UC Berkeley '23
Okemos High School '19
My name is Akash Rathod and I am a freshman at UC Berkeley. I did four years of Policy Debate at Okemos High School (Okemos, MI). I qualified to the TOC with 3 bids reading mostly kritikal arguments on both the Aff and Neg (Settler Colonialism, Afropess, Psychoanalysis, Deleuze, Baudrillard). However, don’t let that influence your thoughts on me as a judge. I have found many “policy” debates much more interesting/enjoyable than many “k v k” debates. Go for whatever you think is the best strategy to win the debate and execute it to the best of your ability – I will be happy regardless of the specific content.
There is no argument I am not willing to listen to. Debate is a space to explore your intellectual interests and be creative, so you should take advantage of that. So, if you like going for the politics DA, go for it. However, you should refrain from arguments that directly attack a person’s identity (such as racism good, sexism good, etc.). I am perfectly ok with listening to extinction good.
Tech > truth – as long as an argument has some warrant attached to it, it is true until addressed by the other team. I will do my best to protect the 2NR.
Topic Knowledge – I have some familiarity with the topic, however, it will benefit you to explain complicated nuances and to spell out acronyms (only once).
I flow on my computer and like being able to line arguments up.
My email is akashrathod2019 (at) gmail (dot) com. I would like to be added to the email chain. You can also email me if you have any questions about my paradigm or want additional feedback about the round.
I will try to keep speaks in the range of 28 – 29.5.
Speaker points will be determined by your persuasiveness, clarity, and strategic mindset. Smart debaters will always outspeak debaters who are just really clear.
I won’t hack for your K – you must do the work of explaining your argument.
I don’t mind a long overview, but I would prefer it if all relevant parts could be moved to the line-by-line. I would prefer it if links were done somewhere on the line-by-line (I don’t care where just don’t put them in the overview). Also, labeling links with cool names is good.
Specificity is key – if you aren’t doing the work to show why the 1AC specifically is bad (by pulling lines from their evidence and contextualizing your 1NC cards to the action of the plan), I am likely going to buy the perm solves. You don’t need links to the plan, but you should try to contextualize your generic links to the 1AC as much as possible.
You don’t need an alt, but you should spend time framing what my ballot means in a world where there is no alt to resolve the K’s impacts.
“K tricks” are fine but be smart with them – don’t just throw stuff at the wall and see if something sticks.
FW is important – you should very clear offense here as well as defensive arguments. Having good framing cards in the 1NC (especially if you are going one-off) is important. I can be persuaded that I shouldn’t evaluate the plan.
Demonstrating robust knowledge of your theory, as opposed to constantly reading blocks off your computer, will likely boost your speaks.
FW should never be “Ks bad.” Winning the FW debate for the Aff requires having a clear reason why your model of debate is good (e.g. fairness, political deliberation, etc) and making sure you answer all the neg’s tricks (e.g. Antonio 95, fiat is illusory, etc.). Being technical here is very key and I can be convinced to weigh only the consequences of plan action.
Perms should be thoroughly explained by the 1AR.
I think a lot of the common “policy tricks” (pragmatism, extinction first, etc.) make a lot of intuitive sense, but you still need to do a good job establishing them.
Coming into the debate with a strong understanding of the neg’s position will help you immensely, so you should be reading their cards and making sure you use cross-x to really understand their argument. It will make it easier to find their weak spot.
K v K Debates
I can be convinced not to give the Aff a perm, but a lot of the neg’s arguments for why I shouldn’t are usually quite silly, but must be answered by the Aff.
Both teams need to have a robust number of historical examples.
Links and net-benefits to the perm should be clearly labeled.
While I read a K-Aff in high-school, I am very persuaded by a lot of the arguments by FW teams. You can definitely go for procedural fairness as an impact. I also like arguments about truth-testing/argumentative refinement and research. Explaining the importance of each these in the context of predictable limits can make a very easy neg ballot.
I am not very persuaded by impacts like dogmatism or state good. While I think there is some merit to the dogmatism impact, I haven’t heard a very strong argument about why that would outweigh any offense the Aff generally goes for. I think truth-testing functions as a much more persuasive defensive argument to mitigate a lot of the Aff offense. State good is more convincing to me as a K of the aff’s refusal of certain forms of political engagement.
TVAs don’t need to solve the Aff but should somehow align with the Aff’s criticism of the status quo. Having a card isn’t necessary but would be cool.
I am perfectly fine with a short 1NC shell with no cards other than definitions.
Impact turn stuff and you will probably be fine.
You don’t need a W/M.
You don’t even necessarily need a C/I – but it will make it harder for you to win unless you go for debate bad, which is perfectly fine.
Slow down when explaining your DAs – teams often breeze through several 1 or 2 sentences DAs that I can’t follow. Your 2AC analysis should have a clear warrant as to why the neg’s interpretation is bad, what the impact to that is, and how your interpretation solves. Examples here are key.
Defense is important, don’t forget it.
You should be very clear and upfront about why the TVA or reading it on the neg doesn’t solve.
Not much to say here. Impact calc is good and should be done sooner rather than later.
I don’t have many thoughts about CP theory – so do whatever you like. Words pics are probably not cool, but if you want to go for it.
You should probably have a solvency advocate. Using 1AC lines to justify a cp will boost your speaks.
I enjoy a really good T debate. Both teams should be doing a good job explaining what debate looks like under different interpretations of the topic.
I love a good impact turn debate. DeDev, Heg Good, Heg Bad, Warming Good, Extinction Good, etc. I love them all. Especially, against K-Affs or new Affs they can be very strategic and should be heavily utilized.
I will vote on new affs bad – given the neg can explain a coherent impact.
Don't clip. I will keep my eye out for it. If I catch it, I will warn you (unless it was egregious). If I catch you doing it again, I will give you 0 speaks and the loss. I will also allow the round to continue to the end.
If you believe the other team is clipping, start recording them and present the recording to me after the speech. I will listen and decide. You won't be penalized for calling out another team for clipping, as long as you do so in a manner that allows the round to continue smoothly.
If you are reading unhighlighted cards, I will expect you to read the whole thing, unless you clarify before your speech. If you don't, I will consider that as clipping.