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Author Topic: Winning debaters speak incomprehensibly fast  (Read 28421 times)
mOnTIqUE wiLLiaMs
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« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2014, 10:53:04 PM »

Capitalization: thanks for bringing that to my attention.  Read several articles on it.  As a former 9th grade English teacher (loaded I know) lower case is my default ... adjectives
Upper case is your default for proper nouns. You make an unprincipled exception for 'black'. Don't bullshit with 'adjectives' -- no fool thinks Black people are literally black in color. Even if it were not standard to capitalize proper nouns, I told you how we spell our ethnonym, and that should be an end to it. Why run around consulting white Hegemony Style Guides and Uncle Tom bloggers? What need does that fulfil? Only a need to find an excuse for the way you like to disprivelege Blackness compared with other ethnicities (I gave examples of Jews and the French), as far as this Brotha can tell.

Public education is concerned with indoctrinating all children, whatever their race, with the historic and cultural norms of the white racist patriarchy. So even African children - who have such a rich heritage of our own - are taught white English, white Math, white History, white Science, white Philosophy, white Civics. It is no surprise to me that you, who would instantly and unprompted link blackness with incomprehensibility, cheating and embarrassing intellectual failure, have also made a living in a profession dedicated to the cultural genocide of all people of color.

These 'people' even receive enhanced wages for 'teaching' in minority schools, evidently they either believe the job of destroying Black culture specifically is more important than reinforcing white culture generally, or that being around Black children is such a trial that they deserve special compensation.     

Quote
I felt the alternative was not mentioning it.
This should always be your choice. Butt out of Black people's affairs.  
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jregnier
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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2014, 10:24:03 AM »



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Trond Jacobsen
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« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2014, 03:05:39 PM »

mOnTIqUE wiLLiaMs:

Let us agree ApostateAbe has demonstrated a lack of understanding about debate, among other things.

If you are willing, in the interest of helping others better understand your argument, please consider explaining to me, because I am confused, do you mean something specific by the phrase "white math" or are you referring more generically to institutionalized racism that is part and parcel of education in the United States, regardless of field?

Are you indicting US educational institutions or math as a field as well as US educational institutions?

What is white math?
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TriaxNGR
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« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2014, 08:35:07 PM »

I'm pretty sure it's getting national attention because this is a transcript of what they said, not the speed in which they said it:

"They say the n*****s always already qu***, that’s exactly the point! It means the impact is that the that the is the impact term, uh, to the afraid, uh, the, that it is a case term to the affirmative because, we, uh, we’re saying that qu*** bodies are not able to survive the necessarily means of the body. Uh, uh, the n***** is not able to survive.

Uh, man’s sole “jabringing” object disfigure religion trauma and nubs, uh, the, inside the trauma of representation that turns into the black child devouring and identifying with the stories and into the white culture brought up, uh, de de de de de, dink, and add subjectively like a white man, the black man!

When the n*****, uh, sees these pains and suffering that he can only, uh, envision himself that he, uh, does not see another n***** that he, uh, can feel sympathy for or embrace, but rather, uh, that, a-bluh, that that otherness gets obliterated.

Uh, says that the the the way status co works is through, uh, whiteness allowing, uh, forcing other bodies to tell, uh, nearations of whiteness in, uh, the violences that whiteness does me, uh, say that that is the link that we will go for!"


There's nothing there to even comprehend.  What are you even judging?  There's no argument in that mess of jumbled trash.  I guess you could make up one.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 08:36:39 PM by TriaxNGR » Logged
CouldaBeenaContenda
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« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2014, 06:12:26 PM »

I'm pretty sure it's getting national attention because this is a transcript of what they said, not the speed in which they said it:

"They say the n*****s always already qu***, that’s exactly the point! It means the impact is that the that the is the impact term, uh, to the afraid, uh, the, that it is a case term to the affirmative because, we, uh, we’re saying that qu*** bodies are not able to survive the necessarily means of the body. Uh, uh, the n***** is not able to survive.


