Throwdown- Framework Vs No Plan Aff

Throwdown with Scott Phillips

I honestly did not really want to do this, but this is the issue I have gotten more questions about than any other since I started working as a debate coach/lab leader. Some rules

1. I am not going to do any research on this one- framework files have been turned out by major camps/planet debate in the past and are more than sufficient to give you the 2 or 3 cards you may need to support this argument.

2. I realize many different affs could have different responses, in all likelihood when I write the response I will group a lot of them together into categories for a few reasons- i’m lazy, it will make the blocks more useful, and lets be honest the arguments aren’t areally that different.

3. I’m only going to respond to comments that are well explained, so writing “t= genocide” will not prompt a response, clearly explain the argument you want addressed in a few sentences if you want a response.

47 thoughts on “Throwdown- Framework Vs No Plan Aff

  1. David Mullins

    Honestly? I would much rather see you defending the other side. "How do I go for framework when the overwhelming majority of judges are going to check in for me in anything that could even be perceived as a close debate?"

  2. Anonymous

    Something UCO says alot is that switch side debate allows you to defend any type of posiiton which is what creates Karl Roves because you can make any arguement no matter how repugnant sound good so they advocate the same thing on the aff and neg as a way to defend only one swide

  3. Ellis

    This is less a question for you to throwdown against, but how do you feel about the utility of switch side debate good arguments in neg framework debates? Is it a magnet for external aff offense, does it non-unique any of your own offense, does it turn you into Karl Rove, etc.

  4. Anon

    How would you answer arguments such as traditional debate reentrenches bad ideas (ie white supremacy or patriarchy)? – Thanks

    @Bill: Maybe not in your area, but definitely there are a lot of teams running this argument in the country every year, but especially this year

  5. Scott Phillips

    Bill- I have no idea, I assume based on the number of questions there must be. I don't think those teams pref you though.

    Whit- Can you confirm or deny that you are known as the Karl Rove of WA debate?

    Mullins- you seem to complain a lot about our free website.

  6. Bill Batterman

    RE: Beacon — I didn't realize they don't read a plan… interesting. They have not disclosed anything other than their 1AC, so it would be nice if someone that has debated them could post summaries of their 2AC responses to Topicality/Framework so that Scott can answer them.

    RE: Other Planless Teams — they definitely don't pref me if they exist. If any other teams that don't read a plan have outlines of their affirmatives on the wiki, please post the links.

    I think for the purposes of this Throwdown that there are really two types of planless affirmatives: those that affirm the resolution but do not read a plan and those that don't affirm the resolution (Beacon seems to be an example of the latter). The best negative arguments differ depending on whether the aff supports the topic (either literally or metaphorically) or not.

    Here are a couple aff args that I think need to be answered:

    1. Predictability is political—we've disclosed our case but they have chosen not to prepare to engage our arguments b/c they disagree with our politics. Labeling certain positions "predictable" and others "unpredictable" enforces ideological hegemony that suppresses dissent.

    2. Ground is inevitable and fluid—the fact that they can't read States and Politics doesn't mean they don't have ground, it just means they don't have *that* ground. If we win our critique of policymaking orthodoxy, excluding those arguments is good.

    3. Intellectual Gatekeeping is Genocidal—their insistence on enforcing boundaries and divisions between "legitimate" and "illegitimate" discourse mirrors the genocidal mentality that enables mass violence. "Framework" doesn't *cause* violence, but the political assumptions that they use to justify exclusion are inseparable from the logic of mass violence inherent in genocidal regimes.

    4. Their "education" impacts rely on a bankrupt "banking model" that constructs students as empty vessels and saps them of their agency. We support a critical pedagogy that opens space for student activism and self-reflection that is empowering and the only true internal link to "education".

  7. joe

    @ bill–they rewrite these things on a round by round basis and use very little in the way of blocks.

  8. David Robinson

    <blockquote cite="#commentbody-8609">
    Bill Batterman : If any other teams that don’t read a plan have outlines of their affirmatives on the wiki, please post the links.

    http://debatecoaches.org/wiki/index.php?title=200
    Specifically their Plague aff.
    http://debatecoaches.org/wiki/index.php?title=200
    Specifically Immortality and the blues.

