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Terrible RFD of the Week (TRW): Week 1

bluesteel
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1/21/2015 6:17:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I have chosen a debate that Ore_Ele had with Lannan for my first TRW. It looks like an interesting one because Ore_Ele lost, despite being the heavy favorite based on Elo.

http://www.debate.org...

I'll start with a basic guide to a good RFD, so you can evaluate whether my analysis fits in with that.

A good RFD should:

(1) Evaluate every argument, not merely state one single argument by one side that you agree with.

(2) Recognize which points were offense and which were defense and evaluate accordingly. Offense is a reason to vote for a particular side (in this case, asteroid mining good or asteroid mining bad). Defense merely mitigates those arguments.

(3) Evaluate the probability and magnitude of each impact. An impact is the ultimate reason why a particular argument is a reason to vote for that side.

(4) Read contested sources. If a source is heavily contested by one or both sides, read it or you have no idea if it says what the debaters claim. But read only contested sources, not ones that are conceded.

(5) Credit dropped arguments.

== My RFD ==

This is how I would have evaluated the debate. Then I'll get into the bad RFD's.

(1) Cost [Offense for Pro]

Pro argues that asteroid mining is cheaper than mining here on Earth and that it only costs $2.7 billion to mine an asteroid worth $195 billion in metals and water.

Con utterly decimates this argument. Rocket fuel is expensive, so as Con says, it costs $61.6 million per metric ton to bring something back from space. It's a lot cheaper to mine that stuff on Earth. [Offense for Con: mining on Earth is better].

Con points out that part of Pro's estimate of $195 billion in value for asteroids is based on taking *water* from asteroids and valuing the water at $20,000 per liter (because that's how much money it costs to get water to the ISS). But obviously, water is not worth that much, and the ISS doesn't need that much water.

Con also points out that the $2.7 billion -- when Pro finally sources this in the last round -- is for how much it costs to drag a small asteroid closer to the Earth so we can mine it. Pro was misrepresenting all along by claiming that it was the cost of *completely mining* an asteroid worth $195 billion. Con also points out that based on the size of the asteroid in the $2.7 billion estimate, there are only $1.7 billion of metals on it, so just *moving it* closer to Earth results in a $1 billion loss. Thus, Con proves that mining asteroids is unprofitable.

Pro also has a source which he claims outlines a method that we can use to profitably mine asteroids. His source is comical if you actually read it. It says that we can send *humans* to the asteroid and they can build a base on it and mine it for a very long time without coming back. It doesn't actually talk about costs, feasibility, or how much you'd have to pay someone in hazard pay to be willing to live on an asteroid for seven years.

Pro also has a source he claims proves that asteroid mining is cheaper than mining on Earth. As Con points out, the source is merely a graph that draws one line going straight up for "cost of Earth mining" and one line going straight down for "cost of asteroid mining." It gives no *reason* or basis for its estimates, except that it thinks that the cost of mining on Earth will *always rise* and the cost of mining on asteroids will *always fall.* Con points out that the cost of mining on Earth falls just as rapidly as the cost of mining asteroids because technological improvements apply equally to both (if not more so to Earth mining, given feasibility). Con also points out that Pro's source has absolutely no basis for its estimate and pulls the graph out of its @ss. Pro also lied and said the source was from Harvard, which it is not. It's from a space company that hopes to raise venture capital funding to mine asteroids. Pro is basically citing bs lobbying material. Sources point should have gone to Con right here.

Con also argues that if Pro's graph were true, private companies would already be mining asteroids now because according to the graph, there would be an 80% profit margin on mining asteroids by now. However, this obviously isn't happening and Pro couldn't cite one source for this, proving that Pro's source's projections are absolutely bs.

Con also proved that there are plenty of untapped minerals still here on Earth, which are far cheaper to extract. So Con actually has some offense coming out of this contention because it's cheaper to mine here on Earth, so the US federal government should spend money subsidizing Earth mining rather than asteroid mining (as Pro claims it should do).

(2) China

This point is null by the end of the debate. Pro says that China has cut off our REM (rare earth metal) supply. Con says that they did so only for a short period of time many years ago, but they don't do that anymore because they like money. Con problematically never explains why they cut us off in the first place, but Pro problematically never explains why they ended their cut off.

Pro does argue that China is maintaining their monopoly on REM by buying up mines in various parts of the world. Con argues that we have REM's in the United States and if China cuts off supply, that will drive up prices making mining REM's on our own land viable. And it's cheaper to mine REM's on our own soil than in space. This point devastates Con.

Con's impact is that our economy will be hurt if China cuts us off and we will go to war with China. Both impacts seem highly improbable both because it's true that China likes money and seems to have nothing to gain by cutting us off (Pro never offers a motive for China to boost the probability of this happening). In contrast, Con proves that the impacts would not occur even if China cut us off because we have our own supplies of REM.

Also, Pro *fails to extend* the impacts in the final round as a voting issue. He never reiterates his war scenario, but spends most of the time proving that China is defending its monopoly. Because Pro dropped his own impact scenarios and because I think the entire scenario is extremely unlikely, this is not an argument I would vote on unless Con had zero offense.

(3) Eliminate US deficit

Pro's argument here depends on asteroid mining being profitable, which Con won under the "cost" issue.

