Stupid Arguments Part 2

I have gotten some questions about the stupid argument post and wanted to go over them. If you have questions please post them in the comments section of each post- we don’t check the hsimpact gmail constantly all day so we might take longer to respond if you send questions there. Also since many people have similar questions addressing them in the comments will be easier for us.


“Blowing off arguments seems scawy”

This is certainly true at first. But like other great historical visionaries who bucked the trend you have to realize that fortune favors the bold. One thing thats important about the web of stupid is that getting sucked into it is a winning strategy about 1 percent of the time. So if you are going to lose conducting business as usual you aren’t really risking anything by trying a different approach. Now calling out stupid is like any other debate skill- it gets better with practice. When you are just starting out there are bound to be some rough patches where you try and call something out and you crash and burn. But you are going to make mistakes and lose debates over stupid stuff anyway. This is not the worst thing that can happen.



One thing people dont often understand is that what they consider playing it safe- doing the same things they always do- is not so much safe as it is mediocre. Doing things that way is a good way to achieve luke warm 40 degree day results. It’s a terrible way to achieve great results- it is not the norm for teams who win tournaments/speaker awards. They have a different set of norms. The average debater/team doesn’t get a lot of experience with the top teams in the country during the year- they may see them in a few debates or debate them in a prelim but in general they are spending most of their time dbeating against/discussing with/modeling teams at thier skill level. When you are thinking about how to improve as a debater it doesn’t make sense to think about doing the things teams on your level are doing- if those things were super great those teams wouldn’t be on your level- they would be above you. It’s important that you take stock and think about why you are doing the things you are doing- where did you learn those things and what do they accomplish. Oftentimes when doing something different seems scary what you are really saying is that you do not have experience with doing things that way. If your experience is predominantly mediocre debate, that you don’t have experience with it is a good thing. The more you practice doing things differently the less scary it will be.


“What if your judge loves stupid arguments”


…MPJ? More seriously there are few judges who truly LOVE stupid arguments. Sometimes judges have an affinity for certain arguments they went for a lot when they debated or maybe they randomly like a certain silly argument- maybe even a majority of judges have biases in favor of something silly like


-bottom of the docket

-consult japan

-positive peace

But even people who hold these kind of beliefs dont just love stupid arguments GENERALLY. They happen to think those arguments for one reason or another are not stupid/have strategic value. If you know thats how a judge thinks about something then yes you don’t want to blow it off, but you do still want to prioritize your time when answering it so that you are engaging effectively and not getting sucked down the rabbit hole. if you know your judge doesn’t like “consult is a vi” then spend time impact turning the net benefit- don’t get caught up in a huge theory debate that you aren’t going to get much out of.  But this judge thing brings up a good general point- and that is that most of the advice you get from a site like this is conditional. Situational factors can always override this advice/make it inapplicable. If you know your judge just loves cheapshots like inherency spec then you are not going to want to blow that argument off. These kind of judges though are in an overwhelming minority.


“What do you mean by stupid cred?”

In general you want to avoid contradicting yourself in debates. If you read nothing but 6 word super short cards you don’t want to make a framing argument that you should reject the other team’s evidence for being too short. This is what I call an image double turn ( like being a huge jackass in CX and then getting mock offended when the other team treats you like a jackass). So to call out someone else for making a stupid argument you want to make sure you are not engaging in an image double turn- you have to be avoiding making stupid arguments yourself. Now for some of you this may be hard. If your strategy relies on a hyper line by line tech oriented decision paradigm to win you are not going to be able to call out the other team for making silly line by line arguments, it just doesn’t work that way. When you want to beat consult on a perm like “lie” its better to make 1 well developed permutation in the 2AC than to make 5 or 6 unexplained perms liek “do both” “do cp then plan” “do plan then cp” “consult on other issue” etc. You want to make it apparent to the judge that there is a differential in quality of the debating being done by each team. You want them to think that by voting for you they are endorsing a better model of debate- one where better argumentation occurs than if they voted for the other team.




“What do you mean by consult?”

I mean NATO, Japan is not a consult cp its a stock issue.





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