Nueva Parli Invitational

2019 — San Mateo, CA/US

Basil Abushama Paradigm

Background & Experience: 

4 years of hs parli (circuit and lay, 2x toc champ), some HS policy (circuit), some college NPDA 

 

General Philosophy:

I am okay with listening to any argument any you should choose to run, provided that you lay out the argument clearly and tells me why it wins you the ballot.

I view high school debate as both a competitive activity for the sake of competition and an arena for students to enrich their education by becoming better thinkers and learning more about the world. As such, I will remove myself from the round as much as humanly possible, and base my decision on my best objective evaluation of the arguments made. I flow very carefully. I will not get in your way, so do what you want argumentatively and you can expect me to evaluate it. 

My debate style is pretty diverse — I have a good footing in running and hitting normative topical positions, kritiks, theory, and anything in between. My default layering of the round is that theory comes before the kritik and the kritik comes before case, but, in round, tell me what arguments you want to come first (regardless of if it is the same as my default) as I will not do that work for you. 

Weighing is very important to me, so do a good amount of work analyzing the impacts throughout the round, and especially at the end, in the rebuttals. Tell me what impacts matter the most, why they matter the most, and why they win you the round, regardless of the position you’re banking your strategy on.  

 

Spreading:

I'm chill with spreading. I will get down your arguments on my flow and will reward higher speaker points to spreading that is exceptionally clear, easy to follow, and/or engaging to listen to. Pointers: 

(1) Slow down for taglines, texts, when you switch to a different sheet of paper or argument, and other important parts of your position as you deem fit. 

(2) Try not to slur or be repetitive. Spreading is only strategic if you can do it efficiently and clearly.

(3) Be considerate to your opponents. If they are not familiar with spreading, then try to be inclusive of them. Give them texts, answer their POIs, and try to be accommodating of their requests if they have any. It really sucks to get spread out of a round -- doesn't mean you should not spread, just means you should try to be a good sport about it. 

 

Kritiks:

Go for it. I dig it. I ran kritiks quite a bit, and enjoy watching a good kritikal round. I am familiar with most of the authors that debaters commonly cite, like Marx, Nietzsche, Agamben, Foucault, Baudrillard, Wilderson, and the rest of the gang. I’m also chill with performances. If you can surprise me with a kritik that isn’t so common, I’ll be happy and give you props, but explain it well. Regardless of whether or not I know the literature, I will not do work for you filling in arguments, explanations or warrants. Pointers: 

(1) Links. Please, run links that interact very specifically with the affirmative position. A few safe generic links are okay, but don’t bank entirely on them. If you can’t come up with any specific links, that means one of two things: one, you aren’t familiar enough with your kritik, or, two, the kritik doesn’t apply well. Both are not good positions to be in. 

(2) Alt & Alt-Solvency. Explain what your alternative does and how it solves for the impacts you outlined in the rest of your K. 

(3) I think framing on the K is pretty important, so don’t skate over that part and assume I’ll just give you reasons why the K comes first. Tell me through what lens I should evaluate the round and why. Again, I will not do work for you on the K. 

 

KRITIKAL AFFIRMATIVES: 

I ran K-Affs a few times and have hit them plenty of times. I’m okay with them. Just make sure justify them well, as you should with any kritikal position. 

 

Theory:

I also dig theory. I ran theory quite a bit, from your standard shells to some more out-there shells. Although I view theory as a way to check against real abuse, I’ll listen to and vote for any shell if you win the flow. Pointers: 

(1) I default to competing interpretations. 

(2) Be very clear and specific with your interpretations. I will take interpretations literally, meaning, if the other team manages to find a lawyer-esque way to meet your interpretation and its logically valid, I will not give much credence to a backtrack along the lines of “well, you know what we meant.” 

(3) Ground is the most important standard to me, as it is kind of an umbrella for all fairness-related standards. However, you should still weigh your standards if you want to win the theory debate. 

(4) I will not do work for you on the evaluation of the theory. If you want theory to come first, tell me that and tell me why. 

(5) I have a lower threshold to voting on RVI's than most judges, but still have a pretty high threshold. You'd have to do a lot of pretty compelling work on the RVI to use it to get the ballot.

