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Debating Newb People

The_Chaos_Heart
Posts: 404
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5/28/2013 6:13:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don't debate "for fun" so to speak. I mean, I obviously enjoy debate. But I don't debate just for the sake of arguing. I only debate when I agree or disagree with a given resolution.

I also never (well, almost never) make my own debates, but rather, only respond to debates put forth by others. Why I have developed this habit I cannot say, but I suspect it has something to do with a desire to "not go looking for a fight".

However, there is a problem with this particular type of method. Typically this results in me debating a large number of new debaters, who are almost always in my experience, absolutely pathetic and inept at debating. In the past I haven't cared, all I cared about was making arguments and proving a point. But I've grown to have mixed feelings about it. I mean, on the one hand, it's almost sad. Going in, and making good arguments, only to have drivel in return, or sometimes just straight up disappearances mid-debate. And you run the risk or driving away new members.

But on the other hand, the lack of response to them could also drive away these new members. Or rather, not provide any incentive to keep coming back and improving. It also is one less person having their ideas and worldview challenged, which does not promote intellectual growth.

So what's your view on this DDO? Is debating obviously inferior, new competition, shameful, or tolerable, or even necessary?
YYW
Posts: 36,357
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5/28/2013 7:06:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/28/2013 6:13:19 PM, The_Chaos_Heart wrote:
I don't debate "for fun" so to speak. I mean, I obviously enjoy debate. But I don't debate just for the sake of arguing. I only debate when I agree or disagree with a given resolution.

I also never (well, almost never) make my own debates, but rather, only respond to debates put forth by others. Why I have developed this habit I cannot say, but I suspect it has something to do with a desire to "not go looking for a fight".

However, there is a problem with this particular type of method. Typically this results in me debating a large number of new debaters, who are almost always in my experience, absolutely pathetic and inept at debating. In the past I haven't cared, all I cared about was making arguments and proving a point. But I've grown to have mixed feelings about it. I mean, on the one hand, it's almost sad. Going in, and making good arguments, only to have drivel in return, or sometimes just straight up disappearances mid-debate. And you run the risk or driving away new members.

But on the other hand, the lack of response to them could also drive away these new members. Or rather, not provide any incentive to keep coming back and improving. It also is one less person having their ideas and worldview challenged, which does not promote intellectual growth.


So what's your view on this DDO? Is debating obviously inferior, new competition, shameful, or tolerable, or even necessary?

By debating younger members, they gain experience in how to form an effective and persuasive argument. That they are not evenly matched with more experienced debaters, I see as no problem. The point is to learn over time.
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ClassicRobert
Posts: 2,487
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5/28/2013 8:16:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
My personal philosophy is to ignore who the instigator is, and simply look at the topic. Otherwise, you will be spending too much time waiting for just the right debate, rather than debating topics that interest you.
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RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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5/29/2013 3:43:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm sometimes challenged directly by new debaters. It seems unfriendly to decline the challenge, but it's not likely to be a good debate with a newbie. My bottom line is that I accept if the resolution is reasonably well defined and I don't agree with it. New debaters need to get into debates, so the welcome is more important.

I also post challenges, but that tends to have the opposite problem of usually getting a newbie rather than an experienced debater. The new way of dealing with that is to make the debate with an impossible acceptance criteria, then negotiate for a challenger in the comments.

From time to time, someone starts an "elite debaters" PM thread. the idea is to post challenges to the "elite." These don't work well in my experience. Few challenges are accepted.
imabench
Posts: 21,229
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5/29/2013 5:14:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I do debate noobs since legit debaters on here are only interested in doing troll debates against me for some reason :P
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cybertron1998
Posts: 5,818
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5/29/2013 5:16:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/29/2013 5:14:05 PM, imabench wrote:
I do debate noobs since legit debaters on here are only interested in doing troll debates against me for some reason :P

you kind of brought that upon yourself
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Ragnar
Posts: 1,658
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5/29/2013 5:26:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I consider an experienced debater against a brand new one, a strike against conduct. I'm not offended by it, but so long as they don't act like a fool it's a free point in their favor (sometimes the only point in their favor).
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F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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5/29/2013 6:00:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I like to debate more experienced members primarily because I view debating not just as defending a position but also as an art in itself that one can improve on and get better at. It is like playing a sport. Having a worthy challenger makes it more interesting, competitive, and fun.

Nothing wrong with debating new members by itself. Some people tend to look down on members that exclusively debate newer members for the easy win.