    I don't know if the distinction between affirming the topic somehow and straight-up critiquing it is quite as solid as you make it. The three affs above all affirm the topic in a unique way and technically read the resolution, but I don't know if argumentatively they differ from Beacon in any discernible way. Try to stick any resolution-based arguments on those three affs, and there will probably be a heavy no-link debate.

  9. Whit

    <blockquote cite="#commentbody-8608">
    Scott Phillips :
    Whit- Can you confirm or deny that you are known as the Karl Rove of WA debate?

    Karl Rove was the mastermind behind catapulting a complete moron into national prominence. How would that in any way relate to me?

  10. Anon

    Can you also address the way you would go about reading framework against the teams who dont read or defend a plan but read an advocacy statement (which is basically meaningless)?

  11. Bill Batterman

    @David Robinson

    Thanks for the links, David.

    I don’t know if the distinction between affirming the topic somehow and straight-up critiquing it is quite as solid as you make it. The three affs above all affirm the topic in a unique way and technically read the resolution, but I don’t know if argumentatively they differ from Beacon in any discernible way. Try to stick any resolution-based arguments on those three affs, and there will probably be a heavy no-link debate.

    You're probably right; I just think there's a difference between a case that affirms the desirability of an increase in social services for persons living in poverty (based on the blues, for example) and a case that either (a) argues that we should not talk about the resolution because something else is more important or (b) argues that topical action is bad/undesirable. At least for me (someone who never judges these debates), I think the former approach is a whole lot more persuasive than the latter one. (In fact, I think the Millard South blues case is really cool and would probably find most neg framework arguments against it unpersuasive. The Burroughs/cut-up case, on the other hand, I don't think has anything to do with the topic and can't really imagine being persuaded by the aff framework responses.)

    There's probably no brightline, but I do think it makes a difference whether (and how) the affirmative approaches the topic.

  12. Bill Batterman

    @joe

    they rewrite these things on a round by round basis and use very little in the way of blocks.

    Fair enough, I guess, but that sure seems like a poor decision on their part. It's one thing to tailor your arguments to the specific details of the neg's framework gripe, but it seems only prudent to prepare your best generic framework responses in advance (counter-interpretations, answers to generic neg args like Shively/role-playing good/etc., impact defense/turns vs. fairness and education, etc.). If the Beacon guys don't do that, then I think they probably should. If they *do* do that, then it would be helpful for the purposes of this discussion if they would post at least the cards (cites/tags/first-and-last words) they most commonly read. "We don't want to disclose our args because we don't want other teams to prepare to answer them" is an unfortunate approach to debate.

    EDIT: It looks like this post had the intended effect—thanks to Beacon for posting some of their 2AC responses on the wiki (http://debatecoaches.org/wiki/index.php?title=2009-2010_Beacon_%28NY%29_-_Damiyr_Davis_%26_Miguel_Feliciano). Scott, you should address some of these arguments, especially the first one:

    "We are a discussion of the topic, not a topical discussion; that means we're more predictable because we force a germane discussion about social justice, the best way to solve for poverty."

    I think that's an interesting argument ("discussion of the topic" vs. "topical discussion").

  13. Bill Batterman

    @Alex Zavell

    That Onion article is the best framework "card" I've ever read; it *had* to have been written by a debater. It would probably take a couple minutes to read this in a debate, but this is a funnier and more persuasive version of Shively.

  14. phantomoutlaw

    I think the whole Karl Rove example needs to be clarified.

    A) Was Karl Rove a debater?

    B) If he was, I never understood why policy frameworks create more "Karl Roves." What exactly is a "Karl Rove" type politico and why is that bad.

  15. Tyler Snelling

    I went through and posted our blocks for topicality and framework for the blues and immortality affirmative. If discussion would be helped further by us posting blocks to standards, you should let me / us know.

    I don't know if it will help in the discussion above, or a proceeding discussion. However I do know that next year we are planning on reading a affirmative without a plan text again

  16. Antonucci

    I coached a team to not read a plan this year.

    I don't want to go too deep into this here, but two insights from the "other side" and a side note:

    1. Shivley is tough to defend. Once you read Shivley, you've ceded an analogy between debate and larger political processes. It makes it tougher to narrow the debate to questions of fairness within a self-contained academic space, which is probably where you want the debate to be.

