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re: meany and topic ground
>Other information in your posting indicates that our positions on topic
>interpretation are incommensurable. But your commentary here indicates that
>you are still unaware of my position on interpretation...
>My position re interpretation stands in _opposition_ to the familiar and
>inadequate "circles on the blackboard" topicality map. This special-purpose
>debate map has, in fact, functioned to identify and center the issues of
>"ground" and "equality" in topicality theory for some time. This seemingly
>simple sketch has helped to produce the sort of topicality disinformation
>that I noted as implausible and untenable...
>You reference to "the" negative circle and "the" affirmative circle posits a
>singular understanding (and a clearly demarcated boundary) of a resolutional
>or non-resolutional space. As I noted and practice has certainly
>demonstrated, this understanding is false. There are multiplicities of
>interpretations of the resolution: some similar, some complementary, some
>dissimilar, and some contradictory. As noted, many arguments are available
>for the negative beyond the _knowing_ of any interpretation. I used an
>example of Mahoney's posting, but experience on dozens of topics also reveals
>the same thing, namely, that many policy systems and literatures are
>implicated in negative preparation for affirmative interpretation of the
>resolution. It is inevitable that the negative, with access to arguments that
>overlap, cross, transcend, erase, alter, decode, and recontextualize
>interpretations of the resolution, will have "useful argumentative
the problem is that unless the ground thus developed has utility for the
debate rounds the effort is meaningless. sure, many negatives attempted the
effort in futility last year to go beyond the literature and still kept
losing. the utility of possible negative ground last year was limited
precisely because the community chose a throw-away topic devoid of
contemporary literature. no one wrote of the context of united states
foreign policy towards mexico; the relevant topic words to give direction
for research sucked. again, that seems very different for the proposed
wordings for the environment topics.
>Once again, you presume that the negative is "devoid of useful
>argumentation". It is not, as revealed by the example from Mahoney's posting
>and current practice. You also claim the goal of "equitable ground"; an
>unnecessary and hopeless endeavor re topic construction...
tim's laundry list has yet to develop beyond just that; once research gets
more intensive obviously that will change somewhat. my concern is that the
utility of the possible negative ground is severely limited due to the
absence of a harms phrase in the resolution. I still contend that the why
is relevant to determination of topic ground.
>The first half of this paragraph concerns "ground", which I will address
>Regarding your question on division of ground within the topic area and
>division of ground for the debate, you have suggested a need for an
>examination of the literature, "equitable ground", and a relationship of
>negative argumentation to the affirmative interpretation. But which
>literature(s) and argument(s)? I have suggested that the negative options sit
>well beyond the literature, ground, and argumentation of the topic area (in
>this case, the environment). Negative literatures include a range of _other_
>policy systems and disciplines. If committed to a concept of ground, these
>other issues provide sufficient ground for the debate (as you agreed, re the
>literature on regulation, later in this posting). As I noted earlier, an
>examination of these literatures reveals that the balance is arguably
>weighted toward the negative. If committed to the concepts of immediacy and
>relevancy, these arguments are available for use against a broad range of
>affirmative interpretations of the resolution...If committed to play the
>literature examination game, there is more than enough for the negative, well
>beyond interests in equity...
in regards to possible agents of action, this topic appears fairly divided
other areas of argumentative strategy are also equitably divided. the
reality is that a counterplan alone does not a debate round win. some level
of competition is required, and that relates to the question of why
regulate. and a topic favoring the affirmative ground on the available
strategic choices on why is inequitable even if there is parity in the how.
>My point is that the demand for ground within the topic area is a demand for
>more than "equitable ground". It is an attempt to distort the ground for the
>negative. (Again, Mahoney's posting is instructive. He offered plenty of
>arguments for consideration by the negative without even considering
>counterplans, critiques, or case turns).
same broken record as above. the potential literature in the why is not
distorted in either the affirmative of negative favor for a wide range of
possible harms areas. global warming, ozone depletion and many other issues
are extremely debatable. inclusion of a harms phrase would balance ground I
>I have argued elsewhere that the resolution does not have a purpose. At its
>most purposeful, I believe that the resolution functions to announce that a
>debate will occur. I obviously disagree with your claim re ground. Here, you
>take "division of ground" as an act of faith re the resolution. There is no
>reply as to how one could ever construct a meaningful scale for the type of
>balancing that you suggest...
fine, we disagree as to the utility of a resolution. but the community will
have a resolution despite the insideous conspiracy against you, thus ground
considerations will remain relevant.
>>that absolute equality is not possible is
>>not an argument against attempting to provide the most equitable outcome.
