Brent Huang ParadigmLast changed 10/18 7:02P EDT
I debated national circuit LD at Starr's Mill High School '12 (GA) and did Policy at Vanderbilt University '16 (TN).
I think I am a standard national circuit LD judge. If you only have experience with local debate, this means that I'm fine with (and proactively prefer) spreading and non-standard arguments. However, if doing so, I recommend using a email chain, for which my email is email@example.com.
My general preference for debate argument types is Framework >= Pure Util > Theory >>> Kritiks
My ideal debate is something along the lines of:
1. Aff spends half the AC justifying an ethical system (utilitarianism, Kant, Hobbes, virtue ethics, divine command, moral skepticism, etc.) and then the rest on offense under that framework.
2. Neg reads a different ethical system from the aff's, gives 5-10 reasons why the aff's ethical system is false, and then reads offense/responds to aff offense.
3. Aff spends the 1AR either explaining why the neg's ethical system is false, or aff spends 4 minutes going for turns to the neg's ethical system.
I'm not saying every round has to be like this, but if you frequently read cards from Singer, Korsgaard, Mackie, and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy in general, I would probably really enjoy judging you.
For similar reasons, I'm not a fan of vague standards like "structural violence" where practically anything commonly considered bad can be considered an impact. Winter and Leighton are the bane of my existence. Explain to me why I should care about people dying, why human rights exist, and why racism is bad in the context of the round.
I can enjoy a pure util debate just as much, however, and I've done Policy in the past.
-- Weighing is wonderful, and probably the point where you will best be able to pick up high speaks.
-- Things like author-specific indicts or methodological critiques of particular studies are fantastic. Tell me things like, "This study only has a sample size of n=24" or "The study's authors indicated the following problems with their own study:"
-- Impact turns are great. I can’t promise it’s always the best idea, but I’ll probably love it if the 1AR is four minutes of “global warming good” or "economic collapse prevents nuclear war."
-- Counterplans are a very important neg tool, but I think some of the more abusive ones, like 50 States CP or Consult CP are difficult to defend in terms of making debate a good activity. In LD, I'd prefer you just read one unconditional CP.
-- If the AC is super spiky, please number the spikes. This will make it a lot easier for me to flow. If you spout out single-sentence arguments for a full minute, I’ll be more inclined to vote on them if I can clearly tell where one ends and another begins.
-- I like clearly articulated theory shells in normal Interpretation-Violations-Standards-Voters format. It makes it much easier to flow compared to paragraph theory.
-- I like RVIs and will often vote on them, especially for the aff. If you're the aff and you're not sure if you should go for 4 minutes of the RVI in the 1AR, my advice is probably yes.
-- Although I’m generally well-versed with the basic ones like Cap/Fem/Nietzsche K, my understanding of the more esoteric ones falls off. Although I will try to evaluate the round as fairly as possible, I haven’t spent much time reading 1970s Continentals, and you can’t assume that I’ll have intimate knowledge of their arguments ahead of time.
-- I lean towards the Role of the Ballot being just whoever proves the resolution true or false (offense-defense is also acceptable). Debaters arguing against Kritiks should be willing to go all-in on excluding pre-fiat Kritiks from debate.
-- Fairness definitely matters. Education might matter to some degree. It will be difficult to convince me that other out-of-round impacts matter more than fairness.
-- If your NRs often include the claim, "It's not a link of omission; it's a link of commission," I am probably not the judge for you.
-- I would prefer if you provide an alternative other than “reject the aff.”
-- I'm fine with flex prep (asking questions during prep) if you want it. I think it's a good norm for debate.
-- I do not care if you sit or stand
-- If you say the word “we” in LD, I’ll mentally replace it with “Me and my imaginary friend.”
Read the Pure Util and Kritiks sections of the LD paradigm, but you can ignore most of the rest. Due to my LD background, I am much more willing to vote on philosophical positions. If you want to go for "Don't do the plan because objective morality doesn't exist" or "Pass the plan because that's most in line with Aristotle's notion of virtue," I'm totally fine with that.
-- I still prefer clearly articulated Interpretation-Violation-Standards-Voters theory shells, even in Policy.
-- I'm more willing to accept conditional CPs in Policy, although it gets really sketchy with conditional K's, especially if there's performative contradictions.
-- I'm probably more willing than most Policy judges to consider analytics. I don't think you need a card for every argument you make, and oftentimes just having a warranted argument is sufficient.
Public Forum Paradigm
I understand that Public Forum has different end goals than LD or Policy. I will try to evaluate it through the following in contrast to LD or Policy:
-- I will not require explicit ethical frameworks. If something sounds bad, like "It kills people" or "It hurts the economy" or "It is unfair," I'll try to evaluate that in some gestalt manner. You can probably expect a little bit of judge intervention might be necessary in the case of mutually exclusive impact frameworks and lack of weighing.
-- I will generally keep in mind who is "speaking better." Although this will not change my vote in most cases, if the round is really close I might use that as the determiner.
-- If I ask for a card and you can't find it, especially if it has a statistic, I will drop 1 speaker point for poor evidence norms