[eDebate] Response to Skarb's apologia.

Secret Admirer dragondangerdark6
Thu May 21 02:35:46 CDT 2009

An alternate take on the Skarb controversy

1) Nonunique: How many shoddy pieces of evidence have teams gotten away with
reading in the past? Binghampton whips out their "aliens solve nuke war"
cards every debate round without a bit of backchannel whining. Cards are cut
from blog posts without a second glance, but someone writes a policy article
and suddenly it's a controversy.

2) No impact: All the flaming on the edebate thread proves that no
reasonable coach/student would actually read evidence written by anyone
remotely connected to the debate community. "But oh, it degrades evidence
standards" - false, it's only degrading if students read it as evidence in a
round and win because of it. Please, someone point out a round that came
down to an essay and blog post by a high school debate coach. Oh right,
since most judges are themselves coaches, they'd actually be able to pick
this up by reading evidence at the end of a round, which would check any
"unfair advantage" teams could gain.

3) AT: alias: Obviously he used a different name, not because he needed an
upper hand, but because he's been around long enough to figure there would
be blood if he used his real name. I also find it hilario how the people
attacking the pen name email under aliases.

4) How many debaters can honestly say they haven't used the expertise and
evidence from the topic area to write papers in school? Fess up - everyone's
done it at some point. Used to be the goal of debate, right, to increase
education? People draw parallels to a BC kid who wrote a LOST column before
CEDA nats. He probably wrote it because he learned something from debate.

5) Reject the team in the round not the entire school/coach- If someone
actually read this mediocre evidence in a debate round, vote 'em down. But
that's not a reason to alltogether reject Skarb or the research of any
member of the community.

6) Policy debaters become policy makers. This used to be a truth, with good
evidence from John Rawls. But overzealous emailers whose knees go weak at
the first whiff of an in-house card start a war of words that prevents
debaters from becoming policy-makers. If every step at researching or
advocating something to influence actual decisions is unexpectadly met with
the Spanish Inquisition, how will students ever be able to progress from
members of this community to active and engaged citizens? The more stuff
like this happens, the more the outside world views policy debate as a gated
community with no purpose.

7) Timeskew: Instead of talking about the issues (the purpose of policy
debate) we're talking about how to talk about the issues, a big distraction
and a big waste of time. Hands up if you put off reading topic papers and
casting your ballots so you could sift through the email trail.

8) AT: "clearly written for debate purposes." Yeah, this evidence is soooo
good OMG! Take this sentence for instance: "As is the case with all public
policies, though, all else is not equal and one must ask if it is truly the
right time for the United States to embark on a project of such epic
proportions such as SBSP." I think Skarb is lying again. This evidence was
actually written by a 12 year old from Latvia on babelfish.yahoo.com.

And lastly,
9) There are no rules to debate. Get over it.
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