[eDebate] ans Warner and Stannard

Michael Korcok mmk_savant
Tue Jul 17 23:07:42 CDT 2007

I assume i am the "Mike" you mention along with Josh.  Yah, my position on this matter is not what you appear to believe it is.  
I understand how you might come to that conclusion having only skimmed the tops of the posts, however.  
Josh and I are sorta disagreeing on this one while Jackie and I are mostly agreeing.
but... and this won't surprise you... i don't think that a revolution is the way to go.  
debate folk, in my experience, tend to respond to well-reasoned appeals for change.  
and I think the reasons for a non-policy topic are pretty good and that the community will respond.
I didn't mean to minimize your research.  Trying to get a handle on people's reasons for their decisions is a good idea.  
And even though I am skeptical about our ability to accomplish that and how far we can take the results, I wouldn't discourage the attempt.
But I think there is a plausible explanation of why folks wouldn't mention topics as a reason their programs left.  
Just like people wouldn't say "I just wasn't smart enough to win in policy debate" for simple psychological reasons, they wouldn't say "I moved my program because I didn't like the topics."
You are right that doesn't mean that anyone actually had that reason and i acknowledge that in my post.
Actually, your post that included your survey results mentioned that you invited explanation of how policy topics might drive down participation indirectly.  I read that and thought "yah, I think that's how it has worked.  i should elaborate about how i think they do that."
I too think that more debate is good.  Neil is obviously right that there are diminishing returns to more debate participation but I too wanted every ounce of the stuff I could guzzle down.  And I wouldn't begrudge someone who wanted their fill.  That doesn't mean we should pander to them by serving up the same type of resolution year after year for the 3 decades they compete in.  In fact, I expect it is pedagogically more sound to challenge them with a variety of different types of resolutions.
And I agree that just having simpler resolutions and non-policy resolutions won't eliminate privilege, either life privilege or debate experience privilege.  the argument I presented was that it would cut some of that privilege away.  and there is the historical example of middle years CEDA:  a lot more people and programs, in large measure because it was easier for them to compete, and resolutions were a part of that.  And that is a good thing that it only gets at part of privilege:  that leaves a lot for you and others to do still.
Parli.  look, I am glad they are progressing through the graph that Gary Larson argued was perhaps inevitable for a competitive debate organization.  Maybe one day they will be in the position that CEDA got to in the mid 1990s and there will be another "merger":  that would be hilarious and poignant.  But for us, lets see if we can make some choices to increase participation and give ourselves some experiential variety.
So no wild-eyed promises or calls for the revolution here.  Just a suggestion that a non-policy resolution might be a good start.  Maybe?
Michael Korcok
Don't get caught with egg on your face. Play Chicktionary!??
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