[eDebate] oddly enough, i agree with Josh

Malcolm Gordon malgor.debate
Mon Jul 6 16:30:53 CDT 2009

Mark it 8, dude.

I'm tired of lists, but even if lists were the cat's pajamas, this one is
lacking.  It is better than the Europe topic, a topic meeting that I am
pretty sure consisted of a list of policies slightly related to europe taped
to a dartboard, after which a monkey through darts at said board.  Those
items were then compiled into a resolution.  Sorry, back to the issue at

The russia thing is scary.  Yes, the aff has to at least offer the nuclear
reduction....but they can ask for anything they want in exchange for it.  KU
is salivating at the prospect of thirty five new NDT affs.

I understand that 3 is both bigger and smaller-yes it articulates exactly
what affs are topical (sort of, there will still be annoying, unrelated,
non-universal T debates), but it also adds relatively unrelated ground.  and
the uniqueness concern of Hoe in light of the agreement yesterday is valid.
The way Uniqueness debates are evaluated means any aff running this case is
at a huge advantage.  CEDA nationals on the China topic came down to
"pressure now."  Is that what we want again?  A whole year of Observation 4
nuclear agreements now?

Last random thing-I have done 7 resolutions.  Treaties-Ag.  Of those, only 1
had no element of a list (fossil fuels).  Treaties, Europe, Courts, Ag, and
Middle East were all pretty explicit lists.  China had elements of a list
(harms areas listed out).  Some were good, some were bad.

But can we recall a time.  Now some of you might remember this....in the
great long-long ago.  There were these debates about something called
"topicality."  it was a concept that part of debate is understanding and
comparing the analytic usefulness of certain terms and definition.  It
forced us to think about how differing opinions of words can effect the
substance of our activity.  It even meant that your skill level changed the
boundaries of the topic (the better you are at T, the more flexible you can
be on the aff....fossil fuels is a good example.  Sometimes when we were aff
we had a cap, sometimes we didn't....)  I LIKE the idea that your skill can
change the boundaries of the resolution.

Now we all share so many stories about the terrible T debates we judge (when
they actually occur).  Is it any wonder debaters don't know how to debate
topicality anymore?  Debating procedure is not educationally bankrupt, it
has tangible application to real world situations, ESPECIALLY in the
policy-making and legal fields.  Knowing how to stretch the boundaries of
what you can and cannot do is a good thing.

Yes i remember those days, though there weren't many of them.  Sometimes I
wish we could go back to the long-long ago. Back when we taught students
about debating things.  Remember when we weren't scared to debate things?
God those were the days.  As much as I want to vote for a list just so CTBT
affs don't have to debate topicality....no thanks.  I can think of better
criterion to organize an entire season around.

much love

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