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February 15, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Conceding a link versus conceding the link

What would you do if someone did this to you?

My guess is perhaps 3 to 4 things:
1) Point out how hyper-generic the link was
2) Point out how hyper-specific the link turn was
3) Win uniqueness on the link and impact level (this gives them a uniqueness shield to your “links”). Basically minimizing the relevance of the links.
4) Optional: Other forms of try or die

Hyper generic links only work in one of 3 very specific circumstances:
1) when you have a very time specific disad. Aka politics. So its actually hyper-specific to the TIME of passage.
2) you have a counterplan so that the uniqueness issue is less significant. Counterplans allow you to win just a risk of a link, not a 100% link.
3) backfile checks. Malthus. Impact turns.
Ok…it also works with Ks, but even then–its usefulness is limited. And the main point I was making was in the context of disad & policy strategies.

Ergo….my advice earlier (see #8). I coached debate for 5 years…coaching 2 teams to the NDT & 3 teams to out rounds of CEDA.

This is very important for you to realize: Your strategy will likely only work with either bad teams or bad judges–and its not really guaranteed to work with either (ie you could still lose for other reasons).

Why is this the case?

Conceding you link, doesn’t necessarily conceed the full validity & credibility of that link. So the link concesssion in this case isn’t as huge as you are making it out to be.
I could conceed I link to an economy disad or an oil disad….and read 3 to 5 quality link turns…..along with some econ down now. And still win the debate.
Don’t get me wrong…concessions in cross-examination help and they also can clear up things on the flow (particularly if your opponent takes 2 sides of an issue)–cross examination often forces them to take a clear stand instead of flip-flopping.

Heres the super simple explanation:
The link argument is really 2 parts if you think about it:
1) They do A
2) Doing A leads to B
They’ve only conceded the first part of that link sequence.

The distinction here is between conceding you link to the argument and conceding THE link. In one case you’ve only conceded a small part……versus you’re trying to make it seem like they conceded the whole thing.

Realize–every team thats not a K or performance team is at some point is going to say “Yes we do the resolution” Ergo we are talked about in your link evidence. But its too hyper-generic to
even be taken seriously or to be credible in terms of its claims & arguments.

What this means for you:
I’m glad for you to be creative. I’m glad for you to figure out what works and get feedback. Thats important too. Its even important to stand up for your ideas.
But…..the overwhelming sense of
1) logic & common sense
2) the history of debate
3) everything I explained above
means that this as a strategy……isn’t going to get you very far. So….if you take winning seriously….I would lose this as a hyper-generic strategy.

If you want to run a hyper-generic strategy….fine. Find one that will work. Not one that will lose & make you look clueless. I’m telling you this because I want to save you the agony of defeat.

I hope that clears up the problem….or miscommunication or misunderstanding.


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