[eDebate] Steven A. Douglas was a great debater, but...

Josh Hoe jbhdb8
Tue Apr 11 01:33:05 CDT 2006

I dont disagree with much of this...however,

 3. Every time a "topic process is less than ideal" discussion comes
> up, a number of people jump up to explain that it's open, available to
> everyone, etc.  This is all true.  BUT, I think it's wrong to dismiss
> these opinions as ignorant.  If you continually get complaints from
> people in the community about lack of prior knowledge and feelings of
> exclusion, the proper response should be two-fold.  First, you should
> explain what options are currently available which this person might
> not be aware of (e-debate postings, topic meetings, etc.).  Second,
> you should consider what ELSE could be done.  Surely no one would
> suggest the current topic process is an ideal one.
> The complaints may get old, but if they keep complaining it also means
> things aren't running quite as well as they could be.  This is not to
> say that topic folk don't already do a HUGE amount. They do, and they
> really try to make it as open a process as possible.  But let's
> seriously consider ways it could be made even better.

I will make the radical suggestion that if members of the topic committe
called every member of the community once and hour and included free tickets
to a movie people would still complain.  Honestly, attempts to increase
inclusion have been undertaken virtually every year and people are never
ever ever happy.  I doubt anyone has ever said "lets stop making it better"
as a matter of fact plans are underway to podcast this next meeting.  Want
to take bets on how many people will complain after not watching?

My point - yes, always try to be better - but maybe people always complain
not because of the lack of inclusion - but rather because everybody will
NEVER be happy with the outcome of any topic process because too many people
have agendas that will not be seen in the topic outcomes in any particular

5. Something else that would help: let's try to recognize that we're
> well into the 21st century.  A lot of the topic discussion still
> happens at face-to-face meetings.  Those certainly are good, but let's
> not forget the existence of e-debate, an incredibly easy way to
> communicate the information to everyone involved.  Don't get mad at
> people because they don't come to the topic meeting.  People have
> school, jobs, other commitments.  They can't all just fly to Kansas
> City.  Similarly, don't get mad because they miss a meeting that
> happens DURING a tournament at which they are competing.  It's hard
> enough staying afloat just dealing with tournament stuff.  Trying to
> do more on top of it is a lot to ask.
> That's all the more reason to commend those who do find the time and
> make the effort to go to these meetings.  But, surely we can find ways
> to include those who are otherwise occupied.  The webcast idea is one.
> And, in the past, the notes from the topic committee have been
> FANTASTIC.  But maybe more can be talked about on e-debate before the
> actual meeting.  Make it clear to people exactly what is up for
> discussion and perhaps they won't feel quite as blindsided when the
> results come in.

Again, I am not sure how you can say - we are too busy to ever listen - but
the committee should talk more - and on edebate. Why is the onus always on
the people who give up a ton of time to give a service to the community and
never on the community to be reasonable?  You can freely email any member of
the committee, you can post on edebate at any time and have your topic
issues discussed, you can attend meetings - or not attend, you can now watch
the pod cast, every day they post the minutes of the topic meeting generally
to edebate and try to incorporate the comments that they receive, they hold
extra meetings, etc etc etc.  Just not sure why the most thankless job in
the history of debate service jobs have to get harder and harder and
harder.  I am just saying...how about people have a little reflexiveness
about the simple fact that not everyone can be made happy in any topic

I am not saying dont speak your mind, I am not saying dont improve the
process, I just grow very tired of essentially 15 years of straight
complaining no matter how much the process improves and becomes more

Anyway, whatever, like its going to ever change :)

Tilter at Windmills
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