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The DDO Voting Guide Is Crap

Daktoria
Posts: 497
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4/11/2015 6:37:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Read here:

https://docs.google.com...

1) Offense and Defense:

First off, burden of proof by default is on Pro. Defensive arguments are not bad arguments. We need to remember that Con's role is to simply show why Pro is wrong. Con doesn't have to provide a better alternative. In fact, there are times when Con can keep one's mouth shut, say nothing, and still win the debate because Pro has not provided an argument that necessarily deals with the resolution at stake.

On top of this, the reference to empiricism is backwards. Con doesn't have to provide evidence that shows why something is wrong. Pro has to provide evidence that shows why something is right.

To argue that Con must engage in an offensive position is to basically tolerate what I call "incomplete provocation". Pro becomes enabled to behave like the 5 year old on the kindergarden playground who gets things wrong, and expects Con to chase Pro around the playground, winning if Con doesn't chase Pro.

No. The point of a Pro versus Con debate is Pro has to reach one's destination. Con simply has to prevent Pro from reaching it. If Pro runs off in a tangent that doesn't direct to the destination, then Con can simply stay put and still win.

If DDO wants to change this, then it needs to change the style of debate from being about "Pro versus Con" to proposal X versus proposal Y. There's a difference between judging black versus white and judging blue versus orange.

2) Impact Analysis:

The point here is very clearly prejudiced towards consequentialist and probabilistic arguments. It ignores arguments where intentions are put before consequences, and necessities are put before probabilities.

Obviously DDO has ideological prejudices if it refuses to reform this point.

3) RFD removals:

1. There's only a 1000 character limit in explaining every point you make. Obviously, it's not fair to remove for failing to explain every award since it can't necessarily be done. Likewise, mods can't be expected to look through opinions in the discussion section since those sections can be massively long, and even if they do, they can simply claim that they didn't see an opinion by flat out lying.

2. 2 is 1. Explanations intrinsically deal with "why". Clearly, DDO is getting descriptions and declarations confused with explanations.

3. Just because something can apply anywhere doesn't make something wrong. In fact, debates can have general problems to them, so referring to a general problem that applies anywhere will still apply in every specific debate therein.

Clearly, DDO is prejudiced against categorical judgment if it disputes this. Again, there's an ideological problem at stake.

4) Voting based on personal bias:

Obviously, personal biases are wrong. There's no doubt about that.

HOWEVER...

...the concept of being a "tabla rasa" is incredibly childish.

Judges are supposed to be competent, proficient, and qualified in understanding the debate at stake. They're not supposed to behave like babies who are being educated by debaters from the bottom up. They are supposed to understand the English language, and understand the concepts being discussed. If they don't, then they become vulnerable to manipulation.

On top of that, debaters can often have sophisticated, complicated, and advanced points to make. They are entitled to judges who understand what's going on.

The point made here makes a reference to real life, so I'm going to clue you in on something here as well. Debate is a fantasy. In real life, the real debate takes place in courtrooms...

...and in courtrooms, judges very deliberately are expected to be qualified in understanding the debate at stake. In fact, there are specialized courts that deal with specific issues for this exact reason, and it compares to how DDO is divided by topic. Judges are very deliberately NOT tabla rasas because they very deliberately aim to not be taken advantage of by manipulative lawyers. Likewise, judges need to make sure that clients are not manipulated by their lawyers as well to ensure that adequate representation takes place.

If you want to get real, then you need to understand this value of courtrooms or else again, you're making debate childish.

To put it simply, the tabla rasa rule exposes honest debaters to being manipulated by dishonest debaters who simply screw around, lie, and make it a psychological pain in the neck to chase them all over the place. Honest debaters understand that a fair judge will call that dishonesty out, and to understand that dishonesty, a judge must be qualified in understanding the topic in advance.

5) Piggybacking off someone else"s RFD:

Voters can be in agreement over what's right or wrong. That doesn't mean they didn't do their own work. It just means they came to the same conclusion.

6) Referencing arguments not made in the debate:

Again, judges have to be qualified. This means understanding the underlying background and foundations for a debate. Yes, it is sometimes wrong to refer to arguments beyond the debate, but that's ONLY when talking about what's beyond foundations. Claiming that voting beyond arguments made in the debate in general goes too far.

7) Your RFD just doesn"t make sense, says something that is objectively false, or you voted for the wrong side:

This tolerates mods flat out lying in claiming that votes that actually do make sense don't while hiding behind their power.

