[eDebate] crab and lobster bisque with fennel and leeks or how i learned that switch side debate

Ede Warner ewarner
Wed Jul 18 15:35:02 CDT 2007

I generally agree with your assessments about the lost art of switch side debate in our activity.  It is a fallacy as currently practiced.  However, my use of prison reform was just an example to illustrate how a Battle Topics might operate.  I have done little thinking about the best way to write a topic in that area and I'm not trying to defend any particular advocacy on what topics are best.  
My goal at this point is to only try and get a coalition of the willing on board with the idea of mobilizing the broad topic supporters in a productive way to move towards a successful outcome, and begin to formalize a process for doing so.  It really seems like we need some larger agreement on that before we can begin to detail what the "right" topics look like in one particular problem area.
I guess what I'm hoping for is some idea of how many people throughout the community can: 1) provide information regarding the list of ingredients I have offered as some starting points to understand the nature of the problem, why broader topic supporters keep losing the vote; 2) identify how many supporters of broader topics there actually are, either through public discussion or backchannel; and 3) are willing to participate in our coalition to create a strategic plan of action that includes creation of topics, public relations strategies, voting strategies, etc. 

This is my part of problem with edebate and why Bruschke yesterday told me to get off of it if this is a strategy for change.  It seems difficult, if not impossible, to have a focused discussion that reaches a particular endpoint before moving towards a new thread before anything is accomplished on the old thread.  If I engage the diversion, then I defeat my own purpose, don't I?
Ede Warner, Jr.
Director of Debate Society/Associate Professor of Communication
University of Louisville
308E Strickler Hall
e0warn01 at gwise.louisville.edu 

>>> "Andy Ellis" <andy.edebate at gmail.com> 7/18/2007 4:13 PM >>>
Thought 1
So on the first episode of hells kitchen that showed this week, the final challenge in one competition came down to a lobster bisque showdown...both sides had a bisque, the red team chef didnt know a ton about bisque but she knew what made a good soup, the blue team chef is a fish expert and he made an extrordinarily fancy bisque with techincaly proficient but specilized flavors. Red team wins. Chef does like technical cheffery, he likes food and rich flavor. 

Thought 2
The topics upon which the majority of switch side theory was based upon are different than the topics now.It seems like root branch topics have become the norm and replaced more mono directed topics... But we still develop the same theory...yet the topics seem at odds with switch side theory given todays resolutions, and in many ways swicth side comes to mean you must defend the state, you must defend supreme court action, you must constructivly engage, but very little beyond that. The branches are an innovation that prevents people from having to do much switch siding. Say for example i really do not belive in school desgregation, under current topics i can choose an aff i like better and escape the need for switching sides. Say i dont think palestine should exist, i dont have to defend interaction with it on the aff...some defenders of these topics may say, well the question is "should we construcivly engage" or "should the supreme court overturn stuff" and that the branches are not important, but if thats the case it feeds my argument that switch side as we currently define it builds in a ton of ways to not switch sides, and to skirt the controversey. 

thought 3
Technical stuff that some people like are ways to skirt having to switch sides, you get a built in sstrat for each area, and dont have to really press those argumenst through the switch side process but with one of them on the aff.... 

thought 4...its not that there is no side switching its that the theory and the practice differ and balancing ground is just another word for not engaging the controversy....in a truly switch side manor.

though 5...in theory debating bot sides of prison reform would be great, current topic simply dont make that as much of a necisity as topics such as 

RESOLVED: "That the federal government should implement a program which guarantees employment opportunities for all United States citizens in the labor force."

RESOLVED: "That the further development of nuclear weapons should be prohibited by international agreement."

RESOLVED: "That the requirement of membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment should be illegal."

RESOLVED: "That executive control of United States foreign policy should be significantly curtailed.

RESOLVED:"That all United States military intervention into the internal affairs of any foreign nation or nations in the Western Hemisphere should be prohibited."

RESOLVED: "That the United States should reduce substantially its military commitments to NATO member states.

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