Author Topic: The Rise of Fascism in Modern Tournament Practices  (Read 14252 times)

ScottElliott

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The Rise of Fascism in Modern Tournament Practices
« on: November 13, 2010, 09:50:53 PM »
It all started out nice and simple...and man in his prison cell, discussing "My Struggle." He crafted a wonderful vision of everyone sharing the fruits of everyone else labor. A couple beer hall speeches, a little demogoguery, and he rose to power. Everyone jumped on the power train, because the trains ran on time, and the right people were in charge. Then, things kinda went off the rails. People went a little overboard. Next thing you know there was an invasion of Poland and you all know the rest of the story.

In the last decade to new visions were proposed. Visions of how to make debate more egalitarian, more just, more free. The first was, of course, MPJ. Why, if we allows the debaters and coaches a chance to choose the judges, the debate will be more fair. Everyone can have critics more sutiable to their style of debating. Peace will reign throught the fiefdoms of policy debate!  The second was a humble vision of everyone sharing information. The embodiment of capitalism...those good ol' boys networks with extensive scouting reports...could be defeated if only we were to disclose to everyone the caselist. We can put it on the internet for all the debate world to see. Everyone will ave a fair ground. It will be voluntary. It will be done in a spirit of cooperation for the benefit of all.

Well, as in all examples of utopian visions, reality has set in. The Brown-shirts start thinking that their ideas are so good, so fair, so equalizing, that everyone should participate in their vision of the world. And, if those people do not want to participate, they will be forced to participate. If they do not bend to the Will of the Debate Masters, they will be banned. Worse, if they CANNOT bend to the will of the Debate elites, they will be banned or otherwise excluded. How can this be? Say it ain't so?

Well it is so.  We now have tournaments that say that if your judges are not popular enough, then you can't come or you have to pay special fees. We now have programs and coaches screaming at small programs to disclose not only their 1AC case outline, but their 2AC strategies and all of their negative strategies. Worse, now Wake has decided we have to pay an extra fifity bucks for the privlege of debating at their tournament if we do not disclose every goddamn argument we have ever run.  All of this disclosure was supposed to be voluntary or as a courtesy. Now it is rapidly becoming a demand. I think it is a bunch of bullshit fascism, pure and simple. Heaven forbid some big school does not have blocks to answer an argument made up by some small school.


kelly young

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Re: The Rise of Fascism in Modern Tournament Practices
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2010, 11:13:26 PM »
In Soviet Russia, the case lists you!
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Ryan Galloway

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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2010, 12:01:40 AM »
Greetings all,

Scott and I have talked a bit about disclosure practices, and we come at this from opposite sides of the equation.  I can honestly say that the case list is one of the best resources available to Samford, and we take it as a point of pride to contribute the best we can to the list.  So, I offer the small school defense of the case list.

1) Ad hoc regimes are inevitable, a centralized case list benefits all schools equally.  Back in the early days of case listing, Wake was actually the best of the best at gathering intelligence.  However, in that era, intel lists were private.  I remember Mark Grant being the head of the Wake "SLORC" (ironic given Scott's comparisons to fascism) that attempted to get as much intel as possible from everyone.  Given that knowledge is indeed power, we essentially have two options in the modern world of debate:

A) Large schools will collect information using a higher number of coaches, grad students, and debaters and will be under no obligation to share it.  This system will severely disadvantage smaller schools because they don't have access to it.  Now, there is some possibility you will hide--for a while.  But, just when you get good enough to be on the large school's radar screen, you will be thoroughly scouted by those schools.  They will have access to your information, you won't have access to theirs. 

As a squad that has three coaches on its staff and ten debaters, we find the case list to be invaluable at finding out what schools, large and small, argue on both sides.  Sometimes this allows us to research thorough strategies, other times it just gives us a heads up as to what to expect.  Without the case list, however, ad hoc regimes would exist, as they did in times past.  Those with larger squads and better connections would benefit at the expense of the Louisiana-Lafayettes and Samfords of the world.  The benefit of hiding for a little while is more than offset by what will happen as soon as you are considered a threat.  Large squads will have a ton of intel against you, and you will have almost nothing against them.

