Category Archives: Kritiks

Fiori on Performative Contradictions

In an article on the UTNIF blog, Nick Fiori—Assistant Director of Debate at Damien High School—highlights the frequency with which contradictions are made between a critique and the rest of the arguments presented in a first negative constructive speech. Negatives often present a security critique, for example, while simultaneously presenting disadvantages premised upon security logic.

[C]ertainly there exists a pre-disposition against performative contradictions in debate; only by mistake do negatives read a hegemony good disad and a hegemony bad disad in the same 1NC. But this type of contradiction is less problematic because any reasonably experienced 2AC could exploit the contradiction to their advantage by conceding some arguments and turning others. But with advocacies, by this I mean arguments that would produce a change over the status quo (counterplans, alternatives), it’s more tricky, and when those advocacies exists on conceptually different levels like a counterplan and Kritik, the contradiction seems to take on actual and not just debate practice problems. If it is true, as the negative’s had argued, that it wasn’t the effects of the plan that were the problem, but the rhetoric of the 1AC, then why is it that the negative is allowed to make such utterances but the affirmative cannot? I speak only from my personal experience, but it seems to me that there is a general default among debate judges that this position is perfectly defensible. Why is it so incredibly rare for the aff to be able to win on the argument that the negative links to their own Kritik when, on face, it seems largely unfair?

Head over the UTNIF blog to read the entire piece.

Going for Framework on the Aff: Its hip to be square pt 1

Debate arguments often operate like fashion trends; they emerge on the scene, gain popularity, that popularity peaks and then declines. Some arguments, like multiple counterplans, then experience a resurgence years later. For some time now it has been very difficult to gain any traction by going for framework arguments on the affirmative vs negative critiques. This is partially because judges get tired of hearing trite theory debates, and also because as the K has gotten more and more mainstream the idea that it is “abusive” has become a tough sell. However, many greedy negatives are not content with 4 entirely plan inclusive counterplans- they also want to use framework to moot the remaining shards of 1AC so that they can pick up an easy win. Because of this, you as an affirmative must be able to pick up on when it is happening, and competently extend framework.

Continue reading

Asking better cx questions vs a K

Many people follow a script when debating any kind of K and ask the same cross x questions regardless of what the neg’s argument is. These questions often follow a general trend started at a camp or by a dominant team, and like fashion trends they can’t all be fleece vests- some are going to suck. So in an attempt to improve the quality of your cx’s I am going to go through some current popular lines of questioning criticizing them and then offer some alternatives (omg its just like a k inside of this post about k’s… braaaaaaaaaaaaaahm)

Continue reading

Kritik Concept 2- We don’t need uniqueness

Inevitably each summer when students are asked what makes a k different from a da one of the answers given is that a k doesn’t require uniqueness. This view is reflected in many debates I see where a team reading a k will respond to arguments about uniqueness by saying “duh, we are a k” and act as if that fixes everything.

The idea that k’s don’t “need” uniqueness relies on a basic misunderstanding of a few concepts I will now attempt to elaborate.

Continue reading

Keep Sending in K answers

The consolidated K answer project has gotten a lot of good responses with a few people in particular going above and beyond and contributing quite a bit.

But there is always more to do! Please email in any contribution you can- cards, cites, books/articles that look good.

Especially for the sort of stock K args that cross over to many different K’s like
-predictions fail
-value to life
-reps/language key
-serial policy failure/error replication
-defenses of empiricism and qualifications
-root cause
-terminal extinction impacts like modernity/rationality/technology/neoliberalism/militarism/biopower cause extinction

The Forer Effect and K impacts

From wikipedia:

The Forer effect (also called the Barnum Effect after P.T. Barnum‘s observation that “we’ve got something for everyone”) is the observation that individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. This effect can provide a partial explanation for the widespread acceptance of some beliefs and practices, such as astrology, fortune telling, and some types of personality tests.

A related and more generic phenomenon effect is that of subjective validation.[1] Subjective validation occurs when two unrelated or even random events are perceived to be related because a belief, expectancy, or hypothesis demands a relationship. Thus people seek a correspondence between their perception of their personality and the contents of a horoscope.

An article quoted on the dish today has a more specific application

The tendency to believe vague statements designed to appeal to just about anyone is called the Forer Effect, and psychologists point to this phenomenon to explain why people fall for pseudoscience like biorhythms, iridology and phrenology or mysticism like astrology, numerology and tarot cards.

The Forer Effect is part of larger phenomenon psychologists refer to as subjective validation, which is a fancy way of saying you are far more vulnerable to suggestion when the subject of the conversation is you.

How does this relate to K impacts? Read on to find out

Continue reading