[eDebate] keenan, "K" and "policy"

Paul Johnson paulj567
Sat Apr 11 20:51:34 CDT 2009


I want to take a quick shot at addressing one point you make:

"Finally, and this is a new point, there needs to be a more effective remedy when the negative's alternative text does not effectively represent the thesis of the criticism. Defining away evidence perm arguments as 'intrinsic' because the negative didn't actually advocate their K in general, only the rejection of the aff on the basis of some tenuous link to the the K, does not incentivize debaters coming to understand the literature behind the criticism. Some possible solutions are either (a) allowing intrinsic perms if and only if they come from the same sources that the negative is using for their K, as those arguments should be highly predictable, or (b) allowing affirmatives to win that their counter-interpretation of the author/article which does not result in the 'rejection' conclusion if they win that the counter interpretation has more fidelity to the author/article than the negative's interpretation."

I am a bit trepidatious about this. Many critiques quite seriously say that to have done the thing that the aff did is something which is somehow objectionable. Especially with the oft criticized "reps K", which oftentimes simply has an impact from representating something, and claims that one ought not to be engaging in that representational practice. just because you have a card saying the author thinks the plan is a good idea, or the plan is consistent with the "real alt" doesn't really mean the kritik goes away. it means the good stuff that the plan does needs to outweigh the bad stuff done by the representation (presuming that the aff has given up the ghost on framework). Your situation, in which the negative concludes that the aff evidenced perm is intrinsic DOES incentivize debaters understanding the arguments--understanding them enough to go "if this perm is not intrinsic, then your alternative does not solve anything".

by and large, i agree with what you have to say. I do think that if Aff teams pressed negs harder when they tried to evade the "link" to author specific K answers, it would be a fruitful strategy.

paul j.


