Last Update: January 7, 2022
I competed in various forms of debate for five years on the college level however, I primarily competed in NPDA and LD Debate. I competed for Moorpark College (more traditional debate) and Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley (Nat circuit tech debate). At the 2021 NPDA I got to Semis and NPTE I got fifth in season-long rankings and fifth at the NPTE itself. I am ecstatic to see the future generation of debaters compete as a judge with that being said let’s get onto my judging philosophy which is probably the only thing you care about and are reading this for.
TLDR: As the great, powerful, wise debater Brian Yang once said "Go Nuts!" to be a bit more specific my paradigm is heavily influenced by Trevor Greenan, Brian Yang, Tom Kadie, Jessica Jung, and Ryan Rashid so I would expect paradigm similar to them. In order of probably what I am probably best/most experienced judging Theory/Tricks/Larp/K 1, Phil 2 (just not as experienced although I did debate it a bit and learned from Phil debaters so I understand it and can judge it pretty competently) (Advice: For Parli Paradigm questions look to sections 1-4 for evidence debate gloss over section 1 real quick only a few things there matter then look to sections 2-5, for extra salt, info, and general advice include 6,7) bold/highlighted text is generally the more important stuff I would recommend looking at though the rest of it provides a lot of context and stuff so I would read everything there will in fact be a pop quiz... jkjkjkjkjk.... unless........
Table of Contents:
1. General Philosophy
2. Case Debate
5. Evidence Debate Specific
6. Contact Info
7. Uniqueness Rant... (no need to look to with regards to paradigm questions just tired of giving the same feedback lol)
My current views for debate, in general, are as follows:
1. General Philosophy:
A) Tech over Truth: Wtf is "Truth" honestly the fact that you vote on the flow shouldn't be an opinion you have it should be a requirement otherwise what is the point of having a judge other than to have some rando arbitrarily and most likely with prejudice decide on random claims it doesn't seem like a very fun event in that world but rather idk an event coated by some serious paternalism coded by all sorts of isms? I know I have def been screwed over before by judges that thought something was "true/untrue" when they were just wrong and describing something I did entire research papers on being like okkkk buddy...
B) Partner communication: I only flow what the recognized speaker says unless you have some sort of framework, performance, or theory justification that is won. Communicate as much or little as you want you do you.
C) Protecting the flow: I do try to protect the flow to the best of my ability. However, I would still recommend calling points of orders just in case I miss something.
D) Things that make me unhappy :( I reserve the right to drop anyone for being bigoted will cause me to drop the team given the real-world implications and harm that it creates.
E) Speaks: I have decided that speaks are probably disablist, sexist, racist, etc. particularly in debate events and as such I will give each team the highest possible speaks be it block 30s and 29.9 or descending by whatever the tournament allows. The exception is if your racist, sexist, antisemitic, disablist, transphobic, homophobic, or any of the phobics or antis or isms (come close to breaking this rule a couple of times although I haven't had to yet...). If I can’t give block scores I will give the winners higher speaks and the losers the lower ones descending.
F) Views on spreading: You do you I can flow. My partner Will White was probably one of the fastest debaters when going max speed so it's highly unlikely you can spread me out as Will could hit like 450WPM without cards and I could flow.
G) Shadow Extensions: I believe Shadow Extensions are new arguments. (A shadow extension is an argument dropped during the member speeches that magically reappears in the rebuttal speeches)
I. When extending an argument should it be untouched I am okay with a simple extend _____ there is no need to reexplain as long as your arguments related will not be new and only weighing in the rebuttal speeches. However, if you are planning to leverage it against another argument on the flow you need to explain how it applies.
II. If you are kicking something you do need to say "kick this" or "extend their we meet" or whatever "we're not going for it"
III. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE EXTEND YOUR VOTERS ON THEORY.
I) Cross-Applications in Rebuttals: I believe that cross applications through other sheets of paper are new arguments. For example, if you make an argument on theory and then in the rebuttal speeches apply it to case or K when it is only on theory in the flow and you don't say it applies to case or K that would be a new argument.