 

Straight Up Case Debate:

I very much enjoy a well-informed and thought out, normative, topical debate. Well constructed, intrinsic advantages and disadvantages, impact framing from the get-go, and smart strategies increase your chances of getting my ballot. Brink scenarios are almost always more compelling than linear advantages/disadvantages, and try to get your arguments to go in the right direction from uniqueness to links to impacts. 

I’m okay with CPs that change implementation methods, conditionality, dispositionality, and PICs. 

 

Presentation

Even flow debate, at its core, is a persuasive activity. Treat it as such. Don’t completely brush off presentation — a confident portrayal of an argument makes it much more appealing to a judge.  

I am okay with tag-teaming, just don’t go overboard about it. 

 

Other Key Points: 

(1) I like gutsy strategic moves. However, don’t just make a gutsy move for the sake of making a gutsy move, because while I will be amused and pleased, I will not vote for you if it doesn’t win you the round. 

(2) Add some personality, and be yourself. You’re real people speaking to real people — rounds that feel like that are more engaging to watch and partake in, in my opinion.

(3) If you kick something, kick it properly by extending defense. I won’t shadow kick for you if the other team calls you out on the shadow kick.

(4) Be good people. It'd be nice to see the debate community try to spread some love. 

Parul Agarwal Paradigm

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Katie Apsens Paradigm

5 rounds

I briefly competed in NPDA at the University of Washington several years ago. That means that I understand what’s going on in the debate so you don’t need to treat me like a lay judge. That being said, I have been out of debate for a while so going full spreading speed is ill-advised. I am married to the head coach of Nueva so I am improving all the time and working back toward being a proper tech judge.

Tech over truth, sorry Parliamentary Debate doesn’t give me a mechanism for resolving these issues. I won’t intervene. I am happy to judge debaters more interested in rhetoric than technical debate. But, if you don’t tell me some alternative way to evaluate the debate, I will default to tech and most importantly impacts. I flow POI answers.

On how I evaluate speaking: Borrowed from my husband’s paradigm: BE NICE AND PROFESSIONAL. Debate is not a competitive, verbal abuse match. Debaters WILL be punished on speaker points for being rude (beyond the normal flare of intense speeches) or abusive. Example: saying your opponent is wrong or is misguided is fine. Saying they are stupid is not. Laughing at opponents is bullying and unprofessional. Don’t do it.

Some specifics on how I evaluate specific categories of arguments:

Ks: I have very little experience with Ks. I wouldn’t suggest running them unless you are going to slow down and really explain them to me.

DAs: They should have links, impacts and a clear internal link story. Terminalized impacts will win more often than not. Your midterms uniqueness better be very up to date and specific.

CPs: Needs to actually compete. I don’t like delay CPs.

Theory: I have little experience here but I do understand what’s going on. I prefer education arguments to fairness arguments. Impacts need to be specific to the round. That is, I prefer when actual abuse has occurred. You don’t have a right to your politics DA.

Case: I love good case debate. I would frankly prefer all case given the choice.

Eric Ball Paradigm

I was once a policy debater so there is a reasonable chance that I will keep up on my flow. If I don't, that means there is a good chance you are talking like a policy debater yourself (or like an auctioneer, and I won't feel so bad if I miss something).

I will go where you take me. I will rely on your arguments rather than my own domain knowledge.

I do appreciate when debaters spell it out for me, not just why you should win the argument but how that argument should contribute to the decision. I look for clear links and impacts for the pivotal arguments. I understand that jargon is useful shorthand, but I will understand you better if the jargon does not become excessive.

I will tolerate kritiks but set a high bar for arguments that do not attempt to relate to the resolution, or that could be used regardless of the topic at hand (i.e. meta-arguments like that debate is pointless because we live in a flawed society). I appreciate clash delivered with a level of sportsmanship and manners.

Travis Bond Paradigm

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Gwen Byard Paradigm

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Thomas Li Paradigm

I'm Thomas, a high school debater who has debated for the past two years. My general preferences are as follows:

Speed - I prefer a medium talking speed. Be considerate of your opponents as well. Spreading does not impress me, nor will it improve your speaks. If I can't keep up, that only hurts my evaluation of your performance (and by extension, the ballot and speaks).

