them consistently them instead of their
> Quite often). I think the current resolution constructions reinforce the
> idea that only certain ideas can be debated and they must stem from
> "official" sanction via topic wordings, andother ideas must be left out.
> Resolutions should have fewer words and more ideas, and that's the way it
> should be in many debate rounds as well.
> Judges need to be more tolerant of diverse approaches by programs and
> debaters if we really want to have more competitors.
> Steve Woods, PhD
> Current contact info (Until Aug. 1)
> 31 Cherry
> Liberty, MO 64068
> 816.781.7700 x. 5478
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