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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:55 am 
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I haven't run it yet this year, because I just don't really like it.

But I'm getting pretty tired of teams randomly calling cases out on it without a brightline. Furthermore, the EFFECTS of the reform are not what a "significantly reform" t-press should be on.

The best brightline idea I have for this is a statistical one.

Set a number and say that a reform has to extend to that percentage of federal cases/criminals.

Academically speaking, many experts believe that 1, 5, or 10 percent quanitifies "significant," but I bet you could make a logical case for 50 or 100%.

I: Aff must significantly reform the CJS
[The best way to determine how significant a particular reform IS to the CJS, or in other words, how sweeping it is, we offer the standard of...]
S: Statistical significance: If the reform extends to 10% of federal criminals, it qualifies as a significant reform
Vio: Less than 10%
Impx

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:14 am 
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I totally agree. It has to be based on a statistic, not just randomly calling it out based on what they believe it is. As for what the statistic actually SHOULD be, that can vary based on the case. Lets say the recording custodial interrogations case. Say they have no statistic on how many federal wrongful convictions there are. It could be argued that one life is significant and changing the CJS for that one person is justified.
They prove their significance by showing the qualitative and quantitative significance. It's not JUST based on the statistic. Its a very good argument when you have a statistic against the aff case showing its insignificance. But definitely something else to consider is the qualitative significance, which would be easy to defeat by saying "good intentions, but little effect" or something like that.

I have run Significance Topicality a few times this year, and I run it only if the affirmative team has no statistics on their plan. :becool:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:06 am 
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I am proud to say I have never run a Sig Tpress.

I think they should be avoided unless the Aff is undoubtedly insignificant.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:14 am 
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I agree, sig T-presses are dumb and sort of abusive.

[Thumbs up]

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:37 am 
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"The Affirmative team does something, but it's just not enough. I mean, come on judge. If you were in charge, wouldn't you shoot for a 100% change of the system?! YEAH! Aff just doesn't do enough. They don't uphold the resolution because I say they just do too little."

lol no thanks

Significance T is silly in almost every case.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:10 pm 
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not every case.

When the problem involves directly overturning .027% of cases (or the system has a 99.973 success rate) then it probably isn't a significant problem.

Also, if there isn't ANY problem in the status quo, and the AFF just argues that "while SQ is fine, our plan is even better" that doesn't meet the stock issue of significance either.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:37 pm 
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Drew wrote:
I haven't run it yet this year, because I just don't really like it.

But I'm getting pretty tired of teams randomly calling cases out on it without a brightline. Furthermore, the EFFECTS of the reform are not what a "significantly reform" t-press should be on.

The best brightline idea I have for this is a statistical one.

Set a number and say that a reform has to extend to that percentage of federal cases/criminals.

Academically speaking, many experts believe that 1, 5, or 10 percent quanitifies "significant," but I bet you could make a logical case for 50 or 100%.

I: Aff must significantly reform the CJS
[The best way to determine how significant a particular reform IS to the CJS, or in other words, how sweeping it is, we offer the standard of...]
S: Statistical significance: If the reform extends to 10% of federal criminals, it qualifies as a significant reform
Vio: Less than 10%
Impx


where would you get the number 10% and why would you pick that number? nothing against 10% just if a team pulled that on me, i would ask where they got the number and why they picked that number specifically.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:47 pm 
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I know not this "leverage" of which you speak.
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10% is the generally accepted threshold of statistical significance. However, that number is used for comparing statistical variations, I have not seen it used for determining the significance of policies. Do policy makers care about "how significantly" a policy changes the laws? It seems to me that policy makers would be far more concerned with the significance of the effects of the policy rather than the number of semi colons that a particular policy moves.

Conclusion: It is difficult to find a real world standard for a significance T-press because there is no such thing as topicality in real policy making.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:12 pm 
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Mr Glasses wrote:
10% is the generally accepted threshold of statistical significance. However, that number is used for comparing statistical variations, I have not seen it used for determining the significance of policies. Do policy makers care about "how significantly" a policy changes the laws? It seems to me that policy makers would be far more concerned with the significance of the effects of the policy rather than the number of semi colons that a particular policy moves.

