[eDebate] my Richmond updated judge philosophy -- please read

Jean-Paul Lacy lacyjp
Thu Oct 11 23:40:30 CDT 2007


At 11:13 PM 10/11/2007, Asha Cherian wrote:
>To provoke something-approaching-dialogue, I'm posting this here.  Please 
>post or backchannel me.

Dialogue? Whatever.


You said this:

Unless the Richmond judging pool's institutionally accepted aversion for 
critical debate changes (in the form of amended judge philosophies &/ or a 
productive listserv conversation), at Richmond my judge philosophy is to 
vote on Ks and alternative forms of debate. And that's it. No, I won't vote 
on any K/ performance argument; I'll vote on philosophically sound, 
theoretically defensible, topically intriguing Ks and alt forms of debate. 
And though I neither support this rule nor the implications of having such 
rules mandated by tournament-governing debate associations, fine, the Ks 
should have alternatives (ADA). If you want do some case work, negs, okay. 
But if neither team goes for a K or performance arg (even if K/ performance 
-friendly args were run), all 4 of the debaters in the room can count on 
receiving their hi-lo lows from me. If neither team acknowledges this 
judging philosophy, I'll flow the round fastidiously, flip a coin to decide 
the winner, give everyone a 25 and sign the ballot accordingly.







>A slightly less detailed version of this has been accessible via the 
>Richmond judge phil bk all week.  My apologies for posting this here so 
>many hours after prefs have been active.
>
>
>
>
>
>Asha
>NYC Debate
><mailto:fordhampolicydebate at gmail.com>fordhampolicydebate at gmail.com
>---------------------------------------------
>ASHA CHERIAN
>
>I'm on the Fordham payroll, but I coach for Fordham, NYU, Columbia, New 
>School & CUNY (all the NY Coalition universities).
>
>
>
>U OF RICHMOND TOURNAMENT:
>
>I'm limp.
>
> From supporting the Richmond Tournament by attending every year for the 
> last 5 years (with the exception of that one time, the year of the 
> year-long-hangover of the former Fordham coach who no one in NY wants to 
> remember) only to have the judging pool reject our 
> not-at-all-politically-or-philosophically-radical and more-radical K 
> teams alike (all rounds except 2 over all those years had alts other than 
> 'reject').
>
> From NYC Varsity teams opting out of attending Richmond year after year 
> because of the hostile judging pool (we're taking 0 this year).
>
> From feeling forced to accept these biases as just another debate 
> convention to tolerate.
>
>We support all our regional tournaments (CEDA East). But there are only so 
>many. And our novice & JV debaters need out of region experience to 
>prepare for Nov/ JV Nats. So we frequent nearby D7 tournaments. Richmond 
>and other neighboring D7 tournaments ( e.g. Navy) have always been fair 
>with us. But limiting fairness to extending open invitations to all CEDA 
>member schools so we patronize your tournaments is anything but. For us 
>attending your tournaments, Richmond and Navy, has always meant throwing 
>away time, positive competitive momentum and a bit of our humanity on at 
>least 5 out of 8 fruitless rounds where "straight up policy teams" won't 
>even attempt engaging us because the 3 K-friendly judges at the tournament 
>happen to be in the backs of *other* rooms (and the teams who hit us know 
>the judge will on face reject K-focused aff and neg strats in the 2nr & 
>2ar anyway, even if we have an ADA-required alt). Why is the accepted norm 
>that some CEDA regions are inclusive of traditional and nontraditional 
>forms of debate while others, just a bordering state or two away, aren't? 
>Why does teaching our debaters judge adaptability mean going to a 
>tournament knowing we'll come home physically empty handed and spiritually 
>defeated?
>
>Philosophy after philosophy in the Richmond judge phil bk indicates that 
>running a K or an alty aff will not be a strategic choice in the 
>overwhelming majority of Richmond rounds. Reasons cited range from the 
>brazen (people who first claim they like Ks then a few sentences down 
>claim that all Ks are poor attempts at philosophy & only certain K authors 
>are cool) to the even more brazen (I'm just not comfortable with Ks, k?).
>
>Generally I enjoy nothing more in a debate round than hearing a damn good 
>T debate, especially in the 2NR & 2AR (as my phil from last year 
>indicates). But I wonder what would happen if I judged as though I wasn't 
>comfortable with T... Make that T and disads and CPs and case debate. I'd 
>like to find out.
>
>Unless the Richmond judging pool's institutionally accepted aversion for 
>critical debate changes (in the form of amended judge philosophies &/ or a 
>productive listserv conversation), at Richmond my judge philosophy is to 
>vote on Ks and alternative forms of debate. And that's it. No, I won't 
>vote on any K/ performance argument; I'll vote on philosophically sound, 
>theoretically defensible, topically intriguing Ks and alt forms of debate. 
>And though I neither support this rule nor the implications of having such 
>rules mandated by tournament-governing debate associations, fine, the Ks 
>should have alternatives (ADA). If you want do some case work, negs, okay. 
>But if neither team goes for a K or performance arg (even if K/ 
>performance -friendly args were run), all 4 of the debaters in the room 
>can count on receiving their hi-lo lows from me. If neither team 
>acknowledges this judging philosophy, I'll flow the round fastidiously, 
