The Instigator
larztheloser
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
airmax1227
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Presidential Debate - Airmax1227 VS Larztheloser

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
airmax1227
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/10/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,536 times Debate No: 34653
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (22)
Votes (5)

 

larztheloser

Pro

In his recent interview, Airmax offered to debate other candidates on why they would make a better president. Therefore, here I am to make my case!

Hopefully we can have a good, quick debate and give everybody a better overview of where we stand and why we differ in the process.

I'll leave this first round for Airmax to accept, and then we can let the real fun begin!
airmax1227

Con

Accepted.

Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
larztheloser

Pro

The president of DDO is much more than an administrative position. It also carries with it a lot of mandate to set the overall direction of the site. Airmax is a casual, infrequent debater, but a very frequent forum poster - he has posted around 250 times for each one debate he has completed. We both joined around the same time, and while I've been completing five and a half times as many debates as he has, Airmax has shown very little interest in debating at all. That's because he's not a debater. He's a mere politician.

I don't blame Airmax one bit. Debates on this site aren't nearly as good as the forums on this site, as they have not been throughout the lifetime of his administration because Airmax hasn't fixed the problem. Still in this election campaign, Airmax is yet to give us one single reason to believe that debates on this site will improve if he is re-elected. I'm standing in this campaign because I'm dissatisfied with the status quo. Being very active around debating, I know what the turnover is like for debaters. It's getting worse.

But I have more than a vision - I have a concrete plan to make it happen. There are four key ways in which airmax and I differ, aside from our overall vision for the site. DDO should be a debate site, and I'm a candidate who remembers that first and foremost.

Tournaments

In the last election, this was Airmax's big policy. It won him my vote. Instead, while his leadership has given us tournaments, the people joining have almost universally been those who frequent the forums. Disagreements over resolutions and people dropping out as the tournaments have dragged on for months led to the tournaments failing, usually after only one or two rounds. Airmax's solution has been more tournaments, but it's clear that the tournaments themselves are flawed.

RL debaters have been organising tournaments for hundreds of years. It's not that hard. One of the most important things is not to have too many tournaments. Right now this site has four tournaments running at the same time. Airmax has promised to start more every single month, for a total of at least around 50 tournaments a year, assuming, of course, that none are started independently. The harm is that you don't get quality tournaments, where beginners can learn from experts, where nobody joins a tournament only for it not to happen, or where they have to wait months. Each tournament should be worth winning. In RL, if you win a tournament, that means something to people. But when I say that I won Spinko's second ELO tournament (which I did), nobody cares. Why? Because it's just one of the hundreds of tournaments that happen on this site.

The tournaments organised to date have proven a complete lack of understanding of the most basic principles of running a tournament. Debating tournaments in RL are usually run just like tournaments for chess, or tennis, but this site doesn't know about those. No brackets or power pairing, almost every tournament has been the same simple elimination, isolating beginners. No proper schedules. Almost all topics have been discussed between members via PM and agreed upon, wasting much time.

I think it's telling that many of the best debaters on this site once enthusiastically signed up to tournaments, but are now very, very rarely seen anywhere near them. Airmax's tournaments have only reduced the quality on this site by distracting debaters. Tournaments can be saved, and I'm somebody who knows how to do that.

Voting

Voting on this site is a big issue. In the last election Airmax promised to increase their frequency. Right now the debates on the front page have an average of 1.5 votes. Four are completely unvoted. The number is artificially inflated by some very poor-quality debates that have an obvious winner, which generate a lot of non-helpful votes. It's clear that whatever Airmax has been doing (I actually have no clue), it's been a dismal failure.

When my proposal of higher character limits on RFDs was actually implemented by Juggle, that made a huge difference to the quality of RFDs on the site. But the problem of voting is actually a wider cultural problem. Since I suggested it, the site user TUF did a "voter of the week" trial which spawned many votes and got a lot of interest. I want to make it a bit more official, advertise it a lot more, and refine the rules slightly to make it more interesting. I want to feature those users who give good votes.

Quality matters too. I'm a candidate you can trust to push this since unlike Airmax, I don't just vote on forfeits. In fact, I tied first in that voter of the week competition.

RL integration

Many debaters on here are also RL debaters, but this site does absolutely nothing to integrate with them. There were more topics on here about the Olympics than the World Interversity Championships, which Berlin went to all the trouble to film in part so people on sites like this could learn from and discuss them.

I want to help and encourage site members to go to tournaments. I want to help them prepare by pushing video debates and discussing topics. I'd be in favor of shadow tournaments. I want RL events to be advertised on here. That creates buy-in and generates interest for RL debaters.

Bullying

In his interview, Airmax stated he can't stop bullying before it happens. That's a lie and every bullying victim in the world knows it. Airmax has done nothing to reduce cyberbullying online.