Argumentation - Quality over quantity. Having fewer, substantive arguments is far more useful than a flurry of shallow arguments. Presenting them cleanly in an organized fashion is just as important, preferably through a Uniqueness-Link-Internal Link-Impact structure. Somewhat relevant: don't go overboard on P.O.I's or P.O.O's unless they are absolutely necessary to maintaining your ground or the overall fairness of the debate. I do appreciate strong P.O.I's which throw off opponents = higher speaks on your behalf.

Theory - I prefer case debate over theory such as topicality, and ideally the ballot does not boil down to myself deciding on theory. I realize that topicality does come up in debate, but that should not warrant teams to be abusive and their opponents having to rely on A-priori arguments to settle a round. After all, those twenty minutes of prep for a relevant debate topic and potential for learning more about it seem lost through not being able to fairly debate. Other theory like PICs, perms, etc. I'll entertain but cannot guarantee that I'll give substantial feedback for.

Speaks - I will consider both the quality of your arguments and your speaking into your scores. I would usually assign 27 as an average score. Things like signposting and weighing are especially important and will improve your score. Preferably no tag teaming. I'll entertain it if you do, but it may affect your overall speaks.

Disclosing Ballot - I will provide a short RFD in round to talk more specifically about the arguments within the round, and will give more general improvements for speaking and such in the written RFD. When deciding the ballot, I am tabula rasa and will not intervene/connect the dots on behalf of either team. Because I am tabula rasa, it's your job as debaters to explicitly make your case as to why I should vote on your behalf.

Respect - Debate should be a fun experience for people to enhance their speaking skills and general knowledge. At the minimum, opponents should show respect and not intentionally offend others. If you are extremely disrespectful within or beyond the context of the debate, I will give an initial warning and then stop the round if you continue to act disrespectfully. I will factor any behavioral disputes into the ballot and speaks of the round. Other than that, I hope that the debate will minimally involve myself intervening with exception to the RFD, and that it will be a meaningful and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Carolyn Luedtke Paradigm

3 rounds

I debated Lincoln Douglas debate in high school (and did domestic extemp and oratory) and parliamentary debate in college. As of Fall 2018, I am new to high school parliamentary debate which is a little different from college parliamentary debate and very different from LD!

Things I like:

-- clash

-- organization (please sign post)

-- really good quality public speaking (you can talk as fast as you want as long as I can understand you)

Things I do not like:

-- running theory

-- jargon and acronyms (remember, I am new to high school parliamentary debate...if you are going to use an acronym or jargon, the first time you do it, tell me what it is)

-- being disrespectful of your opponents (you can crush them, but please do it respectfully)

Ruby Masih Paradigm

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Stephen Moff Paradigm

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Ben Shahar Paradigm

5 rounds

TL;DR

My prounouns are they/them.

The most important thing is to debate how you want to debate, have fun, and hopefully learn. Everything below are my preferences about debate; except when I explicitly say, they only matter absent arguments to the contrary.

If you have any questions before the round, message me on facebook or email me (bshahar@rice.edu); facebook is preferable. If you have any accessibility issue you want to communicate to me, please do and I will do whatever possible to ensure the round is accessible.

Debate is a game structured by wins and losses, but it’s an educational game with important implications on the subject formation of participants.

To win my ballot: do good weighing, signpost, call out shady ev and missing internal links, and don’t be violent. I will try to find the easiest path to the ballot; tell me what that is.

If you’re here specifically for PF, I suggest skipping everything from the CP section until the PF-specific section.

About Me

I debated at Nueva for four years of PF and two of parli. I like to pretend I’m OK. I've gone for everything from the states CP to intrinsic perms to Edelman to warming good. I appreciate flexibility in my judges more than anything else, so that's what I'll try to do. Specifically, I tend to value processes (iterative research, argumentative clash, switching sides, etc) over specific content products (learning about the state/economics/capitalism/whatever), and therefore the most important things in this paradigm are higher-order questions about how I like rounds to happen, rather than what arguments I want in rounds.

Tech vs. Truth

I will intervene on speech times, the fact that I give at most one win, and against arguments which I subjectively judge to be violent -- if you have to ask, don't make the argument. Deny any of these, but especially the third, and you lose with a max of 25s. Any other argument is tech over truth as much as my biases allow. There is a minimum threshold of warranting required for a claim to become an argument.

