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In defense of choosing potentially policy topics...
From: Glenn Ellingson, Thu, 11 Nov 1993
>Well... let me be a devil's advocate here:
I take that as an invitation to address the concerns Glen raises. >:-)
>1. Allowing the Aff to choose a solvency mechanism + a case area
>(example, in traditional CEDA terms) broadens the number of arguments
>the negative has to prepare for.
This is only possibly true if #2 is true (that policy debate increases the
number of parametric cases). Otherwise, as I will argue below, policy
debate actually decreases the negative's burdens. Further, I will argue
that many non-policy cases already claim to parmetricize, eliminating the
potential increases from #2. (I think that there are a number of
interesting theoretical problems with this that might be interesting to
discuss in a future thread.)
I think that plans will most cetainly increase the number of
parametric cases. Which will lead to a lot of theoretical debates
about what the Affirmative's burdens are; to prove the resoution, or
to prove a possible subset/interpretation of the resolution. True,
"parametrics" is already becoming a commonly abused word in CEDA (for
which I claim partial responsibility, as I was one of the earlier
people to claim p-met as an escape from Hasty G when running cases
such as "Yakuza investment in the US is detrimental to this country"
:-). I even cut some articles intended to apply to NDT debates and
use the theory ev :-/). However, a plan, since it involves fiat, also
almost by definition involves parametrics -- since what the Aff does
NOT fiat, becomes not the resolution.
The paradigms are different. In a non-parametric debate, if the Aff
comes up with a highly unusual plan to avoid standard negative
arguments, I would argue Hasty G -- and say that the Aff plan was not
typical of real-world reactions to the problem. In a parametric
debate, you start with the assumption that no induction is ocurring,
so if the unusual example chosen by the Aff fulfills Aff criteria, all
other *potentially* resolutional arguments are irrelevant. The
Resolutional statement could be determined to be a generally false
conclusion, but if the Aff's case is "true", the Aff wins. So, an
increase in plans = an increase in parametrics = increased research
burden and, IMHO, more procedural arguments about parametrics, T, etc,
since people's CWs, HG, and WR arguments do not apply.
One of my arguments was that the negative's ground is decreased by the lack
of a plan because arguments about why it is disadvantageous to try and
solve the case problems can be avoided by picking effectively picking a
plan after hearing the arguments. (The affirmative doesn't have to
advocate the plan, merely show that the disadvantages do not necessarily
arise from the case.) Thus, the addition of a solvency method decreases
the negative's ground problems.
What? Jamey, you let the Aff get away with choosing the solvency
meechanism*? *After* they hear your arguments? Shame on you! Your
fast mouth won't save you if your brain can't keep up, Jamey :-).
Also, recall the argument I made earlier about conditional aff plans.
If you claim that the Aff giving a plan prevents them from switching
their advocacy after hearing negative arguments, then you are clearly
opposed to conditional plans -- which means you are suggesting that
all plans are parametric, which implies that plans will certainly
increase the number of parametric cases.
To rephrase this, I think that the addition of an affirmative solvency
mechanism enhances negative ground. In the status quo the negative can
only effectively argue that the case problems do not exist. With policy
debate the negative can argue the same, as well as disadvantages to the
affirmative's solvency mechanism and alternative ways to solve.
Technically, Glen is right (as devil's advocate) that the are which the
negative researches is increased by policy debate. BUT, I would argue that
the enlarged research area makes the negative's job researching MUCH
EASIER. In the status quo if I must argue "that date rape is not bad"
(since I can only argue the affirmative example) I will have a tremendous
research burden to find this evidence. But, if I can argue that their
solution fails (or backfires) and that better solutions exist, then I will
have a much easier time researching. The central problem is that the lack
of a need to show solvency with example cases puts the negative in the bind
of arguing against cases they (and the majority of the literature) believes
to be true.
Nonesense. The resolutions have always been chosen as statements
whose "ultmate truth" is in question. Certainly, within almost every
resolution, there are examples that are very true, and examples that
are very false. However, neither of these examples are representative
of the whole class of examples in the resolution. So these examples
*invite*, nay *plead* to be judged Hasty, when used to draw
conclusions about the resolution. So, v. date rape, run HG, then
state you refuse to argue against the suvbstantive case issue, and run
T and possibly criterial arguemnts. Hey, that's giving the Aff what
they asked for, if they selected wierd Affs. I used to run a anumber
of small/unusual aff cases, and I expected this response from people
when I caught them unaware. Hey, it happens.