I did a little searching, and it seems that the Atlantic article did not receive widespread national attention until the "transcript" TriaxNGR has excerpted first appeared somewhere on the internet on May 5, 2014.  I found it on a site called The Pundit Press. I haven't yet found that partial transcript dated any earlier.  I have previously read many articles dating back to the early 1960s criticizing policy debate for being incomprehensible to most listeners, and while the rapidity of delivery is an obvious contributor to incomprehensibility, the problem is compounded by jargon that is unfamiliar to outsiders.  Obviously, the revelation of inflammatory language in this particular debate was the figurative match in the tinderbox.

In "fairness" to the debater quoted above, I think the word "term", used twice in the above excerpted sentence, is in fact "turn".  If I substitute the word turn for term, the sentence makes a little more sense to me, though regrettably, very little more.  "Turn" is a term that debaters have used for about forty years now in a manner that is unfamiliar to non-debaters.  If TriaxNGR or any other outsiders are still following this thread, then I would be willing to explain it further, though I may not be as well suited to authoring such an explanation as would be the more regular contributors here.

Even when debaters use commonplace words like "impact", or, "significance", or, "causality", those words have more specific meanings to policy debate insiders than to educated outsiders, so the outsiders, when hearing them used in policy debate, have to contemplate a lot of possible meanings of those sentences, whereas debate judges, who have a common notion of the "rules" of proving an argument, know immediately what to make of them, so those judges don't as much "think" about their use as react to it.

Lay comprehension is also impeded by the incorporation of precepts of argumentation that are often summarized in sentence fragments that are recognized by judges.  When a debater says, "The impact turn negated the DA", or declares, "That's absolute!" to characterize an argument he has made, he is saying things that mean something to debate judges but nothing to lay people, and if he says those things while speaking at 300 words per minute, the befuddled listener might think that he didn't understand the arguments either because he didn't hear them correctly or because he didn't have time to contemplate them fully, when the real problem is that they are not understandable at any speed to listeners who are not familiar with those debate concepts and the verbal abbreviations of them that are commonly used.

My criticism of championship caliber policy debate, even prior to these 2013 and 2014 travesties, is that it has become a high speed, information misprocessing contest.  It seems that if a debate is held over whether I should have bacon and eggs for breakfast, rather than cornflakes, the debate outcome will most assuredly rest on how the choice affects the likelihood of nuclear war... or of such a war's magnitude... or if the net effects of nuclear war are, in fact, beneficial, because, as Physicist Ed Teller once said, "If it wasn't for mutation, we'd still be amoeba."

When I came back to debate in 1980 after a decade long respite, battle lines had been drawn between "policy analyst" judges and "hypothesis testers".  In fact, judges were asked to fill out surveys in which they pledged allegiance acknowledged adherence to one judging philosophy or the other.  I asked my coach to explain the difference between those judging paradigms to me, but he effectively punted, giving me the kind of slow, drawn out non-answer that he was wont to give when he didn't have a suitable quality answer to a question that he should have had an answer to but didn't want to admit it.  Basically, he was filibustering, so I gave in and said, "OK, I got it" when we both knew I didn't, because the "it" that I sought wasn't there to have been got.

I noticed that debaters from schools whose coaches were said to be hypothesis testing proponents sounded a lot dumber than did debaters from schools whose coaches were known policy analysts.  The hypothesis tester debaters ran more low probability, "disaster D.A.s", failed to incorporate qualifiers into their claims that would bring them into line with their evidence, and were enamored of the use of the term "equals".  I have debated in a total of over 200 rounds in a career spanning about 14 years, and I can proudly proclaim that I have never used the word "equals" in delineation of any position I was espousing, other than ones that were purely mathematical in nature and claimed that items denominated in like terms were identical in number.  Regrettably, I couldn't help but noticing that, at least in my district, New England/New York, the schools that were known to be hypothesis testing schools were winning more debates and tournaments than were the policy analyst schools.

When I drop in on this and the Cross-X.com high school debate discussion board, I don't see any judging theory skirmishes drawn along "policy analyst" and "hypothesis tester" lines, and when I listen to some of the debate rounds of the last decade that are on youtube, they aren't articulating arguments the way that I would even if I could talk that fast and had mastery of their material.  To me, they all sound like hypothesis testers... at least, as I had come to construe that term before dropping out of debate for the final time in 1981.

