[eDebate] Response from Lindsay

Dallas Perkins dperkins
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 
Gottlieb.

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 
acceptable.

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?

dp




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