Conclusion: It is difficult to find a real world standard for a significance T-press because there is no such thing as topicality in real policy making.


Like the Supreme Court said about porn, "I know it when I see it."

LOL. That's my standard.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:25 am 
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Just a thought, guys: Why do we put the word "significantly" in most of our resolutions?

Drew is totally right, though. No matter what the brightline is, you cannot run sig-T without one.

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 Post subject: Significance Topicality
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:28 pm 
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I was writing topicality presses, and was getting ready to write a significance T-press, when I realized I really don't know enough about these to write one effectively. So, would you please help me out by answering the following questions?

First off, I know that Significance Topicality and Significance the stock issue are different entities; however, I'm having a hard time differentiating between the two more clearly. Can someone please explain this to me?

Second, I have no idea what to do with the brightline. Significance is largely a matter of opinion, and thus, I have a hard time determining where we should draw the line between something significant and something insignificant. Does anyone have any brightlines that have worked for them in the past?

I believe Significance T-presses are necessary (especially for this year), but I have very little idea how I should write them out.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:01 pm 
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I've written on this before, but usually when I a run a sig T-press, I use a BL of some statistic e.g. how many dollars of the whole, target effect group in light of whole, etc.

For a more specific example, take last year's res. If a case made a reform that effected .5% or less of the entire number of either cases that passed through the FCJS annually or the number of inmates in federal prisons, I might argue that the FCJS has not been significantly reform.

It's cool, because many cases that year really did affect less than .5% of those groups and you could sound ultra reasonable by saying something along the lines of: "Judge, one might say that a reform affecting the majority (i.e. 51%) of a group would be a significant change, but guess what, we're willing to be reasonable and set that standard at 10%, no, you know what, we'll go down to 1%. If aff can change the FCJS so that it alters how it affects just ONE percent of the cases it handles, then we'll say they're topical. However, they only affect .01%!"

Numbers are concrete.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:29 pm 
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Whatever drew says, listen to him ^_^

Definitely you're going to want a brightline. Significance T just doesn't function without it.

Also if they have a definition of significant that says, "having or likely to have influence or effect", maul them over it. MAUL THEM. That's not the right definition of significant. It's a rarely used form that just means there was an effect, not that there was a "large" or "significant" effect.

Be careful when dealing with definitions, though, since most judges couldn't care less.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:26 pm 
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I think Drew's analysis of percentage change is right on. In the Blue Book Advanced, we're going to analyze a number of cases that are coming out and dig up the numbers on how much they're changing, and brief out some prepared Signif-T presses showing that the AFF is only changing some tiny less than 1% of the structure or organization or personnel involved in the scenario. I think of it as "numerator / denominator" analysis: the amount being changed is the numerator, divided by the size of the thing being changed. That fraction gives a clear number that can be argued as to "significantly" reforming or not.

To suggest how to think about the difference between stock-issue Significance and T-Signifiantly, here's two examples:

1. Affirmative fires 90% of the employees at the UN and replaces them with trained monkeys. The Advantage: The difference in salaries versus the cost of reward bananas saves $3 per year in the UN budget.

Topicality/Significantly - Yes. You changed 90% of the organization.
Significance in Harm/Advantage/Stock issue - No. You only produced a $3 benefit out of a total budget of x billion dollars.

2. Affirmative changes 50 employee personnel management paperwork events per year by transferring them from one office to another within the UN. (a case in THE SOURCE this year)

Topicality/Significantly - No. The UN has 44,000 employees, changing some paperwork for 50 of them is like 0.11% of the total.
Significance in Harm/Advantages/Stock issue - Aff claims it will totally solve billions of dollars in corruption. If they prove that, then sure, it's significant.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:33 pm 
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And one thing that has to be made abundantly clear: for the purpose of demonstrating that it's a topical case, what you measure has to be a dimension of the proposal at the moment of its adoption, not an indirect effect of the plan. They can't prove significantly topicality by effects. One way to sell it to the judge: tiny changes can have huge effects but still be tiny changes, and the one thing the topic makes clear is that tiny changes aren't topical.

