Summer Showdown 2
2020 — Online, BC/CA
PF Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Please include me on the email chain: email@example.com
I graduated from NYU in Fall of 2019.I started debate as a college novice and debated in open after a year. I last debated in the Fall of 2018, so I'm bit rustier when it comes to flowing full 400wpm speed. As for the current space topic, I have cut twenty-some cards for the topic and judged 15 rounds, but would still like in-depth anaylses and explanations of less common affs/topic areas.
I will vote on any position as long as there is clear impact framing. Please do your best to speak clearly. I would like to see more natural personality in debaters, though please do not make jokes at the expense of other debaters.
How I will evaluate each position:
Topical Affs: Makes sure to extend any and all advantages you are going for, defend your solvency, and have clear overviews that make it easy for me to evaluate the round. Clear impact calculus in the 2AR is crucial.
Performance/k Affs: Again there needs to be clear impact framing in the 2AR. If there was any sort of framework run against you, you need to defend your framework and impact frame on framework as well. I am not yet familiar with most k literature, so I would appreciate if you can simplify complicated arguments through analytics.
DAs: I love good DAs, especially if they are creative. Articulate the link, the UQness, and the impact. 2NR impact framing is crucial, explain why your DA impact outweighs all adv of the aff.
CPs: Again, I love CPs. Please explicitly tell me what the net benefit is and explain how the CP gets access. I like creative CPs, but if it is one that is a little more complicated than the traditional PIC (i.e. States), make sure to explain why it is competitive.
Case negs: I will vote on case turns. Articulate turns like they're a DA. I think it is a bold strategy that can work very well in your favor if executed properly.
K/performance: See above in the Performance/k Affs section. I will stress again that I appreciate explaining K links and alts being explained in simpler terms to make it easier to evaluate and give me the impression you actually understand the k. Impact framing is crucial. I will vote on k links even if you kick out of the alt, but make sure to address any offense or perms before you do so.
T/Framework: Make sure the impacts you run make sense in the context of the round. Don't go for ground if you're running 6 off, that's just silly. Tell me why your interpretation or FW matters and explain the impacts, don't just laundry list them.
Debater for Rutgers University-Newark.
Debated for University High School in Newark where I received 3 bids in LD my senior year. I was top speaker at the Tournament of Champions and made it to semifinals.
Please read what you are most comfortable with. I will evaluate every and any argument.
I would like to be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
K's/Performances: I mostly run Ks and performances on both the aff and neg. On the aff make sure there is a coherent story that I can follow from the 1AC to the 2AR. On the neg make sure there are specific links and examples that prove the aff is a bad idea/advocacy/policy/action etc.
FW v K affs: I will vote on whoever is winning a terminal that outweighs any costs. It comes down to the debate that was had. Clash > limits on the neg. Accessibility/Education are the best impacts on the aff. I default to competing interps, but can be persuaded to err towards reasonability.
DA's: Prove to me why the DA outweighs and turns case. Do meta-weighing, yes you too aff.
Framework: LD is beginning to shift towards creative, and at times arbitrary framework shells. I'm down, but please prove a violation on a well thought framework shell. How will debate change and/or what will debates begin to look like under the interp/counterinterp and why is this better than debate in the squo?
I'm a policy debater at The New School right now.
I am not really familiar with the theory and intricacies of public forum, so I vote on the flow.
Don't say anything racist.
I don’t flow cross x, but I notice if you’re rude or if there’s one woman in the round and she gets spoken over a lot, especially if it’s by her partner.
I am fine with speed, but make sure that the other team can understand what you’re saying, or it becomes a fairness issue.
Please be nice to each other. I know it’s stressful, but it’s a game, and it’s supposed to be fun.
I want to be on the email chain: email@example.com
I debate College Policy at NYU. Earlier in college I read more soft left Affs with performative elements, but I've been getting progressively more performative and more kritical as my college career progresses. That means I'm open to hearing whatever arguments you want to read as long as you're able to defend it. In terms of policy, I've never read a strictly "policy" AFF, but I've coached teams reading them and am familiar with that style. With this in mind, you should read whatever makes you most comfortable and confident and I'll vibe with you.