(4) Ocean mining

I think Con wins some chance that mining oceans is cheaper than mining space because we already have probes that can go to the deep ocean and they seem to cost less than a space shuttle launch. Pro argues that deep sea mining will hurt the environment, but has no sources or reason except to say that fishing and drilling for oil hurt the environment. But rocks seem different from oil. Con argues that it won't hurt the environment. Two competing claims; neither better than the other. I buy that there's some risk of environmental harm, but I have no idea what it is. But I also buy that ocean mining seems more viable than space mining.

(5) Moon mining

Con claims that there are plenty of minerals on the surface from asteroid crashes. Pro claims that it's not many minerals. Con doesn't source how much we can get from mining the moon, and Con's own estimates of the cost of a space shuttle launch also apply to the moon, so it doesn't seem a lot cheaper than mining asteroids and the payoff does seem smaller. I think Pro successfully mitigates this.

== Conclusion ==

So I would vote Con because Con wins that money is better spent on Earth-mining or ocean-mining than on asteroid-mining, which is still prohibitively expense despite what some of Pro's sketchy sources from decades ago claim.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
bluesteel
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1/21/2015 6:36:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Now let's look at some other RFD's on the debate.

" I don't really buy con's "price" argument, since having tons of REE will pay for that price. I think that pro's rebuttals and main point about "why we need it" outweigh the harms"

Okay, for one, this RFD is obviously too short. For another, the RFD completely ignores Con's offense, which is that mining on Earth is cheaper. The RFD assumes that mining asteroids is the only way to get rare earth elements (REE), and ignores that you can get them from soil and the ocean. The RFD also completely fails to understand how expensive it is to launch things into space, that Pro's cost estimates were absolutely bogus, and that Con *turned* Pro's $2.7 billion cost estimate by showing that it would have actually been unprofitable to mine the asteroid they ran the test on. The only way that mining asteroids "pays for itself" is if you can extract all the metal from the asteroid for less money than the metal is worth. Pro never established that that's feasible. And Con's argument was pretty devastating that if the profitably is as high as Pro claimed (e.g. $2.7 billion to extract $130 billion in minerals), companies would already be doing it. It seems far more likely that the explanation for why it's not happening now is that we'd end up losing massive amounts of money if we tried to mine asteroids because it's so expensive to launch stuff into space.

"Pro gets arguments I think, as he argued succintly that asteroid mining is a profitable and necessary market to create. Con made some valid rebuttals but ultimately she does not provide much of a lon-term alternative. She suggests the sea-bed and the moon, but the she drops the argument that the former could heavily damage the ocean ecosystem/geology. Also, she drops the point that most REM would be deep inside the moon and so difficult to mine."

This RFD also completely fails to properly evaluate the profitability of asteroid mining, and also fails to understand that mining *soil* is the strongest alternative that Con offered.

"I thought everything except arguments was equal. As for arguments, I thought Pro made a good case for mining asteroids. It reminds me of the oil independence debate about country is having. It seems to me that the more supply we have, the lower the cost will be."

This RFD has to win *worst RFD of the week.* It breaks a cardinal rule of RFD's: it refers to arguments made outside the debate. The author of this RFD is clearly implying that he found Pro's arguments more persuasive because he likes "oil independence" type arguments. The RFD also says "it seems to me" which is wording that has to do with a *personal opinion,* not with an objective way to evaluate arguments. The last sentence also is a *completely misunderstanding* of supply and demand. Supply is based on cost more so than how much of the inputs exist. There could be a lot of REM's, but if the cost of extracting it is high, the supply will be very low. Also, the global market price is still going to be based on the supply here on Earth, and the demand here on Earth. The author of this RFD basically voted as soon as Lannan said "there is A LOT of REM on asteroids," and this person said, "yay, lots of supply, so it will be really cheap." There is absolutely no evaluation at all of the cost of extraction from asteroids, and again, the RFD ignores the relative cost of mining more metal from soil. RFD's like this make you question where the person really read every word of the debate.

"Arguments: Pro has provided sources showing that the value of the precious minerals extracted from asteroids is greater than the cost of mining them. Plus, in his last round, Con made the following argument: "In 2005 they calculated that asteroid mining could be very profitable. But if this is true, why haven't they done it? Thus these estimates must be wrong." That's a somewhat fallacious line of reasoning, which casts a shadow over an otherwise rational case."

This RFD wins *runner-up.* It votes on an absolutely specious source without actually looking at it or crediting Con's argument that the graph is pulled out of someone's butt and is not based on any real projections. The RFD also claims that a perfectly *valid* argument from Con is fallacious, but doesn't even bother explaining *what the fallacy is.* Lannon's bogus source claims that by 2030, asteroid mining will be 7 times more profitable than Earth mining. If this was based on real numbers, don't you think private companies like SpaceX would be chomping at the bit to earn profits like that? Also, Ore_Ele is correct that the source is from 2005 and has clearly been wrong about even it's 2015 prediction, which was that mining asteroids would become as cheap as mining on Earth. None of Pro's evidence has claimed that asteroid mining is cheaper today than it was 10 years ago. What technology have we even been working on that could mine asteroids and how has it become cheaper? Why aren't companies investing so they can capture market share from China? Because it's not any cheaper today.

Like all the RFD's, this one also fails to understand the cost debate and realize that Con did prove with the $2.7 billion "test project" that even *moving the asteroid* to the point where we could start extracting minerals would cost more than the value of *all the minerals* contained with the asteroid.

In sum, four amazingly bad RFD's. A loss for Ore_Ele on a debate that he should clearly have won. Yet another sad day for DDO.