Presentation

Give content warnings when applicable. Fast debate is great as long as it isn't used to exclude. I will intervene if you are repeatedly cleared and don't slow down. Anything else: I don't care. Stand up, sit down, lie down, wear formal clothing, wear no shoes. You do you.

Speaks

I will try to average a 28.5. You get speaks for strategic decisions, technical competence, evidence quality, and being good for debate. You lose them for the inverse as well as violence or cheating (clipping, not disclosing, egregious powertagging, lying in CX, etc).

Post-round

I will disclose and give an RFD. If you don't agree, feel free to argue, just keep it respectful. Obviously I can’t change my decision but this forces me to think deeply about it and helps all of us learn. I'll continue these conversations as long as necessary, even post-tournament over facebook, unless I feel they're going in circles.

Evidence

Evidence is important but not the be-all-end-all: good cards beat good analytics but good analytics beat bad cards. Please call out bad cards; I will not read evidence unless asked to do so or have no other way to resolve the debate.

Weighing

Weighing requires comparison of internal link stories, not just impacts. I enjoy leveraging defense as a reason their offense is low probability. I tend to be sympathetic to probability/structural violence first. I like debates where weighing starts as early as possible. I like strategic meta-weighing or other tricky sequencing. I default to epistemic modesty, meaning the weight of each piece of offense is the risk of their truth-value contingent on the risk they outweigh.

Case

I love good case negs. I will give you 30s if the 1NC order is just case (assuming you don't do anything terrible, obviously). Impact turns are hella strategic especially with advantage CPs.

DA

No risk is likely not a thing unless terminal defense is straight conceded. I generally think the link debate is more important than the uniqueness debate but can be persuaded otherwise.

CP

I think multiple (but not infinite) condo and most CPs which use the plan timeframe and actor (or another topical actor -- think SCOTUS CP on USfg topics), including consult, condition, and PICs, are legitimate. I think most CPs which change either of those (agent, delay) are illegitimate.

I very much enjoy nuanced solvency deficit debates; a corollary is that I dislike vague CPs that shift in the back half. I also enjoy impact turned net benefits.

K

Don't commodify your argument. Know the lit base.

I don’t have a preference for sequencing Ks vs. theory. I’m down for all the tricks: floating PIKs, reject/endorse/vague alts (or no alt at all), ethical conditionality/perfcons, etc. are all fine (absent theory claims to the contrary) if you win the argument. I like link turns/smart perms better than impact turns, but a good impact debate can be fun.

K Aff

I default to thinking my ballot decides what form of the game best facilitates the subject formation of participants -- whether that's a procedurally fair game about hypothetical implementation of topical action or an educational game about developing survival strategies is up to you.

I like neg strategies which are contextualized to the aff. Clever counter-advocacies are really fun and can magnify the no weighing mech args on T. I don’t want to vote for a counterinterp that justifies affs defending truisms, but I will if necessary. I suspect good TVAs are the closest thing to a silver bullet there is.

Theory

Competing interps does not require an explicit interp. Reasonability requires a brightline. I prefer standards-level strength of link weighing to generic fairness vs education debates. I default to drop the argument.

I am very down for frivolous theory. However, I am more sympathetic to RVIs (and similar tricky checks on theory: metatheory, OCIs, etc) than most judges. I won’t hack for them, but I think it’s certainly a debate.

T

I default to T before theory. I think T is drop the debater. I generally like a case list; this can obviously be in the block.

Phil

Sure. Not my favorite but I see its utility and I’m down to evaluate it. I suspect it’s under-utilized outside of LD, and I’m very interested in its interactions with theory and the K.

Tricks

Tricks are very fun when well done, but do not make me judge a bad tricks debate without framing as to why your argument affirms/negates. I default to presuming negative even if the block goes for an advocacy, but good tricks debaters will make arguments in both directions.

Trichot

Policy >>> Value > Fact. I will vote for plans on fact/value reses and tend to prefer these debates.

PF-specific:

Speech Obligations

Theoretically justify any changes to this and I'm cool.

