There Are In Fact Stupid Questions

And stupid people who ask them.

1. What does dispositionality mean? If you are asking this question, or are answering with anything other than “if you make a permutation or a theory argument other than dispositionality bad we can kick the cp” you are stupid. I don’t know when or where someone had the idea that it was ok to just make this mean whatever you want it to mean like “if you read only offense” or “if you straight turn the net benefit” but I would bet it happened in stupidville.  The meaning if dispo is logical- it stems from the idea of opportunity cost. Since competition is the link to the cp, if you challenge the link we can kick it just like if u challenge the link to a disad and then impact turn it. So from now on, if someone asks “what is the status of the CP” instead of saying “its dispo” say “its stupid and arbitrary nonsense-acality”.

2. “What is the status of (any part) of the K”. Once someone reads a K it should be obvious that they are a sneaky trickster and you should be making theory arguments anyway. Even if the alternative is “unconditional” that doesn’t mean anything because even though they are stuck going for “it”, the “it” they go for in the 2NR will bear little/no resemblance to the “it” of the 1NC cx. Please stop wasting all of our lives. I did some math:

I judge around 130 debates a year (excluding camp which would make this ridiculous).

50% involve a K= 65.

I would say at least 1 minute is spent in those debates cxing or asking during prep time about the alternative, so say 65 minutes (this is conservative).

Things I would rather do with that hour

-watch an episode of Golden Girls and Keeping up with the Kardashians back to back

-Have my tonsils removed sans anesthesia

-be hunted by another human a la the most dangerous game

-be warmed by the innards of a tonton while Han set up the shelter, and I thought they smelled bad on the outside…

That means every year I am wasting an hour of my life listening to inane cross x questions that are totally unnecessary. So for everyone out there, I will answer them all now

“Does the alternative solve the case?” -Obviously not chuckles, but we will make a string of stupid arguments about why it does and you will drop them

“who is the agent of the alternative”- I can’t tell you till the 2NR because I don’t know what the alternative will be untill then- but probably everyone on earth holding hands, so I would say all hands.

“what is the status of the alternative” -Its “dropisitional”- if at any point you drop a 2 word argument about the alternative we will then claim u dropped our floating pic/fiat world peace/make war impossible alternative”


3. Does your link assume….- no , it obviously doesn’t assume anything let alone your plan. This applies to all disads/anything with a link. If links assumed things we could just insta sign all ballots neg and dispense with the silly debates. Obviously no cards talk about anything becasue debate is contrived and stupid.

4. “what does your 1NC have to say about this 2AC argument”- no explanation needed.

5.  Silly rhetorical questions used to begin a K- again, no explanation needed.

16 thoughts on “There Are In Fact Stupid Questions

  1. Ellis Allen

    Why is it stupid to ask the status of the alternative? I don’t really see your point on #2 besides bad K debates are torture. Obviously most K teams are going to do something sneaky/illegit, but I don’t see any harm in asking the status of the alt. If it’s conditional, then there’s the possibility of going for or at least wasting their time with a conditionality bad debate. If it’s dropositional or something contrived, then at least you know what kind of arbitrary distinction they’ll make it you read your conditionality bad block. I think the alternative to asking would be to give up on the opportunity for that theory argument or to read it anyway and find out that the alt is actually dropositional.

  2. Michael Antonucci

    “If you are asking this question, or are answering with anything other than “if you make a permutation or a theory argument other than dispositionality bad we can kick the cp” you are stupid.”

    In that case, I am probably stupid, Mr. McGrumperstein. My view differs.

    1. There’s no reason that theory arguments should give the negative the ability to kick the counterplan. This view of dispositionality

    a. perversely incentivizes abusive counterplanning. If you do something dumb, you get a special backdoor condo bonus – you just have to make sure you abuse the aff. twice.

    b. doesn’t logically flow from your correct and intelligent characterization of dispositionality:

    “The meaning if dispo is logical- it stems from the idea of opportunity cost. Since competition is the link to the cp, if you challenge the link we can kick it just like if u challenge the link to a disad and then impact turn it.”