8) Awarding arguments, sources, conduct, or S&G for impermissible reasons:

1. Argumentative structure often makes the difference since structure can define substance; the timing of what's said first, between, and after can define the meaning of what's said. On top of that, debaters have to communicate their points clearly. If a judge has to interpret what a debater says, then we become exposed to judges exercising personal bias over what a debater supposedly really meant.

2. Sometimes, the number of confirming sources actually makes the difference. Yes, the quality of sources matters, but in controversial points, you need to see which side has more consensus to understand what's right.

3. Spelling and grammar issues are mini versions of argumentative structure. The more interpretation, the more exposure to personal bias.

4. Yes, conduct should be independent of better arguments... but that's an overgeneralization.

Often, arguments are representative of deeper values, and it becomes unfeasible to make a positive argument without a normative implication. That is you can only argue a point while upholding certain styles of manners.

In this case, conduct actually becomes a reiteration of argumentative quality because there is a relationship between the substance at hand and the style of communication.

___________

TL;DR: DDO's voting guide has so many problems that it's insane to take it seriously.
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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4/11/2015 9:24:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 6:37:51 PM, Daktoria wrote:

For context, this is a voting guide I wrote to help people who have had their privileges removed learn to be better voters.

1) Offense and Defense:

You say that Con should be able to win on BOP alone. That's generally only going to be true when BOP is higher than a "preponderance of the evidence," which basically means a split BOP, but ties go to Con. Con can rarely win by just bringing up defensive arguments. This is well accepted in the debate community. Maybe in a criminal trial, the defense can win by merely poking holes in the prosecutions case. That's generally not supposed to be true in a debate.

Regardless, this is a guide. It's not a rule. If it holds in 90% or more of cases, it is a helpful way of conceptualizing things.


2) Impact Analysis:

The point here is very clearly prejudiced towards consequentialist and probabilistic arguments. It ignores arguments where intentions are put before consequences, and necessities are put before probabilities.

Ethics can still be impacted, just in a different way. And again, this is a guide, not a rule. Generally in most debates, impacts matter.


3) RFD removals:

1. There's only a 1000 character limit in explaining every point you make. Obviously, it's not fair to remove for failing to explain every award since it can't necessarily be done.

It can. I've refused to remove plenty of RFDs that have explained every single point, despite the RFD not being the best.

But if you can't explain every point you award in 1000 characters, feel free to use the comments section to expand your RFD. Or just don't award points you don't have the space, time, or inclination to justify.


2. 2 is 1. Explanations intrinsically deal with "why". Clearly, DDO is getting descriptions and declarations confused with explanations.

Merely restating the point category ("Con had better arguments") is not an explanation for why Con won. Neither is laundry listing Con's points, and then merely stating that Con was more convincing. This #2 category constitutes some of the *worst* RFDs on the site, and I'm surprised you'd bother defending them. The guide can't be *all* wrong, and the fact you'd contest every single point - including ones as obvious as $2 - really hurts your credibility.


3. Just because something can apply anywhere doesn't make something wrong. In fact, debates can have general problems to them, so referring to a general problem that applies anywhere will still apply in every specific debate therein.

If it's specific to that particular debate, but stated in generic terms it's fine. Number 3 is referring to RFDs that say, "Con had better rebuttals." That's too generic. It offers no meaningful feedback to the debaters. Pro is left not knowing why Con's rebuttals were better and what Pro might have done differently to defeat those rebuttals. Pro is left not really knowing which arguments swayed this voter.

"Con had better rebuttals" is also so generic that if it were permitted, people wouldn't even need to read the debate. They'd know that as long as they said, "Con had better rebuttals," their vote couldn't be removed. It's not specific enough that I can even verify that the judge read the debate.

4) Voting based on personal bias:

...the concept of being a "tabla rasa" is incredibly childish.

Judges are supposed to be competent, proficient, and qualified in understanding the debate at stake. They're not supposed to behave like babies who are being educated by debaters from the bottom up. They are supposed to understand the English language, and understand the concepts being discussed. If they don't, then they become vulnerable to manipulation.

You're right that a tabula rasa judge is presumed to know the English language and have a basic level of education. That doesn't mean, as some (e.g. Ajab) have suggested that you *need* pre-existing knowledge of the topic to vote on a debate. I shouldn't have to be an expert in climate science to vote on a debate on global warming. The debaters have an obligation to explain the science to me in a way that I can understand without doing outside research. The same is true of philosophy topics. I shouldn't have to read Kant before judging an ethics debate.

