The Instigator
bluesteel
Pro (for)
Winning
25 Points
The Contender
Hematite12
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

DDO should only have a "more convincing arguments" point

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
bluesteel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,696 times Debate No: 48138
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (26)
Votes (9)

 

bluesteel

Pro

BOP is shared

Con must present his or her case in Round 1 and cannot argue in Round 4 (except to post "thanks for the debate").
Hematite12

Con

Thanks for accepting, I hope it's a good debate :D

"Definitions":

The four voting categories that are worth points are as follows:

1) Who had better conduct:

2) Had better spelling and grammar:

3) Made more convincing arguments:

4) Used the most reliable sources:

My Opening Argument:

I will argue that Conduct, Grammar, and Sources should be rewarded with points. I will start with Grammar, move to Sources, and then to Conduct, as I feel that Conduct points are the most essential of the three, although all are important. In all my arguments, I will assume that Grammar, Conduct, and Sources would NOT be addressed at all if Convincing Arguments were the only category.

Grammar: Grammar needs to be factored into a person's vote because, if it weren't, arguments could be written hastily and the opponent would struggle to understand the actual points made behind a veil. I have had personal experience with this, with people writing almost incoherent statements that I can hardly argue against. They often actually have good arguments, but it is a huge pain for me to try to decipher their cuneiform. I can provide quotes if you want of some of the awful things I've struggled to read!

Sources: I think that Sources is important because it acts as an encouragement for people to USE good sources, if for no other reason. I highly doubt that anyone would use sources if points weren't given for it; I definitely would not. So the question is then whether using sources is a good thing. It is, because points should be validated by sources lest they become bare assertions. Of course, many times sources are not applicable. In this debate, for instance, I doubt either of us will use sources. In that case, people can just mark "Tie". But when talking about science, for instance, or whether the affordable health care act is a good thing or bad thing, or whether the iraq war was a good or bad thing, etc., sources are essential and should be encouraged by having them be worth points.

Conduct: Conduct is absolutely essential to have functioning and respectful debates. Even if you thought that Grammar and Sources should not be worth points, Conduct is a must-have. No one wants to participate in debates where ad hominem, personal attacks, and cursing are normal. Many debates would turn into mutual hatred and personal attacking if there was not an incentive to be polite in the form of points. If debates degrade to this, then good argument and intelligent discourse will very often be lost. Conduct points are essential to ensure a healthy and constructive debating environment.

I look forward to your response, thanks! :D
Debate Round No. 1
bluesteel

Pro

== My case ==

1) DDO should mirror real life debate

In competitive debate at the high school and college level, there are no "conduct, grammar, or sources" points. Each judge"s ballot contains a space that says, "The team [or debater] who did the better debating was ___________." The judge is supposed to reward the entire debate to the team or single debater who had the more convincing arguments. To the extent that conduct, grammar, and sources matter, they are simply factored into the decision about which side was more convincing. If a debater speaks incoherently, ungrammatically, or mumbles nonsense, that debater is not going to be considered more convincing for those judges. If a debater has egregious conduct, that will factor into the judges" decision. I have personally witnessed 3 out of 5 judges vote *against* the better team for a conduct violation (being rude in cross-examination). This was in the final round of the state qualifiers, and the team that lost failed to qualify for state. That same team went on to place second at state the next year. This was a really good team that lost on conduct. So it does happen. And even less extreme forms of rudeness factor into the decision. But usually, a violation has to be extreme for the clearly better team [or debater] to lose. Lastly, sources play most directly into whether the argument is convincing. Evidence is used heavily in competitive debate. If one team has vastly superior evidence, they almost always win, even if the other team has much better rhetoric. This is because debate is about the facts. To any competitive debate judge, it would seem crazy to think that you could award "sources" to one team and "better argument" to another team because the two are so inextricably intertwined.

There are two impacts to this argument.

