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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:58 pm 
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I've heard that they're awful.

Could someone explain why? I'm guessing it has something to do with taking aff ground.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:47 pm 
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Does a PIC provide a reason not to vote affirmative?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:53 pm 
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9 times out of 10 it's not a reason to reject.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:12 pm 
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I believe the issue is that when you make the PIC you concede the affirmative's plan. At that point, they win the debate round. Sure, your counter-plan might be more beneficial, but the the affirmative's job isn't to provide the most beneficial plan. Their burden is to prove that the resolution is true, (or that their case is true, whatever) and by running a PIC, you admit that they fulfill that.

For a PIC to be legit, it would have to compete. Which is hard, you'd have to prove that the affirmative team's plan by itself is a bad idea. But with your inclusion it is a good one.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:23 pm 
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So if aff had a unique DA that the PIC avoids and equal or less advantages, then the PIC would be legit?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:31 pm 
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Dr_Pepper wrote:
So if aff had a unique DA that the PIC avoids and equal or less advantages, then the PIC would be legit?

If the PIC adds something to what plan does, its never legitimate because it has no real competitiveness, if that was allowed you could add anything you wanted as long as it avoided a DA.

If the PIC removes something from plan (usually called a PEC, but technically a PIC if done by adding words to plan text) You can run theory on topical CPs in general, or that its bad for debate because instead of debating the overall issue, you're only debating one minor issue in that. You can run a standard of academic integrity as part of your theory position (you wrote a 1AC and they just claimed all of it as their own work basically) as well. Most of these work better in parli where you have limited prep time, but wouldn't be terrible options here.

Your focus with a true PIC should be perm/theory (assuming that's possible with your judge), but vs PECs its easier/stronger to run solvency deficits, and turns on whatever they're excluding. There's usually a pretty good reason you included everything you did in your plan, so you should be able to defend it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:36 pm 
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Also, PICs are always topical CPs, so the cannot disprove the resolution.

/deadhorse
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:15 pm 
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If I don't use the words "Counterplan" or "Plan-Inclusive" but I make the following argument, do all the h8ers h8?

"Your plan would only be optimal/work if it ALSO did X"

"Abolishing the UN only works if we form a new League of Awesomeness"

"Withdrawing PMCs/All Military from Iraq only makes sense if we provide a training/indoctrination program in the U.S. for Iraqi soldiers"

Is that an ok argument?

Yes. You can say that in the real world. It's a PIC.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:22 pm 
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Isaiah wrote:
"Your plan would only be optimal/work if it ALSO did X"
This is basically what I was thinking of.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:42 pm 
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Isaiah wrote:
Is that an ok argument? Yes. You can say that in the real world. It's a PIC.
Yes, but passing a bill with amendments is still passing a bill. It's an important issue to discuss, but just because it's important doesn't mean it's a reason to vote Negative.

Assume the resolution is "Resolved: That we should reform the UN." Your proposed PIC still reforms the UN. Ergo, it's not a reason to reject the resolution.

That sounds really unfair ("but it disproves the plan, doesn't it?"), but it's not really. The problem is one of analogies. Everyone tends to think about plans & counterplans as if you're debating a bill on the floor of the Senate, but that is not how the resolution is worded at all:

Senate: Should we pass this specific immigration bill?
Resolution: Should we pass an immigration bill?

People who say "This doesn't fit with the resolution, but it's a realistic argument on the Senate floor" are missing the point. If an argument works with the Senate but not with the resolution, all that means is that the resolution is not like the Senate. Not that we should just accept the argument and ignore the resolution.

The analogy I prefer: party leaders are trying to decide whether they should tackle a certain issue this session. You have to have some sort of proposed bill to do this (aka the Aff plan), but bringing up alternate bills or amendments doesn't prove that you shouldn't tackle the issue at all. (This analogy is a much more realistic approximation of what the resolution actually says.)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:07 pm 
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Which is why my principle of debate, that the moment debate turns the real world on its head go with the real world, would say "keep Daniel debating about the plan, just say 'your UN plan is BAD because this DA persists b/c plan lacks X'" at which point you either just prove your plan or start telling the judge about PICs, resolutionality, perms, parametrics, and all these words that you alone are introducing to the round :-P

O_O run-on sentence^^^^

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:40 pm 
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How is a meeting of party leaders not real-world?

The choice of Congress as our "real-world" analogy is almost completely arbitrary. It's just a convention that "feels right" because Congress is the agency for most (but not all!) plans. I could just as easily decide that the standard for what is "real-world" is the President's cabinet, or a barbershop.

The choice isn't between "the resolution" and "the real world".
The choice is which part of the real world to use.
The way we decide that is by looking at the resolution.
The resolution clearly indicates that Congress is the wrong part.

Debate is rooted in the resolution; if we abandon it, it becomes completely arbitrary. If something looks "not real world", that means you're thinking of the wrong part of the real world - not that we should abandon the resolution.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:50 pm 
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If a PIC is x% topical and y% non-topical, then, according to either your paradigm, Daniel, or a parametrics paradigm, who gets it?