    2. The claim that "the arguments aren't all that different" is dangerous. Give your opponents some credit – they have one primary disad to prep for. If they understand anything about debate, they've probably filled their 1AC with case-specific turns to your framework position.

    Teams do win reading the Shivley card and blowing off some of the case-specific elements of their offense, but a lot of teams lose doing that too.

    SIDE NOTE:

    The Onion is funny, but…have you thought about this much?

    a. An ironic response inherently cedes language's polyvocality. If you're going to proceed with a trope that relies on an inherent distance between speech and intention, I think that you've already ceded a lot of the theoretical underpinnings of language's inherent fluidity. The decoding process inherent in irony strips your T argument's positivist underpinnings. Multiple inflections for a given speech act demonstrate the structural impossibility of limits; the attempt to enforce an impossible vision of unified discourse links to a number of the disad ensconced within the 1AC.

    b. If you're debating a team that claims, for example, that racism's their primary offense against T, you're…going to tell a joke?

    Really? HAHAHA THE SLAVERY LOLZ

    This will probably only advance your cause in front of judges who were already going to check in for you, and it takes a minute to read.

    It speaks to the frustration of some center-right components of the coaching and judging community, so they love it, but unless the aff actually talked about maple syrup, I think this is a non-starter. It's just the same fairness arg with a funny hat.

  17. Bill Batterman

    @Antonucci

    This will probably only advance your cause in front of judges who were already going to check in for you, and it takes a minute to read.

    It speaks to the frustration of some center-right components of the coaching and judging community, so they love it, but unless the aff actually talked about maple syrup, I think this is a non-starter. It’s just the same fairness arg with a funny hat.

    This is probably true; I guess I just prefer the fairness arg with a funny hat to the fairness arg without one. I think this "card" cuts to the heart of the negative's fairness/predictability gripe: "we came prepared to debate XYZ and you're talking about ABC—that's not particularly productive, huh?". This begs the question of whether the negative should have come prepared to debate ABC, of course, but so do the academic/serious framework cards that teams typically read. Humor can be an incredibly persuasive way to frame a serious argument.

    Side Note: I don't do the college debate thing, so my experiences with "non-traditional" arguments probably colors my opinion of them in a negative way. I think that's true of most high school folks… for the most part, we don't see a lot of sophistication from the teams that experiment with these alternative perspectives/styles. "T is genocidal!" is not a particularly compelling claim, for example; neither is "you read cards and are therefore racist!". These positions can be developed—and have been at the college level, apparently—into persuasive and nuanced arguments that I could certainly see myself appreciating, but that's not happening at the high school level (or if it is, I've been assessed as a poor audience by these teams and therefore do not get to see them debate).

  18. Whit

    …a couple of things:

    1. Resolutionality – I've heard some college teams make this argument. It's basically "we don't have to defend governmental implementation of a topical plan, because talking about the resolution is good enough."

    2. Shivley is not the K aff slayer that most policy kids think it is. Shivley just says we have to have A framework, not YOUR framework. As long as the other team has some counter-interpretation, they meet Shivley's burden. The function of this evidence is only to prove that framework matters and should be a voting issue (I suppose). You still need to win that your framework is more desirable, however.

    3. It's a shame that Scott isn't engaging the evidence aspect. K teams have found some new cards that are kind of decent responses to some framework type args (I'm thinking Seholm (maybe not spelling that right) and the Delgado "fair for who?" card).

  19. Antonucci

    @Whit

    1: We've gone back and forth on the appropriate metaphor – I prefer "the resolution is a signpost, not a map."

    2: Strongly agree. I also think Shivley often LOSES ground – you've given them a burden they can meet, ceded a larger analogy to the political outside of debate, and you're still running uphill to prove that your specific vision of framework has an impact.

    There's a growing meme that Shivley was Klinger's gift to K debaters everywhere.

