* I hate it when judges, subsequent to hearing debaters pimp their studies without actually reading them for an hour and a half, ask to “see the study”.
* I hate that someone has to read the judges’ backgrounds and/or credentials to finalists in a prepared speech category.
* While we’re on it, I think I just generally hate the inclusion of multiple judges in outrounds, at least in debate events, which are supposed to have objective winners and losers as decided by the flow of arguments and by their standing in basic debate theory. Speech events are already subjective by nature, but increasing the size of the judging panels for debate rounds arguably exerts an inverse effect on the accuracy of results. Quite simply, far from mitigating the possibilities for subjective verdicts and faulty reasoning in fateful ballots, the practice of soliciting additional human judgment or lack thereof in finals exponentially increases the odds of error, as demonstrated by the unacceptable 4-3 and 5-4 decisions that customarily round off tournaments.
* I hate that finalists get an extra 20 seconds or so free of charge to present a ‘roadmap’, which they rarely abide by afterwards and which the judge really does not need to know in order to flow, just because they’re finalists and that puts them in an elite class. If you’re really the best of the best of the best within the league, you needn’t be allotted any special privileges over the rest in order to speak with clarity and order for the judge.
* I hate tournaments that split finalists into two brackets. If the semi-finalists are so good, why can’t they debate the octo-finalists?
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Supplementary Hater Debater’s Manifesto
* I hate that x-debater feels an obligation to dictate what y-debater on the opposing team can or can’t say in y-debater’s own speech. Why can’t x-debater focus on defending his case as best as he is able and leave the defense of y-debater’s to the one who actually wrote and believes in it? Winning by censorship isn’t really winning. Just speak and let speak.
* I hate arguments over criterions that merely underline each team’s affirmative or negative position and never really advance the debate. Criteria. Because criteri-ON is the singular form of criteri-A.
* I may just hate criteria, period, having wasted in retrospect a good twenty seconds or so of all my constructives lecturing the judge that my case’s advantages are weightier than any conceivable disadvantages. In an ideal universe, argument impacts ought to be continually compared and evaluated on an individual basis throughout the round, particularly in the final rebuttals, not fitted into a rigid, constraining box that’s decided at the outset of the first speech.
* I hate rebuttals that consist entirely of reiterating old, since refuted contentions instead of, you know, countering the opponents’ arguments with new ones. I hate it when debaters say rebuttals aren’t an appropriate place for new arguments. If so, how the devil are you going to rebut anything?
* I hate it when debaters phrase their tags as complete sentences, and long ones at that.
* I hate it when debaters phrase their tags as “no” or “not logical” or some other pithy, exceedingly flowable interjection that doesn’t express a complete idea.
* I hate it when debaters double-tag the latter kind, then tag it again when they actually get into the statement itself. “My response is, ‘Wrong.’ Wrong. Judge, the affirmative team is wrong because they’re quoting a lobbyist.”
* I hate ballot comments like this (emphasis added): “While you are all extremely well spoken, articulate and logical you must provide evidence from outside sources, experts, to support your points. Logical inferences are not enough… while The plan Advocate does not need to spell out the 1AC it should support Aff. plan in some of its specific points.”
* And this: “I am surprised you didn’t introduce DA’s that talk about the dangers of a Nuclear Iran. I’m not sure I’m convinced that Iran is a threat. Read a piece that would (indiscernible) this doubt with more ‘mph’.” (commenting on a round in which the negative team honed just one disadvantage over and over proving that Iran is, in point of fact, a radical jihadist nation, a sponsor of terrorism, an imminent nuclear power, and “a threat”)
* And this: “Interesting case, and you seem to know it well. The pamphlet mandate seems fishy… not sure how you’re going to keep that a (secret?).”
* And especially this: “Good 1AR. Ice cream… clear. Kill shot – I like that metaphor.”
