Sunday, August 16, 2009

Request For Songs

Looking down the barrel of another season, I thought I'd issue a brief request to all ~three followers of this blog before the ballot storm begins.

What's the best music for long debate driving trips?

Good samples of what I'm looking for here might be REM's "It's the End of the World as We Know It" or Willie Nelson's "On The Road Again."

I'm categorically excluding songs that are

1. too directly related to the topic (5 seconds of a reference, then 2-4 minutes of awkwardness and an otherwise bad song)

2. pump up music (I'm well into my 30s, I don't care about your hot summer jam)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cap Classic Round Seven

1AC: Very clear and fast. I’m not sure that this text actually avoids the family cap. You say that it should be based solely on family size, but you don’t dictate the mechanics of those family-based requirements.

Internally vary your tone. Remember – debate is like talking, only faster. The more natural your tone, the more comprehensible you are. Speech comprehension depends upon a certain tonal variation, not just a collection of consonants.

I am substantively suspicious of reading “biopolitics.” Reading critical advantages makes sense, but replicate harms from popular generic kritiks can be very dangerous, because the negative can likely read an alternative that solves your aff better (reject biopolitics, including the aff’s action through the state.) I don’t think you’re in a great position to answer an alternative and a fairly generic set of biopower links.

1AC CX: Argue don’t ask. The best CX makes about 4-5 good arguments, and really establishes their credibility.

1NC: I’m glad that you updated your politics shell! It’s a decent card as well. However, it would be better to have predictions from an outside analyst, instead of relying largely on predictions from within the Obama administration. After all, that’s all going to be pure spin; Obama staffers certainly aren’t allowed to predict that their centerpiece legislation might fail.

This politics shell is begging to be highlighted, and this capitalism shell wouldn’t suffer from some highlighting as well.

It’s always a good idea tro bring a pen to the podium. It lets you mark cards easily if you’re forced to cut them short, or edit them visually.

1NC CX: Cappy, you seem to really struggle articulating your question on capitalism. I’m not totally sure what you’re trying to say; we should work out a good phrasing.

2AC: Fantsastic job cutting some politics cards right before the round.
Great speech overall.
Build a podium; you are too tall for your current reading setup.

You should set up giving the 1AR new answers to everything when they only read half the cap shell. If you get new answers, neg, we should get them as well.

2NC: Great job with line by line debate, especially on the health care debate. This was a really short learning curve for you, and I’m extremely encouraged by your coachability. You really improved your capacity to think on your feet. You did a sweet evidence comparison as well.

Cluster your offense – the reasons that conditionality is good – on the top. My examples from lecture are good demonstrations, but you need to make these arguments more efficiently in an actual debate.

You should have a more extended impact calculation on the health care DA. If you’re unsure how to proceed on this, you can get some starting ideas by watching my Georgetown lecture on this subject. (

You should have finished up capitalism and read the alt. I think it would be good to have anm explicit impact comparison as well. Remember to drop those K bombs; it makes your speech much more effective. I talked some about the possible bombs in lecture. Email for more ideas.

1NR: Great instincts on T. I think your overview really crystallized the most important issues.
You also have, like, really deep explanation on why topicality and classification are a structural feature of language. I’m impressed.
A couple of the arguments – specifically Mink – slip out of order, but I think you cover all of their answers.

1AR: Fantastic speech – you identify key issues on each speech and allocate time really well.

I question your order. I am not sure that’s wise – T is a very viable tactical option.
Don’t call me judge.
I don’t think it’s a “voter” if they don’t answer a 2ac defensive argument.
If you’re all in on the date of your evidence – which might be intelligent – you should impact postdating quickly. Why are dates the gold standard on evidence debate.


I think you should be all in on T; it’s your best issue and you have to make decisions in the 2NR.

Oh, I wrote this out when you announced the order. Actually, you did exactly this. That represents good recognition and decisionmaking. Lolz

You effectively bring your humor to bear in this speech.

You can communicate this point with the thesaurus more efficiently by just saying “it isn’t in the thesaurus definition” instead of just reading the list for 20 seconds.

Most important: you need to identify your offense on T. If we accept their T interpretation, what happens? How does the topic explode, and how will that negatively impact debate?

