Alexander Zhang Paradigm

Last changed 8/23 12:33A EDT

Alex Zhang
Affiliations: Little Rock Central High, Yale University

Email: arexanderzhang [AT] gmail [DOT] com

I debated three years for Little Rock Central High School (’14), competing often on the national TOC circuit. I currently attend Yale University ('18). If you have questions about anything, feel free to email me.

I care very much about evidence quality. I’ll almost always call for cards after the round. Debate is an educational game, and tech over truth is the most fair way for me to evaluate debates— if you can’t beat timecube or the lizards k, you probably don’t deserve to win. Dropped arguments are true arguments, no matter how stupid they are. BUT I WILL NOT EXTEND ARGUMENTS FOR YOU. Extensions without warrants are not extensions.

Smart Analytics > Mediocre Evidence

Please be respectful to each other. You can be hostile if your method of critique involves hostility, but please justify your methodology so I'm not left thinking, "these people are just assholes in general."

PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BE CLEAR WHEN READING YOUR TAGS AND HAVE SOME INDICATION OF WHEN YOU'RE MOVING TO THE NEXT CARD (e.g. say "AND," or have a clear differentiation in tone/volume/etc when moving to a new tag). Maybe slow down for the first couple so I can get used to your voice.

Prep time stops when the flash drive comes out of the flashing team's computer. Ideally, there'll be an email chain to send files to the other team (please add me to the email list as well).

If you think a team is card clipping, and if you have recorded evidence of it, I give you the right to stop the round after the speech and say so.

Non-Traditional Affirmatives
Fair game. These are often fun debates for me. I need to know what my role as the judge is, though. I'm not compelled by things that automatically equate to "ROB: aff wins." I've read a variety of non-traditional affs including affs with LGBTQ poetry, excerpts from Asian American plays, and so on; I've debated against quite a variety of non-traditional affs as well. Feel free to ask me specifics before the round.

They're great. I'm most knowledgeable about critiques of colonialism/eurocentrism/imperialism/etc. I have read, glanced over, and/or understand most of the K's that teams read in the "debate canon," but this doesn't mean I understand all of them. I don't understand D&G, for example. You probably don't either. Pretending you know a K as the neg won't get you far, and I can tell when people have no idea what they're talking about.

"K turns the case" is important, but please articulate how it functions with respect to impact framing things.

"K Tricks" need to be articulated. Saying the phrase "fiat is illusory" won't get you anywhere. It needs an explanation and a justification, hopefully backed up by your framework/role of the ballot arguments. The most convincing "k tricks" are those with evidence behind them.

Alt solvency is important and I expect neg teams to have a strong understanding of how their alt functions in relation to the aff and the topic in general. Aff teams— please make smart, well thought-out analytics here because those can be very convincing.

The specificity of the 1NC/block solvency advocate evidence is very important for me. The more abusive a counterplan is, the more likely it is that it’s a reason to reject the team and not the argument. In order of most abusive to least abusive for me: 

1. Object Fiat
2. Conditions/Consult— Unless there's a strong, case-specific reason to read them, aff theory arguments against them are very compelling.
3. Delay*— Absent case-specific evidence for it or a specified time-delay in the evidence/net benefit scenario, delay counterplans are absolutely awful. *This doesn’t apply to counterplans that fiat an immediate mandate (if the plan mandates a gradual/piecemeal approach).
4. States Counterplans— Depends on specificity/strength of solvency advocate evidence
5. 2NC Counterplans— 2NC counterplans in response to 2AC add-ons are okay.
6. Agent Counterplans 
——XO counterplans: I sincerely dislike them. For me to be convinced that it's theoretically legitimate, you'll need to win that the XO has a precedent.
7. PICs 

"Judge Kick"— If you don't tell me otherwise, I won't kick the counterplan for you in the 2nr. 

Permutations— These are tests of competition. It is unlikely you can convince me otherwise. For the most part, counterplans need to have external net benefits. "CP solves better" isn't a legitimate response to the permutation. 

Be as specific as possible in terms of how the disad turns the case. Controlling uniqueness doesn't matter as much as winning the direction of the link. There's no such thing as "Zero-Risk" but there's absolutely such as thing as "no link threshold," in which case, a disad impact receives a 0% risk of "happening."

I don't want to hear "racism good," "sexism good," "homophobia good," etc. You can read whatever you want, though.

I love topicality debates but am not too knowledgeable on the surveillance topic's literature base. I'll vote on "potential abuse." If you go for T, it needs to be the majority or the entirety of the 2NR for me to vote on it. I default to evaluating topicality and procedurals as disads with an offense/defense paradigm, but can be convinced otherwise. Specific distinctions in evidence are important.

Other Procedurals
You're unlikely to win a round on a spec argument in front of me. Inherency arguments, well reasoned and evidenced, can be voting issues.

Tech matters very much but doesn't mean anything if the "so what" of concessions aren't explained. Intrinsicness, fiat solves the link, and the like are all fair game. Conditionality is fine, but I'm willing to vote on "condo bad" even if the neg only read one conditional advocacy (given that the aff team does the better theory debating). Please have an interpretation or counterinterpretation for theory. The argument, "theory/topicality should not be viewed through an offense/defense paradigm" is compelling to me.

National Circuit Points
29.6+: You should be at the TOC
29.0-29.5: You should be getting a speaker trophy at this tournament
28.5-29.0: You're highly competent and should break
28.0-28.5: You're pretty decent and have a shot at breaking
27.5-28.0: Relatively average
27.0-27.5: Maybe 2/3 of the speech time was used or the speeches were too redundant
26.0-27.0: Major faux pas

Full Judging Record

Tournament Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result