I tried to evaluate the scrolling transcript in the Berkeley/Harvard debate at USC that must be the most viewed debate video on youtube.  I suspect that if a lay person heard the audio without seeing the scrolling transcript, he might conclude that they were talking too fast for him to understand or comprehend, but would be dismayed to discover that even if he had the transcript to read, he still couldn't have judged those arguments.  When a debater tells a judge in his final rebuttal to "extend" three pieces of evidence but does not then explain the argumentative impact of doing so, even if I had those three pieces of evidence in front of me to read, I don't think it is my place as a judge to ascertain the extent to which they tend to support an argument that was advanced and presumably rebutted in some manner earlier in the debate.  

Harvard debater Michael Klinger began his rebuttal by saying, "...a vote for the Affirmative equals a vote for extinction. This should make it a lot harder for you to include any value to our life arguments", and followed it with gibberish about "set(ting) the value of life at 100%", which sounds like the paraphrase of some judging principle about which there MAY be a consensus among policy debate judges, or perhaps just among judges that were selected for this particular round by virtue of the Mutually Preferred Judges winnowing process.  In either case, a person hearing those words uttered at 300 words per minute or more but unable to adduce their meaning might be inclined to conclude that either he misheard them or that he wasn't given enough time to contemplate their meaning, when in fact the root of his comprehension problem is either that he is unfamiliar with theories of argumentation that policy judges have come to embrace... or that they really make no sense at all.

I have listened to the 2014 NDT Final Round on youtube and I must complement those debaters for making some arguments that I would not be ashamed to make if I were given enough time to speak them at a more comfortable 220 to 250 words per minute.  I have vocal talents that I prize that enable me to make written words come alive.  I have control of my volume and pitch, and I make tactical choices regarding the interjection of pauses that assist my listeners in knowing when a quotation ends and my summary analysis begins.  And like a lot of debaters of my era, I drop the pitch uniformly during the last clause of a long evidence citation to foreshadow to the judge that the end of it is near and is therefore time for him to begin to write his summary of that card's contents.  I recently timed myself reading cards at 300 words per minute, but while I can do that, I am certain that I would not choose to do that because I would be compromising my humanity by doing so.

But moving on to the "third rail" of the widespread criticisms of the award winning speeches by "African-American" participants (we called them Negroes in the 1960s), I can't for the life of me make enough sense out of the drivel I heard, listening to parts of the 2013 NDT and CEDA Finals and read of the 2014 CEDA Finals, to even take them seriously as examples of championship caliber debate.  I debated against one black guy in high school and three more when I was in college, and they all sounded like me... and that may be an undeserved compliment to myself because one of them was Sandy Darity, AKA Hotep-X, who made it to the semi-finals of the NDT in 1972 while debating as Tuna Snider's partner.

I don't believe that I am "missing something" about the black experience or institutional racism or invidious discrimination when I listen to those speeches and judge them to be inadequate to sustain winning policy debate positions.  I don't believe that people speak the way they do in American courts of law and in university auditoriums because they are racist, nor that if the rest of us could just become more worldly, we would then see that the nonsense that was spoken by recent national debate championship winners embodied a wholly adequate, alternative way of expressing complex legal and philosophical ideas upon which policy debate subsists.  I think that there must be some reason why the debate establishment does not dare to denounce these non-arguments publicly the way that I suspect many do privately.

I have noticed a few threads on this forum concerning efforts to involve more "people of color" in policy debate, and I have to wonder why that concern is being expressed.  Are some universities threatening to eliminate debate funding because its participants are nearly all white?

In order for a student to choose to participate in policy debate, realistically, he needs to find a benefactor to support him, individually (parents) or institutionally (school).  One factor depressing black participation in debate is income disparity.  Everyone on my high school debate team came from families with average to above average income except me, and the students we had our eye on to recruit when it looked like we might not be able to fully man our novice and intermediate four-man teams included no poor kids.  Surely, there are proportionately fewer blacks than whites who can arrange to be subsidized in their pursuit of this 60 to 80 hour a week hobby.  Are there any studies that control for income that show how much "other factors" account for lower debate participation by blacks?