J) Words that you say when other people are speaking for lack of a better term: Slow and speed mean to slow down, Clear means to talk clearer not necessarily to slow down, Text means to pass the text, signpost means to say where you're at on the flow.
K) Written copies) Please give me written/typed copies of your advocacies/ROJ/ROB/Interps/counterinterps in case I miss something important. What you write down is the interp is what I will follow unless contested and told to do otherwise. I may ask for clarification after the speech and before the next speech before time starts for the exact wording.
L) Weighing) Absent weighing done for me by the debaters I default to Strength of link>magnitude>probability>timeframe.
2. Case Debate:
a. Have a plan text and preferably advantages. Other than that it is pretty much up to you and your opponent. I do enjoy a good Heg, econ, and Uniqueness solves the case debate for Tix if you can't think of anything...
b. Advantages: Preferably in the formats of Uniqueness, Links, Internal Links, then Impacts or Uniqueness, Links, Impacts. Make sure your uniqueness is going in the right direction, explain your links, and terminalize your impacts. I would love it if you would give me clear links not just plan passes and war, explain how you get to war. Don’t just say death and expect me to do the work for you. If you say gut check as a wise man once told me “I will gut check everything and you may not like that.”
II. Value: Should have a criteria and contentions. You don't need a Value Criteria in addition to your regular one but if you want to provide one strategically that is up to you. Preferably for both Contentions and Countercontentions on the Negative, the structure I usually ran was H.I.S. (Harms, Impact, Solvency) with harms being the harms of the opposing value, Impacts being the impacts of that, and Solvency being the solvency for using your value but I understand there are many different structures and not every value round is capable of having that clear of a structure so how you run it is up to you.
III. Fact: You should have a criteria and contentions. Your contentions should preferably have impacts and not just be statements otherwise it is very hard to weigh the debate.
I. DAs: refer to section 2.a.I.b. on advantages.
II. Counterplans: some of my favorite debates are plan CP debates having originally been coached by one of the “inventors” of the CP. I’ll vote on any type of perm textual, functional, one with net benefits, severance, intrinsic, timeline, etc. if it’s won. I default to perm is a test of competition, not an advocacy. Also going for Severance and going for your aff is not a double turn just two independent win conditions unless the opposing team makes/wins an arg that it is. If a perm hasn't been argued as either a test of competition or advocacy come the 2AR my default is locked and I will consider it a test of competition and any argument as to the contrary as new.
III. Presumption: I default to presumption flows Neg unless the neg runs an advocacy/Alt/CP in which case it flips AFF absent a framework argument that is argued that it is negative. If you’re condo and kick it I default to it flips back to the neg but am open to arguments that it stays aff. Side note: I default permissibility affirms
IV: Offense V Defense: if you clearly articulate how it is terminal defense and presumption is still negative ground I will vote on it. Generally, I vote along a very heavy offense-defense paradigm unless told otherwise
V: Condo V Uncondo: Default to all plans are condo unless the status is asked and they say not condo. IDC how you run it up to you. Also like the great Amanda Miskell says “Dispo is just Condo in a suit” jkjkjkjk even though it isn't tbh most of the same standards level offense will be triggered on a theory position maybe you get some additional education offense depending on conditions but it seems minimal to me but meh whatever you do you. I don't care one way or another on condo will vote on condo bad (if won) as much as I will vote for infinite condo good (if won) fun math proof for infinite condo here ( I don't think it's fully accurate but its def fun/funny lol): https://debatedrills.com/en/blog/defense-infinite-conditionality/ .
VI: Judge Kick: I don't default to judge kicking the CP but if you win that I should judge kick that's fine. I also think that responses to judge kicking coming out of the PMR in response to new MO framing should be to drop the argument not drop the debater.