To combat bullying, you need to be proactive in preventing it, not reactive when it happens. Otherwise, it's going to happen. The principle is the same as on a schoolyard - if a teacher punishes kids only when they hit each other, then somebody's going to get hit, but if the teacher reminds students that bullying is not tolerated whenever things seem to be getting tense, that prevents a lot of the problem.

Many of Airmax's decisions have been strongly questioned and only retrospectively explained. There have not exactly been many trials, but there have been many bannings. His own administration is secret, accountable only to him, and has never even attempted to provide any transparency. Airmax promised to give us weekly updates after I challenged him on this. Amazingly he has managed to break one of his campaign promises already, even before the vote, as this week this did not happen, nor the week before.

Conclusion

It's time for DDO to return to being a site that debaters enjoy debating on. Only one candidate in this election campaign has the drive and vision to make that happen. I hope and trust that this is a vision you share.

It's very important, for this reason, that readers of this debate vote come election time. Even if you've never been to the forums before, if you believe you can change this site, and improve it, then vote for the candidate who will make that happen.
airmax1227

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for challenging me to this debate, and his interest in better serving the members of DDO. After all, that's what we're here for.

First, I'd like to clarify a misconception my opponent advanced about the DDO presidency. The DDO President is less an administrative position, than an ambassadorial role. Essentially, I promote a sense of community and cohesion among members, and also act as a liaison between members and Juggle.

The goal is to represent DDO members to Juggle by advocating for site members and their interests, promoting DDO's culture and developing (with the help of my administration) site features and improvements. While Juggle knows what is in their best interests, I take member feedback to the site designers and together we work to improve DDO.

Because of the extent of my advocacy to Juggle for DDO and its members, that leaves little time for me to debate. So, while my opponent is correct that I am a casual, infrequent debater I want to emphasize that is the case because I do everything I can for DDO -which rather distinguishes me from a "politician" in the usual sense. My opponent is correct that I'm not a "real" debater, I am a casual debater who does so for fun, like the average member of the site.

However, I think that it's important for members to know why I am running for reelection. Even though I never had aspirations to be president or moderator of the site before I first ran, I was asked by members to serve the community. While I may not be perfect, the DDO community has entrusted me with this position because I am old enough and responsible enough to rise to the challenges that the presidency entails. Even still, we can always do better which is why I have a dynamic administrative team that I constantly work with for the betterment of the site, that everyone, including my opponent, can be a part of. Thus helping to bring to fruition every idea they may have.

These volunteer DDO members have been invaluable in offering their opinions on nearly everything, reporting any site conduct issues I may miss, and providing immediate feedback on a pressing issue.

In conclusion, I want to thank Larz again for his interest in better serving the DDO community. It reminds us all that we have a responsibility to work together for what's best for our community.

Tournaments

Like most of the great things on DDO, tournaments are a collaborative effort. After members and I lay the groundwork, tournaments proceed. However, that can be a more complicated process than it looks. The current tournaments are done in a way designed to promote efficiency and quality, and tournament design is based on community interest. We've learned now, though, that 4 is too many, so the number will likely decrease in the future.

However, tournaments are just one part of DDO though, and I encourage Larz and other members who are interested to come up with strategies and ideas for improvement for the community's benefit. To be clear, though, site improvement isn't just something that is important to focus on when elections are taking place. It's a daily discussion that I have with my administration and other site members in general, for the good of the community.

I've had some talks with Juggle regarding tournaments in the hopes that it could be more recognized by the site. For example, I've suggested on behalf of site members and the administration that Juggle offer more substantive rewards for winning, increase recognition for winning and take more significant steps to improve tournament quality. Unfortunately, while we've made progress, it's a long process. Even still, I want to thank everyone who has contributed to tournament improvement. Your help has been indispensable in making tournaments as good as they've gotten, and together we'll continue our efforts to make them better!

RL Integration

Integrating DDO with competitive debate organizations around the world is a great idea, and I think that whether I win or not DDO and its members should reach out to the National Forensics League, the National Catholic Forensics League, and various other debate leagues in both the United States and abroad for all the reasons Larz states. I want to thank him for coming up with innovative ideas for the site!

Bullying

Regarding bullying, there are a couple of things to address and I want to talk about each one separately because this is an issue I take very seriously:

Larz says that I've done nothing to reduce cyberbullying. That's just not true. By addressing each issue as it arises, I both acknowledge the wrong that has been done and act accordingly. Moreover, to preempt bullying, as Larz is describing, just isn't possible. But, what I can do is create the kind of environment where members of our community know that bullying will not be tolerated -and it won't.

However, when members are disciplined for harassing others or for other conduct violations the reason that I don't always release members information is out of respect for member's privacy. While that may have led to some mistaking my respect for member's privacy as a lack of transparency, protecting members on DDO is my first obligation and I wont compromise on the privacy of members, especially on a site largely populated by young people. That applies to all members, whether they have violated the sites expected conduct or not.

