[eDebate] Whitman and Paperless

Aaron Hardy spoon_22
Sun Sep 14 01:04:52 CDT 2008


I largely agree -- personally, I don't think it would be so bad if we 
shared evidence more openly.  The primary resistance I have to it is 
that until it's a community wide norm, it would probably disadvantage us 
significantly without reciprocation.  I think your responses to the 
common concerns are fair indicts -- I think the only place I'd differ is 
that I'm a bit more concerned about the free riding problem.

I think a certain percentage of the community increasingly views 
"research" as "stealing cites."  Even since the advent of opencaselist, 
a lot of people don't really bother to do original research when there's 
so many cites to gather.  This extends down to the high school level -- 
when I assign my lab kids something, their first impulse is to get on 
cross-x and have a friend at an earlier camp send them their file.  
Everybody is looking for a shortcut -- I do fear a world in which the 
easy availability of a first-rounds 2NC blocks for their stock critique 
incentivizes laziness to an even larger degree than the status quo.  The 
extra ten minutes is obviously not a deterrent to you or I -- but it 
actually does serve some purpose for way too high a percentage of my 

I still think it's a discussion worth opening -- and it might be wave of 
the future whether I like it or not.


Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2008 00:29:05 -0500
From: stefan.bauschard at gmail.com
To: spoon_22 at hotmail.com; edebate at ndtceda.com
Subject: Re: [eDebate] Whitman and Paperless

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 sources

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 questioning.


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