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Re: Twohy's 1AR - He didn't cover
On Thu, 3 Nov 1994, Kevin Twohy wrote:
> Doug Hennessee says that the reason why the elite and national circuit
> teams win is because they are just plain better. Is this an absolute
> position? Gary Larson posted last week that over 1000 students have
> debated in CEDA so far this year - do we really know who the top 10 teams
> are? Have each of the elite critics seen each of the top 10 or top
> 20 teams this semester or are they voting on reputation? Debate ranking is
> not the same as ranking athletic teams because we do not have cable TV
> for debate, but we do for football and basketball so we can vote for our
> favorite teams by direct observation. We cannot do that in CEDA.
I'm pretty disturbed by the constant assertion that critics are unable to
render a fair decision. You seem to believe that all ballots are
predetermined by the number assigned to a team in a poll. Every single
weekend we see examples of how that is false. SMS v NEMO at Emporia is a
good example...in octos the #3 team lost to a team that recieved no votes
in the coaches poll (no diss on either team...congrats to NEMO and Greg
> Carson argues that we need to pursue a system that puts the right
> judges in the right places. I agree, if mutual preference is really
> based on knowledge of the critics. Wouldn't the elites just rank all the
> other elites as A's and rank everyone they don't know (the non-elites who
> are argument experts) as C's. The elites would then hope for an elite
> vs. a non-elite debate with an elite critic who the non-elite team did
> not know was an elite so did not strike. A Double elite win
CFR all over again! Professor Twohy would have us believe that not only
is thie and elite group of teams...but also an "elite" group of judges
whose SOLE purpose is to advance teams that are ranked! Knowledge of
critics is facilitated at nationals (at least) by the judging booklet.
One would assume teams would read such booklet in assigning their
preference. Prof. Twohy should also remember that there are a limited
number of A's, B's, and C's....you can't pick ONLY judges that you want.
> But there may be a dispute over our definition of "lay." I
> believe a scholar of argument who has worked as a debate coach throughout
> the year, and judged numerous rounds on the topic IS qualified to judge.
> The Larson tournament computer should randomly assign these
> critic/coaches. In the second out-round are only those critic/coaches
> who coached teams to the first out-round, etc., etc. So there is
> in place now a random distribution of coach/critics in the out-rounds who
> coached teams to those very out-rounds. A very fair system which has
> produced a national champion every year which has "survived" being seen
> by a minimum of 30 different critics through the final round. Underview,
> which of the national champion teams from the last nine years did not
> deserve to be national champion?
FIrst of all, a factual inaccuracy...I believe that judging in the
outrounds of nationals is NOT limited to judges for teams still in the
tournament. Prof Twohy attempts to create a strawperson when he asks "who
does not deserve to be champion?" The point is not that teams win
nationals that are undeserving...it is that other teams that are as
deserving get hosed on bad decisions...and forfeit their chance to
> Joe Boyle argues that a "top" team may lose to a "no name" team. I
> would like to critique this on a rhetoric kritik. The fact that the
> elites are "top" and the non-elites are "no name" is an absolute pre and
> post resolutional kritic of "power-biased" rhetoric. The rhetoric should
> say that the better team in the debate won, not that the "top team got
> legitimately beat, or screwed by a panel."
Wow! A kritik of the language of power relations! Unfortunately, Prof
Twohy's insistence of the validity of every decision rendered by a judge
strains credibility - I'm sure that every critic likely regrets at least
one decision (several have admitted to me that they made the wrong
decision in debates I have participated in). Just because a decision
rendered is irreversible does not make it correct.
> Sean argues that if you work hard you are elite. That assumes (from an
> elite perspective) that the other 980 debaters of CEDA do not work hard
> so that is why they are not ranked. He also refers to me as El Diablo
> which would feed my rhetoric critique from above, and shows a lack of
> ethnic sensitivity.
Why don't you answer his examples! Prof Twohy sets up another strawperson
in this argument. I will not say that most debaters are lazy or do not
work...but the fact remains that different individuals have differing
levels of commitment to the activity and different individuals may vary
in the amount of research they do. I certainly understand reasons for
that (academics, other activities, etc...) but those who choose to not do
the research and the preparation to compete with people that work their
butt off have no ground to whine about unfair treatment. Hats off to
Gonzaga, American, NW La....and all the other examples cited. They are
the best argument for hard work being the key.
> Matthew Roskowski argues that the top 10 list is elitist, but it is not
> harmful. The very definition of an elitist is harmful to the democratic
> process of equality. The key admission is that you agree that the
> Top 10 list IS elitist. I think it serves no useful purpose to promote
> an elitist ranking system. We should each individually draw our own
> conclusions from the CEDA tournament results that are published each
> month by our elected officers.
You assume that equality is central tenet of CEDA. By definition it is
not. We choose a WINNER every weekend....a TOP SPEAKER....why is a poll
harmful (or any more harmful than choosing a winning team each weekend?)
Nothing is to stop anybody from drawing their own conclusion as to who
the top teams are.....that is all the poll is - 20 different opinions on
who the best teams are.
> Matthew also makes the comment that the top 10 teams should clear at
> nationals. This is the exact type of bias that I think is destroying the
> very fabric of an equal but fair CEDA national tournament. The best
> teams on that weekend should clear at nationals, not the "elite ranked"
Gee, that IS what Matt said. His argument was that the expectation was
that the best teams would clear (something all people do at every
tournament - e.g. I expect K-Dog and Paul (to borrow from Devon) to clear
at UMSL.) His argument was not that these teams should even have to
debate the prelims!
> Matthew further argues that debate should be based on fair evaluations
> of the round - not political bias. I agree, so let's take out the
> political bias and ramifications of elite power gesturing.
Until you prove that this bias exists and that the judging pool is unfair
- I can only see that argument as a non sequitar.
> Matthew finally argues that Jack Howe doesn't own CEDA...America isn't
> a monarchy, neither is CEDA. I agree. I voted for Don Brownlee to
> replace Jack Howe as President. He did a great job as president, as has
> every president since. CEDA should be a democracy with everyone who
> wants to vote - having a vote in every major issue and decision. Let's
> work together to foster this great CEDA debate organization.
Doug Dennis & Jamie Castella's
> argument that budget money and travel funds may dictate the
> ability for other's to play the non-regional elite national circuit.
Extend my examples above....running out of time...have to get to class!
> Michael Bryant's argument that the counter arguments advanced shows a real
> similarity to NDT & CEDA arguments from years ago that argued about hard
> work and an elite national circuit. I like & promote NDT and CEDA.
That is an entirely different post....Let me just say that I think the
slams on Prof Bryant on this thread have been unjustified.
> I hope debate can flurish throughout the nation, and that argument
> forums like CEDA-L can help promote discussions and goal setting for our
> national organization. Let's work together to promote democracy and
> strengthen academic debate.
> Kevin Twohy
> Diablo Valley College
Prof Twohy, I share the same goals that you do...but I disagree
wholeheartedly with your prescriptions.
See y'all at UMSL.
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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