[eDebate] lennon 1AR debacle
Wed Apr 8 13:02:36 CDT 2009
when i get the audio, i will transcribe a more recent final like this year and probably start with one speech for criticism since it is tedious work.
the persuasive debate you have mentioned.
what would be gained from oratories which survive the test of time and appeal to any 'qualified' listener, i.e. person of intellectual probity? rhetoric. technical jargon can only transmit limited rhetorical power.
the beginning of lennon's 1AR:
"All the disads become completely irrelevant. All I need to do is win any hint of solving proliferation. We solve an inevitable war by 1996, the most likely nuclear war. He says off the top, there's no indigenous suppliers. First of all, this only occurs with indigenous suppliers. Remember, he's dropping the evidence that says no country has ever caused technology."
hmmm, paragon of philistine discourse, the alleged problem. almost nothing meaningful is said. the meaning hinges on familiarity with the evidence.
the same issues are debated on the floor of the congress without the flowspeak.
"no country has ever caused technology". what the fuck does that mean? tagline substitution for real argument. no explanation of the evidence. the judge will read it after the round. terrible. i feel like i'm listening to the pythia at the oracle of the delphi and i have to know the codes of interpretation to translate the "speech". lennon's tripod is rather sexy, i must say.
"no country has ever caused technology" is a perfect example of why this speech has virtually zero value outside the debate community. the drivel has no rhetorical value. let me guess, lennon's speech is full of similar examples.
"we solve an inevitable war by 1996, the most likely nuclear war" (sounds like all those religious fanatics who predicted the apocalypse at the millennium and were wrong; what happens when the most likely nuclear war is unlikely).
turn antonucci -- this statement is fundamentally ridiculous. we do not solve. perhaps, our plan may solve. the prevention of nuclear war as the primary impact of foreign policy debates has skewed those debates for decades. most of the wars that debaters solve don't happen. arguably, the wars that do happen are the wars that debaters have a knack for not solving with their plans in years prior.
the statement is rhetorically weak compared to any line of pericles' funeral oration or MLK's "i have a dream". the stripping down of the context of the argument against proliferation to technical jargon leaves the evidence uninterpreted so the tagline becomes the actual argument. again, there is persuasion but it is limited compared to the superior examples.
the setting is different but the knowledge of rhetorical strategy surpasses lennon's speech far and wide. excerpt from MLK's "I have a dream":
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
there's a reason this speech has value for debaters and non-debaters and lennon's speech does not hold water. antonucci needs an answer. my answer is the rules determine this outcome. my psychological guess is that debaters have become afraid of communication. they are hardly prompted to reflect on the word 'communication' and fall prey to the coercion of its operational definition accepted by the majority of the community. this coercive definition accepts "no country has ever caused technology" as a form of communication compared to more pericles or MLK.
debate has not always been meaningless to non-debaters. the evolution of NDT-CEDA is unique. rule changes are needed to put the speech back in a speech activity that is dominated by cybernetics. logical forms have done serious harm. tagline debate is a form of logic, reduction of statements to more simple elements.
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