[eDebate] Answering Sous Chef's Korcok and Ellis

Ede Warner ewarner
Wed Jul 18 02:16:10 CDT 2007


There have been some early challengers to Iron Chef Warner's call for Battle topic! 2008. Let me briefly engage.
 
Sous Chef Korcok
 
I apologize for any mischaracterization of your position based on my lack of thorough research (reading).  I thought you defended the Josh's position on the relationship between topic complexity not being related to novice retention.  My bad.
 
Two questions for Chef Korcok.  
 
1) Regarding your description of my approach as revolutionary, I'm wondering what is it specifically that you find so radical about my approach?  I suggested to a group of people (a minority) whose ideas are losing out to another group of people (the majority), a different way to organize for the purpose of better utilizing the same tools of the political system to achieve change that are used by the majority.  Even the topic committee chair supported my initiative wholeheartedly. So...
 
...just as I perhaps stereotyped you in terms of where I thought you would be positioned on this issue, have you substituted generic perceptions about me in lieu of taking a hard look at the actual policy being offered? If you are a supporter of broader topics, why would you not consider joining a political coalition engaged in smart, well-thought, comprehensive activism to achieve the political change you seek?
 
2)  Regarding your alternative that debate folk can be persuaded by the smart arguments for a non-policy resolution, I'm curious which arguments are you prepared to advance that the small but vocal group that has consistently fought for non-policy resolutions has missed?  If you argument about the community's susceptibility to quality persuasion is sufficient to create change, and if the arguments for alternative resolutions have been repeatedly made by a small segment of the community, why were their arguments not able to achieve broader acceptance of alternative resolutions? And even if you have the magical, well-reasoned persuasive argument, exactly who in the current debate ideological divide will shift their allegiances enough to produce a winning topic area vote?  The same is true for who on the current topic committee will be persuaded to produce solely non-policy resolutions after the problem area is written?
 
Sous Chef Ellis 
 
I think your proposal is excellent for development of collaborative topic papers and research.  Kudos for the early progressive contribution to the discussion.
 
My one concern is that your rhetoric seems to substitute the need for having Battle Topic in the Kitchen Stadium in lieu of playing in Hell's Kitchen.  I believe Battle Topic is a thorough and comprehensive plan which addresses all of the steps needed to concretely move us to a different topic in 2008.  Just wondering if my assessment is accurate and if it is, why would Hell's Kitchen be enough to substitute for my comprehensive proposal?  
 
If you, Jackie, Tuna and myself create a great collaborative topic paper, what increases the likelihood that it will win?  And if your argument is that the collaborative process will produce papers that cut across the debate ideological spectrum, I'm just wondering what evidence would suggest that it would actually pan out this way as opposed to different groups with similar perspectives on debate working together?  
 
Finally, even if great papers are produced, I have the same questions for you that I had for Chef Korcok.  Exactly who in the current debate ideological divide will shift their allegiances enough to produce a winning topic area vote?  The same is true for who on the current topic committee will be persuaded to produce solely non-policy resolutions after the problem area is written?
 
I think it is important that begin to move out of the theory stage of these discussions to more a more praxis-centered orientation.  These ideas need to be fleshed out and critiqued to their logical conclusion, which must always include how we get to the goal.  In that positive, progressive spirit, I will challenge critics and supporters alike to fully flesh out not only their criticisms of my proposal, but also, their alternatives as well.
 
Topic for the People! 2008
 
Iron Chef Warner
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