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admin
By admin | May 16 2016 7:40 AM
Inviting comment and suggestions for edits, removals and additions to these rules: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1O2wnnYH-p-Zmm-I8fI9Boa1XpSiiobW0ZLpgRNvEv0Y/
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Bifurcations
By Bifurcations | May 16 2016 9:49 AM
admin: Small edit: you have avoidance instead of awarded I think in the bit about judge ramblings.

Maybe a note on "dropped arguements" would be good. Something like any material not responded to by the opposing debater does not automatically mean that material has been won. The judge must still consider the material on its own merit to decide if it was relevant, coherent proven to some degree. If the point was a mostly irrelevant assertion that was a bit confused then there would be no penalty to the opposing speaker for not responding to the material. If however the arguement is deemed an important part of the case and is otherwise relevant, mostly coherent and proven to some degree then a lack of response to that material would severely reduce the persuasiveness of the opposing debater's case because it has not engaged with that arguement. This means that the arguement would then be considered "standing" by the end of the debate.
Ab_M
By Ab_M | May 17 2016 4:54 PM
maybe add something about burden of proof? "If the judge evaluates that Pro has failed to prove the resolution true, then he should award the win to Con." or something like that
~Abby
Bifurcations
By Bifurcations | May 17 2016 10:54 PM
Ab_M: A fairer system is to say burden of proof is shared or equal ie each side have their own burdens in which they have to prove their case. The judge then has to decide who has done the best job of proving their own burden and undermining their opponents attempts to prove theirs.
admin
By admin | May 18 2016 5:59 AM
Bifurcations: I think @Ab_M 's solution is actually fairer for most resolutions. Con wins by default if pro does not prove their case, just as pro wins by default in a no-contest situation.
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Bifurcations
By Bifurcations | May 18 2016 11:32 AM
admin: It's not a fair system though as pro has to do a lot of work and con can be required to to very little to be given a win based on the judges beliefs that pro has failed to meet their burden. It is also untrue to suggest that in a balanced motion that con has no burden to meet. Allowing judges to give "automatic" wins does not promote good judging but instead lazy judging. It also means that we are more likely to end up with personal judgements given ie I believe that you have failed to meet your burden therefore you cannot win the debate (irrespective of the material con has provided). It is also very unlikely that people actually 100% actually prove their burden. This is why it creates unfair judging particularly for newer speakers. If pro does a bad job of explaining why there is a need for their policy and why that policy is a solution and con does a decent job in supporting the status quo then the win would still be awarded to con but with a balanced justification that is relevant to the whole debate. It is terrible judging to justify the decision of a speaker in isolation from the rest of the debate. Pro may have done a decent job of explaining why their policy might be a solution to a problem and con has simply listed a serious of unresponsive and irrelevant rebuttals. Pro wins this debate because they go further to meeting their burden of proof.
I am not against giving an automatic win for technical reasons when there is a draw but when people are still giving judgments and feedback, no I don't think that is a good idea
admin
By admin | May 18 2016 12:20 PM
Bifurcations: I believe that you have failed to meet your burden therefore you cannot win the debate (irrespective of the material con has provided).
I agree this is bad judging but this is not what a burden is. Under a strict reading of your framework, con can't win the debate on a straight argument (because it isn't substantive), and it potentially creates unadjudicatable situations. For example - suppose both sides forfeit every single round, who wins? If you take an unequal-burdened approach, the answer is clear. Of course, in real world debating, such situations are extremely rare, but it online debate it can be quite common. To be clear, under normal debating circumstances you're completely correct.

The analogy I was taught with was that judging is like building sandcastles. Con's job is to knock down pro's sandcastle (burden of rejoinder, where that is normally used). Pro's job is to build one (burden of proof). A judge need consider all the factors in the debate that have gone into the building and knocking down of that sandcastle to determine its overall size at the end.

Maybe using your rule with an exception for special circumstances might work.
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Ab_M
By Ab_M | May 18 2016 1:38 PM
I think it's pretty valid. Say there's a debate where Pro has not upheld the burden of proof (he's failed to give the judge adequate reason to vote for his proposition), but Con has also failed to give us any reason to vote for the status quo. If that debate were applied to real life, and policy makers changed their policies based on the points that were proven and disproven in the debate, they wouldn't actually end up making any policy changes at all; the status quo would be upheld, because the debate gave them no reason to change the status quo. Whenever Con is arguing the status quo, Pro has the burden of proof, because people need to be given a reason to change from the status quo. They don't need a reason to stick with the status quo.
~Abby
Bifurcations
By Bifurcations | May 18 2016 3:55 PM
Ab_M: The problem in trying to create an exact copy of a real life scenario for what is essentially a competition means that the competition is unbalanced. In real life Pro has more of a burden of proof because they are promoting that change as you say if they fail to convince the electorate that it should be changed then they will vote against the policy irrespective of what the opposition party has done. This cannot be applied to a competition though because you have to have an equal chance of being able to win no matter what side you are on. That is why motions are created with balance.The best example of this is British parliamentary which is most closely set up to resemble an actual parliamentary debate and when judging there is a recognition of an equal burden of proof on both pro and con (Prop and Opp). This is because it is recognised that it would be an unfair competition if when you are randomly assigned the proposition if you have far more work to do in order to win in comparison to the opposition teams. It is also wrong to suggest that we don't need a reason to stick with the status quo. The debate is happening because it is on a controversial topic or discussing a serious problem that exists in society. Given that under the status quo the problem exists I as a judge have to be given a reason why we should continue with a situation in which a problem is present. That is why comparatives in both judging and speaking are so important. I have to be able to compare each situation to determine which is actually best. That means that Con must prove to me why the status quo is comparatively better than the policy that pro is presenting. If they don't I am left with a problem that exists in the status quo and a possible solution presented by pro. That is where the burden of proof in Con comes from and it exists in every balanced motion.
Bifurcations
By Bifurcations | May 18 2016 4:02 PM
admin: If everyone forfeits then you have the situation is is used at the moment; Pro gets awarded the points. As I said I am not against this.

