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Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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5/25/2012 1:03:16 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Why do people think it's okay to provide and/or refute arguments in the comments section of a debate? It's worse than plagiarism which is frowned upon. With plagiarism at least people are lifting their arguments from a set source and responsible for coming up with their own replies to the opponents' rebuttal. By including arguments and refutations in the comment section, you're essentially handing the debaters the answers which is worse than plagiarism because they can directly use others' ideas (without sources) and are able to respond to the debaters' direct arguments. I think providing assistance to either side before the debate is over is rude and inappropriate, and essentially cheating. It also highlights voter bias more than usual - which I guess is a good thing, but still annoying.
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SuburbiaSurvivor
Posts: 872
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5/25/2012 2:07:31 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/25/2012 1:03:16 PM, Danielle wrote:
Why do people think it's okay to provide and/or refute arguments in the comments section of a debate? It's worse than plagiarism which is frowned upon. With plagiarism at least people are lifting their arguments from a set source and responsible for coming up with their own replies to the opponents' rebuttal. By including arguments and refutations in the comment section, you're essentially handing the debaters the answers which is worse than plagiarism because they can directly use others' ideas (without sources) and are able to respond to the debaters' direct arguments. I think providing assistance to either side before the debate is over is rude and inappropriate, and essentially cheating. It also highlights voter bias more than usual - which I guess is a good thing, but still annoying.

Depends on how it's done.
"I'm going to tell you something that you're never going to forget, SuburbiaSurvivor. Women... Are just human beings"
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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5/25/2012 2:27:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
It is something that is terrible, and when someone lifts from the comments section, it is really irritating, agreed. However, many (irl) debates I do involve crowd participation at some stage... it would be nice if we had that to some extent. Almost like an "afterparty" of the debate.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
JaxsonRaine
Posts: 3,606
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5/25/2012 4:07:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/25/2012 1:03:16 PM, Danielle wrote:
Why do people think it's okay to provide and/or refute arguments in the comments section of a debate? It's worse than plagiarism which is frowned upon. With plagiarism at least people are lifting their arguments from a set source and responsible for coming up with their own replies to the opponents' rebuttal. By including arguments and refutations in the comment section, you're essentially handing the debaters the answers which is worse than plagiarism because they can directly use others' ideas (without sources) and are able to respond to the debaters' direct arguments. I think providing assistance to either side before the debate is over is rude and inappropriate, and essentially cheating. It also highlights voter bias more than usual - which I guess is a good thing, but still annoying.

Reminds me of my high-school chess club. It was an unofficial club, we would play just whenever. I ended up playing against another guy in our finals, we were fairly evenly matched. I played a risky move that would open up my queen but likely trap his queen and rook. He fell for it, and as he was moving his bishop someone else shouted out 'No, take his queen!'.

He did and I lost.

Personally, I think lifting the argument is ten times worse than providing it in the comments in the first place.
twocupcakes: 15 = 13
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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5/25/2012 4:22:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/25/2012 4:07:04 PM, JaxsonRaine wrote:
At 5/25/2012 1:03:16 PM, Danielle wrote:
Why do people think it's okay to provide and/or refute arguments in the comments section of a debate? It's worse than plagiarism which is frowned upon. With plagiarism at least people are lifting their arguments from a set source and responsible for coming up with their own replies to the opponents' rebuttal. By including arguments and refutations in the comment section, you're essentially handing the debaters the answers which is worse than plagiarism because they can directly use others' ideas (without sources) and are able to respond to the debaters' direct arguments. I think providing assistance to either side before the debate is over is rude and inappropriate, and essentially cheating. It also highlights voter bias more than usual - which I guess is a good thing, but still annoying.

Reminds me of my high-school chess club. It was an unofficial club, we would play just whenever. I ended up playing against another guy in our finals, we were fairly evenly matched. I played a risky move that would open up my queen but likely trap his queen and rook. He fell for it, and as he was moving his bishop someone else shouted out 'No, take his queen!'.

He did and I lost.

Personally, I think lifting the argument is ten times worse than providing it in the comments in the first place.