>flip a coin to decide the winner, give everyone a 25 and sign the ballot 
>accordingly.
>
>This is less a pat on the back for CEDA East than it is a request for 
>reflection on why so much of regional debate has remained insular and 
>resistant to new forms of thinking while national tournament judging pools 
>extend the potential for success to both traditional and nontraditional 
>debaters. Regional debate is the only debate accessible to most novice and 
>JV debaters, debaters who so many members of this activity have claimed 
>are the at the core of this activity and its continued existence. And it's 
>the only prep/ practice site for JV and Open teams transitioning onto the 
>national circuit. How disappointing would it be if the only reflections 
>offered on these questions were silent ones, nonreflection reflections, in 
>the form of strikes... This is a disappointment I'm ready to accept, but I 
>ask that you not take this out on my debaters.
>
>I've retained my phil from last year to extend some clarity on how I 
>typically judge, starring what is relevant to Richmond (specifically what 
>I mean by more preferable Ks & alternative approaches to debate).
>
>I welcome your questions on how I will judge this weekend.
>
>
>---------------------------------------------
>JUDGE PHIL '06-'07:
>
>I'll preface my judge philosophy by saying I have no qualms with the 
>admission that I'm incapable of stepping outside of my subjectivity to 
>adjudicate within some idealistic objective space.
>1) This does not mean that I think I assume some sort of role of privilege 
>whenever I'm handed a ballot.
>2) It does mean that I believe critics only obfuscate whenever we speak 
>and act as though we exist peripheral to the agency through which we 
>necessarily render decisions.
>3) It does not mean that I will vote on positions exterior to the 2NR & 
>2AR decisions.
>4) It does mean judges are always "intervening" when making decisions. But 
>I want to do this as little as possible. And you can help me do so by 
>giving me as much direct, context-specific clash as possible and 
>enumerating each position in the debate hierarchically.
>
>****I'm a former NYC Coalition debater. I majored in Philosophy, Political 
>Science and Women's Studies in undergrad. This is tangentially relevant to 
>you, as debaters whom I will see. Really, I was and continue to identify 
>as a sometimes student of philosophy/ political theory and a sometimes 
>student of my own as well as others' fiction writing. Because of this I 
>might be predisposed toward imagining the fantastical, imaginative world 
>of the K. As an aside I'd prefer this world was more like Pynchon's and 
>less like Baudrillard's (no, this does not mean I won't listen to your 
>Baudrillard cards, ugh.). Good Ks have clearly articulated net benefits 
>and analysis on how/ if the K turns case, etc.
>
>I used to be a part of the coaching team at West Point/ USMA. Now I find 
>myself a part of the NYC Coalition once again, this time in a coaching 
>capacity, as the coach of Fordham U.
>
>All in all, because of my academic and debate backgrounds, I'm K-friendly. 
>In this respect I'm a quintessential CEDA Easter. But my judging record 
>also indicates that I vote just as often, if not more often, on T/ 
>procedurals, even the ever-abhored Specs. That is those with clearly 
>defined, in-round ground/ education abuse stories (see below for more on 
>this).
>
>I like T and think it's an opportunity for a lot of smart argumentation. 
>This doesn't mean I will vote for you just because you run it. It means I 
>love listening to 5:30 of line-by-line T in the 2NR (preceded by a :30 
>overview) or --even better-- just under 15 mins of T between a block 
>speech & the 2NR. So maybe don't go for your T=RVI or T=genocidal args in 
>front of me. Unless you have a counter-interp that CPs/ disads/ Ks are 
>better for debate & an impact for the counter-interp.
>
>****I also really like hearing new, smart forms of alternative debate. If 
>you're a policy bad kinda team, pref me highly. I really enjoy hearing 
>these debates and contemplating these questions. And a lot of the best 
>rounds I've judged this year have been policy v. something else rounds. 
>Any debate strat that questions and attempts to locate problematic bases 
>for debate norms are good. An on face plea to reject a form of debate 
>without clear analysis of *what* is wrong & *how* my ballot begins to 
>change that 'what' is bad. Don't just give me a vague 'reject it b/c it's 
>wrong.' Think about the nuances here when you tell me how my ballot 
>functions. This doesn't necessarily have to be 'explicit' (e.g. every time 
>I saw Bard's Ravenna & Nathan last year, they did a good job of showing me 
>a level of absurdity in debate w/o having to even momentarily abandon 
>their absurdist approach ? this worked fine.)
>
>BUT if you're a team facing one of these policy bad teams and your strat 
>is in line with straight up policy good stuff, this isn't a huge cause for 
>concern. Yes, my judging record does indicate that this year, more than 
>ever before, I've been more partial to the policy bad strats. But this is 
>only because I think the policy good teams that lost those debates failed 
>to make the more round specific, clashing policy good args. Like I said 
>before I love T debate, something that's unique to policy debate. So I'm 
>definitely not biased against debaters who choose to defend the value of 
>policy debate as an activity. You should also feel free to make 
