[eDebate] Whitman and Paperless

Stefan Bauschard stefan.bauschard
Sun Sep 14 00:29:05 CDT 2008

Just interested in discussing this part:

<While we'd be happy to provide cites for every card read in the debate
within a matter of minutes (it's built into our system) to anyone interested
in them, we think that taking evidence wholesale is the equivalent of taking
a paper file.  While unenforceable, we'd hope the majority of the community
would agree that stealing files crosses the line, especially given the easy
availability of cites.>

 Would it be so bad if we all agreed (I'm not taking about taking it against
the opponent's will) that debaters would allow those parties requesting the
specific cards to just be given the whole card as available?

I judged two HS debates this weekend where the teams just gave me their
entire 1AC on a jump drive when I requested an outline.  There is clearly
some norm for this at least somewhere in debate.

I was somewhat surprised how willing they were to give the whole 1AC, but in
end I probably could have reconstructed the entire thing in less than 10
minutes since all of the cards were from online sources anyhow.

This just saves silly rote work and would probably make debates even better
-- a) you could spend more time working on arguments than doing this, b) you
could read through the context of cards before debates -- it would prevent
people from winning with crappy cards just because you don't have time to
really evaluate them in the real time pressure of the debate --

Also, you could quickly increase the part of the card that was in size 2
font so you could see what the rest of the article was talking about...

A2: Common objections

1 -- It would cause free riding -- a) No, you can't take someone other
team's DA cards, read them, and win a debate.  If you can, you can probably
beat just most teams anyhow, b) you can do this now -- it just takes an
extra 10 minutes to get the rest of the text of the cards from online

2 -- It would mean people would have to cut better cards because cards could
would get "called out" faster -- yes, I agree

3 -- If you read a card that someone else cut, you are responsible for it
and you don't know it isn't cut out of context -- true, if you were to just
read it in another debate you would assume the risk of it (that's your
choice) and debaters read tons of cards they don't cut themselves now

4 -- People would stop researching.  C'mon, you'd still want to go back and
read your opponent's articles to better understand the arguments.  There is
no research shortage in debate -- perhaps a time/information management
overload, but not a research shortage.

5 -- It would get out of control -- "Please jump me every card you read in
the debate"  -- This is a serious concern, especially since most teams
wouldn't be able to do it quickly. The fact that Whitman could do so could
put them at a relative disadvantage.

I suppose this may seem somewhat radical, but handing over the cite and the
first few and last words of the card just so someone can go insert the rest
of the text they want in less than 1 minute per card seems at least worth
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