This was a good persuasive speech, even if you misidentified some of the impact.

You should go for conditionality if you’re struggling to fill time. You can argue this outweighs topicality.

You have this instinct on the Kritik debate – I think it’s a good one, but you need a more explicit impact comparison to make this matter.

You’re sort of whining about this new card. I don’t think you will win a new card is a voter; most judges will default to punishing the team instead of punishing the theory.

This is a really huge investment on “T not a voter because they have a block” – you surely can manufacture some more answers than this. I don’t think you can bank on a purely technical evaluation. I believe she extends the Connolly evidence as an impact, after all – that’s a justification for a voter, that you don’t really answer.

You don’t seem to have a counterinterpretation here. Many people will judge this poorly for you.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cap Classic Round Five

Practice round comments:

1AC: Good speed and clarity.

1AC CX: “How do you gain any solvency whatsoever” seems to use needless and melodramatic intensifiers.
Reardon is a she. I think your error is an especially embarrassing gaffe under the circumstances.
Directly asking “how do states capture the net benefit” is not a productive question. It really just allows the aff to get additional speech time.

1NC: Start slower for about 10 seconds to let the judge get used to your voice.
You need to build a podium. You are tall, so this inadequate podium forces you to hunch. This muffles your voice and just looks really uncomfortable.
You put in extra cards about how capitalism turns the case; I appreciate that and think it’s a good idea.
I think that this politics disad suffers from as real internal link gap. Your bioterror impact assumes a completely uncontrolled virus, which really cuts into the ability of a health care plan to contain its impact. You should try cutting or finding an alternate impact to health care as an exercise.

This should be at least a 3-win strat. It’s a 2-win strat, though, in actuality. T might be a good way to rectify this.


“Now we’re going to talk about the health care disad.” This isn’t an efficient locution. Just ask. They might be thrown off balance by abrupt transitions – but that helps you, it doesn’t hurt you.

“What exactly are the warrants…” This formulation just gives the affirmative speech time.

“How is the plan capitalist?” This is an invitation to the aff to proliferate links. Ichabod, you should run with this ball until she cuts you off, and generate multiple additional new link claims.


Your first reaction on T should be reading a card. It should be to apply your case evidence. You just immediately start reading off Planet Debate blocks. That isn’t engaging argument – it’s intellectual comfort food. Therefore, if you don’t cover the case efficiently, you will become intellectually obese. I don’t even know what that means, but it sounds bad to me.

Run blocks. Don’t let blocks run you.

Good use of an addon.

This focus on the capitalism link debate seems misguided.

When Ichabod makes an argument, you have to come back and contest it. You can’t just kind of look at him and let it slide.

Don’t do tag-team questioning. Questions from the 2N don’t help here. Also, uh, shouldn’t you be prepping during this time, bro?

Why does the 1N announce that the 2N is ready? This seems oddly control freaky

Case, States and health care is too big.

Stop just reading planet debate briefs without relating them to some part of the debate! This doesn’t advance argument at all. I’m considering just banning anything on Planet Debate briefs. When you go to the states debate, you aren’t even referencing your flow. You’re just reading a stack of Planet Debate straight down. This is just random.

There were some pretty significant health care developments in the past few days. You should probably cut cards on this to make your disad retain a degree of relevance. You might cut some cards from Congressional Quarterly

You don’t do any impact analysis on health care, and you don’t compare evidence. This Planet Debate reliance is just toxic. You must reference his points, compare your original shell evidence, read new evidence, explain why it’s better and then read contrasting evidence.

Good speech in many ways. You’re fast, clear, and have a grasp of the issues.

You open with “they don’t understand our argument.” De-emphasize ranting commentary in favor of substantive analysis. Start with the comparisons that I just reviewed in lecture not an hour ago.

I am not going to vote negative right here and now, even if you tell me to do so.

This evidence needs to be rehighlighted. Its highlighting is still unworkable. This is especially

Decent clash and line by line, but there’s still just too much reliance on Planet Debate briefs. We must collectively move past this. It discourages evidence and argument comparison, because it’s just too much of a crutch.


