Throwdown- Pics Bad

Throwdown with Scott Phillips

Throwdown with Scott Phillips

This post will be in more 1AR form than nuanced explanation.

Extend our offense- pics artificially inflate bad disads by creating any risk of a link analysis which skews research and pre round prep focus. We’ll defend the whole plan, but forcing us to defend isolated parts in a vacuum is unpredictable and doesn’t reflect real world literature. There is no logical limit to pics- they can change the scope or implementation of the plan in unpredictable ways.

AT: Fix your plan

-no plan is immune to pics, you can’t just “fix” it. Fixing involves making the plan as vague as possible like “provide water africa” a la the hooch 2 years ago that are bad for education.

AT: You were just defending consult

-This is a blog about switch side debate.

AT: Who runs these 1 penny counterplans

-Lots of people run CP’s like grandfather 10% of the permits that the aff is never prepared for, they have solvency advocates and people win on them.

AT: Solvency Advocates check

-Empirically denied- judges are unwilling to firmly hold the neg to this standard- just having a link card is usually good enough. Proliferation of internet blogs (and law review footnotes) allow cards to be found for anything

AT:If solvency advocates exist and net benefits exist, then maybe it’s a real question in the literature.

-“real question” does not equal- far and good for debate. There are lots of “real questions” like how are we going to pay for this that in debate we chose to ignore

AT:The counterplan tests whether the Aff would be a better idea if done slightly differently

-If your disad is not enough to outweigh the case, it sucks. Why should we give the neg a mechanism to make crappy arguments round winners? Sounds a lot like you are defending a K JC…

AT:The damage to the 2AC strategy is done? What strategy are you talking about?

-a good 2ac will not read offense solved by the pic because that would be a waste of time, if the negative then has the CP go away due to theory the aff is left without some of their best arguments

AT:Reciprocal – they inflate the solvency deficit to the same degree. If you can’t win that this outweighs the disad it means either the CP isn’t competitive or you deserve to lose.

-This is false- its easier to construe a net benefit with an impact “including roy in the HC provided by the plan is unpopular” then it is to win a solvency deficit “providing for roy is key to solve”.

AT:A strong 1NC barrage of defensive case arguments and DAs that turn the case accomplishes the same effect

-Yes it does, it takes 10X as much time as reading a 1 sentence cp text which makes it different

AT:This argument also justifies banning all CPs because they force you to make certain solvency deficit arguments and not others

-False, you can use your whole plan as offense against non plan inclusive cps

AT: This neg ability to focus on a specific part of the plan is justified by the aff ability to set the focus of the entire debate

-It does not logically follow that because the aff picked X the neg gets to pick a subset of X-this is a claim without a warrant

AT: See above – aff gets to choose their side in almost every PIC debate. “penny saved” counterplans aren’t viable because the neg can’t win that the DA outweighs the solvency deficit

-This is empirically denied- gfather example above, font pics, word pics, exclude a state, exclude a sub group like natives the list goes on an on

AT: Roy’s counterplans are stupid for reasons other than that they’re PICs, they’re either only textually or not competitive. This logic is the equivalent of banning DAs because you think politics is stupid

– you are hinting at some standard for competition that “only allows the good ones” but you conveniently leave it out because it doesn’t exist. This is the classic problem with PICS, one out of 100 is good/fair/the center of the debate about that aff- the rest are nonsense.

AT: “Using a different mechanism” is the same as a PIC+an additional plank

-No-  USFG do cap and trade vs Japan inject iron oxide into oceans. I think you are trying to say “including the agent makes it a pic” which I think is arguable- it includes none of the plan ACTION. I don’t think if a cp that has a different agent doing a different action includes 1 word or 1 letter or is in the same font as the plan that makes it a pic.

AT: the alternative energy PIC is an example of a “different mechanism” CP.

-Its the exact same mechanism, it just uses a different name


Running the net-benefit without the CP is overly constraining – proving that the plan is sub-optimal and that a viable, competitive alternative exists negates the aff. To answer this statement you’d have to argue neg fiat bad, and that (or even just no PICs) would regress us to 1960s, Greg Varley era debate where the aff always wins.

-It “overly constrains” bad arguments with low probabilities, true. PICS bad does not logically rely on no neg fiat, you have no warrant for that claim.


(to use a real world analogy, the argument that the fact that the plan is an improvement over the SQ is a sufficient reason to merit adoption would hold no water. see the health care debate – rational policymakers don’t adopt policies if better alternatives that are smaller than the plan exist. If the public option PIC succeeds, Obama loses.)

-Yes look at the real world- these kind of minor counter proposals suck and guarantee nothing ever gets done. But more importantly there are constraints in debate like the topic and time which make this model a bad one to import.

3 thoughts on “Throwdown- Pics Bad

  1. dylan

    “-No- USFG do cap and trade vs Japan inject iron oxide into oceans. I think you are trying to say “including the agent makes it a pic” which I think is arguable- it includes none of the plan ACTION. I don’t think if a cp that has a different agent doing a different action includes 1 word or 1 letter or is in the same font as the plan that makes it a pic.”

    the 1ar didn’t extend an interpretation.
    that is to ask, what counts as a PIC? if i’m reading this right, it’s the ACTION that is determinative. different agent and different action = not plan inclusive. not terribly controversial, but its also the most obvious. i’d assume given your emphasis on plan action that same agent different action is also not plan inclusive. which leads me to – what about agent cps? does that meet the “you can use you plan as offense” standard simply by virtue of being a really big pic?

  2. Scott Phillips

    This was addressed in the original post:

    “As per request, the next throwdown will be on pics bad. There can be a lot more nuance to this than consult I think- whether agent CP’s are pics, pics that compete off the text (word pics) vs the implementation (exclude native americans) etc. I will try and keep this as broad as reasonably possible.”

  3. Layne Kirshon

    how would you approach PICs bad in this instance/do u even think this is a PIC

    finals of the TOC last year, Bellarmine said RPS. Wminster said Carbon portfolio standard, which is kind of like a cap and trade, only w/out the cap and trade. regardless, it's a completely different mechanism where you get credtis for using carbon free tech instead of a set list of renewables.

    it's clearly textually a pic, but i think this is a good example of why every CP is probably a pic – it doesn't "include" any part of an RPS, and there's probably not an impact to both saying "portfolio standard"

    is this even a PIC, and if you were aff against it and were going for PICs bad, how would u answer every CP is a pic by this logic

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