Regarding weekly updates (and transparency generally), while I more or less only issued updates when there was something to report, the last couple weeks have been relatively quiet, so there wasn't really much of a reason to publish anything. While I can update the site on some of the projects regularly being worked on, I feel reluctant to do so with the election coming up and it being viewed potentially as pandering. But, I'll continue to issue updates when they are necessary after the election if I win.

I also have other ideas (like the recent TinyChat town hall that took place) that should increase member involvement and keep open lines of communication between the DDO community and I. But even still, if any have questions or concerns, members are always invited to contact me in the forums or they can contact me personally via PM. I will be sure to respond as quickly as I can!

Once more, I'd like to thank Larz for voicing ideas for the site's improvement and I'd like to extend my fullest gratitude to the DDO community for electing me before. I hope that together, we'll continue to work together to make DDO better for all of us!
Debate Round No. 2
larztheloser

Pro

Airmax does so little that he has time to post very frequently on the forums, and doesn't even do anything worth mentioning in a given fortnight, and yet he protests that his duties are so burdensome that he can't debate. Airmax is not an infrequent debater due to the presidency - his infrequency of debating long predates his gaining office, and his record proves that.

Airmax deliberately posted his reply very late to make it near-impossible to finish the debate before the vote period ended. He's trying to keep people in the dark. He hasn't announced any major policies. His previous policies have all been lies or failures.

Tournaments

My opponent agrees with my policy of reducing the number of tournaments. He puts the onus on Juggle to provide recognition rather than coming up with a way to do it himself, like I did. Rather than make any changes he blames the community for all the success or failure of tournaments. It's not our fault tournaments suck - it's Airmax's.

He ignored my warnings about too many tournaments long before he finally admits he was wrong. I've come up with the strategies, it's just that Airmax refuses to implement them until he's tried all the wrong permutations. I'll give Airmax credit for attempting to create a variety of tournaments, but they've been a variety of bad tournaments.

Until presidential tournaments planned and run by people that know how to run debating tournaments, they will continue to fail. Still Airmax asserts that he is the best candidate to have overall control over them. And Airmax has given no assurance or reason why experienced debaters will start doing tournaments again, or why beginners will start getting something useful out of them.

Voting

I challenged Airmax to tell us what he has been doing to improve voting. In reply, Airmax ignored/dropped my entire section on voting. He had no response to my awesome ideas for improving voting on this site. It's clear that Airmax is a candidate for whom voting is not an important issue, despite the shocking state of voting on this site as I described last round.

RL integration

With voting Airmax ignores me, with this and with tournaments he tells me that I'm absolutely right. In other words, most of Airmax's platform is plagiarised from mine (given that he hasn't actually given us any reason to vote for him yet). He on several occasions promised to make policy announcements regarding various things. None of them has he followed up on.

Bullying

I want to know what about the current environment actually tells us cyberbullying is not OK. Airmax's solution for combatting cyberbullying online has invariably been wagging his finger at known cyberbullies. He claims my solution isn't possible but gives no evidence or reason to believe this to be true.

In court, where privacy is an issue, things are redacted or reported in a very sensitive way. I'm all for privacy but a blackout is another thing entirely.

Airmax's excuse for breaking his promise is that he doesn't want to pander. In that case he wouldn't be doing things like town hall style chats and debates with his opponents.

Airmax has not responded to my other issues with his handling of bullying, such as favoring banning over trials.

The vote thread is here: http://www.debate.org... . I hope I can count on at least a few votes for a better vision, a better policy and a better direction.
airmax1227

Con

I'd once again like to thank Larz for challenging me to this debate. It's important to continue to discuss ideas for the improvement of DDO and our community. I'd also like to extend all members an invitation to ask me anything they like, or to contact me for any reason whatsoever. I'm here to serve the community, and communication is an important part of that role.

Firstly, I'd like to say that I don't consider any of my duties to be unduly burdensome. The workload is high, but it's a challenge I'm happy to take on because I care about DDO. Even though the responsibilities of the presidency require my time and attention, preventing me from often doing other things, I enjoy it despite the fact that it sometimes keeps me from doing other things. So, I have learned to prioritize the things that I do so that I can maintain a balance between DDO and my personal life and interests. I still try to get a debate in when I can, too.

As an aside: I'd also like to say that it was not my intention to delay this debate at all. My opponent challenged me to it a couple days before the election began, and I worked on it when I had the time to. My opponent set the conditions, which allowed 72 hour posting times, and I posted my round with about 24 hours before time elapsed.

...

Tournaments

It seems that Larz has misunderstood my point, so I want to clarify what I was saying in the earlier round. I wasn't putting the onus on Juggle or blaming anyone, but explaining the circumstances. I've tried to incorporate more members to take it upon themselves to run tournaments as felt was best, but it's a big responsibility to take on. I do so because I feel like I have a responsibility to, though I'd encourage other members to put together tournaments too, or to remove me from micromanaging it altogether, as I have attempted. I am grateful for those members who have taken some of the busy work upon themselves, for showing initiative and working together to improve DDO.