I hope that you, my dear readers, see all this and aspire to be better voters yourselves. Thanks for reading and I'll see you against next week.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
bluesteel
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1/21/2015 6:37:18 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 6:28:06 AM, Smithereens wrote:
I'd like to see you critique technique more. I'd be interested in your thoughts..

Technique?
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Smithereens
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1/21/2015 7:03:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 6:37:18 AM, bluesteel wrote:
At 1/21/2015 6:28:06 AM, Smithereens wrote:
I'd like to see you critique technique more. I'd be interested in your thoughts..

Technique?

Yes. For example, Lannan in the debate used a argumentum ad consequentiam, which was a waste of space. His entire case was centered around his proposed ecconomic solution, and him creating a problem to further establish the need for solution was poor technique since he wasn't able to adequately both support the economic case and the China REM argument. It was a stand-alone case that got demolished. It didn't directly motivate the resolution as Con could simply suggest an alternative, or a model of his own, and Pro would be forced to engage in a proposition vs proposition debate, when he could instead be only affirming one. (as opposed to both affirming and negating simultaneously) Alternatives proposed by negative teams in debates usually mean that the affirmative debater was unconvincing in their push for their model. Especially in online debates, where Con is not actually obliged to present arguments to affirm something. I got criticized in one debate for creating a case to allow the proposition we were arguing for to have a context in which it could be considered desirable. Lannan did pretty much the same thing, when he could have been arguing that his proposal was desirable, he was instead arguing that circumstances exterior to the debate situation were such that his case was a potential solution. He could have left that out and nothing would be different.

Ore_ele on the other hand started on a weaker foot by claiming that the resolution was unnecessary, when he could have been arguing that it was a bad idea altogether. The stronger contention gives debaters more room to move around in situations where certain avenues of argument are shut down by the opponent. Ore-Ele didn't give himself this, and thus he wouldn't be able to fall back from a strong contention to a weak contention, he would be starting the debate from the weak contention, and any movement from there would mean a pro victory.

That's my initial opinions from what I've read. I'm interested in your verdicts though. Being at the top, you could theoretically pass for an actual adjudicator.
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bluesteel
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1/21/2015 7:28:25 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 7:03:23 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 1/21/2015 6:37:18 AM, bluesteel wrote:
At 1/21/2015 6:28:06 AM, Smithereens wrote:
I'd like to see you critique technique more. I'd be interested in your thoughts..

Technique?

Yes. For example, Lannan in the debate used a argumentum ad consequentiam, which was a waste of space. His entire case was centered around his proposed ecconomic solution, and him creating a problem to further establish the need for solution was poor technique since he wasn't able to adequately both support the economic case and the China REM argument. It was a stand-alone case that got demolished. It didn't directly motivate the resolution as Con could simply suggest an alternative, or a model of his own, and Pro would be forced to engage in a proposition vs proposition debate, when he could instead be only affirming one. (as opposed to both affirming and negating simultaneously) Alternatives proposed by negative teams in debates usually mean that the affirmative debater was unconvincing in their push for their model. Especially in online debates, where Con is not actually obliged to present arguments to affirm something. I got criticized in one debate for creating a case to allow the proposition we were arguing for to have a context in which it could be considered desirable. Lannan did pretty much the same thing, when he could have been arguing that his proposal was desirable, he was instead arguing that circumstances exterior to the debate situation were such that his case was a potential solution. He could have left that out and nothing would be different.

Ore_ele on the other hand started on a weaker foot by claiming that the resolution was unnecessary, when he could have been arguing that it was a bad idea altogether. The stronger contention gives debaters more room to move around in situations where certain avenues of argument are shut down by the opponent. Ore-Ele didn't give himself this, and thus he wouldn't be able to fall back from a strong contention to a weak contention, he would be starting the debate from the weak contention, and any movement from there would mean a pro victory.

That's my initial opinions from what I've read. I'm interested in your verdicts though. Being at the top, you could theoretically pass for an actual adjudicator.

I don't agree with your assessment of Lannan's case. It's not a " argumentum ad consequentiam." An example of that fallacy is to say "but if God doesn't exist, that means there is no afterlife, and I want to exist forever." It is a bare appeal to emotion to try to disprove the truth-value of a statement. It applies more in philosophical debates, and even there, people misuse the fallacy all the time, as an opponent recently did against me. If your proposition leads to absurd, illogical results, there's reasons to question the truth-value of your proposition. It's fine to refer to a result as illogical, but the fallacy is when you appeal to the result merely as being emotionally undesirable.

Anyways, in a policy debate (should the US subsidize asteroid mining), of course you have to appeal to the consequences of adoption or non-adoption of the policy. I think Lannon's China example was also good, but every single argument he made hinged on him winning that minerals could be profitably extracted from asteroids. He never argued that REM's are so important that the US government should eat a massive loss on asteroid mining just to ensure we have a stable supply. So all Ore_Ele had to win in order to win the debate was that asteroid mining was unprofitable.

I agree with the assessment of Ore_Ele's case. He should have used his own numbers from the very first round to build the case that asteroid mining was ridiculously unprofitable, instead of waiting to use this as a rebuttal response. I think that would have been a better use of space than ocean mining or moon mining, and it might have confused the voters less if he talked only about soil mining as an alternative, since every single RFD seems to have ignored that this was an alternative that was offered merely because Ore_Ele offered the two other alternatives.

