Margaret Rockey Paradigm

Last changed 11 September 2017 1:42 AM PST

Background: Parli coach at WWU for one year. Competed in parli at Whitman for three years and one year independently (sco Sweets!). I have no idea if I am or if people perceive me as a K- or policy-oriented judge. I guess I read a lot of disads, topical K affs, disads, and always read, but never went for politics, but I strongly preferred being a double member because I gave no shits about what our strategy was and would defend whatever. So I have no strong preferences regarding argumentative content. 

I’ve tried writing a philosophy four or five times this year, and every attempt has ended with one sentence rejecting the proposition of writing in a philosophy in the first place. The short version, and what you probably want to know, is that you can read whatever you want, and should give me a reason why you win and a reason why the other team loses. In the event that the reason you win is also the reason they lose, you should explain how it is so. What follows is not a syncretic philosophy but a disorganized and unenclosed series of thoughts on debate, some arbitrary biases and thresholds, and judging tendencies I’ve noticed in myself. It may or may not be helpful.

Judging Generally

I find I feel much less certain about my decisions as a judge than I did about my predictions as a competitor and observer. Actually doing the work of making and justifying a decision almost always necessitates getting my hands dirty in some form or other. Most of my decisions require intervention to vote for any one team, either because certain core questions have not been resolved, or some resolved questions have not been contextualized to one another, or some combination of the two. Recognizing the frequent inevitability of dirty hands in decision-making, I try to stick to both a general principle and practice when judging. In principle, I try to have a justification for every decision I make. In practice, I find I try to limit my intervention to extrapolating from arguments made to resolve unanswered issues; if a certain team is winning a certain part of the flow; what does that mean for this part where no one is clearly ahead but where someone must be to decide the round? This is also means that an easy way to get ahead is doing that work for me--provide the summary and application of an argument in addition to making it. 

Framework

In general I think framework either tells me how to prioritize impacts or understand solvency, and in particular how to situate solvency in relation to debate as a practice. Most framework arguments I see in-round seem to be made out of a precautious fear of leaving the something crucial open on the line-by-line, but with little understanding of the argument’s application to interpreting the rest of the round. At least, that’s what I felt like when I extended framework arguments for awhile. I don’t understand the argument that fiat is illusory. The advocacy actually being implemented has never been a reason to vote aff, as far as I can tell. The purpose of fiat is to force a “should” and not “will” debate. Framework arguments that dictate and defend a certain standard for the negative’s burden to argue that the advocacy “should not” happen are ideal. I’m open to arguments proposing a different understanding of solvency than what a policymaking framework supplies.

My only other observation about framework debates is that every interpretation seems to get slotted into some “critical non fiat –ology” slot or “policy fiat roleplaying” slot. This is a false binary but its frequent assumption means many non-competitive framework (and advocacies!) are set against each other as if they’re competitive. Policymaking and roleplaying are not the same thing; epistemology and ontology being distinct doesn’t mean they’re inherently competitive, for a couple examples.

 This is also the major flaw of most non-topical K v. K debates I see—the advocacies are not competitive. They feel like I.E. speeches forced into the debate format when the content and structure of that content just don’t clash—I mean, it’s like the aff showing up and saying dogs are cool and the neg firing back that cats are cool. It’s just not quite debate as we’re used to, and demands reconceptualizing competition. This is also why I don’t think “no perms in a method debate” makes any sense but I agree with the object of that argument. The topic creates sides—you’re either for or against it. In rounds where each team is just going to propose distinct ways of apprehending the world, whatever that looks like, I see no reason to award noncompetitiveness to either team. (Oh, this should not be used as a justification for negative counterperms. How counterperms being leveraged against perms represents anything less than the death of debate is a mystery to me) I’m not saying don’t have nontopical KvK rounds, please do, just please also read offense against each other’s arguments (cats are cool and dogs are bad). In those rounds, your reason to win is not the same reason the other team loses, which is the case for advocacies which are opportunity costs to each other. For the record, I think critical literature is arguably the most important education debate offers. I just think debate is structured for competition oriented around policy advocacies and the ways that kritikal arguments tend to engage each other challenge that structure in ways we have yet to explore in parli (at least, writ large).