I find the topic less important than the opponent. If you want to debate more experienced debaters, PM them and ask if they are interested.

I wouldn't consider it unfriendly to decline a challenge any more than declining an invitation to socialize if you are not interested.
wiploc
Posts: 1,485
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5/30/2013 11:33:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Against newbies, be sure to keep the debate short. No more than three rounds (four rounds, if the first round is challenge/acceptance).
DakotaKrafick
Posts: 1,517
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5/31/2013 12:01:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/30/2013 11:33:31 PM, wiploc wrote:
Against newbies, be sure to keep the debate short. No more than three rounds (four rounds, if the first round is challenge/acceptance).

In my experience, four rounds is plenty even if the first round is acceptance.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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5/31/2013 12:09:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/29/2013 5:26:56 PM, Ragnar wrote:
I consider an experienced debater against a brand new one, a strike against conduct. I'm not offended by it, but so long as they don't act like a fool it's a free point in their favor (sometimes the only point in their favor).

Why is it a strike against conduct?
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Ragnar
Posts: 1,658
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5/31/2013 12:32:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/31/2013 12:09:13 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 5/29/2013 5:26:56 PM, Ragnar wrote:
I consider an experienced debater against a brand new one, a strike against conduct. I'm not offended by it, but so long as they don't act like a fool it's a free point in their favor (sometimes the only point in their favor).

Why is it a strike against conduct?

Because I've read the orientation :) ... Sorry had to be a jerk for a second.
Noob Sniping is listed at http://www.debate.org... as "A term used for when an experienced member debates a noob (and wins) just to inflate his Win/Loss Record."
And on conduct "Who had better conduct?(1 Point) Which debater, on balance, was more composed, and used fewer or no personal attacks against their opponent? Improper conduct includes personal insults, profanities, and bad sportsmanlike behavior."
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bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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5/31/2013 1:42:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/31/2013 12:32:12 AM, Ragnar wrote:
At 5/31/2013 12:09:13 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 5/29/2013 5:26:56 PM, Ragnar wrote:
I consider an experienced debater against a brand new one, a strike against conduct. I'm not offended by it, but so long as they don't act like a fool it's a free point in their favor (sometimes the only point in their favor).

Why is it a strike against conduct?

Because I've read the orientation :) ... Sorry had to be a jerk for a second.
Noob Sniping is listed at http://www.debate.org... as "A term used for when an experienced member debates a noob (and wins) just to inflate his Win/Loss Record."
And on conduct "Who had better conduct?(1 Point) Which debater, on balance, was more composed, and used fewer or no personal attacks against their opponent? Improper conduct includes personal insults, profanities, and bad sportsmanlike behavior."

"-noob sniping: A term used for when an experienced member debates a noob (and wins) just to inflate his Win/Loss Record."

I've debated more than a few noobs, but it had nothing to do with my record, and everything to do with the resolution, which is why I was curious. I guess I just assume that just because someone's new, that doesn't mean they aren't able to debate reasonably.
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RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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5/31/2013 1:46:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/29/2013 5:26:56 PM, Ragnar wrote:
I consider an experienced debater against a brand new one, a strike against conduct. I'm not offended by it, but so long as they don't act like a fool it's a free point in their favor (sometimes the only point in their favor).

No, a conduct violation is only for something that happens in the debate. For example, foul remarks in comments do not count as debate conduct, because comments are not part of the debate. A debater's past unpleasant behavior doesn't count either. The debate is only about the debate, just as a tennis match is about the tennis match.

I won some debates as a newb against experienced debaters. Are you telling me I should have gotten the conduct point as well?
Ragnar
Posts: 1,658
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5/31/2013 2:09:41 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Roy: Where is this talk of the comments section coming from? And did you actually just insist that noob-sniping is not bad sportmanship?
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DakotaKrafick
Posts: 1,517
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5/31/2013 2:14:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/31/2013 2:09:41 AM, Ragnar wrote:
Roy: Where is this talk of the comments section coming from?

He mentioned the comment section to make the point that the debate is about the debate and nothing else; not other debates, not the debaters themselves, not anything else. One shouldn't lose points just because he has more previous debates under his belt.

And did you actually just insist that noob-sniping is not bad sportmanship?

