Tag Archives: Theory

Throwdown #2: Consultation Counterplans – The Challenge

Throwdown with Scott Phillips

Throwdown with Scott Phillips

The Consult CP is now the official black sheep of the debate family, hating on it is so hot right now. To try and stem the tides of arrogant unilateralism, this Throwdown will be defending the Consult CP and will have a guest appearance by US-Japan relations expert Cyrus Ghavi. So post your objections here- you can copy and paste your 2AC block or write out a more long winded rant but this will be limited exclusively to non permutation issues- so you can argue that the CP competes artificially for example, but this will not be a response to all the various consult permutations.

Throwdown #1: Affirmative Framework Choice – Scott's Response

Throwdown with Scott Phillips

Throwdown with Scott Phillips

First, as clearly explained in the original post this is not a question of “policy focus”- fort hays can just as easily say the aff should get to chose as wake forest can. A good majority of responses totally missed the boat on this so yeah for reading comprehension. I will give a few cursory defenses of “policy only” but its not really my bag as I think it’s stupid as explained in previous blog posts.

Second, this post is more of a hybrid between rant and speech than just “speech” like I said it would be. I felt like going a tad more in depth to alleviate confusion in some spots, so obviously just copy and pasting this into your 1AR block would be disastrous (well for many reasons).

“Aff Choice is arbitrary”

-Arbitrary means done without principle or logic- aff choice is the only logical option- we have to talk first. You can’t give a speech and make arguments without implicitly selecting a framework. Since frameworks are often mutually exclusive the framework we select is the only non arbitrary one- the negative does not logically need a new framework to refute ours, therefore lack of affirmative choice is arbitrary.

-Debating the “merits” of alternative frameworks trades off directly with topic education- this should be self evident. You can productively decide whether to eat at McDonalds or Burger King without a metaphysical debate about western capitalism.

-Alternative frameworks avoid clash- they sidestep the central questions posed by the affirmative. You can easily clash without needing your own framework.

“Negative frameworks are relevant opportunity costs”

-if frameworks trade off so to speak, that proves our point-the negatives framework will exclude 8 minutes of affirmative arguments, which is unfair (obviously done for strategic benefit) and anti educational (since the 1AC is the only thing close to being about the topic in most debates)

-Impact framing solves offense- if there are logical kritik arguments that respond to the 1AC you should not need a new framework- i.e. if threats are not real, that is a substantive response to the china war advantage, the only reason you need an alternate framework is to artificially inflate the worth of bad arguments and exclude reasonable affirmative claims with argumentative sleight of hand.

-There are many opportunity costs, not all of which are relevant- reading mead 92 instead of Bearden is a tradeoff- that doesn’t mean the neg should win if they convince the judge bearden is a better card. This theory of opportunity costs logically supports one of my least favorite arguments deployed with the reps K- do the plan but for different reasons. Debates, like economic hypotheticals, are improved when we assume away many tedious questions to focus on more interesting issues.

“definitions prove the aff must defend”

-This argument is interesting but I think would result in the most generic and irrelevant kritiks being unbeatable (like the “the”pic). I don’t think that because the affirmative defends the resolution, they must defend each word in a vacuum. If the resolution said “we should fight Nazis” and the neg read a k that argued Nazis were evil and we should not use that word, that would seem to miss the point of the resolution entirely, but if the aff is forced to defend the word nazi without reference to the rest of their 1AC it is pretty dicey. Obviously an extreme example, but is kind of what happens in a lot of instances I can think off where the resolution is “change X” and the neg K says “traditional notions of X are bad” and the aff is all like “uhh, but we change that” and the neg is like “but you don’t get your plan!”. Now this is certainly not every k debate ever, maybe its like 20-30% of them at most. But those debates are so annoying they stick out in my mind. One step further, if the neg had a sweet K of the word should or substantially they would own every topic (btw- why is substantially in every topic- in some of the proposed college wordings its in there like 12 times- does substantially have lobbyists that wine and dine the topic committee? What is the deal…). I may go into this more in depth later because I do think this is the most interesting of the arguments, but I will stop here with superficial top level analysis and absurd analogies.

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There Are In Fact Stupid Questions

And stupid people who ask them.

