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Pat and T -What is it good for
Well, here is the long awaited answers to the Gherke T post:
Question 1 - Oral or written or both?
Debate revolves around oral advocacy of written text. At its root the
procedural question is a question of a written resolution represented by a
written plan. The procedural question asks if the written plan is an allowable
example of the written resolution. Therefore, although the defense is an oral
defense, the question is resolvable at the level of rules that apply to
writing.The critic can observe the written text of both the resolution and the
plan text to resolve the dispute. Debate is not primarily a contest based
upon writing skills but the procedural question of topicality is resolvable
to writing. This is true of the real world analog Congress also. Congress-
people advocate written text through oral defense.
Question 2 - Strict rules or ground
The main reason topicality becomes confusing is that the GROUND that is
referred to as the warrant for the procedural is confused with other GROUND
questions. The warrant for procedural exclusion is concerned with
preperation ground not debateable ground. As a result of this, debates
frequently become nonsensical shouting matches: "What cant you run" "they
have taken our ground"etc. The argument really is, or should be, that the
negative should not be expected to prepare for the plan not could the
negative prepare for the plan. There is also the problem of origins. If the
parametric bargain is that the plan is a specialized example of the
resolution the assumption is that the plan should represent the resolution
regardless of ground. Frequently,the debate gets all turned around in that
the negative is expected to prove that the plan makes it impossible for
debate to occur rather than that the plan does not operationalize the
resolution. The game is set up this way for a reason.....The affirmative gets
the power to choose an example at the cost that the example must
represent the resolution (the negative gets to predict the plan). In other
words, the burden of proof ought not be on the negative. There is a large
difference between the ground chosen for you by the affirmative, the ground
you would choose if the plan were predictable, and all ground available.
Anyhow, why should the affirmative get to choose the case get all the prep
time they need to defend the case and also get expanded presumption (if any
ground is created by the case the affirmative is fair)? Sounds pretty
unrealistic to me. Another argument that I think has some validity is that
the procedural serves a solvency purpose. If the plan does not represent
the resolution the affirmative cannot fiat the action in the plan. In
other words, if there is a ground issue or not, the only power the affirmative
has to fiat anything is the resolution. If the case is not an example of the
resolution the case may be a good idea but out of the possiblity of fiat.
It is important to remember that fiat is the power through which debate teams
assume the implementation of policy options. This is a new way of looking
at jurisdiction and the jurisdictional role of the critic. If the judge
adopts the plan the plan need be an example of the reolution because that is
the jurisdiction the judge has. Fiat asks the question during the round, if
the plan was passed what would happen. The judge passes the plan if a
greater balance of goodies happen with the plan than without. However, it
is possible that the hypothetical implementation is contingent on the
question that the plan should answer.So, I would answer that 1) predictable
ground is the real question (which is a written text question based upon the
plan and resolution) 2) that technically fiat is created by the resolution
and can only exist as an abstraction absent it 3) that presumption ought not
be expanded to "any" ground as a procedural matter 4) that the procedural
justification of the parametric bargain has to constrain the affirmative
for it to create an even palying field etc.
Question 3 - why mix grammar standards and ground?
Well, GROUND is a question of the impact of topicality (why does one need
be topical) and standards for definitions are a means of evaluating the
definitions that determine if a case is topical. Imperfect, yes!!!! I
agree with your frustration.....However, I attribute the cause of the
problem to be poorly specialized topic wordings not a poor defense of
T theoretically. As I mentioned yesterday (for the linguists post),
combinations of words remove possibilities of interpretation from
consideration. If I say oil - there are thousands of possible interpretations.
If I say 40 Weight oil - there are hundreds of interpretations. If I
say Prestone 40 weight oil - there are very few options. If I say the
Prestone 40 weight oil sitting on the dresser in front of your face you will
have a hard time convincing me that the Prestone in the garage was the
Prestone I was talking about. While at each stage there is flexibility
there is also less flexiblility than before. Currently, our topics utilize
little precision. US foreign policy towards Mexico....hmmmmmmm.....how many
organs of US government times how many official interactions. Increase
environmental regulations....hmmm......courts, reg agencies, congress times
revisions, enabling legislation, regulatory court decisions, new regs
directly times subjects. OF COURSE T debates are meaningless!!!!!! Our
topics do not remove much from the realm of topical consideration!!!!!!