First, a lot of the best debaters on this site debated competitively in high school or college, so a site that mirrors their real-world experience is more likely to keep them active and on the site (rather than jumping ship to a site more like larzetheloser"s). In addition, current and former competitive debaters offer the best potential source of smart, new users. If Juggle advertised the site better to high school debaters, it could get a ton of these users to test their arguments here. Some of them are really smart and would contribute greatly to this community. But because judging on the site is so weird and does not seem to resemble their experience of debate, many of them leave or fail to ever start a debate. To appeal to this audience, DDO must mirror their real world experience.

The second impact is that having only a "most convincing arguments" point is more real world. When Obama debates Romney in a presidential debate, viewers decide on who wins based on who made more compelling arguments. They don"t judge the debate based on conduct and sources points. For DDO to be a useful learning experience, it should mirror how a debate would work in the real world.

2) Having more than just one "convincing argument" point encourages vote bombing and other more subtle forms of cognitive bias in voting.

My most frustrating of my 3 losses on this site was my loss to innomen because I ultimately got more votes than he did (11-9) and the better debaters on the site (like Danielle, Roy, Raisor, Maikuru, thett) all voted for me. However, the problem is that the people who voted against me really wanted me to lose so they awarded more than 3 points, whereas the people voting for me only awarded the "argument" point as is site protocol in close debates between established members when there is no conduct violation. But some of innomen"s supporters, such as Mirza, wanted him to win so badly that they engaged in strategic voting behavior. If you want the full story, see my debate here against Mirza (where I proved he voted strategically at the last second just so I would lose by exactly one point). [1] As another example, see my recent debate against Garret. [2] While that debate was in the early voting period, most of the people voting for me were only awarding 3 points, but the people for Garret (at his urging via PM) were awarding him sources and conduct too. So it made it very hard for me to catch up to him (without getting almost twice as many people to vote for me as for him) because the people voting for him were awarding double the points than the people voting for me.

I hope that the above two examples don"t come off as a "woe is me" complain-fest. The point I am making here is that if there is only one argument point, then one voter who vote bombs, engages in strategic behavior, or is influenced somewhat by their prior beliefs to vote in conformity with those beliefs [cognitive bias] is easily countered by another voter. However, if someone who has a hidden agenda or cognitive bias can award up to 7 points, then it can take up to three people awarding only "argument" points to counter that single person. Thus, giving more points to potentially unscrupulous or even subtly biased voters is a bad idea. More points = more power. Power corrupts. Absolutely power corrupts absolutely. Inherently, giving more discretion to judges in awarding points gives more room for abuse.

3) One person, one vote

In my debate with Garret and when I debated innomen, I had a few of my judges contact me during the voting period and express amazement that I was losing or that the debate was so close and saying they wish they could go back and award me the "sources" point. However, none of them did, and I encouraged them not to because doing so is unethical. But these judges seemed perturbed by the idea that somehow their votes counted "less" than other people"s because they had voted "customarily" by awarding only argument points when sources were close, whereas people who felt strongly about the other side felt no need to constrain themselves. Ultimately, this different custom in awarding points means that not everyone"s vote is created equal. People who fail to follow the custom of only awarding argument points or that are so biased by their own personal beliefs towards one side that they try to award as many points as possible are counted as if they are better or more worthy voters than the people who adhere to the 3-point custom. There is a natural desire to want to award as many points as possible to the side you believe won. And people stretch and find ways to award more points when the side that they want to win is losing. But this isn"t fair. One person, one vote. That"s fair.

In contrast, if someone is willing to bend the rules, their morals, or their logic to award 6 points (S&G, sources, argument) instead of 3 (argument), then their vote counts double. I would note that it is really easy to justify an S&G and sources vote for the side that you voted for. The RFD simply says, "I liked ___"s arguments more and this was partly because his sources were better. Also, ____ [other side] made a few spelling mistakes. Argument, sources, and S&G to ____." Given how easy this is to justify, anyone could make their vote count for double with minimal work.