Voting

In my haste to post my round I forgot to include a response, but I'll take some time now to address the matter. When I came into office, many poor votes were cast. I believe we have made positive gains to reduce this, but now the issue is too little voting in general and through a collaborative effort with several prominent members, we have worked out a plan I am currently working with Juggle to implement. There is no easy solution to it though. I don't want to get into specifics now, though, because the technicalities are still being worked out. But before any plans are finalized, members will publicly be asked for their feedback so that we can implement a comprehensive solution to the problems associated with too little voting.

I want to recognize Larz's "Voter of the Week" idea. It's a fantastic idea, and TUF has implemented something like it in the forum. Also, the idea of members nominating various votes each week to be recognized as an official vote of the week might be a way to further incentivize voting as well. I'd like to extend an invitation to Larz to implement it, if he would like whether he wins or not. But either way, this is something I would like to see put in place after the election because it is a great idea.

RL Integration

I really like Larz enthusiasm for this idea, and I hope that regardless of the outcome of the election he is willing to help take steps to make this happen. I think the site would greatly gain from this, and as someone who is very much qualified to speak on debate specific topics and ideas, Larz will be a huge asset if he works with the site and helps to get these things done.

Bullying

I've explained earlier how I handle member conflicts on DDO and I don't see any need to rehash that. When I become aware of member conflicts, I begin by identifying the facts of the situation and I work with the members involved to bring about a resolution. By resolving conflicts as they occur, the potential for future conflicts is reduced as much as is possible.

Larz said in the last round that I claimed his "solution isn't possible but gives no evidence or reason to believe this to be true." With all due respect to my opponent, he has offered no reason to believe that his suggestions in this case will be any more effective than mine. Given my opponent's lack of experience in resolving member conflicts on DDO, he isn't in a position to understand the dynamic of conflict resolution among members. Moreover, Larz has failed to demonstrate any evidence that my administration's current approach isn't working -so I'd like to suggest that "because it aint broke" we shouldn't try to "fix it."

Trials, however, are a separate issue. Trials are reserved only for cases where cause for a ban might be in question. Where there is overwhelming evidence of a member's misconduct, and that member has demonstrated a repeated unwillingness to be reasonable and work towards a resolution, only then is banning considered. However, when "high profile" cases do occur, the DDO community is always notified -as we have all recently witnessed.

...

I want to thank the members of DDO once more for this opportunity. By collaborating and working together we can make DDO a better place for all of us. I'll reserve any future remarks for the remaining rounds.
Debate Round No. 3
larztheloser

Pro

I thank Airmax for his participation in this debate. I also apologise for setting a long posting time.

Airmax prioritises his time rather like he prioritises this site. He's prioritised everything BUT debates. Apparently he knew he was going to be president before he was actually elected since he started with his deprioritisation of debates long before winning. All to make room for that big responsibility which, if his weekly updates are honest, basically involves doing a whole lot of nothing. In fact he's done so little this past fortnight he doesn't feel there's anything significant enough, not privacy or anything else – his job is just too easy. The two weeks he did make updates showed only perhaps one significant thing in each of those weeks, taking at most a few hours to resolve. Alternatively, Airmax is not being honest and DDO has elected not just a politician, but a liar.

It's no surprise that debates have suffered because the president is refusing to roll up his sleeves and do something. DDO needs and deserves a president who cares about debates first, not everything else first. This is a debate site. It's not a forum site. It's not an opinion site. It has those elements, but only as supports to facilitate debates. I wish the president would see things the same way. The time he spends on this site is spent on the forums. The benefits he has brought to this site have been to the forums. And debates have suffered. This needs to be reversed.

Tournaments

I'm glad Airmax is finally copping the blame for the poor quality of tournaments, and not relying on Juggle. One would expect, perhaps, in such a situation, for Airmax to correct his mistake rather than continue it. Airmax's solution now seems to be bringing in more members to help run his misguided tournaments. I hope I need not remind Airmax that this is exactly what he's been doing for the last year, and that his program of sharing the load has nevertheless been a complete failure because the tournaments themselves are the problem.

He encourages other members to put together tournaments to compete with his. Trust me, I would have run several tournaments by now if it weren't for the fact that there's always 2-3 other tournaments on at the same time, almost always run by Airmax. That's because I actually know how to do tournaments and like I've tried to explain, tournaments will always fail if there's too many of them. We RL debaters know this. Frequent site debaters have learned this the hard way and now often shy away from tournaments. Airmax isn't a debater and clearly doesn't care.

Alternatively Airmax suggests that perhaps he shouldn't micromanage tournaments. I have a better idea. Perhaps Airmax shouldn't run tournaments at all that are destined to fail. Airmax's idea of not micromanaging tournaments is to start a bunch of tournaments, put up crazy rules, and then pass the burden of running the trainwreck on to some unsuspecting member. I'm grateful to the members who try their best, but that doesn't mean I have to accept the system that makes their life so difficult.

