Friday, March 29, 2013

Debater's Manifesto 2012-2013 section 3

Section 3 - on criterias and evidence

* The quality of arguments is superior to the quantity.
* Saying “observation” in the 1AC is a waste of time.
* Defining the resolution terms is a waste of time (exception: if you’re purposely running a non-topical case, you should tuck a really wishy-washy, all-inclusive definition into the 1AC).
* The word is criterion, not criteria. A case with criteria is probably more confusing than necessary.
* The criteria for assigning speaker points on evidence has more to do with the debater’s delivery than with the actual quality of the evidence.
* ^ I did that on purpose.
* Heck, the criterion for all 6 categories is based mostly on delivery. In truth, one could make the stupidest arguments possible and still net a perfect 30.
* Truly fulfilling debates are shaped by arguments, not by arguments about the arguments, i.e. bickering about criteria.
* The real "real-world" criterion is Middleclass, not Net Benefits.
* Just as 2000-page bills that no one reads are detrimental to liberty, so too are 100-page "studies" that no one bothers to cite equally detrimental to debate.
* If a debater admits that his 100-page "study" has a lot of advanced, incomprehensible math which is way over his head, then it's a safe assumption that he hasn't checked the math himself.
* Source indictments are underused.
* Whether affirmative or negative, debaters must prove their own sources to be credible.  The morons of humanity far outnumber the experts, so the judge must assume all sources to be unqualified until their credentials are shown.  For all we know, militaryringinfo.com could just be an unofficial Modern Warfare messageboard.
* For all we know, every one of the New Yokel Times writers could be a brainwashed, liberal intern because literally none of them have even the slightest credentials listed on the paper’s website.
* For all we know, CNN.com reporters could be a bunch of illegal immigrants because none of them can write competently in proper English.
* Having a Ph.D. does not make one an expert. For instance, a Ph.D. in nuclear physics hardly qualifies one to lecture intelligently about strategic missile defense or drone technology.
* Strong tags represent complete, logical ideas. E.g., “Solvency – Inadequate penetration of bomb” or “Significance – aid doesn’t cause terrorism” are much more satisfactory than “Solvency – don’t solve”or “Significance – not significant”. But you can consult the common man about the last point…
* Requesting exact statistics for the results of future, aggressive action, which hinges on several variables, is an unrealistic demand of high-schoolers who have no access to classified military information, the Oracle, or magical crystal balls from divination class in Harry Potter.
* Double-turns aren't properly appreciated.  From a purely logical standpoint, double-turns are superior to single-turns because more rebuttals to an argument are more persuasive than fewer.  Even if the judge does buy that the plan improves U.S.-Iran relations, contrary to the link turn, he might still vote on the impact turn which argues that endearing ourselves to bloodthirsty, genocidal, anti-American barbarians who stone rape victims, shoot our soldiers, fund terrorists, and aim eliminationist rhetoric at our ally Israel isn't such a good thing.  The belief that double-turns act against the team arguing them is unfounded: not doing a good thing isn't the same as doing a bad thing.
* “Hi, how are you?”  “Wonderful debate we’re having.”  “OK, seeya round – I mean no further questions.”* "Judge, they completely dropped our harms, the DA, and everything else."  Lying about your opponents' speeches is not high form.
* Rebuttals are obviously for rebutting things, which means bringing up new responses to arguments instead of rehashing old ones.
* Along that line, telling your opponents which of your ludicrous, BS arguments they can answer sounds bossy and desperate.  "The man-perpetrated global warming debate is already over, so we can't consider what the temperature data and scientistically acquired findings to the contrary say."  The 1NR does this a lot.
* Analogies aren’t arguments. They’re like punching the opposition’s case, but cutting off the argument’s arms so it’s just empty rhetoric, and then they punch you back, or something like that.

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