[eDebate] ans Larson

Gary Larson Gary.N.Larson
Sat Oct 13 17:21:53 CDT 2007


Two thoughts about Mike?s post:
 
1)      I?d be interested in what folks thought about the ?mutuality without preference? option.
 
2)  Since Mike repeats an argument that frequently gets made about MPJ, I?m curious about the following:
 
MK  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.
 
GNL  It strikes me that such confrontation still happens a lot.  All of our pairing algorithms schedule teams to debate in rounds that some call a ?clash of civilizations.?  Throughout the tournament, a significant number of debates occur that at least in theory put differing paradigms in conflict.  Whether teams representing the same perspective can have judges who are too sympathetic to what both teams are doing, many rounds don?t work that way.  And SOMEBODY has to judge those debates.  If everyone is really as polarized as we fear, either MPJ reverts back to essentially random since it can?t find any mutual match OR MPJ identifies those critics who are the least polarized.
 
When we permit teams to select their opponents as well as their judges OR if Balkanize debate by just having different travel schedules or different organizations, THEN I will be genuinely afraid about fragmentation.  But at least for now there is still hope ?
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