Alex Martel Paradigm
Finally, halfway through the year, copying my philosophy over from last year. I will say, there are a few big additions are up at the top. Those of you that pref me regularly probably know about them already.
1. I'm flowing on paper again. This means you have to spend time on the arguments you want ink on. This was a deliberate choice. It's meant to make you exlain things. Teams that think they can say a word (statistics, scholarly consensus, winners win, bioptix good are frequent ones I hear) and think it's a full argument will suffer. Sorry, life ain't kind.
This also means I'll, more than likely, show up to the round looking for a pen and paper. Sorry.
2. Lately, if you remind me, I'll give you a movie to make references to for extra speaker points. More often than not, it will be Good Will Hunting.
3. paperless debating -- I don't know why anyone would make you kids use prep to flash. paperless debate seems to be one of the few things our community has managed to get right about practicing what we preach, so I'm willing to put up with the extra few minutes of waiting. I'll more than likely use the time you folks are flashing things and make bad jokes, and silly puns like "all the cards they're jumping you are so stupid, they might as well call that thing a 'JUNK drive!'" and then dock your speaks when you don't laugh.
4. I've been thinking more and more about deleting all of this crap and just posting one line as my paradigm: I'm a banana.
I dream of the debates I would see. I envision young, smart, indifferent people all preffing me highly -- like at every D8 tournament there's a secret room somewhere where intensely smart performance debates are happening, but they only allow the craziest, snarkiest, least socially adjusted in the pool to judge it.
Then I think about the other possibility -- I don't get preffed at all. That idea doesn't bother me either, really. The only thing that really deters me from doing it is not being able to say "just look up my paradigm" to people when I walk into a room and debaters, frustrated that another judge pulled the trigger on limits in their last round and wanting to know if I care that they're not topical, ask my "do you have any preferences?"
I mean, I would prefer not to, I guess. I'm not sure I can tell them that though. I prefer that debates happen where there is significant impact analysis, a point of stasis about the issues being discussed (srsly, in these deleuze v zizek debates, it'd be helpful if you could help me resolve what capitalism even is) and depth on a few key issues.
So, I debated at Vermont from the ag topic to immigration. I didn’t really run a plan my last few years debating, so those of you who are looking just to see if I'll listen to your business even though you don't have one, I will -- but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to vote on framework , either. make sure you’ve got a legitimate answer to it that’s a little more nuanced than an impact turn -- some topic specific defense is generally clutch in a situation like that.
Everyone who's rolling their eyes now because you think I'm a k hack, hold up before you take out your heg impact and substitute in some security k advantage you
a) aren't familiar with or
b) don't really feel like running.
I’d rather hear you do what you feel comfortable with.
It occurs to me I should begin by telling you what types of debates I enjoy watching. I’d say I probably enjoy watching what more and more people are calling “non-traditional” debates best -- no offense to those running the EU counterplan, it’s just slightly boring to me. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think a beautifully run terror disadvantage isn’t fun to watch -- but when it’s not done really well, it can be agonizing.
So, because I ran more critical args, I’m more familiar with them. I also think knowing your bias and admitting it is better than pretending I don’t have one and then not really understanding a teams arguments when you’re in round because you expect me to be deep into the realism lit -- so, you may have to slow down and be a little more explanatory. On the flip side, don’t expect me to know what’s going on with your k just because I ran a couple of them.
Now we’re hitting the part of the judging philosophy where people list types of arguments and people say “I like them!” or “ehh, I’ll listen to it, but whatevs” -- since I’m assuming as a coach my first year out I’ll be hearing a lot of novice debate, I’m going to do you one better and tell you what to do with each of these args to get my ballot, or at least higher speaks than you’d have gotten. I’m operating under the (maybe faulty) assumption you’re a novice reading this, and not just a coach trying to decide to pref me or not.
topicality -- think of T as a disad. just because you can prove their business doesn’t fit your definition of substantial doesn’t mean you get my ballot. your interpretation is an example of how the resolution should be interpreted in not just this particular debate round, but every debate round. People lose sight of this I think, and because of that, impact analysis can fall to the wayside. Admittedly, this is what would happen with me, at least. If you’re going to go for T, make sure you outline what args are permissible and impermissible under your interpretation, and what this means for the negative. It helps to have contextual examples specific to this topic, and as the year goes on, it becomes more important.
Theory -- I probably have an abnormally low threshold for voting on theory, to be honest. If you are going for it in front of me, make the same impact analysis I’m calling for in a T debate, please. Lay out the worlds of debate, which is better, which is worse, and why.
Case -- Not sure what to say here. Put something on. It’s easier to pull the trigger on a k or d/a if there’s a solvency deficit arg that’s persuasive on case.
Kritiks --zero point of the holocaust is not an impact. It’s cool if you want to go conceptual, I’m down, but you want to
a) have specific examples of the way your impacts play out that have some bearing on the topic, and what that means for people, and
b) a clear idea of what the alt is, and how to explain it in simple terms. Be careful about assigning a role of the ballot, because that can get confusing fast.
Other than that, this year it’s going to be easy for k debates to get stale, because the topic seems to lend itself to stale/generic links. Points for creativity.
When answering a K with a straight up aff, the link turn is key -- use your 1ac please -- I won't be persuaded by a block of cards and then a brand new 2ar that articulates the link turn. It also helps your partner out when he/she is giving the 1ar, and helping your partner out is a good thing.
D/A’s, CP’s -- These are way less conceptual, just make the smart argument and justify your business. Aff people who are answering these, remember to isolate the parts of case the cp can’t possibly solve for, and make that the most important thing in round, be it an ethic, an ontology, or a gw advantage. If you’re going for the d/a in the 2nr, make sure you’re weighing the impacts, and probability and magnitude are probably most important in the end. that doesn’t mean drop timeframe though.
performance -- I don’t think I really have separate advise for this because I don’t think of it as a different category of argument from the above per se. Make sure you’re making those basic arguments about what your performance does to disrupt x problem. Do me one favor though, don’t use your performance as a reason why you don’t answer obviously important business because of your speed is exclusionary, going multiple off is bad, or whatever other generic arg you’re making is. Plenty of good teams are slow and don’t brush off important arguments. That also doesn’t mean I’m not persuaded by speed is exclusionary, it just means you’re going to have to be smart with your time.
That being said, there are things people will tank your speaks for doing but in good humor, I think you should totally do them in front of me as long as you’re not being serious -- I’ll give you an extra speaker point or two, just because. They include, but are not limited to:
1. using the phrase “jack taco.”
2. saying “don’t do the work for them”
3. stating “this was cold conceded” -- bonus points if it was not conceded.
4. calling a piece of evidence “on fire.”
5. saying “I don’t get a 3nr”
But, in all seriousness, you should be respectful to those you are debating, and your partner as well. And have fun! Debate is hard, might as well enjoy yourself while you’re doing it.