--- On Sat, 4/11/09, Eric Morris <ermocito at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Eric Morris <ermocito at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [eDebate] keenan, "K" and "policy"
> To: 
> Cc: edebate at www.ndtceda.com
> Date: Saturday, April 11, 2009, 8:37 PM
> On Sat, Apr 11, 2009 at 3:01 PM, matthew farmer
> <matthewfarm at gmail.com>wrote:
> 
> > The METHOD arguments are ones that a k team can rarely
> avoid (these are
> > also very specific discussions). For example, it is
> extremely difficult to
> > 'no link' a criticism of constituitive lack if
> you are running a zizek arg,
> > regardless of how you toy with your alt. Now, if
> someone successfully
> > achieves this end, then it speeks more to their
> abilities, relative to their
> > opponent's, than it does to any structural or
> enigmatic disconinuity in the
> > adjudication of k debates. --- Dylan seems to go a
> step even further, so
> > does Clay; things are going so well in the world that
> some uq cards on cap,
> > env, security, with a quantitative method defense
> should get you a win on
> > the uq debate alone? My point here is simply that the
> 'trivial distinction'
> > argument, which has now appeared twice in this
> discussion, does not support
> > the position that the k is not a good vehicle/k debate
> is not a good cite
> > for discussing different impacts or impacts in
> different ways.
> 
> 
> First, thank you for reading and responding to what I
> actually said, instead
> of the "realism good" cards that some of my teams
> read. I know it's easier
> to read front lines, particularly when they've already
> been written and all.
> (p.s. Teams would rely LESS on 'realism good' if
> more nuanced and specific K
> answers were adjudicated more sympathetically. That's a
> link turn, Massey,
> but we'll get back to you in another email sometime)
> 
> Second, I think your particular example of constititutive
> lack method
> indicts is a fabulous choice for a more detailed
> discussion. I've heard
> judges indicate that aff indicts of constitutive lack
> weren't relevant
> because:
> a. It wasn't 100% clear that the Lacanian author in
> question was relying
> psychoanalytic methods in writing the specific cards the
> team was reading.
> (Perhaps they were just used a Lacanian approach in another
> section of the
> book?)
> b. The cards in question attacked a number of authors, not
> exclusively the
> cited author
> c. The cards did not speak to the derivative author the
> team cited (who was
> not yet so famous as to be noticed, perhaps), but only the
> more prominent
> authors that the derivative author was CLEARLY relying upon
> (this one is
> VERY common)
> d. The cards made some reference to a specific work by a
> specific Lacanian
> author, and thus were presumably irrelevant to any other
> works by that
> author. (Admittedly, some indicts are - but others clearly
> cite works just
> to give credibility to the point they are making more
> generally)
> I've seen similar decisionmaking processes for other
> major critical authors.
> It happens.
> 
> Third, it is very tempting to rationalize that judges
> resolve these
> questions on the basis of the quality of debating in
> rounds. They should.
> Many do, and we pref them despite obvious philosophical
> differences between
> them and some of our teams. All the judges that gave you
> and Gabe a pass on
> some of these issues at the 2006 NDT, for example, were in
> the right to do
> so (I'm speaking of prelims, as I did not see the elim
> round). However, I've
> seen similar points raised by judges when the debaters did
> not make or
> explain it at all. If it were just one judge here and
> there, I would say
> adjust the preference sheets and be done with it. But, when
> it happens
> often, debaters draw the conclusion that they are better
> served with more
> generic answers than more specific ones. This does not do
> service to the
> interesting and complex literature base from which such
> cards are extracted.
> Thus, it might be appropriate to speak to it as a generic
> question of
> judging practice in a forum such as this.
> 
> Fourth, I've seen judges make direct answers to a K
> author irrelevant
> through such distinctions IN THE SAME ROUND where they let
> the negative
> skate with the most generic of links (aff had an
> economically related
> internal link in an advantage, and one of the negative link
> cards used the
> word 'economics', for example). I should say here
> that I've also voted on
> links that generic, if not challenged by the other team. My
> point is that
> the link claims of specific K answers should receive a
> level of scrutiny
> COMPARABLE to the link claims for the K. If hyper generic
> links are
> sufficient, they should suffice in BOTH cases. If (as I
> would prefer),
> generic links are enough initially but judges will defer to
> more specific
> no-link arguments, even when not evidenced (and
> particularly when based on
> the OTHER TEAM's evidence), that's fine too.
> Whatever the level of scrutiny
> is, it should be applied such that specific K answers are
> treated roughly
> EQUAL to the links to the K. If that were a consistent
> practice in the
> judging pool, I think the quality of K debates would rise
> dramatically, as
> it would incentivize reading specific answers. The SQ does
> not. Lots of
> teams have specific answers, but don't end up reading
> them because they
> aren't worth the time commitment given what the judges
> are likely to do with
> them.
> 
> Finally, and this is a new point, there needs to be a more
> effective remedy
> when the negative's alternative text does not
> effectively represent the
> thesis of the criticism. Defining away evidence perm
> arguments as
> 'intrinsic' because the negative didn't
> actually advocate their K in
> general, only the rejection of the aff on the basis of some
> tenuous link to
> the the K, does not incentivize debaters coming to
> understand the literature
> behind the criticism. Some possible solutions are either
> (a) allowing
> intrinsic perms if and only if they come from the same
> sources that the
> negative is using for their K, as those arguments should be
> highly
> predictable, or (b) allowing affirmatives to win that their
> counter-interpretation of the author/article which does not
> result in the
> 'rejection' conclusion if they win that the counter
> interpretation has more
> fidelity to the author/article than the negative's
> interpretation.
> 
> I promise you, I do not intend these posts as sour grapes
> about a particular
> decision outcome here or there. I've observed the
> things I mention in lots
> of rounds that didn't directly involve our teams (I
> scout, I judge on
> panels, I watch elims when not judging, etc.) Our top teams
> are pretty
> successful against most K arguments doing what they do. Our
> teams deserve to
> win nearly all the rounds they actually win, and deserve to
> lose nearly all
> the rounds they actually lose. There is little to be gained
> through
> attempting to appeal a particular decision in this forum,
> as there is no
> appeals process and this forum would be poorly suited for
> it.
> 
> Instead, my point is that it's not just OUTCOMES of
> rounds that influence
> how debaters prepare, it is the PROCESS by which judges
> decide those rounds.
> I might even argue that the process is more important than
> the outcome, if
> the debaters are listening and taking notes. Dismissing a
> specific K answer
> while voting affirmative on a generic one sends a HUGE
> signal. So, I
> encourage judges generally to think about the process by
> which they resolve
> K debates, and how that process influences the way debaters
> will prepare for
> future K debates. If you think a specific K answer is
> relevant, but the
> debater's performance of it wasn't strong enough,
> say THAT instead of
> treating the entire line of argument dismissively. Suggest
> language
> strategies that would make it more relevant. (Now, of
> course, if your goal
> as a judge is to make K debates as generic as possible,
> you'll want to do
> the opposite of what I'm suggesting here).
> 
> Ermo
> MoState
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