Jan 10, 2009

beware of briefs

I don't want to target any particular LD "brief"-churning website or organization, but one of them was the reason I had to chastise an unsuspecting Novice LDer today.

He quoted a passage out-of-context from an article (that I'm more than familiar with), claiming that it showed how the International Criminal Court or something like it would be unconstitutional--even though the authors go to great lengths to show how it isn't.

In fact, part of the way through his "brief," I thought I detected the start of a paragraph saying exactly that; he blithely read the whole thing, though, not fully understanding what it meant.

So, novice LDers, beware of briefs. If you don't understand what you're reading, don't use it. Also, always track down the original article, and read the passage in context--or have someone help you if you're not sure. The people who cut-and-paste briefs aren't necessarily concerned with their accuracy; all they want is your money. Open LDers, watch out as well. You might be looking for a shortcut to success, but if your judge knows what's going on, you're doomed.

And remember, even I, your source for friendly, free, and sage LD advice, can be wrong. Verify my research, too. You'll be a better debater for it.

(Oh, and if you can guess where I'm blogging from, come on by and say howdy.)


Comakid said...

I'm just curious; were you at the Gonzaga tournament this weekend? I was kind of hoping to meet you.

Anyway, another interesting experience; in round, my opponent ran constitutionality as his VC, and I completely misquoted the CONSTITUTION, saying that Article 1, Section 8, specifically made a provision for international courts. Kids, this would NORMALLY be a logically fallacy, an appeal in ignorance, but it quickly became an appeal to stupidity, because my opponent had and used his pocket dictionary during round, and totally bought my arguments even after looking at the reference, which never says ANYTHING about international courts.

The lesson? If you find yourself accidently misstating an argument that you read off of a brief (as I did), then don't let the opponent know you were wrong; regardless of your morals, it IS okay to pretend like you're right even if you're wrong. Don't lose rounds just because you're wrong, silly; policy teaches us that.

But, please, do your own research. I can't even believe how many people ran things posted directly on this site.

You lazy jerks.

Jim Anderson said...

I was at UPS, enjoying the french fries and constant fire drills of the Wheelock Student Center.

Idaho Debater said...

I have a couple questions.

First off, at a tournament I was at, my first opponent supposedly quoted the Rome Statute saying something along the lines of that there were to be 12 judges and 24 jurors, with the jurors to be selected from pools submitted by countries. Has anyone heard anything like this?

Also, my next opponent was kind enough to let me use her laptop to search through the Rome Statute. It never mentioned jurors or a jury. Do you feel I should have reported my opponent for falsification of evidence? On the ballot, the judge said that the aff had proved the ICC's constitutionality purely because it contained a jury.

Anonymous said...

Idaho Debater, READ THE ROME STATUTES! You won't believe how helpful they are to read. I had read them, and my opponent had not, and I was able to destroy because of that. But just so you know, there are NO JURORS on the ICC, and I don't think reporting him will do much, because at least under CFL rules, if you didn't challenge it in the round, it gets flowed as fact.

Idaho Debater said...


Under Idaho's debate code, it's grounds for disqualification if you falsify evidence, so that's not an issue. I was wondering if I should've.

Anonymous said...

the basis of the icc is the rome statutes right?

LDn00b said...

Idaho I would go for it, especially since the judge based thier decision on that. It's one thing if someone accidently fudged it but they were clearly making up facts.

And you can probably report it anonymously, so there's no harm. Worst comes to worse nothing happens.

okiedebater said...

Idaho debater, regarding the judges, from what I'm understanding of the Rome Statute, there are 18 judges. See Article 36: