[eDebate] Paperless

Brad Hall hallbrad
Wed Jun 24 16:42:22 CDT 2009

I actually think that #1 is moot (or a benefit to paperless debating) --
while the points made by "Abers" are fair, there will be reduced time in: a)
finding that missing card that ends up under a tub and had to be printed off
again anyway, b) judges that use computers can all look at the cards at the
same time. This seems minor now, but consider the length of elim days,
particularly at the NDT when there are 5-7 judge panels. It is often
difficult to get too far into the decisionmaking process without reading
some key pieces of evidence, a process that can be sped up by putting it on
a jump drive/printing multiple copies. The other big time saver: not having
to move tubs between buildings. For example, at the Texas tournament, you
won't have to push your tubs up that giant hill in between the business
school and the six pack (which I'm pretty sure is named after Chris Thiele).
This is a giant pain -- borrowing carts, finding the cart Burshteyn stole
from you, moving to the building, looking for an elevator, carrying your
tubs up the stairs, etc. This should significantly speed up debates and
ensure they start on time (Harris excepted, of course).

#2 and #3 are dependent on the specifics of when teams exchange cards, etc,
the details of which I don't know, so (unlike my decisions) I won't act like
I know what I'm talking about. I would think it prudent to carry a small
laptop printer for special circumstances such as a curmudgeonly judge.

#4 is true on the need for three laptops, but not having to print/copy
files, ship/check tubs, rent larger/extra vans, buy supplies like carts and
printer ink, should make this a cost saver when you consider the rapidly
falling price of laptops. At best, it's moot and quality of life should be
improved by not having to move tubs and file/refile evidence (which I hear
is a pain but never personally experienced).

One very minor concern: if you transfer the cards to the other team
pre-speech, how frequently do debaters forget to "mark" the card on the
other team's e-copy?

Say la v indeed,


On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 2:09 PM, Abers <catspathat at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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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>>> >> http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
>>> >>
>>> >
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>>> >
>>> --
>>> Sent from my mobile device
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Brad Hall
hallbrad at gmail.com
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