B) Open access to case list information:  or what Wake is trying to do now.  By letting the cat out of the bag, it helps to equalize the benefits of intelligence.  Of course it doesn't completely do so, as teams with more resources will still have plenty of methods to have better hands on intel (an inevitable advantage of resources, as explained above).

At the same time, it is better than the ad hoc networks.  In addition, it gives us access to information at tournaments we either did not or could not attend due to resource disparities.  The notion that we can get information from Gonzaga, UNLV, and tournaments throughout the nation is extremely helpful to us.  We also find info from the Kentucky Round Robin very helpful, although I suspect Scott will counterplan to ban the Round Robin...right about...now...

2) The case list makes for better debates.  Some of our most in-depth debates happen against larger schools that we can better "target" from the case list.  I take it as a point of pride when we debate...mostly Emory...and they come out saying we have blocks against almost every card they read in their 1ac's.  We frequently have debates about what Emory's evidence specifically says.  The case list gives us access to their cites, to their new advantages, to their add-ons, so we can read through their articles and have more sophisticated counterplan/disad/case strategies against larger schools. 

I view the case list as working two ways--yes, Emory, etc. gets access to our stuff--but we also get access to theirs.  This ups our game, because we can have more specific strategies against large squads like Emory.  I suspect it ups their game too, because it incentives the best evidence from the best sources. 

In a world without access to the case list, we might get vague information like a one word title to an advantage.  I remember those days, and while there is some nostalgia and some chutzpah to saying, "back in my day, we didn't even know what half of the teams' advantages even were," I gotta tell you the good ole days weren't always so good.  While the on the fly debating was arguably a little better, the in-depth nature of the debates was not. 

Without the modern day case lists, Samford wouldn't have the ability to research opposing sources specifically, we wouldn't have the ability to debate the in-depth nuances of arguments.  And yes, there are plenty of times we can't do that even now, but when we can, the world is better for it.  In-depth information makes for better debating.  Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

3) The norm mirrors academia.  In the "real world" you don't get to hide your sources from published journal articles.  In fact, quite the opposite, editors track them all down.  As I sit with a copy of CAD to my right, all the sources for all the articles are thoroughly documented.  Just like the real world.  I fail to see the benefit of hiding arguments when academia teaches us that open source information is the best way to spread knowledge.  We could accuse journal articles or professors of being fascists because they made us thoroughly document our sources, or we could put it in context and recognize that the effort is for a superior exchange of information.

4) It helps teach our students research.  In particular, they can learn what extremely successful squads do to succeed.  Scott will probably just argue that it merely teaches students that larger squads with lots of folks can cut a great deal of evidence.

However, we've found it useful to plumb the case list for smaller schools like us.  Whitman always has some amazing stuff, and they fully contributed to the case list.  So does Mary Washington.  By going to the case list, I can illustrate to my students what a thorough assignment against an AFF looks like.  And my researchers get better.  Some are a little slower than others, and it is a learning process.  But when you can see what the teams that compete at a high level do to thoroughly research an assignment you can learn a lot.

I'm a little torn on the "fining" system Wake has implemented.  I'm a little torn on open source as well, although we've started to do it.

What I'm not torn on is the notion that disclosure is a norm we should aspire to.  From the perspective of a small school, we appreciate all the hard work and effort that Wake puts in to make the case list useful and valuable.  Even a cursory glance at the case list would show the countless hours that schools all across the United States spend researching for our "game."  The fact that I'm up at 11:45 on a Saturday night helping my students get ready for Wake is illustrative of the point--people work really hard at this--and the case list bolsters that effort.

We fully anticipate using the resources available on the case list both to help our chances at Wake and to plan strategies for the second semester.  We appreciate those that make good faith efforts to ensure their information is up to date so we can best prepare to compete against our opponents.  Disclosure makes for better preparation, and thus better debates.


lacyjp

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Re: The Rise of Fascism in Modern Tournament Practices
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2010, 01:32:03 AM »
First of all, we are not going to fine anyone.  

As for our disclosure expectations: We think it is a good norm to disclose your affs, your add ons & answers to common negative positions as well as your 1nc positions & arguments against common cases. This has been our expectation for many years, and a basic one that most expect from the people they are debating.

The basic rule is to disclose as much as you'd expect from your opponents.

