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July 17, 2017 / compassioninpolitics

Running Framework on the Negative–the Best Strategy Ever

Framework needs to engage their -ism.  You need to be able to turn the -ism they claim to solve for.


That is, you need to ideally have a (viable or credible) reason listed down that their failure to read a predictable aff actually hurts their -ism and or their movement.


This can be something like “law key to justice & informal forms of justice can negatively implicate their -ism” (perhaps with a bit of adaption).  Incidentally this is delgado argument, but I don’t know from where.


Why?  Because they will inevitably say “our -ism” trumps topicality/framework.  Or even go a step further and say their framework argument makes our -ism worse.  Or both.


Or perhaps something that creates a double-bind between their theory arguments and your framework argument (aka this isn’t consistent).

July 17, 2017 / compassioninpolitics

How do you evaluate a newsource? Critical media and reading skills

Why is critical reading important?

Separating the wheat from the chaff is one of the top 3 to 5 most important issues in terms of creating a healthy and truthful media diet. My experience in college debate and in coaching it makes me uniquely capable, as I would critically evaluate thousands of arguments and sources in a given year as a researcher.

I use a combination of mainstream news sources (New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and others) and non-traditional sources (online blogs, but ideally reputable and/or credible blogs). Other vital sources include non-profits, associations and advocacy groups, and the government.

The Critical Reading Process: Critical Thinking and Media Skills for the Real World

Here are 12 questions that I think about that are indespensible in cutting through the BS:

  • Is the source credible?
  • Is the source the source is quoting credible?
  • Is there bias in this article? What perspective or experience or history does this represent? How does it impact the coverage?
  • Is this data or inference?
  • What data or part of the story might be missing?
  • What method was used for collecting and interpreting the data?
  • What is the other side of the story? What are other sources saying?
  • How can I actively seek out the best sources?
  • What kinds of perspectives can I seek out to find the best sources?
  • What is the distinction that makes a difference?
  • How does the author use language? Are they using it to clarify or confuse?

I don’t use all of these all of the time. Also, in a given article I might ask or answer these questions multiple times.

At the same time I’m often seeing the major players in an industry or issue.

This is ultimately a combination of critical media literacy, critical reading, and critical thinking. And then at the end, it might involve problem solving and decision-making in terms of comparing the various options available.

June 30, 2017 / compassioninpolitics

Antonio 1995 Double-Bind?

This card should explain the more linguistic consequences

Rickels 90 (Looking After Nietzsche: Interdisciplinary Encounters with Merleau-Ponty Front Cover Laurence A. Rickels Laurence Arthur Rickels (born December 2, 1954) is an American literary and media theorist, whose most significant works have continued the Frankfurt School’s efforts to apply psychoanalytic insights to analysis and criticism of modern mass media culture. SUNY Press, 1990 – Philosophy – 265 pages)

