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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:11 am 
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This confusion is why some debate leagues, including NCFCA and Stoa, are sometimes replacing "significantly" in the resolution with some other word like "Substantially" (one resolution committee member in another league, not NCFCA nor Stoa, explicitly mentioned this to me). Even though both words mean substantially the same thing. ;)

You then have to "substantially" reform to be topical and have a "signficant" harm/advantage impact to be worth debating at all. Using the two different words is supposed to clear up the confusion.

Quote:
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.


Well, Affirmatives will certainly argue that. Negatives will reply that it's a teeny insignificant reform that has significant effects. Just like other extra-topical reforms might have big impacts on the UN.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:41 pm 
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DrSraderNCU wrote:
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.

well... that's not exactly my defense. my defense would be something like

defn: "Significantly (adv.): To a significant degree or extent; so as to make a noticeable difference; substantially, considerably." (oxford english dictionary online)

stds:
1. common man
2. real world
3. limits

interp: the word significantly refers to the results of the reform, i.e. the difference it makes.

R2P:
1. a common man would gauge the significance of a reform by the significance of it's results. if i told my friend that i would significantly reform his car (which happened to be broken), then replaced a spark plug (thus fixing the car), he wouldn't say "well, my car is now working, but that wasn't a significant change at all! just a little spark plug!", he'd say "gee, thanks will, you're the man!"

2. in the real world, experts discussing potential reforms to the UN don't limit themselves to reforms that would directly change most of the UN. they focus on reforms that would provide a significant benefit, because those are the good reforms. we shouldn't limit ourselves in that way either.

3. this interp actually provides more reasonable limits on affirmatives. if the word significant applies to the actual change, then changing a significant portion of the UN would be topical, even if it had virtually no result. consider a plan to have all UN officials use #4 lead in their pencils instead of #2 because it's harder and lasts longer (example stolen from Daniel Thonmas (Amodeum)). such a plan would not be topical under this interp (and it shouldn't), but under negs interp, we could run that plan and completely fulfill the resolution.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:11 pm 
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Results = effects. Your reasons to prefer would be up against the reasons topicality by effect is illegitimate. Smart money's on the latter.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:57 pm 
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Quote:
if i told my friend that i would significantly reform his car (which happened to be broken), then replaced a spark plug (thus fixing the car), he wouldn't say "well, my car is now working, but that wasn't a significant change at all! just a little spark plug!", he'd say "gee, thanks will, you're the man!"


He might thank you, but that wouldn't get you a win on T. ;) Only on solvency.

You could win a T argument if the resolution was: R, that the car should be changed to significantly improve its performance. That describes what you did.

But you could lose on T if the resolution was: R, that the car should be significantly reformed.

The first res contains something that is irritating (to me, obviously some resolution writers like it) where the topicality depends on the effects or depends on the solvency. The NCFCA resolution on imported oil had a clause like that.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:28 am 
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coachvance wrote:
Quote:
if i told my friend that i would significantly reform his car (which happened to be broken), then replaced a spark plug (thus fixing the car), he wouldn't say "well, my car is now working, but that wasn't a significant change at all! just a little spark plug!", he'd say "gee, thanks will, you're the man!"


He might thank you, but that wouldn't get you a win on T. ;) Only on solvency.

You could win a T argument if the resolution was: R, that the car should be changed to significantly improve its performance. That describes what you did.

But you could lose on T if the resolution was: R, that the car should be significantly reformed.

The first res contains something that is irritating (to me, obviously some resolution writers like it) where the topicality depends on the effects or depends on the solvency. The NCFCA resolution on imported oil had a clause like that.

well, if the "resolution" was that i would "significantly reform his car", then he would thank me because he would consider fixing his car to be a significant reform to the car. because he can now drive in it.

i think with significance, it's a little more complicated than open-and-shut effects T, because you can make the case that, grammatically, the word "significantly" when applied to the verb "reform" automatically refers to the effects of such reform - without a phrase like "improve performance". i gave a definition earlier which said as much: "To a significant degree or extent; so as to make a noticeable difference; substantially, considerably."

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:18 pm 
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No, it really isn't. It's the same thing.

One more analogy: remodeling your house. If you replace one floorboard in a huge house, it's not a significant reform. It might be a squeaky floorboard that distracts everybody in the house every time anyone, including the cat, steps on it. It might be making everyone sleep deprived, because the cat wanders the house late at night and wakes everyone up. Replacing the floorboard has a gigantic effect on everyone's happiness and well-being, but replacing a single floorboard is not a significant reform in the house.

You might, on the other hand, build a wing onto the house that effectively doubles its size, but for whatever eccentric reason, everyone in the house refuses to set foot in the new wing. That would be a significant reform of the house, but the effect of the change would be tiny, possibly even zero. (Your heating/AC bill might go up a bit.)

