Jacob Nails ParadigmLast changed 4/24 10:42P EDT
This is the LD paradigm. Do a Ctrl+F search for “Policy Paradigm” or “PF Paradigm” if you’re looking for those. They’re toward the bottom.
I debated LD in high school for Starr's Mill high school (GA) and policy in college for Georgia State University. I coach LD, so I'll be familiar with the resolution. (4/24/19 update: TOC will be my 10th tournament on the Military Aid topic.)
If there's an email chain, please add me to it. My email is: jacobdnails [at] gmail [dot] com
1. I will ignore any argument that I didn't understand the first time it was made even if it becomes clear in rebuttals. I often read evidence after the round, but you won't get any credit for arguments that I couldn't flow in your speech.
2. Unwarranted/incomplete arguments are not arguments. It seems like a lot of LDers really try to test the limits of what the bare minimum standard for a warranted argument is, especially on theory. Ex., “Use util because it promotes the best consequences” is not a warranted argument simply by virtue of having “because” in it; you’re just defining what util is.
3. If there's embedded clash, you're best served explaining your arguments, but for issues that are completely conceded, my threshold for extensions is very low. Ex., if the NR is all-in on T, there is no need for the 2AR to explicitly extend case offense.
4. The onus is on you not to mis-cut or powertag evidence, not on your opponent to catch you cheating. Most common culprit: If your impact card just says that bad things happen but doesn't mention extinction, you don't get to tag it as "extinction" and make Extinction First arguments about future generations and the like. It is far from a foregone conclusion that impacts like terrorism, global warming, or nuclear war cause total human extinction. If that's all your impact card mentions, you get credit for a large global catastrophe, not an existential risk. That distinction is sometimes very important.
The aff should be topical. The neg should negate the aff's advocacy. I have no qualms voting for arguments to the contrary, but these are strong dispositions I hold.
I judge T-Bare Plurals debates a lot. The neg obviously has the grammatically correct reading of the resolution, but they're usually terrible at explaining the link or impact to that, so I still somehow vote aff in these debates more often than not.
I don't have any particular bias against RVIs. They're debatable in LD.
Theoretical reasons to prefer/reject an ethical theory are generally pretty terrible arguments. This includes: Must Concede FW, May Not Concede FW, Util is Unfair, Only Util is Fair, etc. You should prove that you're right, not that it's educational to pretend that you are. Many 'role of the ballot' arguments are just theoretically justified frameworks by another name, and I feel similarly about these. I also do not assume by default that your warrant comes logically prior to your opponent's because you referenced "education" or "ground"; the falsity of a standard seems at least as salient a reason not to require debaters to use it.
I'm not a fan of frivolous theory arguments. If the argument only wins rounds because it's so short your opponent misses it or has to waste time on it, you're probably better off skipping it. These arguments often skirt the line of what counts as a warranted argument anyway, and I am perfectly fine disregarding arguments that don't meet the threshold for a warrant.
I can't recall the last time I voted on presumption. My degree of credence in the aff/neg winning is unlikely to ever be exactly 50/50.
Permissibility does not affirm. Barring a rehash of SepOct '08/JanFeb '12-style topic wording, I have trouble conceiving of a warranted argument that would justify this. And no, none of the cards y'all tag as saying this actually do.
I default to Truth Testing. It makes much more sense to me than any other paradigm. This does not mean I want to hear your bad a prioris.
I don’t have strong opinions on most of the nuances of disclosure theory, but I do appreciate good disclosure practices. If you think your wiki exemplifies exceptional disclosure norms (open source, round reports, and cites), point it out before the round ends, and you might get +.1-.2 speaker points.
Not utilized enough in LD. Why defend the SQuo when you don't have to? It's usually mediocre ground.
I think Conditionality Bad is much more winnable in LD than policy.
LDers are infuriatingly dodgy about answering CP status questions. This has been one of my biggest pet peeves as of late. You should answer with an immediate "it's conditional/unconditional." Your opponent's CX is not the time to spend 20 seconds pondering the matter, and I never want to hear the phrase "What do you want it to be?" You know damn well what the aff would rather it be. It would make me happy if you just specified the status in your speech to avoid this whole rodeo, e.g. "[CP Text.] It's conditional," as I no longer trust LDers to give a prompt CX answer. I do not, however, want to imply any amenability to 'must spec status' as an aff theory argument.