Theory

Don’t have anything in particular to say about this other than that I have a high threshold for evaluating anything other than plan text in a vacuum in determining interp violations. Everything else seems a solvency question to me, but make the arguments you want to and can defend.

Independent Voters

I’ve noticed that I have a pretty high threshold on independent voters. I voted for an independent voter once when the block went for it. Arguments about discursive issues serve an important purpose. But for arguments read flippantly or as a gotcha or, more often, that lack any substantive impact, I always feel a little guilty voting there and jettisoning the rest of the debate, like feeling bad for picking one spoon over another when you’re a kid. I think a lot of judges want the simple way to vote but I don’t, as far as I can tell. They don’t necessarily have to be complicated, but I like thorough ways to vote, which do often involve a lot of nuance or at least word dancing (I believe debate is fundamentally competitive bullshitting, which I do not mean derisively in the slightest).

Full Judging Record

Tournament Lv Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
Sheboygan North Raider Rumble HS 2020-11-21 JVPF R3 Fort Atkinson BB James Madison Memorial AH Con
Sheboygan North Raider Rumble HS 2020-11-21 JVPF R2 Fort Atkinson RW Janesville Parker SV Con
Sheboygan North Raider Rumble HS 2020-11-21 JVPF R1 Edgewood CM Sheboygan North LV Pro
Badgerland Chung vitational HS 2020-11-13 PF Double VDA - Vancouver YY Strake Jesuit GW Con Con 3-0
Badgerland Chung vitational HS 2020-11-13 PF R6 Foothill DR Strake Jesuit PT Con
Badgerland Chung vitational HS 2020-11-13 PF R5 Westborough MN New Jersey Independent GK Con
Badgerland Chung vitational HS 2020-11-13 PF R3 Palleti GS Millard North BM Pro
Badgerland Chung vitational HS 2020-11-13 PF R2 Lakeville SN Strake Jesuit BG Con
Badgerland Chung vitational HS 2020-11-13 PF R1 Strake Jesuit HT Sheboygan North VS Pro
Brookfield East Debate Tournament HS 2020-10-03 PF V 2 412 405 Pro
National Round Robin C 2019-03-02 Open Elim 4 Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley RR Texas Tech GT Opp Opp 3-0
National Round Robin C 2019-03-02 Open Elim 3 Texas Tech DG Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley RR Gov Gov 2-1
National Round Robin C 2019-03-02 Open Elim 2 Texas Tech GT Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley KT Opp Gov 2-1
National Round Robin C 2019-03-02 Open Elim 1 Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley RR Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley KT Opp Opp 3-0
National Round Robin C 2019-03-02 Open R5 Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley RR Rice TB Gov
National Round Robin C 2019-03-02 Open R4 Point Loma Nazarene DS Texas Tech DG Opp Opp 2-0
National Round Robin C 2019-03-02 Open R3 Rice CS St Mary's GS Gov Gov 2-0
National Round Robin C 2019-03-02 Open R2 Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley KT St Mary's PJ Gov Gov 2-0
National Round Robin C 2019-03-02 Open R1 Whitman BC William Jewell HU Opp Opp 2-0
Steve Hunt Classic C 2018-10-13 oparl OR6 Lewis and Clark MT Rice LA Opp
Steve Hunt Classic C 2018-10-13 oparl OR4 Oregon TR Puget Sound PU Gov
Steve Hunt Classic C 2018-10-13 oparl Or3 Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley CQ St Mary's GS Gov
Steve Hunt Classic C 2018-10-13 oparl Or2 Oregon DS Lewis and Clark BS Opp
Steve Hunt Classic C 2018-10-13 oparl OR1 Minnesota FD Oregon HC Opp