Patrick Fox Paradigm

Last changed 4/12 12:59P EDT

Jack C Hays '19

U of Houston '23

#PoolHeg, #TomasiSwag

Conflicts: Jack C Hays, Hebron AS, Garland IR, Village AI, McMillen/Independent NG, Episcopal School of Dallas ZH.

I debated for Kealing Magnet and Jack C Hays for two years in policy, then three in LD at Hays. I debate policy at UH now. #GoCoogs.

Pref Shortcut

K - 1

Policy - 1

T/Theory - 2

Phil - 2-3

Tricks - 3-4

5 Mins Before Round


Short version - you do you. Obviously that's very generic, but it rings true - I'm comfy with any and all args, albeit some will need more explaining than others. Do your thing the way it should be done and I'll vote for it.

Big thing - I have hearing issues in my left ear + I have always been just above mediocre at flowing - as such, slow down on important warrants. I should be able to catch it all anyways, but there are times when I miss things - I will never flow off the doc unless I have to for my own sake.

If it's a bubble, tell me. I'll adjust speaks up a bit if I think you deserve to clear.

Skimming the specific sections for whatever args you plan to read is probably smart.

I'm very expressive, but in weird ways. If I look confused, it doesn't mean you aren't making sense, it means you're saying something that hadn't occurred to me. That could be good or bad depending on if I seem to be happy or frustrated after you say it. Read my non-verbals.

Overview/General Things

Bolded = important snippets.

This is an overview of my defaults and preferences, not my list of debate "truths". A friend of mine read this paradigm and said it feels like a checklist - it's not the end-all be-all of how I will vote, I try and keep a good flow and vote strictly based on that. I say "probably" a lot when talking about stuff because I think of debate as competing risks of arguments, and this paradigm is my default on the risks of certain arguments being true, all other things equal. Aside from the section "things I will never vote on," I will vote on any complete argument. However, there is no such thing as a judge who is impartial, and rather than pretend that I have no personal thoughts on debate/I'm a blank slate, I feel like I should explain them so you can get a feel for how I conceptualize debate. If you execute an argument I say I don't understand (see: Nebel T) in a way I do understand, I'll probably be impressed and your speaks will show. If you can perfectly execute an RVI debate and dazzle me with your nailbomb aff and 1AR theory, do it. If you win, you win.

An argument is a claim, warrant, and impact. If these three things are not present, I will not feel comfortable voting on it, regardless of technical concession. I would consider myself tech > truth, but with caveats - stolen shamelessly from the mighty DML: "If I am uncertain about whether or not an argument is explained enough to merit a ballot, I am unlikely to vote on it even if it's technically dropped by the other side, because I believe arguments have a burden of proof to meet before they require rejoinder. Thus, I often make decisions in terms of relative certainty; that is, how certain (or uncertain) I am about any given argument."

I consider myself a much better judge than debater, because my understanding of arguments is much higher than my ability to execute them was - as such, I value well executed strategies and clear understanding of your arguments. I will enjoy you going for whatever you do best.

I do not flow arguments without a warrant. This somewhat includes extensions - regardless if it was conceded in an earlier speech, if I don't hear the warrant for why what was conceded is true at least hinted at or parroted, I'll be skeptical. I have a very long-winded explanation of this and justification as to why I feel like this is justified, but just short version is you aren't going to change my mind. If your strategy/style relies on shitloads of vacuous techy blips without warrants that will inevitably be dropped and become the 2NR/AR in it's entirety, strike me.

- This also means I don't flow the tags of your evidence, just the warrants - if you try to read shitty cards and spin them as not shitty I will know, and so will your speaks. Serial power-tagging and lying about warrants will cause you to lose speaks.

I feel my job is to adjudicate the debate. That job requires me to adhere to the procedural constraints of speech times, ethical practices concerning evidence, and flowing arguments made. CX is always binding. Anything beyond the kind of "no shit" rules is fair game though.

Some people I agree with: Adam Tomasi, JD Sanford, Aimun Khan (my former coaches), Arun Sharma (just the anime parts), Philip DiPiazza, Yao-Yao Chen, and Nick Malanga.