Anything in final focuses should be in summaries, except that if second rebuttal doesn't cover their own case first summary doesn't have to either, including extending turns. To be clear, yes, this means first final focus can extend a turn from first rebuttal that wasn’t in summary, as long as it wasn’t answered in second rebuttal.

New offense in rebuttal (either, but especially second) is abusive unless it link or internal link turns their case (without external impacts), relies on a link argument made in their case (as do impact turns), or answers to your case are responsive to it.

PF CX is fake. I don't flow it.

Progressive

I love progressive debate. Go fast, read Ks, theory, plans, whatever you can theoretically justify; 30s if it's done well. Just don't do so at the cost of accessibility, and don't do it if you're bad at it just because you saw this paradigm. If your opponents aren't familiar with something, you don't need to stop, just slow down and give them a lay explanation in CX/as an underview.

Disclosure

I was one of the first people to disclose on the PF wiki. I have a very low threshold for voting on disclosure theory; just make sure you ask them in front of me or screenshot a read receipt so you have a violation. If you let me know that you disclose at some point before my decision; you get an extra speak.

TL;DR for PFers @ SFSU

I'm tech over truth. Be progressive, fast, whatever. I don't care about presentation. Don't misconstrue evidence or perpetuate structural violence. Second rebuttal has to cover turns; first summary has to cover anything that second rebuttal frontlined. Please, please, please do impact calc and warrant-level clash.

Kollin Tierling Paradigm

5 rounds

I do not flow spreading.

Shiry Wu Paradigm

This is my first high school tournament, so I am new to everything. Please don't speak fast, I will be unable to write down all you say, and what I do not write down will probably not help you. Speak with clarity and do not use any jargon; if you do, explain what those words mean. Please explain EVERYTHING, so I understand what you are saying. Please provide well-developed arguments. I would be more impressed with two or three well-developed deep arguments over several superficial arguments. Make sure to be respectful. Thanks and have fun!

Eugenia Xu Paradigm

5 rounds

*Please please please do not read any argument on suicide in front of me / provide graphic descriptions of anything mental health related without content warnings. Consequences may include me not being able to evaluate the debate or speak up about the fact that I cannot think about the debate resulting in me having no choice but to give you an auto loss & 0 speaks. Also, do not ask me why I can't engage with these arguments, I am under no obligation to answer that question even if I know you. I feel like this is a given but apparently it isn't. I think content warnings are good. If you as a competitor cannot engage in a certain discussion and want me to know/do something about it, message me on facebook (just search my name) or email me at eugxu@nuevaschool.org before the round and I'll do whatever I can to help. I'm also down to talk about this outside of rounds because making debate a safe space for its competitors is super important to me as a person who breaks down crying at tournaments too often because of content I'm forced to engage with <3

Just use she/her pronouns for me. I have 0 tolerance for purposeful misgendering but I also don't expect everyone to be perfect.

Do not joke about anything I write in this paradigm about equity please.

In light of recent disputes in the parli community about whether lay or flow debate are more valid, here’s an excerpt from an end-of-the-year post from my sophomore year, content warning for a discussion of mental health + a reference near the end towards suicidal ideation:

“… Alright so not going to lie this season has been overall terrible. I’ve seriously considered quitting at least three separate times, all of which didn’t end up happening but I’ve never felt this extent of frustration at the activity so consistently before. Out of the 5 tournaments I’ve attended this year (which admittedly is not a lot), there has only been one singular tournament during which I didn’t cry. In every other case I cried because of a mental health issue, either because I had to engage in triggering content in round, because of a separate issue that debate was causing, because debate just generally did not feel like a safe space for me, or all of the above. There were tournaments where I cried both days. I’ve had people tell me in round that they didn’t believe in content warnings and told me I had to deal with my emotions. I’ve had a judge say something that implied I would have picked them up if I chose to out a highly stigmatized mental illness that I don’t think a single person I know has been able to treat in a non-problematic way from the day I came out to them about it. I’ve had teams read ridiculously problematic accounts of mental health issues that hit really close to home against me and I didn’t have the ability to react to them because the judging wouldn’t allow me to read a stock theory shell I have memorized for those situations and I had no ability to respond by talking pretty or whatever people are able to do when they don’t feel like literally shrinking into the ground and staying there forever. I’ve had people ask exceedingly triggering questions when I make a request to the debate community about not reading arguments that I knew I would react really badly to. I don’t want to tell everyone about all of this but I felt the need to summarize everything I listed above pretty simply and tell the entire student forum at TOC all of this because this year has proven to me that debate as an event, especially lay debate where it’s harder for me to check against the in-round issues that I have, is at best unwelcoming to me and at worst wants me out of the activity at any cost. I’m not trying to promote any agenda here, all I’m saying is that I’m frustrated that people seem to refuse to recognize exactly how exclusionary their preferred form of debate can be to some people. I’m never going to claim that flow debate includes everyone and lay debate has no merits. All I’m going to claim is that, to me, flow debate feels way more welcoming because I actually have a way to easily open up a place where I can exist.