He insisted that noob-sniping is not a violation worthy of losing the conduct point, which it isn't.
YYW
Posts: 36,357
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5/31/2013 2:15:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/31/2013 2:09:41 AM, Ragnar wrote:
Roy: Where is this talk of the comments section coming from? And did you actually just insist that noob-sniping is not bad sportmanship?

It isn't, because we don't have any way to know a person's debating background/persuasive ability outside of DDO. Someone could be a practicing lawyer, champion policy debater or noted pundit -but if they joined DDO, when they joined, they would be a "noob."
Tsar of DDO
Ragnar
Posts: 1,658
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5/31/2013 2:20:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
So in what way is it frowned upon, if not on conduct?
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DakotaKrafick
Posts: 1,517
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5/31/2013 2:27:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/31/2013 2:20:26 AM, Ragnar wrote:
So in what way is it frowned upon, if not on conduct?

Even if we agreed debating "noobs" was bad sportsmanship, you can't say someone who does it deserves to lose the conduct point because the action of accepting the debate itself is not an action within the debate. When voting, you are judging how the debaters faired in the debate, not how they faired in the events leading up to the debate.
airmax1227
Posts: 13,244
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5/31/2013 2:28:28 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/31/2013 2:20:26 AM, Ragnar wrote:
So in what way is it frowned upon, if not on conduct?

It's just not a respected thing to do, and members who do it regularly will get a negative reputation for it, but that's the extent of it. Since "noob-sniping" is impossible to know by anyone aside from the person accepting the debate, and isn't apparent in the debate itself, it's not appropriate to give someone conduct simply based on the number of debates each debater had taken part in or their skill at debating.

Points should only be awarded based on the content of the debate itself.
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Ragnar
Posts: 1,658
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5/31/2013 11:09:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/31/2013 2:28:28 AM, airmax1227 wrote:
At 5/31/2013 2:20:26 AM, Ragnar wrote:
So in what way is it frowned upon, if not on conduct?

It's just not a respected thing to do, and members who do it regularly will get a negative reputation for it, but that's the extent of it. Since "noob-sniping" is impossible to know by anyone aside from the person accepting the debate, and isn't apparent in the debate itself, it's not appropriate to give someone conduct simply based on the number of debates each debater had taken part in or their skill at debating.

Points should only be awarded based on the content of the debate itself.

I stand corrected.
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RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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5/31/2013 11:30:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/31/2013 2:09:41 AM, Ragnar wrote:
Roy: Where is this talk of the comments section coming from? And did you actually just insist that noob-sniping is not bad sportmanship?

I was giving examples of things happening outside a debate that should not affect judging a debate. There is long list of stuff that is bad conduct from a broad perspective, but which is not relevant to a particular debate.

I think noob-sniping is usually okay. It's usually worse for a new debater not to have a good debate. An experienced debater taking on a newb should try to guide his opponent through the debate and generally be helpful in teaching the craft. It does bug me when an experienced debater tries to win win with semantic nonsense, deliberately misinterpreting the resolution. But that bugs me when experienced debaters do it.

When I was learning to play chess, I played a very good player at lunch time. I lost 49 games in a row, winning the 50th. I tried my best to give him a good game and he enjoyed the exercise. He taught me how to play. I have always appreciated that.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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5/31/2013 11:36:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/31/2013 11:30:02 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 5/31/2013 2:09:41 AM, Ragnar wrote:
Roy: Where is this talk of the comments section coming from? And did you actually just insist that noob-sniping is not bad sportmanship?

I was giving examples of things happening outside a debate that should not affect judging a debate. There is long list of stuff that is bad conduct from a broad perspective, but which is not relevant to a particular debate.

I think noob-sniping is usually okay. It's usually worse for a new debater not to have a good debate. An experienced debater taking on a newb should try to guide his opponent through the debate and generally be helpful in teaching the craft. It does bug me when an experienced debater tries to win win with semantic nonsense, deliberately misinterpreting the resolution. But that bugs me when experienced debaters do it.

When I was learning to play chess, I played a very good player at lunch time. I lost 49 games in a row, winning the 50th. I tried my best to give him a good game and he enjoyed the exercise. He taught me how to play. I have always appreciated that.

You play chess? Bunch of DDOers on chess.com.

http://www.chess.com...

I'm the same as my username if you want to play against me.
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gordonjames
Posts: 47
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5/31/2013 4:34:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
There is a huge step in going from debating topics about which you are passionate, and debating for the fun on intellectual exchange.

I think it is a good step when we can let a new debater post their debates and sit back and watch to see if they might be worth debating when they get a little more experience.

