Monthly Archives: September 2009

3NR Podcast Prep

The second 3NR podcast is going to be recorded tonight with Bill joining us on this one.

If you have any questions you want answered, something discussed etc please post them in a comment below or e-mail them to me at .   Hopefully you all enjoy podcast 2.


Ryan Ricard: "You are about to be hit by a bus"

Ryan Ricard–author of the excellent debate blog Lucy does some ‘splaining–has posted a wonderful article about the dilemma that we all face as high school debate coaches.

The more I coach debate and talk to others in the activity, the more I come face-to-face with a disconcerting reality. You, me and everyone else who coaches debate is about to be hit by a bus.

By “A bus” I mean any one of the long list of eventualities that could suddenly force you out of the activity. Between new jobs, grad school, law school, funding cuts, and even the actual miniature human beings that are in the care and protection of some of us, our lives as debate coaches is short. Even for the lucky ones of us who are able to make debate part of our “day job,” our activity is subject to forces far out of our control.

In some ways we as a community are victims of our own success. As we give students the tools to advance in debate, we also open up access to far-off schools, high-power careers, and the kind of fulfilling life that is incompatible with coaching debate. Of course this is a natural process, the very reason that we are willing to do so much for the activity in the first place. It’s a good problem to have.

Unfortunately, it means we are sowing the seeds of our own destruction. we can’t ignore this reality, and absent some major changes to the public education system we can’t make it go away.

The conclusion that I’m becoming convinced of is that we need to embrace it. We need to embrace the bus that is careening toward us and do everything we can to help the activity before it hits us. I’m not entirely sure what this means yet, but there are already a few things that I’ve started to see differently about debate.

I don’t really have anything to add… Ryan nailed it. Read the whole article.

Reps K bad- The Wire Version

Although racism is endemic to neoliberal governmentality, The Wire recognises that anti-racism is hegemonic now. This is no mere superstructural or ideological rhetoric, but present, if unevenly, in the discourses and practices of institutions and society more generally. If in the analysis of race we examine the representations of the black characters in the series we get very quickly get caught in an undecidable bind: arguably the series shows a diverse and complex range of African-American characters, yet the depictions are reducible racial stereotypes (positive or negative). The limitations with an analysis of the politics of representation is that it remains confined to a struggle over media representation. In this approach, television series are analysed as texts that are politically interpreted in isolation of the matrix of social affect, information and desire. ‘Realism’ and ‘authenticity’ become the only sites for debates over racial meaning and power. The affective dimension of race in the circuits of knowledge and information across the series and audiences; for instance, in the grain of the voices of the Baltimore accents or in the coded communication of the street corners, need analysis.

Recordings From The Greenhill Round Robin and Fall Classic

I have started to record (most of) the debates that I judge with a small digital audio recorder. For the most part, the resulting audio files are relatively small (around 70MB for a complete round) and acceptably clear. While I initially began recording debates for my own purposes (in my infinite geekdom, I like to re-listen to debates that I have judged and RFDs that I have given so that I can improve the quality of my judging), it has become clear after talking with debaters and coaches that there is a very high demand for me to share these files publicly. As a result, I will be uploading them to my Mediafire account and linking to them from The 3NR. I can envision several uses of these recordings:

  1. If you are one of the debaters that has been recorded, you can listen to yourself debate. The benefits of this should be self-evident, but it is especially helpful to listen to yourself in tournament competition.

  2. If you are the coach of one of the teams that has been recorded, you can listen to your students debate. Again, it is particularly helpful to listen to them in tournament competition.

  3. If you are not personally involved in the debates, you can use them as teaching or learning tools. Using these recordings to practice flowing, for example, would be a great way to make your flowing drills more interesting and relevant to the topic.

I’m sure there are other uses—feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Finally, an obligatory disclaimer: if you are involved in one of the debates and for whatever reason you do not want it posted, please send me an email. It is not my intention to harm anyone—legally, emotionally, or otherwise. Based on the feedback I received at Greenhill, it seems like most people are on-board with this project. If you’re not, please don’t hate me for trying to be helpful.

Without further ado, five recordings from the Greenhill Round Robin and eleven recordings from the Greenhill Fall Classic are available below the fold.

Continue reading

Firefox Add ons- From Gulakov

Hey everyone, if you liked using this and have any questions/suggestions/troubles, you can email me at or AIM me at cloudheat16.

Here’s what I use that’s directly related to online research.

fasterfox – makes webpages “endless”, so you don’t have to click “Page 2″ in some news articles or search results, you just keep scrolling; also lets you search google right from the url bar: the dropdown combines your visited sites history with the top results from google right as you type, so you never even have to visit google. make sure you disable “Auto Copy Selected” (for compatibility with Debate Copy) and maybe disable that annoying text popup bubble

evernote – lets you clip and save notes of anything. you should install both the software program and the addon. in the program options, you can assign a hotkey like F6 and that will clip either the selected text or the website to your notebook. I use it to organize literally everything I find; you can search, organize, or go back to original source later.

feedly – it makes RSS simple. subscribe to your favorite websites and it gives you a daily digest. I think it’s organized better than Google Reader

pdf download – you can set it to either ask you to download & open the PDF or load it as text in your browser.

LibX – puts links in Google Scholar results to my university library; you can also reload a page of a commercial database you find through google- like sagepub or jstor- through your university proxy. you should download it from your university website. use the addon “Menu Editor” to remove the annoying context menu entries it adds

readitlater – saves webpages for offline viewing. you can set it to automatically backup everything you add to it. I don’t use it anymore, but when I went places without reliable internet access I used it to backup the online caselist and maybe a few articles.


If you are an IE or Chrome user and would like to use the Save Google Books feature, right click on any bookmark, select “Properties” or “Edit”, and change the URL to the code below. Press it while on a Google Books page to open a popup with the page image at the highest resolution possible.

Debate Firefox Add on

Alex Gulakov has written a firefox add on that is pretty kick ass, you can download it here

It will let you do a lot of useful things, but the 2 best in my opinion are

-organize google news results in a way that automatically formats a debate cite for you

-copy out of google print without having to use an extra program- and this appears to produce a much higher quality image than screen capture software.


3nrpodcastSo the friday mailbag was kind of a disaster, hopefully this will work out better.  Scott, myself and Bill (if we can locate him, he goes AWOL more then hippies during a draft) are going to be doing a 3nr podcast.  The format is undecided currently.  It could be a weekly thing or just a whenever we feel like it but more importantly we want to hear questions you all want answered to be part of the podcasts.  So if you have anything you want asked, discussed etc please e-mail me at or and we’ll try to get to deal with them in our first podcast that should be produced soon.