(4) Being edgy or funny is overly punished

Because the conduct vote is going to be used by anyone who agrees strongly with your opponent, it is hard to make jokes or be edgy because it will cost you conduct for those voters. For example, I got docked conduct by the voters for Garret in the above-referenced debate for making a crack about how Garret pulled a number out of his "rectum," even though the number really was something that he just assumed into existence. In competitive policy debate, jokes like this are fine and happen all the time. The jokes are usually to lighten the mood and make the debate more fun to read. Strict enforcement of the conduct point leads to vanilla debates with neither side really trying to crack any jokes for fear of losing conduct. This isn"t the result we want.

== Rebuttal ==

My opponent makes a key assumption that is wrong. He says, "I will assume that Grammar, Conduct, and Sources would NOT be addressed at all if Convincing Arguments were the only category." However, I explained above how each of these three categories affect "convincing argument" and how judges can award the argument point to the other side for egregious violations of readability, conduct, and sources [such as completely fabricating a source]. But this should only happen in egregious cases. Usually the person with the better argument deserves to win.

Grammar: my opponent claims he debated people with awful grammar, but I challenge him to prove that he lost to any of those people on arguments. If someone"s argument is unreadable, in 99% of cases they are not going to win the "convincing argument" point, so the grammar point is redundant and is only there for strategic voting.

My opponent"s claim disproves itself because the grammar point exists now and yet people still post arguments with terrible grammar. Therefore, it fails to act as much incentive. Good grammar generally comes from inherently good writers. Bad grammar generally comes from inherently bad writers.

Sources: my opponent claims he would not use sources if not for the existence of the point. However, if he were ever to debate me on the Iraq War or Obamacare, I would most definitely use lots of sources and would challenge any and all of his claims that were unsourced. This is just good debating. Competitive debaters constantly challenge their opponent"s sources (in order to win best argument), even though no sources points are awarded at the end. The most common phrase you will hear in a policy debate round is, "On my opponent"s first point, 1) this evidence is TERRIBLE. Read it after the round. It is awful. It doesn"t say what my opponent says it does." Sources points are redundant with "convincing argument" and allowing them only opens up more points for strategic voting [especially since sources are worth 66% as much as arguments].

Conduct: this is empirically denied by real life debate. Those debates don"t devolve into cussing matches simply because there is no conduct point. There is only so much rudeness that judges will tolerate before it distracts from the debate and loses that debater the entire debate. In addition, the single conduct point is not much of a deterrent now. Most debaters assume that they will win on arguments and sources. [Seriously, everyone thinks they won every one of their debates, until the voting period closes.] Thus, a single conduct point is not much deterrent for someone who thinks they will win 5 points for sources and argument. Conduct points only matter in extremely close debates. And extremely close debates are the ones that are most likely to have strategic voting behavior because a single point can alter the entire outcome. People have more incentive to make up bogus or conflated reasons to award conduct to a particular side in close debates so that their votes "count more." Thus, the risk that conduct points will be used strategically substantially outweighs the small chance that the single conduct point is the only thing standing between us and total chaos and anarchy in debates.

In general, respectful members have good conduct. And in general, disrespectful members - like izbo10, have bad conduct. Disrespectful members don"t obey or care about the rules. A single conduct point is no deterrent to them.

[1] http://www.debate.org...
[2] http://www.debate.org...
Hematite12

Con

My Rebuttal:

"1) DDO should mirror real life debate"

My rebuttal will rest primarily on the fact that there are crucial differences between real life debate and online debate, and these differences are compensated for by the other categories. You pointed out that "If a debater has egregious conduct, that will factor into the judges" decision." Right away, then, you agree that things such as conduct and sources ultimately have to be addressed. How can we ensure that these things will be factored in when people vote online, if the only voting point is for the most convincing arguments? Certainly many would interpet this as meaning that grammar, sources, and especially conduct are irrelevant. The voter would not base their decision off of these. We can trust judges in "real life" debates to factor all of these things into their vote, but we can't trust people online in the same way; it has to be made clear to them upon what they should base their votes.

If your solution to the problem of making people understand that these things matter and should also be factored into their vote is that we should have an asterisk that says: "Well, not JUST how convincing the argument is, but also conduct, sources, and grammar," then what is the difference between this method and the method the system currently has? It defeats the purpose of simplifying the voting system to one category if you require that all factors, not just how convincing the argument is, are ultimately accounted for.