I’m honestly not sure what the solution is. It seems overly optimistic to say everyone should just be nicer and treat mental health and debate like a real issue. I’m just very done listening to a lot of discussions around how debate could be more accessible and see nothing about mental health or see the few discussions about it get shut down by people who ask a bunch of really unproductive questions most likely for the sake of seeming edgy rather than actually trying to engage in the topic...”

tl;dr though I vaguely hack for Ks & Theory, the space is yours to do what you want, I'm willing to accommodate you, pls accommodate me, explain things to me, don't be problematic, plsplsplsnohandshakes

Hi just call me eug, I'm currently a junior debating in parli for the Nueva High School and I don't think I'm too terrible at it...? I have 3 years of background debating in parli & 4 weeks of VBI + lurking in the community worth of experience in LD. I also mod the facebook page Bad Debate Opinions (shameless plug), most of the self-deprecating jokes are me.

I want to accommodate whatever arguments you want to read. I do evaluate everything on the flow so you can speak pretty in front of me but that's not going to improve your chances of winning or your speaker points. I've debated a lot of different things and I think I will have the ability to evaluate *most of* what you want to read. I do want you to slow down & repeat all advocacy texts and theory interps twice. I will be very happy if you pass me a text but I won’t ask you to unless it’s ridiculously long.

Default to K & theory>case and Metatheory>T>Theory but do what you want. Pleasepleaseplease make sequencing arguments between theory & the K, I find compelling arguments for theory>K and K>theory and I haven't made up my mind which I'm more down for.

Ethics: Probably the most important part of my paradigm. I will auto drop you & give you 0 speaks if you impact turn/ deny structural violence & its impacts (i.e. arguments like racism good, ableism doesn't exist, antiqueerness has little/no impact, etc. This does not include arguments like cap good unless the argument is cap good because poverty good).

(Stolen from Ben Shahar) If your language is violent (violent language being slurs, derogatory language towards marginalized communities, & language is violent against your opponents) I'll stop the debate and we'll discuss it -- you'll lose but if you make an effort to engage could get high speaks.

Sure, debate is a game but games can have impacts outside of the gameboard and I refuse to support argumentation that pushes marginalized communities out of debate even more by giving my ballot to them.

Your opponents & I don't ever owe you any explanations of anything outside of the debate round. I don't care if it's obvious someone has been crying, needs to take medication during the round, or is visibly disabled, you can ask your questions but if we don't want to answer your questions we aren't under any obligation to. Same goes to you, you're not under any obligation to answer our questions. I’m obviously not going to penalize anyone for asking but expect pretty heavy punishment in terms of speaks if you insist that someone provide you with information about themselves or others that you’re not entitled to.

I also get really ticked off when people read mental health arguments to be “edgy” or “dramatic” or whatever. Mental illness is not your fun impact story.

T+Theory: I'm all for theory, I think it's really fun. I'm down to evaluate frivolous theory though I'm equally down to evaluate metatheory/ RVIs against it. I don’t think OCIs are real; if you read one, please tag it as an independent reason to drop the debater. Default to drop the debater but super willing to listen to drop the argument. Please weigh between fairness & education. I’ll evaluate everything through competing interpretations (which to me means an offense/defense paradigm, i.e. I’m not expecting a small school novice to tag an argument as a counterinterp but if they make the argument for an alternative model of debate I will evaluate it functionally as a counterinterp), but I’ll have a higher threshold for winning theory introduced in novice rounds and the 2AC. I think it makes sense to be more truth>tech as the debate progresses given that there are fewer and fewer speeches to respond to previous issues and also because of the absolute shitshow that was my partnership's strat at NPDI 2018 (basically 2AC theory every round & winning on golden turns even if we were behind everywhere else in the debate, it’s super strategic but please don’t do it for the sake of not breaking debate). I am definitely biased against RVIs (especially very blippy ones), but I’ll be more willing to vote for them on frivolous shells.

