Season Two of the Podcast Kicks Off Today

The New York Times raves that season two is “the most satisfying, coherent story arc of any [high school debate podcast].” TV Fanatic “didn’t think it would be possible to surpass season one, but season two is proving us wrong.” Muhaddisah Batool of In Real Life agrees that “Season two is 10 times more exciting than last season.”

OK, so none of that was actually written about The 3NR Podcast. But it might as well have been. The first episode of season two—recorded live in Atlanta on Wednesday night—is now available; it features the debut of Maggie Berthiaume, the Director of Debate at Chattahoochee High School and a member of the Executive Board of the National Debate Coaches’ Association. Maggie will hopefully be able to join us on a regular basis. We also have plans for several special guests to join us for an episode sometime this season to help bring new perspectives to our loyal listeners.

The debut of season two also provided us with an opportunity to get our proverbial house in order. To help keep things better organized, we have created a separate site to host our podcasts that includes a separate, podcast-only RSS feed. We will continue to post about each new episode here on the main site, but listeners that want to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes (or another program) should change to the new feed—it also includes all of the season one episodes, neatly-organized. The feed URL will soon be changed in the iTunes Music Store but for now users need to manually subscribe to the new feed in order to receive season two episodes.

If you would like to comment on the podcast—something we encourage you to do—please do so here and not on the podcast blog (commenting there is turned off). In particular, we issued several challenges to our listeners during this week’s podcast and are looking forward to seeing the response.

Hop on over to the podcast site, download the new episode, and avoid boredom for the next hour and a half. Happy listening!

16 thoughts on “Season Two of the Podcast Kicks Off Today

  1. Anonymous

    Speaking of T combat troops, I heard that GBN PP beat Lexington EV on T combat troops round five of greenhill. Seems like a pretty big debate for such a "terrible argument".

    1. Roy Levkovitz Post author

      Well if it won round 5 of greenhill it must be a great argument, well done.

      The final round of the 2002 TOC was won on spark
      The final round of the 2003 TOC was won on plan flaw

      those also happen to be terrible arguments that won big debates.

  2. Anon !

    As a possible idea for the next podcast – what are your thoughts on the idea advocated in some rounds that theory comes before Topicality.

    What about (specifically) that Conditionality comes before Topicality?

  3. Ellis

    I don't understand your beef with try or die claims. Obviously overviews need more ways to win than "terminal impact uniqueness, juhdg" but the strategic concept is useful. If team A has a short term scenario for terrorism but team B controls a looming inevitability that will cause extinction, then the only potential survival is voting for team B. Or, if the neg wins their disad turns case but doesn't have a uniqueness-level answer to the advantages, then survival is only possible if I vote aff. Maybe I'm just defending extinction v. non-extinction here but this argument accomplishes a ton.

    1. Bill Batterman Post author

      The problem—for me at least—is that this framing technique is used to ignore questions of probability. Using the first example, for instance, the following questions would need to be answered to determine which impact to prioritize:

      1. How confident are we that there will be terrorism in the short-term? How confident are we that the plan will increase this risk? By how much?

      2. How confident are we that extinction is looming? How confident are we that the plan will decrease this risk? By how much?

      "The only potential survival is voting for team B" oversimplifies the decision-making context. For example, suppose that we are 25% sure that extinction is looming and 50% confident that the plan will decrease the risk of extinction by 50%. In this situation:

      * 75% of the time extinction won't happen regardless of the plan.
      * 12.5% of the time extinction is inevitable in the status quo and the plan won't decrease the risk of it.
      * 12.5% of the time extinction is inevitable in the status quo and the plan will reduce the risk of it by 50%. Therefore:
      * 6.5% of the time extinction is inevitable in the status quo and the plan will reduce the risk of it by 50%, but extinction will still happen.
      * 6.5% of the time extinction is inevitable in the status quo and the plan will reduce the risk of it by 50%, successfully averting extinction.

      That means "the only potential survival is voting for team B" only 6.5% of the time. I think a 6.5% chance that the plan prevents extinction is a pretty big deal, but it might be worth the risk to avoid a catastrophic disadvantage. And in reality, these probabilities are way too high — this is an optimistic assessment of the aff's advantage.

      This kind of thing doesn't get debated because "we control terminal impact uniqueness — try or die for the plan!" is easier. But it's also stupid and something that debaters should try to avoid.

      1. Scott Phillips Post author

        For me it is even simpler than that, both teams having an internal link to the same issue,say the economy, does not mean that the team who wins the stronger internal link has necessarily beaten the weaker internal link. That a different internal link will be triggered later does not mean a shorter term internal link is "inevitable".

  4. Anon

    I feel like PICing out of "nearly all" or "most" isn't competitive because it's plan plus. Agreed?

  5. Alex

    Maybe a discussion on how neg teams should decide what to go for in the 2nr? Asides from common sense like "lawls they dropped T"

    1. Alex

      Oh, and as an addendum; preference of flip choice on this topic? Assuming utopian world where you'd be good strat-wise, which side would yield a better winning percentage on this topic?

      Opinions and bias as well as warranted analysis is welcome.

  6. Ben

    What do you think about vague plan texts that are clarified in cross-x or the 2AC as "we'll defend everything for the purpose of disads but not for PICs"?

  7. Kenyon

    We still run PMAs and PMNs in South Dakota!!! (If/when we leave the friendly confines of SD we just call em alt causes or write them into CPs)

  8. Nick Khatri

    Is it really common for people to just straight up not even attempt to flow? I have never noticed this.

    Also, one thing that stuck out for me was when you talked about just reading terminal impact defense. There are many times especially last year given the size of the topic where I've answered advantages with just impact defense, but even when I have more well prepared case answers it seems like impact defense is really effective. Do you have any thoughts on what the optimal ratio of impact answers to internal link answers is? Is it worth reading 5 diverse cards about why central asian war or whatever won't happen or should I just read one and invest more time answering the internal link?

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