Allocate time before your speech, not during it, to avoid disastrous technical errors.

Is this liberty opening relevant? This again seems that you’re relying on Planet Debate evidence. However, you do demonstrate ownership and relate this to the debate.

Don’t just say that you “can do the perm” – you also have to demonstrate that it’s a good idea. Identify your federal key warrants quickly.

You have to compare evidence for politics. You have to reference the 2AC as well.

“No reason why” is a toxic formulation. “There’s no reason why their argument is true” is only a verbose version of “no.” It doesn’t add any substantive analysis. You should issue warrants that prove their argument false, instead of deriding the absence of a warrant.

Good strategic vision; you do choose the correct issue. You should have a substantive defense of 50-state fiat. I mean, it’s the most plausible open door and you won’t close it by saying “:they have no reason.”

More comparisons between cap and the case. You need to close the door on “case outweighs” and “50-state fiat.” If you close those doors, you likely win.

“They went for cap for, what, 20 seconds maybe?” isn’t an argument. It’s just espn commentary. You need to make better arguments instead of just railing on your opponent’s speech.

Ethos: 1. Never say “I guess.” How could this possibly help?
2. Don’t ask your partner “am I done now”?
Those two slips really push you below a 28 here.

2AR: I actually thought this was the best speech of the round; desperation forces you to actually engage clash.

go for 50 state fiat.

You need a more rousing opening than “extend x__” It’s usually better to structure statements as [statement] then [evidence reference] instead of [evidence reference] then [statement].

Tie new arguments to something. 1AR technical errors compel tight referencing to avoid the appearance of newness. I think this is a game effort, but a genuinely winning effort has to be designed around a honest (internal) diagnosis of your errors.

I also appreciate your justification of the new perm – although this is suboptimal, it does demonstrate thought and engagement.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cap Classic Round Four

Overall: this was a very good round. I think it was the best round I've seen thus far at the camp. Hopefully that represents improvement instead of a statistical quirk.

1AC: good!

I think that you can bring up your speed a good deal. You should use the spreeder or just read a lot to bring your speed up about 50 words/minute. You have a naturally very clear voice, so you have the ability to be crystal clear and blindingly fast with just a little bit of work.


Good improvement in speed.

I think you need to highlight your shells more carefully. For example, the shell for politics takes three minutes. This is too long to maintain an appropriate diversity of arguments in a competitive round.

Why didn't you run the states counterplan?

You need to face the judge; you all seem reluctant to establish rapport. You not only have to speak to the judge, but command his attention if he doesn't want to give it to you.

It would be very effective in this circumstance to ask about the agent to the alternative. I don’t normally think this is a devastating question, but I do try asking him in a sample CX, and he seems pretty devastated.

Fantastic speech. You're fast and extremely clear. You have ownership of your arguments and flexibly drop in some new analytics in response to CX and changing circumstances.
This framework argument is nonsense. It doesn't say anything at all - the K argues that your plan is undesirable, so this doesn't seem to advance any helpful argument.
Why don't you make a contradiction argument on capitalism? They argue that welfare is bad, but the politics disad posits that you stop a massive new welfare entitlement (universal health care.)

I don't get the way that you've organized T. You use a numbering system, but put a huge number of disparate arguments under these number headers.

Get a text of the permutation. Answering permutations incorrectly has ended some excellent debate careers, notably Josh Branson’s. You cannot treat this question lightly.

These questions are real softballs. They are all explanatory - you ask him to explain things, so he really spends the whole CX reinforcing his original arguments. The neg gets pwned here.

Don't say ""now onto the line by line."
It is good that you extend a voting issue, but I don’t think I’d make it the first argument in the overview. Probably the last one.
You'd benefit from clearer differentiation between your comparison arguments on capitalism. It's great that you made them; I just think they'd benefit from clearer spacing.

You suffer from some inefficiencies - you repeat sentences when you're a little bit lost.
The line by line on capitalism needs some work. You start off the line by line by extending a bunch of your own cards; I think this would be more logically placed in the overview. You then start refutation with space…but those impact turns are near the bottom.
You transition with "now onto" as well. See the 1NC comments for advice on clean and flowable transitions between chunks of argument.

