[eDebate] New Aff - What is?

Morris, Eric R EricMorris
Thu Mar 8 11:19:42 CST 2007

I also think that an affirmative with minor changes is not new. I do
think an affirmative that overrules the same case could be new,
particularly when the plan is very different. I would view a critical
affirmative replacing a policy affirmative as new, even if the plan text
were similar, but would not feel the same if there were just a one new
policy advantage with the same plan. The option of showing the plan, and
saying "Environment" "Clarity" and a "New Advantage we've never run"
would be appropriate. 


It is also helpful to consider what purposes are served by disclosure.
The purpose of an in-depth debate is generally best served by
disclosure, even when the case is new (except when the disclosure
enables e-prime, etc.). I can think of situations where a completely new
case was pre-disclosed (and even researched during the half hour before
the round). The purpose of competitive advantage is best served by
non-disclosure, or worse yet misleading disclosure. The current practice
is best viewed as a compromise position; since a previously broken case
(even by another member of the same squad) could be predicted from case
lists, asking around, etc., the real effect of non-disclosure is less
information denial and more creating time harassment that could stop
other teams from the negative's school from receiving as much coaching. 


The disclosure "exception" for new cases, then, is based on the idea
that the case being run is not reasonably predictable based on that
school's past arguments. It is also a practical exception; since many
people write new cases for the purpose of the surprise, it might be hard
to shift culture on that question (and partial shifts are inherently
inequitable during the transition). 


Based on that view, I feel that cases that could be known based on
perfect information of a squad's past cases should be disclosed. Cases
runs by other squads, not the one you are hitting, are far less
predictable and thus qualify as new. The view that nothing is new is a
formula for either full disclosure or resentment - I may not KNOW that
Michigan State ran my "new" advantage as an add-on during Round 7 of
Kentucky. The view that everything is new is a formula for either
complete non-disclosure or resentment - people have run "new" cases in
important rounds where only a card or two was actually new (assuring
that the negative spent their prep time preparing for other
possibilities). Such a practice is WORSE than just refusing to
disclosure because it is highly misleading. 


Unless we ever have a culture which privileges depth of debate over
competitive advantage enough that disclosure of new cases is expected, I
would advise toward at least partial disclosure when a case is at least
partially old. 


Dr. Eric Morris

Asst Prof of Communication

Director of Forensics

Craig Hall 366A

Missouri State University

Springfield, MO 65897

(O) 417-836-7636

(H) 417-865-6866

(C) 417-496-7141


From: edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com
[mailto:edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com] On Behalf Of Brent Saindon
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2007 4:09 PM
To: Josh Hoe; debate at ou.edu
Cc: edebate at ndtceda.com
Subject: Re: [eDebate] New Aff - What is?


I'm more with Scott Harris on this one -- it is not a "new" affirmative.
Howver, one should not feel obligated to disclose the content of
strategic changes. Perhaps in the case of breaking new "tricks", new
plans, etc., giving the team a general idea about what is going to
happen is appropriate (even a case area). 

I generally tend to think that no affirmative is new unless every
element has changed except the case area.

This topic does not really allow for many new cases -- but some new
advantages or plan mechanisms. I think that is probably enough, since
this is where a lot of the debate happens anyway.

Can I pose a question: what's the significant difference that suggests
that running an affirmative never run by your squad (but functionally
ripped off a caselist from another squad) is new while running
affirmative new to the team but not to the squad is not new? I feel like
this is a good intuitive limit, but I cannot rationalize my feelings on
the subject very well. Perhaps we need to think about the rapid
dissemination of caselist information occuring over the last few years
and its impact on the concept of "new" arguments. We seem to so quickly
exhaust topic research as a community that very little seems "new" after
the first month or two of the season.

Just a few thoughts...

Brent Saindon
U. Pittsburgh

Josh Hoe <jbhdb8 at gmail.com> wrote:

If you read it and its different from the aff you read before (new plan,
new advantages, new tricks) its new....if its new cards on the old
advantages its probably old,




On 3/7/07, debate at ou.edu <debate at ou.edu> wrote: 

So I think this is a problem we run into with such a small topic.

My big question to everyone, is what is a "new affirmative" in

I feel like there has been times where we say "new affirmative" and some
believe it might not be.

Visa versa

There is a definately a greay area hear.

Is this a team standard or community standard? 

I will leave the discussion open at this point.

What are some of the norms most people abide by?



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