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Tricks Lecture

Tricks Lecture

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Published by: m_kawahara on Oct 20, 2012
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Tricks of the Trade Lecture--NSD 2011I. The Game-debate is an educational activity-but it is also a competitive activity, the objective of which is to win-if you accept the last premise that the objective of debate is winning, it is undeniable that there
is a time and a place for “tricky strategies”
 -some examples:-when debating someone who will not run theory for paradigmatic reasons-when debating in front of someone who will not vote for theory arguments (Texas judges)-when debating someone you can beat on a theory debate-
if you’re new on the circuit and trying to establish rep
some people claim that tricky arguments are “unethical” or “dishonorable.” However, many
debaters lose rounds that they otherwise could have won because they aren
’t willing to bestrategic. if you choose to be “honorable” then don’t freak out if you lose rounds against
debaters who are willing to use tricks.-if debate should teach people how to be good advocates for public policy, social justice, andother things. Because of this, they discourage debaters from running tricky arguments,arguments that supposedly bastardize literature (usually comes to a diff conclusion then theauthor did), or arguments that would clearly be seen as ridiculous in any other context besides adebate round. Running tricks will get you to think more critically about the logical structure of arguments, and especially about how to exploit that structure for a strategic advantage. And inturn, this will teach you how to point out when som
eone is arguing in a “meritless” manner.
Moreover, the obsession with “staying true to the literature” is overblown. Most of the time
when you cut pieces of evidence in debate, even if they are pretty clearly in favor or one side of the resolution or an
other, it is unlikely that the author’s true beliefs could be reduced to a simple
affirmation or negation of the resolution. Especially when philosophical arguments are beingcarded, bastardization is required because you are utilizing these arguments not for what theysay in and of themselves, but for the strategic purpose of affirming or negating the resolution.-
NOTE: Not all of these strategies are ones that even we think are legitimate, but it’s importantfor you guys to know what’s out there so you don’t get tricked yourself.
-This lecture is about AWARENESS.II. Tricks AFF Tricks
1. Write the framework in such a way that if the framework is true, you automatically affirm. An exampleof this is on the vaccines topic from last year, which was Resolved: Public health concerns justifycompulsory immunization. We ran a case with a rational contractarian framework, which is basically a
deontological justification for utilitarianism. Our argument, then, was that winning the framework issufficient to affirm because acting according to public health concerns definitionally means acting in sucha way that reduces harm to the public.
2. Include an argument that says that if the framework isn’t true, then you affirm. An example of this was
on the felons topic from two years ago, which was Resolved: In the United States, felons ought to retainthe right to vote. The criterion for this case was consistency with contractual agreements, and thecontention argued that disenfranchising felons violates contractual agreements. But, after I finished justifying the criterion, I read an argument about how barring felons from voting is impossible absentdemocratic procedure, which is entirely premised on contractual agreements. The impact was that youautomatically affir
m because it’s impossible to disenfranchise felons if contracts are bad. These
arguments are often times hard to find, but when you do find them, they make rounds significantly easier.
People often call these arguments contingent standards, and they’ve b
een in the game for a fairly longtime. Devin Race from Westlake used to read cases with contingent standards all the time. The mostmemorable example of this is on the military force topic (Resolved: It is just for the US to use militaryforce to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons by nations that pose a military threat). Devin said thatthere were two kinds of justice: Big J and Little J justice. Big J justice is normative whereas little j justiceis descriptive. The basic way the case functioned was that if a neg put answers on the big j part of the
case, the little j part would be “activated,” and you would affirm because the US had taken that action in
the past.
3. Include definitions in the affirmative case that take out popular negative arguments. For instance, on
the sanctions topic, some people defined sanctions in such a way that targeted sanctions weren’t neg
ground. You might run into some problems trying to justify your interpretation theoretically, but you canusually make those debates a wash fairly easily.
4. Include spikes/definitions in the AC that are intentionally vague which allow you to take out a varietyof arguments--
if the neg debater doesn’t p
in you down on these arguments you can use them to exclude alarge amount of ground
5. Include some abusive/ a priori arguments in the AC--for instance, the toolbox argument on this topic.Then if the neg presses you on it in cross-ex and you think that they would win the theory debate, tellthem to cross the argument off the flow. Judges will allow you to do this without any problem--this
 basically guarantees they won’t read theory against you. However, if they miss the spike, you can extend
it for the win.
6. Write a burden for the negative that includes multiple components, but phrase it as a single burden. Forinstance, you could argue that because of the definition of moral permissibility, the negative has toprovide some prohibition against targeted killing whereas the aff just has to demonstrate the lack of sucha prohibition. This burden structure requires the neg to a) set up an ethical theory and b) prove that the aff violates it, whereas the aff can win by beating back either of these claims. When you phrase multiple
 burdens as single burdens, debaters don’t recognize what’s going on and you can get away with abusing
7. Include complete theory shells in the AC. This sometimes deters negs from running abusive strategiesand forcing you to deal with this debate. More often than not, however, the neg will still run the abusiveposition they were planning on running even given the spikes to it. However, they will spend a lot lesstime responding to the theory argument than they would have in the NR had you made the theory
argument in the 1AR because they have the rest of the AC to deal with. Negs won’t spend more than a
minute or so answering back theory shells they violate in the NC whereas they would likely spend at least2-3 minutes in the NR.
8. Read a 30 second theory shell during every 1AR. Even if you don’t expect to win off the theory
argument, reading it is still beneficial because it will force any smart neg to spend at least 1:30 of theirNR answering the theory argument. Generically, when 1ar theory comes into play, one of two thingshappen. Either a) the neg overcovers the theory debate and screws up on the case debate or b) theyundercover the theory debate and you can explode theory in the 1ar. The key to this strategy is shorttheory arguments. Practice reciting your fairness is a voter justifications and the internal links of commonstandards to fairness, and maybe even write out your theory interpretation in your prep time.
NOTE: Potentially more strategic, but more difficult for the aff, is to put the
theory at the end of the 1AR. • Increases chances neg will drop or undercover, • Requires
lots of discipline / time management on your part to make sure you get what you needdone with 30 seconds left for T.9. Ask really leading cross ex questions which get your opponent to make concessions that canwin you the round. On the sanctions topic, (Resolved: Economic sanctions ought not be used toachieve foreign policy objectives), I would ask the neg what the foreign policy objective (noticenot plural) of the NC was. They would often respond by saying that it was to stop terrorism, orsomething along those lines, and then I would run topicality on the fact that they only have onepolicy objective.
 10. Offensive 1AR Expansions:Examples---Security K-Benatar Argument-Statistics Argument- Kick AC and go for turns11. Trick your opponent into thinking that some theory interpretation at the top of the AC iscrucial to your ability to win the aff contention. For instance, on the felon disenfranchisementtopic, which was: Resolved, in a democratic society, felons ought to retain the right to vote, Iread an aff with a contracts standard that argued that negating violated two internationaltreaties: the ICCPR and the ICERD. At the top of the AC I said that the resolution should beinterpreted as US specific for 6 reasons. However, there was a spike in the contention level of the case which said that the vast majority of democratic nations were party to these contracts,which meant
that I didn’t even need to win the US specificity good arguments. But people’s neg

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