>2. Plans usually go hand-in-hand with parametrics, since otherwise,
>the plans would eb conditional, and the aff ould change their solvency
>mechanism in response to counter-plans, or just abanon the plan and
>claim a "warrant". Parametrics requires plan-specific links, which
>again increases the research burden.
I think that this is the only way that policy debate may increase research
burdens. BUT, this increase is limited to the extent that many
affirmatives are already arguing (in non-policy rounds) that the round
should focus on their case. Again, I think that there are theoretical
problems that should be addressed about how we argue parametrics. BUT, on
whole as a judge I personally prefer and default to a case focus. (As, I
believe, do most of the Cornell judges.) (I should note, there are also
many theoretical and practical problems with a resolutional focus.)
Hmm. Yes, if everyone is parametric now, then it's hard to increase
the use of parametrics :-). But I, for one, do *not* default to a case
focus. I default to, and I am reluctant to abandon, the assumption
that the Aff must *in some way* prove the Resolution to be true. I
further assume until someone tells me otherwise that the Aff case is
being used to generalize to the whole (or at elast, general) resolution.
If the Aff gets to suggest the criteria, the sole legitimate focus
area, *AND* the solvency mechanism, the debates simply *have* to get
larger and the negative job gets harder. Meaning, faster, more
research, etc. And the use of procedurals, and the risks that teams
run by using procedurals, will increase radically if there are several
signigicantly different judging paradigms in actins -- different to
the extent of Res is focus" or "Res is not focus". I *like* that CEDA
does not have very many rules... and I like judge adaptation. But
surely, there should be at lest one rule -- what the Affirmative has
to do to win the round?
As someone who only debated in CEDA I have never understood the "hard
distinction" between value and policy frameworks. It seems illogical to
me. Just because I am providing a plan or some method of solvency does not
mean that a criterial/value analysis isn't possible or beneficial.
Further, to the extent that people argue that a round cannot be decided
without some explicit type of criteria/value in "traditional CEDA debate"
why would the same arguments not be true for a policy framework. (NOTE: I
do not presumptively believe that crit/value is necessary, but to the
degree that it is helpful in non-policy why is it not helpful in policy?)
I should also add that apparently during the last two years in high school
policy debate there has been a growing use of value type arguments. (Thus,
Mike Berman's favorite positions.)
Yes, I agree. Criteria will (and certianyl should) continue to be
used. Hoever, by adding another major issue/area to the debate rounds
(solvency), either the amount of argumentation on existing debate
areas (criteria or case "harms") will decrease, or debates will get
larger/faster, right? I'm not arguing that Criteria would cease to
exist; I'm just arguing that its role in the debates would decrease,
and therefore so would the role of values in the debates.
If parametrics becomes the accepted norm, then more and more cases
will become "squirrel" cases, cases whose facts are hard to disagree
with, or whose value choices (as in date rape) are hard to disagree
with. This will lead to more procedurals, and less value debates.
I do think that I would agree with Glen that a policy topic makes the
specific type of value cases he is talking about less likely to be employed
-- BUT, I think the reason for this is mainly an increase in the number of
possibilities for affirmatives to choose from. To the extent that such
cases are advantageous and interesting they can still be chosen. (For
example, using Glen's case, plan to overturn Miller with the advantage of
eliminating confusion -- arguing that confusion, at a value level, is the
important filter to use.)
Yes, these cases could still be chosen. But they wouldn't be chosen
as often. My opint exactly.
The final issue that Glen raises is the decreasing popularity of NDT. From
the above, I would suggest that the only reason brought up which might be
problematic is the increased research burdens. BUT, if I am right that
policy debate does not substantially increase research burdens and in many
ways decreases them, while providing the benefits of clearer debate, then I
think that we should borrow this good part of NDT debate (at least for some
of our topics and debates) and let old NDT continue to decline (hopefully
with more people coming over to good old CEDA). :-)
If the increase in the use of plans does in fact decrease research
burdens and increase calrity in the rounds, I'm 100% for it. Heck,
I'm still kinda for it regardles; I'm still playing devil's advocate.
But, I think there are legitimate concerns about the issue. Then
again, "the issue" seems to have shifted from "plans" to
"parametrics", and I'm really indicting plans mostly becasue they
equal increased use of parametrics. Hmm.
>(and next week, I'll try to start a flame war about speed... :-)
Alas, being much faster than good old Glen I think I would simply snow him
under in such a war -- putting a quick chill on his flame if you would.
Ah, Jamey... the "good old days". But I'm afraid we've traded podiums
for terminals... how fast are your fingers, old friend? :-)
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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