The Return of The 3NR Podcast: Episode 9

After an extended holiday hiatus, The 3NR Podcast returns today for its ninth episode with a lengthy and wide-ranging discussion of topics including:

  • A Judging Hypothetical (from Rajesh Jegadeesh)
  • Do Dropped Advantages Need To Be Explicitly Extended in the 2AC/1AR?
  • Rounds We Judged Together At The Glenbrooks
  • Non-Sensical Plan Writing and Plan-Inclusive Counterplans
  • Disclosure Norms Regarding New Plan Texts
  • Research Techniques (in regard to the Crowd-Sourcing Threads)
  • Specific vs. General Critique Responses
  • Impact Turns Alongside Critiques As A Negative Strategy
  • Switch-Side Debate and the Hicks and Greene Evidence

As always, you can download this episode directly or access it (soon) through iTunes.

15 thoughts on “The Return of The 3NR Podcast: Episode 9

  1. Dylan

    In the quarter's debate against Lexignton, if I remember correctly, I think Batterman and Dana decided that their epistemology ev. just said that capitalists lack any empirical basis for their arguments. But, because our alt d./growth good scenarios were based off of empirical examples, the epistemology arg wasn't responsive.

  2. Austin

    Hypothetical – The aff should be able to extend the offense –

    1. Strategic concessions – debaters should kick out of DAs because they have to learn how arguments interact, which is educational and good for logical debate.

    2. 2AC arguments are conditional – the aff should have the ability to test the DA at multiple levels in the 2AC and then collapse down in the 1AR – the aff shouldn’t have to defend the impact defense for the entirety round – just like the neg gets to kick a CP, the aff should get to kick an impact defense argument.

  3. Bill Batterman Post author


    "2AC arguments are conditional". All of them? Hypothetical: 1NC says politics—plan kills climate bill, it's good b/c it decreases warming. 2AC says (1) n/u and link turn, plan key to climate bill passage and (2) climate bill bad. 2NC says "that's a double-turn – plan causes something bad to pass".

    Can 1AR say "2AC arguments are conditional—we'll only go for the n/u and link turn, not the impact turns"?

  4. Austin

    They are different hypotheticals

    1. the second has directly contradicting arguments – in the first hypothetical – the link turn and the impact defense do not necessarily contradict.

    2. in the second hypothetical – the 2nc strategically conceded something

  5. Bill Batterman Post author

    I'm assuming your answer to the 1AR hypothetical is "no"—if so, I don't think the distinctions you're trying to make are good ones.

    1. Contradiction—why does the contradiction matter if "2AC arguments are conditional"? And more importantly, what is a "contradiction"? The link turn and impact turn don't contradict—both can be true (the plan could cause the climate bill to pass and the climate bill could be bad). A contradiction requires mutual exclusivity: it cannot be true that the plan causes the climate bill to pass and prevents the climate bill to pass, for example.

    2. Strategic Concession—again, why is verbalizing "we concede this argument" distinct from the tacit concession a team makes by failing to respond to it?

    Returning to the original Rajesh example, the 2AC has made two claims: that the plan prevents bioterror and that there is no impact to bioterror. The 1AR cannot "take back" the latter claim—they are certainly free to extend their argument that the plan prevents bioterror, but based on the arguments made in the debate this impact is not relevant. For the purposes of determining whether there is an impact to bioterror or not, the negative's *implicit* concession of the takeout is equivalent to an *explicit* concession because in both instances the truth value of the affirmative's argument is accepted.

    The only circumstance in which the 1AR would be justified in "kicking" the impact takeout is if we accept a strong version of affirmative conditionality, something you appeared to do in your initial comment. But that model fails in the face of the hypothetical I shared regarding the climate bill, I think. And if I'm right, then this philosophy of strong affirmative conditionality should be judged invalid.

  6. Austin

    Obviously, my answer is no.

    The main distinction between the two hypotheticals is that one involves the 2nc/1nr explicitly conceding an argument. The difference between an implicit and explicit concession is that the explicit concession creates a more educational and strategic form of debate. The implicit concession encourages a lazier form of debate.

    The form of aff conditionality that should be allowed is the kind I talked about in the first post, as long as the negative has the option to explicitly conceded the arguments in the 2ac.

    The explicit concession forces the affirmative to defend the argument(s) they made because now it is considered to be true. Thus, in your hypothetical, they would have to defend that they causes climate to pass and also climate is bad. In the instance of the implicit concession, the 1ar can choose not to extend the impact takeout and revert back to the 1nc impact and still extend the impact turn. The negative should be forced to defend “bioterror causes extinction” absent some sort of recognition of a contradictory claim i.e. “bioterror does not cause extinction.” The 2nc could concede that bioterrorism doesn’t cause extinction, but they don’t, so they still have to defend bioterrorism causes extinction. When the 1ar extends the link turn, they could conceded the 1nc impact as a recognition that their impact defense is wrong, and then only go for the link turn.

