|The World According to Nick|
|My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.|
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
I find this to be an interesting coincidence. A few days ago I blogged about my old expereinces on my high school debate team, and how everything leads to nuclear war. Now today, Newsweek has an article talking about Evangelical Christian Colleges winning debate tournaments:
Remember how I said everything leads to nuclear war in a normal debate? What does it lead to for these debaters? Does everything lead to Armageddon instead? The overall point of the article isn't just that these teams are winning tournaments left and right, but that they're going into society with the aim to impact public policy:
Debating is by its very nature about extremes. You pull on one side of that rope as hard as you possibly can, while the other side tugs just as hard on their side. You pull out the big guns and fire them with gusto, as does the other side. You hope that you make a better argument than the other side, but you also hope that your gun is just a little bigger than theirs too. And so every time you debate, you look for a bigger and bigger gun to fire.
Life on the other hand is not about extremes, and public policy shouldn't be about extremes either. Policy debate in school at any level is not, at least in my estimation, is not a good preparation tool for public policy debate about real life. About the only thing it can teach you to do, is think fast on your feet.
On a slightly different note, debating in high school or college absolutely destroys your public speaking skills. I know that sounds backwards, but it took me a long time to learn how to speak in public after I stopped debating. In debate, speed is king. Some people actually go to classes to learn how to talk faster. It took me a long time to learn how to slow down when speaking in meetings, or giving speeches. To this day, when I'm a little nervous, I tend to go back into "debate mode" and speed back up again.
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Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States
I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.
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