[eDebate] more questions about evidence

Josh jbhdb8
Wed May 13 13:07:19 CDT 2009


I believe, for the most part, what you were told is the majority community
norm.  I know at our camp and with the Michigan team we stress full
citations, qualifications, and that it should be reproduceable.  In
addition, when I hunt cites, the VAST majority of the cites I get back from
the big teams ALL meet the standards you refer to.

Two things....when I get an article that is NOT credible in citation
trading...I immediately write whoever sent me the citations and include the
card and the error and ask them to clarify.  While this might be annoying,
it also does let people know that people are paying attention.

Second, its possible for us as JUDGES to give weight to meaningful
discussion, in round, of the quality of evidence.  I remember back to a
debate one of my teams lost on the negative 2-1 against a CTBT case to an
add-on that claimed "warming is actually caused by testing heating
the earths core" from some random blog...Our debaters picked up the one
ballot  by challenging that cards lack of qualification/rationality.....I
have always thought if more judges would allow teams to call out evidence
that is ACTUALLY poor (not qualified, not reproduceable, not peer reviewed,
nonsensical, not warranted) this would be MUCH less of a problem.  However,
I do not mean this as a call for judge intervention...In my world, the
debaters would make a specific argument about why the card is bad, the team
would have a chance to respond, and then the judge could decide the issue
based on reading the evidence in light of that discussion.

Debaters often make those arguments but less like a specific attack and more
like an ad hominem.  Many debaters will not take the time trade-off because
in the end they believe the judge will decide "card better vs. press."  Many
judges don't care OR do care but do not want to be the one out of step with
our card heavy culture.

Ultimately, making it clear in your philosophy and/or significant
post-rounds that you do care about the quality of evidence and that this can
be an issue for debate will help.

Don't get too frustrated your coaches were right to teach you that way...and
you are right to teach and coach that way.....Lots of people agree with you
on this...LOTS of people!


On Wed, May 13, 2009 at 4:36 AM, Halli Tripe <hallitripe at gmail.com> wrote:

> I don?t mean to get up on a high horse or anything?. But I will say
> that I am saddened and frustrated by some of Richard?s responses.  I
> will start by saying that I didn?t really have a coach in high school,
> and thus I was taught how to cut cards by Gerber and Dave Cisneros
> once I entered college.  I remember cutting cards and then asking Dave
> ?how do I cite this??  Often he would say something like ?WTF website
> are you looking at!?  There is no date, no author? you can?t cite this
> because this website is crap!?  Maybe I learned how to cut cards from
> super-uptight people, but I don?t think that?s a bad thing?..
> Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of people/teams don?t seem to have
> the same mentality.  I have seen cards in debate rounds that are
> barely readable/legible (ie. they were written by a 2nd grader or were
> very poorly translated via google-translator) and the cards pass as
> legitimate evidence.  I agree that in an ideal world we would all be
> good enough debaters to call this crap out.  However, some people are
> clever enough in their citations to somehow make the sources seem
> legitimate.  For example, if I cut a card from the comments of an
> article and cite it ?NY times, ?09??.is that legit?  In an example
> from the Skarb article, can I cite the comment ?Ornstein 09??  As a
> debater, I was always under the impression that what Dave and Gerber
> told me was the community norm, but apparently I was wrong.  All along
> it seems that I had a higher evidence standard than a lot of people
> (is this true!?!?).  When I look at it from a pessimistic lens, I
> probably lost a few round because of it.
> I fully acknowledge that the questions I am getting at are NOT ?you
> were unethical? accusations or anything of the like?. but at some
> points it is borderline.
> Inappropriately citing cards is REALLY BAD research/scholarship at
> best, and can be sketchy at worse.  You might ask ?yeah, but why would
> you??  ???. Well, the reason why people MIGHT is that people can post
> stupid stuff (but good debate arguments) in the comments, but then
> cite the evidence as ?qualified publication, ?09? and get away with it
> in debate rounds.
> I realize that all of these questions are borderline, and probably
> context dependent.
> So my question is this?. Should I:
> a)      Stop worrying about such silly distinctions and cut really
> bad/sketchy evidence because everybody else is doing it, and that?s
> what it takes to win?. Or,
> b)      Keep cutting evidence that is reputable and would pass the ?laugh
> test? but risk losing from sketchy evidence from the other team?
> It is really sad that this is what the activity is coming to??but I at
> least want to know what the consensus is so that I can cut terrible
> evidence without feeling guilty.
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