  7. Rishee Batra

    I think the third thing we did to get bonus speaks was going for theory on the aff (agent cp's bad and intrinsicness)

  8. Charlie Rafkin

    This is sort of related to the hypothetical – absent relevant argumentation about why the offense should be discounted, if the 1AR extends the not unique and link turn on the dropped DA and the neg never touches the 2AC impact defense during the debate, even the 2NR, should the judge still consider the impact mitigated by the defense in the 2AC? Rephrased, the question really is: is it the neg burden to point out that the aff shouldn't be able to access the offense because in the 2AC they put impact defense on it?

  9. Rett

    I think the most interesting part of the hypothetical discussion is the example of a 2ac double turn. Until that was mentioned I was pretty undecided about whether or not explicit concessions were necessary. Interestingly, I think the double turn example demonstrates why concessions DO need to be explicitly made by the negative. In scott/bill's model where implicit concessions are sufficient it seems the negative could avoid mentioning the double turn in the block, ensuring the 1ar makes no response/argument/comparison to try to mitigate it or somehow win the debate in another way, and then still make it the deciding issue in the 2nr. Even further, it seems as if in a debate where neither the negative nor the affirmative ever mentioned the double turn again after the 2ac, if the rebuttals were close to each other in terms of impact control and comparison, a judge operating within the "implicit concessions model" could vote on the double turn as a "tie-breaker" even though it was never mentioned after the 2ac. That can't be good for strategic thinking/etc. For all the judge knows the negative didn't even realize a double turn occurred – but they should win on it? For that reason I think concessions should be explicitly made by the negative. It doesn't take long for a 2nc/1nr to go to a flow and concede some defense to kick out of something, and it prevents the issue discussed above.

  10. Rufus Coates Welsh

    Lexingtons analogy was about dodging bullets, if I remember correctly. The point was along the lines of "as as hard as you try, you'll always get hit by one"

  11. Ryan Galloway

    Cross-posted on CEDA Forum in reply to Mosely-Jensen’s post on implicit concessions:

    Before I get started, I loved the 3nr podcast.

    I agree with Will in this specific instance, however, I think judges should be very cautious about doing the specific “this is implicitly conceded” work for the debaters. I’ll go through some specific commentary and examples, but start by saying that the reason I agree with Will is because the 2nr responded by pointing out that the AFF had already answered the impact to the link turn. I’m wary of the judge “doing that work for the debaters” which seems to be somewhat implied by Will’s post and Scott’s commentary on the 3nr.

    Overview: Debaters learning and understanding argument interaction is important. Ergo, encouraging debaters to explicitly concede arguments is a valuable skill. In addition, argument interaction is not always implicit or obvious. I’ve lost important debates when judges made assumptions about arguments that I had blocked answers to, which is frustrating as a debater.

    The line-by-line:
    In Will’s specific example, the part that troubles me the most is that the AFF tried to “resurrect” an argument they had answered. IE, the 1ar went all the way back to the 1nc to get an impact back that the AFF had answered. Given that the 1ar is “reaching across two speeches,” it seems perfectly OK to me for the Negative to “reach back across two speeches” to point out that the argument had been answered. Indeed, it seems that this concept of cross-applying unanswered arguments is more on point than the debate about implicit versus explicit concessions.

    This is the hypothetical I’m worried about. I’m worried about a judge “connecting the dots for the negative.” Let me be specific.

    I see a fair number of debates where the negative “kicks a disad wrong.” I judged one at Texas where the neg tried to concede non-uniques to get out of a link-turned disad. Now, the 2ac HAD MADE IMPACT TAKE-OUTS, but the 2nc conceded the disad on non-uniques. When the AFF went for the straight turn in the 1ar, the 2nr did not point out that the AFF had also read impact take-outs, and the AFF went for the straight turn. I gave the straight turn to the AFF.

    In a sense, the AFF went for shenanigans. They had answered the impact earlier in the debate. However, I think it rewards understanding argument interaction if the negative fails to capitalize on conceding the defense in the debate. I probably would have been OK with the 2nr pointing out that the impact had been answered, because it would reward the negative’s understanding of argument interaction. However, I don’t want to, as a judge, “do the work for the negative” and point out after the fact to the AFF that they don’t have an impact to their link turn even though the neg had two opportunities (2nc/2nr) to deal with this. Will may or may not agree with me on this claim, but I feel this is important, because I’m worried that judges will become too “activist” in implicit concessions.