>I agree. That is why I have _never_ made the argument re absolute
>equality...I have consistently argued that relative "equality" is a myth and
>devices to construct "equitable ground" are suspect...The claim of "more"
>equity is disingenuous. There isn't sufficient information to determine if a
>choice is more or less equitable; there isn't sufficient predictive ability
>re topic interpretation, negative options, and policy changes during the
>debate season to bring meaning to this claim either...
how do you agree with the statement while arguing that the devices to do so
are "suspect?" and in what way is a harms phrase "suspect?" your contend
above that tim's list of possible argumentative areas constitutes sufficient
ground for the negative is utterly inconsistent with this position.
>I did not find the wording of the resolution to be problematic. I agree with
>you that the selection of arguments by debaters did a disservice to the topic
>area, but that is not a problem with the construction of the resolution. The
>fact that debaters made poor choices re argumentation or that debaters were
>relatively uninspired re counterplan options is not a problem with the topic,
>but with the practitioners...I believe that argument creativity is negatively
>influenced by demands for narrow resolutions, requests for argument
>predictability, argument lists constructed from literature surveys, grail
>searches for ground, etc. In other words, these restrictions that you have
>endorsed help construct a community that is not sufficiently creative and
>dynamic. Problems with ceda practice are an inevitable consequence of
>insidious content control in the community.
the selection of negative arguments reflected the topic's weakness. the
literature was pathetic. the topic was an afterthought. that the community
choose such a poorly worded topic displays the problems of constructing
topics without examining the available literature and attempting to provide
the most equitable topic ground for both affirmatives and neagtives.
>It is also interesting that you support restrictions on the topic language
>and cite these issues re last year's ceda topic. After all, the choice of the
>term _Mexico_ was an attempt to narrow the resolution from the
>"impossibility" of discussing Latin America (although the larger geographical
>region had been previously debate in college and high school policy debate).
>For example, the counterplan literature (re UN and OAS) is more available for
>the broader topic. This is yet another example of the limits of topic
>language as problematic for the negative, not for the affirmative...
actually, my preference was the latin america topic. and that topic
included a form of harms phrase with the environment, democracy and workers'
rights as the necessary end results. still, your statement that "This is
yet another example of the limits of topic language as problematic for the
negative, not for the affirmative..." is exactly my contention.
affirmatives won a disproportunate number of rounds, significantly as a
result of poor topic wording.
>And, as I noted, this meets your goal of "equitable ground". You now seem to
>want more than fairness...But additional limiting language attempts to
>undermine the goal of "equitable ground" and biases the ground for the
interesting conclusion devoid of substantiation. how does a harms phrase
abuse affirmative ground? again, the literature on warming, etc. is balanced.
>For the third time, I did not argue that "why" is entirely irrelevant; I
>argued that it is subordinate...I argued that the fundamental issue in policy
>debate is the _policy _...(I can't believe this is so controversial, but I
>have repeated this comment endlessly on ceda-l on a number of threads with
>individuals who continue to approach policy action from the perspective of
>the primacy of the case. I believe that you have continued this tack. That is
>why you are insisting for the inclusion of language that promote case turns
>despite the fact that you readily acknowledge that, from a policy
>perspective, there are sufficient limits on the affirmative interpretation of
>the resolution. This is detailed later in this posting)...
seems as if your contention is that because the how is balanced, it is
irrelevant whether the why favors the affirmative.
>I hardly ignored the arguments for "one or more of the, etc." I argued that
>the underlying assumptions of language "limits" in the topic were off-base,
>that a comprehensive consideration of negative options undercuts any support
>for language limits, and that the environmental policy literature re
>regulations offers a sufficient limit for the topic models extant.
fine, I too shall make conclusionary statements. no, you did not.
>Here, you have abandoned the reason for your inclusion of additional language
>in the topic, the need for "equitable ground". As I noted and you agreed, the
>"topic is strictly defined even if there are no limits on pollutants and
>harms". The environmental literature provides a "balance" re the issue of
>regulations...You are no longer arguing for "equitable ground" but for the
>specific inclusion of particular negative argument strategies in the language
>of the resolution (e.g., "case turns are good")...You have not offered a
>reason why they are "good", nor have you explained why their inclusion ought
>to overturn the claims that you have tried to establish re "equitable
same argument as above. the how is balanced but the why is not in terms of
resolutional phrasing. perhaps my inclination to see balanced debates, with
counterplan options, case turn options, and disad options is incompatible
with with your perspective. and unless by affording the negative this
argumentative ground degrades affirmative gorund, I still advocate the
inclusion of a harms phrase. gee, the negative might get to run case turns
in a ceda round.
>If topic construction means that one should simply write the topic to include
>a personal argument agenda, your language is no more persuasive than the
>language of any other. If topic construction is designed to support a
>concept, bankrupt though it may be, of "equitable ground", then your position
>on case turns and disadvantages may be doing considerable damage to this
>conceit of fairness...
bankrupt is apparently in the eye of the beholder. I go kicking and
screaming believing that the topic should divide ground.
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