The dilemma we are in is this: If your caselist information doesn't meet your opponents expectations, we do have to spend scarce resources during the tournament to correct those deficiencies. We would much rather use those assets to share new arguments and information than playing catch-up during the tournament.

I feel like this is a better use of our time than the "ad hoc" [to me, "insider only"] efforts Ryan talks about.

Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns!

-- JP Lacy
lacyjp@wfu.edu
 

« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 01:33:39 AM by lacyjp »

ScottElliott

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Re: The Rise of Fascism in Modern Tournament Practices
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2010, 09:56:27 AM »
Ryan, JP, et. al. There are several differences that need to be highlighted on this issue of disclosure. There is a difference between a norm of common courtesy and top-down imposed requirement. We tell people what we run before rounds start.  But I find these increasing demands....are just that...demands. I appreciate the removal of financial penalties. But, I think the demands of disclosure have gotten out of hand.
1) Put your money where your mouth is Wake, Samford, Emory, Liberty, etc. Please disclose, with cites, all of the NEW cases, NEW strategies, that you will be running at Wake and at the NDT. If "good information makes for good debates." ALL OF YOU break new arguments, strategies, and 1AC's at tournaments.  Your central claim is that debate is educational, and that disclosure makes for great debates, and great debates are the ultimate goal.  But, for some reason, you have chosen not to disclose ALL of your arguments. Why? You all know why....because you are trying to win the freaking tournament...and, that, ultimately, is why disclosure as a requirement is a lie dressed up as benevolence. When all of you balk at this suggestion, because, because, well, that’s "just not how WE have unilaterally decided how it is supposed to be done," I herein invoke the “I call bullshit”rule.
2) Caselists don't do jack to even the playing field. The reason why Wake, et al can post all of their strategies is because they have 20,000 more arguments in the pipe ready to run. I do not. I think it is just bunk to have to comply with X mega-team's demands that we supply them two weeks in advance, or even a night in advance, our 2AC strategies and 1NC strategies. Why? Because I have literally been to tournaments in which 30+, seriously, over 30 debaters and coaches are madly cutting cards--coming out of war rooms to demand even more information from me and my team (wow a sum total of maybe four jv debaters and one coach).--. Ryan's argument that "well, we get to research all of those teams arguments too" is bunk because it ignores the overwhelming resource disparities. Those teams are not out to increase education, they are out to win the tournament.

3)Look , this is a competitive activity. It is NOT an academic journal. Galloway’s analogy to publication is horribly flawed.  I write for publication. I e-mail authors of other works all the time requesting more information. That’s because academic writing is about increasing the overall knowledge base. Debate is about winning tournaments. Again, if your analogy is true, then, please by all means disclose all of the new cases and strategies you will be running at the NDT, CEDA NATS, and ADA.  And, even if debate were like academic publication, I’d still call bunk. People in the academic world hide stuff all of the time…why? Because they do not want their ideas stolen by other professors from big schools with big resources who can exploit the idea. Just go back and read how Watson and Crick stole the work of some female researcher (e.g the “Double Helix.”), and published it as their own. It is interesting to see how quickly people get screwed via “cooperation,” when they do not understand that they are inherently in competition with each other.
4) I call BS on the “helps students do research” argument. I find the results to be just the opposite on two levels: a) lazy but bright debaters are now just cutting and pasting the original work of great teams and squads (I do have respect for the top varsity teams that produce this work, btw) and using this as their own. You professors out there would call this plagiarism in your other classes because it is academic theft. But, we tolerate it all the time. How many  of us have used Harvard’s framework file? b) running down cites copying Northwestern’s round 8 strategy is not real research…it’s the equivalent of dogs fighting for scraps from the master’s table. Stealing Harvard’s answers respond to your opponent’s stolen Whitman frontline is not research.
Got to go do some prep work.

Scott

joe

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Re: The Rise of Fascism in Modern Tournament Practices
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2010, 11:02:20 AM »
lol

twhahn215

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Re: The Rise of Fascism in Modern Tournament Practices
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2010, 02:59:05 PM »
A couple thoughts on Scott's post.

