Skyler Harris ParadigmLast changed 9/18 4:07P PDT
Hello, I’m Skyler (They/She) (email@example.com) - I coach and judge both Policy and LD debate.
About me: Debated in HS, TOC qualled, debated in College for a bit (Policy).
(2017-2019) Futures RA - 2 TOC quals and deep elims at every tournament including the TOC.
(2019-2020) Oak Hall KZ - TOC qualled, deep elims at every tournament + several tournament wins
(Currently) Bellarmine EG
Coached multiple policy teams as well, but focus on LD season-long.
I’ve worked with all styles of debate/literature, and I enjoy judging all styles of debate.
I love this activity and think it holds immense value, please be respectful to one another and please have fun.
How I think about debate:
Debate is a game.
There is no tech vs. truth, there is only the truth which is produced by tech.
Technical debate is good debate, and if debate is not technical it is probably awful.
Strategic maneuvers, well placed theory arguments, etc. are integral to every style of debate.
I only adjudicate the round I am watching, please leave your personal qualms, along with things that have happened out of the round, out of the round. Each debate is a new, hypothetical world in which students test theories, methods, and strategy against one another
“Real World,” “Out of round spillover” claims are pretty ridiculous and nonetheless, counterproductive. That being said, as debate is a site of method testing- all impacts are illusory, and will be evaluated based on the level of impact comparison and warranted explanation done by the debaters. I am VERY sympathetic to the argument that believing debate directly influences actual real world policy = serial policy failure. I am also VERY sympathetic to the argument that believing K debate directly influences actual real world structures = ressentiment/reality denial/bad activism/delusional pseudo-intellectuals.
"Fiat" is the idea that __X__ happens when I vote for a certain argument, it is not intrinsically tied to role-playing, policymaking, etc. It is a mechanism that every style of debate relies on.
I believe that using personal experiences as evidence under the guise that debate is a “space for real world change,” is quite awful, and unnecessarily uncomfortable.
However, I believe that personal modes of communication (poetry, music, dance, etc.) can be effectively used for strategic benefit in the context of debate as a winnable game.
Debate is not a site for "subject formation," nor should it ever be. The belief that it is, in my opinion, is harmfully delusional.
For all K debaters - I believe that “armchair philosophers” such as Baudrillard/Bataille, can accurately explain instances of gendered/racialized/etc. violence. I am not a fan of view-from-nowhere-esque indicts/arguments.
---> Please don't make the "Non-Black people shouldn't read AfroPess" argument in front of me
---> There seems to be a trend in debate where people believe their identity allows them to bypass fair disclosure practice. If you aren't breaking a completely new aff, it needs to be open sourced. If not, you are cheating and you should lose.
For all Debaters: I feel that debate is lacking creativity - Whether you're reading a counterplan or a criticism, I think that creativity, paired with technical execution and good strategy is what separates good from great. The value of debate is found in technical execution, as well as spontaneous adaptation and strategical maneuvers that change over the course of a debate. I reward debaters who adapt.
****** Specifics for LD Debaters *******
Policy/Larp Stuff: Love it, always super proud of debaters who read Aff Scenarios, CP's, DA's etc. that are well-researched, creatively strategic, and recent. In Larp vs. Larp T debates you must win that the Aff justifies a world of debate that is bad for education/clash, otherwise I'm sympathetic to reasonability.
The K vs. Larp: I love the K, not the biggest fan of judging it. I have an extremely high threshold for voting for them and think they are rather useless if not executed with a heightened level of technical efficiency. Links must be to the 1AC, not the status quo. I think that debaters should be able to fiat the metaphysical impacts of a K/K aff, but only after meeting a VERY HIGH threshold of explanation. This also means, that if you don't meet that threshold, you will probably lose to extinction outweighs.
K Affs: Should be topical. Simply affirming the resolution and then reading random K cards that talk about a K thesis isn't being topical. I think Non-topical K Affs are bad for education and make K debate vacuous. If you try this, I'll be sympathetic to Neg teams reading Generic Disads to the topic and going for extinction outweighs, I will also have a low threshold for voting on T.
^^^ If there is no internal link between the substance of the topic and your K advantages/impacts, you should lose on presumption.
K v K debates: Love em
Underviews in LD: usually unflowable, usually useless
CREATIVITY gets you high speaks
Feel free to ask me anything, I love education, creativity, and a drive to become better.
Once again, remember to have fun!! Win or lose, life goes on and you will continue to be a bright individual. Stay calm, composed, and just be cool how you be cool.