* I hate metaphors in debate 99% of the time. Look at it this way: if I was a cashier operator in Hong Kong and someone was to hand me a one-dollar bill, I’d have to give him 99 cents back and ask for another bill because only a hundredth of that American dollar is any good, which means he’d have to give me a hundred-dollar bill in order to get change that doesn’t weigh his pants down. It’s just like debate metaphors. They wrongly make complex and erratic systems out to appear as predictable or as controllable as any everyday activity, ignoring the real issues of the policy at stake and pretending to answer contrary arguments while doing nothing more in effect than painting a pretty picture for the judge’s amusement.
* I hate hearing the words ‘import’ and ‘export’ being used interchangeably, as in “Thailand is a major importer of shrimp to the United States”.
* I hate listening to debaters ‘discredit’ evidence biased towards a certain philosophy by pointing out that said evidence is, indeed, biased towards a certain philosophy, or that it’s written by a “lobbyist”, which essentially refers to anyone who lobbies for anything that the debater is not lobbying for, as lobbyist is not so much a rigidly defined, scientifically grounded term for one participating in a “lobby” as it is a meaningless and completely subjective ad hominem word.
* I hate cases whose entire solvency and expediency is predicated solely on the fact that the case exists, i.e. where the existence of the plan text justifies the plan text and where debaters assume they need no logical or evidential proof to warrant the plan other than that some political hack beside themselves recommended it in the same form. I hate cases that are drawn exclusively and unabridged from 100+ page “detailed” “mathematical” “studies” which never get read in whole or in part for the duration of the round (or even outside of it) but which affirmative debaters relentless pimp as an infallible, one-size-fits-all rebuttal to negative arguments just on the basis that somebody committed an obscene amount of time and misdirected energy to write up said “studies”. I really, really, superlatively hate those cases when the purported “experts” who conceived the team’s plan have no credibility whatsoever in the area of study. More than anything else, I hate the arrogant assumption of so many debaters that, like theirs, all other cases must be cleanly adapted from a “study” by “experts” in order to qualify as legitimate topic for discussion, as if common citizens are too obtuse and logically challenged to propose policies of their own making based on evidence and knowledge they’ve gathered of their independent initiative.
* I hate it when speakers try to pass off their completely secular, purely comedic interpretations as veiled religiously themed message stories. If you’re going to perform a Christian interp, choose a Christian story or write your own.
* I hate that broadcasting has no real-world value and affords essentially no room for artistic license or creative presentation. Everyone reads the same stories in the same tenor, with the same inflection, assuming the same insipidly “unbiased” or “impartial” outlook on the issue, and reporting the same content. What could have been an exciting quest for the next Limbaugh, the next Noory, the next O’ Reilly, heck, even the next Stefano Pallas is thus reduced to a dreadfully boring and unprofitable quest for the next local weatherman, and not the kind that Steve Martin showed us in L.A. Story.
* I hate that broadcasting sexually discriminates against male anchors. Approximately 87% of the finalists in the category usually turn out to be young women, which just proves that judges much prefer to watch girls reading the news over guys reading it. Send that on over to TIME magazine pronto: “Scientific study concludes women more appealing than men when saying same things.”
* I’m just kidding. I really don’t mind that seven of the eight broadcasting finalists are girls.
* But I really do hate broadcasting. Seriously – it’s all a contest for whose voice the judge likes listening to the most.
* I hate it when two friends are immersed in a private conversation and a third person absent-mindedly interjects himself literally mid-sentence, ignoring the presence of the one and striking up a separate conversation with the other as if he weren’t otherwise occupied. I also hate it when two friends are seemingly having a conversation but one of them is really looking for an opportunity to socialize elsewhere, yet instead of saying so up-front and respectfully parting ways until another time, he just waits for another pal to cross their path, then promptly ditches his first friend without a word to hang out with this one.
* I hate the Chinese fortune cookie I ate two days ago which assured me I’d make a plentiful “catch” if I went “fishing”. Who wants to catch a fish that’s plentiful? Any old man at sea can do that. The only fish I’m casting for is a one-of-a-kind. Screw you, cookie-writing astrologist. Why don’t you stop watching the stars align and get a real job that doesn’t involve trying to dampen the spirits of unsuspecting Pick Up Stix customers?