School Conflicts: Gig Harbor AB (WA), Dulles NB (TX), Millard North GB (NE).

~*~ THIS PARADIGM IS UPDATED FOR THE 2016 TOC ~*~

TOC is exciting to me because it is where the best and most developed debates on a topic can occur. Doesn't mean they will, but they can. I see it as the culmination of the season in many ways and has a powerful modeling role. Whatever your personal stances on debate, I think TOC should be a place where we celebrate the best and do something worthy of ourselves.

TRIGGER WARNINGS:

I think the trigger warning debate is important but has been wildly underdeveloped based on what I have seen. I would be open to more thorough investigations of the consequences of trauma in debates, and think that those investigations should happen. Let me be clear that doesn't mean I'm anti trigger warnings. I just think that making it a check box like "must have a plan text" is a really perverse interpretation of what it means to support and make space for people. Would like to hear more development on this debate

TOPICAL GROUND:

I'm sympathetic to this extremely narrow topic. If you really think about it, this is one plan on a policy resolution that we're just trying to shuffle advantages on. I think it is an important and good topic in some ways. I also think affirmatives should have some leverage against topicality claims by arguing that the topic is already over-narrow and additional limits are counterproductive

I PERSONALLY BELIEVE THAT CONSTRUCTING A MONOLITHIC NOTION OF WHAT DEBATE SHOULD BE OR CAN DO IS RIDICULOUS AND I HAVE A FEW GENERAL NOTES AND CAVEATS ON THIS POINT:


1. I think debate needs new methods and voices far more than it needs more of the same. I like and encourage "risks" and unique styles of debate. I don't think they're risky.

2. I've long enjoyed many strategies in debate that are tools to deceive and get the ballot. I am less interested in many of these than I was in the past. If you want to read a storm of blippy arguments and pick up the pieces of a ballot story after your opponent inevitably drops some, feel free but it doesn't thrill me or typically generate high speaks.

3. I have favorite kinds of debate and personal stances. I also still subscribe to a "least intervention" model for my decision-making that privileges what debaters want the round to be rather than what I want the round to be. Tell me to do something, and given a won warrant for why I should do it, I'll probably do it.

4. I dislike racist bullshit, anti-queer/trans politics, virulent ableism, and patriarchal white supremacy among other things. I would hope that as a debater you knowing better is less of a strategic conceit and more basic decency as a person. I also have been known to vote for extremely pessimistic/nihilistic positions on occasion, which I don't see as conflicting with my basic value set.

As far as my general reception as a judge goes, I believe myself to be and have heard that I am a good judge for framework debate, high theory/philosophy debate, performance or alternative debate methodologies, Plan/DA/CP debates, and in many cases theory debates. That basically means you can do whatever you want. I've judged TOC outrounds, a gazillion local/lay rounds, policy, one time PF which was weird, and you should feel confident that I can evaluate whatever you're doing in whatever format so long as it is actually explained.

EVALUATION OF ROUNDS:

GENERAL:

Every round requires some amount of intervention. My rough procedure on how I resolve issues is for aff before the neg (in LD), for strength of link over magnitude of impact, on framework whether theoretical or normative over offense, and towards better argument interaction over unexplained extensions. This list is not in order of importance, it varies round to round but these are things to think about and things I look for. LAYERING AND SEQUENCING WILL MAKE YOU $ (BALLOTS) IN FRONT OF ME. I am a big fan of well structured and functional overviews.

THEORY:

I have voted on theory a lot over the years. That said, I try not to artificially resolve theory debates and am unsatisfied by poorly constructed interpretations that have marginal amounts of offense to them. Text of interp matters. You are held accountable for your texts when it comes to plans, interpretations, perms, and counterplans. I am highly sympathetic to semantic I meets on theory, as well as plan/perm/cp text flaw arguments. I like weighing and offense and not trying to be a sleaze and weighing and offense on theory.

FRAMEWORKS FOR DEBATE (ROLE OF JUDGE/ROLE OF BALLOT):

I vote for the better debater[s]. I believe what better debating is and how you win at it are defined contextually in rounds. I believe that form and expression and content are simultaneous and interrelated. All arguments espouse a methodology and constitute a performance whether they claim to or not. Claiming some feature of your performance or method as offense and a reason to vote is how everything works. Arbitrary hierarchal assumptions about how arguments function need to be interrogated. If you don't offer an explicit one know that you have still forwarded one and it is open to critique you just aren't making arguments in favor of it (aka you're behind in the debate).

SORCERY:

Debate argument functions because we believe it so and because we convince others that it is so. Your objective as debaters is to meet the explanatory burden of the arguments you select and convince me about their function. This is ultimately an act of sorcery imho - the transfer of features of your subjective experience into my own. Whether you convince me through technical perfection or excellently selected rhetoric the outcome is the same, in that I believe the stuff you say works the way you say it works.

SPEAKER POINTS:

I have a fairly average speaks range given the inflation in LD. I once calculated my average speaker points given over a couple of years (I believe 2011-2013) and it was something like 28.478. I do think most people who are "bad speakers" are culpable in part for their problems. If I could assign you reading, I would. If you try and it is obvious you are not trying to speak poorly, it will be hard to get that low of speaks in front of me. Speed is not an issue, clarity and structural pauses and volume are issues. Anyone can get a 30. Anyone can get a 25. In general, don't use lots of prep for stupid reasons, present me with an intelligent and strategic performance, and you'll be just fine. You won't get a 30 if you do the same thing as everyone else, or do a bad job and make me do work for you to resolve issues. Also if you act like a brat I will tank your speaks. If you win and are an outrounds worthy competitor but nothing more, you'll probably land right around 28.5 - this is not good enough to get you over the hump from 33rd seed to 32nd, so I suggest you take some risks or do something unique.

Finally, YES STRUCTURAL PAUSES, YES PAUSES BEFORE AND AFTER AUTHORS, YES SLOWER TAGS/ANALYTICS, NO YOU CAN'T GET A 30 JUST BEING FAST, START SLOW AND GET FASTER, IF YOU USE TOO MUCH PREP AS THE NEGATIVE, YOU'VE ALREADY LOST THE LEAD. IDK who judges exactly like me but I think Elijah Smith has a paradigm I nearly 100% agree with. Ben Koh has a great and very well organized paradigm. I also like the part about visual cues in Chris Kymn's paradigm. Becca Traber also has a paradigm I am largely in agreement with.