    In his 3nr podcast, Scott Phillips argues that it’s kinda boring and tedious to watch the negative have to concede defense on disads. I agree, it is tedious, and we’ve probably had 100+ debates in our careers and a 1000+ as judges where the neg has to do it. At the same time, understanding argument interaction is an important skill. As tedious as it can be (especially in upper-level debates) to have to say “concede the impact take-outs,” it’s one of those debate conventions I’m willing to accept in the name of the skill of understanding argument interaction (which can be very difficult for younger debaters especially to learn). Heck, I’ve won elims at national tournaments when the neg conceded a disad wrong. Executing their way out of turned disads is an important skill for the negative.

    Now let me address two other implicit concession hypotheticals…
    Intriguingly, Will’s post reminds me of his last debate. This is a scenario I recall from this debate.

    1ac for AFF has an environment advantage.
    1nc reads general bio-diversity take-outs.
    2ac reads a K turn impacted with environment/impact internal to card is extinction.
    2nc link turns this argument, reading evidence from Dyer-Witherford (the AFF author of this card) that Dyer-Witherford would vote neg and that the K alt solves the environment.
    1ar only answers this at link level (we’re right, K alt destroys environment)
    2nr goes for turn to environment, leverages as net benefit to K alt (i.e. if security debate is a tie, environment is tie-breaker, terminal is extinction).
    2ar goes back to the 1nc bio-diversity take-outs to take out environment net benefit.

    I thought this was 2ar shenanigans. The 2ar was conceding take-outs to an impact that the 2ac read. The AFF had not initiated the argument in the 1ar that the 1nc bio-diversity take-outs took out the environment impact, and besides THE ENVIRONMENT IMPACT WAS AN ARGUMENT THE AFF INITIATED. However, one of the judges thought that was a fine cross-application, and zapped the environment net benefit to the K.

    I’m concerned that in a world of “implicit concessions” the 2ar may get away with too much, and/or the judge may connect the dots after the debate is over. I at least want to hold the AFF to a standard that the NEG gets to answer so called “implicit concessions”.

    Three examples from my debate career where I would be concerned about “implicit concessions.”
    Scenario 1: “New but true:” We lost a ballot at the NDT my senior year in a round where the judge voted on a new 2ar argument to answer our link that was “just true.” The card we read was that congressional/court fights undermined court legitimacy. The new 2ar argument was that our card only assumed a fight initiated by the court, not the congress (plan = Congress). This link (read in the 1nc) was unanswered until the 2ar argument in question.

    However, perhaps it was “implicit” in the argument from the word go that this was “true.” The trouble is, we had a link extension block that answered this argument on point. We lost a judge on a “true” argument that was not so very “true” if we had the chance to answer it. A world of implicit concessions may empower judges to connect dots on issues that may seem superficially true, but are false.

    Scenario 2: “Your cards assume Eastern Europe:” Lost in a huge upset in Round 2 at Wake my senior year where the judge said all of our cards assumed Eastern Europe democracy modeling, whereas our link didn’t assume modeling in Eastern Europe. I was pretty upset, because going back to my file, there is a block labeled:

    “Answers to: These cards are talking about Eastern Europe” with the next two paragraphs of the Falk book it came from talking about how this was generally true in emerging democracies, and he was using EE as an example. The “implicit assumption” that the arguments only dealt with Eastern Europe was accepted as true, even though it was the judge connecting the dots at the end of the debate.

    Scenario 3: “Your cards assume human intel:” In the Octafinals of West Georgia my senior year we lost a 2-1 decision when we were AFF. The neg team had read a new turn/mini-disad in the block that the CWC undermined intelligence gathering, impacted in Middle East war. I straight link turned it in the 1ar. The 2nr…said nothing…cleanly dropped it when he was running out of time in the middle of a big debate (that they initiated, btw).

    Gordon went for the straight link turn in the 2ar. We lost 2 ballots on a North Korea disad that we didn’t have the best answers to. Stables went in the other room to yell about the decision (loud enough for the judges to hear), I asked the following question…

    What did you do about the intelligence reform turn?

    To the following two answers….
    Judge 1) Your cards assumed computer intel, their link was about human intel. Your link turns didn’t apply (I had an accordian of a covert action file in front of me that had cards that said computer intel boosted human intel…if that argument had been made in the debate).
    Judge 2) Their impact card was bad…it didn’t say a Middle East war escalated (so we are punished because we straight link turn an argument that they read crappy impact evidence on).