But anyway, Ore_Ele should have run the cost arguments more as offense in his own case than as responses to Lannon's arguments. Ore_Ele should have had a contention that: asteroid mining is ridiculously unprofitable. I'm sure there are sources proving this.

Off the top of my head, here's what I mean:

Contention 1: asteroid mining is ridiculously unprofitable

The technology to mine asteroids on an industrial scale doesn't even exist. [1, http://motherboard.vice.com...] So all of Pro's estimates make zero sense because they are guesses based on *non-existent* technology. The best estimate for how much mineral extraction would cost is $1 billion for every two ounces (60g) of mineral (based on a NASA test that Ore_Ele did cite in a later round). Platinum (the resource that all of Lannan's sources use for their profit estimates) is only worth $1,500 per ounce. So asteroid mining results in a loss of $1 billion minus $3,000 for every two ounces mined, which is $999,997,000 lost for every two ounces. Lannon talks about an asteroid worth $195 billion in minerals. If we extracted it all, we'd lose $65 zillion (yes, that's 65,000 trillion dollars).

We should intuitively know that it's that expensive to launch stuff into space and bring it back. One of only two companies working on developing technology to mine asteroids has said that it doesn't even think it can *ever* profitably bring the minerals back to Earth. [source 1] The company has said it will just keep the minerals in space and use them to build future space civilizations.

.................................................................

Anyway, something like that. The same arguments, but worded more to make Lannan's case look ridiculous.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Smithereens
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1/21/2015 7:35:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Clarification: Contention 3 was the fallacy in question: "This will lead to a possible WW3 and this scenario is likely to happen..." "This is a war that will hurt many nation and has a potential to go nuclear ..." Lannan declares his point valid because he believes it will cause X, where X is undesirable, thus his argument must be grounded. I didn't mean to imply his entire case employed this logic, however his 3rd contention is what I was referring to.

Thanks for your thoughts btw.
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YYW
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1/21/2015 7:36:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 6:36:37 AM, bluesteel wrote:
Now let's look at some other RFD's on the debate.

" I don't really buy con's "price" argument, since having tons of REE will pay for that price. I think that pro's rebuttals and main point about "why we need it" outweigh the harms"

Okay, for one, this RFD is obviously too short. For another, the RFD completely ignores Con's offense, which is that mining on Earth is cheaper. The RFD assumes that mining asteroids is the only way to get rare earth elements (REE), and ignores that you can get them from soil and the ocean. The RFD also completely fails to understand how expensive it is to launch things into space, that Pro's cost estimates were absolutely bogus, and that Con *turned* Pro's $2.7 billion cost estimate by showing that it would have actually been unprofitable to mine the asteroid they ran the test on. The only way that mining asteroids "pays for itself" is if you can extract all the metal from the asteroid for less money than the metal is worth. Pro never established that that's feasible. And Con's argument was pretty devastating that if the profitably is as high as Pro claimed (e.g. $2.7 billion to extract $130 billion in minerals), companies would already be doing it. It seems far more likely that the explanation for why it's not happening now is that we'd end up losing massive amounts of money if we tried to mine asteroids because it's so expensive to launch stuff into space.

"Pro gets arguments I think, as he argued succintly that asteroid mining is a profitable and necessary market to create. Con made some valid rebuttals but ultimately she does not provide much of a lon-term alternative. She suggests the sea-bed and the moon, but the she drops the argument that the former could heavily damage the ocean ecosystem/geology. Also, she drops the point that most REM would be deep inside the moon and so difficult to mine."

This RFD also completely fails to properly evaluate the profitability of asteroid mining, and also fails to understand that mining *soil* is the strongest alternative that Con offered.

"I thought everything except arguments was equal. As for arguments, I thought Pro made a good case for mining asteroids. It reminds me of the oil independence debate about country is having. It seems to me that the more supply we have, the lower the cost will be."

This RFD has to win *worst RFD of the week.* It breaks a cardinal rule of RFD's: it refers to arguments made outside the debate. The author of this RFD is clearly implying that he found Pro's arguments more persuasive because he likes "oil independence" type arguments. The RFD also says "it seems to me" which is wording that has to do with a *personal opinion,* not with an objective way to evaluate arguments. The last sentence also is a *completely misunderstanding* of supply and demand. Supply is based on cost more so than how much of the inputs exist. There could be a lot of REM's, but if the cost of extracting it is high, the supply will be very low. Also, the global market price is still going to be based on the supply here on Earth, and the demand here on Earth. The author of this RFD basically voted as soon as Lannan said "there is A LOT of REM on asteroids," and this person said, "yay, lots of supply, so it will be really cheap." There is absolutely no evaluation at all of the cost of extraction from asteroids, and again, the RFD ignores the relative cost of mining more metal from soil. RFD's like this make you question where the person really read every word of the debate.

Djspk5 is probably one of the worst judges I have seen on DDO.

"Arguments: Pro has provided sources showing that the value of the precious minerals extracted from asteroids is greater than the cost of mining them. Plus, in his last round, Con made the following argument: "In 2005 they calculated that asteroid mining could be very profitable. But if this is true, why haven't they done it? Thus these estimates must be wrong." That's a somewhat fallacious line of reasoning, which casts a shadow over an otherwise rational case."