Flow - I will flow what I hear. If you're fast, I can keep up as long as you're clear. If I can't understand you I will say "clear." I flow performative elements (music, poetry, dance), but if you think I might not flow something, flag it for me. It's your job to tell me what is most important, I won't do that work for you.
Flashing/email chain - Be organized. I don't want to wait 5 minutes for you to reply to the email chain or flash files. If I feel like you're taking too long prep time will start again. Don't waste my, your opponent's, or your partner's time. Stealing prep is disrespectful and if I see it, your speaker points will be docked. That applies to Novices too (although my threshold is a bit higher) because it's important to get into good habits from the beginning.
Speaking/CX - Be respectful. I love sass and attitude in CX and in speeches, but be aware of where the line is between sass and disrespect. This includes being disrespectful to your own partner (don't talk over them during CX). Debate should be a community and space where we all feel safe, if you jeopardize that and the other team problematizes and impacts this out, I am willing to vote on that outweighing all of your hypothetical policy impacts. If you make me laugh your speaks are going up.
FW/T - I will vote on T and FW, so feel free to read it in front of me. For both AFFs and NEGs, you need to have a clear abuse story and explain to me why your interpretation creates a better model of debate. Don't just say "our model of debate is better for fairness and education," you must also prove to me why those things are necessary and good and why the counter-interp is insufficient.
K - I mostly read them in college and they are my favorite arguments in debate. THERE SHOULD BE CLASH WITH THE AFFIRMATIVE. You need to link specifically to something in the AFF, not the squo. Even though I am familiar with K lit, I'm not going to do work for you. Explain clearly and have a compelling story. You need to show me the world of the Kritik. If at the end of the debate I don't understand what your alt is (how it functions, what it looks like, how it resolves the links, how/if it solves the AFF) I probably won't vote for it. You should be giving explanations that compare the world of the AFF and the world of the K.
NOTE: Be careful if you read anthro against anti-blackness teams. I find it is often argued in very problematic ways and I typically hate hearing anthro in those rounds. I have, however, voted for anthro many times (unfortunately), so it can be done successfully, just TREAD CAREFULLY.
DA - Here, it's all about the link and impact debate. Have specific links to the plan and have a cohesive impact story. If you're going for the DA, I want to hear in depth impact comparisons. If everyone is claiming the same impacts or everything leads to extinction, you will need a more robust story to get me to prioritize the DA. My preference is that you read a CP that solves for the DA. If you're not reading a CP that can overcome the DA, make it clear to me why this is worse than the squo.
CP - It's all about solvency and competition. That means you need to have a net benefit.
I've read every kind of aff from straight up heg good to baudrillard, I care way less about what arguments you make than how well you defend them.
I went for the K a lot in high school and still do, but I also love a good policy round, and would much rather you debate to your strengths than to what arguments you think I'll like.
Put me on the email chain, firstname.lastname@example.org I won't be reading along, unless you read a card that I think is so good I want to recut it for my teams, or if there's a dispute about something that was read.
I flow on paper. This means that you going slightly slower, and having a clear story will be quite helpful. I'm at the tail-end of year 10 competing and year 5 judging, so this doesn't mean you have to talk to me like I'm a parent judge, but it does mean that if you go full speed through 8 minutes of blocks, to not be surprised when I miss an argument or two. The easy fix to this, for all of you speed demons out there, is to label your arguments with a flowable tag. We already do this with cards, why not do it with our analytics too?
When making my decision. I first write up the most important arguments for both sides. This usually comes down to about 2-3 things, though that may just be because I only judge clash rounds. I then look over my flow, and try to write up an explanation of each, and what it means for both sides. I then compare these, and look for responses that the other team has forwarded. What this means for you, is that it is in your interest to identify what you think the 2-3 most important arguments for either side are, tell me why you're winning them, or why you should still win in the event that you don't win these arguments. If you do not do this, I will still do my best to identify these arguments, but, what I think is important and what you do may not line up, and as a result, our perceptions of the winner may not line up either.
