Elmer Yang ParadigmLast changed 10/21 12:28A CDT
My name is Elmer Yang, I debated in Policy Debate for McKinney Boyd High School for three years with Zac Amundson (and agree with much of his paradigm) and now I'm a student at the University of Texas - Austin in Business and Plan II. I currently coach Hebron High School (2nd half of Immigration and all of Arms Sales). Also conflicted for MBA (Judged for at St Marks '19), the Village School AF and AI (Judged for and Coached at Greenhill '19), Fusion Academy KS (Coached at St Marks '19) and Plano East NG (Coached at UT '18)
Add me to the email chain, if you ask me for my email, you probably didn't read this paradigm - email@example.com
If you don't have any time before the round, read this - I'm pretty Tab, I'll listen to anything with warrants. No I'm not a K hack, I just read a lot for school. I mostly cut K and Case arguments, probably behind on Politics Lit so be wary of using acronyms as far as that goes. Drops don't matter if you don't clearly extend and warrant an impact. I'm pretty techy so give me a clear understanding of your world vs the opponents' world. Please explain your policy acronyms. Specific links are the best. Tech>Truth in most cases. Do as much on the LBL as possible. Control Framework and you will probably win the debate. Don't forget the case debate, if there's no solvency, there's no offense. Impact calculus, impact calculus, impact calculus. Why should I evaluate your impacts over your opponents? Without it, a debate that should be crystal clear to decide will take much longer and probably result in a decision you don't necessarily agree with. Clarity is really important to me. That doesn't mean don't go fast, but enunciate. I will generally read cards, I think evidence quality has degraded to the point where spin that has no part in evidence outweighs actual research. But this doesn't mean I will flow off the doc for you, I will not say clear, but my face shows a slot of my emotion so if I'm confused or can't hear, you'll see it.
The only position that I am unwavering on is New Affs theory. I heavily agree with Tracy McFarland here. This is not a good argument. You don't disclose new Affs, so don't pretend like you believe teams should. Don't make bad arguments because your shell is super short and its a time trade-off, that simply isn't good debate. All the 2AC needs to say is "New Affs = Innovation" and I will throw that flow away.
If you're doing prefs, read this - I'm about as adaptable as a judge really can be. If you're a flex team, you should put me as a 1. If you're a 1-off K team, put me as a 1. If you're a policy team that reads about 5-8 off with nuanced understanding of policy specific mechanisms, put me as a 1. If you're A+ strat every round is ASPEC dug into 15+ Off hidden underneath a T-shell that also contains New Affs Bad and Vagueness, you should probably put me as a 3 or a 4. It's not that I don't like or can't judge those debates, but I prefer to judge nuanced positions whether policy or kritikal. Other than that, I'm cool with judging anything from Baudrillard to Politics, just do it well (that's all I care about).
For LD - I'm not very well versed in theory debates since I've never done LD before. My background is policy so K's, DA's, and CP's are all cool. I almost exclusively coach Afro-Pess so that's the arg I'm most comfortable with but I'll evaluate any argument.
I have a very complicated history with Theory so here are my thoughts. In a vacuum, I think certain Tricks/Theory strats are interesting and are definitely useful in preventing the proliferation of debate-destroying arguments like A-Prioris. However, I dislike the fact that theory is an A-strat rather than a means to preserve LD debate/the topic. Please please please do not use theory as a means to exclude and just use it to counter in-round abuse. No AC, NC underviews please, 1AR theory is always allowed, no need to justify it with a blippy underview that takes away from substance. RVI's are usually bogus in the context of Condo or Tricks (Neg RVI's are never persuasive). No, TVA's or New Affs Bad are not RVI's. Theory comes before anything including truth testing. Presumption is up for grabs, tell me why theory triggers it for which side. Draw worlds of your theory interp vs there's. Tell me what I'm voting for. What does my ballot do? Bottom Line - I will try to evaluate every arg that I can understand.
How I evaluate Debates - I default to Impacts first and foremost, you need to tell me what I should be voting on and why. Then I either default to Framework whether it's ontology, magnitude/timeframe/probability or structural violence/util. Finally, if both teams are going for the same impact, I default to the strength of the Internal Link debate. I've voted Negative on presumption about 3 or 4 times so far this year and I won't hesitate to pull the trigger on it if you don't cleanly extend an impact or a framework interp.