This RFD wins *runner-up.* It votes on an absolutely specious source without actually looking at it or crediting Con's argument that the graph is pulled out of someone's butt and is not based on any real projections. The RFD also claims that a perfectly *valid* argument from Con is fallacious, but doesn't even bother explaining *what the fallacy is.* Lannon's bogus source claims that by 2030, asteroid mining will be 7 times more profitable than Earth mining. If this was based on real numbers, don't you think private companies like SpaceX would be chomping at the bit to earn profits like that? Also, Ore_Ele is correct that the source is from 2005 and has clearly been wrong about even it's 2015 prediction, which was that mining asteroids would become as cheap as mining on Earth. None of Pro's evidence has claimed that asteroid mining is cheaper today than it was 10 years ago. What technology have we even been working on that could mine asteroids and how has it become cheaper? Why aren't companies investing so they can capture market share from China? Because it's not any cheaper today.

Like all the RFD's, this one also fails to understand the cost debate and realize that Con did prove with the $2.7 billion "test project" that even *moving the asteroid* to the point where we could start extracting minerals would cost more than the value of *all the minerals* contained with the asteroid.

In sum, four amazingly bad RFD's. A loss for Ore_Ele on a debate that he should clearly have won. Yet another sad day for DDO.

I hope that you, my dear readers, see all this and aspire to be better voters yourselves. Thanks for reading and I'll see you against next week.
Tsar of DDO
bluesteel
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1/21/2015 7:38:45 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 7:35:06 AM, Smithereens wrote:
Clarification: Contention 3 was the fallacy in question: "This will lead to a possible WW3 and this scenario is likely to happen..." "This is a war that will hurt many nation and has a potential to go nuclear ..." Lannan declares his point valid because he believes it will cause X, where X is undesirable, thus his argument must be grounded. I didn't mean to imply his entire case employed this logic, however his 3rd contention is what I was referring to.

Thanks for your thoughts btw.

Again, that's not an example of the fallacy you named. It's a series of logical arguments. (1) If China cuts of REM to the US, we will be desperate for REM and go to war with China. (2) If we had mined asteroids instead, we wouldn't have needed to go to war to secure REM. (3) War with China will start WWIII and possibly go nuclear.

It's a reason to fear war with China, not an appeal to consequences. Not every discussion of consequences is a logical fallacy.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
YYW
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1/21/2015 7:54:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
This is good, and I more or less agree with everything Bluesteel said here. It hardly surprises me that dsjpk5's vote gets the worst RFD of the week. He seems to consistently be one of the worst voters on DDO, and I think that given his unwillingness to reform it might be prudent to consider suspending his voting privileges.

This is the guy:

http://www.debate.org...

The reason is because he votes a lot. As I write this post, he has voted more than 440 times, and I know that he has maybe read 1/4 of every debate he's voted on -perhaps understood even less. A lot of the debates he's voted on are between noobs, but even noobs deserve good judging and he (dpsjk5) abysmally falls short.
Tsar of DDO
bluesteel
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1/21/2015 7:57:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 7:36:07 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/21/2015 6:36:37 AM, bluesteel wrote:
Now let's look at some other RFD's on the debate.

" I don't really buy con's "price" argument, since having tons of REE will pay for that price. I think that pro's rebuttals and main point about "why we need it" outweigh the harms"

Okay, for one, this RFD is obviously too short. For another, the RFD completely ignores Con's offense, which is that mining on Earth is cheaper. The RFD assumes that mining asteroids is the only way to get rare earth elements (REE), and ignores that you can get them from soil and the ocean. The RFD also completely fails to understand how expensive it is to launch things into space, that Pro's cost estimates were absolutely bogus, and that Con *turned* Pro's $2.7 billion cost estimate by showing that it would have actually been unprofitable to mine the asteroid they ran the test on. The only way that mining asteroids "pays for itself" is if you can extract all the metal from the asteroid for less money than the metal is worth. Pro never established that that's feasible. And Con's argument was pretty devastating that if the profitably is as high as Pro claimed (e.g. $2.7 billion to extract $130 billion in minerals), companies would already be doing it. It seems far more likely that the explanation for why it's not happening now is that we'd end up losing massive amounts of money if we tried to mine asteroids because it's so expensive to launch stuff into space.

"Pro gets arguments I think, as he argued succintly that asteroid mining is a profitable and necessary market to create. Con made some valid rebuttals but ultimately she does not provide much of a lon-term alternative. She suggests the sea-bed and the moon, but the she drops the argument that the former could heavily damage the ocean ecosystem/geology. Also, she drops the point that most REM would be deep inside the moon and so difficult to mine."

This RFD also completely fails to properly evaluate the profitability of asteroid mining, and also fails to understand that mining *soil* is the strongest alternative that Con offered.

"I thought everything except arguments was equal. As for arguments, I thought Pro made a good case for mining asteroids. It reminds me of the oil independence debate about country is having. It seems to me that the more supply we have, the lower the cost will be."

This RFD has to win *worst RFD of the week.* It breaks a cardinal rule of RFD's: it refers to arguments made outside the debate. The author of this RFD is clearly implying that he found Pro's arguments more persuasive because he likes "oil independence" type arguments. The RFD also says "it seems to me" which is wording that has to do with a *personal opinion,* not with an objective way to evaluate arguments. The last sentence also is a *completely misunderstanding* of supply and demand. Supply is based on cost more so than how much of the inputs exist. There could be a lot of REM's, but if the cost of extracting it is high, the supply will be very low. Also, the global market price is still going to be based on the supply here on Earth, and the demand here on Earth. The author of this RFD basically voted as soon as Lannan said "there is A LOT of REM on asteroids," and this person said, "yay, lots of supply, so it will be really cheap." There is absolutely no evaluation at all of the cost of extraction from asteroids, and again, the RFD ignores the relative cost of mining more metal from soil. RFD's like this make you question where the person really read every word of the debate.

