[eDebate] idea #2 (reply josh)

Kevin Sanchez let_the_american_empire_burn
Wed Jun 20 18:25:58 CDT 2007

-- josh -- http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/2007-May/071122.html :

_ "Copley News Service (I don?t mean to overly focus on that card, it?s just 
the most obvious example) and its ilk routinely pass for pretty much 100% 
credible evidence in debates, where it is completely useless in the policy 

why doesn't evidence that indicts the credibility of a certain source check 
against this?

_ "I think that we?ve got to learn how to become accepting as a community of 
analytical smart arguments to answer carded-yet-stupid arguments, maybe 
start accepting intrinsicness
(something that I might post on some other day) as a way to eliminate 
politics DAs and consultation CPs..."

please do. intrinsicness arguments seem a clever way to reinspire more 
substantive case debate, but there's a notable bias against them at the 
moment: how would you recommend overcoming those hurdles? and what are some 
criteria to judge good intrinsicness arguments by?

_ "On the flip side, when I was in conferences with only experts in the 
field, I often felt at a severe disadvantage. In forums like this, bad 
arguments get called out, and rhetorically powerful but intellectually 
flimsy claims are pretty much non-starters."

do you think debate can incorporate a more conference-based model in any 
part of its structure?...

a proposal i've been working on for a while is the creative commons 
position: when you wrote, "I actually think that debate would be way more 
educational and realistic if teams were forced to disclose their arguments 
before hand," one of way of doing this is through online publication of 
debate arguments, and one of the advantages that proponents have cited is 
that 'experts in the field' might offer constructive criticism of actual 
positions. although scanning/electronically-editing debate evidence is 
increasing rapidly, and there's some promising backfile projects, prospects 
for large-scale transformation in this area seem distant, especially without 
an in-round theory argument that wins a significant number of rounds. here's 
one of the first drafts towards such a position: 
http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showpost.php?p=1132096&postcount=176 ... and 
here's where the archives for that position are currently being stored: 
http://stuartgeiger.com/ossdebate/index.php?title=Creative_Commons ...if you 
get some time to look it over, please tell me what you think.

_ lastly i'll deal with a point of tension in your post that unravels into 
something larger. you claim that those who decry the topic process for 
'drowning out the personal' have it backwards; "too much of our [Iraq] 
policy was executed in a cavalier and emotion-laden fashion" and "we need 
more of the elite technical people and fewer smoke and mirrors b.s. artists 
running things". yet at the same time you admire will repko's post about his 
day at the supreme court, as well as the experience your boss has garnered 
from decades of public service, and your own post is a brilliant example of 
a humble narrative that's aware of its limitations yet draws practical 
wisdom from personal experience... very naively i'd ask then, which personal 
is good personal and which personal is bad personal, and how can we tell the 

i'll concede that kritiks seem to have done a gross disservice to some of 
the more enlightening concepts they could've (and can still) offer us. 
'narratives' in debate seem to me an utter corruption of much of the 
literature. and when you write that as debaters read a law review or a 
journal article, they typically "skip over all the 'background' and 
'history'", to me this is exactly the stuff that writing a critical 
genealogy should be made of. the history should become the primary focus 
(say, in michel foucault's 'discipline and punish'), and 'grand 
prouncements' are precisely what're to be put aside. moreoever, arguments 
like reflexive fiat are supposed to provide participants with a new way to 
'meaningfully engage the policy process' and to force them to think more 
realistically, not about what would happen if a magic wand were waved over 
congress and the president, but about 'how to get things implemented' from 
the bottom-up.

so i'm left not knowing where you stand here (not that i know where i stand 
either) as your reasoning seems to cross itself: if debate's biggest virtue 
is making debaters defend arguments they don't believe in, then what 
personal incentive do debaters have to take the quality of what they say 
more seriously?... more basically, do you think debate should better train 
people for the policy world, or is one of its virtues that it doesn't? i'm 
confused there because you seem to say: 'here are some stupid things 
debaters do, and i know they're never gonna stop doing them, but i'm just 
letting you know that it doesn't work like that in the real world, so have 
fun in your fantasy land, only i wish it was less fantastical'... or do you 
wish that?... i don't know.

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