Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Episode 27 - Case Disclosure after Greenhill

The Four Gabbers of the Apocalypse—Menick, Cruz, Bietz and Palmer—tackle disclosure in the light of Greenhill last weekend, plus they propose a change to the system. Resistance is futile, so you might as well listen to it. Episode 27.


  1. Question regarding Chris' concern re: associating names with debate cases and high school work:

    Would a built in disclaimer on the system work? It doesn't perfectly solve for the concern but I would imagine wouldn't be very onerous.

  2. I just want to clarify my thoughts from this weekend at Greenhill.

    First of all, I was very pleased with the atmosphere of the tournament in terms of how the caselist was run. I definitely commend Mr. Timmons and everyone who was running the tournament for that. Despite the fact that yes, as Cruz mentions, I have identified as being against mandatory case disclosure, the experience was not what I had feared.

    As for my actual opinion on disclosure, Menick is right in that I did not really see a huge difference in competition. Also, I don't want any misunderstandings - I definitely did use the caselist when I had access to it. In fact, I hit a very interesting and unconventional case during my round 6, and I would never deny that I used the caselist to prepare to debate it. I feel that at a tournament in which the caselist is mandatory, I was not contradicting myself or "going against my beliefs" by using it, and to ignore it would have been to put myself at a disadvantage. When I say I did not see a huge difference in the competition, I mean that I was pleased to not see the scary prepouts that I was afraid of. Of course, I did break a new case for doubles, so I'm not sure what would have happened had I not.

    The only clear difference that I noticed was that I felt almost compelled to break new cases - usually, cases that I run in rounds one and two are virtually unknown, depending on my opponents. This definitely changed that, but is that a good thing or a bad thing? I don't know. I do know that over the course of 4 aff rounds, 3 prelims and my doubles round, I did run 3 different affs.

    On the other hand, I am definitely in agreement with Bietz in that I don't like to see or be in rounds in which one debater has no idea what the other is talking about. For that reason, maybe disclosure is a good thing.

    I am still not excited about case disclosure. I'm not upset that this is all happening during my last year of debate rather than my first. I will also be okay with it if Bronx is the last tournament I go to this year with mandatory disclosure. But, after this weekend, if case disclosure always works this way, I can deal.

    Chris's concern scares me a little.

    Hey - maybe it's also a good thing that, as Menick referenced, at the Hen Hud meeting after Vassar, we could see that the source that claims nuclear weapons don't exist also says that vitamin C cures cancer ;-)