It also means to maximize your advantage, you have to clean up your language. You can't say things like "Your case would be topical if it affected 5% of the employees at the UN." The verb has to be a lot more precise: "Your affirmative would be topical if it hired/fired/transferred employees equal in number to 5% of the entire staff." That's a measurable parameter of the policy itself, not speculation on what ripple effects it has.

One last example: a college hires three new math professors to teach Math 101. They're to teach it to gigantic lecture halls full of students and be piped out via closed circuit TV to overflow halls, and all the homework and exams will be computer graded. (Horrifying, but some schools do it.) Those three professors will teach several thousand students a year for the span of their careers, which could go thirty to forty years, so we're talking close to six figures. Is the effect significant? Sure. That's five to ten times the size of the entire student body of the school. Is the change itself significant? Hiring three professors is a tiny change.

Focus like a laser on measuring the explicit scale of the policy all by itself, and don't let them drag in its ripple effects.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:57 pm 
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wait, so you're saying that if the constitution is amended to remove the first amendment (which accounts for 45 of the 4,543 words in the constitution), that isn't a significant change to the constitution because it only changes 0.99% of the words? that seems a little sketch to me, and i doubt i'd be able to sell it to most judges.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:43 pm 
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Apples and oranges. The United Nations isn't a document; it's an organization. It has personnel and material resources, and that's the proper measure of a substantial change.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:44 am 
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Drew wrote:
I've written on this before, but usually when I a run a sig T-press, I use a BL of some statistic e.g. how many dollars of the whole, target effect group in light of whole, etc.

For a more specific example, take last year's res. If a case made a reform that effected .5% or less of the entire number of either cases that passed through the FCJS annually or the number of inmates in federal prisons, I might argue that the FCJS has not been significantly reform.

It's cool, because many cases that year really did affect less than .5% of those groups and you could sound ultra reasonable by saying something along the lines of: "Judge, one might say that a reform affecting the majority (i.e. 51%) of a group would be a significant change, but guess what, we're willing to be reasonable and set that standard at 10%, no, you know what, we'll go down to 1%. If aff can change the FCJS so that it alters how it affects just ONE percent of the cases it handles, then we'll say they're topical. However, they only affect .01%!"

Numbers are concrete.
Okay, so for last year's resolution, would you say that abolishing the death penalty is non-topical?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:23 am 
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DrSraderNCU wrote:
Apples and oranges. The United Nations isn't a document; it's an organization. It has personnel and material resources, and that's the proper measure of a substantial change.

ok, well, to use the example coachvance mentioned, i think it's a stretch to say that saving billions of dollars isn't a significant reform, even if it only affects 50 people. heck, assassinating ki-moon would be incredibly significant even though it's only one guy (not that it's a good idea, it's not, but it's an example of how a tiny change with big effects is still a significant change).

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:48 am 
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Winning that effects topicality is illegitimate isn't the toughest challenge in the landscape of theory debates. It's pretty open-and-shut. Doubly so when the argument is "significantly," and the defense is that you meet the word in the topic because you satisfy the other stock issue with the same name. If the plan cuts or reallocates such a big sum of money that it's significant when compared to the entire UN budget, fine. If the claim is that it results in savings that large because of a knock-on effect of the plan's adoption, those savings have nothing to do with whether the plan is topical.

And how on earth can it be a significant reform to remove the secretary general, whether by assassination, or vote, or any other way? You're changing the officeholder, which might be a substantial "reform" to Ban Ki-Moon's life story, but you're not changing the UN in the slightest. The provisions to replace a secretary general are well-established and have been carried out a bunch of times. Now, abolishing the office of secretary general and overhauling the organizational structure at the top would probably be a significant reform.


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