Demo Tournament

2019 — CA/US

Elena Kagan Paradigm

8 rounds

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Mark Smith Paradigm

I enjoy all kinds of debates, so do whatever you like. If you are super invested in some critical literature, great. If your thing is techy DA/Case debate, great.

I debated for four years in high school (two years at Notre Dame High School, two years at Rowland Hall). I now debate in college for Indiana University.

Surveillance topic note: be sure to explain acronyms if they are important.

The following is how I generally think about debate. Obviously anything argued in the round takes priority.

Tech v. Truth – I guess I’m somewhere in the middle, I think the distinction is sorta silly. I’ll default to tech, but I think smart, true arguments can beat a wall of terrible cards. Evidence helps you make an argument, it doesn’t make the argument for you. Good explanation of mediocre evidence > bad/non-existent explanations of fantastic evidence.

topicality
Competing interpretations makes sense, but I think reasonability is useful for the aff when framed as defense to the negs limits arguments. Generally, I think T (and theory) is more persuasive when explained as a model for debate. In other words, I don’t think the neg necessarily was to win ‘in-round abuse’ arguments if they win their interp sets a better model for the topic, but in-round examples couldn’t hurt.
I’m not up on community consensus/general trends of the surveillance topicality arguments. You may want to incorporate that discussion into how you explain if your aff or interp is predictable.

framework/k affs
I’ve read k affs, policy affs, and gone for framework. Generally, I think its good when affs are topical. However, I think what it means to be ‘topical’ is up for debate. 
For aff teams: Obviously have offense, but don’t forget to make defensive arguments in response to their impact claims. Instead of just asserting “we don’t explode limits”, make arguments about why their interpretation doesn’t produce the kinds of debates their impact arguments assume. Explain what your relationship to the resolution is and why thats a good model of debate.
For the neg: I generally prefer either state engagement impacts or truth-testing/dialogue/deliberation style impacts over fairness, but do you.
Competition: I’ll assume that affs without plans get perms unless its contested. However, I think that how competition operates in a K debate could be different. I’m open to either approach so I will ultimately just default to whatever happens in the round.

kritiks
I’m fine with them. As with anything else the debaters have to do the explanation, even if I know the argument. Contextualize the k to the aff. Make sure you explain all components of the k (the alt, impact, and links). It seems like those fundamental aspects of an argument get lost in a k debate and I'm not sure why. 
Usually it seems like framework becomes a wash. Assuming that happens, I will land somewhere in the middle. I don’t think epistemology/discourse/etc is ever totally irrelevant, but I also think the aff matters. I’m fine with voting on the aff doesn’t matter or ks are irrelevant if you invest the time and win it, but usually those arguments are (somewhat) less persuasive. 
I'm inclined to think justifications/representations of the aff are important, especially ones foundational to the advantage. If you read 8 minutes of China/Russia is evil, I think security k links to that are legitimate. 

counterplans
I’m not a fan of things that compete off immediacy/certainty. I lean aff on those CP theory questions. Word pics are boring unless the aff makes arguments about discourse in the 1AC (especially if the words aren't in the plan/advocacy statement). PICS that are relevant to the topic (types of surveillance) are more interesting. 

disads
Pretty self-explanatory, obviously I’m fine with them. Uniqueness is probabilistic. I have no predisposition to the 'truth' of if the link controls the direction of uniqueness or vice versa, but those framing arguments can help control how read the direction of any given disad. Evidence comparison is important and underutilized. I think teams can win 'zero risk' of disads or advantage. Impact comparison is important. 

conditionality
2 is fine, 3 is maybe pushing it. I’ll just default to tech as with anything else. As with T, I don’t think the aff has to win concrete in round abuse, but that would make it easier.


misc
if you mark a card, you actually have to mark it. If you don't I'll assume the ev wasn't read