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Re: In defense of choosing potentially policy topics...
As GlenN notes at the end of his last message this discussion is beginning
to focus on the merits of paremetric versus resolutional focuses. I would
like to directly enter this discussion if Glenn (or someone else) would be
willing to initate a defense of why the resolution should be the focus of
debate. In the mean time I would like to continue the discussion as it
focuses on policy debate in CEDA.
From: Glenn Ellingson, Fri, 12 Nov 1993
>From Jamey Dumas
>>From: Glenn Ellingson, Thu, 11 Nov 1993
>>>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). [...]
>I think that plans will most cetainly increase the number of parametric cases.
I agree with Glenn. I think that there is an increase in the number of
parametric cases under a policy topic (or at least a topic often
interpreted in a policy framework) than in the status quo, for a couple of
First, in the status quo there are a number of judges, like Glenn, who
assume the resolution to be the focus. This allows negatives counter
warrant ground, thus decreasing their research burden as they have
something to rely upon.
Second, there are teams who would claim parametrics under a policy
interpretation who do not do so in the status quo. (Although, I think the
number of teams who fall into this category is quite small.)
But, I still believe that the advantages to the negative's ground help
offset this. The end result is that a team that relies largely or
exclusively on counter warrants as their negative strategy will be hurt by
policy debate (at least in terms of increased research burdens). But,
teams who prepare linked offcase positions may see policy debate as a net
increase in their ground as it clears up other issues in their favor. (As
an aside, this would be one reason why I would suggest that teams put more
emphasis on putting together linked offcase positions, and less emphasis on
counter warrants -- overall, even in a non-policy framework, you will be
more competitive and perhaps learn more.)
>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.
Quick (possible) disagreement. I don't think we will see an increase in
procedural arguments as a whole (as you note HG and WR at least will go
away), just a shift in the type of procedural arguments. Furthermore, if
the topic seems to clearly call for or at least allow a policy
interpretation then I do not see much ground for the negative to stand on
in arguing parametrics bad (as Glenn points out, policy calls for
>>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 :-).
Humor laughed at, but don't miss my point. I would COACH my teams to
choose their solvency afterwards in the status quo. I DO NOT see a reason
why they can't. If the negative runs a disad which depends on a specific
solvency mechanism to link they are the ones making the logical flaw which
they (the negative) should be punished for. My point was that policy
debate increases negative ground because they CAN now run such arguments,
where in the status quo the affirmative has the (I think) legitimate power
to avoid them.
>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.
:-) If the only harm of avoiding conditional plans is to accept parametric
cases then I think that parametrics is clearly benefitical. NOTE:
conditional plan power is essentially what the affirmative has now -- that
is why, as I describe above and before, they can avoid mechanism linked
>>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.
(Aside: I would argue that the Glenn is speaking the nonsense. Who knows
why we choose these resolutions? The entire res focus/parametrics debate
calls into question the "truth" which Glenn asserts. :-))
>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.
BUT, what if your assumption about the validity of Hasty G is called into
question? Then what do you do? I think that this discussion will be
better addressed as part of the res focus vs case focus discussion I am
>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.
As was true when you debated, you are confusing me. :-) When you say you
"caught them unaware" that seems to imply that once they were aware they
could develop a different strategy (than using HG and other procedurals).
So, if I am running the "Date Rape" case what is your alternative, "aware"
strategy going to be? I think that a counter-plan is where to go.
AND, how do we determine the line between small, wierd cases and legitimate
ones? What if the resolution really does provide typical, significant
cases like date rape? It is my guess that what a school who does minimal
research calls a squirrel and what Vermont calls a squirrel and what UMKC
calls a squirrel are all very different animals. (Note, I am only
hypothetically assuming that Vermont does research.)
>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.
So, begin the defense of res focus. :-)
>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
I disagree with your emphasis. I think the worst case scenario for the
negative is when the aff gets to suggest the criteria *AND* the focus area,
BUT does NOT HAVE to provide a solvency mechanism. THIS is the scenario
where the aff, I think, legitimately can say, "Sorry, your arguments do not
apply -- there are many ways to solve which avoid your harms." (And
nothing to prevent the aff from simply choosing, if pressed, a few which
avoid all of the harms demonstrated in that particular round.)
Thus, adding policy debate to our options now makes the negative's job in
many instances easier. To be honest, it may be better to take away the
affs ability to set the focus area (something I disagree with, but will
save for another discussion), but that does not mean that adding a sovlency
burden is not also better than the status quo. (At least some instances of
the status quo.)
>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?
UHG. Glenn shows dinosaur blood. :-) Seriously, how do we determine
this? I'm afraid that regardless of any future discussions there will
always be regional and individual differences of opinion on this subject.
>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.
As a teaser to any discussion on parametrics I would like to suggest that
we are already largely at the point where most cases are essentially
parametric. Consider a quick list of cases being run on this topic in this
Nuclear Power, Youth Apathy, Corporate Control, UFO's, HIV not AIDS,
AIDS, African AIDS, Tech, Alar, Info Overload, Compassion, Islam,
Setting, Recycling, Terrorism, The Deaf, Feminism, Africa, Voting,
I don't think many of these cases would be described as "whole
resolutional." Whether or not these cases were explicitly argued as
parametric or not is irrelevant (and largely judge dependent I would
guess). The point is that we are already seeing the type of examples that
would be run under a parametric norm.
>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
So defend the res focus...
> >(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? :-)
As one of my debaters mentioned in a personal message, faster than my
tongue. But, as one of the Cornell coaches is found of recalling that
doesn't necessarily mean anything. Perhaps I will have to depend on simply
having the moral high ground. :-)
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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