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RE: The Meaning of Competition
Domenic Battistella writes:
> Well right, and this means that the counterplan must be
> mutually exclusive with the plan (which can never exist) or net
> benificial to the plan or permutation (e.g. inadvisability). I
> don't see what is so difficult about this concept.
Nope. This would be fine if you took out the "plan or" part of that
sentence. You can't consede my definition if you don't concede my
definition. Again, net benefits competition (shouldn't do both because of
bad impacts) is confused with a net benefit to the counterplan over plan.
The meaning is very different. On to the objections below.
Off my (a), Domenic writes:
> Then why do tournaments hand out trophies at the end? We should be
> debating for our own intelectual fufillment.
I'm not sure if this is even relevant, but competition enhances education.
I participate in debate because I like the activity and the skills it
teaches. I try to win tournaments as well, because competition is a part
of the activity and a part of the education it provides. Reading books
would never be as educational as competing against someone to win. But
that doesn't mean we should forget what we compete about... effective
> So what is competition again. If I read your definition correctly it is
> forced choice between two policies do to the impossibility or
> inadvisability of doing both. Since, as Jeff Percher so eloquently puts
> exclucivity can never exist then the only measuring stick for competition
> is the inadvisability of choosing both. The only standard for
> inadvisability are the net benifits.
Net benefits is a term that implies comparing two policies. The measuring
stick for competition is net benefits of counterplan over the perm. This
is different from net benefits of the counterplan over the plan. The
latter concept is not related to competition. Please explain how net
benefits of counterplan over plan proves inadvisability of doing both... it
seems that if a hungry person eating a steak is better than a hungry person
eating a tic-tac, no one has shown the inadvisability of eating the steak
then the tic-tac afterwards to freshen his/her breath.
So even if I concede that MX is impossible, competition doesn't encompass
net benefits over plan, just over perm. Yes, weighing impacts has a lot to
do with competition in this view, but which impacts are weighed determine
whether we are really evaluating degree of competition or just comparing cp
Now Off the (b) subpoint.
Domenic's objection here is that this will muddle the issue and confuse
people. I don't think people are incapable of understanding the difference
between competition and net benefits. They did when MX was the standard of
competition... Now they just get confused by people using the term "net
benefits" to refer to any comparison, without specifying what is being
compared. That can be fixed...
Next Domenic asks why it makes no sense to arbitrarily redefine words to
make competition into the sum of competition and net benefits. My answer
is the same reason why it makes little sense to redefine the word couch to
include a compete set of living room furniture. There is no good reason to
Now to the (c) subpoint.
> You already know what I think about opportunity cost so I won't bother
> attacking the theory. The only thing is regardless of if your cp is
> based on opportunity cost or fiat, the cost of the lost opportunity,
> fiated or otherwise, must outweigh the benifit of the plan at hand.
Right. But my qualm is with failing to recognize this as a separate
burden, but rather lumping it with competition. I am really confused by
this next statement:
> only way you can force chouce, as stated above, is if the two options
> existing in the same world are inadvisable. This means the counterplan
> is better.
No it doesn't. How does inadvisability of doing both imply that the
counterplan is better? Granted, this may be somewhat relevant to at least
one common way that net benefits is used (which is redundancy + a disad to
plan). But it isn't intrinsic to the theory. A DA could be linked from
the perm, or a DA could be linked to cp in the face of redundant solvency.
In these cases, it is inadvisable to do both, but the plan could
definitely be the superior policy option. Competition most certainly does
*not* imply a net beneficial counterplan.
> I just don't see how your argument effectively seperates the
> two issues (competition and net benifits.)
It does because there isn't that implication of net benefits over plan.
Competition is independent of net benefits of the cp over plan.
To the (d) subpoint
Domenic Battistella objects to the fact that lumping issues together
> Ah, this is just another reason why opportunity cost counterplans are
> unjustifyable. Don't these opportunities have to compete with each
> other? I thought the opportunity cost was the best option given up by
> fiating the plan. I didn't know there could be multiple best options.
