[eDebate] Does the Debate community not care about limits anymore?

Paul Leader leaderdb8
Sun Jul 26 16:45:05 CDT 2009


By community norm, it is my perspective that the concept of "limits" has become obsolete,  with the increased popularity and acceptance of performative and critical affirmatives.  I think I agree with your general sentiment--that this is probably unfortunate.  During my brief three-year return to the activity, I judged a large number of debates where the affirmative "case," had nothing to do with the topic.  And, unfortunately, all too often one never heard the word "topicality," from the negative--even more rare that a negative team would try to actually stick the aff. with that issue.
So, I believe the new community "rule" is that you can talk about whatever you want to talk about, there is no normative standard or punitive sanction for the decision to simply ignore the resolution completely.  Given that, why worry about "tight" wording for a topic anymore.  As I read the resol., it requests that the aff. team include nuclear weapons in their discussion--that is about it.  And given that probably half of all affirmatives won't even bother with that.....well such is the squo of modern college debate

Date: Sun, 26 Jul 2009 17:10:10 -0400
From: nicholas.brady89 at gmail.com
To: edebate at ndtceda.com
Subject: [eDebate] Does the Debate community not care about limits anymore?

Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reduce the size of its nuclear weapons arsenal, and/or substantially reduce and restrict the role and/or missions of its nuclear weapons arsenal. 

With two "and/or" phrases in the resolution, I honestly am wondering if the community has no regards for limits anymore. I never really cared about limits because there is absolutely no way to control what people do (evidence of this can be seen in the recent success of performative/untopical debate), but I never thought the community would actually vote down limits. Basically there are three seperate areas of this resolution (size, role, and mission) and you can choose anything within these three areas or any combination of the three. That is one wide-open topic! So I am asking the debate community, was this a conscious decision to say "fuck limits" or is this the unfortunate consequence of wanting to deal with the seperate issues at hand?
Nicholas Brady
Johns Hopkins class of 2011
Africana Studies and Philosophy Double-Major

BSU Vice President
Co-Founder of Sowing Roots Mentoring Program
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