Djspk5 is probably one of the worst judges I have seen on DDO.

I forgot to add that this RFD does the most maddening thing of all: it doesn't refer to a single argument that Con made; it just says "Pro had a convincing case." It's like none of Con's arguments mattered. These are the worst RFD's to read if you are the debater involved because it's like your side of the argument didn't even exist for this person. At least the other 3 bad RFD's made *some* reference to an argument made by Con.

According to airmax's criteria for removing RFD's, this one is arguably removable because in essence, it only says "Pro had more convincing arguments because Pro made a more convincing case." The rest of the RFD is off-topic or personal musings.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
YYW
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1/21/2015 7:58:33 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 7:57:15 AM, bluesteel wrote:
At 1/21/2015 7:36:07 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/21/2015 6:36:37 AM, bluesteel wrote:
Now let's look at some other RFD's on the debate.

" I don't really buy con's "price" argument, since having tons of REE will pay for that price. I think that pro's rebuttals and main point about "why we need it" outweigh the harms"

Okay, for one, this RFD is obviously too short. For another, the RFD completely ignores Con's offense, which is that mining on Earth is cheaper. The RFD assumes that mining asteroids is the only way to get rare earth elements (REE), and ignores that you can get them from soil and the ocean. The RFD also completely fails to understand how expensive it is to launch things into space, that Pro's cost estimates were absolutely bogus, and that Con *turned* Pro's $2.7 billion cost estimate by showing that it would have actually been unprofitable to mine the asteroid they ran the test on. The only way that mining asteroids "pays for itself" is if you can extract all the metal from the asteroid for less money than the metal is worth. Pro never established that that's feasible. And Con's argument was pretty devastating that if the profitably is as high as Pro claimed (e.g. $2.7 billion to extract $130 billion in minerals), companies would already be doing it. It seems far more likely that the explanation for why it's not happening now is that we'd end up losing massive amounts of money if we tried to mine asteroids because it's so expensive to launch stuff into space.

"Pro gets arguments I think, as he argued succintly that asteroid mining is a profitable and necessary market to create. Con made some valid rebuttals but ultimately she does not provide much of a lon-term alternative. She suggests the sea-bed and the moon, but the she drops the argument that the former could heavily damage the ocean ecosystem/geology. Also, she drops the point that most REM would be deep inside the moon and so difficult to mine."

This RFD also completely fails to properly evaluate the profitability of asteroid mining, and also fails to understand that mining *soil* is the strongest alternative that Con offered.

"I thought everything except arguments was equal. As for arguments, I thought Pro made a good case for mining asteroids. It reminds me of the oil independence debate about country is having. It seems to me that the more supply we have, the lower the cost will be."

This RFD has to win *worst RFD of the week.* It breaks a cardinal rule of RFD's: it refers to arguments made outside the debate. The author of this RFD is clearly implying that he found Pro's arguments more persuasive because he likes "oil independence" type arguments. The RFD also says "it seems to me" which is wording that has to do with a *personal opinion,* not with an objective way to evaluate arguments. The last sentence also is a *completely misunderstanding* of supply and demand. Supply is based on cost more so than how much of the inputs exist. There could be a lot of REM's, but if the cost of extracting it is high, the supply will be very low. Also, the global market price is still going to be based on the supply here on Earth, and the demand here on Earth. The author of this RFD basically voted as soon as Lannan said "there is A LOT of REM on asteroids," and this person said, "yay, lots of supply, so it will be really cheap." There is absolutely no evaluation at all of the cost of extraction from asteroids, and again, the RFD ignores the relative cost of mining more metal from soil. RFD's like this make you question where the person really read every word of the debate.

Djspk5 is probably one of the worst judges I have seen on DDO.

I forgot to add that this RFD does the most maddening thing of all: it doesn't refer to a single argument that Con made; it just says "Pro had a convincing case." It's like none of Con's arguments mattered. These are the worst RFD's to read if you are the debater involved because it's like your side of the argument didn't even exist for this person. At least the other 3 bad RFD's made *some* reference to an argument made by Con.

According to airmax's criteria for removing RFD's, this one is arguably removable because in essence, it only says "Pro had more convincing arguments because Pro made a more convincing case." The rest of the RFD is off-topic or personal musings.

Exactly, and that's a fairly regular trend for him.
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whiteflame
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1/21/2015 10:55:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Well... now I'm sad I didn't see this debate when it was in the voting period. It would have avoided my notice as I'm normally looking for debates with no votes, but it's still depressing to see a debate between two high profile debaters like them get only weak and infuriating RFDs. Debaters of all levels should know that there are good voters out there whom they can contact in situations like this, so that a great RFD like this one from bluesteel can come before the voting period ends. We may not be able to get the bad votes deleted, but we can counter them.
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1/21/2015 12:45:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
This is great bluesteel, your tips and analysis are highly valuable and informative. I hope that everyone utilizes this post to improve their own voting techniques. I know I will. Looking forward to next weeks post!
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1/21/2015 3:46:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
lol this is awesome. for some reason Lannan always gets terrible votes in his favor when he objectively loses a debate. a good example is his military draft debate with Uchicha...in one of the worst RFDs I've ever seen anywhere, the deciding voter said arbitrarily decided that the merits of an all volunteer military, LITERALLY THE ALTERNATIVE TO A DRAFT, was irrelevant

http://www.debate.org...
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Daltonian
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1/21/2015 5:29:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Lannan is a nice guy, but this debate was pretty clearly a victory for Ore_ele, as was Romanii's linked debate. I'm upset I couldn't have voted on either one.