> You counfuse yourself.
I believe I renounced the economics definition a while ago when I realized
that it assumes option compete for a resource. This is actually not a very
common occurrence in debate, and often is even considered abusive as in
cp'ing away the aff funding. (Speaking of which, I wonder if instead of
whining about abuse, aff could anti-counter to do cp with different
funding, showing that cp is really compatible with aff...) If the
competition is different, the theory will differ. Counterplans are any
good option that must be foregone to pass the aff plan.
> If you are basing this on the economics lit then your argument is
> invalid. The two opportunities given up compete with each other.
> You cant put them toghther and say they outweigh the plan.
I'm not basing it on the economics lit. Multiple counterplans can (and
must) be compatible with each other. Remember, they are probably not
competing for a common resource, which is the assumption of the economics
lit that has been cited on the list.
Off my next point...
> 1. Flawed argument (see above.)
And answered above
> 2. Well, doing all three in that combination seems advisable (not
> inadvisable) so the counterplans don't compete. It is a yes/no question.
Not if the cost of the remaining third and half of counterplans outweighs
affirmative advantages. You see, there are issues that can't be decided
with purely discrete choices.
> You confuse yourself. Step back and see the contradictory arguments in
> this post and then reanalyze your origional position. BTW The meaning
> of competition has evolved into a basic fight for net benifits over
> time. Jeff didn't just decide on a whim to say let competition be a
> debate of net benifits, and it was. Several years ago we would be
> having this exact debate in round. Over time a consensus grew in the
> debate community. We stoped arguing the scemantics of competition and
> we started arguing ths substantive effects of plan/counterplan
> interaction. I certianly like that debate better.
Where is the contradiction you refer to? In all the points you've made, I
don't think I've seen a comment about contradictions. And I realize that
net benefits have evolved over time. They are really irrelevant to this
discussion because net benefits competition is just a separate type of
competition. Net benefit over the plan is a different burden, and it
You'll have to clarify how you get the idea that separating competition and
net benefits over plan restricts the degree to which interactions between
plan and counterplan can be evaluated. I think they make to discussion
easier, because the concepts are there to employ towards that end.
> Yeah, but webster doesn't debate.
So I could redefine disadvantage to mean plan plank and as long as the
debate community was behind the move, it wouldn't matter? Although I don't
support keeping debate within the sphere of the common man when it means
decreasing critical thinking abilities and policy analysis (ie, in the face
of opportunity costs that outweigh), I do prefer to believe that we should
keep debate as an accessible activity. Why don't we all debate in Latin?
You are creating a new language with what you are doing. Competition
means competition to me, whether I'm in a round or out. You'll have to
prove a substantial impact to the debate world to justify abandoning
terminology that makes sense outside of debate.
> And the only way to have the judges support is to be more net benificial
> than plan or permutation.
Right. The only way to win is to be net beneficial to the plan. BUT that
doesn't mean that a counterplan that isn't net beneficial to plan never
competed. Only that it didn't win.
> Yeah, and the negative competes with the affirmative by running a
> The only thing is that if the counterplan doesn't compete with the
> plan than the negative loses, even if they competed with the affirmative.
Forget aff and neg right now. Counterplan must compete and win in order to
warrant the ballot. If the counterpln doesn't compete, it doesn't get the
judge's vote. If the counterplan doesn't win (even if it does compete) it
doesn't get the judge's vote. (Side note: counterplan losing doesn't imply
negative losing.) Apply the words to the courses of action instead of
teams, and you've got it.
Wow! You've just read more than I could ever get through...
Woodland Park HS Debate
"Love is apparently killed by time, only because it transcends time; and
its spiritual and infinite essence cannot be contained with the limitations
of a material and finite world."
- Caroline Spurgeon, on Shakespeare's philosophy of love
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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