Elias Altman Paradigm

Last changed 23 October 2021 6:42 AM EST

Hey everyone. My name is Elias Altman (he/him).

I currently debate for Yale (’25). In high school, I debated LD and won the 2021 NCFL. I focused on traditional LD, although half-way through my senior year I did a bit on the circuit and qualled to the TOC, so I have decent familiarity with progressive debate. Lastly, I dabbled in World Schools towards the end of my career, and I really liked it. Give me a persuasive Worlds-esque narrative, and it'll boost your speaks.

don't assume your opponent's pronouns. either ask for them or just refer to ur opponents as aff/neg.

TLDR: I'm a traditional flow LD judge who has decent understanding of progressive.

Please include me on the email chain: elyaltman@gmail.com

Also, I agree with everything Anthony Berryhill says.


Run what you want. I'll do my best to evaluate it. Communication comes first though. If I can't understand your arguments and warrants, that's on you, and I have no problem making that my RFD.

I like it when debaters collapse effectively on arguments. Crystallizing the round goes a long way with me. I also like to see debaters cede the true parts of their opponent's case but give nuanced analysis on why they outweigh.

Humor is always appreciated and will boost speaks.

Lastly, if possible, make me care about your arguments. Tell me explicitly who you help, and why that matters. Judges aren't robots. If you can give me a convincing narrative tinged with passion, it goes a long way.

Short Prefs:

traditional debate - 1

identity Ks - 1

High theory Ks and phil - 2 if explained well but 4 if it's incomprehensible. always better to err on the side of explaining.

LARP- 2 (please no weak internal links it'll make me sad)

T/theory- 3/4. this is generally boring to me, but I'll certainly vote on well-warranted/egregious violations. Also fair warning: I'm inexperienced with T. Run it if you need to, but make it easy for me to understand/vote for you.

Tricks - 4/strike. Tricks generally decrease accessibility in debate. If you must read them, do them right. Tricks should be interesting, well-warranted logic problems that encourage (not discourage) thoughtful responses. I don't vote on one sentence blips. I also think spikes are bad, and while I won't drop you for it, I'll tank your speaks. They should be clearly identifiable in your underview or otherwise accessible to your opponent and me.

Traditional LD:

I decide debates through layers. Framework, observations, burdens, etc are all crucial to structuring the debate. I look to what operates at the highest ground, decide who won that point, and move to the next layer. Rinse and repeat until the debate has a winner. Thus, it would benefit you to try to structure the debate in such a way that you have a win condition.

Here are some things that’ll make voting for you easier for me.

1. ENGAGE WITH FRAMEWORK. Weigh frameworks against each other. Even better if y’all haven’t agreed on a FW yet, tell me how you win under both your FW and your opponents (if you do this, I’ll boost your speaks).

2. Weigh. Weigh. Weigh. If you don’t weigh offense, I have to guess at the end of the round whose impacts are more important. You don’t want that because it makes the round very subjective on my end. Instead, go the extra mile, avoid that, and tell me explicitly why your offense is more important than your opponents.

3. Please do extensions correctly. Do not just say "extend my second contention" or "extend Warren 13" and then move on. Extend the ev or arg, rebut any arguments they made, explain the impact of the extension, and THEN move on.

4. I like numbered responses and overviews. They make the debate easier for me to flow/understand.

5. Round narrative is very important. Don’t lose sight of what this debate is really about because you’re too busy focusing on an irrelevant tangent that won’t factor into my decision. Tell me overall why your world is better than your opponents. Tell me who you help, why they need help, why you’re the person that best helps them, and why that matters. That’s how to win in front of me.

6. Voter issues. Do them. It makes evaluating the debate much easier. A bit of advice. Negative, if you correctly predict what the Aff voters will be in NR and tell me why I shouldn’t vote for it, that’s a great strategic move, and I’ll boost speaks. Affirmative, in the 2ar, interact with the Neg voters, and I’ll boost speaks. They literally just handed you on a silver platter the arguments they’re hoping to win. So attack or (better yet) turn their voters! Outweigh their voters with yours!

Progressive LD:

I'm in between on the tech vs. truth debate. Obviously, tech matters because full truth would justify me voting for Aff just because I personally believe that side. Full tech justifies the race to the bottom we see right now with debaters throwing out unwarranted blips and expecting to win because their opponent dropped a single sentence. I'm somewhere in the middle probably slightly leaning towards tech. No one is tabula rasa. You trust me to use my agency to make a decision about who won the round, so trust me to use my agency to decide whether tech or truth matters more in a specific round.

Things I like: increasing accessibility in the debate space (i.e being inclusive to small schools & new debaters), interesting arguments about identity/geopolitics, warranted out link chains, probability>magnitude weighing. Also, I will always prefer logical analytics over poorly contextualized evidence. Lastly, please weigh.

Things I dislike: when debaters read literature they don't understand and can't make comprehensible in round, shady disclosure, friv theory, arguments that are (either implicitly or explicitly) exclusionary, racist, homophobic, sexist, etc. That will get you dropped.

Speed: I probably wouldn't be able to flow finals TOC, but with that said, I can handle decent levels of speed. We should be good if there's a doc. I'll yell clear if there's a problem.

Flex prep is fine. CX is binding.

Full Judging Record

Tournament Lv Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
DSDL 2 Online HS 2021-10-23 VLD R3 Charlotte Latin CS Cape Fear KM Neg
DSDL 2 Online HS 2021-10-23 VLD R2 Charlotte Latin NP Cary NS Neg
DSDL 2 Online HS 2021-10-23 VLD R1 Northwest Guilford SC Durham MM Neg
Yale University Invitational 2021 HS 2021-09-17 VLD Octas Lexington CH American Heritage Broward EM Aff Neg 2-1
Yale University Invitational 2021 HS 2021-09-17 VLD Double BASIS Peoria PY Scarsdale BS Aff Aff 2-1
Yale University Invitational 2021 HS 2021-09-17 VLD Triple Durham BG Stuyvesant MZ Neg Neg 3-0
Yale University Invitational 2021 HS 2021-09-17 VLD R6 Milton AT Montville NP Aff
Yale University Invitational 2021 HS 2021-09-17 VLD R3 Strake Jesuit NW Bronx Science NK Neg
Yale University Invitational 2021 HS 2021-09-17 VLD R2 Pittsburgh Central Catholic EF Harrison TB Aff
Yale University Invitational 2021 HS 2021-09-17 VLD R1 Princeton JG Lexington CH Neg
ISD Session Two Tournament 2021-07-21 LD R4 Ivy Gu Drew Thomas Neg
ISD Session Two Tournament 2021-07-21 LD R4 Ethan Nicoll Zeeshan Mehmood Aff
ISD Session Two Tournament 2021-07-21 LD R3 Ethan Nicoll Veer Guda Aff
ISD Session Two Tournament 2021-07-21 LD R1 Veer Guda Maya Barmecha Aff
ISD Session One Tournament 2021-07-06 LD Qrtrs Taighlor Address Maggie Matzen Neg Neg 3-0
ISD Session One Tournament 2021-07-06 LD R2 Maggie Matzen Allen Huang Aff
ISD Session One Tournament 2021-07-06 LD R2 Grace Finn Derek Han Neg