1. Concerning 'big school' disclosure: You can't expect larger schools to just open their tubs and let you pick out their best arguments. That leads to the same kind of 'lazy debater' syndrome that you indict in your post. The attempt to increase argument accessibility through opensource (wake-style) is to create a more equal playing field after the first time an argument is used. This allows teams with new arguments to still benefit from their original research while giving other teams access to potentially useful/education files. It's not a perfect system, but it's also pretty new. I would argue it does far more good than any proposed alternative.

2. Concerning caselists. The argument that caselists don't do anything because there are always new arguments for big teams to run is just ludicrous. The utility of the caselist stems from not 'reinventing the wheel' every time you want to get someone else's arguments. The alternative approach is to track down individual debaters (ad hoc) and ask for caselist information. Once again, there's zero alternative to the current system that wouldn't exclude certain programs. As a coach at a small program I can attest to the caselist being extremely helpful. More accessibility is always a good thing. Those lazy debaters that just 'cut the case list' probably won't do as well as the ones that find original arguments, but that's their choice.

3. If you think debate is simply about winning tournaments than you and I are not in the same activity. Competition is a mode of encouragement, not the reason for the game. If your argument is that 'small schools' shouldn't have to disclose their arguments because it's competitively unfair than I would ask if your students are more likely to have good debates through increased secrecy. Yes, Clarion probably loses a few debates because people know our arguments, but we lose good debates.

4. I agree with your premise that disclosure should be optional, but I disagree with the utility of non-disclosure. I honestly don't understand the competitive edge you gain by not fully disclosing your arguments. If a debater comes up to you after the round and asks for your caselist info do you turn them away? If that's an acceptable strategy than we open the floodgates for fake evidence production (a crisis that has been slowly weeded out with increased citation transparency). Those debaters that cut the cards, do the work, and research original arguments will know those arguments better than their competitors that merely copied the appropriate parts of an article into a word document. If the debaters are doing the work than they should have nothing to worry about.

5. I agree with Ryan on the question of 'real world' academia. The plagiarism argument makes zero sense given that debaters do not produce original research when they cut a card. Academic theft assumes ownership by debaters. It also assumes a willingness to prosecute such plagiarism in the debate community, which would be counter-intuitive to the 'debate as education' model. Your arguments on 'cooperative theft' don't really apply in a world where we aren't publishing debate rounds and the original source articles for evidence are freely available online.

ScottElliott

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Re: The Rise of Fascism in Modern Tournament Practices
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2010, 03:58:53 PM »
I find a lot of your arguments to be absurd. If debate is supposed to be about making for educational/"good" debates, the it is obvious to me that you should reveal your new strategies and cases. How many horribly bad NDT final rounds must we sit through? Where is the "outrage" that KU or Wake did not disclose their new Aff. at the NDT? Surely, if the NDT is the pinnacle of "educational" debates, then a full disclosure should be warranted. But that is NOT what happens. Thanks for publishing your new arguments after the fact. I wuz really educated.
 Let me give the closest thing to the real world of debate that exists....it is not academia. it is the legal field. Debate is much more based on an adversarial system than on the academic publication system. You have a judge or panel of judges. You have a winner and a loser. You present evidence and arguments in order to determine the winner and the loser. And, let me tell you...it ain't about education, its about the win. So how does the hypocrisy of your world of disclosure become apparent under this view of debate?

Well, if you pulled the bullshit strategy of busting out new evidence or a brand new case in a civil or criminal trial, you'd lose the case and probably get disbarred. But, you say, "this undermines all of our work at crafting new ideas and arguments." The court would say so what. If you want disclosure and the best for "education," then why not have everyone fully disclose? Why not tell teams that they can only debate the arguments and evidence that they post in advance of the tournament. Wouldn't that be the most educational and fair thing for everyone?

I know this will never happen because these mega teams want to keep the system constantly at a skew that benefits them. Disclosure is great as long as it does not cut into their overall competitive advantage.  As soon as it becomes a threat, they create a new "community norm" that maintains their advantage. As I said b efore, I have no problem telling people what 1AC we run and giving cites to people. But,  this is bullshit to require me to have to give out my negative strategies and 2AC answers so that coaches can write blocks. I have even had  coaches be so bold as to ask what the hell we go for in the 2nR.
Yesterday, LSU was playing UL-Monroe. A Number 5 ranked team versus a team that will be lucky to win two games in football this year. Can you imagine LSU demanding from UL-Monroe a copy of the UL-Monroe playbook....so they could make it a "fair game." 
Jesus Christ, y'all make me want to vote for Towson and Louisville.

