Lab: RS
Email address: paulson.alec <at> gmail <dot> com

July 22, 2011: Theory Clash

Debating on: Conditionality 2NR
Instructor/commentator: Varsha
Overall, good time allocation and good organization of your speech. I think there are a couple of places to focus for next time: expand on breadth outweighs depth (breadth key to BPO, rebuttals solve depth, 2NR checks, etc.). Explain the reject the arg argument differently and flag the parts of the theory debate that were dropped in the 1AR (time / strat skew inevitable, etc.)

Date of debate: 7/27

Debating on: Spending DA Drill
Instructor/commentator: Tatsuro
Good 2NC – Be careful not to make too many hegemony related claims, because the negative impact and the aff impact are functionally the same. However, I thought that your analysis about why aerospace is less important than air power was very good. Be sure, to read a few more cards in important places, instead of just making analytics about their evidence.

Date of debate: 8/3

Debating on: SPS neg
Instructor/commentator: Charles

- The impact overview is almost entirely unnecessary. The only significant part is the 'DA turns the case' argument, but that is not actually well developed. You spend over a minute on this, but mostly just repeat the premise that the US and Russia have a lot of nuclear weapons. What intervening actors can solve global warming? How? Give examples
- Your new card about it only taking a few dollars to crush Russia's economy is really dangerous. They didn't challenge the internal link, but reading this argument gives them a very easy 'no unique link' argument to make in the 1AR.
- You need more to answer 'dependence bad' than just saying it causes conflicts in unimportant parts of the world. The 1AR has all kinds of outs to expand this argument.
- Good job on the heg flow. You draw out a lot of arguments from the 1NC evidence and debate it well.
- On warming inevitable, you say their evidence has no warrant, but you haven't given any warrant for your claim either. The real question is WHAT impact is inevitable. There might be some warming that's inevitable, but it probably isn't the catastrophic version.

- Good job. Nice decision about what to go for. You do a fine job of winning your DA and seem very aware of how to relate the important arguments in the debate.
- Work on efficiency. You spend a lot of time describing things, and not enough time actually making arguments. In particular, you spend a lot of time in the 2NR talking about how you don't need to explain things because of 1AR coverage. This has very limited utility. On crucial nexus questions, just make the argument.
- You waste a lot of time on the K. These theory arguments are not important. It's more useful to challenge the premise that the aff fundamentally alters security discourses, which might threaten your DA impact.
- You're relying too much on the intervening actors argument. You seem aware that this takes out your DA and scratch the 'alternative energies' argument, but then say 'cap and trade' - which also takes out your DA.
- The 2NR on the DA is pretty messy. You should be able to completely win this DA in a lot less time, and give yourself more time on case to play defense.
- You need to get to case with more time. You virtually drop the global warming advantage, and rely on one ill-explained card that doesn’t really make much sense.
- Your arguments on conditionality are mostly premised on a lack of 1AR coverage, but you don't really develop your actual arguments. I think you could front less and cover more.

- You got through conditionality reasonably fast, and did a ton of good work there. Except for calling it ‘condo’ and ‘dispo.’
- Nice job on explaining the answers to resiliency. Quicker, and way more persuasive.
- On the global warming impact, I think you’re still investing too much time in PURE impact comparison. You devote almost a minute of the speech to this. It seems far more reasonable to just win that your DA is far more probable than aff solvency.
- For intervening actors, I think you should throw out an adaptation argument.
- Good job on changing your focus from calling out the 1AR. Though you might actually go too far in the other direction. It certainly would be useful to be a little more aggressive about pointing out that the 1AR said almost nothing on heg.
- It’s a bit of a problem that you don’t really have any ‘SQ sustainable’ arguments on warming. That’s the one thing to really change, though it’s more of a block issue.

Date of debate: 8/3 - Round 3 Practice Debates

Debating on: Aff vs. CO Singhal/White
Instructor/commentator: Quinn
Comments: Nice job Alec! Your T work last year in my generic clearly helped you become an awesome debater. Work on projection/breathing/clarity for 1AC; lots of "uh" vocal fillers; sometimes your voice thins out when you're trying to speak quickly, so keep working on speaking drills; 1AC CX - be more aware of the K questions she's asking, this will help you and Raghav predict the block and 2NR; Question the impact to soft power in the 1NC CX; Ask more about how the alternative to the K works in the 1NC CX; 1AR: work on time allocation between the CP, DA, and K - no need for case extension on case (can put it on DA or CP or K impact debate); also, get through the CP and DA more quickly to set up ways to use your case as a big answer to the K

Date of debate: 8/3

Debating on: Practice Debate D
Instructor/commentator: Chander
You should answer the diversification arguments more clearly in the 2NC. I think you should specify the rapid nature of economic collapse that would take place so as to mitigate the peak oil inevitability claims. Also, answer that we’re not experiencing peak oil right now – that lengthens the timeframe for them by a long margin.
I think you probably should have actually gone for the K. The 1AR didn’t put any defense on value to life comes first arguments, and the case turn analysis by the 1NR was pretty substantial.
Make the oil is fungible arugment we discussed in relation to the ‘US doesn’t get its oil from Russia’. I think you shouldn’t focus on the launch stuff at all but instead go deeper in the 2NR on it’s too late to solve warming.
If their Hsu evidence says the next two years is crucial, and their solvency argument says they solve SPS after 4 years, it seems pretty conclusive that they can’t solve!
Also, remain calm regardless of what is happening with the partner and evidence situation. Ethos is important.

Date of debate: 8/9

Debating on: Tournament round #4
Instructor/commentator: Mikaela
Comments: 2NC – Good speech generally. Good coverage of the arguments and nice impact assessment. On the DA, there are a couple arguments you could have answered better. Their non unique argument is that oil prices are down now, not that the Russian economy is in trouble now. Your “Russian economy strong” arguments don’t answer this. They could even use all the arguments you made that Russia is doing well to disprove the link between oil prices and growth. Also, you could be more responsive to their argument that Russia’s diversifying and no longer dependent on oil – you mostly talk about Dutch disease, which is an argument the aff didn’t make. Generally good job on the CP, although “politics isn’t intrinsic” is a pretty strange argument to make on the neg…Also, you should read a card that the aff also links to politics.
2NR – You should go for the ice age and other turns on warming as your major offense. Don’t extend the DA – it’s too difficult to cover that, the CP and the case flow; also, I think the oil prices uniqueness argument causes you some problems. Trying to go for too much actually loses you the debate in this instance.
RFD: The negative does not extend defense to the warming advantage. Warming is an existential threat that outweighs the Russia DA, against which there is some mitigation.

Date of debate: 8/12

Debating on: Doubles - BMD
Instructor/commentator: Charles

I vote neg.

The counterplan provides uniqueness for all the offense and resolves almost all of the reasons why China might considering modernizing or expanding its military capabilities. I believe there is some lingering risk of China cheating or not believing the US in the world of the counterplan, but don’t think this amounts to much, given that the neg wins that the status quo balance of nuclear deterrence is quite stable, and that China has serious economic interests that would be sacrificed if they engaged in hostilities. The first strike DA is never answered particularly well by the aff – meaning I believe there is a very significant risk that pursuing BMD actually destabilizes MAD and provokes a ‘use or lose’ scenario.

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Date of debate: June 23
Debating on: Constellation aff
Instructor/commentator: Nicole
Awesome job! Best 1AC ever!