Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Competition - You’re The Judge

We have a winner! Take a bow, Karl Lall, for giving a perfect answer to my question. Credit also to the runners-up, Lithembe Sebe, Abdul Somed Abdul Basit and Yuriy Gayevskiy.
The problem was: In a British Parliamentary debate, the first speaker of the closing government team is making her speech. She spends several minutes rebutting the opening opposition, then makes two new arguments to further the proposition. After the debate, a fellow adjudicator says you should penalise her for failing to make an extension. You are forced to admit that she did not use the word “extension”. On that basis, he wants to demote the team from first to second.
Karl says: “Debate should not be about using certain words - it should be about ideas and concepts. In a BP debate we value the fact, that the debate does not stand in one place but rather that new arguments are being brought to the table. If the second speaker of Gov 2 has presented two new arguments, then (s)he has fulfilled that role - the debate has been taken further on. The fact that (s)he did not use the words "extention" or "elaboration" or "my new material" or similar, is irrelevant and (s)he certainly does not deserve to be punished for not using a specific word, when (s)he has clearly done what we expect from a 1st speaker of Gov 2.”
Today's challenge is about online debating.

Q3: “In the first round of the World Online Debating Championships, your opponents write a very long and detailed case, linking to dozens of articles and using very difficult technical language that you don't understand. You feel out of your depth and worry that you are going to lose. Should you copy their style? Should you adopt their approach? Or should you do something different?

Answers please to

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