Thursday, January 27, 2011

"See you at the wedding"

Actually, the four snowmen of the apocalypse (well, three snowmen and Bietz) talk about structural neg bias, but we end on a high note. Come to think of it, we start on a low note with new, even more annoying music (if you call that music). Take away our copy of GarageBand while you can. Episode 37.


  1. policy is still semi biased toward aff wins, ppl flip aff all the time (which is a death sentence these days in LD).

    i would disagree that this is mainly judges fault. while judging paradigms do affect this, the bigger problem is mainly a product of 3 norms:

    1. you have to fully extend dropped arguments (you're given the weight of these args in policy, particularly case)
    2. the faster speed plus the time skew makes a 4 min 1AR quantitatively worse than either of the negative rebuttals. keep in mind that the policy 2NR (speech after the 1AR) is the same length as the 1AR, not 2 min longer.
    3. even if you train your butt off and give that great 1AR necessary to win, the skills needed for a good 1AR and a good 2AR are pretty different. people who make really efficient strategic decisions have a tendency to go for too much in the 2AR. so unless you're really good, specialization can have diminishing returns.
    4. most judges don't "decide what it means to affirm/negate before the round"

    cool that you saw exit through the gift shop i haven't. good?

    THERE JUST NEEDS TO BE A 2AC. give up the ghost, make the rounds longer by 10-12 min (need another CX, prolly not more than an additional minute of prep), add a 2AC/2NC. maybe

    5 min 1AC - 2 min CX - 6 min 1NC - 2 min CX - 6 min 2AC - 2 min CX - 6 min 2NC - 2 min CX - 4 min 1AR - 6 min 1NR - 3 min 2AR

    I personally affirmed 8/14 times in prelims, and negated 2/2 in outrounds at VBT. i think that when debaters are equally matched the negative typically wins. when the affirmative is significantly more skilled, they typically win. obviously skilled negatives almost always win.

  2. Assuming that for at least a year the NFL didn't take up the change for a year or two, how would this change affect debate camps? For instance if you take debaters from across the country who debate both national and local circuits and they went to VBI or UNT would the camp be using the new times or the traditional ld times? Also does anyone see this as an actual problem?

  3. Cross-posting from CL from PJ Wexler:

    Re: Neg bias.

    I would suggest it is because substantive policy arguments in a LD round (given the structure of a LD round - and given evenly matched quality debaters-)will almost inevitably
    have the result of negative fun time.

    Given Professor's Bietz comment about policy naysayers two TVFT ago (and I sympathize with his view of people who simply say 'that's bad because that's policy') I should say here that I'm not against policy in arguments because of some distate for policy debating. I'm uncomfortable with these approaches because I think it is unlikely in the extreme that policy in LD can ever be more than a JVish form of policy, as David McGuinnes has said. The debate structure won't allow for anything more.

    I believe that MPJ has plenty to do with this trend. People pref judges who favor (or at least tolerate) bad JV policy. And judging purely off the flow, they are correct to do so. The time skew 'is what it is.' That style is what is rewarded, and that contributes to the cycle.

    I DO think that changing speech times, numbers of speeches, etc., is a bad idea. To me, choosing a debate approach is like 'creativity within a straight jacket' If someone wants to try to be an Olympic Diver while wearing that straight jacket, that is their perogative. Exchanging a trampoline for water though, would fundamentally the nature of that choice and that activity.

  4. Cross-post from Ryan Miller:


    Agree (as someone who did college policy) about the pains of JV policy and some of the form constraints...but I'm not quite sure what to do about it. I'm also not sure why moving a minute from the AC to the 1AR would be a terrible idea...most competitive activities seem to have occasional rule changes for rebalancing and it works well.

    More tactically, I think the major problem is that affs actually haven't figured out how the policy game works yet. I see lots of negs running counterplans and disads, but I see relatively few affs with strong narrow weighing frameworks, and basically nobody is just spending their whole 1AR straight-turning the disad or running politics on the counterplan. I don't see why affs who constantly complain about neg critiques or disadvantages don't really step up and use those tools on the neg.

    Even in policy, the trick to winning on the affirmative against a good neg is to either pivot the debate in the middle (by accepting the neg's weighing and straight-turning an argument) which nullifies the time skew the neg has already used to develop their arguments, or to come out with a really strong narrow weighing framework so the neg has to debate on your terms -- meaning you only need to defend the framework in the 1AR and you actually get to focus on weighing in the 2AR thus making it a useful speech rather than a vain attempt to answer 6 minutes of line by line.