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

matthew farmer matthewfarm
Sat Apr 11 22:46:02 CDT 2009

On the lack example:
A lot of this DOES have to do with the debaters... Specific arguments/pieces
of ev are given to debaters that do not understand (or perhaps cannot; I am
tempted to make a trained incapacity argument here) their function, that do
not understand the broader discussion going on in the literature base, etc.
The effect is that people who know more about the lit (in this example, the
k team typically) are able to draw subtle distinctions that are often
Invalid. In policy debate, we call this spin. I can't help but remember a
one-shot wonder involving the internal link of a peace process da that i
once ran. The arg was that the EU and US were pushing 2 separate peace
processes, and that political capital was key to getting the US one
through... This arg is obviously terrible (there were't two, just cards that
made it sound like there were), but in the right context, the spin of the
internal link could be controlled. Back to lack, the ev alone cannot do the
work... The debaters need to be able to apply their criticism of the k in a
flexible and Creative manner. They need to be able to speak with some
authority about the premises of their opponents arguments; they need to be

The reciprocity arg:
I'm not sure inequity in the level of scrutiny is as prevalent as you might
think. I personally have a very high standard for k links and am
increasingly bored and annoyed by teams that don't do the work to talk about
the plan and advantages and draw comparisons with their theory. It would be
hypocritical to accept a generic link without much application and then
require high levels of specificity by the opposing team. However, this once
again requires that the generic link be answered. Too often, the generics
aren't answered at all, or are simply called 'generic'. A good no link
argument involves a summation of the conditions by which a link is met and
then a description of how the aff is distinctly NOT that, and further how
the aff avoid the pitfalls of that which would link. The coach of the losing
team might wonder, 'why is it that our specific arg was washed aside by a
few subtle distinctions, and their generic link slipped through?" Well,
perhaps the answer lies in the lack of a coherent no link arg. In other
words, the distinction: 'they're critiquing a different part of my authors
work, we're not using that,' is a 100% link take-out (apples and oranges).
'The link is generically talking about world economics,' still admits some
similarities. it's not that there's 'no link', it's that there's only some.
Is the burden not in part on the aff to say, 'we're not that aspect of world
economics at all, we avoid all of those pitfalls'. It seems to me that often
there are low quality links made by both sides, but the side that tends to
know the lit and is creative tends to do the better no link work. Obviously,
it would be great if they all did great work on their links and no links,
but it makes sense to me why these close debates tend to lean k.

Alt text:

Good cross-x and theory is the answer. Think of deliberately screwy k alts
like the states cp is for galloway. they stop us from debating the good
stuff. Also, 'perm: plan plus non-comp portion of alt' -- then aff redefines
what perm does as alt changes... It's the reciprocal response, plus they
speak last, so it ought work out a lot of the time. Intrinsicness args
should not be necessary, if the aff wins that the neg reads their author
wrong then the alt might not solve, the links might not apply? There's
offense here too, if they're misreading, then they're probably guilty of
something that would result in an impact (by their own author's logic). The
remedy might be better debating...


Totally agree about judges being more descriptive. I learned a lot from
post-rounds. I'll add though, that the question 'how could I make this arg
better/apply?' was usually required. The debaters need to take some
initiative as well.

One last point, tangentially related, the lazy K debater is matched by the
lazy k answerer. The 'I don't give a shit about that stuff' position is too
prevalent on both sides of the isle. In this respect, I second JT. The
training of debaters to think ideologically about argument form and content
has a lot to do with these debater-motivation concerns.
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