You say law judges are not supposed to be tabula rasa. That's not true. Judges are not supposed to have pre-existing biases, even if they are specialized. A family court judge who thinks women make better parents is being biased in a way that the law does not permit. If he were to write in his opinion that he gave custody to the mother because women make better parents, he would be overturned on appeal.

Tabula rasa basically just means don't bring your personal bias into the decision. And don't use your own arguments to refute something a debater said.

5) Piggybacking off someone else"s RFD:

Voters can be in agreement over what's right or wrong. That doesn't mean they didn't do their own work. It just means they came to the same conclusion.

Apparently you missed the part about how you're not supposed to read other judge's RFDs before reaching your decision. "What Wylted said" is not a permissible RFD. If it was permissible, it would make vote bombing without reading the debate really easy.


6) Referencing arguments not made in the debate:

Explained above. Debaters don't know what arguments are in your head. How are they supposed to refute *your* arguments in the debate? They can't, which is why it's unfair to use only your own arguments to explain why you voted against someone.


7) Your RFD just doesn"t make sense, says something that is objectively false, or you voted for the wrong side:

This tolerates mods flat out lying in claiming that votes that actually do make sense don't while hiding behind their power.

True. Mods could lie and say something doesn't make sense when it does. If you could prove that I've actually done that, you'd have a better case though.

8) Awarding arguments, sources, conduct, or S&G for impermissible reasons:

1. Argumentative structure

Sure, a good structure helps make the argument more readable. That doesn't mean you can say the argument was "more convincing" *merely* because it was numbered or organized better.


2. Sometimes, the number of confirming sources actually makes the difference. Yes, the quality of sources matters, but in controversial points, you need to see which side has more consensus to understand what's right.

If you explain how a certain side used better *source support* that's permissible. Saying "Con had 9 sources and Pro had 11, so sources to Pro" is not permitted. There's no analysis there about source support or source quality.


3. Spelling and grammar issues are mini versions of argumentative structure. The more interpretation, the more exposure to personal bias.

I don't see your point. The guide explains why you can't award S&G for a single error (because that appears like strategic voting).


4. Yes, conduct should be independent of better arguments... but that's an overgeneralization.

Often, arguments are representative of deeper values,

Sorry, you can't award conduct because you disagree with Pro's "values," e.g. because you think Con abortion is an immoral position.

___________

TL;DR: DDO's voting guide has so many problems that it's insane to take it seriously.

Other people can weigh in on whether they think the guide is bs. I'm happy to update it if certain points are problematic. But most of the reasons for removal are non-negotiable. Anyone who has had his privileges removed would do well to take the guide seriously if he wanted those privileges back.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Daktoria
Posts: 497
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4/12/2015 1:27:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 9:24:02 PM, bluesteel wrote:
For context, this is a voting guide I wrote to help people who have had their privileges removed learn to be better voters.

You guys really need to get on the ball in creating an official set of rules on voting then. Creating a non-authoritative set of guidelines doesn't help.

You say that Con should be able to win on BOP alone. That's generally only going to be true when BOP is higher than a "preponderance of the evidence," which basically means a split BOP, but ties go to Con. Con can rarely win by just bringing up defensive arguments. This is well accepted in the debate community. Maybe in a criminal trial, the defense can win by merely poking holes in the prosecutions case. That's generally not supposed to be true in a debate.

Regardless, this is a guide. It's not a rule. If it holds in 90% or more of cases, it is a helpful way of conceptualizing things.

What it basically means is Con wins by default since resolutions need to be proven, not disproven. It's only when Pro proves the resolution that Pro wins.

Your interpretation of this might mean Pro has to satisfy a preponderance of evidence, but that doesn't give you the right to demand that every judge interprets that burden of proof the same way. A debate moderator isn't supposed to push one's own interpretations upon the community in general. One's only supposed to make sure that there is some interpretation. Some might believe that substantial evidence is all that's necessary in (some) debates. Others might believe that clear and convincing evidence is all that's necessary.

Part of the nature of debate is understanding interpretation. If you don't respect interpretation, then you're just pushing your judgment upon others.

Ethics can still be impacted, just in a different way. And again, this is a guide, not a rule. Generally in most debates, impacts matter.

I wasn't arguing that impacts aren't always relevant. I was arguing the interpretation of impacts is relevant. Consequentialism is only one way to judge impacts. One can also judge impacts by whether they honor or contradict the process behind which results happen.

