Ryan Malone Paradigm

Last changed Sat, Oct 28, 2017 at 9:47 AM UTC

email: malonage@gmail.com

This is unconscionably long, but I’ve tried to be thorough and not too self-indulgent.

How I make decisions

1.       After the 2ar I review 2nr and 2ar arguments and their comportment with the block and 1ar. Unless there are arguments about how I should or should not flow, I appreciate when debaters are attentive to line-by-line, but I understand that strategy sometimes calls one to deviate from it. When that occurs, I am less likely to line up arguments in the same way as you may want me to.

2.       While doing that, I clarify shorthand and mark out things that aren’t arguments. There is a difference between arguments and nascent things that purport to be arguments. It’s not that I have some ultra-strenuous “not buying it” threshold. We don't need to talk about Toulmin--an argument is really anything that could inform a decision. Marking out non-arguments staves off  the temptation to embellish not-quite-arguments, especially those that, if they had been full arguments, would be compelling, strategic, or make for an easy decision.

3.       I then look to arguments the 2nr and 2ar say are the most important and other arguments that appear central to the debate or that may supplant opposing lines of reasoning. The last part may seem to imply a premium on the meta, but rarely are debates leveraged on Archimedean points.

4.       If necessary, I read evidence. I don’t follow along in speech docs or look at speeches in more than a cursory way prior to the end of the debate, with perhaps the exception of interpretations and counterplan texts. I will read a piece of evidence if there is contestation about its quality, applicability, or illocution, if I am asked to compare two pieces of evidence or a piece of evidence and a countervailing explanation, or if some argument is dense and, despite good explanation, I’m just not following. My concern is that the more evidence a judge reads without specific reason, the more they may reward good evidence read sloppily over clear, persuasive argumentation and risk reconstructing the debate along those lines.

5.       I hash out the above (it’s hard to adumbrate this in a way that’s not super vague) and I get something resembling a decision. I run through a few even-if scenarios: what, if any, central arguments the losing team could have won, but still lose the debate, and what arguments the winning team would have had to lose or the losing team would have had to win for the losing team to win the debate. Finally, I review the flow again to make sure my decision is firmly based in the 2nr and 2ar and that there is nothing I’ve missed.

6.       I decide theory and independent issues last for the team that needs it to win, e.g. if 2nr goes for a PIK and 2ar answers the PIK and PIKs theory, I will evaluate the PIK first and, only if the affirmative would otherwise lose, then evaluate PIKs theory. Mostly, this is so I can talk about more than theory in the rfd.

List of predispositions and foibles

The following is assiduously believed, but weakly held. If contested, I will defer to arguments made by debaters—my goal is to intervene as little as possible, honest. A lot of this is super basic and in line with community norms. I just want to be transparent about how I filter some arguments.

1.       Framework. While I think affirmatives are generally more interesting and give better framework answers when they have a novel way of affirming or criticizing the resolution, I’m agnostic about what, if any, necessary relationship there ought to be between the 1ac and the resolution.

Even if fairness is intrinsically valuable, by which I mean fairness is valuable regardless of relation, I’m unsure how valuable procedural fairness is, in and of itself. Because of that fairness arguments make more sense to me as internal links rather than impacts. 

Sound topical versions are under-utilized.

Occasionally, framework arguments imply that a decision is precedent-setting. I wonder how much of that is a vestige of a punishment paradigm approach to framework and topicality. Unless an argument about future debates/precedence or other arguments about the meta-ish purpose of framework are made, I take framework to be about comparing the desirability of divergent approaches to the debate at hand. In effect this means I’m squirm-ish about paring precedent/other meta-purpose of framework arguments with quasi-jurisdictional arguments like, “vote for the interpretation the ballot can best resolves the harms of.” Either argument may be valid, it’s just weird to say a decision has some beyond-round effect, while also being limited to what a W can resolve.

2.       Offense/Defense. Defensive arguments are generally factual determinations, e.g. single payer is (un)likely to solve health disparities, whereas offensive arguments characterize factual determinations or attest to their desirability, e.g. health disparities are bad. Given that, it's difficult for me to evaluate debates in terms other than offense/defense because factual determinations alone can't sustain a decision. Phrased differently, my initial thinking is that a decision needs something like an ethic, implicit or otherwise.

