Monthly Archives: August 2010

Back and forth about debate on slate

Your new book, Wisenheimer: A Childhood Subject To Debate, is a pleasure to read. In lively, engaging prose you trace your love for debate back to your childhood. I particularly enjoyed the anecdotes about how you learned about language from your grandmother (who once wrote to the state of Pennsylva…

Using an iPad as a Viewing Computer?

Has anyone considered using an iPad as a viewing computer for paperless debating? By using Dropbox and/or FileApp, it is relatively easy to transfer Word documents from a laptop to an iPad. The advantages of using an iPod are pretty clear: it’s smaller and lighter than any other viewing device, the screen size/resolution is good (certainly better than most netbooks), and it is super easy to use/handle. There are also obvious disadvantages, though: it does not have a USB port so it is impossible to jump files without either accessing a network or connecting it to iTunes, it doesn’t allow documents to be edited (just viewed), and the screen is smaller than a full-size laptop.

Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? Would debaters and coaches feel comfortable with an iPad as a viewing computer? Has anyone else experimented with this yet? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Heg Bad Articles

One of the important arguments to win when going for heg bad is a solvency takeout- not that the plan doesn’t boost hegemony, but that hegemony doesn’t reduce conflict. Here is a link to a sick cato article that has a bunch of links to other good articles in it on this point. So good it could be a blinders K card…

Most in Washington still embraces the notion that America is, and forever will be, the world’s indispensable nation. Some scholars, however, questioned the logic of hegemonic stability theory from the very beginning. A number continue to do so today. They advance arguments diametrically at odds with the primacist consensus. Trade routes need not be policed by a single dominant power; the international economy is complex and resilient. Supply disruptions are likely to be temporary, and the costs of mitigating their effects should be borne by those who stand to lose — or gain — the most. Islamic extremists are scary, but hardly comparable to the threat posed by a globe-straddling Soviet Union armed with thousands of nuclear weapons. It is frankly absurd that we spend more today to fight Osama bin Laden and his tiny band of murderous thugs than we spent to face down Joseph Stalin and Chairman Mao. Many factors have contributed to the dramatic decline in the number of wars between nation-states; it is unrealistic to expect that a new spasm of global conflict would erupt if the United States were to modestly refocus its efforts, draw down its military power, and call on other countries to play a larger role in their own defense, and in the security of their respective regions.

But while there are credible alternatives to the United States serving in its current dual role as world policeman / armed social worker, the foreign policy establishment in Washington has no interest in exploring them. The people here have grown accustomed to living at the center of the earth, and indeed, of the universe. The tangible benefits of all this military spending flow disproportionately to this tiny corner of the United States while the schlubs in fly-over country pick up the tab.