A) Structure: It should preferably have an Interp, Violation, Standards, and Voters. Unless it is an IVI, RVI, paragraph theory all of which I will vote for.
a. No preference for or against any type of Theory run whatever you and friv theory = FUN. Condo bad, no neg fiat, Ks Bad, AFC, Spec, Topicality, Trichot, tropicality, neg gets to split the block, etc. (although I will likely be heavily biased against theory that calls out someone's personal appearance and/or the way they dress... to the point I most likely will intervene and not vote for it but I haven't fully decided on that yet)
II. Violation: probably should clearly articulate the violation even if so blatantly obvious and not just they violate but it can be quick if it’s very clear like if you run F-Spec, just say “they didn’t specify the funding mechanism in the PMC” or something like that.
a. Your standards should provide clear links to each voter that they work in conjunction with Fairness, Education and/or accessibility and work as reasons to prefer your theory sheet. Ideally, they should be contextualized to the round/interp rather than just general descriptions of the standard.
a. To vote on theory I need clear explained voters don’t just say Apriori, fairness, and education and expect me to vote on them you need to terminalize those voters and what they mean. For example, with education you could say that education is the reason debate exists and without education, nobody would do debate and it collapses or for fairness say that if the round is unfair we cant evaluate arguments to tell if they're true. Or on fairness, we cant test their arguments/methods/ it skews eval etc.
b. For theory, I have no preference for reasonability vs. competing interpretations and will vote on how you tell me to vote. though I will say I have no idea what reasonability means until you provide some sort of bright line like winning all the Counterstandards and standards or something I dunno your argument you figure out what it will be and without a brightline, I just go back to competing interps
c. I default to drop the team, competing interps, no RVIs, Fairness>education (tho ig it would depend on the impact justifications under this model I am assuming skews eval/truth testing as your fairness impact), Text>Spirit, Pragmatics>Semantics.
d. Abuse: I default to potential abuse is sufficient as CInterps would cause me to evaluate under a risk of offense paradigm comparing the two interps not necessarily what happened in a given round. Unless a very good argument for articulated abuse is given most likely with some sort of reasonability framework being won.
e. A “we meet” that is won is a no link to a theory shell even under competing interpretations unless argued otherwise and very clearly won in the debate. While you can weigh the risk of offense on some level of the we meet if they only meet part of your interp i.e. they don't fully violate like a no link on one of the potential scenarios on a DA. To achieve terminal defense the we meet would likely have to fully meet the interp, some framing claim as to why a partial meeting is sufficient to not evaluate the sheet, and/or the we meet is generated via an interp flaw which means they can't solve their offense given they wrote they're interp bad allowing you to meet.
B) IVIs/RVIs/paragraph theory/Kritikal Turns: I will vote on them if you win them and have clear links and reasons why I should vote on them, tell me how to vote on them and framing/sequencing. I will vote on an RVI but I probably have a slight bias against them. I default to no RVIs but if you win the RVI framing I will vote on it. Also, this is something I have noticed in parli it seems what an RVI is has gotten lost in translation from Nat Circuit LD to Parli, the way I understand it is how it is understood in nat circuit LD i.e. it is a framing claim with regards question of the directionality of offense if you win that something is an RVI you win that offense is Bidirectional, not Unidirectional as under a no RVI theory on framework so saying we get an RVI is sufficient to get an RVI but not sufficient to win an RVI as to win an RVI begs the question of whether you won the theory sheet in itself (when judges vote for bidirectional offense on a K they are voting for an RVI shhhh... don't tell them), if you do and you win you get an RVI and that theory is the highest layer you would then trigger a win condition most likely. The way they've become translated for the most part in parli is just IVIs saying theory is bad not RVIs.
4. Kritiks: Run whatever you want (yes, I know that these examples don't fit cleanly into each category and can fit into several just giving examples) be it more sociological like Cap, Set Col, antiBlackness, Psychoanalysis like Lacan (sidenote: Nietzsche Stan so like the implications of that are generally not the biggest Lacan/psychoanalysis fan in general though I will vote for it just not enjoy myself), or POMO like Nietzsche, Baudrillard, DNG, "eastern" philosophy (probably my fave tbh) like Taoism or Buddhism, your Deont 1AC/NC, and ofc your nailbomb 1AC, IDC I vote on the flow. Don't assume I know your lit even though I know a pretty big lit base and so your K should be clearly explained preferably. As for literature that I am particularly familiar with I mostly ran Nietzsche, Buddhism, Disablism, Anthro, Cap/Racial Cap, Set Col, and Orientalism. However, I am heavily biased against nazi literature please don't run it like Schmitt or Heidegger because ya know... I had family subjected to the Holocaust... K-Affs are fun I def ran them a lot but I probably err slightly towards FWT maybe 55/45 should the best arguments be made although (the best args are rarely/almost never made) so I actually end up voting at about 50/50 or edging slightly in favor of K-AFFs.