I'm telling Airmax in this debate EXACTLY what tournaments need. Airmax is ignoring my suggestion. It's as simple as that. He wonders why tournaments are failing? This is why - he doesn't know much about debating, or running a tournament, but he still insists on starting a bunch of tournaments every month with his rules and his oversight. Sure he passes the boring details on to other poor members, but Airmax has taken control of tournaments on DDO and run them incompetently. Until he recognises this, or starts listening to members like me that are trying to help him, tournaments on DDO will fail.

Voting

My opponent claims poor votes have been reduced. This is quite ironic given that Airmax has never really cast what would generally be considered to be a "good" vote. In almost all cases Airmax only votes on forfeited debates. Airmax has done nothing to reduce poor votes. There has been no program on this site or any attention Airmax has drawn to the issue during his presidency. I know because voting has been a big issue for me too.

Look at the debates on the homepage right now. Top three debates have zero votes. Fourth has one, 21-word vote. Fifth and sixth have no votes. Seventh has one, 20-word vote. Eighth has one, 22-word vote. And so on. It's a shame! The homepage did not always look this way. I remember when votes had at least 100 words, and that was BEFORE Juggle extended the character limits. I remember when the problem was getting multiple votes, not completely unvoted debates! When I first joined, getting six or so votes was NORMAL. This was before presidents slowly destroyed voting on DDO.

Airmax should be apologising for this, and more importantly, telling us what he will do to turn things around.

Airmax's solution, predictably, is to wait for Juggle to make some magic change that will fix everything. This is wrong. We've created this problem. We can fix it. The DDO president should be leading the charge, not waiting for somebody else. Airmax agrees my ideas for reforming voting are awesome. Rather than be part of any solution himself, Airmax pushes the onus on to me, which I'm happy to do, but the point is that the president should be doing something. I can't reform voting on my own.

RL Integration

Airmax agrees these ideas are awesome but is predictably too lazy to do them himself. Right at the outset I said the president sets the overall vision and direction for site members, what Airmax called "community and cohesion" - but a community around what? DDO is no longer a community of debaters. It's an old boys' forum club. You're not going to integrate well with RL until that changes. If it's a great idea, the president should be embracing it and taking responsibility for it, as I promised to do if elected. I've said in the past that without the support of the president in making this into more of a debate site, I'm going to fall flat on my face.

There are other reasons why the presidency would be required, but if I can be entirely honest, if Airmax would pledge to do something about the sorry state of debating on this site it would have ramifications far beyond just this which would set the stage for a much improved DDO generally.

Bullying

I'm glad Airmax has at least a mock-interest in stopping this, although he seems to mostly pretend there's nothing to fix. As long as there are bullies on DDO, DDO has a problem. Ever noticed how some forums on the internet seem to be much more bully-friendly than others? That's because some places take it more seriously than other places. Airmax takes it a little bit seriously, and I give him credit for that, but until harassment is eliminated on DDO there is a problem worth solving.

Airmax has a stated policy of waiting until it's too late, then banning. Sure you catch bullies, but only after they've bullied. That's why bullying happens on DDO. It's time to take it seriously. He messages in arbitration rather than have trials, implying that bullies will take him seriously. Ever notice how the worst bullies don't care about getting punished? The worse they are, the less they care. To be ostracised by a community for your actions - that's another thing entirely.

My stated policy works because I know how bullies work. I had to be relocated to another school three times in my childhood due to severe bullying, not just by other kids but by staff, and not just in the playground but digitally as well. I spent much of my management degree studying workplace bullying and what companies and managers can do to prevent it. The kinds of things I'm talking about are not new. We can stop bullying on DDO now if we all stop tolerating the conditions that create it.

Once again I thank Airmax for participating in this discussion. Thanks to the voters for reading the debate, and thanks to all those who supported me in my campaign. I look forward to reading Airmax's response.
airmax1227

Con

I'd like to thank Larz for this debate, it has been an interesting experience, and I appreciate him sharing his perspective. Because I believe my opponent misunderstands the responsibilities of the office of the presidency and the duties which follow from it, once more I'd like to clarify both. Firstly, members often contact me for reasons which range from questions about the site, requests for account verification, suspicions of multi-accounting, and other things that I need to personally respond to. When I log into DDO I may have a dozen or more messages daily from members that I need to respond to or resolve. I take these seriously and I am always sure to handle it personally.

If a member suspects another account of multi-accounting, it's something I have to spend my time researching. If a member needs account verification, I have to research their account and verify it for them, and then explain proper voting conduct to them. If a member has any issue with the site, I do my best to help them and resolve those issues. None of these things individually take up a lot of time, but I receive around a hundred of these sorts of messages a week, making them something that does take time to deal with, while also not being something I need to update the site on, as they are just a routine part of my job as president and moderator.