I’m pretty much down for whatever as far as theory goes (in terms of the shells you read or in terms of the dubiously theoretically legitimate arguments you make), but there are a few lines that can be pretty iffy for me: 1) bad (aka 90% of) spec shells; I will be very sad to vote on them; 2) frivolous theory in a round where there are serious arguments about identity being made; 3) ridiculously gerrymandered interps.

Case: Totally down to evaluate case, but if the resolution is a bill, about a specific person, or is generally a bit obscure, do not expect me to know about it & please at least have a brief explanation.

Framework / Impact framing: Do what you want, I'm familiar with both utilitarianism & structural violence. I've never really seen phil be read in parli and I'm frankly really terrible at phil debate but I'm down to try to evaluate it, chill with y’all reading consequentialism / truth testing as long as y’all explain things. I default to epistemic modesty, meaning I evaluate the strength of the impact x how much they’re winning their framework. Please do some meta weighing, it’s not done nearly enough.

Ks: VERY down to evaluate them on the aff & neg but also down to evaluate theoretical arguments against them (though I'd be lying if I said I'm not biased against Ks bad arguments) ; that being said there are a few things to keep in mind before you read one in front of me.

I'm down to listen to all sorts of K strats. If you want to spread at me for 5 minutes go right ahead! If you want to read poetry in front of me for five minutes go ahead as well! However, I do want the K to at least discuss the resolution in some way (as in don't have policy bad as your only reason to reject the res) because I think it's valuable to understand critical arguments in the context of different policies and I expect people to take the arguments they're reading seriously. Check with everyone before the round starts to make sure whatever you’re reading isn't triggering for anyone.

I’d say I’m very comfy with cap, dis/ableism and fem IR, am confident evaluating qu/kweer theory, model minority, and orientalism based on my own lived experience, but other than that I have pretty general background on most common literature bases. I'm down to listen to anything, but keep in mind I will likely be very confused if you go full speed and refuse to explain anything when you're reading Baudrillard or something else that isn’t very straightforward.

Also, just because I'm comfy with those 3 kritiks doesn't mean you should definitely read one of them in front of me; it just means that I will be really happy to listen to a good one and really sad to listen to a bad one. This holds especially true for dis/ableism though if you want feedback on a dis/ableism K you’re prepping I'm your judge :)

Being an ally is different from speaking for others. I'm not going to prevent you from reading a race K if you don't look that race but do not appropriate another identity for the ballot, i.e. if you are nonblack don’t read antiblackness in a way that claims black identity for yourself. Obviously unverifiable for most identities but pls just don’t be part of the problem.

I have a pretty low tolerance for really bad K debate. At least understand the lit behind the K you're reading and how the argument interacts in the round. Please do not contort perfectly legitimate arguments into things that are borderline/highkey problematic.

I have a pretty low tolerance for people reading Ks that clearly disrespect the philosophy that it's built on; aka if you don't understand something & aren't even attempting to interact with the literature please just do not read it. This is not to say you can't read the lit, disagree with part of it and modify that part.

I have 0 tolerance for kids spreading other people out with Ks and making it impossible for them to interact with their arguments. I'm probably gonna yeet your speaks pretty badly. This is the reason why K debate gets a bad rep in parli in the first place.

Speed is fine as long as both teams are comfortable with it, I'll clear you if I can't understand you but I won't penalize you for it because it's kind of bs for me to assume you know my limit on any given day. I will, however, penalize you if you refuse to accommodate your opponents when they can't understand you. I will also be skeptical if you continuously clear your opponents but speak faster than the speed you've slowed them to.

