[eDebate] The CSIS Debaters Who Blog

JP Lacy lacyjp
Thu Sep 10 00:34:40 CDT 2009

Not really disagreeing:

Have you read their stuff? It makes more sense than the NYT, LAT, WP or 
"major news magazines" do.  I don't know if they make better arguments 
than "experts." But, I see a lot less overreaching, a lot more good 
arguments & a lot more documentation than the usual blog, or even news 
feed would contain.

Given almost equally good arguments, expertise or "authority" does come 
into play.

But, you can't ignore reality when an academic expert has been beaten, 
whether in "print" or in an un-evidenced speech delivered by a debater.

If someone makes an argument with limited warrants, debaters should be 
able to dissect & refute it...especially if the argument is wrong. Who 
cares about the authors qualifications?

Its hard to make "analytics" count as much as a card but, that is part 
of the game.

I hope we can teach debaters how to beat a bad argument quoted from the 
most qualified source imaginable.

We may need to work on that, but I hope that debaters in general become 
conversant enough in a subject matter to tell the "experts" when they 
are wrong.

Debate judging is part of the problem: How long will the "you are right, 
but they have a card" excuse last?

I hope no one uses similar reasoning in their daily decision making. We 
got rid of the parts of Stock Issues that made no sense. Why do we 
follow "argument from authority" to its extreme?

If a debater is right & an authority wrong, why do we keep rely on 

-- JP

ps: I don't get this whole "The blog is without authors" argument. 
Subscribe to the blog with an RSS feed & you'll see all the authors.

Jason Russell wrote:
> I couldn't disagree with Paul more about the qualifications of the
> CSIS interns. And I ironically enough think Josh makes an important
> point that helps my argument. I'll say this: they're not automatically
> unqualified, BUT citing this evidence as "CSIS Nuclear Topics Blog"
> would, in my opinion, overstate the role that either plays in the
> CSIS. Effectively, either of these folks is basically a Masters
> student without a completed degree, which is better than most
> journalists (probably not the NYT, LAT, WP, or major news magazines),
> but should not put them on par with true academic experts. This is not
> to say that their evidence should be ignored, but it is to say that,
> like Josh notes, they're probably not qualified to make the very
> specific claims they're making with the very limited warrants they
> provide in some places. I don't think that the guys tried to hide
> their qualifications, but I do think it would be disingenuous now to
> argue that this evidence is of top level quality or that insulating
> the evidence from interrogation by refusing to note that it was
> written by Warden and Jones is an attempt to hide a relevant fact to
> judging these cards' quality.
> J
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