2NC CX: I'd spend more time on capitalism. IT's important to get in the habit of cross-examining kritiks developed in the 2NC. It's crucial, after all, to scrutinize new developments, such as new alternative solvency claims.

Don't call the kritik a disad; this shell isn't set up to survive uniqueness challenges.


Start the politics debate by giving reasons that politics outweighs the case. This is often referred to as "impact calculus" or "impact comparison." Why is the disad bigger than the case? This is generally crucial to most evaluations.

Please don't say "I guess" or "I'm sorry" or otherwise compromise your ethos. This is basic acting - your role is a very confident one, and any of these expressions break character.

Your impact comparison was much better after you revised your speech.


This was a very good speech.

You tend toward a rising intonation. It sounds like you're asking questions? Which undermines your confidence? "

You don't need to say "extend my argument." For example, instead fo saying "extend my permutation, you'd ideally say "permutation" as a transition word.

I think you have great impact comparison. It would benefit from improved efficiency, but your analysis is great and genuinely comparative.

You also shouldn't refer to the judge as "judge." "Judge, what you're going to do in the round today…" is an oft-mocked expression at bigger tournaments because it sacrifices argument efficiency for the dubious goal of sounding down home and folksy.


"At this point" is usually an expendable expression.
You should reinforce the impacts of capitalism first. This happens in the middle but should probably be clearly delineated on top.
Some arguments get kind of randomly extended. For example, you address a part of the space debate, then address the agent of the alternative, then go back to the space debate. I think a lot of these subarguments would be better if they were synthesized into a narrative that embedded more of the clash. We should map out a 2NR structure [spoken.]


I think you might be exceeding your maximum efficiency rate. You have a number of internal stumbles. I wouldn't recommend going any slower, though; I think redos will simply improve your MER.
"He does barely any analysis on this" doesn't really constitute an argument. This side rant seems more like espn commentary than argument.
You have a really long explanation of "I think they dropped the perm." You spend 30 seconds explaining that it's dropped, like really dropped, and telling me precisely hwo important drops are in debate. You never actually tell me what the perm is, though, or why it constitutes a reason to reject the Kritik.
Don't conclude with "vote aff."
This is overall an excellent speech. You certainly have some swagger, and you're actually interested in communicating with the judge, which is actually a pretty good skill foundation.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Georgetown Debate Seminar Practice Round Nine


1ac: I don’t know what “the pickle” means. Is this a private joke?

If you're going to roll singularity, make sure that you are well insulated. I mean, I think the possibility of impact turns (and size of the impact) demand a more total 1AC commitment. The ideal structure should be inevitability warrant – warrant diversity depth of at least three – link, link – then 2-3 distinctions between different methods of transition. Democratic participation becomes a transition distinction instead of a discrete advantage. It’s potentially crucial that the US wins the race before rogue states, and it might be important that a public instead of corporate entity programs the top-level goals of the AI – a top level corporate goal might quickly destroy the biosphere.

Also, massive inevitable technological development makes solving poverty an extinction-level priority.I assure you that, in the context of this aff, you MUST read this card:

That’s not REALLY what this aff needs, though, as interesting a tangent as it might be.

This aff needs to be structured around tight defense of the mechanism through signal advantages. “Federal key” is a concern – “Linkup key” is potentially a bigger concern. I’m going to continue tweaking this and reporting on it on the Google group throughout the summer. I heard there’s an Africa modeling advantage being turned out at Michigan – that might be one solution.

“Other stuff” is not a good contention label.

1NC: Clarity! This speech is a testament to the value of some practice speaking before rounds. Clarity problems in the first three minutes, steady upward progress from the 5 minute mark on. Very clear second half.

Good argument diversity. T, for instance, achieves a really positive time tradeoff.


Great CX.

Ben, I think you need to have a mental roadmap. You seem to get bogged down in tangents. Make it a goal to have about 4-5 arguments going into the C-X, with a clear endpoint for each one.

Don’t say “that’s fine” before moving on. It’s not fine! Their argument is bad. Don’t be passive-aggressive. Be aggressive-aggressive by making your closing arg (“so you don’t have an actual link”) – and seamlessly eliding it with the next question.


