Matt Harkins

  • Paradigm
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Paradigm Statement

Matt Harkins

If you have any questions or want to add me to an email chain, I'm at mpharks@gmail.com. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to learn from you.

I have been coaching at the Naval Academy since October 2016, and before that, I coached Cathedral Prep from 2014-2018. I debated on the national circuit in high school and qualified to the TOC twice, but I didn’t debate in college.

Most of my research and coaching is geared toward the K, but I feel comfortable evaluating a da/cp or da/case debate. I often think that the K is the best way to exploit the weaknesses of the affs that I hear, but that doesn't mean you have to take this route.

When debating in front of me, I'd highly recommend developing the implications to your arguments as soon in the debate as possible. In close debates between technically proficient teams, this is especially important. I appreciate it when a debater is creative and tries to relate to me rather than debating like a computer and into their computer.

Virtual Debate
I'd like to make things as easy as possible for you, and you're welcome to set up your speaking/video/microphone situation in whatever way makes you most comfortable.

On my end, I'm still learning how to adapt to zoom debates. There seems to be a lower ceiling on arguments I can process through zoom. This is especially the case on theory debates. If you could help me out by slowing things down, I'd appreciate it.

Debate doesn't translate directly from in-person to zoom. There are some limits that we haven't yet come to terms with, but there are also some possibilities (screen sharing comes to mind) that could be interesting, and you're welcome to experiment with that in front of me.

2021 College Topic
There's an important distinction between labor antitrust and consumer antitrust. In labor antitrust, independent contractors and labor unions are considered the businesses with whom the government is interested in limiting anticompetitive business practices. From the most straightforward reading of the topic, aff ground doesn't seem to allow for much labor antitrust. This would have been a significant consideration in at least half of the debates that I have judged so far.

Because of my academic and professional background, I've thought a lot about labor antitrust, monopolies, market power, and the suitability of the law as a remedy to these issues. To disclose a personal bias: I think that there are significant limits on the capacity of antitrust. That's not to say that I don't think there are many instances in which changes to antitrust law would be a good idea. Nor do I think that there aren't radical possibilities in antitrust. But its limits have become relevant and convincing in kritik debates in which the aff takes for granted the fundamental radicality of their proposal. I think this topic would be worthwhile if the debate community reckoned with those limits. In other words, Robert Bork was a real-life sicko, but so are most people, albeit in less apparent ways, who think that Amazon would stop being a problem if a judge told them to knock it off.

T
- I'm not in touch with community consensus so you might be able to use that to your advantage.
- I really enjoy a good T debate and don't have any strong inclinations toward fairness or education as the ultimate standard.
- I like definitions that define a word as close in a contexts as possible to the other words of the resolution
- I'm often disappointed by T evidence quality. For this reason, source/Expertise/qualifications debates tend to be pretty important. Just because a judge wrote it in a decision doesn't make it a relevant expert definition. Just because the usfg is defined in a certain way in the Bill Emerson English Language Empowerment Act of 1997, doesn't mean it's the best way to understand usfg for debate.
- Debating in the Pennsylvania has given me a comprehensive understanding of inherency as a procedural argument if you want to go there.

"T" (Framework)
- In the last dozen or so framework rounds that I've judged, the neg has won or lost based on whether they had a compelling claim to significant offense.
- It's frustrating to judge a framework debate wherein framework is deployed as a replacement for debating the case. I get that this is tied in some way to the "ground" and "unpredictability" aspects of the arguments you're advancing, but a failure to contend with fundamental questions posed by the aff can come across more as a sin of the neg.
- For me, framework is most useful as a neg strategy in debates where affs are needlessly obscure or cynical.

Disads
- I evaluate the link first, and I think it's a yes/no question which controls the direction of uniqueness.
- Most of the best answers to politics disads I've seen aren't necessarily carded answers to the U/L/IL/I parts of a disad, but arguments about the nonsensical nature of certain parts of the politics disad as applied to the aff.
- Although I don't cut politics files, I'm extremely aware of what's going on and familiar with who's writing what about Congress and the White House.
- I really like impact turn debates.
- Except in cases where something sophisticated is going on, it's usually a waste of time to read evidence that "warming isn't real" or "warming isn't a pressing issue." Go after the internal link, go after solvency, turn the impact, solve the impact. It's hard to convince me that warming isn't an immediate, urgent, and moral concern, but I'm skeptical that the only thing we need to do is develop the right tech or enter certain climate talks with sufficient leverage.