Speaks - As I judge I find I'm less generous with speaks than I expected to be, but I'm still not super stingy. I adjust speaks based on the pool and tournament. If I think you're one of/the best debater in the pool and should win the tournament or be in late elims, you get a 30. If you get below a 27, you probably fucked up in a big way or did something unethical. I like smart CX, I like being amused, I like good strategy and clear ballot stories, I like good evidence and explanation of why it's good. If you do these things, expect a high 29 from me. If it's a local where everyone arbitrarily gets 30s tho, I got you chief. If you debate in a way that makes me think you've taken advice I have given in a previous RFD or explicitly adapt to my paradigm, I'll notice (so will your speaks :D).

Things I Will Not Tolerate

- Morally abhorrent things

- Stealing prep - if a timer isn't running, you aren't prepping.

- Evidence cheating

- Useless ad homs/personal attacks

Stuff I Will Never Vote On

I think this is important as there are certain args I just don't feel okay voting on ever because it'd be too interventionist or ethically dubious. I am happy to explain these things, but I will not change my positions on them. I may add more things to this as I judge more.

- Stuff that happened outside of the debate/in other rounds - exception is disclosure, which is probably good but I won't hack.

- Any argument that tells me to evaluate the debate in any way before the end of the 2AR - I feel like "evaluate theory after the 1AR/2NR" or something like that is too interventionist.

- Arguments that directly contradict what you said in CX - it's binding, and the other side won't have to point it out for me to throw out these arguments.

- Cards cut from "Suicide Note" by Mitchell Heisman. I won't vote you down for it unless the 2AC/1AR tells me to, but I'm definitely not comfortable voting on that evidence and I refuse to flow it. You can read death good, just not that author/card. Sue me.


Good evidence > good spin - I find that I'm very convinced by analysis on the quality of evidence as well as the content of it - things like methodology comparison and statistical analysis coupled with good weighing of warrants will be rewarded with high speaks and probably the ballot.

I like big 1ACs with super tight internal link chains. Good articulation of your specific scenarios are fantastic.

Impact debates are a lost art - I believe there is such a thing as 100% defense and will happily vote on it. I also love impact turn debates - heg bad, dedev, and warming good are some of the funniest things ever and you will be rewarded for doing them well.

Soft left affs need to answer the DA - fuck outta here with Cohn 13, that isn't a coherent DA answer. It may affect my impact calculus, but it isn't a whole answer. Indicting overall positions with "ahhhh low probability doesnt matter" isn't really something that makes much sense me if they have a strong link chain. I think the best way for soft left

Impact calculus. Do it.

Links are risks, not yes-no - I find that internal link comparisons on case v DA debates are good - this is where 2NRs on case are important for me.

UQ controls the link unless I'm told otherwise.

I won't judge kick unless you tell me to explicitly in the 2NR.


Yes. I think that good, contextual evidence on T with clear intent to define is a winner in front of me - obviously things like limits and ground under a topic model matter too, but all things considered equal I think predictability is marginally more important than limits.

LD: Topicality is probably never an RVI - sorry. But whoever is winning substance gets an implicit extension of it from me - if the 1AR covers substance and the T flow, and the 2NR just goes for 6 mins of T, I will not force the 2AR to re-extend substance to win. If the 1AR concedes substance and goes for 4 mins of T+RVI, winning no RVI is a sufficient reason for me to negate and I will not let the 2AR re-extend substance. I do this because 1. it makes most sense to me and 2. to deter RVI debates and get 1ARs to cover things better.

Competing interps is my default. Reasonability brightlines don't make sense to me - I will vote on them obviously, but I don't understand why they aren't more arbitrary than good=good enough.

LD: If you don't have a carded counter-interp for a T debate, you lose. T is not a theory shell, it's a model of the topic based in topic literature and research. As such, you need an evidence-based claim to support it. This also means that "Counter-interp - their shell unless we disclosed/have a solvency advocate/etc" isn't a real counter-interp.

