[eDebate] [CEDA-L] CEDA Topic Process Update

Jim Hanson hansonjb
Mon Mar 5 12:23:59 CST 2007

it is early but so far there are virtually no comments on the topic areas at 
the blog. I'm not surprised. people aren't really paying attention and they 
won't until after the ndt; by then, it is too late.

i've cursorily read the topic areas (and doing so is rather difficult--the 
first one is like 46 pages long).

i don't know what resolutions the committee will pick. hence, i do not 
really have an informed opinion upon which to discern which areas i want and 
don't want.

the only comment I really have is: what happened to the latin america topic 
area? that was one i and several members of my team were really interested 

that said, I'll also note that I don't think the blog is real inviting of 
discussion. people have to go to the blog site. then they have to type in 
security codes and other info to make a post. this is not generative of a 

I'm also not sure what we are supposed to say at this point. topic areas 
generate comments like "boring topic area" or "that sounds interesting" or 
"the person that wrote that topic area is cool, I'll support that one" and ? 
what? I mean I don't really have anything to say. resolutions, on the other 
hand, invite arguments about the right wording, the arguments that would 
actually get debated, etc.



that said, i strongly advocate the following new topic selection process:

1. begin _resolution_ request papers immediately following the ndt (or ceda 
if it is the 'last' tournament). that is when people start paying attention.

2. require the resolution request papers to include the suggested resolution 
wording and follow it with actual solvency quotations and then 
counterplan/disad/k quotations. these papers should be brief--10 pages 
maximum or at least the core components should appear in the 10 pages. 
people aren't going to take time to read even that--I'd have a 2 to 3 page 
intro section that covered the core elements I've suggested.

3. obviously but just for clarity, several resolution request papers can be 
offered under the same topic area.

4. over email and by early may, the topic selection committee narrows the 
list down to 12 resolutions at maximum for community voting. there will be a 
strong presumption against lowering it below 12.

5. the community votes on the resolutions and we narrow down to 5 
resolutions to pick from.

6. the topic committee meets in early june as it does now and more carefully 
words the resolutions but is STRONGLY urged to stick to the fundamental 
focus of the originally voted on resolution wording.

7. then, the five resolutions are submitted to the community for voting as 
is now.


1. we get to vote on resolutions instead of topic areas that turn into 
resolutions that we don't like.

2. people will really discuss resolutions; at best, we know people don't 
discuss topic areas (see the blog).

3. people will have time to discuss the resolutions since they won't be 
focused on preparing for districts/ceda nats/the ndt.

4. we'll get better resolutions since they will be fully debated out for a 
good month prior to the topic committee meeting.

respectfully argued especially for all the hard work that gordon and others 
have put into this year and previous year's topic work.

jim :)
hansonjb at whitman.edu

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gordon Stables" <stables at usc.edu>
To: "edebate" <edebate at ndtceda.com>; "ceda-l" <ceda-l at ndtceda.com>
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2007 2:48 AM
Subject: [CEDA-L] CEDA Topic Process Update

All of the papers that have been submitted to the CEDA Topic Selection
Committee are now available to be viewed at the ceda topic website

There are also open threads for each topic at the topic blog
http://blog.cedatopic.com/   Based on the volume of comments that took
place last summer, it would be a tremendous help to the committee if
comments could be left on that site. I will open new threads as specific
conversations warrant, so feel free to provide your input. You may also
subscribe to the topic blog by following the links at the bottom of the
page and thus stay in regular contact with blog traffic. There will also
be an open meeting at CEDA Nationals to facilitate the conversation.

The process now moves to the creation of a ballot for community vote. As
specified by the CEDA constitution, "/Within two weeks of the national
tournament the committee will report to the Executive Secretary no fewer
than three problem areas to be voted upon by the general membership."/
The committee will now begin reviewing the papers and your questions and
comments are much appreciated.

Finally, I would like to take an opportunity to thank all of these
volunteers who gave of their own time and energy to help the community.
I would note that every paper that was submitted appears on the site. It
is important to note that two of these ideas (genetic technology and
nonproliferation) were not on the original list last summer, but instead
the work of members of the community. I hope their work encourages
others to review the guidelines for controversy papers  at
http://www.cedatopic.com/controversy.html  to consider submitting a
paper in the future.


Chair-CEDA Topic Selection Committee


Gordon Stables, Ph.D.

Director of Debate

Annenberg School for Communication

University of Southern California

Office: 213 740 2759               Fax: 213 740 3913


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