RGarrett

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Re: The Rise of Fascism in Modern Tournament Practices
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2010, 04:28:31 PM »
First, I don’t think Scott was serious about this but it might be a useful starting point for some alternative disclosure practices.  Scott argues you should not read any 1AC or 1NC position that has not been cited on the wiki prior to the tournament (and maybe even more than that).  I think there are several problems with this most notably it would encourage massive sand bagging of good parts of arguments and thus I am not sure if it would work, especially if you have to cite all 2Ac evidence before the tournament you couldn’t cut answers to the new 1NC arguments people put up.

Maybe there could be a different model though what if a small tournament decided that every piece of evidence must come from a specific pool of cards, sort of like camp debates.  This would allow some tournaments to be purely about debater skill, while other tournaments might rely on what might be called the current card dependent model.  I’m sure coaches would love to come to that tournament there is no risk of needing to cut cards for a whole weekend, we might actually hear debates where the debaters understand all the arguments in a round and maybe we could work with our own students on debating skills.

Second, I’ve tried to assemble some data that might give a hint about if disclosure is good or bad for large and small schools.  I have tried to see the ‘diversity’ of teams clearing prior to the current wiki project.  There clearly needs to be some definition of terms about what a large school is and is not, but I have disclosed which schools I was counting—obviously I’m not very old and there might be some contention over my definitions, but I think they are a useful starting point for data.  Looking at the data below it doesn’t seem close—small schools seem to be doing pretty well in the era of the disclosure death camp.


2005-2006   
GSU Tournament
Central Oklahoma
Iowa
Wyoming
George Washington
(Possibly Oklahoma should also be included)

Kentucky Tournament
Iowa
UNT
Idaho state
George washington
(possibly Oklahoma and Whitman)


Current Season
GSU Tournament
Trinity
 Samford
K-state
Towson
UTD
Iowa
Gonzaga
(Georgetown I accidently excluded them on the first run)


Northwestern (this year’s Kentucky)
Towson
Trinity
Emporia
UTSA
GSU
Towson
UTD
Gonzaga
Samford
UTSA (second team)
Vandy
Trinity (second team)
K-state
(Georgetown I accidently excluded them on the first run)

« Last Edit: November 15, 2010, 12:26:42 AM by RGarrett »

antonucci23

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Re: The Rise of Fascism in Modern Tournament Practices
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2010, 04:33:30 PM »
We can put it on the internet for all the debate world to see. Everyone will ave a fair ground. It will be voluntary. It will be done in a spirit of cooperation for the benefit of all.

Well, as in all examples of utopian visions, reality has set in. The Brown-shirts start thinking that their ideas are so good, so fair, so equalizing, that everyone should participate in their vision of the world. And, if those people do not want to participate, they will be forced to participate.

I can argue with your post normatively, but I suspect my arguments would fall on deaf ears.

Factually, this is an incorrect chronology of the intersection of Open Source and debate.  The initial model of this argument was placed as a very overt, involuntary demand.  It was advanced in two high school rounds.  Leo Zimmerman and Alex Jenson ran in in the octafinals of New Trier against a fine team from Glenbrook North.  They lost, but won a stinging dissent from Josh Branson.  The discussion that generated those blocks was part of an elective taught at the Dartmouth Debate Institute, and some associated idea bouncing off of David Cheshier.

The controversial argument choice was greenlighted by Lexington's head coach at the time, Leslie Phillips.

It was run two seasons later by William Sears and Daniel del Nido in the octafinals of St. Mark's - primarily because we didn't have much that was all that awesome to say against Caddo Magnet.  By a very fortunate coincidence, Ross Smith was watching that round for the purpose of recruiting William Sears.  (They did not win any dissents in this contest, however.)

Although competitively unsuccessful, the argument generated a fair amount of discussion.  Most of this discussion occurred on the high school forums, because it was a product of high school rounds.  It spilled over eventually into a NDTCEDA listserv discussion.  In an initial set of posts, I advanced a more moderate, or "weak", version of this argument.  An even weaker version - simply sticking to fulltext instead of first and last words - was advanced by Eric Morris.

