[eDebate] ans Stannard
Wed Jul 18 19:43:26 CDT 2007
Matt: "Is this the crowd you want to climb in bed with just because you're all old Saluki friends?"
Mike: I have no interest in climbing into bed with any old Saluki friends. Certainly not any crowd of old Saluki friends. Besides, we aren't old Saluki friends - different years.
Too, i think the "let's form a special club and discuss our super-secret strategery together out of sight" move is guaranteed to alienate the folks who need to be won over with good arguments. If the advice really was "go backchannel to develop your activism" then that advice was ass. And they will wonder in 5 months why no one wants to take part in their coup...
My position is simple, straightforward, and public. I think a non-policy resolution is worth trying because it has a good chance of increasing participation and because it is a change from the same old thing, which could be educationally beneficial. No activist cabals, no schemes to take power, no childish nonsense.
Matt: "There's apparently no shame involved in slamming the topics, but none of those directors did so, and one even said list topics are good for small schools. I guess what discourages me is how all the self-proclaimed progressives on the topic issue are not really concerned with data about what people have really, like, actually, said...the voice of the other you know."
Mike: I don't dismiss their stated reasons. But I don't treat them as closed and unchallengeable either. Once again, I appreciate your research, but I am skeptical of people's reports of the reasons they had for taking the decisions they made and skeptical generally of the role that reasons play in decision-making. I did give some reasons for that skepticism in a previous post, some of which you didn't respond to. I don't dismiss what they have to say, but I don't consider it off limits either.
Too, I did express, and I think you ignored, my opinion that you were correct in thinking that policy resolutions affected participation indirectly. "I hate the topics" isn't really why people would leave - they would leave because they can't win or because their kids can't compete against the elite debaters at other schools or because the topics require too much research... I think all of these reasons are, in part, results of policy topics. No one has taken issue with the argument that policy topics substantially favor those debaters who learned in 3 or 4 years of debate at elite high schools how to handle them. Nor has anyone taken issue with the companion argument that they favor those coaches and programs which have decades of expertise in how to debate them. Those claims are sorta obviously true, huh? And once you get to those 2 conclusions, then the call for data isn't as pressing.
Also, I think the issue of participation is a lot broader than what you researched. It isn't just about programs that left. It is also about programs that never start, debaters that give up, students that come to the first meeting and then leave, kids that compete for a year or 2 and then decide that they will never catch up...
Matt: "Kind of how they're dismissive of other projects people do in this community to increase access. You've been quick to accuse your ideological enemies in the past of searching for data to support preordained conclusions. That's exactly what our colleagues are doing in this discussion but you are giving them a free pass. Heck, Marlow even ADMITTED he wasn't interested in data. Jackie's myopia is catching. And Marlow says the cooperative serves elites too without ever having sent students to the cooperative."
Mike: I think data and evidence are important. I think there is some for my position. It is not that good. It consists of the correlation between the rise of policy resolutions and the decline of participation. If the data turns out otherwise or if someone performs a factor analysis which concludes that the variance is best explained by escalating research burdens or speed of delivery or global warming, then I will adjust my conclusion accordingly.
A lot of things about Marlow disturb me. Do you remember that cheesy moustache he wore in the early 90s? I think I have a picture of it around here someplace. Speaking of pictures... Matt, I will e-mail one of you from 1991 I think: you were a party animal back then. Look, will you feel better if I call Marlow a horses ass for writing that he don't need no stinkin evidence to believe? Yes? HEY MARLOW!!!! Stop being a horses ass and be a debate coach for crying out loud! evidence.... is.... important. Better?
Matt: A completely different debate involving a lot of assumptions that (a) nobody's come close to proving, and (b) people have unthinkingly and hurtfully ignored, cajoled and marginalized a lot of good people in the community who question this current crusade. "
Mike: I am unsure of what your answer here is. I think a number of folks are arguing that we should try a non-policy resolution. Something big and broad. So I am unsure why you think this is a different debate...
I think that will cut against at least some of the privilege that policy debate experienced students and programs have over novices, those who didn't compete on the national circuit in high school, and even those who only sorta learned to debate that way. It will also cut against some of the advantages that long-time policy programs have over those that can't recruit as aggressively, don't have 1st round coaches, and so on. Because they won't be the same sort of resolutions that those folks are great at. That's a fairly simple argument without a lot assumptions... True, it hasn't been proven but not much of life is.
Finally, I hope any hurtful ignoring, cajoling, and marginalizing I might have done in this "crusade" has been intended and thought-through. Which means I hope I have not done any of it. I want to save all of that for the little innocent children of terrorists.
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