Counterplans
- I won't kick the counterplan for the negative unless the negative persuades me to do otherwise.
- There's a fine line between creative, technical counterplans and a contrived trick. Avoid the contrived tricks. I enjoy a creative and technical counterplan, but these aren't the kinds of arguments I spend a lot of time thinking about, so you'll do well to simplify your explanation of it as much as possible.

Kritiks
- I’m most familiar with psychoanalysis and Marxism (including left criticism of Marxism, Marxist criticisms of leftism, and Marxist critiques of other Marxisms).
- I spend a lot of time thinking about labor because of my day job.
- I first look at role of the ballot/role of the judge arguments when I'm rendering a decision, so these arguments tend to have a strong effect on the outcome of a debate.
- The perm, which is tied in important ways to the role of the ballot, tends to be the aff's most strategic line of pursuit.
- I'm willing to stop the debate and give someone a loss for using flagrantly inappropriate language.
- I've noticed that, on very many occasions in which a K debate was underdeveloped, I have recommended the second chapter of Wretched of The Earth to both teams.

Theory
- Reject the argument is the default. Spend time on the impact level to convince me to reject the team.
- I heard recently that nobody votes on multiple conditional worlds bad anymore. I guess that means I'd be more willing to entertain this argument than the average judge.
- Against affs which don't read a typical plan text or defend the resolution, I would prefer to hear a nitty-gritty case debate rather than a framework debate. This is a strong preference.
- When debaters unsuccessfully extend framework in front of me, the unsuccess is usually a result of disorganization, a lack of adaptation of pre-written blocks to the specific aff arguments, and my inability to interpret the significance of an abstract debate concept.
- If you go for framework, make sure you clearly implicate the stakes of winning a section of the debate. What I mean by this is that you shouldn't assume we're on the same page about what it means to win, say, that there exists a topical version of the aff, or your limits disad, or the benefits of switch-side debate, or etc. Leave nothing flapping in the wind in the 2nr.

Style
- I enjoy humor a lot.
- Speeches are best when they're persuasive performances; I don't enjoy monotone spreading.
- I like when debaters make smart cross applications from a flow the other team tried to kick out of.
- If the chips are down, flip the table. If, going into the rebuttals, you know you're losing 99% of the debate, see if you can explode that 1% into a win.