I like to think I'm Tab but there are some common arguments I default to:
1. The Aff should generally get to weigh the Case against the K
2. Competing Interps outweighs Reasonability
3. Magnitude o/w Probability o/w Timeframe
4. Less than 5 Condo I lean Neg
I'll listen to and vote for most arguments that aren't Time Cube or the alphabet of Spec. If you can pull those off on the line by line however, I'll try my best to evaluate them. When thinking of strategy for the round, do what your most familiar with. This paradigm is not meant to convince you to change your strategy, it's just meant to convey how I view and evaluate debate to help you get my ballot. I love debaters who can see the big picture. Leverage arguments on different flows well and it'll do wonders in front of me.
My senior year, I was a mostly "kritikal" debater but I read Affs with plans and Disad/CP strats increasingly towards the end of the year. Below are some of my more complete thoughts on specific argument types.
Please do not run Kritik's solely because that's the type of debate I prefer to judge. I'd much rather judge a phenomenal Farm Bill DA net benefit debate to a Parole CP vs a HSI Aff than a crappy Baudrillard debate vs Fanon. As long as you argue what you do well, I'm happy.
Speaker Points: I probably start around a 28.5, and no lower than a 26.5 and capped around 29.7. I've only given one person a 30 ever but if you're clean and efficient and write my ballot for me, I'll reward you with very high speaks.
No-Plan Affs: I'm pretty familiar with these kinds of arguments. I've coached and read these Affs a fair amount - most Afro-Pess and Model Minority, so that's what I'm most familiar with but I'm cool with whatever. I prefer if your Aff talks about the resolution in some way (that's up to you to determine), but if you don't, you must have a good reason why or I'm heavily neg leaning on Framework. I like Aff's that leverage specific turns on Topicality in the 2AC rather than generic impact turns, so having that with a K Aff is definitely a must have in front of me. The 1AC is your greatest piece of offense, please use it.
Case: I love Impact Turns and specific internal link turns (Prolif Good, Econ Collapse Good, Hegemony Good/Bad, et.c). I feel that many times, 2NR's will go for Artificially competitive counteprlans instead of leveraging specific turns on the Aff. Using a strategic Impact Turn as a net benefit or even as a standalone strat will go a long way towards winning my ballot. Mad respect for teams that are gutsy enough to straight turn with absolutely no defense, but this requires phenomenal impact comparison skills that many teams I've seen lack.
Kritiks: Probably the arguments I'm most comfortable with. I'm most familiar with Derrida, Psychoanalysis, Mbembe, Anthro authors, Afro-Pessimism, and Model Minority authors, but I'm well read in a lot of post modern theory - Heidegger, Schmitt, Foucault, Baudrillard, etc. I also know other K's like Cap and Security very well. Don't assume I know what you're talking about though, long tag lines and buzz words won't do much without sufficient explanation. Please don't have the 2NC be 7 minutes of overview and just say "on my O/V" when you're answering the Line by Line. Embedded Clash has been mastered by maybe two debaters I've ever watched and unless you're one of those two, it's going to be very difficult if you only focus on the "embedded" over the "clash". Overviews over 1 minute make for weaker 2NC's than not. Line by Line debates are where many K debates are won or lost. Specific contextualizations of link scenarios will do wonders in front of me, if you read a K as part of a 6-Off strat, having a generic link and then contextualizing it in the block is cool, but if you're going 1-off, then you should have specific links to isolate in the 1NC. I'm not well convinced of criticisms of the Status Quo rather than of the aff, so please have a link that I can specifically weigh when isolating specific impact scenarios. Framework is also crucial when telling me how to evaluate links.
K vs K Debates - Probably my favorite kind of debates, I just think they're fun to watch. Make sure to do link distinctions and impact out residual links to Perms/Framework args etc. I have a fairly low threshold for voting on perms if I have no idea what the Alternative is.
Side Note for Kritiks - I've always been fascinated by Paradoxes in debate, Zeno's Paradox, Meno's Paradox, Byzantine Generals, Paradox of the Sand, etc. - if you can effectively pull one of these off, I will give you relatively high speaks.