    A classic "welcome to college debate" moment:
    "You're debating Towson/Baylor/West Georgia/Kansas KQ/Georgetown/whoever. They aren't really reading a plan thus far."
    "We're good, we have Shivley, we'll go for framework."
    "I don't think you've thought about this enough – here are some other options."
    "Hmmm, those are confusing, I think we'll do up framework, always worked in high school."
    hours elapse (round + 2 minute decision)
    "ow hurting times"

    @Bill: The vast majority of our framework cards on the aff came from literature about debating nuclear weapons or, specifically, Hiroshima/critical geography. Bogging down on the generic aff cards just wastes time.

    I also think the Onion is funny – I just don't know if it gets any further ahead tactically. The irony = linguistic polyvocality argument also wasn't addressed – I'm 65.3% kidding, but it's a demonstration of how these debates can get disconcerting and hard to handle.

    Dan Shalmon, one the best (if not the best) debate mind(s) ever, classifies his debates against planless teams as debate peak experiences. (I think he was specifically referencing a quarters debate against Louisville.) I go back and forth on this personally, but I think it's incontrovertible that radical approaches to the resolution serve some valuable function in debate's intellectual ecology – to get to the top, you have to cogently justify what it is you're doing.

  20. Scott Phillips

    whit- I have no idea what seaholm is, delgado and "fairness for who" are old hat, you can search and find a fairness good card I posted earlier. Fwork doesn't really require any evidence imo, but for the record the best fw card ever is in the introduction to Bill Maher's book "New Rules".

    Nooch- Taking your urban/cities aff as an example, when the neg said " We have no ground, the aff doesn't link to topic generics, and we didn't predict that we would have to debate this" etc etc, can you explain some of your specific responses that are different from generic fw responses? I agree with you that fw teams spend a lot of time preparing for this/come up with cute little phrases for their arguments etc. Ultimately I just don't think any of it, boiled down, is not one of the following:
    -we provide unique important education that a strict interpretation of the topic doesn't
    -forcing us to debate the topic is coercive, coercion is bad

  21. Antonucci

    Sure, although Hiroshima was maybe a better aff. Here's one answer:

    Secrecy – the nuclear debate specifically has been coded by government manipulation of the public sphere by strategic withholding and release of information. That eviscerates any chance of genuine democratic deliberation – even if you can win generic uniqueness, that doesn't apply in a nuclear context. That's Taylor and Hendry 8. Specificity trumps your marginally relevant Shivley business.

    Bottom up civil defense debates are thus historically the only way to open up this particular debate to consideration, because it's the key arena where nucelar elits must disclose information to the public – that's Garrison 6. We aren't just a topic possibility, we're a precondition.

  22. Bill Batterman

    @Whit

    I found the Delgado cite on one of Towson's wiki pages:

    Richard Delgado, Charles Inglis Thomson Professor of Law at the University of Colorado, 1992
    ["Shadowboxing: An Essay On Power," Cornell Law Review (77 Cornell L. Rev. 813), May, Available Online to Subscribing Institutions via Lexis-Nexis]

    It's a pretty short article that takes a pretty typical early-1990s CLS/CRT stance on the indeterminacy of law. Here's the intro:

    It is important to know when we are being gulled, manipulated, and duped. 1 It is even more important to know when we are unwittingly doing this to ourselves — when we are using shopworn legal scripts and counterscripts, going around endlessly in circles, getting nowhere. 2 Understanding how we use predictable arguments to rebut other predictable arguments in a predictable sequence — "The plaintiff should have the freedom to do X," "No — the defendant should have the security not to have X done to her"; "The law should be flexible, permitting us to do justice in particular cases," "No — the law must be determinate; only bright-line rules are administrable and safe" 3 — frees us to focus on real-world questions that do matter. We can begin to see how the actions we take as lawyers, law students, and legal scholars advance or retard principles we hold dear. 4 We can see where the scripts come from and, perhaps, how to write new and better ones. 5

    Towson has two cards from this article posted on the wiki (unfortunately, they don't include first-and-last words so I'm not sure exactly what paragraph(s) they are excerpting):

    "Rules are created to reenforce status quo power and privilege – masking these rules in the language of fairness makes them more acceptable"

    AND

    "These claims of fairness, objectivity, and predictability are ways to marginalize the oppressed and silence our voices"

    They also have a cite posted for a Shively response:

    "Their Shively evidence is not about educational debate – here’s some that it; it says that connecting debate to the experiences and beliefs of students is vital to empowerment – their approach silences our experiences and promotes bad politics"

    [Shively 1997 Compromised Goods: a Realist Critique of Constructionist Politics p. 131]

    I can't find the Seholm card; do you know which team you've heard read that evidence?