It can. I've refused to remove plenty of RFDs that have explained every single point, despite the RFD not being the best.

But if you can't explain every point you award in 1000 characters, feel free to use the comments section to expand your RFD. Or just don't award points you don't have the space, time, or inclination to justify.

You're ignoring what I said about moderators simply lying in claiming they didn't see an opinion written in the discussion section.

A classic example of this is when votes are justified on a thematic basis because an overarching trend will be witnessed throughout a debater's positions. It's unnecessary to provide a detailed explanation since a theme covers it in general. If a moderator is biased for or against a theme, then the moderator can simply claim that no justification was given. If the theme is mentioned in the voting section instead, then it becomes directly referred to, and everyone can see the moderator's bias.

Merely restating the point category ("Con had better arguments") is not an explanation for why Con won. Neither is laundry listing Con's points, and then merely stating that Con was more convincing. This #2 category constitutes some of the *worst* RFDs on the site, and I'm surprised you'd bother defending them. The guide can't be *all* wrong, and the fact you'd contest every single point - including ones as obvious as $2 - really hurts your credibility.

The examples given in 2.2 are extreme examples, but there are times when debaters make very basic mistakes, so simple explanations work.

(Also, anything's possible. There's no need to believe something such as this guide must be partially right and wrong. It might be partially right and wrong, but it might also not be.)

If it's specific to that particular debate, but stated in generic terms it's fine. Number 3 is referring to RFDs that say, "Con had better rebuttals." That's too generic. It offers no meaningful feedback to the debaters. Pro is left not knowing why Con's rebuttals were better and what Pro might have done differently to defeat those rebuttals. Pro is left not really knowing which arguments swayed this voter.

"Con had better rebuttals" is also so generic that if it were permitted, people wouldn't even need to read the debate. They'd know that as long as they said, "Con had better rebuttals," their vote couldn't be removed. It's not specific enough that I can even verify that the judge read the debate.

Again, that's an extreme example. For example, it's feasible for a debater to make a general logical fallacy, for a judge to cite that fallacy, and then for a moderator to remove the vote because that logical fallacy can apply anywhere. The moderator should not remove that vote when that fallacy actually applies. When a moderator does, the moderator is deliberately prejudiced towards tolerating that logical fallacy.

This especially applies towards thematic justifications when a debater repeatedly makes a logical fallacy, and makes it a pain in the neck for each and every individual instance of that fallacy to be explained. In essence what a moderator would be saying is, "You're entitled to commit logical fallacies if you do it so much that it overwhelms people from keeping track of you." It's incredibly anti-intellectual, and remarkably childish. It suggests that people should be able to make points if they just repeat themselves over and over and over and over, torturing their audiences into a concession.

You're right that a tabula rasa judge is presumed to know the English language and have a basic level of education. That doesn't mean, as some (e.g. Ajab) have suggested that you *need* pre-existing knowledge of the topic to vote on a debate. I shouldn't have to be an expert in climate science to vote on a debate on global warming. The debaters have an obligation to explain the science to me in a way that I can understand without doing outside research. The same is true of philosophy topics. I shouldn't have to read Kant before judging an ethics debate.

You say law judges are not supposed to be tabula rasa. That's not true. Judges are not supposed to have pre-existing biases, even if they are specialized. A family court judge who thinks women make better parents is being biased in a way that the law does not permit. If he were to write in his opinion that he gave custody to the mother because women make better parents, he would be overturned on appeal.

Tabula rasa basically just means don't bring your personal bias into the decision. And don't use your own arguments to refute something a debater said.

No, I have to extremely strongly disagree with that. A judge needs to understand the limits of one's abilities, and should not judge debates that one is unfamiliar with. If a highly philosophical debate is taking place, then those who aren't well read in philosophy shouldn't judge it.

On the other hand, I'm not really sure why you're describing this issue like what you said about a family court judge thinking women are better mothers. You're confusing structural familiarity with contextual opinions. What I'm saying here is a judge is supposed to understand how ideas come together, and which ideas depend on others. I'm not saying a judge is supposed to take those ideas to conclusion, and then only support those conclusions one likes.

Apparently you missed the part about how you're not supposed to read other judge's RFDs before reaching your decision. "What Wylted said" is not a permissible RFD. If it was permissible, it would make vote bombing without reading the debate really easy.