Fantastic speech! Great allocation and pacing. I guess my major criticism is really just substantive, not stylistic. You need better a/t this counterplan.

I also think you read too many cards on this “eligibility criteria” counterinterp. They’re gonna just perm it – it’s not mutually exclusive. A card saying that it’s really predictable doesn’t do much for you – if the round changes such that it becomes really relevant, the 1AR can read the card.

2NC: Good job on the shadow coverage of the T violation. It’s ideal shadow coverage, because you’re making a strong argument – you just correctly diagnose that you don’t need much vertical depth here. While you made the right decision in the 2NR, T was actually not unwinnable after 2 minutes of block coverage.

Great job on politics; feels like we’ve been here before.

CX: Hmmm, chippy.

1NR: Some déjà vu here as well. I’ll mute my previous criticism, though – I understand why you’re going for the defensive counterplan (you clearly cut all the evidence and mastered the subject) and a more diverse 2NC means that the 2NR can avoid hell. I’ll still maintain that an industry specific DA takes this 1NR from excellent to standalone devastating, but that’s a research question.

1AR: Great micro. I don’t have any efficiency suggestions per se, as micro efficiency improvements would make you very difficult to flow. You’ve also made big strides in clarity.

However, you do end up top heavy and underallocating on politics. I think you have to kick some advantages to get the 30-45 you need. You don’t read 5 disads to extend each one in the block– the same principle should apply to diverse advantage menus.

I really do understand every argument as it’s being made – intellectually as well as verbally. That deserves high praise (because I am deaf and stupid! Hahaha jk, sort of)

If you can’t kick down, you have to find time elsewhere, and I think all the options present real dangers. Really, you might be in a bad place because of argument problems – absent better federal key warrants/mechanism defense, you’re going to have consistent problems covering because you can’t take the CP lightly. I’m loath to recommend options such as “go for theory” or “dare them to go for T” – but if you really can’t cover this block, that’s a better macrostrategy than undercovering 2NC politics bombs.

2NR: Great job. I really clearly understand some overarching themes that organize risk analysis. Instead of picking at the speech, I want to underline its difference from the previous speeches. It maintains technical excellence while finding 3-4 places to paragraph a bit more on the explanation, and I think that’s just crucial. Some block diversity allows the 2NR the luxury of more communicative moments.

2AR: I think this is a really good speech. I think you need to spend more time on the states CP. As there’s no offense on politics, you have concentrate on securing your offense first. When you do get there with a minute left, you must maximize efficiency instead of falling back into a few bad old habits (second person +flow talk – you extend our argument…) This could be a pretty crucial nexus point for the debate.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Georgetown Debate Seminar Practice Round Eight

1a: Secret Agent 2a: Jesslyn Mitchell 1N: McKenzie 2N: Madhu

I’ll take this one backwards. I thought this was great for an early round, and I think that some of the technical issues are easy to fix. You’re working hard on impact comparison and evidence comparison and big picture issues, and that’s conceptually tougher, so filling in some technical aspects should be a relatively easy fix!


I normally think that rebuttals should be fast. I think this is an exception. Some technical problems in the 2NR mean that you should be brisk, but go relatively slow and emphasize simple arguments.

It’s uncomplicated. They dropped the case. The disad doesn’t solve the case. It’s 100% risk, which is rare in debate. Aff should be the only route to survivability. If you vote neg, everything will perish in nuclear hellfire.

In such a situation, it seems that you could lose only if: you failed on the risk comparison debate, bigtime, or if the judge fails to comprehend your fairly simple picture of the round. So compare risk thoroughly and explicitly, and safeguard against any chance of confusion.

Treating this as a bigger round with more arguments just makes it seem like a more complicated judging calculus than it really is.

Also, I don't think you ever really say that you outweigh. It’s worthwhile to have distinct risk comparisons for each unanswered advantage here – they can last about a minute, be conversational, and still leave you plenty of time to cover the DA.

Your internal link turn evidence is comparative, which bears mention.


Don’t be bummed! You are doing tons of things right. The things you are doing wrong are much easier to teach than your natural intellectual prowess, so be of good cheer.