If aff is exclusively burdened to show that the res is exclusively a good idea, then how can a well-run PIC (res alone=bad; res + x=good) still be an aff voter?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:02 am 
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Where I think you're getting tripped up is the notion that a plan-inclusive counterplan uses 100% of the affirmative plan. It doesn't. Every plan-inclusive counterplan leaves out at least part of the 1AC plan. Agent counterplans are plan-inclusive, because they use the affirmative mandates, but a different agent: the states, the courts, an international agency, or whatever. Exclusion counterplans are plan-inclusive, because they use most of the affirmative plan, but they leave out one part and run a disadvantage to that, while claiming all the solvency of the parts of the plan that they enact.

As for the notion that counterplans need to be topical or non-topical, that is, indeed, a dead horse. If the counterplan proves the plan's a bad idea, then the counterplan is a reason the affirmative should lose. People who think plan-inclusive counterplans are legitimate tend to think affirmatives have the burden to defend any and everything they choose to write into the plan. People who think they're not legitimate tend to believe that such counterplans are ground-theft, and that once the affirmative occupies the ground defined by a proposal, that ground is off-limits to the negative. I sympathize with the latter view, but the former has an impressive track record of winning, and I always coached my debaters to run them when we had a good one.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:07 am 
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Drew wrote:
If a PIC is x% topical and y% non-topical, then, according to either your paradigm, Daniel, or a parametrics paradigm, who gets it? If aff is exclusively burdened to show that the res is exclusively a good idea, then how can a well-run PIC (res alone=bad; res + x=good) still be an aff voter?
Hypothetically, you could argue against a PIC with extratopical mandates the same way you argue against an Aff plan with extratopical mandates. Either argue that the extratopical mandates make the entire PIC nontopical, or that the Negative can only claim advantages from the extratopical mandates in a vacuum (without the rest of the plan.) These have rather different results.

I'm inclined to argue that a PIC with extratopical mandates is an AFF voter because it requires the judge to adopt the resolution for it to work.

DrSraderNCU wrote:
As for the notion that counterplans need to be topical or non-topical, that is, indeed, a dead horse. If the counterplan proves the plan's a bad idea, then the counterplan is a reason the affirmative should lose.
I'm very much interested to see how you justify this resolutionally (since you aren't fond of parametrics.) Why is this true?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:15 am 
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By not overthinking what doesn't have to be overthought. "Your plan has to be topical" is a rule of the game, and the topic plays no other role in the debate. This argument comes straight out of that heritage.

I debated and coached college debaters on the NDT side, separate for many years from CEDA, and we went through season after season resolving these debates when none of us had ever heard the word "parametrics." Debaters routinely made a few simple arguments that plan-focus produced better debates, and rarely lost that argument. Once the plan was the focus of the debate, a completing proposal that proved it undesirable was obviously a voting issue.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:27 am 
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Why, then, is the resolution worded in the stock form "Resolved: That XXXX should YYYY", rather than "Debate cases this year must be about XXXX"? Resolutions are always worded as a true/false statement that can be affirmed or denied.

If we treat the resolution as an absolute statement to be affirmed or denied, essentially everything we expect in debate - from fiat to solvency to competition - flows neatly out. If we abandon this framework, then the resolution becomes an unnaturally-worded mess, and a significant chunk of conventional debate theory becomes completely arbitrary.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:47 am 
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Why refer to a case as being, or not being, prima facie, unless the rest of the debate is supposed to be in Latin? Some of the set pieces of debate are throwbacks to earlier forms of the activity, and making sweeping claims about necessary theoretical architecture based on them is going too far on too little evidence. Doing what it takes to set up a good debate comes ahead of anything and everything else.

The earliest policy debate topics were so very narrow that only a single case was topical. Once a consensus developed that an important part of debate education was debating different proposals over the course of a season, the theory adapted to that reality. In doing so, it wasn't necessarily tidy and consistent; it patched holes and kept moving.

Last thing: condemning debate theory as arbitrary is like condemning tap-dancing for being noisy.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:11 am 
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Point taken, but all things considered, the resolutional framework still does a remarkable job of providing educational debates. There are really only a few cases (like topical counterplans) where it doesn't mesh well with "ideal" debate, and even then there is considerable controversy about what "ideal debate" even is. (Plenty of people think that topical CPs and PICs are just plain bad for debate.)

The alternative is pretty much to consider the resolution exclusively as a topic statement, and make all other theory judgements on the basis of "what seems like a good idea." This works, but it doesn't seem necessary, consistent, or particularly satisfying. Without any single basis to work from, theory could quickly become a confusing jumble of differing opinions and weird assertions.

I suppose this has already happened to an extent (performance arguments, anyone?), but the resolution certainly offers a stability that is hard to come by otherwise. There is a "right answer"; there's just some disagreement about what it is. Without the resolution, the "right answer" is whatever your current judge happens to value most.

DrSraderNCU wrote:
Last thing: condemning debate theory as arbitrary is like condemning tap-dancing for being noisy.
I would disagree, on two grounds:
  1. The whole point of debate theory is that it's not arbitrary. Making up rules is arbitrary. Debate theory is (or at least, is supposed to be) based on logical deductions from the resolution and the foundations of debate.
  2. You can always tap-dance on carpet :P

Now, the definitions get sticky here (is something "arbitrary" when it exists solely because it's a good idea?), but hopefully you understand what I'm saying.

(Speaking of Latin, fun side note: Someone once actually ran a case that would have required all courtroom discussion to take place in Latin.)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:17 am 
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Fun fact: I had deja vu reading this^ post

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