1. What does dispositionality mean? If you are asking this question, or are answering with anything other than “if you make a permutation or a theory argument other than dispositionality bad we can kick the cp” you are stupid. I don’t know when or where someone had the idea that it was ok to just make this mean whatever you want it to mean like “if you read only offense” or “if you straight turn the net benefit” but I would bet it happened in stupidville.  The meaning if dispo is logical- it stems from the idea of opportunity cost. Since competition is the link to the cp, if you challenge the link we can kick it just like if u challenge the link to a disad and then impact turn it. So from now on, if someone asks “what is the status of the CP” instead of saying “its dispo” say “its stupid and arbitrary nonsense-acality”.

2. “What is the status of (any part) of the K”. Once someone reads a K it should be obvious that they are a sneaky trickster and you should be making theory arguments anyway. Even if the alternative is “unconditional” that doesn’t mean anything because even though they are stuck going for “it”, the “it” they go for in the 2NR will bear little/no resemblance to the “it” of the 1NC cx. Please stop wasting all of our lives. I did some math:

I judge around 130 debates a year (excluding camp which would make this ridiculous).

50% involve a K= 65.

I would say at least 1 minute is spent in those debates cxing or asking during prep time about the alternative, so say 65 minutes (this is conservative).

Things I would rather do with that hour

-watch an episode of Golden Girls and Keeping up with the Kardashians back to back

-Have my tonsils removed sans anesthesia

-be hunted by another human a la the most dangerous game

-be warmed by the innards of a tonton while Han set up the shelter, and I thought they smelled bad on the outside…

That means every year I am wasting an hour of my life listening to inane cross x questions that are totally unnecessary. So for everyone out there, I will answer them all now

“Does the alternative solve the case?” -Obviously not chuckles, but we will make a string of stupid arguments about why it does and you will drop them

“who is the agent of the alternative”- I can’t tell you till the 2NR because I don’t know what the alternative will be untill then- but probably everyone on earth holding hands, so I would say all hands.

“what is the status of the alternative” -Its “dropisitional”- if at any point you drop a 2 word argument about the alternative we will then claim u dropped our floating pic/fiat world peace/make war impossible alternative”

/discussion

3. Does your link assume….- no , it obviously doesn’t assume anything let alone your plan. This applies to all disads/anything with a link. If links assumed things we could just insta sign all ballots neg and dispense with the silly debates. Obviously no cards talk about anything becasue debate is contrived and stupid.

4. “what does your 1NC have to say about this 2AC argument”- no explanation needed.

5.  Silly rhetorical questions used to begin a K- again, no explanation needed.

Throwdown #1: Affirmative Framework Choice – The Challenge

So this is the first of the “throwdown ” posts. Basically, I will post an argument, then wait like a week or so. During that week anyone can post in comments a response or series of them. I will then write a new post with how I would answer those arguments as if this was an actual debate. Thats were it will end though as I will have to move on to more pressing matters like Fallout 3.

Throwdown with Scott Phillips

Throwdown with Scott Phillips

A few notes on comments

-no need to post like 1,000 things- don’t just cut and paste your 2NC block into the comments. I won’t waste time responding to things where the answers are probably well known among non mouth breathers. So think about either tough arguments you have had to answer and were stuck on or something like that

-don’t post repeats- that will just slow everything down

-the response will be measured to the initial comment- so if you post a 3 word claim I will respond with a similar short warrantless arg like “you smell..bad” or some such. If you post a legit arg or god forbid a card, you will get a legit response.

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Learning From Your Elders: How To Find and Use Published Scholarship To Improve Your Theory Debating

Policy debate is a specialized activity with a unique vocabulary and a rich history. Its evolution has been shaped in large part by the broader developments in argumentation and rhetoric that have taken place in the academic field of communication. For many years, this connection between contest round debating and the academy from whence it spawned was made explicit by the frequent publication of scholarly articles about debate theory and praxis. Communication scholars, many of whom served as directors of the nation’s leading debate programs, contributed to the development of the activity by authoring texts about the major issues faced by competitors, coaches, and judges.

While the heyday of academic scholarship about competitive debate has passed, its voluminous legacy remains a vibrant source of inspiration and knowledge for contemporary students. Tapping into this rich history of debate scholarship is a fruitful way for students to deepen their comprehension of key theoretical issues while improving their overall ability to debate them effectively in contest rounds.

This article provides advice for students wishing to leverage debate theory research toward improvements in their debating. First, it provides an overview of the sources accessible to most debaters. Second, it provides a list of suggestions for making use of these articles. It is my hope that this article will give interested students the basic guidance they need to dive head first into the world of academic debate scholarship.

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