Robert Mulholand -- Georgia
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I don't have very strict preferences. I really try to keep an open mind about arguments and consider myself just as willing to vote for an aff that falls entirely outside of my understanding of the topic as I am for framework. I think that good debating consists of being able to recognize which arguments are most important and effectively winning them. This is probably an overarching assumption of value to know – while I do think this premise is subject to debate, I generally think that a good debater is most obviously identified by the ability to condense and process information, and debate accordingly. I think debaters are better when they can narrow down to core issues instead of attempting to win every argument. Reducing the amount of arguments you need to win clarifies the debate, and makes strategic sense for you. I think that you should advocate particular frames by which to evaluate impact calculus (such as “probability outweighs timeframe”). Absent that, I’ll admit that I find myself more persuaded by “inevitability” arguments than some others – if the impact you present is inevitable, why does it matter that you prevent it from happening sooner? That said, I’m open to all sides, I think that many inevitability arguments are contrived and false, and that the best way to ensure my calculus goes in your direction is simply to be clear about what that calculus implies. I think that most negative arguments can be described in terms of their being competitive with and outweighing the aff, and, consequently, that most effective aff responses hinge on challenging one of these two claims. I sometimes think that I’m more likely to vote on theory arguments, because impact calc is often biased toward the team advancing the offensive argument, and the responding team often blows off or mishandles them. I also think that theory arguments are best when their link and impact arguments are well developed and specifically tailored (for example – agent CP’s bad as a reason to conclude the CP isn’t competitive or goes away, rather that “voting issue for fairness and education”). I’ll try and update this as I work my way through the year and develop clearer preferences. Until then, I’d be happy to answer any questions.
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