Are you on chess.com? We got our own DDO chess club.
Ron-Paul
Posts: 2,557
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5/25/2012 4:25:59 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/25/2012 4:22:58 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 5/25/2012 4:07:04 PM, JaxsonRaine wrote:
At 5/25/2012 1:03:16 PM, Danielle wrote:
Why do people think it's okay to provide and/or refute arguments in the comments section of a debate? It's worse than plagiarism which is frowned upon. With plagiarism at least people are lifting their arguments from a set source and responsible for coming up with their own replies to the opponents' rebuttal. By including arguments and refutations in the comment section, you're essentially handing the debaters the answers which is worse than plagiarism because they can directly use others' ideas (without sources) and are able to respond to the debaters' direct arguments. I think providing assistance to either side before the debate is over is rude and inappropriate, and essentially cheating. It also highlights voter bias more than usual - which I guess is a good thing, but still annoying.

Reminds me of my high-school chess club. It was an unofficial club, we would play just whenever. I ended up playing against another guy in our finals, we were fairly evenly matched. I played a risky move that would open up my queen but likely trap his queen and rook. He fell for it, and as he was moving his bishop someone else shouted out 'No, take his queen!'.

He did and I lost.

Personally, I think lifting the argument is ten times worse than providing it in the comments in the first place.

Are you on chess.com? We got our own DDO chess club.

Where? I'm interested.
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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5/25/2012 4:38:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/25/2012 4:25:59 PM, Ron-Paul wrote:
At 5/25/2012 4:22:58 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 5/25/2012 4:07:04 PM, JaxsonRaine wrote:
At 5/25/2012 1:03:16 PM, Danielle wrote:
Why do people think it's okay to provide and/or refute arguments in the comments section of a debate? It's worse than plagiarism which is frowned upon. With plagiarism at least people are lifting their arguments from a set source and responsible for coming up with their own replies to the opponents' rebuttal. By including arguments and refutations in the comment section, you're essentially handing the debaters the answers which is worse than plagiarism because they can directly use others' ideas (without sources) and are able to respond to the debaters' direct arguments. I think providing assistance to either side before the debate is over is rude and inappropriate, and essentially cheating. It also highlights voter bias more than usual - which I guess is a good thing, but still annoying.

Reminds me of my high-school chess club. It was an unofficial club, we would play just whenever. I ended up playing against another guy in our finals, we were fairly evenly matched. I played a risky move that would open up my queen but likely trap his queen and rook. He fell for it, and as he was moving his bishop someone else shouted out 'No, take his queen!'.

He did and I lost.

Personally, I think lifting the argument is ten times worse than providing it in the comments in the first place.

Are you on chess.com? We got our own DDO chess club.

Where? I'm interested.

Just sign up on chess.com and friend OMG_Justinbieber, it's free and easy.
Ron-Paul
Posts: 2,557
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5/25/2012 4:41:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/25/2012 4:38:21 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 5/25/2012 4:25:59 PM, Ron-Paul wrote:
At 5/25/2012 4:22:58 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 5/25/2012 4:07:04 PM, JaxsonRaine wrote:
At 5/25/2012 1:03:16 PM, Danielle wrote:
Why do people think it's okay to provide and/or refute arguments in the comments section of a debate? It's worse than plagiarism which is frowned upon. With plagiarism at least people are lifting their arguments from a set source and responsible for coming up with their own replies to the opponents' rebuttal. By including arguments and refutations in the comment section, you're essentially handing the debaters the answers which is worse than plagiarism because they can directly use others' ideas (without sources) and are able to respond to the debaters' direct arguments. I think providing assistance to either side before the debate is over is rude and inappropriate, and essentially cheating. It also highlights voter bias more than usual - which I guess is a good thing, but still annoying.

Reminds me of my high-school chess club. It was an unofficial club, we would play just whenever. I ended up playing against another guy in our finals, we were fairly evenly matched. I played a risky move that would open up my queen but likely trap his queen and rook. He fell for it, and as he was moving his bishop someone else shouted out 'No, take his queen!'.

He did and I lost.

Personally, I think lifting the argument is ten times worse than providing it in the comments in the first place.

Are you on chess.com? We got our own DDO chess club.

Where? I'm interested.

Just sign up on chess.com and friend OMG_Justinbieber, it's free and easy.