Full Judging Record
Tournament Lv Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
Crowe Warken Debates at USNA C 2022-01-15 OOn R4 Liberty SW Nebraska-Lincoln QW Aff
ADA Fall Championship C 2021-11-13 JV Quarte George Mason BR Minnesota DR Neg Neg 2-1
ADA Fall Championship C 2021-11-13 JV R6 Minnesota DR George Mason BR Aff
ADA Fall Championship C 2021-11-13 Nov R5 Binghamton RL Miami/New School CK Neg
ADA Fall Championship C 2021-11-13 Nov R4 George Mason AY Monmouth LL Aff
ADA Fall Championship C 2021-11-13 Nov R3 Monmouth TV George Mason ET Neg
ADA Fall Championship C 2021-11-13 Nov R2 Monmouth PR Indiana KF Neg
ADA Fall Championship C 2021-11-13 JV R1 Liberty DM Mary Washington DR Neg
UMW Debate Tournament C 2021-10-15 Open R6 Liberty SW Emory NP Neg
UMW Debate Tournament C 2021-10-15 JV R4 UT San Antonio FH Liberty JP Neg
UMW Debate Tournament C 2021-10-15 Nov R3 West Virginia YL Samford HJ Neg
JW Patterson Debates at Kentucky C 2021-10-02 Open R3 Houston CL Wake Forest BB Neg
JW Patterson Debates at Kentucky C 2021-10-02 Open R2 Kentucky MW Wake Forest KT Neg
Northwestern University Season Opener C 2021-09-17 Open RD 6 Cal State Fullerton WC Michigan KS Aff
Northwestern University Season Opener C 2021-09-17 Open RD 5 Wake Forest MS Kentucky DG Neg
Northwestern University Season Opener C 2021-09-17 Open RD 4 Michigan MM West Georgia CF Neg
Northwestern University Season Opener C 2021-09-17 Open RD 3 Michigan FM Pittsburgh OM Neg
75th National Debate Tournament C 2021-03-25 Open R8 Wake Forest BD Michigan PS Aff Aff 2-1
75th National Debate Tournament C 2021-03-25 Open R7 Kentucky DW Harvard/Amherst GM Aff Aff 2-1
75th National Debate Tournament C 2021-03-25 Open R6 Southern California KS UC Berkeley EE Aff Aff 3-0
75th National Debate Tournament C 2021-03-25 Open R5 Samford EG Liberty CoRo Aff Aff 3-0
75th National Debate Tournament C 2021-03-25 Open R4 Samford GT NYU HP Aff Aff 2-1
ADA Nationals C 2021-03-06 Open R3 Liberty CR Michigan RV Neg
ADA Nationals C 2021-03-06 Open R1 Cal State Fullerton/Fullerton WM Michigan MM Aff
NDT District VII Qualifier C 2021-02-19 D7 R6 Pittsburgh OM Liberty WW Aff
University of Minnesota College Invitational C 2021-01-29 Open Octas Pittsburgh OM George Mason LM Aff Aff 3-0
University of Minnesota College Invitational C 2021-01-29 Open R4 Minnesota PS Pittsburgh OM Neg
Crowe Warken Debates at USNA C 2021-01-16 jv R6 Liberty CP New School BL Neg
Crowe Warken Debates at USNA C 2021-01-16 Open R5 Dartmouth HV George Mason TG Aff
Crowe Warken Debates at USNA C 2021-01-16 Open R4 Missouri State KR UNLV RR Neg
Crowe Warken Debates at USNA C 2021-01-16 Open R3 George Mason/Liberty HJ UT Dallas IW Neg
Crowe Warken Debates at USNA C 2021-01-16 Open R2 Kentucky BL George Mason DM Neg
Crowe Warken Debates at USNA C 2021-01-16 Open R1 Dartmouth MS UT Dallas LM Aff
NY Fall Faceoff at Mamaroneck HS HS 2020-12-04 VCX Semifi Lexington KT Georgetown Day BS Neg Neg 3-0
NY Fall Faceoff at Mamaroneck HS HS 2020-12-04 VCX Octafi Thomas Jefferson HSST XD Lexington KT Neg Neg 3-0
NY Fall Faceoff at Mamaroneck HS HS 2020-12-04 JVCX Finals ADL YL Leon Goldstein BZ Aff Neg 2-1
NY Fall Faceoff at Mamaroneck HS HS 2020-12-04 VCX Double Newark Tech TN St Ignatius AN Aff Aff 2-1
NY Fall Faceoff at Mamaroneck HS HS 2020-12-04 VCX R5 Barstow BM Newark Tech TN Neg
