Elaine Brown Invitational NAUDL Qualifier
2019 — San Jose, CA/US
Isaiah Aguirre Paradigm
Dan Barritt Paradigm
Mecca Billings Paradigm
Robert Burns Paradigm
Check the judging history for RBurns@northstaracademy.org and BurnsRW1@gmail.com for other tournaments, judging records, etc. You can put RBurns@svudl.org on the email chain.
My old judging philosophy was too long. Here's a revision that is also too long.
I like continental philosophy and some American pragmatists. So to the question: are you a critical or policy judge, I respond, yes. Do what you love, the game is for you.
But games have to be fair and simulate something we love about life, or be connected to life or they are not very fun. I love debate, so access to it is a terminal impact. It is an educational game (or it has been for me) so education is also a terminal impact. But its a game. Fairness matters in some way, although I don't pretend that what you count as fair is somehow self-evident or not tied to history or your identity. I don't think any of these three impacts are more basic or fundamental than the other. I just abide in the tension.
If you don't have a plan, explain why and how you are connected to the topic, or why not caring about the topic matters. I am good for critical arguments about identity, and sometimes down for (some) high theory, if you explain it. I coached for 4 years at North Star Academy in Newark, and was a thought partner with many debaters from Rutgers Newark, Newark Science, and University. This shaped deeply who I am as a person, so take from that what you will.
I don't like acting as if what French philosophers are saying is self evident. But I have voted for Bataille and Baudrillard, and I use my background as a doctoral student in philosophy to try to understand the arguments. Still, explanation will serve you in these debates, and I would rather be treated as an informed lay person than as a specialist in french high theory.
I see a fair number of critical vs. critical debates. But I am willing to vote for framework. Fairness is an impact, although I do not think it is the only controlling interest that governs such debates.
Syboney Caballero Paradigm
Roxana Corzo Paradigm
Diana Escobar Paradigm
Stephen Hohs Paradigm
Ryan Mills Paradigm
Ryan Mills - Archbishop Mitty High School, CA
Competitor: Damien HS 1980-1984, Loyola Marymount University (LMU) 1984-1987
Coach: Loyola HS (Los Angeles) 1989-1994, Pinewood 1994-1995, College Prep 1995-2000, Archbishop Mitty 2016 - Present
Please put me on the email chain: email@example.com
[My] Framework - Or how do we achieve our best selves by doing this thing called 'debate'?
I approach debate as an educator so for me the primary reason we spend our nights and weekends together is our appreciation of the activity's ability to help us improve our critical thinking skills and articulate complex concepts in a logical and persuasive way. To that end
- Tell the story - the team who ends the debate with a coherent, compelling narrative is generally rewarded. Resolve, rather than merely extend, arguments in the 2nr/2ar.
- 'Debate the debate we're in.' Reading canned blocks, especially through rebuttals, means you're not clashing (or listening, or flowing) which also means I'm left to resolve the debate myself - no one's happy in that scenario.
- I'll be on the email chain, but I'm not reading along and won't fill in my flow from the speech doc what I don't hear comprehensibly. I prioritize flowing the card verbiage over the (very often overpowered) tag, so please don't do the slow tag line/incomprehensible high-speed card read routine. I flow, on paper, which is my detailed record of what transpires in the debate and is what I reference when rendering a decision. If it's not on my flow, it's not considered, so please make sure you tell me where your 2nr/2ar extension originates earlier on in the debate.
- Card clipping is cheating - loss and zeroes if caught.
- If the debate centers around whose evidence is better on a particular argument, best you do the evidence comparison work for me because...
- If you *do* ask me to read a piece of evidence, you are inviting my intervention in the debate regarding the 'quality' of the evidence (whether it actually says what you claim it says). Once you invite me (or any critic) into *your* space, you've lost control of how far that critic engages your invitation.
- Overtly racist, sexist, misogynistic, anti-LGBTQ discourse, etc. results in a loss and zero points.