Thanks. I'll do that.
JaxsonRaine
Posts: 3,606
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5/25/2012 4:47:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/25/2012 4:22:58 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 5/25/2012 4:07:04 PM, JaxsonRaine wrote:
At 5/25/2012 1:03:16 PM, Danielle wrote:
Why do people think it's okay to provide and/or refute arguments in the comments section of a debate? It's worse than plagiarism which is frowned upon. With plagiarism at least people are lifting their arguments from a set source and responsible for coming up with their own replies to the opponents' rebuttal. By including arguments and refutations in the comment section, you're essentially handing the debaters the answers which is worse than plagiarism because they can directly use others' ideas (without sources) and are able to respond to the debaters' direct arguments. I think providing assistance to either side before the debate is over is rude and inappropriate, and essentially cheating. It also highlights voter bias more than usual - which I guess is a good thing, but still annoying.

Reminds me of my high-school chess club. It was an unofficial club, we would play just whenever. I ended up playing against another guy in our finals, we were fairly evenly matched. I played a risky move that would open up my queen but likely trap his queen and rook. He fell for it, and as he was moving his bishop someone else shouted out 'No, take his queen!'.

He did and I lost.

Personally, I think lifting the argument is ten times worse than providing it in the comments in the first place.

Are you on chess.com? We got our own DDO chess club.

No, I haven't played much chess since then... I'm sure I would be destroyed :)
twocupcakes: 15 = 13
YYW
Posts: 36,339
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5/25/2012 9:59:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/25/2012 1:03:16 PM, Danielle wrote:
Why do people think it's okay to provide and/or refute arguments in the comments section of a debate?... By including arguments and refutations in the comment section, you're essentially handing the debaters the answers which is worse than plagiarism because they can directly use others' ideas (without sources) and are able to respond to the debaters' direct arguments. I think providing assistance to either side before the debate is over is rude and inappropriate, and essentially cheating...

People can go out and find most of the things that people say anyway, if only they occasion themselves to google. If you're saying that others should stay out of other people's debates until they're finished, while ostensibly I'm inclined to agree with you, upon deep reflection I can't really identify a harm. My question would be, simply, where is the "cheating" located?

Does cheating occur when information is posted to a debate by a third party user (i.e. someone not debating)? It seems like the debater whose side was supported would have to incorporate the information before any harm could be realized.

Does cheating occur when information posted by a third party user to a debate in the comment section is used in the debate itself, and to the conspicuous advantage of the debater using it? If the same refutation were arrived at by the other debater, independent of the third party help, would it still be cheating? Probably not... and there really isn't a way to determine that that wasn't the case.

Does cheating occur when information posted by a third party user to a debate in the comment section is used in the debate itself, to the conspicuous advantage of the debater using said information because such an advantage was not afforded to the other debater? (Simply, did the debater who got a third party tip have an unfair advantage over another debater?) It would be difficult to establish that that were the case because no one denied such an advantage to the debater's opponent. Given that both parties have equal opportunity to receive "outside help" it is very difficult to argue that one necessarily has an advantage over another. Moreover, who is to say that a user won't independently seek outside help? Would that be cheating too? Not really, because even if there were explicit provisions against it, there would surely be no way to enforce it, unless we lock both debaters in a lead box until their ordeal is over.

I grant you that I would get pissed if someone were to tell someone I was debating against exactly how to refute a point that I made. But I would surely refute their refutation just the same. Considering that this is an online, open forum... its a bit difficult to assert that debates should occur in a vacuum, where in a vacuum is the only place to prelude peanut gallery commentary.

Just my thoughts though...
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YYW
Posts: 36,339
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5/25/2012 10:03:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I guess, ultimately, I think of the debate setting on DDO as more akin to the British House of Commons than an isolated dialectic.
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Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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5/25/2012 11:26:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/25/2012 1:03:16 PM, Danielle wrote:
Why do people think it's okay to provide and/or refute arguments in the comments section of a debate? It's worse than plagiarism which is frowned upon. With plagiarism at least people are lifting their arguments from a set source and responsible for coming up with their own replies to the opponents' rebuttal. By including arguments and refutations in the comment section, you're essentially handing the debaters the answers which is worse than plagiarism because they can directly use others' ideas (without sources) and are able to respond to the debaters' direct arguments. I think providing assistance to either side before the debate is over is rude and inappropriate, and essentially cheating. It also highlights voter bias more than usual - which I guess is a good thing, but still annoying.

