Saturday, June 27, 2009

Georgetown Debate Seminar Practice Round Six

1a: Thibeau 2a: Day vs. 1N: Arjun 2N: N00BSLAYER WAXMAN

1ac: Very clear and fast. I think you could improve your articulation slightly by bearing down harder on consonants in the text of the evidence. I don’t see this as a huge deal, though, as the cards are certainly clear enough and the tags are crystal.

I refuse to “put away my alternate causation” because you told me to. I think that formulation’s a little trite; I’m waiting for the team to construct an entire 1AC out of these statements, starting with PUT AWAY YOUR PLAN VAGUENESS ARG BECAUSE THIS IS A PLAN

Develop more internal links to economy. I think that some teams might run inflation, so I think you should have a more NUANCED and UNIQUE internal link chain. (You should also straight internal link turn econ Das.) If, for example, the 1AC developed a productivity story, as identified this as a necessary condition for reversing the recession, you might be better insulated from internal link turns/econ Das. MORE importantly, a unique story

(eg we may rebound,
But current growth will be inflationary which is a disaster,
only productivity gains enable middle path non-inflationary growth that skips a business cycle and dodges a double dip – (running a google news search on [productivity inflation] will just spit cards,
broadband penetration key to productivity revolution,
double dip = depression)

helps create solvency deficits to generic advantage counterplans. The key to “new” isn’t always a brand new plan concept – it’s often just multiple routes for advantage variation. “Sort of new” often beats “really new” because it encourages teams to rely on old strategies. This is particularly true in the high dissemination pressure cooker of a championship tournament.

You need to refer to this card as something other than the S&M evidence; that sounds very odd.

1NC: Articulation is quite good. Either these drills are accomplishing something, or y’all were just some clear talkers coming in.

I’d say something about T. I’m unconvinced this aff is a social service. If nothing else, I think you could easily generate a time tradeoff; they can’t blow off this question. Rein 72 (3 step process) might be your best violation.

I wish that this K were more specific; there's just fantastic evidence that either issues a socialist critique or critiques the information economy overall. It's fine at a camp, but if this is really going to be a big deal aff, you need to roll out something better at Long Beach.

If we don’t roll this out by the end of camp, hit me up and I will find some great sources on this question.

1NC CX: I think this is great CX for the negative up until about 1:00. I guess it’s a tale of two cross-exes (although cross-ex two isn’t bad – it’s just not as good.) Potentially devastating relationship between arguments = tactically, rhetorically, and intellectually solid. You lose momentum when you start making moves toward link turning cap. C’mon, you can’t link turn cap. No one thinks this will really be in the 2AR. The aff might be “socialist” in some weak sense, but they’ve already set up to portray your market intervention as palliative, mixed-economy tokenism.

2AC: Good arguments and card knowledge. You need some efficiency, though. Easiest example is the cross-application of cross-ex arguments. Love that it happened, think it’s great, but you say in three sentences what the cross-x has set you up to say in two max.

I said roll the singularity in the post-round, but I’m rethinking that. There is the block, and 13 minutes of Singularity Bad offense (a real plausibility) could get ugly fast. I guess you have to save that for a slightly desperate play unless you roll it out in the 1AC, so you can set up a strong inevitability story.
You’re really confident on this spending DA. You’re either right or foolhardy, but the progress of the round vindicates your decision. Issue expertise is the ultimate efficiency, I suppose.

I think you should consider rolling out broadband -> universal p2p networking, then p2p models are the next evolutionary step past capitalism. Clean internal link turn with a number of net benefits: avoids transition wars, articulates an actual material path out of capitalism, doesn’t trigger a counterrevolution because it piggybacks on existent economic structures:

2NC: Well debated. You sound great in the explanation, and your case-K interactions are good.

I’d look to shore up two specific places: Role of the Ballot. How do you want this debate to function? I mean, I understand the alternative, but I’m not sure how you want it to frame the debate. Am I determining my ethical orientation to capitalism? Is the ballot a judgment on the affs place in the cultural superstructure, which need to be detached from simple representation? I don’t need an “alternative” in the sense of a “counterplan with some Latinate phrasing” – but I want to know what’s supposed to be up with my ballot when I cast it. I want that somewhat more specifically delineated than, you know, rejection or intellectual endorsement.

I think you’d have a more strategic K argument if you could absorb large components of the aff. A tight carded focus on the possibility for “digital democracy” in a capitalist frame would be a fantastic point for structuring your whole argument. I mean, seriously – when class has predetermined our relationship to what’s apparently the most vital mechanism for democratic participation, is it really plausible to presume that one welfare program will overwhelm it? Won’t that just become a powerful argument against net neutrality, so that the elites can more easily distinguish their access from “welfare broadband?”

That slightly tighter democracy focus – and an examination of how imperialism redeploys the concept and term “democracy” – would allow you to do one of two things – either:
a. make this a PIA/PIK/whatever – a K that just does a lot of the plan but Ks a representation.
b. leverage their democracy args to bolster your framework position. Put simply, try to box the 1AC into an argument that democracy’s the nexus point of the debate through a reverse pit of doom.

Make more explicit arguments about method. (Almost) any block on the (cap) K must necessarily include a segment where you paragraph and/or read evidence that capitalism prefigures and predetermines their truth claims (ie, those advantages are lies; we should distrust their evidence because the filter of ideology leads them to grossly misinterpret historical data.). This is especially true in an impact turn debate – methodology is a built-in issue-specific ev comparison filter.