There are a lot of debates like those. Had I not literally pleaded with more recognizable members on the DDO forum to vote, I would have lost my debate with Lannan in bsh's tournament on the subject of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Airmax ended up removing I think THREE of them upon my request (which means he's a super cool mod, judging he took the time to read the RFDs) because some of them literally cited things Lannan hadn't even mentioned in the debate and were pretty clearly indicative that those voters hadn't even fully read what they were judging.

Good post.
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lannan13
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1/21/2015 5:34:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 10:55:35 AM, whiteflame wrote:
Well... now I'm sad I didn't see this debate when it was in the voting period. It would have avoided my notice as I'm normally looking for debates with no votes, but it's still depressing to see a debate between two high profile debaters like them get only weak and infuriating RFDs. Debaters of all levels should know that there are good voters out there whom they can contact in situations like this, so that a great RFD like this one from bluesteel can come before the voting period ends. We may not be able to get the bad votes deleted, but we can counter them.

Ore_Ele had it in his sig during the entire voting period which included the DDO Elections (January ones)
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bluesteel
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1/21/2015 6:07:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 3:46:48 PM, thett3 wrote:
lol this is awesome. for some reason Lannan always gets terrible votes in his favor when he objectively loses a debate. a good example is his military draft debate with Uchicha...in one of the worst RFDs I've ever seen anywhere, the deciding voter said arbitrarily decided that the merits of an all volunteer military, LITERALLY THE ALTERNATIVE TO A DRAFT, was irrelevant

http://www.debate.org...

This debate has been chosen as the subject of next week's TRW on a suggestion by 7th. I was starting to worry people will just think I have it out for lannan, but these debates were recommended by others to me to check out.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
whiteflame
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1/21/2015 7:39:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 5:34:23 PM, lannan13 wrote:
At 1/21/2015 10:55:35 AM, whiteflame wrote:
Well... now I'm sad I didn't see this debate when it was in the voting period. It would have avoided my notice as I'm normally looking for debates with no votes, but it's still depressing to see a debate between two high profile debaters like them get only weak and infuriating RFDs. Debaters of all levels should know that there are good voters out there whom they can contact in situations like this, so that a great RFD like this one from bluesteel can come before the voting period ends. We may not be able to get the bad votes deleted, but we can counter them.

Ore_Ele had it in his sig during the entire voting period which included the DDO Elections (January ones)

Yeah, I don't pay attention to sigs. Like, at all.
bluesteel
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1/21/2015 8:36:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 7:39:14 PM, whiteflame wrote:
At 1/21/2015 5:34:23 PM, lannan13 wrote:
At 1/21/2015 10:55:35 AM, whiteflame wrote:
Well... now I'm sad I didn't see this debate when it was in the voting period. It would have avoided my notice as I'm normally looking for debates with no votes, but it's still depressing to see a debate between two high profile debaters like them get only weak and infuriating RFDs. Debaters of all levels should know that there are good voters out there whom they can contact in situations like this, so that a great RFD like this one from bluesteel can come before the voting period ends. We may not be able to get the bad votes deleted, but we can counter them.

Ore_Ele had it in his sig during the entire voting period which included the DDO Elections (January ones)

Yeah, I don't pay attention to sigs. Like, at all.

Yeah neither do I. I'm generally busy, so I only vote by request, but I probably would have voted on Ore_Ele's debate if asked.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
whiteflame
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1/21/2015 8:38:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 8:36:05 PM, bluesteel wrote:
At 1/21/2015 7:39:14 PM, whiteflame wrote:
At 1/21/2015 5:34:23 PM, lannan13 wrote:
At 1/21/2015 10:55:35 AM, whiteflame wrote:
Well... now I'm sad I didn't see this debate when it was in the voting period. It would have avoided my notice as I'm normally looking for debates with no votes, but it's still depressing to see a debate between two high profile debaters like them get only weak and infuriating RFDs. Debaters of all levels should know that there are good voters out there whom they can contact in situations like this, so that a great RFD like this one from bluesteel can come before the voting period ends. We may not be able to get the bad votes deleted, but we can counter them.

Ore_Ele had it in his sig during the entire voting period which included the DDO Elections (January ones)

Yeah, I don't pay attention to sigs. Like, at all.

Yeah neither do I. I'm generally busy, so I only vote by request, but I probably would have voted on Ore_Ele's debate if asked.

Same here.
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1/21/2015 8:52:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Oh, and I did, in fact, read the whole debate.
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bluesteel
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1/21/2015 8:53:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 8:49:30 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
Nice callout.

And congrats to you sir.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
bluesteel
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1/21/2015 8:59:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 12:45:55 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
This is great bluesteel, your tips and analysis are highly valuable and informative. I hope that everyone utilizes this post to improve their own voting techniques. I know I will. Looking forward to next weeks post!