That also doesn't include the amount of time I spend corresponding with Juggle, doing other types of site moderation activities, and reaching out to new members simply to let them know who I am and that they should contact me if they need anything. All of these things take time, so contrary to what my opponent has said, even if I don't have something significant enough to update the community about, I am doing my best to continue to help the site in ways that may go unseen.

Tournaments

I've asked many times in the forums for someone who wanted to oversee the tournaments. I do them because members have asked me to. We didn't have any for several months before the current ones because I was hoping members who better understood tournaments, would step up and be willing to do the work on them. After enough time passed and no one volunteered, I contacted some members and finally got several to agree. We then went ahead with the current tournaments.

If Larz wants complete creative control over future official tournaments, I will enthusiastically delegate him that responsibility. Not having to manage future tournaments would give me more time to do other things for the site. I had asked for someone to take this upon themself awhile ago, and wish Larz had expressed such an interest before the current tournaments were already started, and before he had a vested reason in implying that he would be willing to do this. Nonetheless, if Larz is willing to do this, I look forward to seeing what he comes up with, and I look forward to working with him on this, and potentially other site projects.

Voting

My opponent begins by attacking my record on voting as though it somehow has something to do with my position here, when it doesn't. I believe members need to thoroughly read debates to a point where they can vote properly on them and I don't have time to do so enough. I read them casually fairly often, though not enough where I'm comfortable to vote on them. But when I see a debate with no votes that has been FFd, I figure I should vote on it, just so it doesn't end up as a tie. However, as I have mentioned earlier, because of my duties as president I don't often have the time to read a debate closely enough to be able to cast a good vote on it.

For some reason, Larz believes I have done nothing to reduce poor votes. In no uncertain terms this is a falsehood. Poor voting conduct has been reduced due to direct actions I and my administration have taken. Firstly, I personally contact members who repeatedly show poor conduct in voting. This is also a time consuming aspect of my responsibilities, but because it's something integral to the site, I don't mind the amount of time it takes to send out the hundreds and hundreds of PMs to members, explaining to them exactly how they need to be voting. Secondly, I have gotten the ability to remove voting privileges added to moderator functions. Members who show no interest in reforming their voting conduct (by repeatedly placing VBs or poor RFDs) are warned about it, and then finally lose their voting abilities for a set amount of time as a consequence.

My opponent furthermore blames me for personally harming voting on DDO, which isn't even logically consistent with his earlier position. On the one hand, he's arguing that I've done nothing, but on the other he asserts that actions I have taken have "destroyed voting on DDO." While there are fewer votes cast, the votes which are cast are of a generally higher quality than previously. Moreover, members remain free to ask others to vote on their debates and many have found that to be very effective.

Finally, my opponent's assertion that I want Juggle to fix this problem mischaracterizes what I've said in earlier rounds. I have worked with Juggle and a commission of DDO members to develope a plan based on community feedback. Because this isn't a simple issue, this takes time to fully outline a comprehensive plan that will increase voting, without increasing poor voting. Such a plan and outline now exists, and members will soon be able to offer feedback on this initial plan. While I have presented it informally to Juggle, when it is in it's final iteration, it will still ultimately be up to Juggle to decide if they are willing to take the steps to fully implement such a significant undertaking.

RL Integration

I believe this is a good idea, and I'll encourage it to happen. I'll encourage Larz to take the initiative to implement this idea in the future.

Bullying

I think Larz has overstated the problem here. I'll admit that I don't read every single post in the forums, so perhaps I'm not aware of the huge number of members that are being bullied as my opponent implies. If such a thing is really happening, I would hope, that at the very least, he would contact me with the names of who these members are so that something can be done about it. But that hasn't happened thus far, and I've also dealt with every report I've received. For clarification on how that is done, please refer to earlier rounds.

Once more, many thanks to Larz for an interesting exchange of ideas and I wish him the best of luck in future debates. I'll look forward to his implementing his idea on RL integration, and I'll await his taking initiative to that end. And also, I want to thank all the members who have read this debate and I hope that these next six months will continue to see improvement for the DDO community.
Debate Round No. 4
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
I did not see proof that Larz was the best guy for the job in fulfilling the liason role with Juggle. I saw his style here as abrasive, which while perfectly legitimate in refuting arguments in a debate, becomes problematic here as the argument IS the person, and such abrasive style easily comes off as potentially ad hominem and detracting from the point being made.

Also, I saw such an abrasive style as not being conducive to the liason role. The style requires the exact opposite, which Airmax displayed here quite admirably, and is consistent with my interaction with him over the months.

Also crucially important, I recognize that Airmax has a team working under his administration. Larz did not seem to recognize or respect this team aspect of the presidency. I also understand there's not much of a precedent for such a team, so I was looking to see what team Larz potentially had in place to make his job workable.

