[eDebate] I surrender!

NEIL BERCH berchnorto
Fri Jul 20 22:23:12 CDT 2007

I don't know Mr. Korcok and Mr. Elliott, and I can't follow all the turns in this discussion (partly because many of them are about events of 15-20 years ago, partly because the interpersonal relationships between some of the actors appear to be key, and partly because I'm just not that bright).

Hopefully, some of my earlier posts contributed to the discussion.  If not, sorry for the occupancy of space in your inboxes.  I leave the discussion with five thoughts:
1.  I think we may be making this more complex than it needs to be.  Ede's early point about how those who favor precision over elegance (we can leave the discussion of narrow vs. broad for another time) have done a better job of organizing than the other side.  I maintain that writing a controversy paper or two, arguing actively for it or them, and signing up some new or old members (note to Andy:  CEDA has no membership fees for new programs) would be the way to go before seeking something more radical.
2.  My grandmother, who didn't speak much English, used to watch the same two shows every Saturday night, "Lawrence Welk", followed by "Soul Train".  There's a lesson in that, I believe.
3.  I think this all ties together in other ways.  Christopher needs parents to pitch to him if he's going to make it to the Royals or, better still, the Big Leagues (sorry, Chief, that was too easy).  I would speculate that part of the reason Ede needs a protection order is that Tria isn't pleased that she's thrown her arm out pitching while Ede has been typing.
4.  Vik--I grew up a Mets fan in the 60s (see, Chief, there is hope!).  When they got rid of Tom Seaver, it meant the end of innocence for me.  When he returned in 1983, I took an afternoon off, drove my cab to Shea Stadium, and watched him (at the age of 102) pitch 6 shutout innings on Opening Day against a Phillies lineup that included Pete Rose and Joe Morgan (yes, they were both with the Phillies).  Life has been all downhill from there.
5.  I am still offering to work with someone to write a controversy paper that proposes resolutions that are elegant, broad, policy-oriented, and, preferably, domestic.  Any takers?
I will still be listening.  This discussion, while overwhelming, is also fascinating.  And, besides the people I don't know, it has featured people I consider to be some of the brightest minds and most dedicated people in our community (on both sides of these issues).  I'll jump back in if so moved.  Good luck to all!
--Neil Berch
West Virginia University
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ede Warner<mailto:ewarner at louisville.edu> 
  To: Michael Korcok<mailto:mmk_savant at hotmail.com> ; edebate at ndtceda.com<mailto:edebate at ndtceda.com> 
  Sent: Friday, July 20, 2007 9:28 PM
  Subject: Re: [eDebate] ans Warner

    a.. Perhaps I wasn't clear.  NDT tried it for 2 years.  We had a policy topic and a non-policy topic.  No one participated so we eliminated it..  
    b.. I apologize if I implied you were for separation. 
    c.. The part about retrying past failed solutions was my answer.  You are right I haven't made the argument that CEDA tried it.  
    d.. I'm not sure you understand my argument about CEDA during the non-policy era.  I'm wondering that if CEDA was doing so well as a non-policy organization, what created the decision to debate policy?  Sounds like you are conceding my argument that when CEDA was at its height, there was still internal pressure to debate policy topics?  Yah? 
    e.. If CEDA was at it's participation height during the non-policy days and then moved to policy and declined, why wouldn't that reason at least potentially rear it's head again if we go back? 
    f.. If the current CEDA body is strongly embracing an NDT style of policy debate because they believe in it as rational beings who listen to sound arguments, what is the likelihood that they will abandon that position to go back to non-policy arguments. 
    g.. Is there an answer to most forensic educators prefer policy debate, even those who don't do it?  I got some cards for that argument if I need them, just let me know. 
    h.. Sorry you are back to calling me Warner in the subject line.  I liked that you called me Ede.  
    i.. Long cheesy can sometimes be seen by some as pathos and ethos.  I believe in persuasion. I also wasn't just responding to you.  Another guy was talking and he compared my policy option to "Negro Thursdays" at American Bandstand.

  Sorry to hear the tone change,


  >>> Michael Korcok <mmk_savant at hotmail.com> 7/20/2007 9:11 PM >>>
  1) none of that responded to 2 simultaneous topics. the affirmative chooses which to affirm.
  none of it, Ede.  none of that long cheesy whatever.  if you don't have a response, cool.
  2) please stop implying that i am for splitting or separation or whatever.  it isn't so.
  it wasn't so 11 years ago and it isn't so now.  this is from July 1996, from a post titled, charmingly enough, "ans Warner":  
  "look, i hope it is clear in the previous post that i don't have any interest in CEDA vs. NDT:  i have scheduled our fall as nearly exclusively traditional NDT.  that is a large gamble that shared topics will work."  http://www.cs.jhu.edu/~jonathan/debate/ceda-l/archive/CEDA-L-July-1996/msg00232.html<http://www.cs.jhu.edu/~jonathan/debate/ceda-l/archive/CEDA-L-July-1996/msg00232.html>

  3) you assert that CEDA "failed" and that participation declined before the move to policy or semester-long topics. your claim is fair as far as year-long topics but it is plainly false with respect to policy topics.  Josh is also confused and confusing about this.  here is a rough guide for those who weren't around:
  late 1980s: CEDA membership grows rapidly.  CEDA Nats regularly breaks 300 teams, membership around 250 colleges and universities.
  early 1990s: CEDA membership/participation PEAKS.  Josh wins CEDA Nats in the 1989-1990 season.  a bad omen, apparently.
  1991-1992: "policy implications" is run many many rounds by the negative as CEDA takes a hard policy turn.  SMS wins CEDA Nats.
  1992-1993: CEDA membership experiences the beginnings of a noticeable decline.  CEDA is now policy-light with most teams running plans.
  1993-1995: membership declines continue and accelerate as CEDA adopts full policy resolutions
  1995-1996: Mexico is the first year-long topic.  it wins both the fall 1995 and the subsequent spring 1996 election.
  1996-1997:  the first "merger" year.  high hopes despite the great exodus.  Kate and Elizabeth write a kick-ass environment topic.  Northwestern wins CEDA, Wake wins NDT.
  1997-2007: the activity drifts sideways...  trending down in membership...
  look, you don't have to be a statistician to see the obvious correlation between policy and decline.  Ken Broda-Bahm pointed to the obvious in 1999:  the membership/participation declines begin as policy ascends and continue post-merger as CEDA goes more and more policy.  the archives are pretty clear about the timelines and no amount of foggy memory or revisionism makes it go away.
  Michael Korcok


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