    For the debaters that are reading this, I think step one for anyone developing a strategy for answering these planless affirmatives is to read the authors/articles/sources that they cite to support their arguments. If you haven't read this Delgado article, for example, I think you'll have an awfully difficult time responding to teams that use it to criticize "fairness" impacts.

  23. Antonucci

    The possible tactical problem with that, Bill, is that once you've gone far enough down the rabbit hole to read their 2ac at T authors, why not just concoct a strategy that they don't debate 75% of the time?

    I mean, it's still a good exercise, because a planless team can always hypothetically put you in a place where FW is all you've got. If you have another option, though, it's always worth considering. The expertise gap is just hard to handle.

  24. Bill Batterman

    @Antonucci

    I agree with that 100%. I think substantive gripes are always preferable to procedural ones, but many times (at least in my high school-centric experience) the teams that don't read a plan refuse to defend anything and so a smart debater should prepare her/himself to extend a credible framework argument. If the only thing you've read is a neg "gotta have a plan" framework file, though, you will probably be unable to persuasively defend your position.

    The other advantage of reading the affirmative's T/framework cards is that they can be used to as leverage to bolster substantive arguments. If a team takes a very radical position when responding to framework, for example, the negative can use that to their advantage when developing the link narrative for their political quietism critique.

    There's always a time tradeoff, obviously: teams that are contemplating this kind of higher-level preparation against planless teams need to decide for themselves whether it is worth the opportunity cost. I think this is ultimately why Scott gets so many requests for this throwdown: debaters have determined that it's too difficult or too time-consuming to develop specific responses and so they want to know how to get the job done with a hypergeneric. C'est la vie.

  25. Whit

    Debate community fractured – they kill difference
    Linnell Secomb, 2k, “Fractured Community”, Hypatia, Vol 15, No 2
    This reformulated universalist model of community would be founded on "a moral conversation in which the capacity to reverse perspectives, that is, the willingness to reason from the others' point of view, and the sensitivity to hear their voice is paramount" (1992, 8). Benhabib argues that this model does not assume that consensus can be reached but that a "reasonable agreement" can be achieved.

    This formulation of community on the basis of a conversation in which perspectives can be reversed, also implies a new understanding of identity and alterity. Instead of the generalized other, Benhabib argues that ethics, politics, and community must engage with the concrete or particular other. A theory that only engages with the generalized other sees the other as a replica of the self. In order to overcome this reductive assimilation of alterity, Benhabib formulates a univetsalist community which recognizes the concrete other and which allows us to view others as unique individuals (1992, 10).

    Benhabib's critique of universalist libetal theory and her formulation of an alternative conversational model of community ate useful and illuminating. However, I suggest that her vision still assumes the desirability of commonality and agreement, which, I argue, ultimately destroy difference. Her vision of a community of conversing alterities assumes sufficient similarity between alterities so that each can adopt the point of view of the other and, through this means, reach a "reasonable agreement." She assumes the necessity of a common goal for the community that would be the outcome of the "reasonable agreement." Benhabib's community, then, while attempting to enable difference and diversity, continues to assume a commonality of purpose within community and implies a subjectivity that would ultimately collapse back into sameness.

    Moreover, Benhabib's formulation of community, while rejecting the fantasy of consensus, nevertheless privileges communication, conversation, and agreement. This privileging of communication assumes that all can participate in the rational conversation irrespective of difference. Yet this assumes rational interlocutors, and rationality has tended, both in theory and practice, to exclude many groups and individuals, including: women, who are deemed emotional and corporeal rather than rational; non-liberal cultures and individuals who are seen as intolerant and irrational; and minoritarian groups who do not adopt the authoritative discourses necessary for rational exchanges.