I don't understand Nebel T - to me, semantics is just a very specific predictability warrant. I don't understand what a "litmus test" for T is. I find that in these debates it makes more sense to go for a limits + predictability argument than whatever the fuck semantics first means. Obviously if this argument is conceded or not answered well I'll vote on it, I just legitimately have never been able to wrap my head around it. I am very stupid, forgive me.


LD: Contrary to my reputation, I enjoy judging a good theory debate. Clear abuse stories are good, I think that much like DA links violations aren't necessarily always yes/no, but they exist on a sliding scale (especially for all you LD nerds with your weird-ass spec shells). As such, I value good clear explanations of the abuse story. Paragraph theory is probably good. Weighing makes it easier for my small brain to resolve these debates.

Policy: 90% of the time I'll remain unconvinced that drop the arg doesn't solve the abuse (the exception of course being condo).

For policy, two or less condo I lean neg, three condo I go either way, four or more I lean slightly aff (for LD, subtract one). Exception is if it's a new aff, that probably bumps everything up by one. This isn't set in stone obviously.

CP theory stuff is wonky because its very much like a case-by-case basis - as a general rule, I think PICs are good. However, I think PICs that compete on certainty/immediacy are probably illegitimate. I have a really intense love of well-researched process CPs and if there's clear precedent in the literature for what the CP does differently I'll be less sympathetic to theory args - you should contextualize your interp to what the specific 1NC CP did that was bad, rather than just a generic "no PICs" interp. Generally speaking, my view is that if there's good clear literature on the CP and precedent for competition, it's fair game.


I know like Pettit and virtue ethics super well and then literally nothing else. Explain this shit like I'm 5.

Explicit interactions and hijacks are good because it makes my small brain have to work less. Explain the syllogism, talk about what impacts matter/don't, and do work on how your theory explains theirs best. Why are ideal/non-ideal theories good/bad? What is violence/"bad" things?

I default epistemic confidence but I'm not super religiously tied to that. If you go for EM, make sure you explain it and do the explicit weighing.

I cannot express this enough, I am dumb here but I will understand it if you understand it and explain it.

Don't drop Bostrom. :)

K Shit

Probably what I go for most. Yes, I have read Baudrillard a lot. No, saying "The 1AC is characterized by simulacral proliferation and the overcoding of otherness - frame your ballot..." is not an overview. Obviously some amount of jargon is acceptable, but I think there's a gut-checked threshold on what I'm willing to accept. Generally speaking, if its not something that has been clearly explained in an earlier speech/CX, err on the side of more clear warrant explanation and analysis of your concepts.

In clash debates, I actually vote aff more often than neg. This is due to 1. no explanation of how the alt resolves the links and 2. lack of explicit impact calculus in 2NRs. Do both and your chances go up dramatically.

I generally believe preventable suffering is bad (not to say all actions taken to alleviate it is good), the cessation of mitosis against one's will is bad (not to say that continuation of mitosis above all else is good), and that we can know certain things (not to say that how we come to know them is good). If your K disagrees with these three things, I'm probably not an amazing judge for it.

Stuff I Know Best:

- Cap and it's many variants (Badiou 8 >>> all other alt cards)

- Agamben

- Anti-blackness - that includes pessimism, optimism, little bit of futurism, etc

- Baudrillard/Semiotics

- Heidegger (I read a cyborgs aff all senior year)

- IR Ks (Security, liberalism, Schmitt, Spanos)

- Settler Colonialism

- Whatever fascist bullshit one of my kids is reading right now.

Stuff I Know Least:

- IDpol/performance lit - I've never been on the cutting edge of these things - I'll listen, but you better explain this to me like I'm 5.

- Pomo goo not mentioned above - what is a rhizome? How do I expenditure?

I value good 2NR link collapsing and specific articulations of what my ballot is - how does the world work? Why is that good/bad? What does the 1AC do to feed this? What is the 1NC's alternative model? Is it subject formation, solidarity, refusal, etc. These arguments are what I look for most in K debates.

Big overviews and lazy lbl will make me, you, your speaks, and my RFD very sad.