A. ROB/ROJ: I think that both are really just thesis claims for your framework and in themselves not necessarily arguments. i.e. a role of the justification for existence absent framework arguments and no function as to what it means and should you make an argument about framework regardless of whether you say the role Role of the ballot/Judge is ___ the function of how I evaluate the round stays the same so in the end whether you say an explicit role of the ballot text or not the end result is the same, therefore it follows that a ROB/J cannot be more than a thesis claim because it doesn't change the outcome of the round by default absent some sort of internal justification but then that begs what it means via the framework arguments rendering the whole thing circular leading back to the same place that it is in fact a thesis claim.
B. Framing: Your framework should preferably offer some explanation on how impacts should be evaluated in relation to other impacts and what should type of evaluation comes first, what methods ought be prioritized etc.
C. I default to epistemic modesty over confidence on frameouts and impact defense. That means without any in-depth explanation, I'll evaluate your frameout as a reason why your impacts are more probable than your opponents, and why your opponents have a lower probability of solving their impacts. If you want me to evaluate your frameout as terminal defense, or a reason the k is sequentially a prior question to the aff, you need to do the technical extensions of why that is necessarily the case. I also default to epistemic modesty when it comes to impact defense that means absent an explicit argument as to why that defense is terminal I will only evaluate it as mitigatory. When it comes to epistemic skew claims I functionally default to confidence as I believe they create new layers within the debate. Finally, stating that X is terminal defense if the claim is uncontested will cause me with regards to that particular impact to view that as terminal defense regardless of whether it is coherent as the implication will not have been contested however, if something is not explicitly stated to be terminal defense and there is not an explicit claim saying it is such or flipping my paradigm then I will view any defense as mitigatory as described.
1. Will vote on Skep triggers if they are terminalized and explained and I think tricks belong in parli but IG that's up for debate tho.
2. I default to theory is Apriori however, I will vote on K before T if the argument is made/won. Or they are on the same level if arg is made/won.
3. I have no idea what "vote for the best/better debater" means.
4. Not as experienced with Phil tho I do enjoy it and have def learned a lot from former Phil debaters and understand a decent amount of it.
5. Role of the ballots/Judges are really just thesis claims for framework arguments imo from what I have seen though i.g. if you want it to be more binding then that you need to probably make that argument although I will probably all things being equal be more receptive to the claim that its a thesis claim.
a. Have them and terminalize them. As stated above don't just say nuclear war or poverty and expect me to do the work for you.
b. full disclosure I probably find the proximal impacts bad for debate highly persuasive. Not to say that I won't vote for proximal impacts if they're won on the flow (I def ran them occasionally when I did debate) and that you've won that they're good but due to personal experiences and the ways I have seen them utilized I have a bias against them. I also think there's a distinction between proximal impacts that occurred in the debate round i.e. someone did something violent in which case I think those proximal impacts are probably persuasive versus proximal impacts brought into the round that your advocacy or alt solves for you or other debaters in-round which is where I find my bias against proximal impacts probably comes in.
a. Preferably have one and tell me which way I should vote unless its part of your FW, solvency, performance, or something I guess that you don't need one.
b. If it has a really complex idea and philosophy explain what the terms mean either under your alt/advocacy or in your solvency ideally.
a. You should have it and clearly explain how it solves the impacts you have provided at a minimum. Don't just say we solve you should state the mechanism and way in which you solve.
VI: Perm: Refer to 2, B), II. the perm section under counter plans.
