Marshall Thompson ParadigmLast changed 8/15 6:11P CDT
Paradigm Updated 8/2/2018
I graduated from Walt Whitman high-school in 2011. I have been coaching debate fairly regularly since then and currently direct curriculum at VBI. My debaters have consistently gotten to late elims at major national tournaments including TOC.
In my non-debate life I am pursuing a PhD in Philosophy at Florida State University. My primary area of focus is in ethics and the nature of persons. I work in the analytic philosophical tradition with a focus on the work of Elizabeth Anscombe.
I am conflicted from Harrison HS, Hunter College and Cambridge Rindge Latin.
5-Min Before Round Paradigm (how i'm different from the average judge)
1. I am more interventionist than most circuit judges. I am willing to do work to not vote on extremely silly arguments. Arguments I have admitted to doing work to avoid voting on include:
- Drop the debater because they read dates after their card names, rather than numbering the cards with the same author name.
- Prefer aff offense on any given layer, extended as saying aff always win weighing.
- 'I meet' I did not read that argument, I extemped it.
- They forgot to say 'I meet' on theory, even though they did indeed extend a plan text.
That said, I am probably more willing than most judges to deviate from mere community convention when it comes to argumentation. For example, I am quite receptive to arguments that the affirmative should get intrinsicness perms and that philosophical frameworks frame theory offense.
2. I am worse at flowing than perhaps any other circuit judge. I'm extremely dyslexic/dysgraphic and my flows tend to be extremely poor even when typing them. However, I can follow the vast majority of rounds, even fairly technical rounds, pretty well in my head. So, you can still be technical however it will be important to spend more time in the 2ar and 2nr doing big picture analysis and comparison than it is for most circuit judges (and for most judges it is more important than students seem to realize).
3. You should win the round because you can beat your opponent's arguments, not because your opponent cannot make arguments. This means if you read super complex Ks against a novice your speaks will suffer a lot. In general, if you structure the debate in a way that you should have known your opponent could not engage you speaks will be capped at 26.
4. I hold positions to a higher standard of clarity and explanation than most judges. I not only need to understand your position when you first read it (and I have no problem admitting when I do not), but the explanation has to be good enough that I think it is reasonable for a reasonably well-informed high-school student to understand the argument. Thus, if you say 'Morality’s directives can only be categorically binding if they are constitutive of agency, as otherwise they are escapable' that is not an adequate explanation of the argument. The only reason I know what that means, is because I know the actual argument that it's a placeholder for. Similarly, if you say 'prefer competing interpretations because it prevents a race to the bottom and reasonability is arbitrary' I will not fill in for you the many missing internal links and extrapolation needed for that to mean something.
5. You can answer preemptive arguments after they are extended and applied. You don't need to answer them in the first speech. E.g. you can answer AC spikes in the 2nr, or NC spikes in the 2ar.
6. Preptime ends when you remove the flash drive from your computer, or when you hit send on the email. Compiling speech docs is on time.
7. Some debaters are unclear when they spread. Others are just going too fast for the complexity of the arguments. If you are unclear I will say 'clear'. If you are going too fast for how complex your argument is I will either say 'slow' or 'AURGHBLUGGGGG' in a distraught tone.
8. [Update midway through apple valley] I have found that I functionally cap negative speaks at 28.5 if you go for more than two distinct levels of offense in the 2nr. I think collapsing is a non-negotiable component of good debating which speaker points are designed to reflect.
Broader Paradigmatic Considerations: Things I believe but will still do my best to decide on the flow
A) The Aff should be topical.
B) Many LD resolutions are generics, and many 'plans' don't prove generics true.
C) There is no good argument for the RVI.
D) Theoretical advantages should not replace substantive argumentation. E.g. this FW is super educational should not be able to be a warrant for your ethical theory (note that many Role of the Ballots have this same problem).
E) Framework argument can, and should be, applied to theory debates. If util is false, than deterrence is probably not a good reason to drop the debater on theory.
F) Ad hoc interpretations are bad.
G) Most theory is not drop the debater. The sensible conclusion is normally drop the argument or something else.
H) Something being difficult to answer does not make it unfair. Similarly, proving a theoretical assumption of the aff is false, does not prove the aff did something unfair in making that theoretical claim.
A)The Aff should be topical.
B) K arguments that talk about what the debater should have done I tend to think about as theory shells. Ks that talk about what the government should have done I tend to think about as a dis ad + a counterplan.
C) Reasons the affirmative ethical theory is bad, is normally not a reason the affirmative loses. Just a reason we should assess the resolution under a different ethical theory. Obviously this is not universal nor incontestable.
D) If your K can result in the action of the aff then you need to say so in the NC. The K solves the aff offense by resulting in the aff is new if made in the 2nr.
A) Condo is fine in most situations as are intrisicness perms (though you cannot fiat into the future, only within the timeframe suggested by the resolution).
B) Uniqueness arguments are probabilistic, not absolute. For example, suppose a republican win in the house and senate will certainly lead to extinction, and a democratic win in either will certainly prevent that extinction. Now imagine two cases. First, the neg wins republican win is likely now (about 60%) and a link that increases the republican chance of winning (moving democrat chances down to 40%). Here the aff has increased the chance of extinction by 20%. However, suppose that the aff reads cards on uniqueness showing a republican win is actually more likely (so the chance of dem's win starts at 40%). Still if the link evidence is the same strength (and so move the dem's chances to 20%) the impact is still the same (affirming increases the chance of extinction by 20%).