Any debater on top of her or his game will identify your defense as nothing other than topicality by effect. You can say that's the nature of "significantly," and they'll say no, there are lots of ways to measure the significant scale of the reform from the plan text without venturing out to its effects. And you'll be stuck arguing effects topicality is legitimate, and that's a low percentage strategy. Even if you win it occasionally, it'll be far more work than it should be, and you'll never win it against a team that's equal in ability to you. There are just better positions out there to take.


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 Post subject: Significance Topicality
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:59 pm 
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What is your view on Significance Topicality?

Personally I think it is a legitimate, but weak argument.

Questions for AFF to ask to disprove Sig T: What standard is being used to define significance? Where do you draw the line of Significance and non Significance?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:08 pm 
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The type of impact analysis best for this type of topicality argument (which is weak to begin with) is probably not going to work well in the NCFCA, I bet.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:40 pm 
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013 wrote:
The type of impact analysis best for this type of topicality argument (which is weak to begin with) is probably not going to work well in the NCFCA, I bet.


What would that analysis be, and why wouldn't it work in NCFCA?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:35 am 
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The argument has seemed to work well from my experiances on it. So long as you can explain to the judge the fundamental difference between Sig-T and the stock issue Significance, you should have no problems. Just come up with some good impacts (both generic and case specific) and you should be able to win on it.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:48 am 
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I think the only way 'significance' topicality works is with a definition that gives a clear brightline. Or else the "significance" factor is 100% subjective. I think that in order to win significance argument, you must win on the definition/brightline debate.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:09 pm 
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superben21 wrote:
The argument has seemed to work well from my experiances on it. So long as you can explain to the judge the fundamental difference between Sig-T and the stock issue Significance, you should have no problems. Just come up with some good impacts (both generic and case specific) and you should be able to win on it.

This ^
I actually like running Top/Sig better than stock issue/Sig. In my experience, I've almost found it harder to impact stock issue/Sig.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:34 pm 
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I.rule.this.game wrote:
superben21 wrote:
The argument has seemed to work well from my experiances on it. So long as you can explain to the judge the fundamental difference between Sig-T and the stock issue Significance, you should have no problems. Just come up with some good impacts (both generic and case specific) and you should be able to win on it.

This ^
I actually like running Top/Sig better than stock issue/Sig. In my experience, I've almost found it harder to impact stock issue/Sig.


I don't understand this statement. Significance as a stock issues is easy. The harm isn't big enough to merit a reform. Simple as that. Sig T is harder to impact. You have to link the size of a reform to the resolution, however, with any definition you give to create a bright line doesn't matter. Significance is a relative term. You can't just say that plan X is insignificant, because who decides what is significant, and what is insignificant? What are the guidelines? Where is that line drawn. No one can quantify that, or place that line there.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:58 am 
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Highlander wrote:
I.rule.this.game wrote:
superben21 wrote:
The argument has seemed to work well from my experiances on it. So long as you can explain to the judge the fundamental difference between Sig-T and the stock issue Significance, you should have no problems. Just come up with some good impacts (both generic and case specific) and you should be able to win on it.

This ^
I actually like running Top/Sig better than stock issue/Sig. In my experience, I've almost found it harder to impact stock issue/Sig.


I don't understand this statement. Significance as a stock issues is easy. The harm isn't big enough to merit a reform. Simple as that. Sig T is harder to impact. You have to link the size of a reform to the resolution, however, with any definition you give to create a bright line doesn't matter. Significance is a relative term. You can't just say that plan X is insignificant, because who decides what is significant, and what is insignificant? What are the guidelines? Where is that line drawn. No one can quantify that, or place that line there.

Couple things:
1. Who said significance was subjective?

2. Why do you see the argument as a bright-lining argument?

3. Why do you find it so hard to bright-line?

Response:
Since we know that the imperative of the resolution is the word reform, we can see that topicality flows exclusively from the mandates. Knowing this we can understand that the merits of the plan (harms and advantages) are irrelevant when it comes to topicality. Now lets take a definition of significance as "of great amount; important" (thats the gist of them all). Lets take the case example of abolishing the IPCC. What is the goal of the IPCC? To publish data on Climate Change which will already be published whether or not the IPCC is around. How can you justify that eliminating this informing body on one topic of conversation is significant? Every team tries to tell you its because "climate chang isn't real" or "the IPCC is bias". Who cares? The IPCC being gone would have little to no effect on the UN. All the data will still be there. So against this case I would argue:
1. Standard = The resolution (Since we know that the imperative of the resolution is the word reform, we can see that topicality flows exclusively from the mandates. Knowing this we can understand that the merits of the plan (harms and advantages) are irrelevant when it comes to topicality. Now lets take a definition of significance as "of great amount; important".)
2. Violation = The affirmative team is not attempting to fulfill the resolution by presenting such an insignificant reform.
3. Impacts = Jurisdictional exclusion maybe? (a pizza remains a pizza even if you use a different type of cheese. You have to reform the resolution/pizza. That means make it into a pepperoni roll or whatever. But chaning from chedder to kolbe jack, thats not a signifiance reform.

