Vito Perez ParadigmLast changed 3/2 11:59A PDT
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Bravo Medical Magnet HS (2010-2013)
UC Irvine (2013-14): 2014 NDT Qualifier and 2014 CEDA Octafinalist
My ideal debate demonstrates a) well-researched positions that are communicated clearly and concisely and are easily flowable, and b) direct refutation of arguments that can be easily visualized on the flow.
In 2014, I said, "I am compatible with embedded clash" and will do the sorting work even if messy. This delays the tournament schedule by prolonging the time it takes to render a decision. Line-by-line refutation is most preferred. Grouping arguments is acceptable if you identify what premise they all share that you are refuting.
The literature bases I’m most familiar with are around afropessimism, settler colonialism, capitalism, whiteness, biopolitics, semiotics, and (some) psychoanalysis.
Prerequisites to earning the Ballot:
1.) Be Clear: This is a communication activity. You are persuading the judge. I'm slightly hard of hearing, so if I can't understand you, I'll say "CLEAR". I will repeat only twice per debater. Lack of clarity will reduce speaker points and will make it difficult to flow and genuinely understand the argument. This rule is most important during OVERVIEWS and ANALYTICS.
SLOW DOWN for Plan texts, Counterplan texts, Advocacy texts, Permutation texts, and PIC/PIK texts. If I have to look at the speech document for the TEXT, I will remove half a speaker point. This is a speech activity. If it weren't, we would only need to share word documents over email and we wouldn't need to be physically present at tournaments.
Speaking for/over your partner (or puppeteering them) will reduce both of your speaks. Debaters should be able to speak for themselves in a speech activity.
2.) Complete the argument: A complete argument contains a claim, warrant, and evidence. An incomplete argument will be flowed for reference but ultimately will not be evaluated. If an argument is completed in a constructive, I will evaluate it. If it is completed in a rebuttal, it is a new argument and I will not evaluate it.
3.) Explain Key Theories/Concepts: Assume I am a lay judge who only knows how to flow. Do not assume that my familiarity with certain literature bases will allow you to skip over explaining key philosophical, economic, or political concepts and chains of logic. Doing so risks skipping warrants, which means you've made an incomplete argument that I will not evaluate. Returning to the first prerequisite of clarity, if you are not clear I might not completely understand the concepts you explained. Then, your warrants and analytics might be absent on my flow. Don't let that happen.
Also, DO NOT use abbreviations or acronyms until you have spelled them out for me. Do not leave me to guess. I might not flow it.
4.) Tell me who I am: Role of the Judge. Dictate to me how I ought to view the round--as a policymaker, a critic, an educator, a revolutionary, etc. Otherwise, my default position is to evaluate the round as a policy-maker. I have spent too much time post-round thinking about how to weigh impacts and advocacies that clash and are both well-researched. Do not leave me at the end of the round with my biases.
5.) Tell me what the ballot does: Role of the Ballot. Dictate to me what the purpose of the ballot ought to be: for example, does it simply go to the team that did the better debating or does it change the structure of debate or the debate community? Moreover, what the ballot ought to do/be depends on what DEBATE should be about. In short, delineate your model of debate (what debate should be about) and defend why we should affirm that model of debate.
6.) Tech over Truth: I will only evaluate what is said in the round not what I know outside the round. Prioritizing truth claims relies on judge intervention which nullifies the argumentation within the round and the purpose of the activity. Prioritizing tech minimizes judge intervention because the argumentation in the round determines the ballot.
Aff/Neg Roles: The affirmative must change the status quo via fiat or performance. The 1AC must make the status quo net better. The negative must prove the affirmative either DOES NOT change the status quo or makes the status quo net worse. Sounds too basic but is a fundamental theoretical issue about the model of debate that debaters gloss over with statements like "we only need to prove the aff is a good/bad idea".