The first consequence of the will’s structure of interpretation is that the will is not the subject of the explicating. This conclusion runs counter both to what Nietzsche suggests quite often and to any interpretation of his philosophy that, like Heidegger’s in particular, hypostasizes the will as transcendental subject. The belief in the will to power as the subject of interpretation is already the result of an interpretation which is imposed upon reason by the restrictions of language and, furthermore, bythe process of interpretation itself. Nietzsche sees his task here as one of bringing about a Copernican revolution (Wende) according to which not the will but the revolving (Wendung) itself, as it were, the alteration and the decentering, stands at the center of the world. In Twilight of the Idols he writes: It is no different here than with the movements of the sun: in that case, the error is defended by our eyes, and in this case, the error is defended by our language. … It sees a doer and a deed everywhere: it believes in the will as the principal cause. . . . Being is projected and insinuated everywhere as a cause. However, from the concept ‘ego’ follows the concept “being’ as a derivation. … In the beginning stands the great and fateful error that the will is something that acts, that will is a faculty. . . . Today we know that it is merely a word. … I fear we have not yet rid ourselves of God because we still believe in grammar. (TI, ”Reason in Philosophy,” § 5) It is not the will which interprets. Rather, interpretation creates the idea of the will as subject of interpretation in the first place—and with it, the idea of God. A late note confirms this conclusion: “One may not ask: ‘So who is it who interprets?’ Rather interpretation itself, as a form of the will to power, has existence (but not as ‘being,’ but as process, becoming) as an affect” (WP, III, § 556). The second decisive consequence of the wills structure of interpretation, which distinguishes Nietzsche’s theory of interpretation from all previous hermeneutics, concerns the will’s relationship both to the sphere of objects and to the objectivity of that to which it refers. The point of departure for Schleiermacher and the romantic theorists was the principle that every act of interpretation refers to a linguistic or semiotic fact in order to reconstruct the meaning located within it. Nietzsche’s concept of interpretation, however, refers to the process by which the perceiving consciousness and its perspectivism, like the will itself, also produce their objects.Interpretation, as laying out, is the process not of its reconstruction, but of its constitution. This idea that the sphere of objectivity is not immediately accessible but must be sketched out time and again in historically varying figurations does not conceal latent subjectivism. On the contrary, one could call it historical-transcendentalist. In fact, Nietzsche insists with the pathos of a phi-ologist that it must be possible to read a text “as text . . . without the intervention of an interpretation.” With the ethos of a philosopher, however, he states in the same sentence that the ability to grasp an object or an experience without perspectival distortions is “the latest form of ‘inner experience’—one that is perhaps hardly possible” (WP, III, § 479). The experience free of interpretation is itself the product of the history of interpretation. It cannot appear until reason reaches the point where it doubts its own ability to grasp reality as it is in itself. In the rape and terror imposed on reason by itself, Nietzsche sees “the ability to have power over one’s pro and contra, to use or dispose of them, so that one knows how to put precisely the variety of perspectives and affective interpretations in the service of knowledge” (GM, III, § 12). In this way Nietzsche offers a concealed defense of Kant’s concept of the intelligible character of things. The “objectivity” of knowledge grows with the degree to which the perspectives of the will and its “interpreting forces” are multiplied. But it can grow only because the perspectives of the will repudiate themselves by this multiplication. Knowledge would thus attain the highest degree of objectivity only once the will itself has been eliminated, the intellect castrated. The entire sphere of objectivity would disappear with the will, however, at that moment when a text can be read as text, that is, at that moment without the perspective “through which seeing becomes for the first time seeing-something” (GM, III, § 12). Hence, the object, in its pure appearance, is nothing. A third consequence of the will’s structure of explication is that the idea of totality, which is bound up with the concept of knowledge, can no longer be maintained. We can neither take for granted that “all existence is essentially interpreting existence,” nor can we be certain that another kind of existence besides interpreting existence exists. “The world has become . . . once again ‘infinite’ for us insofar as we cannot deny the possibility that it contains within itself infinite interpretations” (GS, V, § 374). These “infinite interpretations,” however, are not such that they would be in toto accessible to mankind or could expand the closed universe of knowledge to an open world of poly-perspectival interpreting. Since the idea of an infinity of possible interpretations cannot be denied by the one humanly possible interpretation, there is no rea-son for the one interpretation to lay claim to a privileged access to the world, an access that would allow it to unite all interpretive worlds into a single world of worlds. No such human world could produce the totality of knowledge denied to the other interpretive worlds. Because it is merely one of infinitely many possible interpretations, human interpretation is radically finite. Even if its per-spectives could multiply, an infinity of other perspectives that it could not incorporate would remain. Human interpretation leaves behind an infinity of interpretations that it cannot exhaust. As long as other possibilities remain open, however, the ones that have been perceived remain incapable of grasping the world and inadequate for providing a total concept of interpretation itself. The possibility of infinite interpretations renders the very concept of interpretation contingent. The world, the perspective of the will, and interpretation could thus always be different or other than the respective one under consideration. This inexhaustible potential of other possibilities introduces into the concept of interpretation itself an uncontrollable alterity and prevents, strictly speaking, the possibility of speaking about interpretation itself. A fourth consequence of Nietzsche’s theory of interpretation concerns the traditional concept of truth as adaecfuatio. It is meaningful to speak of measuring an exegetical statement against an object only if the object of the statement is given in advance. An interpretation can correspond to or falsify what is to be interpreted only if what is to be interpreted has a self-supporting reality vis-a-vis every possible interpretation. A theory of interpretation that deals with its objects not as givens but as something to be constituted can offer no correspondence theory of truth, but only a theory of its imperative positing. In a fragment from the period of Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche writes of (the act of) willing (and interpreting is a form of the will): ” ‘To will’ is not the same as ‘to desire,’ to strive for, to long for: it distinguishes itself from them by the sense of the command.”35 The truth of interpretation is imperative. The will commands, and whatever corresponds to this command of the will possesses, as its correspondence, truth. At first, however, by means of its interpretation, the will commands only itself as not yet corresponding to the will. Since the interpreting will is structurally imperative, its correspondence must remain absent. Only in the law of the will, which is the claim to correspond to itself, can the will be in agreement with itself as in a remainder of correspondence. Its interpretation—and its truth, the will itself—remains, without any substance, a promise.

