[eDebate] ans Warner

Ede Warner ewarner
Sun Jul 22 13:42:10 CDT 2007

You want to claim that since the NDT didn't really try your exact proposal but something close that failed, but simultaneously I can't make arguments that it isn't politically feasible because the NDT folks have demonstrated little interest in non-policy topics, but at the same time you want to claim political feasibility as demonstrated by the fact they did it?  Hmmmmm.....sounds like Battle Chitterlings (Chittlin's) and you are trying making ice cream to me, but whatever...
...I do believe in choice, and I also believe that the only politically workable solutions come from listening to the past choices of others, listening to their concerns and trying to formulate solutions that acknowledge both their past preferences and their current concerns.  We can just simply disagree.
You seem to hate politics, but absent winning a CEDA membership vote to create a non-policy resolution similar to the policy resolution AND getting the executive committee to only sanction tournaments that offer your narrow, specific format for tournament operation AND getting every tournament director to voluntarily make this format change, you got squat.  No politics, no policy, just edebate talk.  And most importantly, no change.
Your unwillingness to seriously engage the political process outside of making what you believe to be the smartest arguments on edebate means this discussion is as far as this gets.
But the success of Battle Topics, which has now been modified to pushing for a broad policy topic for CEDA and a narrow topic along the lines of what we have now for the NDT, requires a political engagement of the entire CEDA membership, the executive council, the officers, and the NDT executive committee.  I go in eyes open about the policy implementation process and it's importance in my political campaign.
But I will say this- if you stay with me, you will see that my version will not only allow, but encourage space for tournament directors to play with a variety of tournament formats, including and especially yours.  But that becomes one of many choices, not the only one.  My evolving goal as I dialogue has become trying to manufacture a comprehensive debate organization that supports many real choices, not just the backing a single choice to replace the current choice.  If I only went that far, I now understand that it would defeat the purpose.
I do enjoy the conversation and your commitment to smart, creative change,

>>> Michael Korcok <mmk_savant at hotmail.com> 7/22/2007 12:53 PM >>>
The discussion with Warner has 3 remaining issues.  If I haven't won the Iron Chef over on all the rest, then I just can't read.  His 3 major remaining concerns are: 
1) NDT did it and it failed
2) why won't the move to policy just recreate?
3) not politically feasible: the NDT won't go for it
I want to begin with the "already tried it in the NDT" argument.
Ede writes that before the merger, the NDT already tried this: they had a policy and a related non-policy topic in an effort to draw back the CEDA schools.  That effort failed so he is skeptical about solvency.
That attempt was not my suggestion and it failed because it wasn't what I am suggesting.  it also proves that it is politically possible.  Backwards now...
The NDT did it just before the merger.  When it was obvious that policy was failing.  Those weren't CEDA schools that passed a policy/nonpolicy solution, they were what was left of the NDT, the CEDA schools having left long before.  These days, the membership has a lot more CEDA in it.   If it was not just politically possible but actually achieved in 1994, it is certainly possible to do in 2007-2008.
True, we are not in the same dire straits that the NDT was in 15 years ago, but do we really have to be so idiotic as to wait 5 or 6 more years before it becomes obvious to everyone?
What was done is closer to the Iron Chef 1.0 proposal than it is to the UltraPerm.  As I understand it, it was 2 resolutions but tournaments decided whether to offer the nonpolicy topic and when they did so they offered a separate division for it.  Not many chose nonpolicy.
Well, no kidding.  Tuna rejected that idea out of hand and so would almost everyone else.  It creates a caste system and those who choose non-policy ain't the Brahmin.  It is insulting and designed to fail.  Iron Chef 1.0 creates 2 policy topics so is clearly an improvement because it is all still policy debate but it also doesn't help novices, participation, or educational exposure to ideas which don't service the state.
The ultraperm is different.  No separate divisions, tournaments don't pick which resolution the affirmative uses, the affirmative team does.  The dynamics of that arrangement engage the competitive engine in a way that the old NDT idea and the Iron Chef 1.0 do not.  That's been discussed already but the highlights are: if a couple teams do nonpolicy and win ballots, that forces everyone to prep nonpolicy negs, the fewer nonpolicy affs the more incentive to go nonpolicy for easy wins against the unprepared, those who aren't policy experienced can go nonpolicy to attenuate their opponents' expertise.  None of that was present in the 1994 NDT plan.
To recap so far:  it proves political feasibility but doesn't show no solvency, in fact, the reasons it failed are why the ultraperm could work.
Ede's other concern/argument is that this just sets us up for a repeat:  whatever created the pressure for policy the first time around will just be re-created.
We are at 95-100% policy now.  If we get to 25% non-policy for a while and then the same pressures get us back to 95-100% policy after a few years, then we will at least have tried to be educationally responsible and attempted to teach our students that there is a big world outside our little town.
Ede, you have been about creating the chance.
Finally, I think the dynamic in CEDA from 1990 to 2000 was a particular situation that doesn't exist today.  CEDA in 1990 had no policy topics which was ok for most folks.  Programs began pulling in more high school experienced debaters, who were successful because of their experience.  That created a demand for policy debate because the elites wanted to extend their advantage.  Policy implications arguments and plans in 1ac were what the already advantaged debaters and programs wielded against the less experienced nonpolicy debaters in rounds to force policy debate.  Those arguments were largely bullshit but they were run by experienced debaters who won rounds, so they spread.  By late 1993 the added allure of being forbidden had made policy topics attractive to the innovators, the young turks, and the competitive who knew they could leverage those resolutions into ballots.  Policy topics pulled more high school policy debaters and coaches in to a few programs, generating more ballots.  Policy was still all new and shiny and cool.  The "merger" occurred.  That locked us in to policy topics as the elite CEDA programs scrambled to secure 1st-round bids and much of the rest of CEDA left or resigned itself to policy or fought a guerrilla-war.
Here we are, though.  Policy is not so shiny or new or cool:  it is a stick of gum that lost its flavor years ago and we are still chewing it because we don't know any better.  It is no longer alluring because forbidden like it was 1990:  it is the same old crap that is being forced down our throats by uncreative unadventurous old clowns who don't know how to do something more interesting, pandering to recruit high school kids who have won trophies doing it for 3 or 4 years already.  You know, a tawdry and tired thing.
To recap this argument:  so what if it does and the best you ever get in life is the chance and its different this time.
My answer to 1) above, please.  The NDT passed something sorta like this when it was what was left of  old-school NDT.  That proves political possibility.
But i don't count votes, i don't kiss babies, and politics annoys me.  i think the arguments with Josh and Ede have been a clean win for 2 resolutions, let the affirmative decide.  Besides, Ede, why isn't this a better instantiation of Battle-Topics than Iron Chef 1.0?  Yes, I believe it is:  the UltraPerm would like to be Iron Chef 2.0, the REAL "Battle-Topics".  If that's not enough for folks to give it a try, well... then...
Michael Korcok

Don't get caught with egg on your face. Play Chicktionary!  ( http://club.live.com/chicktionary.aspx?icid=chick_wlmailtextlink )
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