I wasn't aware that this is a problem. I haven't seen much of this, at least not during the course of a debate. Really should be common sense. Once the debate is over though it's really not a big deal.
YYW
Posts: 36,339
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5/26/2012 12:09:13 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/25/2012 11:26:30 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 5/25/2012 1:03:16 PM, Danielle wrote:
Why do people think it's okay to provide and/or refute arguments in the comments section of a debate? It's worse than plagiarism which is frowned upon. With plagiarism at least people are lifting their arguments from a set source and responsible for coming up with their own replies to the opponents' rebuttal. By including arguments and refutations in the comment section, you're essentially handing the debaters the answers which is worse than plagiarism because they can directly use others' ideas (without sources) and are able to respond to the debaters' direct arguments. I think providing assistance to either side before the debate is over is rude and inappropriate, and essentially cheating. It also highlights voter bias more than usual - which I guess is a good thing, but still annoying.

I wasn't aware that this is a problem. I haven't seen much of this, at least not during the course of a debate. Really should be common sense. Once the debate is over though it's really not a big deal.

This was the example Danielle mentioned.

http://www.debate.org...
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RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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5/26/2012 12:18:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Before he challenge is accepted, I think it is appropriate to discuss what the resolution means and other issues related to the setup of the debate. That way the challenge can be modiied or its meaning clarified in the comments.

During the debate, I think it's not appropriate to argue in the comments. that's because it burdens the debater with and unlimited burden to answer contentions made in Comments. Any number of points can be raised with n character limits, and the debaters should be allowed to focus on the debate.

After the debate ends, I don't have a problem with continuing discussion in the comments. It's surprising how many points are raised that were already answered in the debate. In any case, a debate site is about debating the issues, and comments serve that function along with the forums.

It's fair if people are more informed on the topic by virtue of the comments as well as the debate. Later debates should be improved by the knowledge.

I think it is always a conduct violation to post arguments or sources in comments. The 8000 character limit is a site rule without any exceptions. I favor changing the rule so links are not included in the character count, but that's not the way it is.
YYW
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5/28/2012 1:17:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/26/2012 12:18:00 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
During the debate, I think it's not appropriate to argue in the comments. that's because it burdens the debater with and unlimited burden to answer contentions made in Comments. Any number of points can be raised with n character limits, and the debaters should be allowed to focus on the debate.


Appropriate for others or appropriate for the debaters or both?

I agree with the fact that debaters themselves probably shouldn't go at it with their opponents in the comment section, but spectators? As the great philosopher Paul McCartney, quoting Mother Mary, once said: "Let it be."

I think it is always a conduct violation to post arguments or sources in comments. The 8000 character limit is a site rule without any exceptions. I favor changing the rule so links are not included in the character count, but that's not the way it is.

If both parties agree before the debate to post sources in the comment section, I can't see any valid reason to have a problem with it -but then again I have always favored the "spirit of the law" over (or at the expense of) the "letter or the law."
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RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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5/28/2012 4:13:57 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/28/2012 1:17:17 PM, YYW wrote:
At 5/26/2012 12:18:00 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
During the debate, I think it's not appropriate to argue in the comments. that's because it burdens the debater with and unlimited burden to answer contentions made in Comments. Any number of points can be raised with n character limits, and the debaters should be allowed to focus on the debate.


Appropriate for others or appropriate for the debaters or both?

It's not appropriate for debaters because it exceeds the character limits. It's not appropriate for others because it burdens the debater with making extra rebuttals, and he's busy with the debate.

I agree with the fact that debaters themselves probably shouldn't go at it with their opponents in the comment section, but spectators? As the great philosopher Paul McCartney, quoting Mother Mary, once said: "Let it be."

Not during the debate. It's like when a tennis match is in progress, spectators shouldn't try to run onto the court and hit the ball. After the match is over, no problem.

If both parties agree before the debate to post sources in the comment section, I can't see any valid reason to have a problem with it -but then again I have always favored the "spirit of the law" over (or at the expense of) the "letter or the law."

Well, it's not exactly a crime against humanity if both debaters agree, but the site rules impose minimum standards. Suppose that before a league baseball game, both teams decide that it will be okay to circle the bases in either direction in order to score. That might add interest, but they are in league with league rules so in that sense it "isn't baseball." Debate records ought to be built upon uniform rules.

