[eDebate] Topic Anarchy and other organized debates.

Kade Olsen kade.olsen
Fri Jun 22 14:49:36 CDT 2007


This is just an odd side note.  I haven't read really many of these posts,
so if someone has mentioned this, I'm sorry.

There seems to be a form of organized debate that currently engages in
"Topical anarchy."  A large number of APDA debate tournaments are "open"
(the aff chooses the topic).  There are a number of customs that prohibit
the Aff from picking a case that is "too tight" (i.e. I couldn't role up and
Read a CTBT aff/neg with a number technical advantages).  There a number of
other "restrictions." But these are almost a "gut check" with the judge.

I admit I do not know too much about all of the activity. I have only talked
to a couple of friends about it.  It forces substantially less
implementation/policy focus  because no "cards" are allowed. But it would
also be nearly impossible to do actual research on the "infinite" number of
possible cases even if evidence was alloed

This seems, in my opinion, what "debate" might look like with topical
anarchy. Personally, it sorta scare me quite a bit because it seems to
really hurt the researching portion of debate (in the in depth,
policy/critique wonk, dorky sense) which is my favorite part.  There is
obviously always "research" involved in that you need to be well read on a
number of questions.  But from what I can tell the activity privileges high
levels of intelligence and speaking ability over hard work.

But maybe there is a medium of some sort?? Would debate where topicality
isn't a voting issue be substantially different?

It might generally be a good idea for those who haven't seen tournaments of
other forms of debate to observe one (I'm guilty of not having done this
except high school LD rounds).  Just a thought.  Sorry for the usual
incoherence.

Kade
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