When doing this, I often try as hard as I can to not read evidence. This is because I am very committed to my belief that debate is an activity about communication, and that if you did not effectively communicate an argument to me, it does not matter if you read an amazing card. While I obviously still care about research and evidence quality, I feel that the impulse to read all of the evidence to decide the round makes me more interventionist (which I would like to avoid) and also seems to fall outside of the terms of debate. I.e. outside of teams dropping stuff, if i were to just decide the round based on the cards you read, and not what you said about them, why should I even be sitting there for two hours listening to you? Couldn't you just send me your cards and have me decide at the end whose I thought were better?
This applies less and less if both sides are comparing a piece of evidence, or questioning it's qualifications, or implication, but the "this card is fire, please read it judge" has never been something I have been that inclined to do.
I judge a majority clash debates (around 80% when I last checked) and have found that oftentimes the winners in this debates are the ones who engage with the other side's approach to the world, rather than just explaining why their approach is better. While we obviously should still care about drops, and they are often useful in making decisions in these rounds, I've found that it's useful for both teams to invest a substantial amount of time in looking to where the other team clashed, as much as where they didn't.
I've noticed that I may sound kind of grumpy when giving rfds. This very rarely reflects my distaste at having to judge your round, and more so reflects that I am displeased at having to get 5 or 6 hours of sleep.
My favorite judges in high school were always the ones who seemed really excited to be there judging my round, and the ones who emphasized voting on what was in the round. I love debate and I know you care about the activity to be giving up your weekends to compete in it, and I would be an asshole if I didn’t put all my effort into making the best decision I can. If you don’t think I’m paying enough attention, go ahead and call me out. Nothing here is set in stone, but, if you don't tell me to change how I'd evaluate any of these, then they're my defaults.
1 Tech Over truth, but to an extent. True arguments require less technical explanation for me to buy what you're selling. Oftentimes when making decisions, I find that I am looking at dropped words on my flow, but am unsure how to piece them together to make a cohesive rfd. It is in your best interest to not only tell me what was dropped, but then tell me what I should think about the drops.
2 Mediocre strategies may win in front of me, but, speaker points will likely suffer. If the 1ar drops aspec that was at the bottom of your t overview, and that’s your a-strat, I’m probably not the judge for you. I prefer debates with either really tricky and nuanced strategies, or teams that are willing to just bet it all on black and go for impact turns. I've found that teams that do a better job articulating how I should evaluate arguments do better in front of me than teams that just wait for me to reconstruct what an argument means for my decision. I'm not smart so if you tell me how arguments implicate the rest of the debate, you'll be in a better spot.
3 Protecting the 2nr. There's nothing worse than giving what you think is a fire 2nr and then watching the judge nod along with an argument you're certain wasn't in the 1ar. 2ars should have a high standard for drawing arguments from the 1ar unless they were clear in the speech. I.E. new 2ar cross applications should be justified in the speech/flagged in the 1ar. If I don’t think I could have seen it coming, I probably will think it’s new.
4 Counterplans: They should compete with the aff. Theory arguments are usually just reasons to reject the counterplan, but this is primarily because most folks are afraid of going all in. If your solvency deficit is mediocre, theory is probably a good way out. You don't need a solvency advocate, but having one definitely makes your job easier. Exploit generic link chains in affs.
Generic pics are awful, and specific pics are one of the fastest ways to get good speaks, but in both cases, pics bad needs to come back with a vengeance. I won't judge kick unless you tell me to in the 2NR.
5 Disads: 2acs with bold strats, i.e. straight turning a disad would increase my value to life, and your speaker points. I am very much in the camp that a disad that isn't a full argument in the 1nc is a terrible strategic decision hint: 1a's pull out your impact turns. Outside of that though, I really do like them, whether you're a plug and chug politics team, or a team with the amazing topic link card that no one else has found.