Mark Twain wrote, "I was going write you a short letter, but I didn't have time, so a long letter follows." Character limits are part of the debate craft.
YYW
Posts: 36,339
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5/30/2012 11:40:46 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/28/2012 4:13:57 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 5/28/2012 1:17:17 PM, YYW wrote:
At 5/26/2012 12:18:00 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
During the debate, I think it's not appropriate to argue in the comments. that's because it burdens the debater with and unlimited burden to answer contentions made in Comments. Any number of points can be raised with n character limits, and the debaters should be allowed to focus on the debate.


Appropriate for others or appropriate for the debaters or both?

It's not appropriate for debaters because it exceeds the character limits. It's not appropriate for others because it burdens the debater with making extra rebuttals, and he's busy with the debate.

I completely agree in regard to the debaters themselves. As in, if I were debating you over US-Iranian relations, it wouldn't be especially prudent for us to take our battle to the comment section. That wouldn't be good. But for others to opine? Even for them to opine on our debate, the progression of it, or possible points/refutations/etc.? I wouldn't have a problem with it, for the reasons that I described above in response to Danielle's original post.


I agree with the fact that debaters themselves probably shouldn't go at it with their opponents in the comment section, but spectators? As the great philosopher Paul McCartney, quoting Mother Mary, once said: "Let it be."

Not during the debate. It's like when a tennis match is in progress, spectators shouldn't try to run onto the court and hit the ball. After the match is over, no problem.

As a tennis player (or at least I used to be, although I never could serve correctly), I understand. Fortunately though, DDO isn't a tennis court.


If both parties agree before the debate to post sources in the comment section, I can't see any valid reason to have a problem with it -but then again I have always favored the "spirit of the law" over (or at the expense of) the "letter or the law."

Well, it's not exactly a crime against humanity if both debaters agree, but the site rules impose minimum standards. Suppose that before a league baseball game, both teams decide that it will be okay to circle the bases in either direction in order to score. That might add interest, but they are in league with league rules so in that sense it "isn't baseball." Debate records ought to be built upon uniform rules.

Mark Twain wrote, "I was going write you a short letter, but I didn't have time, so a long letter follows." Character limits are part of the debate craft.

Uniform rules would require uniform structure, format and judging standards. While most good arguments are logically structured, and some are conducted in similar manors, the judging -the real factor which affects a person's stats- is necessarily variable. Judges are, by in large, stupid. Some aren't. Most are. Some happen to stumble upon the right conclusion. Some don't. This could never be made "uniform." Given, judging isn't a "rule" but it is the most significant factor in how a person's standing is calculated. If DDO were the LSAT/MCAT/GMAT/GRE/SAT/etc. then I would agree with the need for strict rules. It's not a standardized test though. The judging is not objective, nor could it be.
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RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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5/31/2012 12:19:56 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/30/2012 11:40:46 PM, YYW wrote:
I completely agree in regard to the debaters themselves. As in, if I were debating you over US-Iranian relations, it wouldn't be especially prudent for us to take our battle to the comment section. That wouldn't be good. But for others to opine? Even for them to opine on our debate, the progression of it, or possible points/refutations/etc.? I wouldn't have a problem with it, for the reasons that I described above in response to Danielle's original post.

When others opine they are helping one side or the other with additional arguments, facts, or sources. If arguments are left unanswered in the comments, readers of the debate may get the impression that the argument was really unanswerable.

Would you really like it if I went to the comments on one of your debates and argued against your position in the comments while the debate was in progress? It think you shouldn't like it. Most people wouldn't.


Uniform rules would require uniform structure, format and judging standards. ...

You err in supposing that because some things are not standardized, nothing should be. Interfering with a game in progress is about as widespread a rule in competition as anything.
YYW
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5/31/2012 3:12:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/31/2012 12:19:56 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 5/30/2012 11:40:46 PM, YYW wrote:
I completely agree in regard to the debaters themselves. As in, if I were debating you over US-Iranian relations, it wouldn't be especially prudent for us to take our battle to the comment section. That wouldn't be good. But for others to opine? Even for them to opine on our debate, the progression of it, or possible points/refutations/etc.? I wouldn't have a problem with it, for the reasons that I described above in response to Danielle's original post.