The argument that is at the heart of all of my posts is fairly simple. Each
team that walks into a debate should have an equal chance of winning it.
The negative should be able to predict the affirmative case based on the
precision of the wording of the topic. The negative should be, if they
work hard, able to have a strategy they choose against a case just like the
affirmative gets to choose which case they defend. Not too complicated a
premise.....but I guess more controversial than anticipated.
Question four - Judge intervention
Quick answer....Yes......All judges intervene every time they make decisions.
See my post called INTERVENTION POINTS from last months. What distinguishes
philosophies is not intervention but rather the points at which judges
intervene. The predictability of the intervention points mark the cohesion
of the judging philosophy. Actually, it is the only important variable
between different judges. I hypothosize that a judges philosophy becomes
mature when they begin to accurately predict the intervention points.
Longer answer....No.....If the topics remove possibilities through precision
of wording topicality debates become degrees less subjective in relation
to the precision of the wording. While I will believe that any animal
with a tail is topical on a animal tails topic I will not believe bear tails
are topical on a kangaroo tails topic. In other words, topic wordings
decrease the believable options for procedural consideration.All decisions
involve intervention at the level of what you believe to be true. Will I
believe any government interaction with Mexico is foreign policy.....Yup..
Will I believe that anything more than senate consent and presidential
signature ratifies a treaty....probably not (shameless plug).
Question Five - The real question - Creative freedom
I believe topics should constrain choice. I believe that the negative should
have just as much license to creativity as affirmatives. We create through
combining arguments with strategic thinking. Currently, the affirmative has
tons of time to prepare a creative defense designed to disintigrate negative
options. The affirmative accomplishes this through manipulation of normal
means (the topic imprecisely describes normal means allowing the affirmative
to adopt the plan in ways that literature does not describe), manipulation
of intent (taking the topic in directions not intended), through choosing
advantages etc. All I suggest is that the creative license be constrained
in order to allow both sides creativity in design.
I also believe that debaters do not leave the activity because they have
less affirmative creative license. I believe, firmly, that debaters leave
the activity because they can work harder than anyone else be better than
everyone else and still lose because they could not anticipate all of the
permutations creativity creates. I believe debaters leave because success
requires an unhealthy committment because only the most dedicated can
overcome the mountain of possible permutations that current topic wordings
allow. I believe debaters leave because most work they spend countless hours
preparing is never used beacause the odds are low you will ever hit a
particular case among hundreds. I think debaters leave the activity becuase
the topic that made sense to them when they heard it ends up meaning that
they are debating a case about terraforming Mars when they thaught they
would be debating civil rights. I assume that the debaters who are
successful now would be just as successful in the world I describe. However,
I believe that debaters who are not as successful would feel that debate was
a more valuable experience if its practice in some way connected to real
meaningful and prepared advocacy. I believe those debaters might actually
feel prepared rather than slaughterd when UMKC unleashes the torrent of
space turns. Maybe not......
My real argument is that we have been doing the same thing unsuccessfully for
years. Why not see if predictability is a positive or negative variable in
the vitality of the debate crusade? The debates cannot become any more
Question six - Ground critiques
O.K. Try it......sounds o.k. I think it is potentially more vulnerable to
your intervention worries etc. I am not sure what the grounding for the
claim is......You can determine what a word in a topic means easier than
you can determine what the threshold for creating an unfair division of ground
is. I guess that is the root of the problem. I think the strict world
which you describe as world3 (I think) better deals with it......But that
is just me.
My question - redesign T????
I think we could rediscover meaningful procedural debates if several things
1) Topics are worded more precisely in ways that limit the action and the
number of possible examples of the action (treaties, reverse a court
decision, strike down one of a set of statutes etc).
2) Judges become more willing to create an intervention point where topicality
is considered a procedural question of the wording of the plan in
relation to its being an example of the wording of the resolution.
3) Judges become less willing and debaters become more adept at seperating
the generic concept GROUND form the specific elements of ground that
impact the procedural question that topicality represents.
4) People get more involved in the theory of topic writing not just the
choosing of a topic they are emotionally attatched to.
That is pretty much the deal from Tempe. Josh
Joshua B. Hoe
all info will be changing soon.
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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