NY Fall Faceoff at Mamaroneck HS HS 2020-12-04 VCX R4 Thomas Jefferson HSST PL Stuyvesant HN Neg
NY Fall Faceoff at Mamaroneck HS HS 2020-12-04 VCX R3 Newark Tech DW St Ignatius AN Neg
ADA Fall C 2020-11-13 JV Elim 2 Emory BW Purdue AS Aff Aff 3-0
ADA Fall C 2020-11-13 JV R5 Texas HN Emory BW Aff
ADA Fall C 2020-11-13 JV R4 Boston College GC Liberty GJ Neg
Liberty Debate Tournament C 2020-11-06 Open Quarte Wake Forest PA Pittsburgh LR Aff Neg 2-1
Liberty Debate Tournament C 2020-11-06 Open R6 George Mason SD Liberty SW Neg
Liberty Debate Tournament C 2020-11-06 Open R5 Wake Forest PA Dartmouth WE Aff
Liberty Debate Tournament C 2020-11-06 Open R4 Wyoming/Columbia PD Pittsburgh AS Neg
Liberty Debate Tournament C 2020-11-06 Open R3 Liberty WW George Mason LM Neg
The Ziggy Wayne State George Ziegelmueller Invitational C 2020-10-23 Open R5 Cornell CW Kansas GZ Aff
UMW Debate Tournament C 2020-10-09 JV R6 George Mason HP Kansas GZ Aff
UMW Debate Tournament C 2020-10-09 Open R5 Cornell SL Missouri State PW Aff
Season Opener at Northwestern University C 2020-09-18 Open R6 Harvard AH Southern California KS Neg
Season Opener at Northwestern University C 2020-09-18 Open R5 Central Oklahoma RW Samford GT Neg
Season Opener at Northwestern University C 2020-09-18 Open R4 UT Dallas ML Liberty WW Aff
Season Opener at Northwestern University C 2020-09-18 Open R2 Michigan RV NYU HP Aff
National Speech and Debate Season Opener Hosted by UK HS 2020-09-12 PD V Triple McQueen RL Lexington SY Neg Aff 2-1
National Speech and Debate Season Opener Hosted by UK HS 2020-09-12 PD V R6 Minneapolis South CC Lexington TK Aff
National Speech and Debate Season Opener Hosted by UK HS 2020-09-12 PD V R5 Eleanor Roosevelt BB AHS @PGCC AM Neg
National Speech and Debate Season Opener Hosted by UK HS 2020-09-12 PD V R4 Shark RW Univ Of Chicago Lab BO Aff
National Speech and Debate Season Opener Hosted by UK HS 2020-09-12 PD RS R3 McDonogh RS Edina MV Aff
National Speech and Debate Season Opener Hosted by UK HS 2020-09-12 PD V R2 West Campus MT Stockdale SP Aff
Crowe Warken Debates at USNA C 2020-01-18 Open R5 Boston College CW Liberty CC Neg
Crowe Warken Debates at USNA C 2020-01-18 Open R4 Dartmouth HH Texas SW Aff
Crowe Warken Debates at USNA C 2020-01-18 Open R3 Dartmouth DC Michigan HL Neg
Georgetown College Tournament C 2020-01-03 Open 8 NYU BS Harvard BY Neg
Georgetown College Tournament C 2020-01-03 Open 7 Pittsburgh KF Northwestern FL Aff
Georgetown College Tournament C 2020-01-03 JVN R5 Georgi DK GeoMas TK Aff
Harvard College Tournament C 2019-11-02 Open R8 UC Berkeley WB George Mason AH Aff
Harvard College Tournament C 2019-11-02 Open R7 Trinity DK Emory GS Neg
Harvard College Tournament C 2019-11-02 Open R6 Emory CM Pittsburgh FK Neg
Harvard College Tournament C 2019-11-02 Open R4 Kansas MM Michigan JS Aff
Harvard College Tournament C 2019-11-02 Open R3 UNLV RR Michigan LH Neg
Harvard College Tournament C 2019-11-02 Open R1 Binghamton/Houston MF Harvard BY Neg
UMW Debate Tournament C 2019-10-11 Nov Octos Liberty BJ James Madison DL Aff Aff 2-1
UMW Debate Tournament C 2019-10-11 Nov R6 George Mason PP James Madison DS Aff
UMW Debate Tournament C 2019-10-11 JV R5 James Madison OW Liberty CI Aff
UMW Debate Tournament C 2019-10-11 Open R4 George Mason AR Liberty DE Neg
UMW Debate Tournament C 2019-10-11 Nov R3 George Mason BG Liberty HM Neg
