[eDebate] ans Larson

Michael Korcok mmk_savant
Sat Oct 13 15:25:51 CDT 2007

First, I am a fan of Gary Larson's.  Always have been.  What he does for debate is amazing.
Second, I am undecided about MPJ or its variants.  I do not have an alternative.  This is one of those things that everyone and their neighbor has an opinion about and very few people actually have good data.
Third, I suspect that it fragments the community.  Like many others, i suspect it functions to group debaters and judges into cliques and isolates those groups from each other.  It allows and encourages debaters to specialize in types of arguments and approaches by letting them choose judges who favor what they do and letting them isolate away judges who would be more critical.  That has the potential to isolate cliques and groups.  It also has the potential to widen the divide by not forcing either judges or debaters to confront opposing views.
That's what I suspect.  This view could be plain wrong or even incoherent.  So, yeah, is it testable and in comparison to what alternative?
1) what alternative.  i dunno.  Perhaps mutuality without preference with 10% strikes?  that's "fair" in the sense that both teams value the judge the same but it doesn't give teams the judges they like except that it brackets out the few judges they really dislike.
2) testable?  i vaguely remember statistical tests of clustering/grouping that don't require additional correlative data, but that's about all i remember.  If not, then perhaps allowing teams to self-identify themselves as highly policy, mostly policy, mix, alternative, highly alternative then analyzing if there are judging preference clusters correlated with those?
Michael Korcok
Help yourself to FREE treats served up daily at the Messenger Caf?. Stop by today.
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