This card goes more into grammatical relations and how they reduce action to appearance, just as the actor reduces roles to themselves

Rickels 90 (Looking After Nietzsche: Interdisciplinary Encounters with Merleau-Ponty Front Cover Laurence A. Rickels Laurence Arthur Rickels (born December 2, 1954) is an American literary and media theorist, whose most significant works have continued the Frankfurt School’s efforts to apply psychoanalytic insights to analysis and criticism of modern mass media culture. SUNY Press, 1990 – Philosophy – 265 pages)

Language separates the event from itself, even if by no other means than by simple doublingIt dissolves an occurrence into imaginary constituent parts; it disintegrates the occurrence into a grammatical relation between a subject and predicateinto a complementary causal relation between cause and effect. In this way it abstracts inductively from the factual event and its traumatic experience; “seduction of language” is a topos of Nietzsche’s epistemological reflections. By articulating the occurrence, language masks it. The sentence “The lightning bolt flashes” can make no claim to correspondence with its object; for lightning is the non-referential and meaningless identity of its appearance and its being, while the sentence is a referential structure, an appearance that refers to a being outside of itself. By splitting the event, separating it out into subject and predicate, language suggests behind one world a second world of ideal, unmoved, self-enclosed, constant essences and first principles. Language immobilizes becoming into being, and reduces the former’s action to the latter’s appearance. In short: language extricates (legt auseinander) what belongs together and explicates (legt aus) by fabricating what does not exist (BCE, II, § 34; 111, § 52; Tl,”Reason in Philosophy,” § 5).Freedom itself has no substantial being. It attains this only after the fact by its linguistic explication as freedom, i.e., only when and where it is already past, by means of “that sublime self-deception . . . that interprets and explicates weakness itself as freedom and its mere being-so-and-so as merit” (GM, I, § 13). The spirit of ressentiment is not the origin of this idealism of language, but it is the origin of its stubborn survival. For with the aid of this language’s grammar and the “fundamental errors of reason ossified in it,” ressentiment can articulate its “No,” its “No to what is ‘outside,’ to what is ‘other,’ to what is ‘not itself’ ” (GM, I, § 10). Nietzsche’s “lightning bolt” is an example of “driving, willing, acting (and) becoming” (GM, 1, § 13), of the immediate self-affirming Yes. It also serves as an example of his agents in the pseudo-historical history of it that Nietzsche writes, that is, of “any pack of blond beasts of prey, who come like fate without cause, reason, consideration, or pretext, who are simply there like lightning, too terrible, too sudden, too persuasive, too ‘other’ even to be hated” (GM, II, § 17). Against this lightning bolt of the Yes and the sheer alterity of becoming and disappearing, a “No” must be raised which inhibits, delays, defers, and differentiates the bolt so that the lightning itself is at least “something” and so that everything does not disappear under its flash. The speculative grammar of ressentiment is the apotropaic interpretation and explication of the lightning bolt; its sentence is the articulated and articulating No to the essentially unarticulated, undivided Yes of the will. The “self-affirming Yes-saying” (GM, I, § 10) is incapable of sense or meaning since it refers without mediation to itself and never to an object external to itself. It is the speech act par excellence that glows and fades in the punctual intensity of the lightning bolt, since in it there is no difference between doer and doing, deed and effect, outer and inner, no restraint and no precondition, no reserve and no precedent. The No that interprets and explicates this Yes, however, doubles, splits it into a deed of a deed, and imposes its deed like an exchangeable mask upon it, rendering it a fixed subject-substratum. In this way the Yes is dissolved into a linguistic relation even though it cannot strictu sensu belong to language as a conventional system of meaning, since it means the very sphere of pure speaking. The individual members of this relation are equipped with a sturdy function and meaning, but because of their constitution they fall short of whatever it is they are speaking about. As a result of its disjunction into a will and (an act of) willingwilling which in itself is actually already an act, becomes reduced to the mere possibility of willing. By being expressed in language, willing is differentiated into a will and (an act of) willingof which the will is capable, yet to which it should not be compelled. But the will does not will. It is the simple tautology of willing—without subject, intention, or object. Iflanguage makes (the act of) willing into a mere predicate of the will that can be either attributed to or removed from it, then language is the locus not of the will, but of ressentiment against the will. It is language which isolates the will from (the act of) willing and, in this way, uses the interpretative and explicative fiction to make the will independent. Itself unfree, the fiction liberates the will. And only where the will is free of its own (act of) willing can it raise itself as will to law and subjugate itself freely to this law. The free will is the will of ressentiment. By differentiating the will, the inability of ressentiment to unite will and deed is interpreted and explicated as the ability not to will this identity. The incapacity to will thereby bestows a will unto itself by means of this interpretation. The hermeneutics of ressentiment—the hermeneuein of language—is the art of interpreting and explicating the absolute otherness of (the act of) willing as the will of the other. It distances and fixes the movement of (the act of)willing from an outside of itself and reinterprets the will’s deficit as will. This interpretation and explication, itself subjectless and unfree, is the invention of the subject, of freedom, and of meaning. To the same extent, however, that the will is betrayed by this interpretation and explication, it is saved by them. The sheer alteration, which announces itself in the speech act of the Yes, is also at work in its explication; for the alteration takes no consideration of the explication’s “own, proper” structure. Alteration subjects explication, as the act that it is, to a violent change and has no explanation or reason. Explication is the alteration to which alteration must surrender itself if it does not want to stop being absolutely other.