I read that part. The point is people don't have to have concurring opinions. Judges can accurately reflect each other.
Daktoria
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4/12/2015 2:13:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 9:24:02 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Explained above. Debaters don't know what arguments are in your head. How are they supposed to refute *your* arguments in the debate? They can't, which is why it's unfair to use only your own arguments to explain why you voted against someone.

This isn't about the judge's arguments.

This is about understanding how ideas are well-founded, and making sure your presentation of ideas doesn't contradict those foundations. If you're arguing a resolution that implicitly depends on another idea, but then your argument contradicts that dependency, you've defeated yourself. The judge might point out that idea, but the judge isn't inserting one's own conclusions into the debate. The judge is merely referring to the premises the debate depends on which the debaters should already be familiar with.

True. Mods could lie and say something doesn't make sense when it does. If you could prove that I've actually done that, you'd have a better case though.

I'm not talking about you here. I'm talking about the guide in general and the ideas it advocates. If I was talking about you, I'd make a thread about problems you have.

On the other hand, I'm not stupid. It doesn't matter if a case is proven or not when mods are able to flat out lie and throw evidence out that they don't like to see around.

(That said, you have things a bit backwards here. Authorities, including moderators, are supposed to conduct internal review and prove that their exercise of authority is right, not expect users of a system to prove them wrong. Otherwise, that enables authorities to hide behind plausible deniability through abuse of process. They get things wrong, and expect users of systems to chase them down or else deal with it.)

Sure, a good structure helps make the argument more readable. That doesn't mean you can say the argument was "more convincing" *merely* because it was numbered or organized better.

You ignored what I said about timing. Numbering and organization show causation and priority. These are substantive arguments.

If you explain how a certain side used better *source support* that's permissible. Saying "Con had 9 sources and Pro had 11, so sources to Pro" is not permitted. There's no analysis there about source support or source quality.

I kind of see what you're saying there, and to a degree, that makes sense. We don't want people citing garbage to make arguments.

However, there comes a point where you have to get the gist of sources. No, this doesn't happen right away, but eventually, you will read so many sources and realize there is a certain quality to them. You don't have to describe each and every one. You can read through them and realize the overarching theme.

Unfortunately, this is part of the gray area of debate, and it's where interpretation comes into play. Different judges will have different standards on what qualifies as a thematic "gist" over the quality of sources. As a moderator, you're not supposed to dictate what interpretation is right there. You're just supposed to make sure there is an interpretation.

I don't see your point. The guide explains why you can't award S&G for a single error (because that appears like strategic voting).

Again, single spelling errors are extreme examples, and I was focusing more on grammar than spelling there. Sentence structure can lead to alternate points getting made, and it becomes up to the judge's interpretation to figure out what was really meant to be said.

Sorry, you can't award conduct because you disagree with Pro's "values," e.g. because you think Con abortion is an immoral position.

That's not what I was saying at all. Where did that even come from?

The point is sometimes, people write in ways that lacks conduct. For example, they ignore the is-ought problem, fact-value distinction, necessity-contingency dichotomy, affirmative-negative distinction, internal-external distinction, and otherwise waste the time, energy, and attention of the judges or opposing side in guessing what they really meant. These are not merely logical fallacies, but also psychologically harassing.

These problems are often associated with certain positions on issues, so what happens is people advocate values in debates that are intrinsically disposed towards bad conduct. Therefore, yes, sometimes, conduct will get doubled over with better arguments because to take some positions in some debates, you have to have bad conduct.
Ragnar
Posts: 1,658
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4/12/2015 11:55:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 6:37:51 PM, Daktoria wrote:
Quick piece of advice about doing critiques: People are more receptive to change, when you don't start with an insult. Calling something a rude word brings quick attention, but it also needlessly puts the original author on the defensive; which defeats the purpose of the critique (unless the intent was to insult them, rather than anything productive).
Unofficial DDO Guide: http://goo.gl...
(It's probably the best help resource here, other than talking to people...)

Voting Standards: https://goo.gl...

And please disable Smart-Quotes: https://goo.gl...
Daktoria
Posts: 497
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4/12/2015 3:55:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/12/2015 11:55:39 AM, Ragnar wrote:
At 4/11/2015 6:37:51 PM, Daktoria wrote:
Quick piece of advice about doing critiques: People are more receptive to change, when you don't start with an insult. Calling something a rude word brings quick attention, but it also needlessly puts the original author on the defensive; which defeats the purpose of the critique (unless the intent was to insult them, rather than anything productive).

The thread wasn't meant to be directed towards the author, but towards other people in the community who are considering what the guide stands for.