[eDebate] Key Topic Framing Questions Unanswered!

debate at ou.edu debate
Mon May 29 00:41:59 CDT 2006


I want to first identify some phobias people have that are not the same amongst everyone.  This means that assumptions about fears that are ones own, does not mean that they should be unquestionably accepted as rules for topic framing.

 Bidrophobia ? The fear of bidirectionality.   
Why is this a fear?  Shouldn?t you be able to debate both sides of the topic on a whim?
I welcome a bidirectional topic others fear it.  Why should one view always be preferred over another?

Squirlophobia ? This is the fear that someone may surprise you with an odd nut of some sort.  Why is it bad to have a topic that maybe we cant identify every single affirmative from our six weeks of research.

NoNeg-argo-phobia ? The fear that the affirmative may say something that I don?t have an argument for. Or, the fear that the affirmative may have enough maneuvering and creative room  with the resolution to say something respectful and maybe right.

Researcho-fatigu-o - The fear that the topic may make you have to research too much.

SidofBarn-o-phobia ? This would be the fear of the broad side of the barn.  The fear that the topic will be too large to map out before our first tournament or even the topic committee meeting.

Novice-O-quito-phobia ? The fear that the topic may cause novices to quit debate.

There are two extremes with the notion of a ?broad? vs. ?narrow? resolution.
One extreme is very open ended, IE ? USSC should reverse a landmark decision.
Then there is the other extreme,  IE ? THE USSC should overturn the supreme court decision of Roe vs. Wade.

However, when we discuss middle ground, just adding two or three more cases to the latter does not seem like the middle, but only the middle right of right.

Open----------------------------------Middle Ground--------------------X------ Narrow

My argument ? Narrow topics close off a years worth of educational research based upon a few weeks of selected research.  If we can identify all of the solvency advocates for a resolution before the topic is chosen, then where is the education?  Why not just publish a paper and call it a year?  

The thought of a resolution without the identification of a solvency advocate is only a response to the habitual creation of resolutions with such restrictive terms that limit what the aff can say.  The less words in a resolution means more solvency advocates.  (a little rocket science here)

I thought we voted on a problem area, and then a resolution was suppose to be created that allows us to explore such a problem area.  Not just to know it?s a problem, but maybe, just maybe debate could be a venue where creative ways of addressing these problems might be developed by debaters.  The current method of topic framing completely - absolutely- closes this off -  (at least if you want to be traditionally  topical)    However, today it seems like that the problem area is only something to be studied, and the solutions must be the same solutions already being offered in academia.  We don?t come up with new creative ideas, but only regurgitate the best sequence of others peoples words.

Regurgitate the best sequence of others peoples words.
Regurgitate the best sequence of others peoples words.

There are fundamental questions about topic framing that need to be questioned, but continue to be overlooked in the face of ?this is how it is done? and assumptions about what good debate is.

People need to be able to identify the assumptuous claims and look for a better compromise, instead of always assuming, the narrower the better, bidirectionality bad etc.

Here is an example of key decisions that must be made.

Is it better to have a narrow/identified plan of action, but have a broad area?
A broad mechanism for action, within a narrow area?

I think the latter is the best choice, because of the aff maneuverability room.  It is not really that impact area that the so called ?critical? teams want to access, it is the creative space on the affirmative to choose a plan of action to deal with whatever ?harm? area the resolution identifies.

Being negative is too easy with the current resolutional framing.



(Ps ? yes this means I prefer areas over specific cases!)

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