Con can win without substantive as you define it because they still show that on comparison the harms created by the propositions policy outweigh the potential benefits of that policy and therefore the status quo situation is a better option. If they prove all that to me then they have an excellent shot at a win.

Give me your definitions of burdens and talk me through how you read my framing because I think we are misunderstanding each other.
admin
By admin | May 18 2016 4:53 PM
Bifurcations: My definition of a burden is what a side needs to show in a debate. For pro, this is the resolution. For con, they can either knock down whatever argument/sandcastle pro has created, or try to build their own.

The way I read your framing, both sides have a burden to show the resolution is true or false. I know it's a subtle distinction but I think our principle difference lies in what we see the role of the negative in a debate as being, not in how we define burdens. I've always understood it as being to destroy the affirmative team's argument, not strictly to negate the resolution except potentially by implication. I gather you think it's more about actually demonstrating why the house should not accept the resolution as true.
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Bifurcations
By Bifurcations | May 18 2016 6:26 PM
admin: All I am saying is that there does exist a burden of proof for con, hence it is not fair to create a judging system that decides votes based solely on the burden of proof of Pro. For different types of debates either side has slightly different burdens but they still have some standard of proof that they have to meet. This judging metric is independent of the burden of proof it just accepts that both sides have to do equal work in order to meet their burdens.

For a THW debate Pro has a burden of proof to highlight a problem in the status quo, to explain the mechanism of the policy, to show that their mechanism solves the problem they highlighted and to show that it is the best mechanism for solving that problem. Con then has the burden of proof to show that Pro's mechanism causes more harms than benefits and that ultimately this will mean that their mechanism does not solve the problems pro set out, they should also present some material on why the status quo at least has the ability to solve the issue even if it isn't currently doing so.

For a THB debate Pro has the burden of proving that the resolution is true and Con the burden of showing the resolution false.

The individual burdens depend upon the debate itself but it is still true that both Pro and Con have an individual burden. That's why this system of judging is more fair because it accepts that a comparison has to be made between how well Pro has met their burden and how well Con has met their burden (hence direct engagement is paramount) not simply whether in a vacuum Pro has 100% achieved their burden or not (which is what happens when the judging standard is such that only Pro has "the" burden of proof).
Ab_M
By Ab_M | May 18 2016 6:44 PM
The Judging Standard should define what the Pro and Con burdens are by default, and if the debaters would like to redefine the burdens, they should do that for each individual debate. Whether you decide that Con's burden is to disprove Pro, or to actually disprove the resolution, that decision should be clearly defined in the Judging Standard. Maybe you could even list different burden scopes under which debaters can choose to compete? Something like "Judges should vote based on ___ burden, unless both debaters have agreed beforehand on an alternative burden scope, which they should state clearly in the "additional rules" section of the debate. Some possible alternative burden scopes are: ___"
~Abby
admin
By admin | May 20 2016 3:54 PM
Bifurcations: What you're describing is a burden of rejoinder.

How about this clause? :

Burdens
Judges should not award arguments in the debate on the basis of burdens or other standards to which debaters may be held to demonstrate their arguments, unless:
a) The argument is a no-contest, or
b) Such a burden is raised as a substantive rebuttal point, or
c) The argument narrative falls out of the debate
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admin
By admin | May 20 2016 3:56 PM
admin: Oh wait, hang on, big loophole. Add in subclause:

or
d) The argument is not relevant to the resolution
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admin
By admin | May 20 2016 3:59 PM
Personally I feel the whole discussion about burdens isn't too relevant as very few poor votes will actually be caught by it. At the point where somebody is engaging with burdens of proof that judgement may at worst be somewhat biased, but at least it demonstrates material engagement with the arguments raised by both sides. Off the top of my head I can't think of any judgments that would be covered.
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Bifurcations
By Bifurcations | May 20 2016 8:38 PM
admin: I don't mind if there isn't anything on there about burdens but I do mind if it is only pro that is designated a burden of proof. This isn't just to catch out bad judgments but to give some guidance to new judges on what they should be doing.

I don't agree with your opening statement. Given that part of judging is to decide who has comparitely done the best job of fulfilling their burden with persuasive analysis.
admin
By admin | May 20 2016 9:21 PM
Bifurcations: Isn;t that caught then under the already-existing provision that judges should consider the arguments made by all sides?
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Crow
By Crow | Jun 26 2016 8:34 AM
So I just realized that this gunk exists.

This is going too far. The people who promoted this shit probably abandoned ship, and it is no surprise.

I keep saying it, but this whole democratic system of site building is jacked up and stupid. The site cannot have any real direction when the only major decisions being made are by temporary members who don't stick around for more than two weeks.
The ADB committee just changed its policy on 8/28/2016
No communication with admin. Ever.
admin
By admin | Jun 26 2016 9:15 AM
Crow: ... which isn't true of any of the members involved in the decision. I make major decisions too.

Feature updates are definitely in the works that, and I hope I'm not being too cryptic in saying this, people haven't asked me for, at least for a long while ;)
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