[eDebate] Judge philosophy (Martin Harris)

Martin Harris mharris02
Wed Nov 7 08:23:08 CST 2007

   Having been out of direct interaction with any team for a number of
years, I wasn't exactly sure were these things were stored these days,
so I thought I would just post it here (yeah, I am too lazy to look
through the archives for links to databases, especially since pipermail
doesn't seem to have a search function like the old system).



   While the following might read as a treatise on why you should strike
me, its intention was really just meant to be brutally honest. As anyone
who has ever had the misfortune to have had to coach me or debate with
me can attest, most of it (especially my incompetencies) are probably
spot on.


   First, my flow has always been remarkably poor at best. 5 years of
inactivity in two person policy debate has not made that any better.
Yes, you read that correctly, I have not judged anything but parli and
college LD for the last 5 years. Both are flow activities, but, on
balance, are significantly slower most of the time than your average
NDT/CEDA round. I will attempt to keep up as much as possible, but I do
occasionally get lost. This makes me judge rounds more wholistically
then just you dropped the number 3 of the adv. II B subpoint, that is
devastating for the following reasons. I consider myself an evaluator of
argument. I look at the meaning of the arguments and attempt to
interpret how they interplay. Some say this makes me interventionist.
Ok, so I intervene. 

   Second, I do not vote on what I don't understand. You will rarely
ever (I have learned not to say never in philosophies) hear me say I
don't know what it means, but they said it was a voter and you dropped
it hence you lose. Hence big bear moose forest it is a voter even if
dropped gets you absolutely nothing. This is additionally important for
two other reasons. One, I get somewhat lost easily. I assume most
debaters are extremely intelligent and when you say something I expect
that it is probably deep, meaningful, and profound. I am, however,
frequently let down by that assumption. The problem is I get stuck on
that point trying to figure out what it possibly is that you are trying
to say and miss something like the next 5 arguments. I just can't get
unstuck and dwell for far too long on trying to rationalize what it was
you were trying to say. If you bank on hoisting the other team on their
own petard of stupidity, you are more likely to lose me then gain me.

   Two, complex/compound sentences with strings of polysyllabic words
are very hard to unwrap quickly. Especially at 400 words per minute. If
your tags look like this, or worse like even longer "we affirm topic in
time and as an always transforming, unevenly developed lateral field of
constituted and domesticated forces between, e.g., ontology and
socio-politics" we are going to be in for a long day. No, the old
Michael Mapes and I never sat around having long conversations about
debate theory. I was much more likely to engage in that discourse with
Ozzy. Unlike Oz, I don't at all mind that you do it, whatever floats
your boat, but those areas of academia have just never interested me and
I have other interests that take up most of my days. I would just rather
read about the latest release of Windows than Slavoj Zizek, Heidegger,
or Spanos. So, if these authors are your preference, I will listen, I
will attempt to judge fairly, but I will probably be completely
unpredictable because I will bastardize your arguments even worse than
most of debate twists Spanos (at least that is what I hear).

   Third, I quit policy debate because I didn't like how I let myself
interact with others. I won't blame debate, but it certainly doesn't
seem to help to bring out the best in others.  I work extra hard for
people that treat the activity, myself, and their opponents with
respect. I find rude and offensive language highly objectionable. If you
need to demean your opponents, and get sadistic joy out of "crushing"
the other team, there are truly better judges for you. I will try not to
allow that to influence my decision, but I just don't care to judge that
kind of round, so why make me? Do us both a favor and strike me. Please
include me, I will try to include you. If you think this activity is all
about you, I will listen to your narcissism, but I won't be happy. I
prefer to be struck in this instance, but I will still try to judge
fairly. I will be happy to share my decision, but don't think for a
minute that I will stand there and allow you to verbally abuse me. If
you have questions about my decision, feel free to ask them. I will
attempt to explain as best as possible what I did, but I am an extremely
imperfect human that is fallible in more ways than most. If you become
overly aggressive in my mind, I will ask you to engage me in dialogue
once, after that I just walk away. 


  Fourth, I came to Wake to attend a tournament with a pair of seniors
that I had the privilege to work with at a high school camp once and
haven't had nearly the time to work with in college. I also like to see
my wife who sometimes seems to like you all more than me so I have to go
where she goes. That being said, if you still feel the need to rank me
higher than whatever the last two categories are these days, I will say
the following:


   I don't mind judging. I actually enjoy listening to debates and
rendering decisions. I am in my heart an intellectual elitist. I like
playing the game. I promise to give you a fair a shake as possible. I
take this activity very seriously, it is the reason I try to be honest
on the front end. If you want to roll the dice with me in the back of
the room, I won't shirk by responsibilities, but I do have limitations
that ought be obvious, namely I have done nearly zero work on this
topic, haven't judge in eons, and I don't get out much. If you are still
interested, here are my leanings (I will say I probably vote against my
leanings more often than for them though, so realize you need to WIN the
arguments for me to vote on them). 


1.       Defense CAN be an absolute out if argued well. That is only
defense doth not an argument make. 

2.       You should be able to win theory is reject the argument not the
team if properly defended in the constructive.

3.       I do not believe uniqueness controls the direction of the link.
I also believe uniqueness can outstrip the link as an absolute out, so
be careful how well you "control" uniqueness.

4.       A well argued link turn may be sufficient to be a link out at
worse. See 1 and 3.

5.       Given 1, 3, and 4, you ought be able to reject "risk" of a link

6.       The following cplans are shaky at best theoretically. Consult,
PICs, PECs, and agent. 

7.       While not quite Dallas Perkins vocal, my nonverbals are usually
glaring. You ought be able to determine whether you can go all in on any
of the above if you are watching me closely. I show distinct signs of
confusion, bewilderment, amazement, intrigue, curiosity, and
disapproval. While this may make your shotgun style negative attacks a
little harder to suck time on, I feel the transparency in the process is
more important. 



That's it, pref accordingly.




Martin Harris

Systems Engineer - Desktop Architecture

Drury University-Technology Services

Office:  417-873-7848

Fax:  417-873-7835


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