Reading back lines from the 1AC ev and quoting CX is a criminally underused practice. Do it and I'll bump your speaks by .1

I assume I am judging the 1AC vs a competitive alternative. As such the aff probably gets to weigh their aff. Saying otherwise is a hard sell because it makes minimal sense to me - if the aff and alt are competitive, I believe it is functionally impossible for me to evaluate the 1AC's method without considering the plan as a part of that method - you would better spending time explaining why epistemology/ontology means the aff's impact calculus is bad, rather than saying "no 1AC 4 u nerd"

Big thing: Saying "The Role of the Ballot..." is not an argument. I don't evaluate buzzwords, I evaluate warrants. I will flow those 4 words just as a framework argument on my flow, and I expect the 2NR to impact them out coherently. Likewise, just because the aff doesn't say "...which answers their RotB" doesn't mean they haven't answered your RotB. A 1AR Framework dump on "Debate should be about the consequences of the plan" is probably an answer to the RotB. Treat it as such, don't be spikey. If you engage the K debate and don't say "Role of the Ballot" once I'll give you more speaks.

K Affs/Framework

Procedural fairness is probably an impact because debate is at least partially a game. I don't think it's the only impact, nor is it automatically preclusive, and 2NRs should do explicit weighing on it. If they drop fairness first tho, gg. I actually went for Framework a lot in my career, I was pretty good at it, so I think I'm a good judge for clash of civs debates. Negatives often lose when they forget to explain what the terminal impact to Framework is. Most aff counter-interps to T don't resolve neg offense or link back to their own impact turns, 2NRs should point this out.

Affs should probably have a coherent vision of the topic/debate and have some relationship to it. The farther you get from the topic, the more likely I am to be sympathetic to the 1NC. Impact turns to Framework are probably terminal defense/non-unique unless the aff can articulate a model of debate that resolves them. T probably isn't genocide, it probably isn't denial of your subjecthood. It's an argument.

Carded TVAs are deadly. TVA's shouldn't solve 100% of the aff - a TVA isn't a counterplan, it's a question of being able to have a discussion of the aff's content within the form of policy debate. Reading a case neg to the TVA as a response loses to "that's neg ground + proves SSD solves" - 2NRs should extend TVAs as defense to the content-based args of the aff's Framework responses.

I think these debates are where ethos and persuasion is really important - I'm not saying I'll abandon tech just because of my affective response to the 2NR/2AR, but I think its good to have both in these debates because I find that big picture questions of "what does debate look like in the aff/neg world? why is that good/bad?" can't necessarily be reduced to singular issues of dropped arguments and tech alone. I guess I'm marginally more truth-y than tech-y in these debates, but I still keep a tight flow and carefully look over it, just be aware that I'm a bit more holistic in clash of civ debates.


Do your thing. I can't promise I will understand it, but if trolling with a bunch of nibs is your thing, go for it I guess. See Nick Malanga's paradigm for a more extensive explanation of how I feel, I say put me lower than him because I understand these things less, but I feel about the same way he does about them.

Side Quests

You made it this far, here's your reward - if you do one of these things I'll either nod and smile or shake my head depending on if I decided you got it.

- Use of the word "bamboozled" in the last speech in a way that makes sense - +0.1 speaks.

- Making fun of a kid I coach or one of my friends in a way that makes sense in the speech/is funny and isn't too mean - +0.2

- Making a reference to one of Tomasi's Soundcloud raps that makes sense and I get - +0.3

- Making fun of me in a way that makes sense + is funny - +0.4

- Finding a way to do a little dance during CX that makes sense - +0.5

- In the event both debaters do the same one of these things, I'll default to whoever made me more amused getting the bonus speaks.

- Doing all of these things in one round and making me laugh at all of them - 30.

- If you can go for Petro 74/the coercion K (not a lib NC) OR "must wear sunglasses if consequentialism is true" theory in the 2NR and execute it perfectly, 30. If you go for it and fuck up in any way (i.e: if I take any serious pause after the 2AR ends before voting negative), 28. Your move.

Full Judging Record

Tournament Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
Debating the Discord Part 1 12/28/2018 LD R6 Rina West Linn DT Aff Neg on a 2-1
Debating the Discord Part 1 12/28/2018 LD R3 GrouchoMarxist Neg