Most CP theory questions (PICs, Delay, cheaty process stuff) seem best resolved at the level of competition. I can't think of any types of counterplans I would consider both competitive and also theoretically illegitimate. Likewise, lack of a solvency advocate seems more like a solvency press than a voting issue.
Extremely aff leaning vs agent counterplans. These are not real arguments. It remains unclear to me how anyone seriously thinks agent CPs are ever competitive. If you can’t explain how the agent of action could choose to do the CP rather than the plan, you have not presented an opportunity cost to affirming. Neg fiat is not an excuse to forgo basic logic.
I'm very familiar with most of the LD canon. Less familiar with continental philosophy.
"I don't defend implementation" doesn't make sense on most topics.
A lot of AC/NC contentions are indefensibly stupid or outright bastardizations of the philosophy they're citing. You should contest the contention too and not just say Util First. Debaters are getting away with murder on utter nonsense.
'Role of the ballot' is an overused buzzword. These are often impact justified frameworks, theoretically justified frameworks, or artificially specific.
New NR floating PIKs will be disregarded, just like any other new NR argument. This is your 2NR, not your 2NC.
Vague alternatives are bad, and any ambiguity will not work in favor of the K. Minimum standard of clarity: don't phrase your alternative as an infinitive. None of this "the alt is: to reject, to challenge, to deconstruct, etc" business. It needs a clearly specified actor. Which agent(s) will do what?
If you think your alt functions like an agent CP, be sure to read the CP section of my paradigm.
If there's an email chain, please add me to it. My email is: jacobdnails [at] gmail [dot] com
The paradigm I most recall agreeing with as a debater was Cody Crunkilton’s, minus his views against Wipeout.
I wouldn’t say I’m neg leaning, but I think I’m less aff leaning than most.
I probably don’t know that much about the current topic, so explain your examples more than you think you need to. Don’t just say “they justify the XYZ aff” and expect me to know what that is and why it’s bad.
I default to competing interpretations.
T vs K affs
Definitely neg leaning here.
Fairness/Limits >>> “[Insert Resolution] is the most educational thing ever” (It’s probably not)
I find TVAs often seem much less important than they’re made out to be by both sides. Not every topic needs to include every conceivable issue, and if it does then I question whether the neg’s interp truly solves limits.
A lot of advantages/DAs are super contrived, and it’s easy to convince me that impacts short of extinction should matter more. Ptx is overrated.
I enjoy straight turns a lot, especially big impact turn debates.
CPs are great.
2 conditional worlds is fine. More is defensible, but at 3+ you’re better off biting the bullet on infinite condo than making up an arbitrary threshold. I’m perfectly happy to vote on condo bad if you win it, but that requires making it a developed argument before the 2AR. Late-breaking debates beget judge intervention, and my priors do not favor the aff here.
Extremely aff leaning vs agent counterplans. These are not real arguments. It remains unclear to me how anyone seriously thinks agent CPs are an opportunity cost to the aff.
Perm Do the CP is the path of least resistance vs a lot of cheating CPs like Delay, Consult, etc.
Affs should be more willing to say the exclusive focus of the debate is the plan/resolution. I don’t understand the prevalence of the ad hoc compromise to weigh the benefits of plan implementation vs the harms of the aff’s representations as if they at all operated at the same level. That sounds incoherent and even less persuasive than the neg telling me to vote exclusively on the representations of both sides.
Vague alternatives are bad, and any ambiguity will not work in favor of the K. This goes double for "reject" or "vote neg" alts.
If you think your alt fiats that individuals change their minds or engage in some sort of collective action, it sounds like an agent CP, and I suggest referring to the CP section for my views on those.
K v K
I don’t expect to judge many of these. I probably don’t know your lit base that well.
Yes, the aff gets a perm. Most of the time, the ‘warrant’ to the contrary doesn’t even rise to the level of requiring a response.
9 November 2018 Update (Peach State Classic @ Carrollton):
Public Forum - As the rest of my paradigm suggests, my background is primarily in LD/Policy. I don't have strong opinions on PF norms in general, but I do prefer directly quoted evidence over paraphrasing. If you cannot quickly produce the specific portion of the source you're referencing on request, paraphrased evidence will be given the same weight as an analytic.