When others opine they are helping one side or the other with additional arguments, facts, or sources. If arguments are left unanswered in the comments, readers of the debate may get the impression that the argument was really unanswerable.

They are helping. But the question is: of what value is that help? Readers of the debate shouldn't factor the comment section into their judging at all. To judge the debate based on the comment section is absurd. I understand your concern though; there is a possibility that people who judge debates might be influenced, wether they recognize it or not, by the content of the comment section. That is a valid point.


Would you really like it if I went to the comments on one of your debates and argued against your position in the comments while the debate was in progress? It think you shouldn't like it. Most people wouldn't.


Uniform rules would require uniform structure, format and judging standards. ...

You err in supposing that because some things are not standardized, nothing should be. Interfering with a game in progress is about as widespread a rule in competition as anything.

It's not that I err, necessarily, but that I have a different approach to DDO. To me, as I have said before, the format is more akin to the British House of Commons than a tennis match, a board game, etc.
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RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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5/31/2012 3:58:12 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/31/2012 3:12:07 PM, YYW wrote:
You err in supposing that because some things are not standardized, nothing should be. Interfering with a game in progress is about as widespread a rule in competition as anything.

It's not that I err, necessarily, but that I have a different approach to DDO. To me, as I have said before, the format is more akin to the British House of Commons than a tennis match, a board game, etc.

It's a logical error to suppose that if some things are not standardized then nothing can be standardize. Golf goes on and on with rules about what qualifies as a golf club, while tennis rules say they ball must be struck "with an implement." Tennis nonetheless has important rules.

I agree that the Forums are pretty much in the House of Commons mode, although the site rules still apply. But the idea of formal debate is that it is constrained: limited space, no ignoring opponent arguments, references. I think that's a lot better, because it makes ranting and then running away ineffective. It's worth maintaining the distinction from the free form yapping.
YYW
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5/31/2012 4:12:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/31/2012 3:58:12 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 5/31/2012 3:12:07 PM, YYW wrote:
You err in supposing that because some things are not standardized, nothing should be. Interfering with a game in progress is about as widespread a rule in competition as anything.

It's not that I err, necessarily, but that I have a different approach to DDO. To me, as I have said before, the format is more akin to the British House of Commons than a tennis match, a board game, etc.

It's a logical error to suppose that if some things are not standardized then nothing can be standardize. Golf goes on and on with rules about what qualifies as a golf club, while tennis rules say they ball must be struck "with an implement." Tennis nonetheless has important rules.

Lol... I'm not saying what can/can not be I'm saying what should/should not be based on what is. You and I disagree, probably because of a misunderstanding of the impetus of what I'm saying. That's perfectly alright. (If I were to debate you though, I'd play by your rules, FYI.)

As a golfer too, I can say that DDO is something akin to a friendly country-club like environment where the "rules" can be interpreted by the preferences of the players. Would that be the case at The Masters? No. But when the boys go out on the greens for scotch, cigars and camaraderie? Sure.


I agree that the Forums are pretty much in the House of Commons mode, although the site rules still apply. But the idea of formal debate is that it is constrained: limited space, no ignoring opponent arguments, references. I think that's a lot better, because it makes ranting and then running away ineffective. It's worth maintaining the distinction from the free form yapping.

I'm not saying that there should be no rules, only that the intent of the rules is more important than the rules themselves, and that the rules are (and should be) subject to the preferences of the debaters who are debating. I am also saying that to pretend like debates should exist in a vacuum is a bit ridiculous. If you were to give an opponent of mine an argument, I'd be ok with it. At least if it was done in the comment section, I would know the source. Who is to say though, that a debater wouldn't send another user (who is a better debater) a message asking for help in a debate? I know that goes on. We don't want to talk about it. We don't want to think about it. But again, it occurs. Given that it occurs, I don't see any real distinction between it happening in the comment section or in PM's/emails/over Facebook/etc.

This is supposed to be a fun activity. If people want to play outside the standard norms, then so what? It ultimately doesn't matter. Now, if people say in the first round that they don't want peanut gallery commentary, then it would be rude to do otherwise. But to say that commenting about the debate/etc. is wrong/shouldn't happen/whatever is problematic.

No worries though.

Btw. Would you be interested in debating about Iran?
Tsar of DDO