- I welcome a spirited discussion during the RFD, but sometimes we simply won't agree on the outcome. Most judges make decisions on 'meta' arguments governing the overall direction of the debate, not some claim buried in the quickly-spewed third-level subpoint in a block. Even if you come away from my RFD thinking I'm a complete idiot, the best way to approach any critic is to ask probing questions about how we arrived at our conclusions. That way next time you debate in front of me you have a beat on how I think and can craft your approach accordingly (or decide my view is just so antithetical to yours that you strike me, which is fine too). If you treat these exchanges as a training ground for successful future, much higher stakes exchanges you'll have both personally and professionally, you'll have absorbed the best of what this activity has to offer.
That's my framework. Now, a few words on how I default if you leave me to my own devices.
Overview - 'You do you' as long as you warrant it
I do my best to suspend my predilections: whether I love or hate a particular argument, I'll vote for you if you win it unless it's fundamentally reprehensible (genocide good, etc.).
Primary guidance: debate the debate we're in rather than read canned blocks written months ago in a land far far away from the round we're sitting in. Clash is paramount.
Default views on argument types
I prefer to understand what specific ground the negative is rightfully entitled to that the affirmative interpretation precludes access to. I care more about what you do than what you might allow. Conversely, I am also receptive to arguments around T as language policing resulting in the exclusion of marginalized voices, so don't be afraid to go for that either. I'm a former English teacher, so to me words matter in both directions.
Plans/Counterplans/Permutations: Words Matter!
Document the exact plan/counterplan/permutation(s) wording before engaging. If there is a real grammatical flaw in the text, don't be afraid to stake the debate on it, properly impacted (the 2003 ToC was decided on a plan flaw argument so it's a thing, at least to me).
Won't 'judge-kick.' It's up to the negative to make strategic decisions about advocacy in the 2NR.
No link means no link. Offense always helps, but I will easily vote on a well-executed no link/internal link/low risk of impact approach.
I lean toward probability over magnitude. Focus on uniqueness and the link/internal link whether on aff or neg. Debate solvency on case and do the work to weigh impact vs. aff advantage remaining in the rebuttals. Extend impacts in rebuttals and tell the comparative story (again resolve, don't just extend).
Accordingly on the neg, your time is better spent making the link bulletproof than reading impact extensions unless the aff is impact-turning the disad/k. If you want to win on framing/framework invest time there.
- Read extensively in the literature of the criticism you're advocating and compile your own positions. CX can be devastating with these arguments, so if you've read the literature you can tease out nuances that teams who take the lazy way out won't be able to account for.
- I'm receptive to specific link and impact assessment. Better to establish how this particular affirmative triggers a unique link to this specific criticism rather than rely on a generic indictment of a particular normative framework or 'you use the USFG' - i.e. a link to the status quo. Advocate an alternative and explain how you access it. 'Refuse' isn't a great option since that just puts the resister on a pedestal divorced from efforts to materially improve the lives of the marginalized, but I'll (reluctantly) vote on it if well defended.
- If your strategy is 'high theory' I'm not the best judge for you so please pref me accordingly. I strive to read enough critical literature to be conversant, but I have a day job so will not be PhD-level familiar with any critical argument. Please debate with this level of familiarity in mind or risk disappointment with the outcome.
- Critical affs/planless affs/Performance: Fine, again just want to understand what I'm endorsing if you're asking for the ballot.
If you have questions about something I haven't covered, please ask before the debate starts.. The activity is meant to be educational, fun, and inclusive - if it's not, we should all be doing something else.
Marcia Pade Paradigm
Jahnavi Pendharkar Paradigm
David Serati Paradigm
Jake Simmons Paradigm
Marybelle Uk Paradigm
Kenneth Woods Paradigm
If you keep up with news you will probably receive a winning ballot from me. Please don’t run a case without knowing the most current info on your topic.