[eDebate] Technology and debate

J T jtedebate
Wed Aug 6 22:03:55 CDT 2008

enforcement:  Some HS tournaments and judges tell the debater to disable their wireless cards.  
problem:  relies on judge policing...I don;t think we need this

No outside assistance:  I have no direct evidence that this has ever happened...but I know debaters and have know a few real shady coaches over the last decade...I would be shocked if it did not happen...NOTE:  don't even think of it!  Has anyone ever known of this to happen for sure?

In-Round research:  yes...can be good for small schools without the resources to chase down everyone in the country's new advance of crappy disad
problem:  marxism...privileges those debaters who can afford a laptop and/or squads    (the massive proliferation of laptops makes this not a serious as a few years ago, but still an issue)

Home servers:  People should be allowed access.  When Delta Charges $50 for the second bag, then how can we say NO--bring it in paper form or fill up your hard drive (plus)

JP Lacy <lacyjp at wfu.edu> wrote: 
Basic rule: No outside assistance while you are debating. (Food & other 
sustenance exempted)

1. IM: No IM that gives you assistance. Not even a "Go fight win!" Best 
to stay off of chat to avoid appearance of impropriety.

2. Research during debates: Do it! If you can beat your opponents 
arguments with a few minutes of online research, more power to you. No 
rule stops you from running to the library, using the card catalog, 
buying a newspaper, reading a book you have in a backpack, or reading an 
article you have saved on your computer. I don't see a good place to 
draw this line other than "no research other than your own during a debate."

3. Home server access: Yes, as long as it doesn't violate the "Basic 
rule." If you can find cards in your off-site electronic backfiles, good 
for you. Just don't accept help from others telling you where to look. 
Don't use new files posted to your server after the debate has begun.

I really don't know how to enforce & verify these basic rules. I just 
think they're basic rules. If everyone complies, no problem. If problems 
arise then we can revisit the "Basic rule" & forbid people from internet 
access during debates. I hope it doesn't come to that.

Do people actually go outside the "No outside assistance" rule these 
days? If things escalate to the point where every team needs an 
"electronic coach" during debates, then we'll have a whole mess of 
problems to deal with. Best to leave the rule as it stands.


matthew farmer wrote:
> I've been thinking about something for a while and I think that the 
> community should probably discuss it.  What are our standards/what 
> should they be for the use of the internet and other communication 
> devices in debate.  Can you cut cards during a debate, can you talk to 
> people on im even if it's not about debate, should debaters have their 
> wifi on during a debate at all?   Should debaters be able to access 
> their deabte servers during a debate, should that be the only thing 
> that they can access?  If we come to a consensus on the appropriate 
> behavioral standards, how might we enforce and verify them?  Even if 
> it's not possible to fully enforce new rules, should we enact them 
> anyway in an effort to establish and codify a community norm?
> play nice...
> farmer
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W. James Taylor ("JT")

Asst. Debate Coach
Emporia State University
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