Those are my thoughts. Have at it.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:53 am 
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You have made two different assumptions through what you just posted.
1. That the value of significance is based on the affects that happen after the policy has happened. We are suposed to have a significant reform, not a reform that significantly "affects" the UN.
2. That you saying something isn't significant makes it insignificant. You brought up a definition of what significance means, but how do decide what meets that criteria?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:49 pm 
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Highlander wrote:
You have made two different assumptions through what you just posted.
1. That the value of significance is based on the affects that happen after the policy has happened. We are suposed to have a significant reform, not a reform that significantly "affects" the UN.
2. That you saying something isn't significant makes it insignificant. You brought up a definition of what significance means, but how do decide what meets that criteria?

1. Debate theory 101? Christy Shipe, Carol Winkler, David Birdsell...I thought that knowledge about the stock issues was common knowledge?

2. Well you can take it a step further and define "great" and "important". I was using those as operationally defined in my example. The reason it's not a signifianct reform is because it doesn't fulfil the definition. So that covers all the links I believe.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:41 pm 
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1. I have no idea what your response means. I am talking abot sig T not sig stock issue.

2. You never prooved that it didn't fall under the definition. You talked about its affect on the UN, but we must talk about thereform, not the affect.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:02 pm 
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Highlander wrote:
1. I have no idea what your response means. I am talking abot sig T not sig stock issue.

2. You never prooved that it didn't fall under the definition. You talked about its affect on the UN, but we must talk about thereform, not the affect.

1. I was talking about sig-t. T is a stock issue..includes sig-t, extra-t, non-t, jus-t...the stock issue of sig is not relevent to this charge. Which is the point.

2. Have has burden of proof. You don't have too. But if you want too, all you have to do is look at the context of the resolution again. It says reform the UN sig. What does the UN consist of. All these random little programs and a bunch of big ones. The argument is all the random little ones are little programs. This was introduced in my response post I believe.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:31 pm 
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superben21 wrote:
1. I was talking about sig-t. T is a stock issue..includes sig-t, extra-t, non-t, jus-t...the stock issue of sig is not relevent to this charge. Which is the point.


DrSraderNCU wrote:
I treat people calling topicality a stock issue the same way I treat people calling spiders insects. I overlook it, but inwardly roll my eyes. Topicality isn't a stock issue.

The stock issues are substantive, not procedural, and for each of them the burden of proof is on the affirmative. If the affirmative never mentions one of the three, they can lose for failure to present a prima facie case. The negative can simply note that it hasn't been proven, explain why that matters, and enjoy an easy win. Not true for topicality: the negative has to bring it up and win it pretty overwhelmingly; a tie, or even a marginal edge for the negative, tends to result in an affirmative win.

Categorically, topicality belongs with the various "Spec" arguments and the arguments that goofy counterplans are illegitimate. It's a theoretical objection. It's such a respectable and widely used theoretical objection that it gets taught along with the stock issues as a package of the very basics, but that doesn't make it a stock issue.

When we teach children their numbers, we include zero, even though zero has a lot of qualities that place it in an entirely different category. It's just a good moment to introduce the concept and get them accustomed to thinking about it.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:35 pm 
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Ginger Josh wrote:
superben21 wrote:
1. I was talking about sig-t. T is a stock issue..includes sig-t, extra-t, non-t, jus-t...the stock issue of sig is not relevent to this charge. Which is the point.


DrSraderNCU wrote:
I treat people calling topicality a stock issue the same way I treat people calling spiders insects. I overlook it, but inwardly roll my eyes. Topicality isn't a stock issue.

The stock issues are substantive, not procedural, and for each of them the burden of proof is on the affirmative. If the affirmative never mentions one of the three, they can lose for failure to present a prima facie case. The negative can simply note that it hasn't been proven, explain why that matters, and enjoy an easy win. Not true for topicality: the negative has to bring it up and win it pretty overwhelmingly; a tie, or even a marginal edge for the negative, tends to result in an affirmative win.

Categorically, topicality belongs with the various "Spec" arguments and the arguments that goofy counterplans are illegitimate. It's a theoretical objection. It's such a respectable and widely used theoretical objection that it gets taught along with the stock issues as a package of the very basics, but that doesn't make it a stock issue.

When we teach children their numbers, we include zero, even though zero has a lot of qualities that place it in an entirely different category. It's just a good moment to introduce the concept and get them accustomed to thinking about it.

No reason to believe its not a stock issue. While I highly respect Dr. Srader, he presented no reason for why it wouldn't be. The affirmative team must present a prima facie case yes, but I would argue that includes topicality. I see no reason why it wouldn't.

Buy "Lines of Argumentation for Policy Debate", it explains everything better than I can. It shows the why and how very clearly IMO.

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