[eDebate] seeing the forest. . .on our topic 'discussion'

Josh jbhdb8
Fri Apr 24 14:01:09 CDT 2009


Just wondering about this:

"Well, that we will obsess about grammar, definitional terms, and
policy-esque style 'neg ground'. . . instead of choosing a topic that fits
the changes in our community practices and evolution in argument and theory.
 maybe we could leave some of the ground and definitional debate to the
debaters, what a thought! isn't everything debatable? can't we create SAFE
debate space for everyone?"

If this argument impies that the use of grammer, definitional terms, and
'policy-esque' style 'neg ground' creates 'unsafe' debate space for people
and that we ought choose a topic that fits the 'changes in our community
practice and EVOLUTION in argument and theory'.....I think you will find
that many people disagree with your conclusions.  Perhaps these arguments
are obviously more true than false to you...They do not seem obvious to me.
Either way, its stretching it a little to suggest the majority or even
large minority would prefer to have "no topic" where the debaters decide
what the ground is.

Essentially, you have just indicted the entirety of Western Academic
practice....In a period where debate budgets are being cut, debate is being
questioned by administrations across the country, perhaps a bit more
measured perspective would be worthwhile?  I could probably explain, at some
level, why we debate "whatever we want to, whenever we want to," to an
administrator...but we are self-funded.  Don't get me wrong, I think we
should consider the danger of this but I think the idea of no-topic would
fail a referendum (and I guess we will see if this is the case) in the sq on
its merits.

In addition, I am wondering why you write this letter at a time when the
topic committee explicitly included a "non-traditional topic" option?

Anyway, I am sure I will understand better once you flesh some of this stuff

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