5. Evidence Debate specific:
A) Carded evidence: it is very important for Evidence debate but you must also make arguments not just cite sources. Analytics theoretically can beat cited cards if you do the better debating. Also please don’t get into your source is bad arguments unless they cite the most biased source like Breitbart (obviously evidence comparison is encouraged though) I more so mean the "wahhhh no u, debates) for the evidence chain please send to Joshua.alpert (AT) berkeley.edu
B) Power-tagging/cutting: don't... Please Don’t... I’m very probably pretty receptive to some sort of theory shell against it if it is won... please don’t lose it if you do run it or I will be sad. A drop the argument claim made by the team calling it out at the very least probably has a good chance of winning in front of me.
C) No clipping!!! this shouldn't have to be said but apparently, it does.
6. If you have any further questions feel free to ask me before or after the round or if you have questions about a round I judged feel free to email me or send me a Facebook message.
7. My Uniqueness rant.... feels like half the time I am judging HS rounds with two linear impacts pitted against each other and like some rough uniqueness so I am gonna put a RQ rant on how uniqueness works so I don't have to keep repeating myself
a. Uniqueness controls the direction of the link: I.e. if the uniqueness is headed in one direction things bad the link should be things get better or vice versa on a DA. This means that thumpers/uniqueness overwhelms the links arguments aren't particularly responsive more so mitigatory as there is still only a risk things get worse as such in order to really control the link debate its ideal you control the uniqueness debate as well. (side note: generally case turns also need uniqueness too otherwise they're pretty linear which makes it easier for the opposing team to handwave away with "try or die".
b. Uniqueness positive v negative v flux: Uniqueness in terms of directionality follows one of three types Positive v. negative v flux Positive uniqueness indicates the squo is headed in the right direction (squo good) this is the uniqueness you generally want on a DA, negative would indicate the squo is bad and is what you want on an advantage, and in flux would indicate that it could head either direction it is dependent on a "singular action" it can go in either an AD or DA and generally, requires strong control of the Link/Internal Link debate while strategic in some instances it is generally high-risk high reward.
c. Predictive v Descriptive Uniqueness: Uniqueness can either be predictive or descriptive what I mean is uniqueness can either state what is happening "right now" or in the "past" (descriptive) or it can be predictive describing what is expected to happen in the future look to an econ debate descriptive uniqueness would state that unemployment is at an all-time high with X unemployment and the investor confidence is low at ___ versus predictive would be unemployment is expected to drop ____ because of ___ and investor confidence is headed towards a free fall as X bubble bursts.
d. Uniqueness as a spot for internal links: uniqueness can be used as a spot to place internal links instead of having separate internal links sections you can embed that X type of thing is the internal link i.e. you can have a section that says soft power is the internal link to Heg or investor confidence key to Heg to save you some time from having to flesh out a whole separate internal link section.
e. Brink Scenarios: Please for the love of god have brink and/or flashpoint scenarios in your uniqueness i.e. some event or location that is heading in the wrong/right direction think if you have a war with Russia scenario isolate someplace like the Baltics, arctic, cyberspace, etc. rather than some vague place and isolate why now is key and what is going to happen if we don't do this otherwise it kind of makes your uniqueness linear and a nightmare to evaluate and of course to leverage tbh.
F: Non-Case debate
I K's: The alternative generates uniqueness in a K debate: i.e. all the framing, links, and impacts are generally nonunique until you have created a way to solve them via your advocacy/alt.
II: Theory: Your interp/counterinterp is what generates your uniqueness in a case debate in a similar fashion to how the alt does as you have established an "advocacy/rule" for an interpretation of how debate should functions in order to resolve impacts isolated in the same way that if the alt on a K has terminal defense to resolving its offense making it nonunique and thus not a reason to vote against the AFF it means that should an interp have terminal defense on it it is not a reason to vote down the opposing team as its offense can't be resolved, it also means that absent a counterinterp you don't meet or a we meet/interp flaw that even if you have offense of why the interp is bad you have no way to resolve that offense so the interp is automatically preferable (unless you've impact turned/framed it out ofc).
1. heg is low right now because ___ (this should be related to the type of power on uniqueness 2 and the location on 3 otherwise you will thump your own offense)
2. __ type of Power is key to Heg
3. ___ Flashpoint is Key to ___ type of power and something bad is happening there rn