Ben Shahar ParadigmLast changed 8/12 11:25A PDT
My prounouns are they/them.
The most important thing is to debate how you want to debate, have fun, and hopefully learn. Everything below are my preferences about debate; except when I explicitly say, they only matter absent arguments to the contrary.
If you have any questions before the round, message me on facebook or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org); facebook is preferable. If you have any accessibility issue you want to communicate to me, please do and I will do whatever possible to ensure the round is accessible.
Debate is a game structured by wins and losses, but it’s an educational game with important implications on the subject formation of participants.
To win my ballot: do good weighing, signpost, call out shady ev and missing internal links, and don’t be violent. I will try to find the easiest path to the ballot; tell me what that is.
If you’re here specifically for PF, I suggest skipping everything from the CP section until the PF-specific section.
I debated at Nueva for four years of PF and two of parli. I like to pretend I’m OK. I've gone for everything from the states CP to intrinsic perms to Edelman to warming good. I appreciate flexibility in my judges more than anything else, so that's what I'll try to do. Specifically, I tend to value processes (iterative research, argumentative clash, switching sides, etc) over specific content products (learning about the state/economics/capitalism/whatever), and therefore the most important things in this paradigm are higher-order questions about how I like rounds to happen, rather than what arguments I want in rounds.
Tech vs. Truth
I will intervene on speech times, the fact that I give at most one win, and against arguments which I subjectively judge to be violent -- if you have to ask, don't make the argument. Deny any of these, but especially the third, and you lose with a max of 25s. Any other argument is tech over truth as much as my biases allow. There is a minimum threshold of warranting required for a claim to become an argument.
Give content warnings when applicable. Fast debate is great as long as it isn't used to exclude. I will intervene if you are repeatedly cleared and don't slow down. Anything else: I don't care. Stand up, sit down, lie down, wear formal clothing, wear no shoes. You do you.
I will try to average a 28.5. You get speaks for strategic decisions, technical competence, evidence quality, and being good for debate. You lose them for the inverse as well as violence or cheating (clipping, not disclosing, egregious powertagging, lying in CX, etc).
I will disclose and give an RFD. If you don't agree, feel free to argue, just keep it respectful. Obviously I can’t change my decision but this forces me to think deeply about it and helps all of us learn. I'll continue these conversations as long as necessary, even post-tournament over facebook, unless I feel they're going in circles.
Evidence is important but not the be-all-end-all: good cards beat good analytics but good analytics beat bad cards. Please call out bad cards; I will not read evidence unless asked to do so or have no other way to resolve the debate.
Weighing requires comparison of internal link stories, not just impacts. I enjoy leveraging defense as a reason their offense is low probability. I tend to be sympathetic to probability/structural violence first. I like debates where weighing starts as early as possible. I like strategic meta-weighing or other tricky sequencing. I default to epistemic modesty, meaning the weight of each piece of offense is the risk of their truth-value contingent on the risk they outweigh.
I love good case negs. I will give you 30s if the 1NC order is just case (assuming you don't do anything terrible, obviously). Impact turns are hella strategic especially with advantage CPs.
No risk is likely not a thing unless terminal defense is straight conceded. I generally think the link debate is more important than the uniqueness debate but can be persuaded otherwise.
I think multiple (but not infinite) condo and most CPs which use the plan timeframe and actor (or another topical actor -- think SCOTUS CP on USfg topics), including consult, condition, and PICs, are legitimate. I think most CPs which change either of those (agent, delay) are illegitimate.
I very much enjoy nuanced solvency deficit debates; a corollary is that I dislike vague CPs that shift in the back half. I also enjoy impact turned net benefits.
Don't commodify your argument. Know the lit base.
I don’t have a preference for sequencing Ks vs. theory. I’m down for all the tricks: floating PIKs, reject/endorse/vague alts (or no alt at all), ethical conditionality/perfcons, etc. are all fine (absent theory claims to the contrary) if you win the argument. I like link turns/smart perms better than impact turns, but a good impact debate can be fun.
I default to thinking my ballot decides what form of the game best facilitates the subject formation of participants -- whether that's a procedurally fair game about hypothetical implementation of topical action or an educational game about developing survival strategies is up to you.
I like neg strategies which are contextualized to the aff. Clever counter-advocacies are really fun and can magnify the no weighing mech args on T. I don’t want to vote for a counterinterp that justifies affs defending truisms, but I will if necessary. I suspect good TVAs are the closest thing to a silver bullet there is.
Competing interps does not require an explicit interp. Reasonability requires a brightline. I prefer standards-level strength of link weighing to generic fairness vs education debates. I default to drop the argument.
I am very down for frivolous theory. However, I am more sympathetic to RVIs (and similar tricky checks on theory: metatheory, OCIs, etc) than most judges. I won’t hack for them, but I think it’s certainly a debate.
I default to T before theory. I think T is drop the debater. I generally like a case list; this can obviously be in the block.
Sure. Not my favorite but I see its utility and I’m down to evaluate it. I suspect it’s under-utilized outside of LD, and I’m very interested in its interactions with theory and the K.
Tricks are very fun when well done, but do not make me judge a bad tricks debate without framing as to why your argument affirms/negates. I default to presuming negative even if the block goes for an advocacy, but good tricks debaters will make arguments in both directions.
Policy >>> Value > Fact. I will vote for plans on fact/value reses and tend to prefer these debates.
Theoretically justify any changes to this and I'm cool.
Anything in final focuses should be in summaries, except that if second rebuttal doesn't cover their own case first summary doesn't have to either, including extending turns. To be clear, yes, this means first final focus can extend a turn from first rebuttal that wasn’t in summary, as long as it wasn’t answered in second rebuttal.
New offense in rebuttal (either, but especially second) is abusive unless it link or internal link turns their case (without external impacts), relies on a link argument made in their case (as do impact turns), or answers to your case are responsive to it.
PF CX is fake. I don't flow it.
I love progressive debate. Go fast, read Ks, theory, plans, whatever you can theoretically justify; 30s if it's done well. Just don't do so at the cost of accessibility, and don't do it if you're bad at it just because you saw this paradigm. If your opponents aren't familiar with something, you don't need to stop, just slow down and give them a lay explanation in CX/as an underview.
I was one of the first people to disclose on the PF wiki. I have a very low threshold for voting on disclosure theory; just make sure you ask them in front of me or screenshot a read receipt so you have a violation. If you let me know that you disclose at some point before my decision; you get an extra speak.
TL;DR for PFers @ SFSU
I'm tech over truth. Be progressive, fast, whatever. I don't care about presentation. Don't misconstrue evidence or perpetuate structural violence. Second rebuttal has to cover turns; first summary has to cover anything that second rebuttal frontlined. Please, please, please do impact calc and warrant-level clash.