    In addition, this ideal of communication fails to acknowledge the indeterminacy and multiplicity of meaning in all speech and writing. It assumes a singular, coherent, and transparent content. Yet, as Gayatri Spivak writes: "the verbal text is constituted by concealment as much as revelation. … [T]he concealment is itself a revelation and visa versa" (Spivak 1976, xlvi). For Spivak, Jacques Derrida, and other deconstructionists, all communication involves conttadiction, inconsistency, and heterogeneity. Derrida's concept of différance indicates the inevitable deferral and displacement of any final coherent meaning. The apparently rigorous and irreducible oppositions that structure language, Derrida contends, are a fiction. These mutually exclusive dichotomies turn out to be interrelated and interdependent: their meanings and associations, multiple and ambiguous (Derrida 1973, 1976).

    While Benhabib's objective is clearly to allow all groups within a community to participate in this rational conversation, her formulation fails to recognize either that language is as much structured by miscommunication as by communication, or that many groups are silenced or speak in different discourses that are unintelligible to the majority. Minority groups and discourses are frequently ignored or excluded from political discussion and decisionmaking because they do not adopt the dominant modes of authoritative and rational conversation that assume homogeneity and transparency.

  26. Scott Phillips

    I think we can all agree that in an ideal world we would take our specific strategies and hop with them down lollipop lane to the gumdrop castle. Unfortunately, as evidenced by the fact that Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer keep making movies, we don't live in that world. We live in a world with walls, and no one ever won a debate by making the other poor dumb bastard go for framework for his country….. FREEEEEDOM!!

    Whit- I saw that card at the NDT. I wish I had another hand so I could give it 3 thumbs down.

  27. Whit

    @Scott –

    Here is a better card (IMHO) from that article. Seems to be a direct response to Shivley:

    The desire for a community founded on communion and union is evident in both everyday discourses and in philosophical debates. In the media, on the streets and in café discussions there is talk of the destruction of neighborly relations and communal sharing as a result of the encroachment of industrialization, modernity, and postmodernity. Community, it is said, has been shattered or consumed by the metropolis, by the mass exterminations of world war, death camps, and colonization, and by the isolation engendered by advanced transport, communication, media, and entertainment systems. Everywhere there are attempts to resurrect old structures of commonality or new formations of world, national, and sub-cultural communities.

    This concern about the loss of, and need to recreate, congenial community is also evident in recent philosophical reflections on the political. The ideal of community founded on unity is evoked, debated, and reformulated in a diversity of configurations, from G. W. F. Hegel's Sittlichkeit to liberal social contract theories and communitarian communalism. Despite the numerous differences between these formulations, they all conceive of community as an attempt to achieve agreement and unity. Community is understood, in these philosophical approaches, as a unified political body founded on consensus and commonality.

    Against these formulations of unified community, I propose in this paper an interpretation of community as an expression of difference and diversity that is made manifest through disagreement and disunity. While disagreement is generally conceived as a threat to community and as a sign of the imminent collapse of community, I will argue instead that disagreement disrupts the formation of a totalizing identity, or commonality. The creation of a totalizing unity is the movement of totalitarianism and unfreedom. Disagreement, on the other hand, holds a space open for diversity and for freedom. It is not disagreement, resistance, and agitation that destroy community. It is rather the repression or suppression of difference and disagreement in the name of unity and consensus which destroys the engagement and interrelation of community.

    I argue that the conception of a unified community of commonality destroys freedom, alterity, and heterogeneity. It is only within a community that acknowledges disagreement and fracture that difference and freedom flourish. This interpretation of community as productive disagreement is supported by the experience of Australian community, and in particular the relation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. For over two hundred years Aboriginal people have resisted the dominant legal lie of terra nullius (which created the legal fiction that Australia was an uninhabited country before its English occupation and that therefore there was no need to recognize the rights of the Aboriginal people).1 It was, in part, a persistent disagreement and fracture within the Australian community that allowed this legal myth to be challenged and recently, finally, revoked. It is this disagreement and fracture which enables community and not, as is usually assumed, agreement, commonality, and unity. This ideal of an agreeable community defaces alterity, extinguishes freedom, and imposes a conformity and identity that annihilates the heterogeneity, surprise, and generosity of social relation.

  28. Anonymous

    <blockquote cite="#commentbody-8619">
    Bill Batterman :
    @joe

    they rewrite these things on a round by round basis and use very little in the way of blocks.