Finally, age is an issue, and while I don't know the ages of either side (and I am not asking for their ages), I think airmax is clearly a bit older and a bit wiser, given that someone with the name of LarztheLOSER is trying to vie for a position that entails professional responsibility.

Overall, an excellent debate, and I again thank both parties for participating. I think this website is better because of the participation from both sides, and I hope it was constructive for all involved.

I will not score this, as I don't think the score is nearly as important as the discussion in this particular matter.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
All this being said, I also see Larz as having ideas much more in line with my expectations of this website. I do want to improve my debating skills, and I do fully agree with him that RL integration would be a wonderful step in this direction - although this would also require that the user be more upfront with exactly who they are instead of all of these anonymous account profiles. There are consequences to Larz' suggestion that I don't think Larz has fully thought out. Regardless, making available resources that would lead to an improvement in one's debating skills would be a huge improvement to this website - we are here for debating, after all.

Larz also won me over that Airmax is not the most active debater here, and enjoys casual debating over the more substantive fair that Larz, Raisor and I apparently enjoy (I say apparently because I don't want to speak for the former two on this matter). I see Larz has having ideas that would contribute a lot more substance to the actual purpose of this website. I will add though that Airmax's job is not to participate in debates personally, but to provide feedback from customers to Juggle representatives. This predicates an inordinate amount of time and prioritization to the forums and PM dialogue, IMHO. All I would want to see in the president is a healthy respect for good ideas being brought to his attention, and Airmax displayed that here.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
Airmax IMHO from what little I've interacted with him has done a superb job on this regard:

1) He is exceptionally discreet with infractions, and makes known what kind of behavior is or is not acceptable on this website. This keeps the community within what I see as Juggle's interests as well as the community's interests in maintaining a semblance of order in this enterprise, all the while respecting the privacy of those involved.

People are going to misbehave. Airmax is not responsible for rooting out "thoughtcrime" on this website, and to expect him to do so is IMHO unrealistic. The terms of conduct on this website are visible to anyone and everyone - the onus thus gets placed upon the individual, who agreed to these terms by participating on this website, to follow these terms or get banned - or "refused service" to put it in more business-like terms.

2) He has apparently taken constructive feedback, presented it to Juggle, and enacted change. The tournaments seem to be archetypal of this. Personally, I'm less concerned about rewards from tournaments (because let's face it, we're here for free, not to expect some sort of compensation for our services), and much more concerned about raising the quality of debating on this website. From what little I've seen of the tournaments, they have succeeded in this regard.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
Now, onto the debate proper. Larz had some excellent ideas, and Airmax agreed they were excellent ideas. Does coming up with excellent ideas equate to someone understanding and recognizing the responsibilities inherent in a DDO presidentship? IMHO no. They are simply excellent ideas - I would be much more inclined to vote for someone that RECOGNIZED that ideas were excellent than to be the actual well-spring of these ideas - that is more in line with the job here. What I would be more interested in looking at is whether or not the person in the job is capable of serving this rather crucially important liason position between the DDO community and Juggle. Of course Juggle recognizes the importance of the community - we are their "customers" (although I fail to see exactly how we "pay", lol). We also recognize the importance of Juggle here - this is THEIR website, and they retain full rights to shut it down if they so chose to do so. This makes it in both parties' best interests to be on good terms with each other, and the DDO presidency is apparently this crucial link.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
Hmmm...where to begin.

Instead of doing a line-by-line, I'm going to just do a charleslb here and write a gigantic tl;dr post on my thoughts regarding this topic, hopefully without any of the crass, insulting platitudes that we all know and love charles for.

First and foremost, I thought this debate was a great idea, and I thank both Larz and Airmax for participating in it. If there was one presidential debate I would have wanted to read, it would have been this one.

What this debate highlighted to me was the differing nature of the DDO presidency from what we commonly associate presidencies with. Most presidents are noted for the primacy of their position - think about local club presidents, or of course the POTUS. However, Airmax makes it clear, and I agree with him, that this presidency is more akin to a student body presidency, where the president is more of a liason to the ones that are clearly in charge - in the case of the student body the ones in charge are the school staff.

Here the ones clearly in charge are Juggle executives, and Airmax rightly frames his duties and responsibilites in this framework. This is important, because although (to my knowledge) Airmax is not paid to do this work, I'm certain Juggle expects him to do his job well, and retains the full right to nullify his position if they saw a clear breach or failure by Airmax's part in fulfilling his responsibilities. In that same vein the school staff also have no qualms about doing the same to a student body president.

This IMHO explains the humbleness inherent in the position. It is not exactly the rooster over the hens type of job that many equate to, say, the POTUS. Airmax fully understands this, whereas I did not see Larz understanding this.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 4 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
RFD:

Larz didn't accurately summarize the position of president on DDO. This is somewhat understandable if he wasn't running for president but I'd expect a candidate to know exactly what he is running for. The past two presidents were also site moderators and have duties of both the president and the mod which leads many people to be confused about what the duties of a mod are compared with the duties of a president and where one ends and the other begins.