With that said, as your own tastes change you may want to post some good topics for the rest of us to take you up on.
DakotaKrafick
Posts: 1,517
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5/31/2013 4:38:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/31/2013 11:36:11 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 5/31/2013 11:30:02 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 5/31/2013 2:09:41 AM, Ragnar wrote:
Roy: Where is this talk of the comments section coming from? And did you actually just insist that noob-sniping is not bad sportmanship?

I was giving examples of things happening outside a debate that should not affect judging a debate. There is long list of stuff that is bad conduct from a broad perspective, but which is not relevant to a particular debate.

I think noob-sniping is usually okay. It's usually worse for a new debater not to have a good debate. An experienced debater taking on a newb should try to guide his opponent through the debate and generally be helpful in teaching the craft. It does bug me when an experienced debater tries to win win with semantic nonsense, deliberately misinterpreting the resolution. But that bugs me when experienced debaters do it.

When I was learning to play chess, I played a very good player at lunch time. I lost 49 games in a row, winning the 50th. I tried my best to give him a good game and he enjoyed the exercise. He taught me how to play. I have always appreciated that.

You play chess? Bunch of DDOers on chess.com.

http://www.chess.com...

I'm the same as my username if you want to play against me.

Real men play Go.
Maikuru
Posts: 9,112
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5/31/2013 4:45:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Newer members tend to be the ones starting the majority of the entertainment-type debates, so a majority of my match-ups have been against "noobs". So it goes.
"You assume I wouldn't want to burn this whole place to the ground."
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bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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5/31/2013 7:29:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/31/2013 4:38:54 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
At 5/31/2013 11:36:11 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 5/31/2013 11:30:02 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 5/31/2013 2:09:41 AM, Ragnar wrote:
Roy: Where is this talk of the comments section coming from? And did you actually just insist that noob-sniping is not bad sportmanship?

I was giving examples of things happening outside a debate that should not affect judging a debate. There is long list of stuff that is bad conduct from a broad perspective, but which is not relevant to a particular debate.

I think noob-sniping is usually okay. It's usually worse for a new debater not to have a good debate. An experienced debater taking on a newb should try to guide his opponent through the debate and generally be helpful in teaching the craft. It does bug me when an experienced debater tries to win win with semantic nonsense, deliberately misinterpreting the resolution. But that bugs me when experienced debaters do it.

When I was learning to play chess, I played a very good player at lunch time. I lost 49 games in a row, winning the 50th. I tried my best to give him a good game and he enjoyed the exercise. He taught me how to play. I have always appreciated that.

You play chess? Bunch of DDOers on chess.com.

http://www.chess.com...

I'm the same as my username if you want to play against me.

Real men play Go.

For some reason, I find playing Go makes my chess game worse, and vice-versa.
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DakotaKrafick
Posts: 1,517
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5/31/2013 7:44:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/31/2013 7:29:26 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 5/31/2013 4:38:54 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
At 5/31/2013 11:36:11 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 5/31/2013 11:30:02 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 5/31/2013 2:09:41 AM, Ragnar wrote:
Roy: Where is this talk of the comments section coming from? And did you actually just insist that noob-sniping is not bad sportmanship?

I was giving examples of things happening outside a debate that should not affect judging a debate. There is long list of stuff that is bad conduct from a broad perspective, but which is not relevant to a particular debate.

I think noob-sniping is usually okay. It's usually worse for a new debater not to have a good debate. An experienced debater taking on a newb should try to guide his opponent through the debate and generally be helpful in teaching the craft. It does bug me when an experienced debater tries to win win with semantic nonsense, deliberately misinterpreting the resolution. But that bugs me when experienced debaters do it.

When I was learning to play chess, I played a very good player at lunch time. I lost 49 games in a row, winning the 50th. I tried my best to give him a good game and he enjoyed the exercise. He taught me how to play. I have always appreciated that.

You play chess? Bunch of DDOers on chess.com.

http://www.chess.com...

I'm the same as my username if you want to play against me.

Real men play Go.

For some reason, I find playing Go makes my chess game worse, and vice-versa.

I find the opposite effect. Of course, if you have to pick one or the other, pick Go.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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5/31/2013 7:46:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/31/2013 7:44:37 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:


I find the opposite effect.

Really? Interesting...

Of course, if you have to pick one or the other, pick Go.

Well obviously. It's over 9,000 better.
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