Podcast Tonight

We are going to record a podcast tonight, so if you have questions post them in the comments.

The more detailed your questions are the more likely they are to get answered. Questions that are super generic like “why is condo good” are most likely to be dismissed. Questions about how to answer specific arguments related to the topic are more likely to get answered, as are questions that give some background info.

For example, someone recently emailed me a question about a K and included the 2 cards the neg won on and their 3 answers and asked why they were insufficient. That is a good question because it gives a lot of ground for discussion. Saying “we lost on security, y?” is much harder to discuss/answer.

18 thoughts on “Podcast Tonight

  1. Alex

    Since it's been a few months into actually debating the topic, a discussion about how it's evolved would be nice. What affs didn't live up to expectations, and what affs came out of nowhere (or at least weren't expected to clean up).

  2. Ben

    Could there be a discussion of the Global Defense Counterplan that NDI put out, or at least theory behind it and the theory behind similar slip the aff into some future posture document or commission counterplans.

  3. HoldenChoi

    When authors, particularly kritik authors, are contradictory or not coherent (like the constructivism/poststructuralism distinction in a previous post) how should that be phrased in round and how much leverage against the kritik is it?

    1. Ellis

      Possible related topic would be legitimacy of contradictory strategies, like the security K and the deterrence DA in the same 1NC. Can it be defended, and is it strategic enough to put in the 1NC anyway since affs are allergic to going for theory?

  4. Tiger

    I'm a college student in college NFA-LD policy debate (one on one policy with emphasis on presentation). The rez this year is: The USFG should substantially reform the provision of mental health services to the chronically mentally ill, but I think this question applies to most resolutions.

    For an effects-topicality violation on the word Mental health services, I wanted to incorporate this Cheshier card for my effects violation. Even though it adds some time to the shell, I think reading the card is valuable because it clears up the violation debate significantly and judges can call for it.

    This is the top half of the shell.

    A. Mental health services are psychiatric treatment and counseling

    Oakland California Office of AIDS Administration March 2007 ["Standards of Care" http://www.acphd.org/documents/oaa_rfp_Mental%20_… mgt

    Mental Health Services are defined as psychological and psychiatric treatment and counseling services to individuals with a diagnosed mental illness, conducted in a group or individual setting, and provided by a mental health professional who is licensed or authorized within the State to render such services. This typically includes psychiatrists, psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers. Key activities include: Screening and Intake, Comprehensive Mental Health Assessment, Development and Implementation of a Treatment Plan, Treatment Services and Coordination of Care, Case Closure/Discharge


    First, [violations]

    Second, the Cheshier vacuum test is the best way to determine effects topicality. It asks us whether or not the plan makes sense in a world where “mental health services” literally don't exist.

    David M. Cheshier, Assistant Professor of Communications and Director of Debate at Georgia State, writing in the October 1999 Rostrum [“Effects Topicality, All over again…” accessible online at http://debate.uvm.edu/NFL/rostrumlib/CheshierOct9… mgt

    Candidate 4: The "vacuum test." Several years ago I devised what is now called by some the "vacuum test" as a topi­cality argument on a foreign policy topic which was also written to permit effects cases. After many years of use, and having generated a decent amount of controversy (if not outright opposition), I will readily concede its drawbacks. But in my view the test works about as well as any alternatives and in fact has some specific virtues.

    When debaters defend a vacuum test, they are asking the judge to perform a sort of thought experiment relevant to the plan. To illustrate the use of the test, I want to use an example from last year's Russia topic (for reasons I'll provide just a bit later). As a test for determining whether a plan changed America's foreign policy "toward Russia' or not, some defended a vacuum test that said: "Imagine there is no country called Russia in the world. In such a world, would this plan be a good idea?" If the judge concludes the plan is still desirable (or, to use a tougher test, decides the plan "makes sense in a world without Russia"), then the plan fails and is judged too indirectly topical to pass. If the plan is made incoherent or obviously enjoys no benefits in such a world, then it "passes," and is topical.

    Such a test has some considerable benefits. It creates a rather bright line — one can look at the plan and perform the thought experiment without necessarily perusing every solvency card. On last year's topic, for instance, one could easily decide that a plan to assist in the cleanup of lake Baikal passed. After all, it would be incoherent to imagine passing a plan to clean up a lake if the country it was part of did not even exist (implying the lake wasn't around either). The test often has the virtue of being easily ex­plainable. And while not wholly plan-based (after all, one still has to bring some outside knowledge to bear in making one's decision), [and] the test certainly is plan-centered. Often the test can be defended as producing a rea­sonably broad case list, one that easily pre­cludes (on this topic) the anti-war and pro-growth cases while still permitting curricular mandates, testing modifications, and even changes to such programs as the JROC or "conflict resolution" model pro­grams.