"First, a lot of the best debaters on this site debated competitively in high school or college, so a site that mirrors their real-world experience is more likely to keep them active and on the site"

I would agree, but I think this system DOES match real world debates, as I previously argued. Real-world judges implicitly take into account sources and conduct (grammar doesn't apply to speech haha) when they arbitrate, but to ensure that this is maintained in an online setting, the various categories should be set apart and it should be made clear that they all matter.

"The second impact is that having only a "most convincing arguments" point is more real world. When Obama debates Romney in a presidential debate, viewers decide on who wins based on who made more compelling arguments. They don"t judge the debate based on conduct and sources points."

Now you are making a different argument. In this case, you say conduct and sources don't matter for "points". If that is the case, that is a problem! The "fact-checkers" after debates ensure the validity of the various claims; in a sense, they assign "points" for "sources". Conduct is implicit; voters don't like a candidate who is even remotely rude (generally). Online, there are far lower standards, unfortunately. The internet is anonymous, and often rudeness and personal attacks are expected. Since the standards are lower, a presidential debate is not an applicable example. In sum, sources ARE accounted for (and if they aren't they should be, we don't want a candidate who makes unsupported claims), and conduct is expected, whereas it is not necessarily on the internet.

"2) Having more than just one "convincing argument" point encourages vote bombing and other more subtle forms of cognitive bias in voting."

"3) One person, one vote"

These are similar claims, I think. I am running out of characters, so I will try to answer everything with the least amount of words :D. This is the strongest part of your argument, I would say. You point out the problems with the current system, based on primarily your debate with Garret, which was skewed by several people's votebombing. This is definitely an issue. I'm not going to argue that. But there are other ways to handle this. A good method off the top of my head to prevent this bias and skewed voting, is a report system. If a large portion of other voters feel that a certain vote is unjustified in its giving all 7 points to one side, they could flag the post. Either the vote could be removed immediately, or it could be passed on to a moderator once it received some number of reports; the moderator could then ask for extensve justification by the voter with citations from the debate. If the revised vote is satisfactory, it passes; if still not, the voter loses the ability to try to vote on that debate again.

I think there are enough benefits to the current system to justify its remaining, and there are other ways to solve the problems with it, such as what I just mentioned.

"(4) Being edgy or funny is overly punished"

I don't think so. You yourself compared this to a presidential debate; would a candidate be looked at well if they said someone else pulled a number out of their rectum? You can phrase it every so slightly different to keep it professional; and humor can still exist, just not in a rude or crude way. Look at the vice presidential debate between Biden and Ryan; I thought that debate was rather humorous :D.

Counter-Rebuttal:

"My opponent makes a key assumption that is wrong. He says, "I will assume that Grammar, Conduct, and Sources would NOT be addressed at all if Convincing Arguments were the only category." However, I explained above how each of these three categories affect "convincing argument" and how judges can award the argument point to the other side for egregious violations of readability, conduct, and sources [such as completely fabricating a source]. But this should only happen in egregious cases. Usually the person with the better argument deserves to win."

The assumption wasn't wrong. It was pretty reasonable given my lack of knowledge about what you would argue. As far as my response, I think I addressed it earlier; if it's included anyways in the "Convincing" category, it makes more sense to separate the important categories in an online setting.

I am officially out of characters D:! I will address the last part of your rebuttal first thing in my next post. My apologies! I look forward to your response to the rest.
Debate Round No. 2
bluesteel

Pro

== Response to Round 2 ==

DDO should mirror real life debate

My opponent"s only response here is the assertion that online debate is somehow different from real life debate. However, the only way my opponent claims that online debate is different is that people are anonymous online, so they would have worse conduct. There are three problems with this.