3.       Risk. It seems more realistic to talk about the negligibility of a risk either in and of itself or vis a vis another team’s impact, instead of totally-nullified-zero-% risk. Defense-heavy responses would seem to benefit from arguments about how risk should be assessed and problems with the other team’s assessment.

4.       Assessing component parts of a disad and assessing “risk of the disad” seem different. Hypo: negative’s argument that the affirmative detrimentally affects pharmaceutical R&D is uncontested, but the affirmative arguments that the risk of the affirmative negatively affecting pharmaceutical R&D to the extent that it results in pandemics that would otherwise be averted is so low as to be negligible are also uncontested; there are some defensive arguments about the internal link and impact. Who wins? Almost always the affirmative because though the negative has incontrovertibly won that there is a risk of the disad, they have likely not proven that that risk is either non-negligible or outweighs the benefits or redressed impact of the affirmative under the prevailing means of impact assessment, i.e. the affirmative’s. 

5.      Competing impact assessments. Proving comparative qualities of an impact—it’s bigger, more likely, less reversible, etc.—is helpful when comparing impacts that are similar, like different armed conflicts. Those means of comparison seem way less useful when the compared impacts are totally different, like armed conflict and death induced by poverty, pollution, inadequate healthcare and nutrition, stress, etc. At that point the whole TPM triad seems only to describe obvious differences, rather than provide reasons why one impact ought to be prioritized over the other. When very different impacts are compared it’s helpful when debaters more thoroughly argue why their way of assessing impacts is preferable.

6.        Presumption arguments seem to usually mean one or more of the following: (1) the affirmative has not met the burden of a prima facie case; (2) all arguments being equal, the judge should default to the most parsimonious option, even if presumption flips affirmative; (3) the affirmative does not present a reason to vote affirmative. (3) is different from arguments that affirmative solvency is terrabad or that the affirmative “doesn’t do anything,” but may extend to, for example, an affirmative that (a) takes the resolution to be the question “Will the United States Federal Government establish national health insurance in the United States?” and says yes, the U.S. will, (b) lists the relevant parties and considerations in establishing national health insurance, or (c) merely interprets the resolution. (As a subset, we could imagine a per se case where the affirmative reads the resolution as a plan which, in effect, gives a federal interpretation of the resolution. It’s difficult to say if this violates (1), (3), or both.)

7.     I won’t kick the CP or alternative unless instructed to by the 2nr.

How I give decisions

In a rfd I try to do roughly three things: (1) give a satisfactory explanation of why I voted the way I did, including identifying arguments that, had they gone the other way, would have altered the decision, (2) give a sense of how your arguments resonated with me, what I found confusing, compelling, clever, etc., and (3) give suggestions about how arguments could have been better deployed in the debate.

 I largely think debaters know their arguments better than I do and so I’m reticent to give more general advice that is tantamount to argument coaching, unless asked to do so.

Occasionally, I read as kind of curt or lacking in affect. If you’ve engaged in the debate diligently, sincerely, with purpose or conviction, or in a way that is novel, you’ve earned your due and then some and I will be glad to be there.

Immutable rules

I will comply with any tournament rules regarding decision time, speaker points, W/L assignment, etc. Any request not to be recorded or videotaped should be honored. If proven, clipping, cross-reading, or deceitfully manufacturing or altering evidence will result in a loss and zero speaker points. Unlike wit, sass, and tasteful self-effacement, bald-faced meanness will negatively affect speaker points.

Bio info 
Debated at Texas 2011-2015
Coach at Texas 2016-present
J.D./M.A. at GSU 2017-present

Some people I think are good critics: Teddy Albiniak, Sarah Lundeen, Gabe Murillo, Amber Kelsie, and Sean Kennedy.

Please feel free to email me if you have questions or concerns.