UMW Debate Tournament C 2019-10-11 Nov R2 George Mason HS Liberty GJ Aff
UMW Debate Tournament C 2019-10-11 Open R1 Pittsburgh MO Samford EG Aff
NDT District VII Qualifier C 2019-02-16 JV R5 George Mason BR Liberty CS Neg
NDT District VII Qualifier C 2019-02-16 JV R1 James Madison RL George Mason MS Neg
Crowe Warken Debates at Navy C 2019-01-19 Open Octs Indiana AD Michigan JR Aff Aff 2-1
Crowe Warken Debates at Navy C 2019-01-19 Open Dbls Cornell LT Michigan JR Aff Neg 2-1
Crowe Warken Debates at Navy C 2019-01-19 Open R8 Georgia ML Indiana GB Neg
Crowe Warken Debates at Navy C 2019-01-19 Open R7 Georgia WG Michigan MW Neg
Crowe Warken Debates at Navy C 2019-01-19 Open R6 Cornell CD Miami HL Aff
Crowe Warken Debates at Navy C 2019-01-19 Open R5 Pittsburgh KL Michigan HF Neg
Crowe Warken Debates at Navy C 2019-01-19 Novic R4 Michigan BZ Miami MB Aff
Crowe Warken Debates at Navy C 2019-01-19 Open R3 Cornell LT Georgetown GW Aff
Crowe Warken Debates at Navy C 2019-01-19 Open R2 Pittsburgh FK Michigan PP Aff
Georgetown College Tournament C 2019-01-03 Open 8 Minnesota RK Harvard KA Neg
Georgetown College Tournament C 2019-01-03 Open 7 Pittsburgh KL George Mason BT Aff
Georgetown College Tournament C 2019-01-03 Open 6 Emory CM Harvard BS Aff
Georgetown College Tournament C 2019-01-03 Open 5 Harvard CM Georgia RS Aff
Franklin R Shirley Classic at Wake Forest C 2018-11-17 SHIR RD 6 UNLV RR Michigan SV Neg
Franklin R Shirley Classic at Wake Forest C 2018-11-17 SHIR RD 5 George Mason LR Cornell CD Aff
Franklin R Shirley Classic at Wake Forest C 2018-11-17 SHIR RD 4 Pittsburgh FK Emory AJ Neg
Franklin R Shirley Classic at Wake Forest C 2018-11-17 SHIR RD 3 Georgia AR George Mason AH Aff
Franklin R Shirley Classic at Wake Forest C 2018-11-17 SHIR RD 2 Emory GS Michigan JR Aff
UMW Debate Tournament C 2018-10-13 Open Quarte Minnesota KW George Mason LR Aff Aff 2-1
UMW Debate Tournament C 2018-10-13 Nov R6 Liberty BW Mary Washington MP Aff
UMW Debate Tournament C 2018-10-13 JV R5 Liberty DE George Mason PR Aff
UMW Debate Tournament C 2018-10-13 Open R4 George Mason LR Minnesota LR Aff
UMW Debate Tournament C 2018-10-13 Open R2 Mary Washington HA Liberty BS Neg
UMW Debate Tournament C 2018-10-13 Nov R1 Mary Washington DH Liberty BC Neg
NCFL Grand Nationals HS 2018-05-26 CX R5 154 148 Aff Aff 3-0
NCFL Grand Nationals HS 2018-05-26 CX R4 141 164 Aff Aff 3-0
NCFL Grand Nationals HS 2018-05-26 CX R3 156 133 Aff Aff 3-0
NCFL Grand Nationals HS 2018-05-26 CX R1 163 131 Neg Neg 3-0
NDT District VII Qualifier C 2018-02-17 D7 R8 George Mason AC Georgetown GP Neg Neg 2-1
NDT District VII Qualifier C 2018-02-17 D7 R7 Georgetown GP James Madison CT Neg Neg 2-1
NDT District VII Qualifier C 2018-02-17 JV Novice James Madison RS George Mason JB Neg Neg 3-0
NDT District VII Qualifier C 2018-02-17 JV R2 Mary Washington MP George Mason GK Neg
Pennsbury Falcon Invitational HS 2018-02-02 CX Octos Lexington SA Okemos RR Neg Neg 3-0
Pennsbury Falcon Invitational HS 2018-02-02 JVCX R4 Oakton MM Mamaroneck MA Neg
Pennsbury Falcon Invitational HS 2018-02-02 CX R3 Unionville CP Lexington HC Neg
Pennsbury Falcon Invitational HS 2018-02-02 CX R2 Unionville KL Thomas Jefferson TD Aff
JMU College Invitational C 2018-01-26 JV SEMIS George Mason KT Liberty AS Neg Neg 3-0
JMU College Invitational C 2018-01-26 JV R5 Liberty BM George Mason BL Neg
JMU College Invitational C 2018-01-26 JV R3 Liberty AS George Mason KT Neg
