[eDebate] The CSIS Debaters Who Blog

Paul Johnson paulj567
Wed Sep 9 14:55:23 CDT 2009

Just a couple thoughts:

I don't understand why we think that the debate community is somehow hermetically sealed from the outside world of knowledge production. The idea of having concerns about "debaters" writing cards can be turned on its head: in Soviet Russia, debate produces knowledge! Less colloquially, we might consider the possibility that if we really believe in the ol' debate project and some of our best and our brightest are writing on the blog at a respected think tank, instead of recoiling in fear that they are "writing cards" we might instead acknowledge that what they are producing is actually the sort of education/research that we (especially the committed framework types) have so often exclaimed debate SHOULD produce.

Basically, the people who are blogging at the CSIS aren't changing the contours of the debate topic. Rather, debate is changing the contours of what the CSIS is working on. At the very least, they are mutually informing areas of knowledge and separating them out isn't an easy task. The eight years of debate (or so, give or take, I dont know them personally very well) that each has are literally informing what they're doing it, how they're doing it, and why they're doing it. So while it may seem like John Warden or Chris Jones is at the CSIC "writing cards", there's not really a need to think about this practice as somehow "special" and that the debate community should be insulated from such intervention. Instead, read what they're doing as evidence of the salutary (or deleterious, depending on your perspective) effects of participation in highly competitive intercollegiate debate.



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