[eDebate] ans Branson

Michael Korcok mmk_savant
Sat May 13 02:01:19 CDT 2006

1.  I just don't see it.  in particular the role of the judge is simply "natural":  the critic evaluates whether the appropriate decision-maker should enact the affirmative plan.  no role-playing, no becoming the resolutional actor, no adopting the stance of a generic rational citizen, none of that.  the critic is just themselves with an important job:  evaluating whether the appropriate decision-maker should enact the affirmative plan.
If you asked me, "Korcok, should Congress begin impeachment hearings for Bush?"  I know I wouldn't put on my "I am Congress look at me" tri-corner hat or put on my "see it all through the eyes of Congress" glasses or anything.  Nor would I make the opposite mistake and consider counterplans like "Putin sends out a Russian hit squad instead" or "The Japanese send a Geisha to seduce W to blackmail his resignation instead."  I am asked to evaluate whether the appropriate decision-maker (presumably Congress in this example) should decide to enact the plan so I limit negative fiat to counterplans within the authority of that decision-maker.
I also don't see (not yet) why disads vape on this view.  If Congress impeached, Bush would be ticked off, Iran would be emboldened, immigration reform would get put on the backburner, the Republicans would win the midterm elections, business confidence would tank, etc etc.  All reasons that I, the judge, might weigh against endorsing a Congressional decision to impeach.
i don't see how you get to intrinsicness.  that is sort of frustrating because you are convinced of the link.  help me to see it!
2. I talked a bit more about the role of the judge above.  
I am old school about the role of the resolution in fiat.  So old school I am positively SOLT about it!  From his 1989 masterpiece "Resolving the Ambiguities of Should":
"There is clearly, however, no such consensus where negative fiat is concerned. With the rise to prominence of the counterplan as a negative strategy, it is negative rather than affirmative fiat which is increasingly contentious. While affirmative fiat is a necessary consequence of the resolution's wording, negative fiat is definitely more problematic. If affirmative fiat involves imagining that the affirmative plan were adopted, negative fiat is the act of imagining alternatives to the affirmative. While the resolution usually places some constraints relating to realism on the affirmative, the non-resolution places no such constraints on the negative. Consequently, the potential (and actual) abuses of negative fiat could fill a forensic wax museum."
So...  the resolution most certainly DOES determine the appropriate scope of affirmative fiat and has nothing obvious to say about the appropriate scope of negative fiat.  My solution to the appropriate scope of negative fiat is:  the scope of the authority of the appropriate decision-maker.
then it gets a bit more contentious with: "And with this view of the resolution, CP?s that use a non-resolutional actor DO force a choice."
well yes.  the COMPETITIVENESS of actor/agent counterplans isn't the problem for me.  choice IS forced, in some sense.  the problem is that not all competitive counterplans are legitimate.  "France invades Iran" might well COMPETE with "The US attacks Iran" in a simple sense of COMPETE, but that doesn't, by itself, make it a legitimate reason to reject "The US attacks Iran".  What is ALSO needed is that the decision-maker choosing whether the US should attack Iran could choose France attacks Iran instead.
then it gets interesting with "policy advocates and scholars often *do* make choices about what agent should enact reform."
this argument gets complex fast, but I would resist this formulation of debate as intractable.  in the simplest case, the argument that reform should be undertaken through the freely-made choice to do the right, moral, and universally welfare-maximizing thing by each of the 6 billion of us would win almost every time.  and if that much negative fiat scares you, you KNOW that the miscreant is almost ALWAYS the best agent of reform: how sweet is it if the terrorists choose to stop terrorizing, the criminals decide to stop criminating, and the communists cease their communing? what comes to mind is that haunting phrase of Roger Solt's: "the potential (and actual) abuses of negative fiat could fill a forensic wax museum."
there is a more serious objection to this way of thinking.  assuming the plan is the focus of the debate, that is, the judge evaluates whether the plan should be enacted, then I think my view is largely forced.  The appropriate decision-maker at least has to have authority to choose whether to enact the affirmative plan:  whether to do plan is what the round is about, after all.  That eliminates nearly all of the alternative agent literature by itself: deciding whether to do the affirmative plan renders most actor/agent counterplans irrelevant since there won't exist decision-makers with the authority to choose between the plan and the counterplan.
but i know i need to find better ways to understand and explain what's going on with this argument.
then it isn't as interesting again with: "but you here have again presumed that the judge of the debate is somehow analogous to Blackmun."
hopefully i have clarified above.  judges are just themselves.  one of their jobs is to evaluate whether the appropriate decision-maker should enact the plan.  for this example, you, Josh, would need to determine whether Blackmun should have held for Roe or Texas.  just like in non-debate life, if someone asked you... "Josh, should the Supreme Court have found for Roe?" you wouldn't run to your closet to get your Supremes robes before thinking it through but you would automatically bracket-out potential counterplans like "Texas should have just amended their abortion statutes."
then it gets plain silly with "all the "agent debates matter" arguments become O against your position."
that's okay.  there is so much better "O" against my position than that.  like "you bracket-out universal love consciousness as a fiat mechanism and that is genocidal and icky" and "rationality is bad, mkay?" and "preventing random abusive negative fiat flimsily justified using the bullshit scam 'agent debates matter' is NOT NICE!" 
and my defense that clips your offense and sends your running back to the hospital with a broken spine is Roger Solt's memorable phrase.  come on, say it along with me: "the potential (and actual) abuses of negative fiat could fill a forensic wax museum."
3. this made so little sense to me that my nostrils began to bleed. let's see if I can unpack this bit at least:
"Just because there might be some statement you're pondering that says "resolved: that friend A should buy a prius" does NOT mean that somehow friend A is the only person that is relevant to you. It's just what you've chosen to start the discussion, and if there is an opportunity cost to that action, then that should be relevant to your calculus."
i have no idea how my or Ulrich's or Lichtman and Rohrer's or any extant theory of counterplans or negative fiat implies that "friend A is the only person that is relevant to you."  nada.  no idea how.
the part that says "if there is an opportunity cost to that action, then that should be relevant to your calculus" I understand.   yes and no.  yes only because to be an opportunity cost, it must be a choice that the decision-maker choosing whether to undertake an action is forced to give up.  no decision-maker means no opportunity cost.  i refer you to several papers of mine from 12 years ago.  no if you mean that any action that competes is legitimately fiatted.  that's just silly.  for example, each of the following counterplans could compete with the plan:
plan: "Josh should eat that burger"cplan1: "Two starving children from Sudan are flown by Oxfam to Chicago to eat the burger."
cplan2: "Jesus should offer Josh salvation if he fasts today"
cplan3: "President Bush should invite Josh to the White House for dinner."
cplan4: "Zarefsky should throw an impromptu College of Communication banquet for Josh."
are all of them "relevant to your calculus"?  because of the "O" from "agent debates matter"?  
no?  well, the next step is to try to come up with a cogent theory of negative fiat.  good luck with that.  
yes? unh hunh. really.
okay i am getting too cranky now...
Michael Korcok
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