Disads: I love specific disads that get into the nitty gritty of the Aff, I read them about 60% of the time this year. Like K's, if you read a generic topic disad, please isolate specific link scenarios. Impact comparison on a topic like this is a must. It should be more than just Extinction outweighs, leverage your internal links to take out the case.
Counterplans: Specific Counterplans that aren't artificially competitive will go a long weigh towards mitigating the Aff in front of me. I dislike Consult CP's and Delay CP's, but if argued well, I will vote on them. Specific Agent CP's are sweet if you have solvency advocates related to the Aff. 2NC amendments or new counterplans are usually bad unless in response to 2AC Add-Ons.
Topicality: I love T shells that are argued well. A struggle I often see is weighing fairness v education impacts, doing so will make the decision incredibly clearer to me. Despite my affinity for K Affs, I like framework/T-USFG as an argument a lot when it's done well. Evidence comparison is a must, you need to demonstrate clear differentials with an impact to them between their evidence/qualifications vs yours. I default to Reasonability but that does not mean Topicality's not a voting issue, just that the Aff gets a little more leeway with the Counter Interp and their offense.
Topicality vs K-Affs: Despite my coaching and competition affinity for K's, I believe that Framework is a solid argument. The question of Debate is a game or not is up for debate but testing, clash, and pedagogy are important aspects of debate that I value. A sort of default framing scope I use is if the Neg wins Debate is a game, Fairness usually comes first as an Impact Filter. That doesn't mean that I automatically vote Neg, but Fairness does then become an Impact. If not, then Fairness is an Internal Link and you need to tell me the Impact i should use. I find myself more convinced by Substance questions like Switch Side debate args, but Hard Framework like Fairness can still get my ballot. I cannot stress controlling the direction of the Aff's solvency when debating FW, because that allows the Aff to leverage key turns that can switch my ballot very quickly.
Theory: My sliding scale for theory - 1 (Most ridiculous) - Brackets Theory - 10 (Most probable) - Floating PIK's bad. I never went for Theory ever in high school and had only one theory debate once (States CP illegitimate vs Jesuit at TFA State). I love Politics Theory - Politics DA = intrinsic, Perm the Disad, etc. are all GOAT theory args. Though, overall theory debates are probably the least favorite debate I would like to judge simply because it can get kinda weird fast and encourage pretty blatant judge intervention. I also think that Permutations are intrinsically a given - they serve as a test of competition. If you can't prove why your Alternative isn't significantly separate from the Aff, then you're not going to win a link debate. Arguments that links that link to both the Aff and Alt have always confused me because I think that if you're strategy is to generate uniqueness for a link, you have to defend a differential justification that means you should prove why the Alt solves back/links less.
Condo: Neg strats probably shouldn't contradict especially when running K's and CP's. Mostly neg leaning on Conditionality but anything more than 5 Condo will cause me to lean Aff. Theory debates are pretty cool but they're probably the type of debate style I'm weakest on. If you're going for theory, emphasize the different world of your interpretations and do a lot of impact comparison. I lean Neg on 50-state fiat for the Education Topic, but lean Aff on most CP theory args like Consult Bad, Delay Bad, etc.
Extra Stuff - I love specific, updated cards and will most likely reward you for using them, but don't let them make arguments for you. I won't evaluate cards on their own if there isn't an external warrant made outside of the ev. The only exception to this is late breaking Impact Turn debates in response to 2AC Add-ons where letting the cards do the talking is crucial due to a time trade-off.
If a round is on time to 10 minutes late, flashing does not equal prep. If it's running late, I have to make flashing prep to speed the round up. The only exception is when it's the tournament's fault, then I'll be more lenient. If a debater is more than 20 minutes late, I will go to Tab to see the policy on when auto forfeits happen. I get that most tournaments allow cross-entering but being cross-entered and making the tournament held back for hours is something that I dislike because it generally reduces prep time from pairings and the quality of debates writ large.
For those who read the Speed K - I'm sympathetic to accessibility issues regarding the Speed K but I've seen smart debaters who are slower (Cal MS, Natalie Knez, Wimsatt) do extremely well by being smarter and faster which means I tend to have an almost impossibly high threshold for winning this Kritik, especially if you spread the rest of the debate (Lindale DW).