The second thing that might account for lower black participation is that a somewhat smaller portion of the black population actually wants to sound like the guy in the Federal Express commercial (is that pop culture reference now too old to mean anything to most debate critics?).  If a higher percentage of blacks than whites wants to participate in competitive sports and if a higher percentage wants to pursue opportunities in entertainment, the wedge of the 100% pie chart available for other interests naturally becomes smaller.

I hope that collegiate debate goes back to having more final rounds like the 2014 NDT final round. and that somehow, full transcripts again become available like they were in the 1960s and 1970s.  I am sorry to have to opine that if the success of the anti-establishment teams in 2013 and 2014 begets more of the same, then this once (and possibly presently) esteemed activity, which has seen a decline from about 210 NDT subscribing colleges in 1972 to 80-something this year, will either cease to exist or will no longer exist in a form that makes it such an effective developer of analytical minds.

- Michael W. Toland
« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 09:07:18 AM by CouldaBeenaContenda » Logged

Dover (New Hampshire) High School debate team, 1967-1970
Dover High School Debate Coach, 1970-1971
University of New Hampshire debate team, 1970 (when we still spoke like human beings)
University of New Hampshire debate team, 1980-1981 (and when we didn't)
UNH assistant debate coach, 1980-1981
mOnTIqUE wiLLiaMs
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« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2014, 08:36:47 PM »

Obviously, the revelation of inflammatory language in this particular debate was the figurative match in the tinderbox.

'Nigga' don't inflame. The Towson students won and were rightly lauded.

Quote
My criticism of championship caliber policy debate, even prior to these 2013 and 2014 travesties

Travesty? So who shoulda won in 2014?

Quote
But moving on to the "third rail" of the widespread criticisms of the award winning speeches by "African-American" participants (we called them Negroes in the 1960s), I can't for the life of me make enough sense out of the drivel I heard, listening to parts of the 2013 NDT and CEDA Finals and read of the 2014 CEDA Finals, to even take them seriously as examples of championship caliber debate.  I debated against one black guy in high school and three more when I was in college, and they all sounded like me... and that may be an undeserved compliment to myself because one of them was Sandy Darity, AKA Hotep-X, who made it to the semi-finals of the NDT in 1972 while debating as Tuna Snider's partner.

I don't believe that I am "missing something" about the black experience or institutional racism or invidious discrimination when I listen to those speeches and judge them to be inadequate to sustain winning policy debate positions.  I don't believe that people speak the way they do in American courts of law and in university auditoriums because they are racist, nor that if the rest of us could just become more worldly, we would then see that the nonsense that was spoken by recent national debate championship winners embodied a wholly adequate, alternative way of expressing complex legal and philosophical ideas upon which policy debate subsists.  I think that there must be some reason why the debate establishment does not dare to denounce these non-arguments publicly the way that I suspect many do privately.

I have noticed a few threads on this forum concerning efforts to involve more "people of color" in policy debate, and I have to wonder why that concern is being expressed.  Are some universities threatening to eliminate debate funding because its participants are nearly all white?

In order for a student to choose to participate in policy debate, realistically, he needs to find a benefactor to support him, individually (parents) or institutionally (school).  One factor depressing black participation in debate is income disparity.  Everyone on my high school debate team came from families with average to above average income except me, and the students we had our eye on to recruit when it looked like we might not be able to fully man our novice and intermediate four-man teams included no poor kids.  Surely, there are proportionately fewer blacks than whites who can arrange to be subsidized in their pursuit of this 60 to 80 hour a week hobby.  Are there any studies that control for income that show how much "other factors" account for lower debate participation by blacks?

The second thing that might account for lower black participation is that a somewhat smaller portion of the black population actually wants to sound like the guy in the Federal Express commercial (is that pop culture reference now too old to mean anything to most debate critics?).  If a higher percentage of blacks than whites wants to participate in competitive sports and if a higher percentage wants to pursue opportunities in entertainment, the wedge of the 100% pie chart available for other interests naturally becomes smaller.

I believe you ARE "missing something" about institutional racism and invidious discrimination.

I will be interested to see if your highly racist post is allowed to stand. But perhaps it should remain up, as an example of the last, wheezing gasps of frightened, angry, Hitlerian White hegemony in an America rapidly going Brown. To the next generation of debaters you will be the one who seems an incomprehensible travesty.
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