[eDebate] ans Larson

Michael Kloster kloster
Sat Oct 13 18:13:28 CDT 2007

I've suggested an alternative in the past that I think would have a
transformative effect on MPJ.  I have had a few interested backchannels
but overall the idea has received little interest.

The suggestion is to allow debate teams to set up a default MPJ sheet.
They then can set up additional sheets that override the default
depending upon the side of resolution and opponent. In addition to
allowing more accurate MPJ, I believe such a system would limit the
success of teams who rely on a subset of judges. Think of the change to
judge placement if you could effectively strike different judges based
on team you are debating as well as the side of the resolution.

Since it requires more work to set up the various permutations of MPJ
sheets, software would be needed to make it easy to manage your pref
sheets as well as make it possible to reuse your pref sheet from one
tournament to the next, and likely one year to the next.

Gary has previously responded to this at length and I recommend
interested parties to read the archives. He believes such a system will
make it difficult or impossible to maintain a high percentage of A-A
judge placements. While I believe that may be so (in particular for some
teams), I believe it only demonstrates that in many cases our current
system provides only a myth of mutuality. While apparent A-A placements
may decrease, at least our statistics showing so would be more 'honest'.

Michael Kloster

Gary Larson wrote:
> 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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