 

Full Judging Record

Tournament Date Event Rd Aff Neg Decision
Georgia State 9/17/2017 OPEN 3 Nevada Las Vegas AK Harvard SR AFF
Georgia State 9/17/2017 OPEN 4 Harvard MS Liberty HS AFF
Georgia State 9/17/2017 OPEN 5 Harvard BC UC Berkeley FM NEG
Georgia State 9/17/2017 OPEN 7 Louisville AY Harvard CD NEG
Georgia State 9/17/2017 NOV Sems Liberty AM Navy RY NEG
Liberty AM on a 2-1
Georgia State 9/17/2017 OPEN Octos Harvard MS Wake Forest MR NEG
Harvard MS on a 2-1
UTNIF Skills 2 7/21/2017 CX R3 FouCULT LL BigBallerBrand GS NEG
UTNIF Skills 2 7/21/2017 CX R4 Professors BN AP Test Lab Sa NEG
UTNIF Skills 2 7/21/2017 CX R5 Professors DM FouCULT CM AFF
UTNIF Skills 2 7/21/2017 CX R6 BigBallerBrand KN FouCULT CN NEG
UTNIF Skills 1 6/29/2017 CX R2 AKA BEST LAB HK Magic School Bus DH AFF
71st National Debate Tournament at Kansas 3/23/2017 Open Round 1 Harvard MS Nevada Las Vegas AK AFF
71st National Debate Tournament at Kansas 3/23/2017 Open Round 2 Kansas HW West Georgia CC AFF
71st National Debate Tournament at Kansas 3/23/2017 Open Round 3 West Georgia MJ Oklahoma WJ NEG
71st National Debate Tournament at Kansas 3/23/2017 Open Round 4 Stanford HP Wichita State OS NEG
71st National Debate Tournament at Kansas 3/23/2017 Open Round 5 Harvard GS California, Berkeley MS NEG
71st National Debate Tournament at Kansas 3/23/2017 Open Round 6 Georgia State FN Missouri - Kansas City KS NEG
71st National Debate Tournament at Kansas 3/23/2017 Open Round 7 Northern Iowa MK Baylor SW NEG
71st National Debate Tournament at Kansas 3/23/2017 Open Round 8 Trinity SY Central Oklahoma CM NEG
Cross Examination Debate Assocation National Tournament 3/17/2017 Open 1 Cornell MV James Madison BK NEG
Cross Examination Debate Assocation National Tournament 3/17/2017 Open 6 Central Oklahoma MC Towson BM AFF
Cross Examination Debate Assocation National Tournament 3/17/2017 Open 7 Wake Forest SV Kansas FK NEG
Cross Examination Debate Assocation National Tournament 3/17/2017 Open Dbls Central Oklahoma HS Binghamton MP AFF
Central Ok on a 2-1
NDT District III MAC 2/17/2017 D3 2 Oklahoma SP Baylor SW AFF
NDT District III MAC 2/17/2017 MAC V 4 UT San Antonio MO Wichita State CW NEG
NDT District III MAC 2/17/2017 D3 5 Central Oklahoma CM Wichita State OS NEG
NDT District III MAC 2/17/2017 MAC V 6 UT San Antonio MO Wichita State DR NEG
NDT District III MAC 2/17/2017 D3 8 Central Oklahoma HS Wichita State OS AFF
Owen L Coon Memorial Debates at Northwestern 2/4/2017 Open RD 1 Harvard MS Pittsburgh BF AFF
Owen L Coon Memorial Debates at Northwestern 2/4/2017 Open RD 4 Kansas FK Wake Forest AS NEG
Owen L Coon Memorial Debates at Northwestern 2/4/2017 Open RD 8 Wichita State OS New York JL AFF
Pitt Round Robin 1/21/2017 pitt 1 Rutgers-Newark WC Wake Forest DM NEG
Pitt Round Robin 1/21/2017 pitt 3 Oklahoma WJ Binghamton BS AFF
Pitt Round Robin 1/21/2017 pitt 5 Towson MB Pittsburgh LD NEG
Kathryn Klassic Winter Debate Tournament at CSU Fullerton 1/7/2017 OPEN 1 Nevada Las Vegas CW Towson BM NEG
