[eDebate] Debate Good, Random narratives about racism bad.

michael hester uwgdebate
Thu Aug 7 14:44:59 CDT 2008

i felt the need to respond to Aaron's implicit query (can we make this forum
work better?) in the context of responding to what has become a frequent
refrain, mainly the complaint that there are too  many dumbass posts here
and not enough "good stuff" (defined varyingly as 'tournament info' and/or
'debate args' and/or 'caselist info').

i am a member and regular contributor to or daily reader of the following
messageboard/listserv style forums:

*Dawgvent (UGA sports)
*HawkSquawk (ATL's NBA team)
* pajiba (movie review site)
* UWG faculty/staff listserv
* Phi Mu sorority listserv (as faculty advisor, i manage the site)
* the Daily Kos
* GAVSV (Ga high school football messageboard)

sometimes when i read people's complaints about how our of control or
dysfunctional edebate is, i wonder participate in any other forums. in terms
of the number of goofy posts that seem off-topic or e-wars between various
forum all-stars, i can say without reservation that edebate has no more of
these than any other forum on which i participate. based on my observations
of e-forums, the following is SOP:

1) free forums (where you don't have to pay to post) are the worst at
producing dumbassery
2) forums which allow anonymous posting have a greater tendency for
escalation and dick-waving
3) ALL forums suffer from a proliferation of 'off-topic' comments

so, Aaron, while i sympathize with your general annoyance and no doubt would
agree with most of your assessments of which posts are the dumbest,
ultimately i must say:

1) quit whining. suck it up and deal with the reality of internet
2) you don't have to subscribe to edebate to read the posts. the archives
can be accessed by anyone. OR at least create a separate email account so
you don't have 10 messages from random edebate all-star filling your inbox
every 10 minutes because they found their soapbox and need to tell us all
how it's gonna be (boomp-boomp-boomp-ba-doomp-boomp- You're Gonna Give Your
Love To Me).
3) if you want to discuss the topic, post about the topic. if you have a
question about debate, post the question. there are a multitude of people
willing to help you (and despite me being kind of a dick right now, i'm one
of those people)


p.s. - literally nothing that occurs on edebate is unique in terms of either
the absurdity of the arguments or the number of posts that no one really
cares about (and thus wonders, 'why the hell are they posting that here?').
YES, this is even true of other "academic" forums. we're not the only
university employees that say wildly stupid things or PUT OUR QUOTES IN CAPS
TO SHOW WE REALLY MEAN IT THIS TIME. the notion that edebate is some anomaly
that is gonna get someone fired ignores the rest of the Academy and its
many, MANY, dysfunctions. on multiple occasions, i've been party to job
termination hearings, and have even had to rule on whether someone should be
fired for their email transgressions, so i'm not speaking as a debate coach
when i say this - i'm speaking as a bureaucrat (ugh). while not disagreeing
specifically with  the claim that some of the foolishness on here may rile
an administrator to the point of firing someone, i must say, most of the
fears expressed by many on here regarding edebate posts being used as a
justification for firing are gross miscalculations of how such decisions are
made. simply put, someone who has never had a run in with their
administration would not be fired for comments they make on a debate
messageboard, unless those comments were direct violations of federal/state
law (and maybe not even then); anyone that could get the boot for such
speech acts was already in hot water. finally, the rule is simple: if you
worry that YOUR school is different, then STFU and stop posting on here. i
promise you will never be canned for something someone else says (even if
it's about you) on an anonymous messageboard you don't visit. hell, even a
corrupt lackey like Gonzales (Albert, not Josh) would rule that as an
illegitimate job termination.

On Thu, Aug 7, 2008 at 2:43 PM, Aaron Swanlek <agswanlek at gmail.com> wrote:

> Ok, this is my second year in the game and i'm dumbstruck;
> Not by the activity itself, i have one heck of a coach who has prepared me
> to be competitive against the best. So what am i confused with you say,
> The lack of discussion about A. The topic. and B. Tournament information or
> C. Ways to make the game better
> So i decided i thought of a good way to get information on whats going on
> in the "Community" by signing up for edebate,  little did i know what i was
> getting myself into.  Ad homs, swearing, and random narratives about who is
> bigot a or b(by the way i'm half black, and i really don't know what kinda
> racism y'all see)
> As debaters we are looked at as respectful intellectuals who spend major
> amounts of their free time preparing for the next tournament.  We give away
> our summers and part of our social lives because we love to argue about
> relevant information. Do you think things that go on Edebate just disappear?
> When a nineteen year old from middle of no where Pa can call out "Grown Men"
> who sound like they are 12 should give you a signal that this needs to stop.
> All programs are going to have to spend more money to travel, something we
> can all agree on, so if the allocators of resources just so happen to see
> our "Forum" what do you think is going to happen. Debate won't die from the
> plethora of new arguments teams put forward which deviate from the norm, or
> this ideological divisiveness on  what is legitimate but rather the
> immaturity of some of our smartest individuals.
> You all may think your name calling, and threats go unnoticed, but trust me
> they do.
> I'm just writing this because A. I'm tired of looking through stupid posts
> and B. I want everyone who is in this game to be successful in all of their
> endeavors, so don't let your words on line be your Achilles heel.
> :-) Yours Truly,
> Aaron George Swanlek
> _______________________________________________
> eDebate mailing list
> eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
> http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
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