First, my opponent drops sources and grammar. He fails to ever explain why judges would pay attention to grammar and sources when considering who made better arguments during an offline debate but would ignore these same factors in the online context. A judge is rarely going to consider a debater to be the more "convincing" when that debater uses terrible evidence or bad grammar. Grammar does affect how convincing one"s speaking is in an offline debate (e.g., the statement "is our children learning" made G.W. Bush look pretty foolish in his remarks about the state of our education system). My opponent"s arguments are disproven by real world experience. Competitive debate does not award points for conduct, grammar, and sources, and yet competitive debaters are generally respectful, articulate speakers, who make well-sourced arguments [and those who aren"t tend to lose and lose often].

Second, my opponent falsely assumes that DDO is "anonymous." While some people don"t post their real name, your username garners a reputation on the site. If you are too rude, you will get banned (like izbo10). I challenge my opponent to point to any debate on the site where a serious conduct violation has occurred, and the person was properly punished by losing tons of conduct points (as opposed to getting banned). Losing a single point is not much disincentive. If conduct is generally good here, it"s because people are here to debate, not to be malicious to each other.

Third, my opponent"s main objection is that judges would ignore the other three categories because they wouldn"t be aware of their importance. However, my opponent concedes that these three categories are implicit to persuasion. He concedes, "I would agree . . . [r]eal-world judges implicitly take into account sources and conduct." Because persuasion implicitly requires good grammar, conduct, and sources, judges cannot help but to consider these factors. In addition, the site could still make it explicit that judges can consider those three factors in their decision, under a totality of the circumstances, when deciding who "debated better." TUF and I discussed a system where only "best argument" is awarded points, but there is still a place to award sources, conduct, and S&G [just with no attached points]. These latter categories would not be worth points, but would serve as a reminder that sources, conduct, and S&G are important as "soft" variables in the ultimate decision. The voting layout might look as follows:

The better debating was done by: ____________ [Vote Pro or Con] (3 points)

[indent] This debater had better sources (no points)

[indent] This debater had better conduct (no points)

[indent] This debater had better presentation (such as spelling, grammar, and formatting) (no points)

My opponent says something about "fact checkers" being "real world," except most voters on this site and most people who watch the presidential debate don"t immediately fact check everything they hear. The burden is on the person"s opponent to challenge any specious sources or claims made in the debate. If the opponent lets a bad source slip through unnoticed, that"s bad debating.

Vote bombing // One person, one vote

My opponent explains how this problem could be addressed by a moderation system with a "report" button. However, we already have such a system on DDO. In my interactions with Airmax (who is the site"s moderator), he made clear that he had no power to remove a vote as long as any explanation was given for each point. So the following is considered a sufficient RFD to pass moderation: "I was more convinced by Pro"s arguments in general, and I think he had better sources too, and Con was a tiny bit rude. Arguments, sources, and conduct to Pro." It makes sense that Airmax can"t require better RFD"s because once he starts considering the sufficiency of the explanation, that"s a slippery slope to massive flame wars over voting and raising the requirements for RFD"s so high that some of the less experienced and articulate members of the site can"t even vote. My problems with people strategically awarding Garett more points happened under a system in which that debate was already being heavily scrutinized by a moderator.

I would like to share two quotes Airmax gave in regard to our discussion about moderation. Airmax said, "I also agree that it is worth changing the point system. I believe in general, it causes more problems than it solves." [1] Airmax also said, "Sources points have to be the most misused category for voters . . . its very rarely justified and when it is, it"s done so for [bad] reasons ("Pro had more sources," etc)." [2] Airmax said he is powerless to remove such votes, but he wishes the system would be changed to award only argument points because the other categories are constantly abused.

Thus, at best, moderation solves only explicit vote bombs, but not implicit bias or attempts to make one"s vote "count for more" in a close debate because Airmax cannot police the more subtle forms of point-abuse.

My opponent"s "moderation" argument also fails to answer my "one person, one vote" argument. Even assuming no one ever voted strategically: Why is my opinion of who debated better worth less in determining the final outcome than someone else who thinks the other side debated better and had better sources? In such a scenario, my opinion is worth 3/5"s of my opponent"s opinion about who should win. This is no more fair or ethical than the "Three-Fifths Compromise" from American history.