Kathryn Klassic Winter Debate Tournament at CSU Fullerton 1/7/2017 OPEN 2 Baylor WZ Binghamton AY AFF
Kathryn Klassic Winter Debate Tournament at CSU Fullerton 1/7/2017 NOV 4 Weber State/Southern California EW Nevada Las Vegas FP NEG
Kathryn Klassic Winter Debate Tournament at CSU Fullerton 1/7/2017 OPEN 6 Louisville GT Kansas KF NEG
USC Alan Nichols Tournament 1/3/2017 Var 1 Binghamton MD Kansas HW NEG
USC Alan Nichols Tournament 1/3/2017 Var 2 Harvard MS Rutgers-Newark CW AFF
USC Alan Nichols Tournament 1/3/2017 Var 3 West Georgia MJ Binghamton SB AFF
USC Alan Nichols Tournament 1/3/2017 JV 4 Louisville WW Nevada Las Vegas PF AFF
USC Alan Nichols Tournament 1/3/2017 Var 5 Louisville PT Baylor BC NEG
USC Alan Nichols Tournament 1/3/2017 Var 6 Towson BM Kansas FK AFF
Longhorn Classic at the University of Texas Austin 12/2/2016 CCX 1 CadMag LR JacC. GF AFF
Longhorn Classic at the University of Texas Austin 12/2/2016 CCX 2 CadMag PC Judson JO AFF
Longhorn Classic at the University of Texas Austin 12/2/2016 CCX 3 LibArt MS Dulles VZ AFF
Longhorn Classic at the University of Texas Austin 12/2/2016 CCX 4 WinChu TD Westwo GK NEG
Longhorn Classic at the University of Texas Austin 12/2/2016 CCX 5 Union JS Coppel PD NEG
Longhorn Classic at the University of Texas Austin 12/2/2016 CCX 6 Prospe WD RouRoc CS AFF
Longhorn Classic at the University of Texas Austin 12/2/2016 RR 7 Reagan SS Little Rock Central CC AFF
Longhorn Classic at the University of Texas Austin 12/2/2016 CCX Double JesCP VL Coppel PD AFF
JesCP VL on a 2-1
Longhorn Classic at the University of Texas Austin 12/2/2016 CCX Octo LitRoc CC LibArt MV NEG
LibArt MV on a 2-1
Longhorn Classic at the University of Texas Austin 12/2/2016 CCX Semi Lindal TD Reagan SS AFF
Lindal TD on a 2-1
Franklin R Shirley Classic at Wake Forest 11/19/2016 SHIR RD 2 Baylor BC Towson BM AFF
Franklin R Shirley Classic at Wake Forest 11/19/2016 SHIR RD 3 Towson GU Central Oklahoma HS NEG
Franklin R Shirley Classic at Wake Forest 11/19/2016 SHIR RD 7 West Georgia MJ Baylor SW NEG
Franklin R Shirley Classic at Wake Forest 11/19/2016 SHIR RD 8 Towson BJ Emporia State RW AFF
Franklin R Shirley Classic at Wake Forest 11/19/2016 SHIR DBLS Towson BM Central Oklahoma HS AFF
Towson BM on a 3-2
UCO Joe C Jackson Tournament 11/4/2016 Open Round 2 Kansas CF UCO MF AFF
UCO Joe C Jackson Tournament 11/4/2016 Open Round 5 WSU OS Kansas ST AFF
UCO Joe C Jackson Tournament 11/4/2016 Open Round 6 Emporia RW Kansas DG NEG
UCO Joe C Jackson Tournament 11/4/2016 Open Semis Kansas FK WSU OS AFF
Kansas FK on a 3-0
The Jesuit Gonzaga University 10/29/2016 Open RD 3 Central Oklahoma SH Oklahoma SS AFF
The Jesuit Gonzaga University 10/29/2016 Open RD 4 Harvard CD Nevada Las Vegas AK AFF
4th annual Mukai College Classic at Weber State 10/1/2016 Nov 3 Oklahoma MC CSU Northridge AM AFF
4th annual Mukai College Classic at Weber State 10/1/2016 Nov 5 Weber State CR CSU Northridge LB NEG
4th annual Mukai College Classic at Weber State 10/1/2016 Jnr 6 Washington BU Oklahoma SM NEG
