[eDebate] Appropriate versus Verifiable

Ede Warner ewarner
Mon Aug 4 09:16:19 CDT 2008

these two claims are not the same: appropriateness and verifiable.  It is easily verifiable in the same way old evidence challenges were verifiable.  Aaron's "inside/outside" round is and has always been artificial.  With the advent of the internet and text messaging, there is no longer a separation of the two.  But even when I debated, if you made an ethics challenge that a card was out of context, judges often went to get a copy of the article or a different version of the card to resolve the dispute.  Corn-dog's decision to tape record a debate, then play it back to resolve a claim of how much evidence was read was no more "inside" the round than going to the tab room to identify whether a team struck a judge.  If a team makes the claim they struck a judge, it's easy to verify.
You can ask the tab room and they can verify it.  The "absolute privilege" to protect confidentiality at all costs in all instances is simply a community comfort, not grounded in any real justification.  Like other rights or privileges, one must balance it against competing community issues.  Taking concrete and meaningful actions to address the large gender and racial disparities in who judges debates seems like a decent community claim, even if it is uncomfortable to some.
As far as appropriate, perhaps in an ideal world it shouldn't be appropriate to bring the judge selection but it is.  It is appropriate to bring judging concerns into debates because there is no other forum to address such concerns in a meaningful way.  The system gives absolute power to teams to decide who judges debates in ways no other activity does.  There isn't even a mechanism in place to address judging problems or issues.  Every collegiate athletic competition has some sort of sanctioning process for umpires, referees, officials, even in cases like non-conference games where the home team can pick the officials.  

Your appropriateness claim could be made Aaron of all procedural arguments, which suggest how the debate occur.  These have become subjective issues left to the debaters for resolution, and who gets to judge is no different.  As long as the community prefers to delegate all procedure making to the debaters, you then open Pandora's box.
The question should more likely be: is there a more productive way to have these debates?  I'm not sure I know the answer, but Aaron is again blaming Towson for making the argument in the hopes it will "go away" by communtiy censure, instead of making any honest effort to address solutions to the problems created by the system, in this case absolute reliance on MPJ.

From: Aaron Kall <mardigras23 at hotmail.com>
To:<edebate at ndtceda.com>
Date: 8/4/2008 12:56 AM
Subject: [eDebate]  Quarters of the Ceda
as kade mentioned, having a debate in a round over who struck who from a strike card is not appropriate and ultimately non-verifiable.

take this hypothetical example-

Team A accuses Team B of striking a particular judge and says Team B should lose because of this for whatever reason.  Team B says "No, we didn't strike that judge- you have no evidence we did and you can't prove we did."

There is obviously no way team A can be proven inside the round who Team B struck and the judges would have no way of determining it.  No tab room would/should ever publicly disclose strike information, so there would be no way to ever resolve this debate.  Also, many teams probably aren't even aware who was on their card/struck from their card, as coaches sometimes make these decisions without the input of debaters.

Finally, just because a judge doesn't end up on a panel doesn't mean they were struck.  If both teams strike the same judge, the tab room chooses the three judge panel out of the remaining four judges at random, as there obviously can't be an even numbered panel.


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