[eDebate] Consult CP's - AT: Johnson & Phillips
Andrew D. Barnes
Thu Oct 4 12:19:27 CDT 2007
Claim: It is dumb to punish people's speaker points for running dumb
I can certainly understand this perspective from the standpoint that you
are "bludgeoning" someone. However, because the other team is inferior
at debating a "dumb" argument does not mean that strategy is persuasive.
I can definitely vote for ASPEC even though it is dumb but that does not
mean that you have earned a 29. I think it is also disingenuous to all
of us in the activity to act as though content does not/should not
matter. Many times students and coaches alike are motivated to read new
literature and bring new perspectives to the activity precisely because
of its value as content. Giving higher speaker points to those students
and coaches who go through the pain of providing new content should be
rewarded. A system that ignores content will not only discourage
innovation and research but also encourage people to continually chose a
"dumb" strategy. I'm also skeptical of isolating this as an argument
against a clearly defined rubric for evaluation when most judges admit
that they have predispositions or "ceilings" when assigning speaker
points. You want to know whether a judge votes on conditionality, why
wouldn't you be interested in understanding how a judge interprets
speaker points. I am not yet convinced that punishing speaker points is
necessarily a good idea but I have not yet been convinced that is
functionally different than what is happening in the status quo.
Claim: Debaters should learn to debate just like we did.
Pedagogically this is difficult to dispute as I'm sure most judges have
fond memories of their undergraduate debating careers. However, should
we revive attitudinal inherency, hypo-testimg, insert favorite dead
argument here? Should I start having my debaters make these arguments so
that others can learn why these arguments are bad. I guess I've yet to
be convinced that losing the ability to learn how to debate the
theoretical legitimacy of consult counterplans would be unique visa vi
other debate arguments or that debating about consult counterplans
offers unique educational benefits as it is applied to theory. Debating
education (topic specific or otherwise), ground, fairness and
predictability are standards for all theoretical objections. Judges
don't have to write their preferences to account for old theory
arguments because the community collectively decided that these weren't
good strategies/arguments. If there is collective will to claim that we
should move away from a particular strategy why shouldn't we use our
ability as judges to assess speaker points to move in that direction.
Claim: Using judge philosophy to experiment is dumb.
Concede. Although my argument is that clarifying and establishing a
clear rubric for evaluation is better than the status quo.
Claim: Consult counterplans might be legit.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to respond to these
arguments. I can say I have yet to be persuaded that any argument made
is a reason why Consult counterplans are uniquely beneficial for the
community at large.
I still hope that people are interested in a serious conversation about
the merits of using speaker points in a public way to deter people from
running particular arguments.
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