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A question of protocol.

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posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 04:54 PM
"Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references."

What does this actually mean? Can I reference my opponents previous statements in my closing?

posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 05:09 PM
I am mostly certain that references are 'outside sources'.

Quoting your opponent is not considered as a reference.

I would still ask The Vagabond to confirm or refute my impression....

posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 05:11 PM
By "references" "outside sources" are meant. Great current debate btw.

posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 05:56 PM
Thanks for asking this question Intrepid, I have been curious about his myself. I have been operating as if quoting my opponent did not count as a source, but was ready to be called con it.

posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 06:31 PM
I think previously introduced sources should not count against the limit, and also several pages per domain can be counted as a single source (I think it was 3, but it might have been 5).

I also think quotes from your opponent's original content ought to be unlimited

posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 10:04 PM
I will have to remember that next time.

Let me see if I understand ...


Opening and closing statements must not contain any images and must have no more than 3 references. Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post. No post shall contain more than 10 sentences quoted from a reference. Links to multiple pages within a single domain count as 1 reference. There is a maximum of 3 individual links per reference, then further links from that domain count as a new reference. Excess quotes and excess links will be removed.

10 sentences quoted from a reference, means each reference can have 10 complete sentences no matter how long that sentence may be.

3 references for the opening and closing, plus 5 in each other the 3 responses. A total of 21 references per debater, which can be further referenced in the following posts without being counted against them.

These 21 references can have 3 links each, thus giving a total possible of 62 links ... and 6 total images.

Do the images use up those links or references?

Does each link get a fresh count for a quote, or is it each reference get a quote?

If you use 3 links for a reference, each with its own quote, must it be divided 3/3/4 (or whatever combination you choose), or 10/10/10?

That could be the difference between 620 sentences in quotes vs. 210 sentences in quotes per debater for each debate. (I assume the latter would be true to form, otherwise a whole argument could be made with quotes alone)

Add quoting your opponent and your own posts being completely legal and free of limits.

Not to be complicated, but I suppose I am.

As soon as I understand the current rules, then they have a good possibility of changing, which is good to be able to keep people on their toes or adapt to what the consensus is for desired structure.

posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 10:08 PM
The system has been ever-changing and frankly getting a tad math-y. I'd love to entertain suggestions on this.

posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 10:37 PM
My 2 cents are this:

First I thought it was a total of 10 sentences of quoted material per POST. Meaning that all 5 quotes could only equal 10 sentences collectively, (ie) 2 sentences each. I thought this was a HUGE constraint on my ability to bring in supporting information so I would really love to see it made official that EACH reference could be up to 10 sentences (ie) 50 sentences of quoted material per post. I am not saying every time I post I will use 50 sentences of material, just that in some instances I could see it being necessary.

Second, I see no reason to include a link for an outside source cited by an opponent. If it is in one of their posts and you make note of that in your post the link seems excessive, that is my opinion.

Third, I am happy with 3 references per open / close and 5 per debate post (what are these called?).

Forth, i have not yet had to use pictures so maybe my opinion does not count but 3 seems legitimate to me.

This is what I think, but it is true I am new to this. I just wanted to offer my opinion, and I hope it helps. Cheers Vagabond, I really appreciate you keeping this board up and running I really enjoy participating.

posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 01:39 AM
Animal, I was right there with you ... if you check my debate, I believe there is no more than 10 sentences of quotes in each post. That is why I left out a big portion of one of the better abduction files in my closing

I am fine with the no limit of characters which is capped off at 10,000 if I am not mistaken, included that you meet the posting prerequisite. If it dropped down to 7500 or something, it wouldn't be the end of the world, and it would probably help the eyes and minds of the judges!

2 pictures per post is also fine, since I haven't used them, but I have seen them used in the past and can be helpful (especially if a debate is member judged, some don't click and read links).

I think maybe an external quote limit of 50 sentences total instead of 10 per source, that way depending on the material, you can use what you need. I also don't think I would use all of it most of the time as Animal stated.

I think the Socratic Questioning is a wonderful addition to the debate.

I find the number of references acceptable as well.

The 24 hour limit keeps it moving decent, but, I could see how a 36-48 hour window might be better for some.

Maybe a possibility of roll-over for some of the limits. If you don't use any pictures in your first two responses, you can put 6 in the final response before the closing. If you passed on references you can do the same ... or use them up early.

Well, I guess that would be more of a round limit per debater for certain items, and would require more strategy ... or it may be just too much hassle for the judges/TheVagabond to keep track of round totals instead of post totals. Don't need to make that job any harder than it is. Organizing a tournament and verifying everyone is following the rules is hard enough, without having to make it more complicated as this would most certainly be.

Just trying to bounce some things off the top of my head. I am very eager to hear what others say on this. It would be nice for us to put our heads together and get a set of rules we all agree to and hopefully enjoy; making the debates even more fun than they already are ... and keeping the workload down for the organizer.

I mean overall, I quite like the setup ... it keeps things from being too much or too little, the pace acceptable, and not an information overload for readers. There is just enough to state your argument, back it up, defend, debate, and take down your opponent's argument if you play it right.

posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 04:27 PM
I agree with TheVagabond in that it is getting somewhat "Mathy" and cumbersome...

A lot of common sense should apply here as well....

I have almost completely given up "Quoting" external sources anyway. They take up space and the intent of the debate is for ME to debate, not some source or tabloid reference...

I think the simplest way to avoid any pitfall is this, reference the "Link" and then in your own words explain what the links is referencing.

This does two things for you.

1. It completely eliminates any possibility of exceeding an external quote limit.
2. It allows you to explain to the readers what it is exactly you are trying to convey by what you are referencing.

