[eDebate] "Are there really cards on Russia?" and other common questions

Kade Olsen kade.olsen
Wed Apr 23 18:41:20 CDT 2008

The title to Brian's post brings up a somewhat important idea.  This topic
hopefully could create a middle ground for researching (as compared to the
last two topics).

The courts topic (besides the ammendment cp) was productive in that it made
finding cards difficult.  Trying to find a card saying "what you needed it
to" was a big part of the research game.  There were new advantages and da's
here and there, but for the most part, they were not super strong or based a
lot on a previous argument.  As a result, folks put a lot of effort into
finding stronger cards/improving an existing argument.  And good, new,
arguments required a lot of work because they required creativity and
thinking about How to use evidence.

The Middle East topic, however, seemed to quite different.  There were a Ton
cards in some of the areas.  Because my principle research was on Palestine
and Iran, I might be biased.  But still, trying to keep up with Newspapers,
think tanks, and peer reviewed articles was really really hard.  However, If
you  just took a shotgun approach to the literature, you could develop a lot
of new arguments without needing to be all that creative.

There are obvious upsides and downsides to both.  The courts topic probably
privileged some creativity a little bit more than the Middle East (obvi
there were some shortcuts), and helped debaters think about how to use
different cards.  The Middle East topic, on the other hand, had a such a
Huge number of sources/article compared to the Courts.  It gave an incentive
to intense  and broad research  because just  reading a ton of shit would
keep you in the game.

The topic wording is obviously huge for if there can be a "middle ground."
But the literature base is probably important as well.  I think trying to
find somewhere "in between" would be great.  For any of the topics, whether
there are a "millions cards" shouldn't be the deciding question.  Both Types
of research are great and  Over privleging one at the expense of the other
could be a poor choice.   For an international topic, Russia seems like it
could be the in between (not as large as the 5 combined last year, but
definatly not the courts).

I kinda do feel the pain of people talking about K ground for the Russia
topic, but not really.  Not because I think the links will suck or anything,
but the Critical Security literature will probably be Much less exciting
after last year.  The Number of Critical articles last year made it,
honostly, quite easy to research the K on the aff neg.  If its a little
harder next year to find kinds next year, thats probably a good thing.
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