[eDebate] Response from Lindsay
Mon Mar 5 09:37:22 CST 2007
A lot of people, notably Andy, have asked why it matters that the card was
on a blog GIVING ADVICE TO DEBATERS. I will suggest a couple of examples
for purposes of illustration.
Many high school debate workshops have demonstration debates featuring
outstanding college debaters. I once witnessed such a debate in which
Michael Gottlieb delivered the 2NR. It was my job to comment on the
debate after the fact, and one of the teaching aids that I thought most
important to share with the students was the degree to which preparation
contributed to the final 2NR, and in fact how much of the powerful
rhetoric of the 2NR was written out, much of it prior to the debate.
Suppose the workshop has a website, with a section that provides advice to
debaters on how to prepare to deliver the 2NR, and on that website is
posted the exact text of the overview to the 2NR written by Michael
Now suppose that some enterprising college debater finds the website,
downloads the overview, cuts it into awesome power-worded cards, attaches
Gottlieb's quals (clerk for US Sup Ct, etc.) and starts reading it in
college debate rounds. Not as an overview, but as evidence!
Here's another idea. Take all the tags on all the cards in a section of
the Debater's Research Guide, published by Wake Forest University. Put
them together, sequentially, without the cards. Edit them down to a
single power-worded card, stating the entire thesis of a disad. Put Ross
Smith's name on it, make up some quals (dubious, I know, but Director of
Debate, community education activist?) and read that as a card.
The point: Debate Advice Is Not Evidence. It is unfair to quote
suggestions about how to state an argument in an instructional resource
for debaters, as evidence on the merits of that argument, even if the
"qualifications" of the author and the mode of publication are thought
Underview. If this isn't the rule, talented people such as Lindsay are
going to be forced to quit working on blogs for debaters. That would be a
real loss. Why don't we not go there?
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