If you're going to throw out analogies to fascism - get it right, comrade.  This isn't a utopian vision turned restrictive.  It's a highly restrictive redistributive vision turned progressively more voluntary by a fairly conservative activity.

A keen observer will also note that Open Source systems exist in both software and law without any hint of fascism.  Why are you resorting to strained historical analogies when apt ones abound?  I suspect the answer is cherry picking.

Finally, are you calling me Hitler?  I'm way more bemused/amused than offended by that, but thought I'd check.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 06:06:32 PM by antonucci23 »

twhahn215

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Re: The Rise of Fascism in Modern Tournament Practices
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2010, 04:50:17 PM »
Comparisons of debate versus football are deeply disturbing to me - I don't think it's accurate to make blanket statements of their similarities in relation to disclosure. Once again, if we're merely in debate for the win/loss record then we're probably in it for the wrong reasons. Secondly I'm not sure why debate has to be a purest 'mirror' of academia or the legal system. It's an educational tool that promotes critical thinking and analysis. Those skills are applicable in any field, but the methodology of our community is unique. It's an oversimplification to subjugate it to legal-lite.

The blanket assertion that the 'big schools' are out to get us demonizes programs that, like all others, are imperfect. Attempts to increase argumentative disclosure only helps the community. I welcome evidence to the contrary.

Also, I'm not sure why voting for Towson or L'ville is a bad thing....

Jessica Kurr

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Re: The Rise of Fascism in Modern Tournament Practices
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2010, 05:38:39 PM »
I'd like to highlight a few anecdotal examples on open-source.

Quick fyi, Pitt has posted full-text 1acs/1ncs of everything we read. Granted, its in file form like Wake, but Wake is paperless, we aren't. The reason we decided to do 1ac/1nc and not all speeches is two-fold. First, we're a small-school, so to preserve competitive success, we didn't post every single trick. However, we still post cites for all 2AC/2NC positions. Second, we feel it strikes a balance between education and competition for a small school standpoint.

The first anecdotal example I'd like to look at is from an aff standpoint. Last year, Pitt read an aff that said we should only nuke asteroids as a last resort. Rounds were very boring. Since only Pitt and Iowa read this aff, many teams would only cut T and maybe some impact defense. This year, we read an aff that overrules the Chinese Exclusion case. Hoping to avoid the situation last year, we figured if we post the full text, teams are likely to make better arguments. Sure, at this point last year we had more aff wins, but the aff rounds this year are more fun.

People are complaining about small school disadvantage. Two responses.
1) No amount of aff disclosure will ever give the neg the benefit that the 2A has in knowing their aff. Maybe this is a problem because not every 2A cuts their own affs. If thats your concern, make the 2A cut their own aff. That solves the competitive disadvantage issue. Last year and this year, when people make case args or off case positions, it wouldn't matter if they had more cards because I read the articles. Granted, I'm a debate junkie, but I find research fun. Research for the 2A translates to competitive success. So its all good.

2) If you're worried about the huge frontline problem, I think there's a few things to note. First, don't read a common, mainstream aff. Full-text or not, teams are going to have huge frontlines against H-1B affs (or NFU affs last year). That has nothing to do with open source. Second, big schools will have frontlines whether its open source or not. Resources enable them the ability to have no time trade-off from looking up the cites. The benefit for full text disclosure is helping small schools because they don't have to waste time tracking cites, which is more skewed due to the limited resources. In trying to help your own small school, you hurt other small schools.

The second anecdotal example is from a neg standpoint. The caselist, for the most part, is a bunch of 1NCs and maybe some 2NC A2 Perm and 2NC Links on politics. Full-text, and even scouting, disclosure has the benefit of actually seeing how these arguments develop in a round. A lot of positions are complex and very intricate and the 1NC shells are horrid (4 card politic shell with the 1 card delegation cp). To make this complexity even more problematic is the only exchange occurs between people who watched or competed in the round. That means when you're a small school about to debate a big school, whereas all the big schools are in the know of the team's tricks or how the Cp works, you're left in the dark because you didn't have the money to attend Harvard or GSU. That means big schools are benefitted yet again by a lack of open disclosure. You can claim that small school negative success is hampered by full text disclosure, but small schools can still cut new, smart positions. Also, this replicates the same small school v. small school argument above.