    Fair enough, I guess, but that sure seems like a poor decision on their part. It’s one thing to tailor your arguments to the specific details of the neg’s framework gripe, but it seems only prudent to prepare your best generic framework responses in advance (counter-interpretations, answers to generic neg args like Shively/role-playing good/etc., impact defense/turns vs. fairness and education, etc.). If the Beacon guys don’t do that, then I think they probably should. If they *do* do that, then it would be helpful for the purposes of this discussion if they would post at least the cards (cites/tags/first-and-last words) they most commonly read. “We don’t want to disclose our args because we don’t want other teams to prepare to answer them” is an unfortunate approach to debate.
    EDIT: It looks like this post had the intended effect—thanks to Beacon for posting some of their 2AC responses on the wiki (http://debatecoaches.org/wiki/index.php?title=200…). Scott, you should address some of these arguments, especially the first one:
    “We are a discussion of the topic, not a topical discussion; that means we’re more predictable because we force a germane discussion about social justice, the best way to solve for poverty.”
    I think that’s an interesting argument (“discussion of the topic” vs. “topical discussion”).

    They didn't post it, I just typed up what I had flowed from their octas round of Bronx against Mountain Brook JQ. I do remember that they do not read blocks, but I certainly wouldn't argue that that operates against them in round…they've been fairly successful this year. I also would not jump to the conclusion that their lack of disclosure is an attempt to disrupt other teams' efforts to prepare to debate them; I'm sure if you simply asked them to disclose what cards they read they'd be happy to.

  29. aakash gupta

    More resolutionality: plans don't represent real legislation – they're an arbirtrary one-sentence debate construct that is usually intentionally vague to avoid certain arguments – they're not real world or key to policy education. They're useful for neg PICs and pre-round prep. But the PICs a planless teams allow, they would say, are the good one's. A plan usually just runs you into shitty one-word PIKs, etc. So if the planless team has up a relatively complete outline, it's not too hard for them to win the neg doesn't lose any worthwhile ground and should've engaged instead of arbitrarly delineating boundaries based on what they're used to.

    Now planless teams that are reading an aff that explicitly disavows simulation or from the year before… this argument probably isn't as persuasive.

  30. Josh Gonzalez

    Ahhh, the Secomb article. I spent the GSU and KY tournaments voting for Idaho State on this arg like it was my job. But truthfully, it ain't that great.

    First, it's a critique of Seyla Benhabib's use of Habermas in "The Claims of Culture" among other works. Not at all about Shively. Yes, it makes the shop-worn Derridean claim that language is incoherent, blah, blah, but if you aren't packing args to handle this, then Secomb isn't the first of your worries. If anybody's looking for cites, hit me up, and I'll happily ship some out.

    Second, Secomb critiques the notion of a discursively unified community, something that couldn't be more distinct from a debate round. Let's be clear – Secomb says that Benhabib = bad because she "privileges communication, conversation, and agreement" and that this "privileging of communication assumes that all can participate in the rational conversation irrespective of difference." A few quick args:

    A. Debate privileges communication, yes, and conversation, probably. But it most certainly does not privilege agreement. To the contrary, debate privileges agon and contestation. At it's root, Secomb's Derridean critique of Benhabib is a very detailed version of "Plato Bad, Judge." The theoretical foundation of debate, the Sophistic practices of eristic and dissoi logoi, were the very targets of Platonic critique. We are, in effect, the very contested intellectual terrain for which Secomb argues.

    B. The privileging of communication described by Secomb is not what we are talking about when we make a framework argument, and the team reading Secomb links just as much. It's not as if they argue in favor of a non-communicative activity, in fact, the very next paragraph of the card that makes the gesture toward Spivak and Derrida concedes that there is NOTHING beyond communication and symbolization in the world. So don't pretend like we're the one who dig communication and you aren't. Moreover, if there's ANY communicative sphere that doesn't exclude from rational conversation on the basis of difference, it's debate.

    C. Even if the aff is right that appeals to rational communication exclude others from the idea of "rational," it's defense at best – they have literally no alt other than complete incoherence. This, in fact, was our link argument in the first place – their vision of a boundless discussion degrades two distinct types of education: the learning that comes from focused research on a specific question and the practical wisdom that comes from argumentative contest.

    Shively isn't an impact, it's just a link arg. The Secomb evidence just repeats the same memes that Shively addresses in the first place.

