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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:20 am 
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Rez: Reform policy towards Russia
Plan: Nuke Russia

Inherency: There is currently a Russia
Significance: All Russians die
Solvency: Harm of "Russians exist" solved
Topicality: Obviously T

Aff wins on purely stock issues.

That's why Net Benefits is better.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:39 am 
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Simple answers are notorious for being wide of the mark.

Stock issues, properly understood, requires affirmatives to produce a compelling need, an inherent barrier that diagnoses the need's root cause, and a plan that's precisely tailored to dig out the need at the root -- not treat the symptom, but eliminate the cause altogether.

  • Is there a compelling need for Russia to cease to exist? Don't be silly.
  • If Russia's existence is a problem, does that problem have roots? Sure, but they're complicated.
  • Would a nuclear strike wipe out the roots of all problems involving Russia? Nope. Many of them exist in surrounding countries, and many have gone global.

So, that plan would lose on stock issues too.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:16 am 
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DrSraderNCU wrote:
Simple answers are notorious for being wide of the mark.

Stock issues, properly understood, requires affirmatives to produce a compelling need, an inherent barrier that diagnoses the need's root cause, and a plan that's precisely tailored to dig out the need at the root -- not treat the symptom, but eliminate the cause altogether.

  • Is there a compelling need for Russia to cease to exist? Don't be silly.
  • If Russia's existence is a problem, does that problem have roots? Sure, but they're complicated.
  • Would a nuclear strike wipe out the roots of all problems involving Russia? Nope. Many of them exist in surrounding countries, and many have gone global.

So, that plan would lose on stock issues too.

That is contingent on people being competent and understanding the classical point of stock issues, which they don't. I believe Roman's speaking to the conventional perception (mostly among parent judges who think they know more than they do) of stock issues.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:52 am 
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Fair enough, but three things are nevertheless true:

  • You don't get anywhere meaningful by comparing an accurate description to a strawfigure.
  • Comparing stock issues to net benefits is fundamentally dicey, because they serve different purposes in a debate. It's like saying deontology is better than agent specification.
  • Sometimes the solution to widespread judge misunderstanding is to switch to a simpler argument, but far more often the proper remedy is just to get better at explaining the argument in the first place, especially if it's essentially sound.

My take on it is that most debaters like net benefits better because disadvantages are more fun to debate than, say, inherency. Nothing wrong with that. But it's a little like music: if you have a dance, and the organizers play the music you like, live it up. But if they insist on making it a ballroom dance or a square dance, and it's the only dance in town, you may as well learn to be a dang good square dancer. It might actually grow on you.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:50 am 
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It really depends on your preperation against the case. But, I have a couple general suggestions.

1. If, in the round, most of the arguments you plan to run are stock issues, then hammer the criterion of stock issues. Some general ways to outweigh NB with stock issues are 1) Stock Issues are essentialy the rules of debate and 2) Apriori. Before looking at anything else in the round stock issues are first and foremost important.

2. Now, If most of your arguments are very impacted (ex: Counter-plans, Disadvantages, etc.) then you should choose the criterion of net benefits. Some ways to outweigh other criterions include 1) NB is real world. In debate, we should emulate the real world to have the most realistic point of view, and to best prepare ourselves for the real world/educational value, and 2) All other criterions fall under net benefits. (in the ex of stock issues: Significance. In the real world/nb if a case has no importance/impact, this obviously would bring no net benefit. Also with solvency, if a plan can't solve, theres no benefit)

3. For more specific criterions like Justice, or Economic Prosperity, I'd say that this narrows down the round too much and that we need to look at the overall impact by using net benefits. Then again, all specific criterions like these fall under net benefits as well. And well... there aren't many things to say as the affirmative with such a narrow criterion. :P

I personally believe that Net Benefits is the single best criterion and should be used in most all cases.

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Kyle Rogers, Verve, Washington

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:23 pm 
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They're not either-or; they're complementary. The stock issues are like a doctor visit: complaint and symptoms are significance, diagnosis is inherency, the prescription is the plan and the prescription's indications are solvency. From there, net benefits is just factoring in the side effects of the prescription and deciding whether they're worse than the illness; you can cure the common cold entirely by dissolving the patient's body in powerful acid, but the side effect is gruesome, painful death, so no one ever does.

So how do you decide whether the side effects of the prescription outweigh the curative properties if you haven't properly diagnosed the illness? But on the other hand, how do you decide that you've prescribed properly, and that your patient is going to get well, if you haven't scrutinized the side effects of your prescription? Neither is complete without the other.

"Desirability" is sometimes tacked on as a fifth stock issue, helped by the fact that each part of a disadvantage almost perfectly mirrors a stock issue: link = solvency, impact = significance, uniqueness = inherency. And I've known savvy debaters who reframed what the harm really was, and then swayed judges by claiming that the disadvantage impact amounted to a solvency turn: "The harm isn't really a famine; that's just a symptom, just the particular threat to a peaceful, healthy life that they currently struggle against. The harm is insecurity, and the plan isn't a success if it leaves them more endangered than before, just from a different kind of danger."

As far as counterplans, lots of stock issues enthusiasts summarize inherency as "The affirmative plan may be sufficient, but is it necessary?" The Baylor coach that I just missed by a year, Dr. Robert Rowland, told his summer campers that counterplans could be explained as souped up inherency arguments.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:12 pm 
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That was possibly one of the most succinct yet exhaustive explanations of how policy considerations are made that I've ever seen in debaterland.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:21 am 
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Dr. Srader, your words are soon entering the lit base.

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