CX: The question is not why revolutions occur - the question is why they don't. When teams start complaining about the plausibility of the transition, flip the terms of the debate. Capitalism’s an inherently screwed up system in which a tiny fraction of the global population commands most of the planet’s resources. Some alternative to capitalism isn’t simply possible, but logically inevitable. We don’t have to defend a roadmap to post-capitalism – it’s your burden to prove that this economic structure’s sustainable. The transition’s a given, so the only relevant variable is our relationship to it.

1AR: Good focus and choices.

You need to deal with the question of method a little differently. You sort of treat method as an impact instead of a filter. You should put out some reasons to prefer your method of truthseeking. Empirical evidence, falsifiability and, perhaps most importantly, specific data-driven internal links to short-term extinction impact should be aggressively advanced as the way to resolve this debate.

2NR: Great speech – I think you clearly answer a number of questions, but some remain murky. In this 2NR, it should be all about the transition. The 1AR focuses on three primary questions:
1. This transition – is it even possible?
2. If so, how does that alt concretely have much of anything at all to do with it?
3. That whole short term extinction thing on the case, that’s still pretty important, right?

The ideal 2NR has to come to grips with these questions. By “come to grips” I mean one of two possibilities: either 1. Answer the questions or 2. Criticize them. If you win uniqueness – if capitalism’s really due to collapse under the weight of its own contradictions, I think you can proceed to answer one – “yeah, it’s more than possible, it’s gonna happen one way or the other” and perhaps dodge two “inevitable transition should change our approach to a conscious transition – we don’t have to lay out a blueprint for seizing power, but a politics that enables us to consciously change our orientation before everything goes to shit.

You correctly run to the inevitability debate, by the way. I just think you need to tease out the implications of that substantive nexus point for the function of my ballot and a/t alt solvency griping.

Method needs to be clearer. Lies! Their ev is all lies! False consciousness! Running dogs! OK, I’m being hyperbolic, but there’s an arg for hyperbole because it’s so crucial to my round resolution. Role of the ballot also needs some clarity, as discussed above. I think 2NRs should resolve that really clearly, because the block and 1NC probably didn’t DEFINITIVELY clarify the position, so you have to reorient. Far too many high school debaters fall prey to the idea that obscurity throughout the whole round is just tactical brilliance. I don’t think you do, but think those two questions out and rehearse the answers before you roll into a neg cap bad round.

2AR: Great speech.


Start strong. Your second argument is strong, but you basically open with a promise to make fun of Zizek later. A juicy prospect, but the argument would have been better.

"Literally game over" - this is meaningless unless you’re actually calling on me to stop the timer and yell “TKO!” Which I wouldn’t do.


You deal with inevitability very well.

How do you want the aff to function? If you win framework, what does it get you? Do I disallow the alternative, or consider it irrelevant? Perform the cost-benefit analysis on the hypothetical enactment of the plan, and thus disregard the non-unique effects on ideology in order to avert large risks of short term extinction? Yeah, probably something like that. I’ve just seen too many affs blow it on the K by winning framework but failing to impact their arguments, and losing to “turns case.”

Good job, all! Elim quality debate.


Anonymous said...

I have a couple of questions

Depending on the neg impact(s) to cap, do you think reading "cap collapse inevitable" can hurt the neg as well? Say the neg's impact is nuclear war from imperialism, wouldn't "cap collapse inevitable" also non unique the neg's impact too(unless they somehow proved that the timeframe for their impact was relatively short term)?

To me, it would obviously help the neg when they're reading systemic impacts (like poverty or maybe value to life?) because they can quantify the benefit of a short term revolution versus the long term inevitable collapse of capitalism. Another way that it might help the neg is if you read the berry card that says a short term economic collapse is better than a long term one because of finite resources.

My other question is about the necessity of having a "role of the ballot". Do you recommend defending the alt as a micropolitical strategy in the same world as the plan? Or should the neg make framework arguments and say the K comes first?

I guess it would help if you would be more specific about what exactly you recommend the neg says in the block/ 2nr about the role of the ballot.

Thanks, your comments are very helpful!

Michael Antonucci said...

1. Capitalism unsustainable. I think this is crucial, and almost always helps more than it hurts. No - make that always.

Let me put it this way, in the most practical terms. I've seen negs lose on "transition is bad" and "transition is impossible" and "aff outweighs" - all of which I think can be answered, in part, with collapse inevitable.

I've never seen a neg lose on "your transition inevitable claims minimize your impact." Never. Ever. Independent of the truth value of your claims, I'm way on the right side of the stats on this.

I think that the big impacts are still in play - capitalism's sustainable in the short term, and it can do a lot of damage before its collapse.

ANALOGY: It's a rabid dog. Put it down.

2. Role of ballot:

I think the neg should explain the judge's preferred role. That doesn't mean that your K is a T VIOLATION - it doesn't auto come first BUT it should be PRIORITIZED. It's a WEIGHING argument, not a THEORY PUNISHMENT.

("A subpoint: we define capitalist as current system, B. Violation they're the current system, C vote neg to preserve limits on capitalism." NOOOOOOOOOOOOO.)

Also, what is this "worlds" stuff? Both teams are talking the same world - Earth. They have different filters for viewing that world and selecting political priorities in relationship to it.

Sorry if blunt - just want to give my clearest answer to your questions!