Thanks, I'm glad you appreciate it; it makes it worth the effort.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
YYW
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1/21/2015 9:00:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 6:07:03 PM, bluesteel wrote:
At 1/21/2015 3:46:48 PM, thett3 wrote:
lol this is awesome. for some reason Lannan always gets terrible votes in his favor when he objectively loses a debate. a good example is his military draft debate with Uchicha...in one of the worst RFDs I've ever seen anywhere, the deciding voter said arbitrarily decided that the merits of an all volunteer military, LITERALLY THE ALTERNATIVE TO A DRAFT, was irrelevant

http://www.debate.org...

This debate has been chosen as the subject of next week's TRW on a suggestion by 7th. I was starting to worry people will just think I have it out for lannan, but these debates were recommended by others to me to check out.

As a rule, that debate is going be controversial, because it was very close. There certainly were some horrible RFD's though.
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bluesteel
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1/21/2015 9:02:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 5:29:25 PM, Daltonian wrote:
Lannan is a nice guy, but this debate was pretty clearly a victory for Ore_ele, as was Romanii's linked debate. I'm upset I couldn't have voted on either one.

There are a lot of debates like those. Had I not literally pleaded with more recognizable members on the DDO forum to vote, I would have lost my debate with Lannan in bsh's tournament on the subject of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Airmax ended up removing I think THREE of them upon my request (which means he's a super cool mod, judging he took the time to read the RFDs) because some of them literally cited things Lannan hadn't even mentioned in the debate and were pretty clearly indicative that those voters hadn't even fully read what they were judging.

Good post.

Thanks!

I'm not for public shaming, so can you PM the names of the people whose votes were removed. I want to keep a private tally of whether certain usernames keep recurring on this bad RFD list.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
bluesteel
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1/21/2015 9:06:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 9:00:33 PM, YYW wrote:
At 1/21/2015 6:07:03 PM, bluesteel wrote:
At 1/21/2015 3:46:48 PM, thett3 wrote:
lol this is awesome. for some reason Lannan always gets terrible votes in his favor when he objectively loses a debate. a good example is his military draft debate with Uchicha...in one of the worst RFDs I've ever seen anywhere, the deciding voter said arbitrarily decided that the merits of an all volunteer military, LITERALLY THE ALTERNATIVE TO A DRAFT, was irrelevant

http://www.debate.org...

This debate has been chosen as the subject of next week's TRW on a suggestion by 7th. I was starting to worry people will just think I have it out for lannan, but these debates were recommended by others to me to check out.

As a rule, that debate is going be controversial, because it was very close. There certainly were some horrible RFD's though.

I hope to go through all the RFD's and highlight the good ones too, and although I haven't read it yet, I assume it was close enough that there were valid reasons that people could go either way based on things that both sides failed to do or clarify, so judges could have weighed things differently. But I don't really know yet, having not read the debate, what the next TRW will look like.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
YYW
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1/21/2015 9:13:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 9:06:33 PM, bluesteel wrote:
At 1/21/2015 9:00:33 PM, YYW wrote:
At 1/21/2015 6:07:03 PM, bluesteel wrote:
At 1/21/2015 3:46:48 PM, thett3 wrote:
lol this is awesome. for some reason Lannan always gets terrible votes in his favor when he objectively loses a debate. a good example is his military draft debate with Uchicha...in one of the worst RFDs I've ever seen anywhere, the deciding voter said arbitrarily decided that the merits of an all volunteer military, LITERALLY THE ALTERNATIVE TO A DRAFT, was irrelevant

http://www.debate.org...

This debate has been chosen as the subject of next week's TRW on a suggestion by 7th. I was starting to worry people will just think I have it out for lannan, but these debates were recommended by others to me to check out.

As a rule, that debate is going be controversial, because it was very close. There certainly were some horrible RFD's though.

I hope to go through all the RFD's and highlight the good ones too, and although I haven't read it yet, I assume it was close enough that there were valid reasons that people could go either way based on things that both sides failed to do or clarify, so judges could have weighed things differently. But I don't really know yet, having not read the debate, what the next TRW will look like.

I think there was a general misunderstanding of how various points interacted with each other. A careful reading of the debate indicates that there is very clear clash, and lannan barely won.

At the end of the day, this debate speaks volumes of why judges need to check their feelings about controversial issues at the door. That's not to say that all judges cast biased ballots, but as people we tend to view with some heightened level of sympathy those arguments which reflects our own ideals about how the world ought to work -and sometimes when necessary links are just not there, or are there on the other side but are not really clear, it's easy to read into the debate stuff that isn't there.

If you're a guy who believes that the draft is an inherently bad thing, you're going to be persuaded to see that in a debate and vote that way. If you're, alternatively, a guy who believes that the draft is a good thing, the same applies.

If you don't give a sh!t about the draft because it's a dead political issue and you believe that both sides have some compelling arguments, while being incredibly cynical about the topic (this guy!) you might have a different take still.

I will say that that was one of Lannan's better debates, and not one of Uchicha's. But, a good debate to read, on balance. Were it a PF topic, I'd have scored 26 or so in favor of Lannan, and 25 in favor of uchihca.

There were some good points that both raised, but there was at the same time ample room for improvement on both sides.
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Zaradi
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1/21/2015 9:16:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 1/21/2015 9:13:58 PM, YYW wrote:
Were it a PF topic, I'd have scored 26 or so in favor of Lannan, and 25 in favor of uchihca.

Holy sh*t over one less-than-optimal debate you'd kill pretty much any hope they have of breaking? F*cking heartless.
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