I find myself wanting to vote Neg on presumption in debates in which the Aff does not meet the burden of changing the status quo or does not provide a counter-interpretation to "changing the status quo". To clarify, I won't vote on presumption if the argument is not made.
I believe the neg should have the status quo as an option, only if the neg makes this argument. Unless the debate becomes a method vs method debate, the focus of the debate is the 1AC's effects on the status quo.
Framework: Tell me why I ought to prefer your model of the debate. The more comparative the standards and impact debate, the better. For example, tell me whose scholarship/pedagogy should be preferred with clear disads to the other team’s education claims. As a judge, I do not take a position on the structural fairness vs procedural fairness debate, except that fairness (structural or procedural) should be explained as an impact in and of itself. Otherwise, I am likely to interpret fairness as an internal link to an impact waiting to be articulated.
Topicality/Theory: Will vote on it but my threshold is high because in the debates I've judged, abuse in-round is not clearly articulated (or that it's potentially abusive) or it is unclear what kind of ground the aff destroyed or the extent to which the negative was unable to generate substantial clash or the aff killed education on topic literature. If neg definitively proves in-round abuse, I'll vote on T.
Topical versions of the Aff are extremely persuasive because they prove that the 1AC's content is non-competitive with topicality, which means that being un-topical is not uniquely key to access 1AC offense. Neg doesn't have to prove solvency; only that the content and performance of the 1AC is not competitive with affirming the resolution.
Disadvantages: I’m not always familiar with abbreviations so please explain them at least once. For politics debates, I like case-specific specific links. If you only have generic links available, contextualize the links to the warrants and evidence of the 1AC or the warrants and premises you have elicited from the cross-ex of the 1AC. Returning to the third issue of explanation, explain the economic and political concepts that prove the disad.
Counterplans: Slow down substantially so I could catch the full CP text instead of relying on CX to clarify for me or waiting throughout the debate for the text to be fleshed out. Solve for your net benefits, don't link to them. I don’t dislike any specific CP. Agent, consult, delay CPs...I could vote on them.
Plan-Inclusive Counterplans/Kritiks: May or may not be abusive. I will consider voting on it if neg proves textual and functional competition. If aff does not impact a lack of such competition, then the PIC is legitimate. Provide an impact to "Mooting the 1AC". Provide defense for this impact.
Kritiks: Do not depend on tag-lines and buzzwords for explanatory power. Be well-read on your literature base. If I recognize that you mischaracterize, oversimplify, or misunderstand the thesis of the K, your speaks will decrease.
Starting point debates/Root Cause debates: I evaluate these debates just like a framework debate: competing models of structural analysis. Thus, I compare standards/net benefits. If your analysis has a wider scope, why is that good? If it has a narrower scope, why is that good? If your starting point historically precedes the other team's starting point, why does that mean I should prefer your starting point. I ask these questions because these are the questions I am left with at the end of the debate. Dictate to me the criteria for comparing starting points. Without it, you are asking me to intervene with my own analysis. Don't do that.
Alternatives: By the 1NR, it should be clear how the alt solves. Whether this is via fiat or via scholarship (epistemological/ontological model) should be established BY THE BLOCK.
If something happens in-round and one team argues that the other's performance/language/etc is problematic in some form, explain how the significance of this issue outweighs the rest of the debate (i.e. why should I pay attention to this before analyzing the debate itself)--which means engaging in the framework debate.
If this is a new argument in the rebuttals, you have a higher threshold for proving why this outweighs the rest of the debate or why I should/can moot the 1AC.
Debate ought to encourage safety, fairness, and education.
Everyone should feel as safe and comfortable as the community can make itself to be, even though safety and comfort are effects of power and are not equitably distributed.
Debaters should be able to substantially engage with the topic and each other. Please disclose arguments and evidence properly. Please share enough with the other team before the round so they can understand and at least attempt to make arguments.
Everyone should be able to learn from the activity, win or lose.
The team that violates any of these tenets will be denied the ballot.