Combined, it seems clear open source benefits debates between small schools. It seems irrelevant to debates between big schools because the research advantage is equalized. That leaves debates between big and small schools. There's no benefit as the big school is going to have an extensive frontline, open source or not. But, open source does ease the research burden on the small school by providing them with answers to a myriad of random counterplans teams are reading: Delegation, States, Flex Cap, Buy a House, etc. Even if the bigger school has these answered prepped to, at least the small school has something to say. What results? A debate. In my short debate experience, the biggest hurdle when debating big schools is the quantity of evidence. Open source helps remedy that issue. I'd much rather hinge my success on out-debating my opponent than losing because we had nothing to say. That in itself is a good reason for open source.

twhahn215

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Re: The Rise of Fascism in Modern Tournament Practices
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2010, 05:42:40 PM »
I'd much rather hinge my success on out-debating my opponent than losing because we had nothing to say. That in itself is a good reason for open source.

Yes.

ScottElliott

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Re: The Rise of Fascism in Modern Tournament Practices
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2010, 10:06:51 PM »
To all:
For every anecdotal example you give of how wonderful it is to disclose every argument we have ever run, I can give two or more of how big squads use the information to cut s...loads of blocks against small teams. I have experienced it. I have been the victim of the disclosure norms. Having been screwed out of a few tournament wins  (not prelims, but first place at the tournament) because we were flat-out "out-resourced," I call bullshit. We can agree to disagree, but I think the growing norm of open source greatly benefits big squads with large card cutting capabilities over small squads. They will always have something new to break, so it does not matter if they disclose. Me, on the other hand, if I spend 60 hours cutting a position, I want to get as much mileage out of it as possible. It may sound arrogant, but I can out-cut three or four top notch card cutters...but I cannot out cut the entire X,Y, and Z mega program while having to judge at a tournament. So, you can all go to hell when you ask what my team's 2AC answers are you your shitty politics disads. As a courtesy, we will tell you what our Aff. is about, but don't bother asking about our 1NC strategy is against your H1B Big Heg case. We do not expect you to disclose your Neg strategies against us or your 2AC strats against the Cap K. Never have and never will.

As far as comparisons to "football," or any other competitive activity. I know you all want to keep yourselves up in the ivory tower as long as possible. But I think you are all a bunch of hypocrites. If you want debate to be an "educational activity," you are doing a piss poor job of it. The way the activity is set up benefits those who gain the LEAST. Do you seriously think that (I'll be nice and not name names) <insert top debate team that has been debating since they were 12 and are now 25 and still debating here> deserve the amount of resources that are spent on them if the goal is to "educate students?" 

I notice a deafening silence when I raise the issue of running New arguments in outrounds of the NDT. True "educational" debate would abolish the NDT, CEDA Nats and tournament debating altogether. But none of us wants that...it would not be fun.

Your collective obsession with winning the NDT or CEDA exposes the fraud of your claims of education and fairness. A truly fair NDT or CEDA NAts, under a open disclosure standard, would require open disclosure of all positions and evidence BEFORE those tournaments. Under a "courts analogy" paradigm, this is exactly what would be required. The judicial system requires, by law, fairness. And fairness requires complete disclosure. You disclosure hacks will balk at that suggestion. Why? because you are hypocrites. You want to claim "education," but you want to win the NDT. Ironically, Vermont ran a kritik a couple years ago on this very issue. I think you are all full of shit. I think all you want is to make sure that you have blocks against every possible team. Not against some small school that has zero relevence in the big picture (mine)...but against those programs that can, every now and then, produce a "head-shot" that takes out an NDT First-round team. When I see a big squad demand disclosure from a small regional team of all of their arguments and claim "community", I see fear.
Scott

Jessica Kurr

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Re: The Rise of Fascism in Modern Tournament Practices
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2010, 10:25:22 PM »
This is going back and forth on most issues, so I won't bother responding. I do have one question that I'm unsure of your viewpoint on. Your criticism of open source is geared towards the capability of large schools. If a small school, similar to your team's size, asks for common 1NC positions, etc., which you said you won't disclose to large schools, would you exchange information with that team privately?