You need to make sure you respond to all of your opponent's arguments. You make the error of focusing on the parts of the clash where you think you are the strongest (speed, psychological argument versus evidence), but neither of those are offense positions. If you win those, why should those arguments be considered more important than a topicality, or a counterplan? Respond to everything, and weigh the round, so that I know how to compare the arguments you are winning, to the ones you might be losing.
On the theory debate, I don't think speed is particularly applicable here (and indeed, I think is a way of skirting the issues). More generally, I think the trichot argument is fairly correct. However, I think you need a better sense of voters than jurisdiction. This comes from the confusion of seeing it as a topicality issue. You need to generate reasons that we should prefer to have some debates that exist purely in the world of value.
The counterplan, honestly, doesn't make much sense. You get a lot of milage because he doesn't respond, but you need a solvency advocate of some sort. What it sounds like to me, is that you want to turn stand your ground into the castle doctrine. Which you should be more clearly articulated.
However, despite my issues with your original strat, your follow up debate was solid, you made sure to bring up the arguments you were winning, and extend voters.
This was an interesting debate. Good job to both the contestants. I end up voting for the opposition. The opp ends up defining the debate fairly well. (1) It is outside of the bounds of the round to treat it as a policy round, as opposed to an value round (which is flagged as a topicality argument, but is really a trichotomy argument). (2) If I am going to allow a policy round, I should allow counterplans (which the opp offers).
The prop does not respond to either argument, particularly the counterplan. This means I vote opp on the counterplan and/or topicality.
Dear James, sure, I understood what you meant now. I ignored the point that my opponent might have some good arguments if I answered all of her responses. Thus I indeed took away her rights to extend possible arguments. Thanks for the feedback and I will take that into accounts in the future.
Sebright - Sebright Chen on November 16, 2013 at 06:57PM EST
The reason it is important to answer your opponent's arguments, is because the alternative is massive judge intervention. As a judge, I don't want to be going around, and making arguments for the debaters that were never said in the round. What if, for example, I made the arguments against your case that your opponent did not bring up. Maybe you have really good answers for those arguments, but if they are not brought up, then it doesn't matter. You don't want judge intervention.
Because we all want to minimize judge intervention, that means even silly arguments, if they are not answered or contextualized, can have the power and force of much stronger arguments. I, for example, did not think much of your opponent's counterplan. But maybe she had good answers to my objections? Maybe not, it doesn't matter if the counterplan is not pressed at all.
Obviously, if an argument is utter nonsense, in the meaning that I cannot make sense out of it, then that is not weighed. But if I can make sense out of it, even if I think it is silly or flimsy, then it has to be weighed. And it is your job, as a debater, to make sure I know why the arguments you are winning are the important arguments to be winning. Your opponent did a good job of that, of framing the debate, so I know which arguments are important, and what order I should be looking at them.
I hope that makes sense. Answering arguments is important to stop judge intervention. You need to contextualize the round, so that I don't weigh the silly arguments as strongly as the arguments you feel you are winning. - James Stanescu on November 16, 2013 at 03:35PM EST
Thanks to both of you for this debate and the comments. I enjoyed this round.
Responses to the comments: I respect the judge's decision and his philosophies. Words below are not targeting any specific individual. I feel it is necessary to express what I think. I understand that the rules require us to answer the arguments. But why do we have to respond to the "arguments" and "evidences" that obviously do not make sense? How is this action going to improve the quality of the debate? Alternatively, why can't we bring those more important factors up to the table for us to discuss instead of spending time on some common sense questions? - Sebright Chen on November 16, 2013 at 03:03PM EST