Returning briefly to each category:

S&G and sources: these are redundant with "better argument." You will never see a legitimate RFD that says, "Con"s writing was barely coherent and his sources were fabricated and didn"t back up any of his claims, but he made the better argument." If these points are redundant with "better argument," their existence only creates the potential for strategic voting. In close debates, voters will stretch their RFD"s to award more points.

Conduct: turn. If really bad conduct can lose someone the whole debate, that would be more of a disincentive for acting badly than simply losing one point per judge. The single point makes judges feel like it"s okay to punish a serious conduct violation with only the loss of one point. Removing the conduct point forces harsher punishments when they are actually deserved [i.e. a full loss of the debate or a ban from DDO].

[1] http://oi57.tinypic.com...
[2] http://oi57.tinypic.com...
Hematite12

Con

Hematite12 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
bluesteel

Pro

Forfeit. Con drops all my arguments. As agreed, Con cannot type anything in Round 4 except "thanks for the debate."

Just to reiterate:

(1) The "sources," and "S&G" points are almost always going to be redundant with the "best argument" point. In nearly all cases, the person with the better arguments will also have better sources, spelling, and grammar.

(2) The "source," "S&G," and "conduct" points are not needed. People use good sources because the better the source, the more convincing the argument. Good writers will always have good spelling and grammar, regardless of whether a point is offered. Good debaters will always maintain a general level of courteousness. Competitive high school and college debate prove that you can have good debates without awarding specific points for "S&G," "conduct," and "sources."

(3) To the extent that "sources," "S&G," and "conduct" points are redundant with best argument or are not actually needed, they exist only for strategic voting. Airmax's moderation can only do so much. It is really easy to justify an RFD enough to escape removal by Airmax.

(4) Voters that have an implicit bias on the topic or simply want their vote to "count for more" will abuse the point system. According to Airmax himself, abuse of the point system happens *constantly* [in particular the "sources" points].

(5) Even if no one ever voted anything but "100% fairly," it is still unfair that some people's votes count for less. My opinion that a particular side won "arguments" is no less valid than another person's opinion that the other side won both "sources" and "arguments." Yet in such a case, my vote counts for three-fifths of the other person's vote in determining that actual winner of the debate. I have had *multiple* people complain to me in the past that they thought it was unfair that their votes counted for less [because they voted only "arguments" but other people were voting both "arguments" and "sources" to the other side].

(6) If sources, conduct, and S&G are really important, we can include them as categories that can be awarded, but they simply will not be worth any points. Ultimately, when you say someone "won" the debate, you really mean that the person had the better argument. It's important to remind judges that sources, conduct, and S&G matter and should factor into their consideration of who "did the better debating," but as it stands right now, sources + S&G + conduct is actually worth *more* points than arguments. This makes no sense.

(7) Rap debates and other non-traditional debates. The fact that there should only be a single point category is proven for non-traditional debates (like rap, programming,drawing, etc). These are great and unique debates, but the categories make no sense for them. People sometimes vote all 7 points on rap debates or sometimes only 3 (for best argument) because it's not clear that the categories matter in cases like that. In terms of moderation, it makes much more sense to have a single category that determines who wins and who loses.

A single category that says, "The better debating was done by _______" erases confusion, the potential for strategic voting, and the unfairness in the current system. It also makes the moderators job easier and ensures better moderation of RFD's. Fundamentally, it is hard to argue with the basic principle of "one person, one vote." To negate, you would have to believe that it's fair for some people votes to count more than others.

Even if you think there is some merit to the current point system, the risk that debates might get slightly worse due to the reduced incentive for S&G, conduct, and sources is completely outweighed by the amount of strategic voting that these point categories allow and the inherent unfairness that some voters get their votes to consistently "count for more." For all these reasons, vote Pro.
Hematite12

Con

Hematite12 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
26 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
bluesteel
@krazzy

Okay, I bothered to read the debate. The side that actually won had better arguments. He made his entire case in Round 2 - the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms. That affirmed the resolution, which was whether Americans have a right to own firearms. Con never negated that. All the rest of the rounds were off-topic.