There were plenty of good ideas put forth by Larz but nowhere was it argued convincingly why it is required that he be president in order to implement those ideas. The official DDO tournaments are all run by people that are not the president. Airmax assigned each tournament to a volunteer. All Larz would have to do is ask to run an official tournament and be given creative control over its implementation.

I also failed to understand how presidents "slowly destroyed voting on DDO." How is the president even physically capable of doing this, let alone Airmax actually being guilty of it? I suppose they could rally people and make banners saying "do not vote"...

I didn't feel that there was a hidden bullying problem in the forums and Airmax convincingly argues that there isn't one. Pro made a lot of good points, but wasn't really able to properly define the position of president in concrete terms and explain why he would make a better president. Most of his proposed improvements to the site does not require him to be president.

This debate is a clear Con win. Airmax also has the benefit of being the incumbent.
Posted by Daktoria 4 years ago
Daktoria
If we're voting for who's more careful, it's larz. If we're voting for who's more careless, it's Airmax.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
Ok. Just FYI, you guys should really let this debate finish before engaging in discussion with either side...that would be a courtesy to both debaters.
Posted by larztheloser 4 years ago
larztheloser
You've misunderstood everything I've said, but you still haven't really answered my question. I didn't ask for why you thought I had no substance. I asked for why you thought I had less substance. I specifically made reference to the fact that like what seems to be a skill exclusive to American politicians, airmax has that rare ability to post a big long piece of text and sound mildly interesting without actually saying anything. I called that Airmax's "lack of a policy." You can disagree with your interpretation of my ideas all you want but that isn't what I asked or am confused about. I would gladly argue everything you've written there on another occasion, but it's all irrelevant.
Posted by Wnope 4 years ago
Wnope
Alright, you SPECIFICALLY asked me to detail what I think is wrong, so I feel no need to hold back regardless of my position.

"The president of DDO is much more than an administrative position. It also carries with it a lot of mandate to set the overall direction of the site."

For starters, if you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what the DDO President is or does, it usually signals a lack of substance. As someone who has been direct witness to what the DDO President does for many months, I can guarantee this is not it.

Secondly, your main charge is that someone YOU consider an administrator for the site is not taking enough time out of his schedule to do debates. I would much prefer someone who spent their time working on site issues and not simply showing up and debating. It's the equivalent of complaining that a politician hasn't kissed enough babies. Would Inno have been a better President if he had debated more? Or would he have had less time to work on site improvements and user issues?

Your policy amounts to: 1. less centralized voluntary tournaments 2. Encouraging TUF's "voter of the week" thread. 3. Encouraging members to go to real debates. 4. Reminding people constantly that bullying is bad through public shaming of anonymous accounts so that bullying won't happen.

These four changes, according to your conclusion, will return DDO from its status quo to a place where users enjoy debating.

For a non-politician, this is about as low-substance as it gets for platforms (by "politician" I mean someone trained in bullsh!t as opposed to simply excreting it in hopes of tricking voters).
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
larztheloserairmax1227Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: excellent debate, thanks to both for hosting this. I will remain consistent by not voting in neither the actual election nor this debate, lol. =)
Vote Placed by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
larztheloserairmax1227Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro said said that something Con said was a "lie". That seems to be attacking his personal character. Therefore, I deduct Pro conduct points. Also, Pro came off as snarly and gave a shotgun effect of bare assertions and accusations based on unjustified assumptions. Con was humble, which showed maturity. Con also convinced me that he at least tries to do everything he can for this site, and has experience. Therefore, I think this was a pretty easy debate to judge.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 4 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
larztheloserairmax1227Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Comments
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
larztheloserairmax1227Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: the debate was over who would make a better president. Airmax showed humility and was considerate of some of Larz's ideas while Larz barraged airmax with horrendously misguided attacks and accusations that came off more as ranting then actual debating. Judging from that I feel that Airmax would be a better president which is why I award him argument points. Conduct as well due to the baseless attacks
Vote Placed by xXCryptoXx 4 years ago
xXCryptoXx
larztheloserairmax1227Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I truly think that airmax could have won this but instead of airmax treating it as a presidential debate and posting his own arguments as to why he would be a better president, he only responded to the arguments Larz made. Airmax treated the debate as more of a "Hey that's a good idea!" then he did an actual presidential debate. I truly think that airmax has a great personality for being president, and I believe larz severely lacks that. However, because socialization among DDO members was never brought up I can't actually give that to airmax. Larz won on tournaments; airmax even admitted tournaments weren't going so well, and said Larz's idea would work well. Voting was a tie because neither really gave compelling evidence. RL Integration to Larz; airmax just said "good idea!" and moved on. Bullying to airmax; airmax showed that he is doing all he can ad Larz gave no compelling reason his idea would work except "I have a degree!" So arguments to larz. Larz was a jerk; conduct to air.