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RE: Treaties and Hoes
I think Josh does not read me as carefully as I might like. Perhaps he and I are not interpreting my post the same way. I will try to clarify and hopefully that will deal with some of the more mundane of his arguments.
This post makes more sense in context of the response to Paul Hayes, but I think we can deal with these issues rather succinctly.
1. Pat - All terms are indeterminate and meaningless - Josh - well some are
more determinate than others....Significantly increase regulations is less
determinate than reform environmental regulations....which is less
determinate than command a numeric decrease in pollution through increasing
command regulations...which is less determinate than command a numeric
decrease in pollution through increasing part 2 regulations currently under
consideration by the EPA.....Each decrease in indeterminacy allows a
subsequent decrease in affirmative flexibility which decreases the size of
the set of cases that divide the ground....To argue all words are
meaningless and that T is inane only becomes an argument for no-topic
debate.....If you want to enter that debate we can? Also, why cant I make
that an argument against all the words you use.....He cannot be right
because all his words are gibberish....Got to start somewhere....
Straw argument. Terms are not meaning_less_. Their meaning is relatively unbound. That is to say, that while a term may produce a sort of general idea or inclincation, it never can clearly draw bright lines. As Ron Hirschbein might say, there may be a target, but there is no bullseye. Some interpretations are clearly off target ("treaty" means a bathtub full of chocolate pudding, and "ratify" means to transport into the atmosphere) but other interpretations dance along the edge of a term. These aberrant interpretations become uncontrollable and tend to destabilize the meaning of any center of a term. Thus Josh's search for "more determinate terms" will be relatively futile in that there will always be a larger area of indeterminancy that determinancy to any term. Intersubjectivity permits communication but likewise denies true authority to any singular interpreter or interpretive community.
Please don't mistake me for Derrida.
2. Pat - Terms of art are abused...examples of Military Intervention and
Development.....Josh- Yup, but the more specific the term (or determinate)
the less wiggle room.....You seem to assume that if any wiggle room is
created my argument falls....That is not true because the size of the
circle of cases created by the topic create the ground division...smaller
circle = better ground division. Also, what is the alternative....just
vote by pointing blindfolded???? If all ground division is impossible and
word choices are all indeterminate why have topics at all....see above...
It is also kind of silly......I have won rounds on T you have not lost
rounds on T....what does this prove? Also, the term development is
hardly a unique term in the literature on oceans while ratification is
a unique term on ratification on treaties....You may be right about the
ways that the plan wording will allow unique implementation but only in
the direction of the solvency evidence and only as a permutation of
48 possible cases (I can still predict the research better than development
or Military Intervention). Also, Military Intervention is a silly
example because that topic did not even try to limit ground by anything but
a harm area (150 plus countries and 100 types of military intervention in
the literature hardly represents a topic thats goal was to manage ground
division). Finally, you have to prove not that there is wiggle room but
rather that the wiggle room creates an unmanageable topic in comparison to
the I am a harm area topics (p.s. you do not even attempt this).
Topics are not managed. No topic has ever been effectively managed by the interpretive community because the interpretive community lacks the tools and capacity to manage the interpretation.
Now, as for the "vote blindfolded" argument... I think that this is somewhat silly. It presupposes that illussions of ground division are the only reason that one might vote for or against a topic area. There a veritable trove of other ways to determine what topic one wishes to vote for. Criteria such as meaning and importance of the issue to the community (saliency), opportunity to better develop theory under the topic area (heuristic value), how well the topic area might motivate or not to motivate debaters of different experience levels (participatory value), ability to connect the topic to people outside the debate community (activist value), and many more. NOTE: These criteria assume that a topic might have a motivational value and help to point people in certain directions. I certainly believe that topics can do this. I do _not_ believe that topic areas or topic wordings can prevent people from straying from those paths and utilizing aberrant interpretations.
No matter what the topic is worded the community cannot control the interpretation enough to make it manageable. Eventually one of two things will happen: (1) more debaters will realize the easy ways to completely remove the rhetorical power of topicality, or (2) some debaters will finally rewrite topicality as a practiced theory to renew its rhetorical power and overcome some of its theoretical inconsistencies.
3. Pat - cases divide ground not topics - Yup,,,,,a sad state of affairs...
should we accept this as inevitable - Josh - worst case scenario you make
a good case for taking procedurals more seriously even if redefined. Best
case scenario the topic suggest the circle of cases which create ground
division. My suggestion is to limit the circle and limit the options. Is
your argument really that topics have no effect on the development of cases
with most teams????? Just because you decided that you would ignore the
topic entirely because you could use your case idea to turn procedurals
seems not to warrant a divorce from concerns about ground division. Again,
what is the alternative and why would you want the no topic option if that
is the alternative you support? P.S. You never tried to be topical you
ignored the topic entirely - seems again like an argument for no topic (good
luck in getting that one through).