  31. Josh Gonzalez

    These cards are from a chapter of a comm text – it's important to remember that they are contextualized to the phenomenon of communication, which makes them quite nice against args like those advanced by Secomb. Sure, it doesn't answer exclusion, but it establishes that meaningful communication is possible.

    Miller in 02 (Katherine Miller, Prof. of Communication at Texas A&M, Communication theories: Perspectives, processes, and contexts, 2002, p 35-36)

    If positivism, in its classical and logical forms…theory are considered in the next section.

    Miller in 02 (Katherine Miller, Prof. of Communication at Texas A&M, Communication theories: Perspectives, processes, and contexts, 2002)

    Epistemology and Axiology Post-positivist assumptions … It may be a dirty and hard and uncertain game, but with no fixed algorithms to determine progress, it is the only game in town

  32. Adam

    I have always wondered, framework debates account for every affirmative debate we are in and the 2NR is always about ground loss. I was wondering, would there not have to be proof of ground loss? I mean sure you can say we lose all topic generics when you dont defend a plan, but would they not technically have to run a Disad with a link based of political action to prove abuse/ground loss? Judges have either said this argument makes full sense or no sense. I am curious for yall's opinions.

  33. Josh Gonzalez

    @Adam
    Adam, I think that, generally speaking, holding the negative to the burden of demonstrable ground loss within the debate is a bit overboard. It is often, in my experience, a somewhat disingenuous argument when made by affs who do not defend a plan text. Take the hypothetical situation where the negative does not read a disadvantage and the aff says "you should have read a disad, we would not have no-linked it!" For one, there's no way to verify this claim. Two, there are whole lot of differing interpretations of what constitutes "no-linking" a disad. Three, whether or not the aff would or would not have doesn't necessarily answer the argument being made by the negative (if it's being made well).

    The third part deserves elaboration – a good procedural argument (T, framework, theory) whatever is capable of demonstrating that allowing the possibility of a given argumentative practice in debate rounds is a sufficient reason to exclude the other team's position. There are, for the purposes of any particular debate round, a functionally infinite number of other rounds that could occur with various arguments and choices made by either team. The burden of the teams in the debate is to demonstrate that there is a likelihood that opportunities created by their opponent's interpretation are opportunities that will be taken with sufficient frequency so as to tip the competitive balance and/or educational value of the activity in a meaningful way.

    Let's go back a step and think of the original hypothetical round, in which the aff does not defend a plan, but instead, let's say that the negative DOES read a disadvantage. Now let's have that round happen 100 times in various different permutations and settings. How many times, out of 100, would the affirmative have to do something shady (accepting for the sake of argument that whatever they do is "shady") in order for some universal judge or audience to say "ok, affs have to read a plan!" If it only happened 10 times out of 100, we could probably live with it. 90? Probably not. This is the sort of thinking and debating that can help make these procedural debates work out a lot more often in your favor. It's just one example, though (and not even a particularly good one), but when you start framing it as such, it makes a little more sense.

    As for the full-sense vs. no-sense judge business, I think you are not being told that the argument makes "full" or "no" sense on its own merit, so much as you are witnessing judges smuggling in a lot of their other debate experience into the decision. This is part of the reasoning behind my 100 round hypothetical. A lot of judges HAVE watched 100 of these debates and have already formulated pretty strong opinions about what happens in them. It's no fault of your own, but you are likely debating with either the help of, or against the tide of, a whole lot of good, mediocre, and lousy debaters that came before you. Keep that in mind when you're trying to put together your defense of what you do and make absolutely sure that you include some sort of wrinkle or argument that distinguishes your debate from all of those other rounds. Good evidence always helps, too. 😉

    Follow my advice at your own peril, but best of luck no matter what,

    Josh

  34. Whit

    "We won't 'no-link' your disads." is a red herring. Teams say this when they want to K your disad impact. Granting links to disads isn't much of a concession when the rest of the aff is structured to make them irrelevant.

    Also, this argument has never sat well with me, not only because it's disingenuous, but also because it is somewhat anti-educational. How does your aff that doesn't argue for governmental policy change link to the politics da? Something is lost when we eschew one aspect of the debate out of over-eagerness to get to the next.

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