4th annual Mukai College Classic at Weber State 10/1/2016 Jnr SF San Francisco State BG Oklahoma HH AFF
Oklahoma H on a 2-1
4th annual Mukai College Classic at Weber State 10/1/2016 Jnr F CSU Long Beach DP Oklahoma HH NEG
CSU Long B on a 2-1
UMKC Baby Jo Memorial 9/17/2016 JV 1 Oklahoma VanHeteren & Nollert Missouri - Kansas City Jutt & Hauschildt NEG
UMKC Baby Jo Memorial 9/17/2016 Open 2 Oklahoma Smith & Wyde Baylor Barron & Conner NEG
UMKC Baby Jo Memorial 9/17/2016 Open 7 Kansas Delph & Glasscock Oklahoma Crawford & Schleicher AFF
UTNIF Skills 2 7/22/2016 CX 1 No More Parties at UT CD Pan Da Monium WS AFF
UTNIF Skills 2 7/22/2016 CX 2 Emron and the turtles AG Teen Drama CJ NEG
UTNIF Skills 2 7/22/2016 CX 3 No More Parties at UT YC SeaLab 2021 BM AFF
UTNIF Skills 2 7/22/2016 CX 4 PW Teen Drama DK NEG
UTNIF Skills 2 7/22/2016 CX 5 Emron and the turtles BT Emron and the turtles VK AFF
UTNIF Skills 2 7/22/2016 CX 6 Teen Drama TD No More Parties at UT BK AFF
UTNIF Showdown 2 8/3/2015 CX 1 Some Cthulhu Deity HM Wu Tangerz SC NEG
UTNIF Showdown 2 8/3/2015 CX 2 Wu Tangerz HM #ThanksObama SS NEG
UTNIF Showdown 2 8/3/2015 CX 3 Bill Russell's Sprouts JR Wu Tangerz TD NEG
UTNIF Showdown 2 8/3/2015 CX 4 Bill Russell's Sprouts CL Wu Tangerz DH NEG
UTNIF Showdown 2 8/3/2015 CX 5 Wu Tangerz CM Bill Russell's Sprouts CG AFF
UTNIF Showdown 2 8/3/2015 CX 6 MisanthrophicMedley JW Some Cthulhu Deity CN NEG
UTNIF Showdown 2 8/3/2015 CX Doubles Bill Russell's Sprouts LG Wu Tangerz ML AFF
Bill Russe on a 1-0
UTNIF Showdown 2 8/3/2015 CX Qtrs Wu Tangerz GB Some Cthulhu Deity HC AFF
Wu Tangerz on a 2-1
UTNIF Showdown 2 8/3/2015 CX Semis Wu Tangerz GB Wu Tangerz AG NEG
Wu Tangerz on a 2-1
UTNIF Skills Tournament 2 7/24/2015 CX 4 MisanthrophicMedley LN #ThanksObama SW NEG
UTNIF Skills Tournament 2 7/24/2015 CX 5 Bill Russell's Sprouts MC #ThanksObama CG AFF
UTNIF Skills Tournament 2 7/24/2015 CX 6 #ThanksObama AD MisanthrophicMedley AH AFF
UTNIF Showdown 1 7/12/2015 CX Round 1 Masty's Mastodons CG Wai R Ho Wai R KY AFF
UTNIF Showdown 1 7/12/2015 CX Round 2 Masty's Mastodons MD Trump 2016 DH AFF
UTNIF Showdown 1 7/12/2015 CX Round 3 Pedrones GY Wai R Ho Wai R SS NEG
UTNIF Showdown 1 7/12/2015 CX Round 4 Trump 2016 SP Pedrones ZL AFF
UTNIF Showdown 1 7/12/2015 CX Round 5 Trump 2016 DK Trump 2016/Pedrones PJ AFF
UTNIF Showdown 1 7/12/2015 CX Round 6 Wai R Ho Wai R ZJ Mastys Mastodons CrSm NEG
UTNIF Showdown 1 7/12/2015 CX Dubs Pedrones HS Masty's Mastodons CG NEG
Masty's Ma on a 1-0
UTNIF Showdown 1 7/12/2015 CX Octs Wai R Ho Wai R MP Masty's Mastodons PH NEG
Masty's Ma on a 1-0
UTNIF Skills Tournament 1 7/2/2015 CX R1 Trump 2016 BM DJQ Lab OS AFF
UTNIF Skills Tournament 1 7/2/2015 CX R2 Trump 2016 KR DJQ Lab MP AFF
UTNIF Skills Tournament 1 7/2/2015 CX R3 DJQ Lab JS DJQ Lab ZY NEG
UTNIF Skills Tournament 1 7/2/2015 CX R4 DJQ Lab RS Trump 2016 PS NEG
UTNIF Skills Tournament 1 7/2/2015 CX R5 Trump 2016 JC DJQ Lab CH AFF
UTNIF Skills Tournament 1 7/2/2015 CX R6 Trump 2016 DK Trump 2016 LL NEG