Well, occaissionally my partner and I made a nominal nod toward the topic. One card about prisons on the violent crime topic, one card about fish on the oceans topic, etc. Yes, our case answered topicality on face. I think many affs could use a similar strategy or incorporate such positions into 2AC first lines.
Now, Josh conflates two radically different arguments and make the weaker my position. Let me try to be clear. As states above, topics do affect what most debaters tend to explore as their aff case -- BUT -- they cannot effectively constrain those debaters who will take on aberrant interpretations and be willing to defend them by showing to poverty of contemporary topicality practice and theory.
Perhaps there is a good case made here for topicality to become a more powerful argument, but until the theoretical inconsistencies of the argument form (see my recent post of Topicality, Texts, and Contexts) can be overcome this is not going to happen. Simply weighting the argument more heavily is discussed in that post. My claim is that a simple backlash will only intellectually stunt this community and rob debaters of critical understandings of the development of issues of procedural exclusion and interpretation.
As I said in that previous post, until the weakness of topicality as argument form can be solved (no small task), these discussions are purely academic.
4. Pat- Multiple wiggles on treaties (Reservations, Interpretive Declarations,
Legislative History, Executive Interpretations). Josh - Wellllllll even
if this is true each team still would be required to ratify the treaty and
the actor choice limits this even more.....Which means I still have
something to say regardless....Also, inmplementation is not ratification -
normal means would be the senate ratifies and the president signs - that
is ratification while the other things you mention are implementation.
You may not like T or Extra T but those certainly become options if this
interpretation is used and I still force you to ratify the treaty which
provides predictable ground (I have something to say)....It also has to
be a treaty that exists for ratification which does even more to constrain
your wiggle room.....In addition, all of those options you mention are
predictable because they operationalize the implementation process of a
ratified treaty - if it is in the literature on the topic I have no
problem with this (as opposed to development which could literally mean
any changing of form)... Finally, why is this worse than topics that are
only harm areas? My argument is that it is better and you make no
comparison at all.....
This is where the post in response to Paul Hayes plays a large part.
Josh claims to T and Extra-T are groundless absent some dealing with the above comments and the Topicality, Texts, and Contexts post. I will make it more manageable by saying that I will brush aside much of the Oral/Written culture discussion and Walter Ong for another time. Just convince me the argument as practiced is not fatally flawed due to the two conflicting paradigms it relies upon. All these arguments Josh makes are moot if I am correct about the weakness of topicality as an argument form.
Regardless, Josh's claim is not warranted. He may have something to say, but it may not apply, be preempted, etc. by all the wiggle room on treaties. Josh thought "not my PoMo" was bad, do you remember the "not my Law of Sea" response? Or how Michigan chose to ratify only one article of the LOS at a tournament? See the problem? The whole strategy against LOS goes to pot if it isn't about article 11. Then you have to cut article 11 cards and we're back to case dividing the ground.
5. Pat- No warrant for your claim that area is irrelevent - Josh - they
were in the other billion posts that no one answers about limiting
ground first. First, having something to say is better than never knowing
what the hell the affirmative will run.....They will have to ratify a treaty
to be topical......all squads no what treaties exist (in the topic paper)
....therefore, a greater chance exists that you will have something to
say about the case. An example, on the ERegs topic there were approx.
140 cases not counting new cases at nationals - each case could address
multiple harm areas and claim multiple impacts as well as change direction.
On this topic, even if you were right, you have 48 cases max which also
can claim multiple harm areas and change direction. There is still a
greater chance you have something to say both ways on 48 than on 140.
Novices and small programs need certainty of research more than creativity.
Also, choosing a harm area only limits the action not the harms claimed
so its not like the alternative governs the harm area any better than
treaties....For example: on the Warming case I could claim energy advantages
....Food advantages....advantages off of the type of regulation...
advantages off procedure of government etc.....Voting for a harm area
hardly ensures a precise set of harms you will debate any more than treaties
does, but treaties does limit the action to ratification of approx. 48
All above. Josh is radically overestimating the power of topicality and the limits that will be enforceable under treaties topics. I estimate over a hundred cases on the topic will win some rounds over the course of the year. If treaties wins we'll make the bet.
6. Pat - T bad.....Josh - T good......How the hell do we resolve this
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