6 Kritiks I like them, they’re probably my favorite argument. I’m really into high theory, and probably am a good judge for you if you like to run kritiks. I’ve run all kinds of things, mainstream stuff like cap, and apoc rhet, to stuff like dng, baudrillard, and halberstam. Examples, explanation and re-contextualization will be integral to your success. These rounds are often more about controlling the narrative than many others, which makes sense given that the focus of the debate is on whether the assumptions that the other team has forwarded are valid.
You don’t need to have an alt to win, but you should justify why. Your links should be specific to the aff. Obviously this is a sliding scale, and if you're reading a K of realism against an aff from John Mearsheimer, I won't be rolling my eyes wishing you had a card specific to the aff, but, If I can’t tell what aff your debating in your 2nc on the k, we’re both gonna have a bad time.
I was always pretty frustrated after giving a 2nr on the K when the judge was just like. "I know you both read a bunch of stuff on framework, but I couldn't really decide who won so I kinda just picked a middle option that both teams never said" Not only does this seem to heavily favor the affirmative, but also reflects a combination of arguments that was never advocated for by either team. I think the best strategy for the aff is just to have some arguments that presume that they (gasp) have to defend why their representations and scholarship are good. Given that most k's are some kind of argument about how the affirmative's theory of IR justifies violence, it doesn't seem that hard to identify the strain of IR that you have affirmed, and provide a defense of why you think about the world the way you do. If the neg has said debate is about how we craft our subjectivity, and said that the subjectivity they endorse opposes a particular world view, why wouldn't this equally apply to the aff, and the defensive realist subjectivity of the taiwan aff be a reason why you should get to say your impacts still matter.
Generally though, I think that affs need to be doing a lot better job answering k's. Please talk about your aff more and generic backfile cards less. Most cases outweigh the k, and extinction impacts are often pretty persuasive. I really do not want to die, and presume that most people do not want to die either, and one thing that always confused me was when there were debates where that comparison didnt really start until the last two rebuttals.
I also think more affs should just bite the link and impact turn the K. Obvi dont read racism/sexism/ableism good, thats the quickest way to a 25 and an L short of conceding the round, but, every K makes other claims that you can, and probably should consider reading offense against.
Two side thoughts
1. Most people read utterly incoherent theories of international relations. I.E. Ikenberry and Mearsheimer may both think that leadership is good, but are not as buddy buddy as people would like me to believe. Obviously just being like "lmao these cards are a double turn" does not meet the threshold of an argument, but, "the aff de-prioritizes the role of institutions because ___ this means that you should be skeptical of their ability to solve for the liberal international order, which Ikenberry says is cohered through a strong commitment to international institutions" is. The latter will shock and impress me, and put your baseline speaks at a 29.
2. Most people have turned against the "not our x" Sometimes this is fair, because the team is lying to get out of links. But, I don't particularly understand why a team should be punished because their author had a bad idea that they don't defend or talk about in the 1ac or 1nc. Consider if we applied this same standard to policy rounds, and the neg read a politics card from nate silver about a specific seat in the midterms. The affirmative responded with a card that said "nate silver was way off on this one super unrelated prediction" and read a card indicting the method of that poll specifically. Why would the neg be tied to defending the poll that they have not cited, and is not intrinsic to their argument? This doesn't mean that I'm waiting to vote on not our x, but, that I will be pleased if both teams can defend why their argument is or is not distinct from x, by demonstrating a command of the literature base that they are deploying.
7 Topicality: Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't really understand ground arguments - if you don't have generics ready to go for core topic areas, or arguments that make debating the aff irrelevant (impact turns, process cp's etc) that seems like a you problem. I get some affs are really small and don't do much, but either they have an absurd impact claim that you can turn or outweigh, or they'd need such a contrived interpretation of the topic to be T that you could just go for limits.