    Perhaps both of these argument seemed “obvious” to the judges. But what is obvious in a debate is not always obvious if you hear an extended answer on it. I’m worried that carrying the “implicit concession” argument too far means that judges may make cross-applications all over the flow after the debate is over to connect the dots in ways the debaters should do in the speeches. Sometimes the obvious isn’t always so obvious. Sometimes the other team may have either an answer (or as in the above scenarios) blocked out answers to something that “just seems so obvious” to the judges.

    Two other things to briefly discuss…

    1) Should the 1ar/2ar get to extend dropped advantages in their speeches. I think they should. I like to reward debates where debaters have to refute their opponents arguments, and it seems wanky and exceedingly flogo-centric to me that the negative would get to say in the block that the AFF didn’t extend their advantage so it goes away. At some level, this may be rewarding an implicit concession, and disregarding the notion that maybe the AFF team has to say “extend our advantage” in the 2ac. At the same time, the goal of all of the above is to reward direct clash and debaters’ discussion of argument interaction, so even if there is some tension with some of what I’ve said above, I’m OK with it.

    2) Theory tension. I’ve seen many a 2nr go for “reject argument not team” on conditionality AND THEN GO FOR “sever perm = voting issue.” Perhaps I’m falling into my own above trap on implicit concessions, but even if the AFF drops the theory debate entirely, it seems to me that there is no world in which I can accept the premise that we should reject the argument, not the team AND why a permutation would be a voting issue against the AFF. I’ll go on a bit of a tangent on this one to discuss an issue I’ve been wanting to discuss related to these “theory bombs” that people drop.

    In the late 90’s there was a trend where there would be 6 or 7 “independent voting issues” in the block, almost always on perms like “do both.” It was sort of a nightmare for the 1ar to have to go through each of this separately. For a while, I dutifuly voted on “sever perms bad” when the 1ar or 2ar dropped it.

    However, Dallas (in conversation) and Roger (in his DRG theory article), helped convince me that it is unduly flogo-centric to make an argument a voting issue (trumping everything else in the debate) that is poorly explained and somewhat contrived. I’ve honestly thought for a long, long time on the question (more than anyone ever should), on why on earth the Affirmative making an illegitimate permutation should ever be a voting issue against the AFF. AFF’s make bad link arguments all the time. But slaying them on the link doesn’t mean the negative automatically wins. To say the punishment doesn’t fit the crime isn’t even the right analogy…the AFF committed no crime to begin with, they merely made a bad argument.

    Therefore, when I judge debates that RANT (reject argument not team) is the controlling paradigm for theory, I won’t vote on a theory argument (unless rejecting the argument inherently means rejecting the team–I don’t know how I can reject “the plan” and vote AFF for instance).

    I view this as being similar to the 2nr/2ar advancing both the link turn to a position and a take out. If you win both, good job, you’ve won a link turn to something which you’ve taken out the impact for. I’ve actually seen AFF teams pump up the impact to their AFF to a huge degree, only to lose to link turns to the advantage they pumped up when they were winning another advantage. I think teams making choices in the last rebuttals is also important.

    In both the theory instance and the substance instance, it may be that I’m doing a little connecting the dots for the debaters. But in an effort to deter debaters from going for theory in trivial instances (which in the late 90’s was unnecessarily cluttering the debate and trading off with substance), and to encourage debaters to make strategic choices, I resolve the issue by evaluating both arguments. If you win that sever perms are bad, but you also won that I should reject argument not team, I will RANT. If you win that you linked turn health care, but also go for health care doesn’t help the economy in the 2ar, you’ve linked turned something without an impact. The difference between this and the previous hypothetical (where the negative never conceded the impact defense), is that the AFF chose to go for both those arguments in the last speech.

    This is not a consistent indictment or affirmation of the “implicit concession” theory proposed by Mosely-Jensen. However, I feel that:
    1) Debaters should point out argument interaction.
    2) Judges should try to minimize connecting the dots for teams when teams don’t make arguments. Often times things that seem “obvious” may not be so.
    3) At the same time, if teams advance patently contradictory arguments (theory is vi/reject argument not team), judges have to have a way to reconcile it, and I feel they should reconcile it with the arguments they have presented before them. I have a slight propensity to ratchet up doing this in theory debates, because I feel that any issue that supersedes every other issue in the debate should have a high level of scrutiny attached to it.

    I’ll close it off by affirming some of Gonzales’ arguments that some level of judge intervention is inevitable. We should be persuaded by arguments, and not be argument robots.

    And at a minimum, I’ve introduced RANT as the acronym for Reject Argument Not Team. Which makes flowing easier and is somehow appropriate to the argument generally.


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