Miguel Harvey ParadigmLast changed 9/16 2:36P CDT
I am a parent, and I am a judge. That makes me a parent judge. I have cranky dad energy. If you don't like parent judges, auto-strike.
You can call me Harvey or Miguel or whatever. I act in what limited capacity I can as the faculty debate sponsor for Anderson High School in Austin, TX. I'm still learning the ropes so bear with me. For some reason they hire me to work at debate camps. I went to law school, which probably makes me an expert in the Lincoln-Douglas. They were also debating in my home state! Big plus!
PF: skip to bottom
TLDR: If you or your coach are a person who post-rounds after losses, please know in advance that I am an extreme lay judge and strike/block me forever. I don't want to have fights with you or your insufferable 19 year-old coach. Also I'm fine with most (not all) things, including arguments that say the things I'm fine with *aren't* ok. I don't default one way or another on most arguments. Don't be argumentatively or personally abusive. Don't insult my (admittedly limited) intelligence. I will intervene against bigotry and disregard for others' physical and mental wellness. Tricks piss me off. For email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
Generally, I don't think it's my job to tell debaters what to do; rather, it's the job of the debaters to tell me why to vote a certain way.
Debaters shouldn't lie or act like jerks. While I get that debate is ostensibly a competitive activity and can get very intense, this is supposed to be educational, good-spirited, and fun. Personal abuse, harassment, or competitive dishonesty of any kind is strictly unacceptable. I don't like to intervene, but blatantly oppressive/bigoted speech or behavior will make me consider voting against a debater whether or not the issue is raised by their opponent. If a debater asks you to respect and use preferred pronouns/names, I will expect you to do so. If your argument contains graphic depictions of racial, sexual, or otherwise marginalizing violence, and there's even a slight question as to whether it might be a trigger, please notify your opponent. I consider bullying nontechnical debaters a violation of the "shouldn't act like jerks" maxim. Stop yelling at each other.
Our community and the individual people in it are deeply important to me. Please do your part to make debate safe and welcoming for competitors, judges, coaches, family members, and friends. I'm not so completely naive to think everything is fluffy bunnies and we'll all be best friends forever after every round, but I really do believe this activity can be a place where we lift each other up, learn from our experiences, and become better people. If you're reading this, I care about you. I hope your participation in debate reflects both self-care and care for others.
Mental and emotional well-being are at a crisis point in society, and particularly within our activity. We have all lost friends and colleagues to burnout, breakdown, and at worst, self-harm. If you are debating in front of me, and contribute to societal stigmas surrounding mental health or belittle/bully your opponent in any way that is related to their emotional state or personal struggles with mental wellness, you will lose with minimum speaks. I can't make that any more clear. If you are presenting arguments related to suicide, depression, or self-harm, you must give a content warning for my sake and for your opponent's. I am not flexible on this.
Speaks: You're probably not going to get a 30. I tend to start at 28 and work my way up or down. If it's a circuit round and you get a 30 from me, congratulations, I think you're an incredible debater who will get all the bids. If you get a 26 or below, you likely have either a very limited understanding of varsity debate or you did something bigoted/abusive. I usually range between 27 and the low 29s. I'm a little more generous at locals. I will dock you hard if you make the space unsafe, particularly for women, gender minorities, and debaters of color.
Speed: Fine. If you are not clear, I will say "clear" once. I like speed to be consistent between reading and extemping, but whatever you do you. If you won't flash or email docs, maybe slow down for tags for my sake and for your opponent's sake. But yeah, however fast you can go I can probably handle it fine.
Kritik: Fine. I have a basic understanding of most of the literature and a more advanced/nuanced understanding of critical legal frameworks. If you can understand it, I probably can as well. That doesn't excuse you from explaining why I should vote. Your arguments need to be coherent and well-reasoned.
Theory/T: Fine, including 1AR theory. I'll think you're mean and won't like you if you're reading 1AR theory strategically *just* because you know your opponent won't understand, but I'll still vote on it if you win it. Just like with any other winning argument, I tend to look for some sort of offense in order to vote on either side. I don't default to drop the debater or argument - I want to hear that debate (or not, if that's not your thing). I'll vote for a frivolous shell but I don't think it's particularly educational and my abuse threshold will likely be higher. The one exception to me voting on friv theory is that I will not vote for a shell that polices debaters' appearance, including their clothes, footwear, hair, presentation, or anything else you can think of (unless they're wearing a Nazi t-shirt or something). If you mention those kinds of things or the debaters that read them as an example of good norms, I will drop you and won't be sorry about it. I'll have a fairly high threshold on a strict "you don't meet" T argument against an extremely common aff. One more thing - all voters and standards should be warranted. I get annoyed by "T is a voter because fairness and education" without a reason why those two things make T a voter. I don't care if it's obvious.
Frameworks: Fine with traditional (stock or V/C), policy-oriented, phil, critical frameworks, performance, narratives. While I don't think you have to have your own framework per se, I find it pretty curious when a debater reads one and then just abandons it in favor of traditional util weighing. I am incredibly suspicious of framing that is abusive for abuse's sake, like "the aff/neg must win every round." I'm not the best person to pref if you are a tricks debater. I'll grudgingly listen to it, or whatever spikes you're into for that matter, but tricks/nailbombs piss me off and I'll glare at you.
LARP: Fine. Plans, counterplans, PICs, PIKs, disads, solvency dumps, whatever. Argue it well and it's fine. I don't think making something a floating PIK necessarily gets rid of competition problems; it has to be reasoned well. I'm skeptical of severance perms and will have to be convinced. To the extent that anyone prefs me, and you shouldn't, I don't understand why more LARPers don't pref me. Dude I like good LARP debate. It's often actual debate, which is getting more and more rare.