Kick out of disad by conceding specific defensive answers. Even if you’re fairly sure there’s no offense, select the best link and impact defense just in case you missed something; the time difference for the failsafe is negligible.

Good risk comparison, but you never want to be in this place in a 2NR. You are comparing to an absolute risk of case. That rarely works. You have to defend a counterplan or some impact defense or some world where the status quo is not teetering on the brink of extinction.

Almost every 2NR seeks to neutralize the case in some way. Simply outweighing it can work, but I think it’s a relatively low percentage.

"More evidence" is rarely, by itself, a winning evidence comparison. Should 3 bad cards ever beat 1 good one? Probably not. Numerically superior evidence might prove a consensus or, if you’re really unsure of a judges’ evaluative criteria, might hedge your bets. That’s generally implicit, though, and you should articulate different comparisons.

1AR: good job! Great use of embedded clash, for the most part. You clearly warrant without excessive signposting, while being easy to follow and flow.

Don't self-deprecate by whatever-ing certain arguments. You should never downplay one of your arguments or scratch it or shrug it off. I’ve never really understood the dynamic that drives this process, but I know that it’s a virulent anti-win virus.
You have extra time. You should never have extra time. Read more cards. You said you didn’t have more cards. Solution – cut more cards. It’s CTBT – you should be reading 4-5 additional pieces of evidence minimum.

1NR: Good job, and clean focus. Two major pieces of advice:

1. You have a great effort to compare impacts; you’re way ahead of the curve. Don’t totally fall back, though, on “nuke war causes your impact.” I mean, you are correct. A nuclear war would likely trigger most smaller impact, causing bad health and loss of biodiversity and probably an antidemocratic ethos. I think you need to make that claim quickly – almost self-evident claims don’t need a lot of explanation or repetition – and move onto some arguments about why your INTERNAL LINKS cause their impact, instead of banking on your terminal impact triggering theirs. For example, CTBT might trigger enough international goodwill to uniquely solve their human rights leadership advantage; it’s probably far more important to our sort power than some restrictions on immigrant health care. Since both teams generally access some terminal global war impact, it’s important to do some comparison. Yup, nuke war definitely ends everything, everyone agrees…now what?

2. Practice flowing. You rely on their stacks of evidence. Good shortcut, but a dangerous one – you can’t trust your opponents to order it correctly.


1. Offense, offense, offense. You should be spending at least 5:30 on your major offensive argument. You spend too much time on case defense, which you abandon in the 2NR. You need a reason that the aff is BAD, not just “not quite so good.” Winning your offense, then comparing it, is more important than direct refutation. Of course, some refutation is necessary – the @NR goes too far in the other direction. I’d spend 2:30 on some of your best case arguments in this speech. Choose fewer case argument to extend to make sure only your best ones consume your time.

2. Read the 1NR comment on “make turns case args other than ‘nuke war causes your impact’”.

3. Read the Hardy paperless manual which I sent to you all. I know it seems weird, but it seems to work, and your new coach has a fantastic sense of the real mechanics of debates; he’ll walk you through this.


CX: Ask more offensive questions. In other words, MAKE ARGUMENTS.

For each "act" of the cross-x, there should be a point. You should be able to grade each 30-second segment as Win, Draw or Lose – and if the aff spends that time just clarifying their args, you’re losing the cross-x.

Jess, try to maximize your speech time - I would take this whole speech and run with it when your opponent is being tentative. This is ideal, because everyone is somewhat relieved and you win. I don’t believe in talking over your cross-examiner – I just think she’ll let you keep going if you’re polite but firm about it.

2AC: Pretty good.

You just read evidence on the case – and you read a lot of new cards. These are defensive arguments – I think you should be able to a. apply, b. compare, then c. move on. If you can’t, your 1AC is built wrong because that’s a large part of what it’s there for. Save the bulk of your card reading for answering their offense and diversifying advantages, not reinforcing your original claims.

Straight internal link turn inflation. Productivity growth is the only way to achieve non-inflationary growth.

1NC: Very good speaking – it’s coming along nicely! Don’t put the case defense on top, though. I’d put the offcase observations first.

1AC: Well spoken. Apply my substantive 1AC comments from other ballots!

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.