[eDebate] Scouting "Rules"

JP Lacy lacyjp
Thu Oct 15 01:01:34 CDT 2009

Not really "rules," but proposed norms:

1. "Priority to Public." Priority goes to scouts who will share 
information publicly. Right now, that means posting stuff on the wiki. 
Scouts need to eliminate their assumption that "because someone is 
gathering cites, it will be shared." Often, there are people who gather 
cites or read evidence for their own purposes after a debate. This is 
fine, but the time it takes them to read & type cites trades off with 
those ready to do so for public consumption. The needs of the community 
far outweigh their concerns. As everyone is aware, there are certain 
power dynamics involved in cite gathering. Everyone should be aware of 
those dynamics & make sure that scouting for "squad only" or private 
purposes is a much lower priority. If a scout who won't agree to share 
is monopolizing pages, try to figure out how to share with them or alert 
a debate judge. Most judges will be willing to say that a scout who will 
share has priority.

2. "Scouts Honor." Don't say you'll share when you won't. Scouts have an 
obligation to get their stuff posted publicly as soon as they can. After 
all, its a shared resource. If there are several people waiting on the 
info you are gathering, obviously you should post it the moment you 
gather it. Just sign up for the wiki & edit it. If someone is a bit slow 
getting your cites posted, cut them some slack. They probably lost the 
cites or forgot.

3. Debaters. Many of you want to share your cites, exchange email 
addresses, then forget to. This is normal. We need to get better at 
combating it. If someone emails you for cites, put them on the wiki 
instead. It takes just as much time as email. If you don't like posting 
to the wiki, then email your stuff to me & I'll take care of posting it 
when I have time. If you get cites from someone, put them on the wiki. 
If you make an argument that someone finds "cite gathering worthy," then 
try to help them save time by using your own electronic files.

4. Other Protocol Issues. If a debater says "you can have our cites if 
you put it on the wiki," you should do so. Its called a deal. Maybe a 
contract. I've heard of some disagreements about this that could have 
been avoided if the people who agreed to post publicly would have 
followed through. Just do it right away or email your stuff to me & I'll 
get it posted...(No guarantee that I'll get it done fast enough to 
satisfy others.)

What is the reason for all of this?

Because "closed" scouting is worse for debate than open scouting. Closed 
scouting benefits the resource rich. Open scouting can make every debate 

How do I sign up for "the wiki?"

Easy. Go to opencaselist.wikispaces.com & click the "join" link in the 
upper right hand corner.

-- JP
lacyjp at wfu.edu

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