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Help! Help! I've been sucked into the vortex of technology. What am I
doing here? Don't I have anything better to do? Shouldn't I be grading
papers? Playing with my children? Is my hubris so great that I have to
spill my guts in uncomposed form to a machine? Yep.
Basically I'm here to put an addendum on my message yesterday and try
to be a little more topic specific. The question seems to be, if there is
a round where a "fast" team is meeting a "slow" team with a fast judge,
what type of "speed" is appropriate (if any at all).
My position yesterday was to hopefully give the slow team's hope. You
do not have to raise the white flag just because you find yourselves in
this position. But there will be vastly different things you need to do
depending on whether you are facing dialectical, or rhetorical speed. The
situation I described yesterday (concerning teams putting out twenty or so
blurb two word lines of analysis) would seem to indicate that the slow
team's opponent was using rhetorical speed. You might consider adding a
position in your first stand on the standards of an argument.
If either team violates these standards (and it would more than likely
be the fast team), it would be grounds for dropping the argument. At the
very least it would cause the rhetorically fast team to spend time
justifying their positions. Many judges would hesitate to accept the
counterintuitive argument that a debate team does not have to have sound
arguments to win a round. Or, they have to convince the judge that their
positions are sound - either way takes time that could be spent on more
Dialectical speed may present a little more of a problem for a slow
team (in my humble opinion). These arguments tend to be formed a bit more
carefully, but when combined with speed, they get more of them out too.
Here the slow team needs to especially concentrate on the logic of the
positions. Ask for copies of them in c-x if you don't have them on the
flow. It is vital for a slow team to find logical flaws in the positions
of the fast team if they hope to take out the positions. They will never
match them point for point, so they must take out the foundations, or
conclusions of the position - don't waste your time trying to do both.
One of the most important things a slow team can do, in my opinion
(again) is to STAY SLOW! Don't go any faster than you normally do. If
you appear that you are trying to go faster to cover the things your
opponent has said, it will be disastrous. Stay calm, stay persuasive.
Don't look like you are trying to adapt to them, because then you are
asking the judge to compare the two teams on their ground - and of course
you won't measure up. You must turn it into a debate with a comparison of
styles. Have faith in your style. Show the fast judge that you don't
have to spread to be good. You can stay calm and take out their arguments
Unfortunately, all of this is based on the assumption that you have a
tabula rasa judge - which people who know me know I don't believe exist.
This puts a burden on the judges too. Even if you are a "fast" judge,
don't be afraid to vote for a slow team (if you feel they've been
successful). In this world all debaters are subject to the biases of the
judges, even if the judges don't consciously know they have them. Deal
with it, it's not going to go away.
But, as I said yesterday, I don't believe any of the three different
positions being discussed are intrinsically better - they are just different.
And now I think I'll go play with my kids (anything to get out of
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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