Reasonability has never really made sense to me either, because usually those debates just boil down into the same silly buzzwords that everyone uses. I think reasonability can be an incredibly gnarly argument if it's framed more in the form of an explanation of why offense/defense is bad for topicality debates. Scotty P wrote a really good explanation of what that would look like here https://hsimpact.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/what-is-reasonability/
Things that will get you good speaks
5 minutes of Antonio in the 2nr (not joking)
9 Clipping- Don’t do it. I’ll be sad, and have to give you a 0
10 No argument too strange- I can be convinced to vote on anything if you do well. T is a rvi, double win theory, normativity k, silence k. If you think you can pull it off, and want to risk a ballot on it go ahead. If you execute it poorly, I'll probably be annoyed, but at the same time, no one ever did anything to radically change debate without taking a lot of risks.
11 Non-traditional affs. I think I’m a pretty good judge for these. I think these affirmatives are unfair, but, don't really know why that's bad (fairness is not an impact). I don’t really think framework is deployed effectively very often, which is unfortunate, because I oftentimes think that many of the claims from framework teams make a lot of intuitive sense. I ended up voting against framework about 60% of the time last year, but I'd attribute that a lot more to what happened in the rounds I judged than to a general predisposition.
For the neg. When I vote neg on T, it's because the negative has successfully done one of two things.
1. Proven that their impact turns the aff's offense.
2. Proven that the aff doesn't solve their offense, and have mitigated the application of case to T in a way beyond the sentence blurb "they don't get to weigh the aff because t is a procedural"
I've found that the topical version of the aff has become less persuasive to me the more clash rounds I've judged. This is not due to the argument being not strategic, but rather, me being left confused about how the topical version resolves offense that the affirmative has deployed, (and a secondary problem of most topical versions of the aff not meeting the standard of being a topical aff in a policy v policy round). The solution to this is easy. Instead of repeating any disad to the topical version doesn't prove it isn't an answer, it just proves neg ground, take some time thinking about the offense that the other team is deploying.
A second problem, is that most people seem to forget they're reading a topicality argument. I have judged almost 30 framework debates this year, and in about 5 of them, I've been clear on how the counterinterpretation solved the aff's disads, and included their affirmative. If the aff read a counterinterp they didn't meet on T-Pearson, or that didn't solve the aff's overlimiting offense why wouldn't you point that out? There's a reason why you're reading interpretations, and why we call framework a topicality argument, you should debate your shell as such.
I've also found that the repetitive "but what do you do?" presumption argument, is wholly unpersuasive. Most affs say they do something, and the neg says, but what do you do, the aff says what they do, and the neg says, yeah, but what do you do? I think this can also be fixed pretty easily, instead of carrying over this, but what do you do argument, make the implied follow on argument, which is something to the effect of, if x structure is so totalizing as their theory says it is, their method is insufficient to resolve it. Think about x as a similar example, which failed for y reason.
All this being said, I'm more than willing to vote on T, as it is obviously a strategic position, and I'm very sympathetic to teams (especially without substantial coaching resources) who would rather prepare to get really good at one argument that would answer all no plan affs, as opposed to specific critiques/disads.
For the aff - Have a clear counterinterp, tight impact turn story, and exploit the weakness of most teams at answering arguments that they are mostly unfamiliar with.
You have to answer disads, even if you dont defend hypothetical implementation of usfg action. This doesn't mean I'm waiting to vote on the aff flips the 2020 election, but rather that if you can think of a nuanced way to articulate a link I wont be a super tough sell on the aff has to defend the consequences of their epistemology. I.e. if an aff says that executive power is bad, I feel like John Yoo would have some things to say about that, even if the aff doesn't implement a policy.
I also really enjoy K vs K debates, as this gives me a break from hearing about what Steinberg and Freely need to tell me about decisionmaking, and allows both sides to engage literature bases that are often not brought into connection with each other. One side note is that I tend to find that the theory of power debate is far less compelling than specific applications. Most folks in the 2nr and 2ar tend to just be like, they dropped our theory of power, game over!!
Questions? Email me at email@example.com. The longer you wait, the less specific my comments may be, but I have noticed that I recall my thoughts about rounds more than I don't.