Speaks are arbitrary and I kind of don't like them so I will mostly use them to reward things I think are really cool / really gutsy strategies and penalize problematic things in the debate space. I'd say my average would be 28. If you don't say something really problematic you're not going to get below a 27.

30 speaks to anyone who reads 26/27 off (as long as none of it is problematic lol), if you manage to do that and pass texts of all interps, advocacies & rob/js to both me & your opponents I will love you forever

30 speaks to really dope dis/ableism strats / tbh really dope / gutsy and well executed strats in general.

30 speaks to any dope performance J

I protect against new arguments in the rebuttals but I'm not gonna drop your speaks for points of order.

Fact/value are not really my cup of tea in parli. Though I think value debate can be done well I don't really believe that fact debates can, though feel free to prove me wrong (it will take a lot). 100% totally down with framing fact/value as policy / fact as value & also totally down with Ks. Kind of very skeptical of trichot as drop the debater (or the idea that there’s a trichotomy of resolutions in general, tbh) & I'll be very sad if I have to vote on it. I think "more harm than good" = value but debate those resolutions how you want, I'm not going to intervene. In value debates, pls justify your v/vc and tell me what it means for me to evaluate arguments under your framework (i.e. theory of good and theory of right, tell me what I value and how I value it). Again, epistemic modesty.

Other things:

I love you but please PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE I don't do handshakes (like seriously, I will reject your handshakes)

After having a lovely conversation about this, I've decided that I will treat all final answers to POIs as binding statements to avoid a floofton of chaos that could ensue if that were not true. (s/o to Alan Fishman)

I'm probably going to disclose my decision to you & give feedback. If it takes me forever, I’ll probably tell you that it’ll be in your rfd / feedback section but if it isn’t there feel free to message / email me.

Debate however you're comfortable! If that means sitting down in a unicorn onesie go right ahead, and if that means I need to do something to accommodate you let me know! (in all seriousness I am never going to make you stand up, dress a certain way or refuse to let you do things in the debate that keep you safe & comfortable. I have 0 business policing your body.) This also applies if you need to pause the round at any time.

I kind of really don't forking care if you swear as long as it's not done in a derogatory way. For example, I'm not very comfortable with male presenting debaters using words like b*tch, sl*t or c*nt which have historically been demeaning. Slurs that you cannot reclaim are also a big nope.

If I am in any way making the round uncomfortable (i.e. if I ask an uncomfortable question, if I misgender you, use a term that I reclaim for my own identity that oppresses you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, allowing a team to mansplain at you, say something problematic, etc.) please do tell me if you feel safe doing so & we can discuss what I can do to make you feel more comfortable. This will not impact my decision or the speaker points I give you.

Feel free to discuss my decision with me if you think I'm missing something but don't try to argue with me / push me to change my decision. First of all tab won't let me do that and second as a female presenting debater I've seen so many more kids aggressively try to tell me that I'm wrong compared to male presenting debaters so if you're trying to argue with me it's probably gendered in some way and I ask you to examine that. (also, most of the time when this happens, I verify it with at least one or two other debaters to confirm that I'm not actually wrong. There has never come a time when I have been wrong in these instances.)

As someone who has faced & is facing a few different barriers to accessing debate, I definitely have tea with debaters & coaches on the circuit who make my existence on it very difficult but I will do my best to put that aside during the round, i.e. if you know that I have tea with your teammate(s) / coach(es) / friend(s) / family member(s) I am going to try to prevent that from interfering with my role as your judge. (& obviously, I do have tea with people on the circuit just because we don’t get along, but that’s going to be way easier to put aside)

We stan some bad puns (I really hope this statement doesn't make you decide to strike me / pref me 4)

I want to be your friend but I can be very low energy a lot of the time so if it looks like I'm disinterested in doing anything apart from judging you I don't hate you & I'm sorry if it feels like I do.

I cry and anger a lot especially at tournaments so I get how much of a mess the tournament environment is. Feel free to find me if you're not feeling great, I'll do my best to help if I happen to be not crying

Remember that at the end of the day, we all lose rounds we shouldn’t have and whether you win or lose a round in front of me is not at all indicative of your value as a person or as a debater!

If you're confused about anything message me! 0 judgment if you do & 0 judgment if you don't message me because talking to people is hard.

Li Zhao Paradigm

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