This is Nietzsche’s argument that Antonio is applying – not about linguistics, but about action and being.

Nietzsche, 87 (Friedrich, 1887, On the Genealogy of Morals, Aph. 13, JPL)

To require of strength that it should not express itself as strength, that it should not be a wish to overpower, a wish to overthrow, a wish to become master, a thirst for enemies and antagonisms and triumphs, is just as absurd as to require of weakness that it should express itself as strength. A quantum of force is just such a quantum of movement, will, action – rather it is nothing else than just those very phenomena of moving, willing, acting, and can only appear otherwise in the misleading errors of language(and the fundamental fallacies of reason which have become petrified therein), which understands, and understands wrongly, all working as conditioned by aworker, a “subject.” And just exactly as the people separate the lightning from its flash, and interpret the latter as a thing done, as the working of a subject which is called lightning, so also does the popular morality separate strength from the expression of strength, as though behind the strong man there existed some indifferent neutral substratum, which enjoyed a caprice and option as to whether or not it should express strength. But there is no such substratum, there is no “being” behind doing, working, becoming; “the doer” is a mere appanage to the action. The action is everything. In point of fact, the people duplicate the doing, when they make the lightning lighten, that is a “doing-doing”: they make the same phenomenon first a cause, and then, secondly, the effect of that cause. The scientists fail to improve matters when they say, “Force moves, force causes,” and so on. Our whole science is still, in spite of all its coldness of all its freedom from passion, a dupe of the tricks of language, and has never succeeded in getting rid of that superstitious changeling “the subject” (the atom, to give another instance, is such a changeling, just as the Kantian “Thing-in-itself”). What wonder, if the suppressed and stealthily simmering passions of revenge and hatred exploit for their own advantage this belief, and indeed hold no belief with a more steadfast enthusiasm than this – “that the strong has the option of being weak, and the bird of pretty of being a lamb.” Thereby do they win for themselves the right of attributing to the birds of prey the responsibility for being birds of prey: when the oppressed, downtrodden, and overpowered say to themselves with the vindictive guile of weakness, “Let us be otherwise than the evil, namely, good! And good is everyone who does not oppress, who hurts no one, who does not attack, who does not pay back, who hands over revenge to God, who holds himself, as we do, in hiding; who goes out of the way of evil, and demands, in short, little from life; like ourselves the patient, the meek, the just,” – yet all this, in its cold and unprejudiced interpretation means nothing more than “once and for all, the weak are weak; it is good to do nothing for which we are not strong enough”; but this dismal state of affairs, this this prudence of the lowest order, which even insects possess (which in a great danger are fain to sham death so as to avoid doing “too much”), has, thanks to the counterfeiting and self-deception of weakness, come to masquerade in the pomp of an ascetic, mute, and expectant irtue, just as though the very weakness of the weak – that is, forsooth, its being, its working, its whole unique inevitable inseparable reality – were a voluntary result, something wished, chosen, a deed, an act of merit. This kind of man finds the belief in a neutral, free-choosing “subject” necessary from an instinct of self-preservation, of self-assertion, in which every lie is fain to sanctify itself. The subject (or, to use popular language, the soul) has perhaps proved itself the best dogma in the world simply because it rendered possible to the horde of moral, weak, and oppressed individuals of every kind, that most sublime specimen of self-deception, the interpretation of weakness as freedom, of being this, or being that, as merit.