    I agree, but that logic doesn’t include “theoretical legitimacy” as a precondition to the counterplan’s salience as an opportunity cost.

    2. “If you make a permutation…” allows for another stupid debate trick. Include an overtly non-competitive plank that forces the aff to perm, then hey presto – you have your condo backdoor because they said the word “perm.”

    Of course, this is idiotic. It stems from the standard cross-x answer, which was stupid from the outset. Dispositionality is an opinion on what establishes a counterplan’s relevance, NOT – in any sane and rational world – some playground bargain in which we get to play foursquare as long as you don’t whip the ball at me again.

    The actual correct answer:

    “Dispositionality means that counterplan competition is a precondition to its relevance. If you prove that parts of the counterplan are non-competitive, then the non-competitive parts are no longer a component of the cost-benefit calculation.”

    Of course, this answer isn’t the most strategic. It is, however, more correct than some convoluted set of conditions for “take backs.” I think your stated conditions fall prey to some of the tendencies you criticize.

  3. Scott Phillips


    You can make the theory argument without asking.

    1. The theory argument disproves the CP as a legitimate argument, much like “fiat takes out the link” on politics. Clearly the neg would have to win it is not a voting issue, not just kick the cp, just like when kicking politics in above example.
    2. Permutations to do the plan + ridic plank would not be justification for kicking the rest of the CP

  4. campbellhaynes

    Do the questions you mock at the end of your post (Does does the alt solve the case, specifically) become okay if they’re asked during c-x of the 2NC, assuming the 2N takes the K? It seems to me some of those questions, when the word how is used at the beginning, are important ones that need to be asked and can make the 1AR’s job much easier. Pointing out issues of agent/how the alt turns or solves the case should be an important part of any C-X on an extended K, IMO.

  5. Michael Antonucci



    a. Even if that’s the case, that’s not dispositionality – according to your own quote below. I think your argument below it is better.

    b. Your analogy (the only identifiable warrant) is inapt. It’s also blatantly rigged – I mean, yes, if they say it “takes out” then it is probably a “take out.” Score one for tautology?

    If, however, the aff argues that the disad’s model of fiat makes debates unfair and bad, and therefore demands a VI impact, I absolutely don’t think the neg gets to “grant” that to kick the disad. They’re granting an implicit argument that the aff never made. It’s not even a logical necessity.

    The neg would need to independently assert and prove that theoretical legitimacy should be rewarded with a condo backdoor.

    Absent condo, you commit to your dumb advocacy even if it’s dumb. “Stupid” and “illegitimate” is NOT a synonym for “non-competitive” or “irrelevant.”

    c. You definitely didn’t answer the part about the perverse incentive, and I’m all about those.

    2. I agree, but that wasn’t what you said. You said “if you make a permutation, we can kick the CP.” Therefore, that is not the correct CX answer.

  6. Roy Levkovitz

    You miss the point on this stuff, its not that those arguments cannot be used effectively, its more that the neg is never going to be USFG FIATS or ALT Does the plan (unless its a floating pic) the point of what scott is trying to say (I could be wrong but unlikely) that asking those questions are a waste of time because you know the answer to those questions. The al is never fiated by an actor. You should be using the time indicting how the alt can solve without spending time asking questions like do you do the plan. Ask yourself how this cross-x goes down 99.9 percent of the time, you correctly pointed out Ks can’t be done by an agent and they’ve restated what the alt is, what’s changed in this 40 seconds or minute?


  7. Rajesh Inder Jegadeesh

    I am ready to duel dragons on question number 3–the majority of K links that were thrown out against us when we read Iter were wrong or straight up backwards (We were a coop to prevent miscalc aff that went up vs Security K’s, peaceful use and infinite energy vs Bataille, scientific egalitarianism vs cap, etc.). We asked those questions in the cross-x of the 1NC and, lo and behold, gave credence to a perm or case solves link arg.

