[eDebate] Paperless

Abers catspathat
Wed Jun 24 16:09:14 CDT 2009

I don't really like it based on the debates I've had though most of my
concerns haven't been deal breakers with anyone else I've talked to (Glen
handles our money situation though so i can understand how it might be more
desirable if it means more teams can go to more tournaments). The reasons
here are some concerns I have/believe the community will have to face if we
adopt a (mostly) paperless debating system.

(1.) Longer debates -- maybe not the most devastating thing ever but rounds
will most certainly go longer with everyone shuffling evidence, loading
programs, and various computer glitches/crashes. 10-20 or even 25-30 extra
minutes per round on a 4 round day adds up.

(2.) Evidence comparison -- there's something to be said for having evidence
on separate pieces of paper that you can put over to the side to talk about
later in cross-x, or to bring up in a speech that just seems very difficult
to replicate w/ paperless debate. The team who's not giving the speech can
really only look at one piece of the opponents evidence at a time (two i
guess if you look over their shoulder but then there's people with huge
shoulders like shultz so you can't even count on that).

(3.) Evidence in general -- paperless debate requires a very good sense of
time and how much stuff you can actually read since (as far as i know at
least) you have to provide all the evidence for your speech ahead of time.
Since providing to little likely means wasted seconds flipping word docs
around looking for more stuff to read, there's a pretty strong incentive for
debaters to overestimate how much evidence they're going to read. While this
is really a minor inconvenience for the paperless team giving the speech
(just means you might show some evidence that you don't end up reading) it's
a huge pain in the ass for the other team as they frantically flip through
Word trying to decipher which evidence was read and which was not. I think
this problem could be reduced significantly if the community decided to more
strongly err against the '10 cards = one good card' equation but *say la v*.
(I guess also if there were a more reliable way to transfer evidence as you
go along that might resolve this issue too)

(4.) You need three laptops -- you do, you can't really assume everyone has
a laptop that you can jump cards onto and it seems like it's difficult to
have 1 team with 1 laptop leaving only one person to deal with the evidence
at a time. I'd be curious to see the cost breakdown for starting a debate
team w/ 3 laptops per team as compared to traditional paper evidence. Again,
I think many of the cost issues could be resolved by an overall reliance on
less and longer evidence

On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 12:34 PM, Andy Ellis <andy.edebate at gmail.com> wrote:

> I am not vehemetly opposed but if I where coaching I'd definitly coach
> students to resist the norming of it BA(l)mn
> On 6/24/09, Joshua Gonzalez <gonza310 at msu.edu> wrote:
> > Here's a better question -
> >
> > is there anybody that is vehemently opposed to paperless debate (I
> > will take as a given complaints by debaters regarding transitioning)?
> >
> > J
> >
> > On Jun 24, 2009, at 9:40 AM, Jarrod Atchison wrote:
> >
> >> Trinity is going paperless next year thanks to the amazing work of
> >> Hardy, Whitman, and Denver. The key for us was securing the third
> >> laptop per team.
> >>
> >> ~Jarrod
> >> _______________________________________________
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> >>
> >
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> --
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