Honestly though, that was a terrrrrible debate. It wasn't going to be good, regardless of what the voting system was. I honestly don't care who won it - neither side made much attempt to debate the topic at all. If we want to discuss a good point system, we should find a system that works for people who debate on this site seriously, instead of catering to the "Juggle element."
Posted by Krazzy_Player 3 years ago
Krazzy_Player
The point is he didn't he only made convincing arguments but failed to source and had poor S & G and formatting. For this reason he lost.
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
bluesteel
@krazzy

Only cuz of a 7-point votebomb that airmax would have removed had it been reported.

And doesn't that prove my point? How does S&G point matter if the guy won anyway?
Posted by Krazzy_Player 3 years ago
Krazzy_Player
See this guy actually won arguments. His S & G, formatting was awful.
http://www.debate.org...
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
bluesteel
>I doubt it's easier to vote bomb with more categories than less. An RFD has to justify the vote in each category

Conduct, S&G, and sources are more subjective than arguments. I've seen Airmax remove votes that say, "Pro won cuz God exists, so Con is just wrong." It becomes kind of clear when the person didn't really read the debate. The rest of the categories - not so much. "Pro had better conduct." According to Airmax, that is sufficient to justify a conduct vote. "Pro had better [or more] sources" - sufficient to justify a sources vote. "Pro had better spelling" - sufficient to justify an S&G vote. Plus, it's hard to argue with the inherent logic that if someone thinks "Okay, I didn't really read this, but I want Pro to win [because Pro is my friend and I just agree with his position fundamentally]," then the more points at that person's disposal, the worse that vote will be as a "subtle" vote bomb [as opposed to a explicit vote bomb]. It is harder to counter a 6 point suble vote bomb than a 3 point one.
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
bluesteel
But if i really wanted to learn about a subject, I'd research it myself or buy a book on the topic. I come here and read debates mostly as a favor to the debaters and only to judge their debate skills in that particular debate. To each his own is okay I guess, but I doubt that you or anyone else reads the vast majority of debates here to significantly change their views on an issue.

>Academic debating uses pre-determined topics that do little to challenge the research skills of the debaters

Only for policy (and LD to some extent). In public form and parli, debaters research topics entirely themselves, and these events work fine with only a winner/loser chosen. More than any other event, public forum mirrors what I was talking about - the judges are almost always "lay" judges, not coaches or former debaters. The topic changes each month, so debaters have to do a lot of their own research. And it all works out okay. In addition, for events where people often do buy briefs (such as policy or LD), the debaters who do original research almost always do much better (in spite of their not being sources points) because the briefs often suck. People rely on briefs in policy only because the research burden is too heavy. But teams (like College Prep) that can afford to pay college students to cut evidence for them often do better than teams that rely on files from fellow high schoolers (from the summer debate camps).

>Academic debate is rehearsed

I'm not really sure how this is relevant. In public forum, policy, LD etc, the debaters simply read their first round off a piece of paper. Everything is pre-written, the same as all the rounds are online. Academic debate is slightly harder because rebuttal speeches are not pre-written and must often be done "off the cuff" or prepared with very limited prep time. But I'm not sure how any of this affects the points system. If I did understand, I'd be happy to offer my perspective.
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
bluesteel
> Academic debating has judges who are experienced at weighing factors to arrive at a bottom line

Only sometimes. At the high school level, about half of competitions are judged by "lay judges" (usually parents of competitors from a school that it is not involved in the debate). I honestly prefer lay judges because they vote on "total persuasion" rather than a formula since it forces debaters to make more "real world" arguments (as opposed to the typical weird "everything leads to nuclear war" arguments that are common in policy debate.