June 24, 2017 / compassioninpolitics

Critical thinking list of questions, etc…

Interpreting, leveraging, and comparison of assertions and facts

Big activities:
comparison, evaluation, judging, and big picture

Core questions
• What do you think?
• What makes you think that?
• Whats the implication?
• Are there counter-arguments?
• Whats at stake? Truly at stake?

[Consider Blooms taxonomy questions or your other post on critical thinking]

Another level of argument:
• What differentiates good argument from bad?
• What separates good from great?

Reasonable assertions–inferences

Know the angels. Do intel work.

Types of reasoning (analogy, history, precedent)

Scaled back view (aka worst case scenario)

Priorities (criteria, filter)
What that means (implied logic)
Systems theory (zoom in, zoom out)
Context and story (scene and conflict)

May 22, 2017 / compassioninpolitics

Getting ready to go for the K in the negative block

I think being ready for:

  • Framework
  • Theory
  • Perm (which is pretty easy)
  • Case turns (which is pretty easy)
  • Specificity o/ws
  • Link turns/Specific link turns
  • Defending the alternative (this is usually defense on their part)
  • Impact turns

And having it reasonably written out helps a ton in terms of giving yourself plenty of prep time & making your overall organization much smoother.


This isn’t about burrying them in a bunch of cards as much as it is about being smart & word efficient–but explaining it enough.  What this later part means is a function of your judging pool.


Oh…it helps to be in conversation with others who have run the K and/or understand the K.


It helps to have answers to the major K killers that people tend to run on your local circuit and/or the national circuit.

What are your best suggestions for prepping to run the critique effectively during the block?  I’ve written a number of short pieces on this issue.  I suggest reading, bookmarking, and printing them out.

May 15, 2017 / compassioninpolitics

My Critique of Nietzsche’s Critique of Normative Ethics–And the accussations of Nietzsche being a Racist or a Nazi thing

You can’t blame that all on his sister.  Yes, his sister made the connections clear, but that doesn’t mean those values weren’t latent in his philosophy already.


How is someone who reject ethics reject racism.  Nietzsche is relativism in drag.  Relativism is a limp noodle versus racism.  It lacks any backbone to give us a Constitution, rights, or any means of rejecting racism.


What is the Nietzschean rejection of racism that doesn’t also link to his own critique?  Which would mean his critique leaves the anti-racist without any tools.

Historically proven–MLK couldn’t have used Nietzsche to cause the civil rights change, because civil rights are critiqued by Nietzsche.  Nietzshce couldn’t have been used to get rid of slavery, because Nietzsche would have said “they need to suffer” or this is just lame compassion.


What part of his overarching thesis statement certainly don’t point in this direction:


“Where has God gone?” he cried. “I shall tell you. We have killed him – you and I. We are his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not perpetually falling? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is it not more and more night coming on all the time?


Thats his words not mine.  Thats his thesis statement of his whole philosophy.


That infinite nothing is what is left to the moral infrastructure which helps maintain relationships based on love, compassion, kindness, mutual affirmation, fairness, and caring and replaces them with nothing or their opposites.  (or any part of civilization in terms of justice, fairness, democracy, or even the norms of debate–or basic respect and dignity).


What Nietzsche is describing is ultimately intellectual anarchy and political anarchy. Its that “war of all against all” that Hobbes warned us about. Violence, domination, dehumanization, not freedom or justice will be the legacy of that change.


His vision is Charlie Sheens & Trump & Machiavelli’s rule the world.


May 11, 2017 / compassioninpolitics

Random thoughts about framework and answering Ks

1. What is a precise definition of framework? I have heard so many different things I am not entirely sure what to believe.


2. How do you as the aff argue framework against a Neg team running a K?


3. Does it matter if I concede framework on the K if I am already beating the link, impact, and alt on the flow?


AT: What is framework?


Framework is the theory of how the ballot works.  Framework is a decision-calculous.  Its a means to evaluate the argument.  It functions like criteria does in lincoln-douglas or at least should.


AT: Conceding framework:


More theory is really the best way to create offense on the K, that you can win definitively.


Conceding framework makes your aff go away in terms of impact in the debate.


There is a distinction between offense and defense on a K that you may not be getting.  You need to pick and choose based on offense and defense strategically often.


Your best bet in some respect is impact turning the K with your Aff impacts.  You need to understand this specifically.  Also, the K may be answering your impacts either at the level of solvency turn or assumption, which can make this difficult.