Ask yourself this:

If the external source is exactly explaining your point, where is your contribution and how much "weight" should the judges apply to something that is not "yours"?

Think about it..


posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 10:48 PM
An interesting perspective Semper.

I think some are afraid that the judges or readers won't view and read the link, or find the appropriate section of the link ... whether the super secret squad we have now or member based judging as has happened before (which I prefer).

I also don't think excessive quoting should be the goal, that is for sure. It does help some, but again, personal summarization as you propose with the link for the opponent and the read to find and come to their own conclusions as well is a much better way than someone ending up with 10k characters of quotes.

So Semper, if your idea of removing quotes all together is done, how many sources and links do you find acceptable to back up one's claims?

How many pictures before it is just too much? or have none and link out to those as well?

posted on Feb, 27 2008 @ 11:47 PM
Oh I am not for removing "ex" quotes all together, not at all; I was just surmising that perhaps as Debaters we should "Police" ourselves to a degree.

I don't think I have ever found it necessary to "check" or "complain" about an opponent. (Officially anyway, it is useful at times within the parameters of the debate) If they are excessively quoting, it is to my favor as their position is weak and I will exploit that.

I like the rules just the way they are and generally if an opponent does wander astray from an accepted "rule" I most always U2U them and even TheVagabond if necessary and handle it "off camera" so to speak.

I try and always stay in close contact with my opponent via U2U to ensure we have a good battle, that way we can help each other and iron out any problems before they even become problems...

I have not found any "problems" with the rules the way they stand. I liked the character restrictions, but I like the unlimited (10K) as well. Quotes and Pics etc. I rarely if ever use pictures for the same reasoning as "ex" quotes.

As a member of the "Debate Forum Rangers" LOL, I will support whatever the group decides. I'm here to debate, the rules are basically irrelevant as long as they apply to all. (Sauce for the goose)

If everyone equally follows whatever rules are in effect, we all have an equal plate and the debate is fair on it's face. That is what we are all after in the long run. Trying to change something so that it fits better one style of debate or another, is in my opinion, unnecessary...


posted on Feb, 28 2008 @ 12:15 AM
I have been reading the other ongoing and recently concluded/judged debates and the comments following and one thing keeps glaring out at me....

I think we all need to understand, especially the Judges, that it is not necessary to convince you or sway you to my side of an issue, no matter which side I may draw...

I must simply provide a better argument.

The randomness of the topic selection is a wonderful feature but it definitely emphasizes the need to judge the quality of the debate and not whether the debater convinced you or not....

While I may never agree that Reptiles exist, I should be able to fairly judge a debate on that issue regardless of my personal feelings or convictions.

That being said, if you lost a debate, remember that even though you feel you may have a stronger side of an issue or more popular, it is your argument that is being judged, not whether you convince anyone or not.....

One should be able to argue a side that is both morally, ethically and substantially wrong or false and yet still win a debate if their argument is more complete and compelling...


posted on Feb, 28 2008 @ 05:43 PM
I think it is good for everyone to understand that. I thought the argument needed to convince someone of your side, not just provide a better argument. Making it clear to the debaters and the judges (whether it be secret or public/member votes).

Making the better argument win regardless if you can convince somebody (such as the moon is made of green cheese) means we are judged on skill and effort, not solely on the ultimate 'truth' of topic. That is a good thing. It encourages people to become better at the debate process knowing they can win any debate, there is no advantage based on topic.

I don't want to make the rules skewed to help any style in particular either.

Well-defined and fair rules. I suppose it does have to get a bit mathematical though, because using words like 'limited' for quoting, links/sources, and photos ends up being too open to interpretation. I think for the most part, participants here stay within the rules, and hardly approach the max allowable in most posts.

I do enjoy the randomness, and as said before, I find having to argue a position you don't agree with or a topic you never gave much thought not only makes it more fun, but educates the debater as well.

I do hope more start putting in some input to how they would like the rules to come along. Even if it comes to keeping things they way they are, which is fine, I think we should be happy with the ability to offer input. Everyone thinks in a unique way, and someone may have an excellent idea bouncing in their head that others may have never considered otherwise.

To your last sentence, I think it would take a strong person to make a complete and compelling argument for something the oppose morally and ethically, or find substantially wrong/false.

At least, I would find it hard for myself to argue for something that is against my core beliefs and values.

I respect that you work with your opponent. That is great

posted on Mar, 6 2008 @ 12:07 PM
I do have one question:

What is to happen when we receive a topic that there is no real information on?

My question in the first round

Now, I got fairly lucky because my opponent never showed up. If he had I would have been in trouble. I could not find any information about this. Maybe I was searching in the wrong places, but I'm not sure.

So, to my question:

If both fighters agree to find a new question, is it okay to ask for a new one?

posted on Mar, 6 2008 @ 03:52 PM
I thought it was an excellent topic...

But on the matter of changing topics, I would say that during a tournament, NO topics should be changed unless there are Moral or Ethical conflicts.

Part of the fun of the debate tournament is the constant uncertainty of the topic material and one's familiarization with it.

Your topic for instance,

"A truly global economy will render national governments obsolete and bring about a single, financially-based, global power structure".

Could have been fought using a NWO turn, or the E.U. and/or "The Euro" to begin getting into the meat of the debate. Then of course it all depends on where your opponent goes with it....

Many times we have to depend on our own imagination and resources/experience to really outline where we want a debate to go. Especially when we can not find any source material.


posted on Mar, 6 2008 @ 04:26 PM
reply to post by semperfortis

I hear ya. I wasn't complaining, the topic was the topic. I just can't say that I could effectively argue global economics.

*This post is not a hint at one of my weaknesses for future debates*

*edited to add:

and thanks for the response on the topic changing. I'll keep that in mind.

[edit on 6-3-2008 by Sublime620]

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