  5. Marriss

    I know this is rather generic, but I keep getting comments that I could work more on crystallizing debates and only going for the main issues. I think part of this problem is because I worry too much about drops and not making good enough extensions. I'm especially prone to this in rounds where I'm winning multiple parts of the debate/points on the flow and I try to go for all of them to secure a win. Any tricks/advice for crystallizing debates/whittling things down to the core issues (and, knowing which core issues to highlight when in doubt?) would be helpful!

  6. Jack

    A few of my teammates and I were talking about the recent events regarding North Korea initiating some hostilities with South Korea and I was wondering whether the3nr thought that these events are better for the aff or the neg? While it may be some pretty good brink evidence for the aff that "conflict is coming now", the neg can also leverage this as a non-unique that conflict, even if some does happen, won't escalate and that further, recent events only prove the necessity of troops at this moment in time.

    Additionally, what are the ethical implications of assessing events in world politics only in relation to how it will affect one's debate tournament? Is this problematic, non-unique, or perhaps not even a product of debate but rather a few twisted debaters? Thanks in advance.

  7. Jack

    Sort of disheartening. I wrote a well-thought out and somewhat lengthy response and as soon as I submitted it it said that it was deleted by the administrator 🙁

  8. Jack

    summary of lengthy and articulate post – do recent events in korea go aff or neg? aff can use as brink ev, neg can use as nuq to conflict escalating or can prove the necessity of troops now.

    also, viewing world politics only in relation to how it helps debate tournaments? problematic, non-unique, or just a few twisted debaters?

  9. Adam

    What would be more interesting debate to hear this year? It seems like the same positions are being thrown around on the negative, what do would you guys like to hear for a change or surprise?

  10. Max

    Hey, this is just a test post. My last few posts have been automatically been deleted.

    Also, I tried to email all of the 3nr authors tonight and it said that the emails were rejected. Is something going on?

  11. billbatterman

    Sorry about the commenting issue — I just figured out the IntenseDebate moderation system and didn't realize that it had quarantined some recent comments. It shouldn't do that anymore + I approved those comments and they now appear normally.

    RE: Our emails, they should be working again — thanks for the heads up.

  12. Tiger

    (second part of my post, was too long before)

    This is what is underlined in the card:

    To illustrate the use of the test, I want to use an example from last year's Russia topic. As a test for determining whether a plan changed America's foreign policy "toward Russia' or not, a vacuum test said: "Imagine there is no country called Russia in the world. In such a world, would this plan be a good idea?" If the judge concludes the plan is still desirable (or, "makes sense in a world without Russia"), then the plan is judged too indirectly topical to pass. Such a test has some considerable benefits. It creates a bright line — one can look at the plan and perform the thought experiment without perusing every solvency card. , [and] the test is plan-centered.

    Third, that their plan makes perfect sense in a world absent psychiatric treatment existing proves that their case has nothing to do with them, thus its not topical.

    Fourth, this test is best: alternative tests require judge intervention or look to solvency evidence, which is infinitely regressive and makes everything topical, which kills limits.

    (the impact to limits is in the standards).

    I wanted to know what you thought of this approach. We haven't broke it yet, so I wanted to see if you thought it had any drawbacks.

    What do you think of the reasons to prefer the Cheshier test section? Is this succinct and well-explained? Is there something else to say?

    Are there any good articles in the academic debate theory lit base about FX topicality you know of? The only other article I've found on it is in the April 1997 Rostrum and (like most Rostrum articles really) it isn't very detailed or useful.

    What are your guys thoughts on theory cards in blocks in general? I'm writing a theory file over the winter and I have access to all of JAFA, Rostrum, some of Speaker and Gavel, etc, so there are cards to be used. Where are they most appropriate (interpretations, violations, standards, voters?) and what kind of time tradeoff is acceptable compared to more succinct analytics?


  13. Bert

    Where you think the topic is headed? A few months from now (Harvard, MBA, etc) are tournaments where teams will be breaking new affs. It's also the time by which most teams will have cut case negs to core affs and where teams are adapting their neg/aff arguments.

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