[eDebate] Tournaments - another proposal

Sarah Spring spring.sarah
Thu Oct 23 12:23:25 CDT 2008

In the spirit of Gordon and other's plea for a more feasible  
tournament schedule, I'd like to bring up another point that I see at  
work here.

The obsession with evidence. Hanson's point is valid, moving all that  
paper takes a lot of time. I'll be more radical. I think we should  
reconsider Ross' proposal of open-source as part of the solution

Why is that we assume that we have to stay up all night?

The reward for being the most unhealthy is winning. Our activity  
actively promotes not sleeping for weeks and basically becoming  
fastened to our computers. I've been there, bleary eyed at 4 in the  
morning many times. But often, it makes me question why we do this?  
The teams that hire the most unhealthy coaches, who are most able to  
abuse their bodies often do the best. Why do we reward this practice?  
Debate should reward debating.

Also, this drives good people out of the activity. Good coaches are  
told they cannot be either successful parents or successful academics  
because of the necessity of massive debate time commitments. You have  
to be a full time debate jock to really have a successful team. While  
this could be fulfilling for some, it is entirely not sustainable.  
This is a community where we should understand people who have lives,  
and not reward those who give up all else to cut the biggest file.

What motivates judges that call for 50 cards after each debate?

Debate has become an activity that rewards debating second to a  
ridiculous standard of having massive amounts of evidence. Why not  
just have each team set down a pile of cards at the beginning of the  
round and the judge read each teams evidence and decide whose is  
better. That would certainly speed things up.

Debate should be about debating, not how many cards you have about  
"CAFTA" or whatever ridiculous politics DA is out there.

Why Open-source?

Because it eliminates the necessity of this ridiculous expectation.  
Yes, if we let people out of the prelims earlier they will just stay  
up later cutting more ev. Let's just stop it. Have smart coaches,  
smart debaters who don't have to sacrifice their health to win  
debates. I know this is crazy, but I think it would be fruitful.

I know there is a lot of resistance to the idea of Open-source and I  
also am unwilling to get into the long discussion of its feasibility.  
But, this is clearly a solution to the problem we have discussed here.

Sarah Spring

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