[eDebate] The CSIS Debaters Who Blog

JP Lacy lacyjp
Thu Sep 10 00:42:12 CDT 2009

JP Lacy wrote:
> 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 
> authority?
> -- 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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