I guess the basic flaw with #1 is that anyone can judge the persuasiveness of an argument, whereas not everyone can judge how good figure skating is. To the extent that we want people to follow templates though, DDO does not have a very desirable one. If I were making a template from scratch, I would include far more points for "best argument" type issues (e.g. 3 points - this debater built a better initial case, 5 points - this debater offered better rebuttals to his opponents arguments, 9 points - this debater did a better job of explaining his arguments to the audience, such as defining technical terms and explaining technical concepts). If DDO were going to keep the point system because it needs a template, I would be in favor of the template being completely reformed. The 7 point system was drafted randomly by Phil (the site's founder) - as far as I can tell - not by someone who has professionally judged debates. So the actual categories used and the weights given each are somewhat non-sensical.

>On-line debate also has the objective of informing an audience of readers.

I don't debate for this reason on this site. I debate for fun and to improve my skills only, which is why I sometimes play devil's advocate. Honestly, yours (Roy) are the only debates I would actually read on the site to educate myself on an issue, and only because you're a phenomenal writer and often present a point of view I don't see elsewhere.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
the differences between on-line and academic debating include:

1. Academic debating has judges who are experienced at weighing factors to arrive at a bottom line. Compare debate judging to the judges in a skill sport like gymnastics or figure skating. There is an elaborate point system for scoring skill sports, but only the total score is reported. How would an audience know how to judge a stumble on a gymanistics landing or completion of a more difficult maneuver? The average person would need a template to come up with anything close to a fair score.

2. Academic debating is done with the only objective of improving the skills of the debaters. On-line debate also has the objective of informing an audience of readers. There is rarely an audience at all in academic debate, and when there is it for top debaters who are not going to be incoherent or fail to support arguments with sources. Explicitly grading conduct, S&G, and sources serves the audience for the debate, would have volunteered to read the debate and deserve to be catered to.

3. Academic debating uses pre-determined topics that do little to challenge the research skills of the debaters. The team buys canned research, or they pool research, or they cull sources from past debates. On line debate, and the real world, depends upon heavily on the skills of doing research and presenting it. Some debate topics don't depend upon sources, but that's the exception and there it's always possible to tie the category. Debates without a factual basis can be meaningful, especilly if the two sides agree to certain premises. But more often they are just hot air.

4. Academic debate is rehearsed, or at least practiced in repeated debates on the same subject. That means they are more likely to be coherent. Making a new case coherent is not tested as it is on-line.

I doubt it's easier to vote bomb with more categories than less. An RFD has to justify the vote in each category.
Posted by LuckyStars 3 years ago
LuckyStars
I was responding to Krazzy_Player...
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
bluesteel
@TheAntidoter

Old debates would be unaffected by Juggle's update [if it were implemented]. The update would apply only to debates instigated after the voting system was changed.
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by TheAntidoter 3 years ago
TheAntidoter
bluesteelHematite12Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Bluesteel won on the grounds of 1 person = 1 vote. I felt that con had no convincing answer to the conundrum. LOL. I should have, but I feel like legitimately voting. I vote for pro, with all of my whopping 3 points. I just wonder: What will happen to all the old debates?
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
bluesteelHematite12Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
bluesteelHematite12Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I am opposed to the resolution, but Con did not make the case, and ultimately forfeited to lose conduct as well. Con's error was to allow Pro to argue that on-line debate was nearly the same as academic debate. In academic debate the judges are experienced as judges, so they know how to incorporate such factors as conduct and sources into an overall score. Readers on line don't know how to do that, so it would be better if they have a more detailed scoring template rather than a less detailed one. But that's my argument, and only Con's argument counts in the debate. Con conceded way too much.
Vote Placed by MassiveDump 3 years ago
MassiveDump
bluesteelHematite12Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF. I didn't offer conduct because, well, you know.
Vote Placed by MisterDeku 3 years ago
MisterDeku
bluesteelHematite12Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Why do people put 'ff' in place of 'forfeit' when voting? Anyway, Forfeit.
Vote Placed by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
bluesteelHematite12Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Bluesteel had better arguments and given the topic of the debate that's all I'm awarding.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
Actionsspeak
bluesteelHematite12Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF and pro had sources.
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
bluesteelHematite12Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 3 years ago
Krazzy_Player
bluesteelHematite12Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited the last two rounds.