    You may say, “but they will respond with foofy nonsense, meaning you wasted your time.” But i do believe a wise man once said “you are not Matlock,” you don’t need a confession. Rather, setting up that ambiguity/clear BS of the K (“but the IDEA that you have to start with the state..”) without a definite answer is a good thing–there is nothing that everyone from Jim Shultz to Jason Peterson hates more than a K that is too abstract and arbitrary, and imprinting that in their minds in the first few minutes of when it was introduced goes a long way into the 2AR.

  8. Scott Phillips

    K people,

    You don’t need to ask the obvious. If the K solves the case, the neg should have made an argument about it- if you are paying attention this question is unnecessary. Why do you need to ask “does x assume”- if it doesn’t, just say “x doesn’t assume”, then the judge calls X and says “oh hey, they were right, X doesn’t assume”. This is not complex stuff.


    Stop being a total nit. Obviously I did not espouse a total theoretical dissertation in my small rant about stupid answers to “what is dispo”.

  9. Michael Antonucci

    You said “this is the correct answer and all others are stupid.”

    “If you are asking this question, or are answering with anything other than “if you make a permutation or a theory argument other than dispositionality bad we can kick the cp” you are stupid.”

    Your actual answer, however, is wrong. Strategic, in the same sense as all the args you mock – but wrong.

    You pre-emptively called a bunch of high schoolers morons. Sheesh. You get no leeway when you open that way.

  10. Scott Phillips


    I did not know you were the scrutiny/unnamed high schooler self esteem police. If you don’t like the tone of the blog might I suggest

    Your theory argument objection is nonsensical- if the politics disad is not a legitimate argument it goes away- whether or not its illegitimacy constitutes a voting issue is another matter. That does not make the politics disad “conditional”. Same with “pics bad” vs a dispo cp. It doesn’t need to be a tautology, your point there is irrelevant. If the aff says “politics disads are illegit- fiat tests should, this disad is about would” they did not say “take out”. You are being a total nit in this and other points. It’s not like I am unwilling to argue with your responses to this and the other blog- its just tedious to read through your debate history 101 updates and needlessly nitpicky irrelevant points.

    If you have multiple cp planks then you have run multiple op cost da’s- defense to one does not allow you to kick the other. Similarly, if you read 3 politics links in the 1NC and the aff doesn’t straight turn one, you can kick out of it, whether or not you can kick the rest of the disad is a separate issue.

    And you miss the point that nothing you have said has proven those answers are not “stupid”.

  11. Michael Antonucci

    I think we can agree to disagree on the value of intellectual humility. I like it and you don’t. ‘Nuff said. I don’t feel like engaging the chest thumping or ad homs, especially as I tried hard to praise the praiseworthy parts of your post. (If you dislike my posts, no one’s quizzing you on them later?)

    My argument isn’t nonsensical, although you’re welcome to disagree with it.

    Illegitimate arguments may or may not “go away.” However, teams are obligated to articulate and defend their view of the impact. When I say “that’s abusive” I certainly didn’t grant that you should get to kick it.

    Dispo doesn’t inherently imply that abusive args disappear. I also think they shouldn’t. Negatives shouldn’t receive a strategic benefit for doing something abusive. The affirmative should be able to argue that a counterplan is abusive, but also a bad policy option with which the negative’s stuck (if dispo’s meaningful at all.) An abusive argument is still meaningful as an opportunity cost, and thus relevant to the aff.

    We largely agree on the function of perms in dispo. However, that’s not what you initially touted as the “one correct answer.” That required revision, and I honestly didn’t realize that you were such a frail and delicate blossom.

    I proposed an alternate answer to the C-X question which is less stupid than your answer. It’s less strategic, of course, but your answer is less strategic than the ones you deride.

  12. campbellhaynes

    @Roy Levkovitz

    I agree (and I think I agreed in my original post). My point was that questions of agent/alt solvency can be effective ways to indict 2NC impact calc in the c-x of the 2NC on the K.

  13. Michael Antonucci

    Whatever. I made some args about dispo, and I think they’re right. If you’d phrased your post differently, I’d have gone easier on you. Pass on the flamebait. Kthxbai.

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