Crowe Warken Debates at Navy C 2018-01-13 JV R7 George Mason ZK Georgia MG Neg
Crowe Warken Debates at Navy C 2018-01-13 Open R5 Dartmouth AA Georgetown GP Aff
Crowe Warken Debates at Navy C 2018-01-13 JV R4 Miami LL Minnesota GM Aff
Crowe Warken Debates at Navy C 2018-01-13 Open R2 Pittsburgh BR Kentucky KM Aff
Crowe Warken Debates at Navy C 2018-01-13 Open R1 Kentucky AN Georgia YW Aff
Trevian Invitational former New Trier Season Opener HS 2017-10-07 Open R6 Jones CP DR Maine East NB Aff
Trevian Invitational former New Trier Season Opener HS 2017-10-07 Open R4 Glenbrook South AK Whitney Young GP Neg
Trevian Invitational former New Trier Season Opener HS 2017-10-07 Open R3 St. Mark's School of Texas VR Northside CP KB Aff
National Speech and Debate Season Opener hosted by UK HS 2017-09-08 VPD R5 Northview RJ Alpharetta HS KM Neg
National Speech and Debate Season Opener hosted by UK HS 2017-09-08 VPD R4 USN DD Peninsula LL Neg
National Speech and Debate Season Opener hosted by UK HS 2017-09-08 VPD R3 Cabot BS Georgetown Day BF Neg
Georgetown Day School Invitational HS 2016-09-23 CX R6 Ransom Everglades CF Stuyvesant FW Aff
Georgetown Day School Invitational HS 2016-09-23 CX R5 Baltimore City BC Brooklyn Independent Debate BP Neg
Georgetown Day School Invitational HS 2016-09-23 CX R4 Unionville DY La Salle College OS Aff
Georgetown Day School Invitational HS 2016-09-23 CX R3 Baltimore City YE Hunter CS Aff
Georgetown Day School Invitational HS 2016-09-23 CX R2 Stuyvesant DS Thomas Jefferson HSST KV Aff
Georgetown Day School Invitational HS 2016-09-23 CX R1 Stuyvesant YW Thomas Jefferson HSST AJ Aff
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest HS 2016-09-03 Var Double Little Rock Central JJ Pine Crest Preparatory RP Aff Aff 2-1
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest HS 2016-09-03 Var R3 Cypress Bay Mountain Brook CM Aff
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest HS 2016-09-03 Var R1 Niles North LG Isidore Newman FQ Neg
Michigan Summer Institute 2013-08-07 Open Octos Heidt-Pappas-Jo Jaramillo & Gupta Heidt-Pappas-Jo McIntire & Walrath Aff Aff 3-0
Michigan Summer Institute 2013-08-07 Open Double Heidt-Pappas-Jo Dravid & Lin Heidt-Pappas-Jo Forman & Sietz Neg Neg 3-0
Michigan Summer Institute 2013-08-07 Open Round DW Thai & Chokkara CroTopp Heft & Murphy Neg
Michigan Summer Institute 2013-08-07 Open Round GanTall Lee & Roetlin BricFJR Ouellete-Howitz & Canova Aff
Michigan Summer Institute 2013-08-07 Open Round Ald-San Trufanov & Liu Hybrid 25 Soyinka & Quintero Aff
Michigan Summer Institute 2013-08-07 Open Round GanTall Barrash & Zhao BricFJR Gamlen & Hoffman Neg
Michigan Summer Institute 2013-08-07 Open Round AtcCHM Lim & Dastrup Heidt-Pappas-Jo Park & Goldschlag Aff
Michigan Summer Institute 2013-08-07 Open Round CFJPV Kreiner & Shan AtcCHM Hayes & Carlson Neg
Michigan Summer Institute 2012-08-01 Open Double BHKPP CR AFHM KA Aff Aff 3-0
Michigan Summer Institute 2012-08-01 Open Round CDT GA BJR CaAl Neg
Michigan Summer Institute 2012-08-01 Open Round GJJP AK BT JM Neg
Michigan Summer Institute 2012-08-01 Open Round LW MK AS HE Neg
Michigan Summer Institute 2012-08-01 Open Round AFHM RJ Hybrid KA Aff
Michigan Summer Institute 2012-08-01 Open Round Hybrid NN AFHM MK Aff
Michigan Summer Institute 2012-08-01 Open Round Hybrid CD CFJP JM Aff