[eDebate] ans Warner (2)

Michael Korcok mmk_savant
Fri Jul 20 21:42:15 CDT 2007

accepted.  and reciprocal apologies for my incivility.

If directors wouldn't put different students in both divisions policy and non-policy at a tournament, why would they spend time training students in two types of topic for each debate?
no choice:  if they don't teach them to handle Oklahoma or Fullerton's affirmative, they won't clear.  kiss the first-round goodbye.
competitive advantage:  teams they want to beat aren't so good at non-policy debate or aren't so good at policy debate.
competitive advantage:  their own hardest-working and smartest kids don't have much policy experience
pedagogical conscience:  they are employed by institutions of higher learning to educate
self-respect:  i will personally and publically mock any experienced coach who hides their incompetence behind "screw that type of resolution!  not gonna coach it!"
if there are different divisions or tournaments for different resolutions, that will create a tiered system.  I don't believe you have tried to answer Tuna's response:  no thanks to "topic light".  

This might work if you can persuade the CEDA no-longer, now NDT membership to step up to the responsibility of debating a 2nd format. 
if the topics get passed, they will have already been convinced.  competition takes care of the rest.
but you are correct, if this doesn't pass then it can't work.  that is a political question and i hate and suck at politics.  i will do what i do:  make arguments and if those arguments are good ones, trust this community to respond to the force of the better argument.

My arguments about director and student interest in policy probably means it the non-policy topic won't get debated much, if at all.  I suspect their will be some attempts to culturally cut it's head off at institutes and informally because most won't want to do the extra work.
maybe.  but if a few teams choose nonpolicy affirmatives and they do decently well with them, then that forces the issue.  no one really has the option of not learning the topic or the debate.  and the prospect of some teams doing that should be enough for people to at least explore the option.  and if very few teasm are debating the nonpolicy topic, that puts HUGE pressure on someone to go for the potential easy wins from unprepared opponents.
true, if judges decide that they will enforce policy by refusing to listen to nonpolicy affirmatives, then that could be a large problem.  but that is unlikely given that this proposal passes in the first place.
and kritiks are a better model than plan-plan on this issue:  if you can't coach or argue them, then you will lose.

It's a lot less predictable than knowing in advance what the format will be, which I think will make it less popular.
yes, I think you are correct:  the unknown has few fans.  on the other hand, it ought to be attractive to those who want Change for this exact reason.  it mixes things up more than just a broader topic would.  and it goes after the single biggest advantage that elite programs have:  years of experience coaching and competing in policy.

However, I will concede that if a few people start choosing the non-policy aff and actually do it and win, the competitive culture will follow and it's possible then everyone would be doing it.
yeah, I specify a few ways how above.  not everyone needs to do it.  i expect that those programs and students steeped in policy will still prefer policy on the affirmative.  non-policy becomes the resolution of choice for critical, anarchist, innovative, smart, inexperienced students.  and... maybe... this becomes a path for reconciliation as we all learn to do both.

I'm not really sure how the world transforms.  Will the non-policy debates be different in style and substance?  Will a new technical approach simply be created for those debates?  Or will those debates be radically different in terms of style and content?  Just curious since I know nothing of the non-policy history of which you speak.
me either.  really, I don't.
i think folks have mentioned the connection between critical arguments and criteria for decision on non-policy resolutions, they tended to have a heavier dose of philosophy and a bigger focus on values/ethics/moral discussion than policy which often defaults to consequentialism, and they varied more widely in quality depending on how well coaches and students developed the theory and frameworks and arguments.
the term of art we used in the early 1990s was "resolution driven theory".  policy theory, although developed deeply with interesting unresolved issues, is a MONOLITH of thought about how to do policy debate.  no such theory exists for non-policy debate generally and certainly not much exists for the vast space of possible non-policy topics.  all of that is yet to be developed as students and coaches learn to grapple with how to debate those resolutions.
policy resolutions are a tiny subset of possible resolutions:  it is as if we have learned everything there is to learn about our small town in Southeast Louisiana and have become the ultimate homeboys.  what is the bigger world out past the tracks like?  I dunno, man, I only got to visit a few towns over back in the day, but i can tell you it was pretty trippy...
Michael Korcok
See what you?re getting into?before you go there.
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