Condo: Fine, although I don't think all conceded offense on kicked arguments just goes away because the argument is conditional (especially stuff like oppression/discourse-related offense). Be really, really careful before you kick a K, especially if it is identity-related - I think reps matter.
Flashing/Email/Disclosure: YES. I will vote for disclosure theory, but have a higher threshold for punishing or making an example of novices or non-circuit debaters who don't know or use the wiki. Lying during disclosure will get you dropped. If you're super experienced, please consider not being shitty about disclosure to novice or small-school debaters who simply don't know any better. Educate them so that they'll be in a position to teach good practices in future rounds. My personal perspective on disclosure is informed by my background as a lawyer - I liken disclosure to the discovery process, and think debate is a lot better when we are informed. One caveat to prior disclosure is that I do conform to "breaking new" norms, though I suppose I'd listen to theory about it. For sharing, I prefer email. Please include me on email chains.
Sitting/Standing: Whatever. I have my own debaters stand if they can because it helps with volume and clarity. But do your thing, it won't affect speaks. Maybe look at me every once in a while, your call.
Flex prep: Fine. More clarity is good.
Performative issues: I am skeptical of white debaters running afropessimism or similar arguments, particularly against debaters of color, but will not tell someone they can't. That said, if you're a white person debating critical race issues against a person of color, or a man advocating feminism against a woman, or a cis/het person talking queer issues, etc., be sensitive, empathetic, and mindful. Also, I tend to notice performative contradiction and will vote on it if asked to. For example, running a language K and using the language you're critiquing (outside of argument setup/tags) is a really bad idea.
I do NOT default to util in the case of competing frameworks. You specifically need to tell me why your extinction scenario is more compelling than someone's dog achieving self-actualization. Say it with me: Harvey does not default to util.
Because it's useful to say it twice: I hate tricks debate. I'll generally vote on it if you win, but I am by default looking for performative contradiction and genuinely believe that reading tricks or excessive burden arguments is uneducational and prickish. I wont like you, I'll yell at you, and you won't get great speaks from me if you read tricks. Strike me if you have to. Seriously stop preffing me. Actually literally everyone stop preffing me; debate is gross. Do me a solid and don't pref me.
I tend to think plan flaw arguments are silly, especially if they're punctuation or capitalization-related. I have a very high threshold to vote on plan flaw. It has to be *actually* confusing or abusive, not fake confusing.
Being a tabula rasa-ish judge, I will listen to arguments that any of the stuff I accept is not OK, albeit skeptically. I don't vote against a "traditional" value debater because they're "less progressive" or "less cool" or "memes" or whatever. Every person in our community has value. That's a pun, I like it.
Read cases that make sense and are internally consistent. I can't believe I have to say this, but such is life.
Special Edition update: I like dancing, including extended dance numbers. Dance makes me feel alive.
Most of this is LD-specific, because that's the pool to which I'll generally be assigned. Policy debaters, most of what is above applies to my policy paradigm. I was a decent policy debater, and I get how it goes. Critical/plan-less affs are fine. That said, just like in LD I like a good T debate. One minor thing is different from my LD paradigm: I conform a little bit more to policy norms in terms of granting RVIs less often in policy rounds, but that's about it. Obviously, framework debate is not usually as important in policy, but I'm totally down with it if that's how you debate. I guess a lot of policy debaters still default to util, so be careful if the other side isn't doing that but I guess it's fine if everyone does it.
PF people: If you're actually reading this, congratulations! Speed is fine. Framework is great. Nontraditional PF arguments are fine. I will listen to disclosure theory, though I am less likely to buy it if the offending case is straightforward/common. Offense is important. I'm surprised and impressed when PF debaters cut actual evidence rather than summarizing it, especially offense and uniqueness evidence. If you try to read a policy/critical argument you don't understand, I will flame you in the oral, so be ready for that.
All that said, I love that the format is sometimes still accessible to actual regular people. I believe PF debaters should be adaptable, like all-weather shrubbery.
More PF specifics:
Anything above regarding performative issues applies to PF, so please read carefully. I am primarily an LD judge on the Texas and national circuits. Take from that what you will, and assume I am fine with either a more progressive or traditional style of PF debate. "It's not allowed in PF" is not a warranted argument. Line by line debate is important, and as it's what I am used to, I am not likely to vote on new arguments (or arguments that weren't gone for in Summary) made in Final Focus. Weighing offense is important. Don't call something terminal without a warrant. Don't call link defense a turn. If you want me to use something from crossfire in my RFD, it needs to be in subsequent speeches. I have an extremely LOW tolerance for miscut or mischaracterized evidence.
Please ask questions if I can clarify anything, and don't be afraid to engage and ask questions after the debate. That doesn't mean I want to be post-rounded or harangued about my decision, but I'm happy to discuss stuff in a rational and collegial way. If you get aggressive after the round, expect the same from me and expect me to disengage with little to no warning. My wellness isn't worth your ego trip. I encourage pre-round questions. I might suggest you look over my paradigm, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't ask questions.
Finally, I find Cheetos really annoying in classrooms, especially when people are using keyboards. It's the dust. Don't test my Cheeto tolerance. I'm not joking, anything that has the dust triggers me hard. Cheetos, Takis, all that stuff. I get that it's delicious, but keep it the hell out of the academy.
Nats-specific PF update mid-day 1: OH MY GOD PLEASE WEIGH SOMETHING WE ARE NOT ON THE MOON
Update to update: nvm we might actually be on the moon I feel like there is no oxygen in this place
Update to last update: cold dark alone
PF Nats day 2 update: Trust no one. Become your surroundings. Survival only objective.
Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of si
10:45 spiral notebooks the universe is chaos
Update: they are coming