>policymaker good arguments in front of me, a la roleplaying good -- I have 
>no conscious bias on this one way or the other. If your strat includes 
>either of these two, maybe give better analysis/ go for args other than 
>the wrong forum & fast debate improves memory args. Unless better memory 
>power solves for race-based poverty. That would be powerful shit. Or 
>powerfully offensive shit. You tell me! So, yes, remember to impact these 
>framework arguments. And engage what the policy bad kids are saying, even 
>if only to prove that their strat is bad.
>
>****Unless you specifically request that I do otherwise -- and maybe even 
>in spite of your request that I do otherwise -- I will flow tags, cards, 
>lyrics, episodes of divine intervention, and anything else that may occur 
>during our almost-2 hours in the same room together.
>
>****To elaborate on framework, framework analysis is often important so, 
>when necessary, I want to hear it as early as possible. I don't care 
>whether it's in the 1AC underview or on a seperate framework flow (and 
>probably won't buy neg. block args that the F/W cards should have been in 
>the 1AC).
>
>Impact analysis is, of course, always important, too. This is still true 
>with T, in which case give me a net benefit to your interpretation & 
>impact it. But be aware that I'll only vote on potential for abuse if 
>you're giving me impacts that matter. But this doesn't mean I'll enjoy 
>watching you read 6 no-linking disads to prove the abuse on the topic 
>specific education good debate. I often find it unsettling to vote on 
>potential for abuse because I can't reconcile the following: without a 
>corpus of precedent -- similar to what we have in the US legal/ justice 
>system -- according to which critics may base their decisions, each round 
>is adjudicated on its own terms, meaning present abuse does not 
>necessarily perpetuate future abuse. Our privileging of extreme-case- 
>hypotheticals in disad debates doesn't justify accepting the same standard 
>for discussions of what debate could be on T. When we hold T to this 
>standard, one that I buy has educational value in disad/ case debates, we 
>sell ourselves short on potentially meaningful in round considerations of 
>what's best for/ how to improve the activity. You might not believe your 
>agent CPs good for education args but maybe I will by the end of the round.
>
>****In most rounds, I'll want you to point to specific in-round abuse 
>that's occurred. So name a couple cases that fit your interpretation or 
>give analysis on how the aff writing norms on this topic are bad for some 
>interpretation of ground/ fairness/ education, etc.
>
>****In novice & maybe even JV rounds, I tend to give nonverbal cues -- 
>e.g. nods that indicate i'm jiving with you that the PIC bites the K; 
>faces of confusion that indicate you're not explaining the warrants to 
>your "on fire" piece of evidence you spend 2 minutes explaining in the 2NR 
>without having actually said anything substantive; bewildered faces that 
>indicate my awareness of the 2AR lie that the extra T standard was, in 
>fact, covered by the 1AR. So it's to your advantage to look at me during 
>your 2AC/ block speeches, as doing so may help you formulate/ amend your 
>2AR/ 2NR strategy decisions.
>
>****Despite all of this I think I'll listen to any argument. No I'm not 
>just saying that. Entirely new types of arguments/ ways to approach 
>arguments may arise. And I can't know what I can think of something if 
>that something has yet to be thought, can I? But, to give you an idea of 
>the extent of my flexibility, I'm even comfortable with arguments 
>disguised as non sequiturs (you know, the ones that sound like non 
>sequiturs -- and are assumed to be just stupid -- but are functionally 
>performative non sequiturs, meaning they're objects for demonstrating some 
>end -- and therefore strategic). As long as their role as such is clear.
>
>The only debates I'm *less* comfortable hearing are really deeply 
>developed disad debates; I've never had one myself -- what, I'm a product 
>of NYC debate. But this doesn't mean I don't like disads. And this doesn't 
>mean I haven't before voted on a disad as the sole NB to the CP. If you 
>slow down a bit to talk to me about the story and the specific scenarios 
>that end up, by the end of the round, being integral to the position, feel 
>free to go for your disads in front of me. Or, just don't pref me highly.
>
>****If you're losing the debate on a key issue, by all means feel free to 
>embrace ballsy damage control measures mid-round. Have fun with your 
>concessions and remember that as long as we have time to speak, we have 
>time to explore creative strategic alternatives. I'm tired of hearing 
>about it and itching to witness a round in which someone justifiably kicks 
>their plan text in the block and competently defends the theory of doing so.
>
>****Highest speaks go to those with the most clarity, organization, wit 
>and quality pop culture references. By this, no, I don't mean talk to me 
>about the latest Paris Hilton trash news. If you integrate references to 
>Joss Whedon or his characters into your speeches, I just might have to 
>give you a 30.
>
>_______________________________________________
>eDebate mailing list
>eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
>http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/attachments/20071012/0f99331f/attachment.htm 



More information about the Mailman mailing list