[eDebate] Opencaselist: Fulltext Tangent

JP Lacy lacyjp
Thu Aug 27 22:00:36 CDT 2009

That was abrupt...

J T wrote:
> I can't even begin to respond to this silliness.  Good luck
> W. James Taylor ("JT")
> Clinical Instructor
> Asst. Debate Coach
> Emporia State University
> ***Nothing in this email should be taken to represent Emporia State 
> Debate or Emporia State University. The contents are the sole opinion 
> of the author.
> --- On *Thu, 8/27/09, Michael Antonucci /<antonucci23 at gmail.com>/* wrote:
>     From: Michael Antonucci <antonucci23 at gmail.com>
>     Subject: [eDebate] Opencaselist: Fulltext Tangent
>     To: "College Debate Listserv" <edebate at ndtceda.com>
>     Date: Thursday, August 27, 2009, 1:14 PM
>     Thank you for engaging on this issue in good faith.  I do feel
>     strongly about this, so I apologize sincerely in advance if I
>     sound a little snarky.
>     "1. assumes all cards are scanned/OCR-ed or from electronic
>     sources--not true.  While the transition to all-electronic is
>     certainly advancing, not everyone is one board."
>     I don't assume that. 
>     I do assume that a large percentage of people directly cut the
>     majority of their evidence from electronic sources.  Most people
>     don't scan or OCR that much, actually, because they primarily work
>     with electronic cards, obviating the need for "translation" to an
>     electronic format. 
>     **That "assumption", however, is not a premise of my argument.**
>     My argument is a simple conditional.  *If* someone has easily
>     accessible full electronic text of their evidence, *then* they
>     should make that fully available without introducing a deliberate
>     labor-intensifying inefficiency.  When we go through our
>     electronic 1ac word documents to take out the middle of cards
>     prior to uploading it, we, collectively, are being stupid.
>     EXAMPLE:
>     If you scan through the caselist and see first and last words for
>     a politics link card that is obviously from Lexis, you know that's
>     a deliberate efficiency fail.  If you scan through the caselist
>     and see first and last words for a book, then it's clearly not a
>     failure on the part of that team.
>     I defy you to find a team that regularly cuts journal articles or
>     newspaper articles on paper, and actually tapes down their
>     politics DA.
>     "2. it's too easy--people would have zero incentive to read the
>     actual book or article...so many would just copy and paste the
>     card.  I don't think anyone gains a bit of education under that
>     process."
>     Zero?
>     Really?
>     The absolutely only incentive to read an opponent's 1AC sources is
>     to do the rote work of filling in the middle of the card?  Looking
>     for counterplan options, checking the actual context of the
>     argument, etc. - that doesn't matter? 
>     I disagree.  The model that you're pushing here presumes that our
>     students and coaches aren't smart.  It's paternalistic,
>     ultimately.  It's dressage.  It presumes that debaters naturally
>     aren't going to do something competitively useful, and they need
>     to goads that artificially induce labor that would otherwise be
>     unnecessary. 
>     "I also do not know what you mean by "smart labor"."
>     Replicating a uniqueness card by punching firstlast into Lexis:
>     dumb labor.
>     Reading the text of key articles to determine context and devise
>     strategies: smart labor. 
>     Digging holes and filling them back in to feel that you're working
>     hard is dumb.  That's what we're doing now by maintaining
>     artificial opacity.  We're making students dig holes (or paying
>     people to dig holes that they don't need to dig, as a sort of
>     debate TVA.)
>     "If this means efficiency, then education outweighs efficiency in
>     my book (although not mutually exclusive in all cases)."
>     I concur.   Education is the point.  We agree on that, so there's
>     no impact comparison - just a link debate.
>     Efficiently eliminating rote labor (unnecessary shotgun-coverage
>     scouting, chasing down cites, long awkward email exchanges over
>     citations, mindlessly replicating cards that could be easily
>     emailed because we think debaters won't work unless we
>     counterintuitively make it harder for them to do so) is
>     educational because it frees up time to think, strategize, and
>     read instead of replicating.  There's a finite amount of research
>     time.  Let's spend it doing smart stuff, not dumb stuff.
>     We disagree on this, and most anyone who appreciates the
>     convenience of opencaselisting - collective scouting - and other
>     similar labor-saving materials should probably respectfully
>     disagree with you as well. 
>     Every argument that you're making now was previously leveled
>     against other hole-digging prison labor projects we used to
>     fetishize in the past.  Let's move on.
>     -- 
>     Michael Antonucci
>     Debate Coach
>     Georgetown University
>     Mobile: 617-838-3345
>     Office: 202-687-4079
>     -----Inline Attachment Follows-----
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