Nick Matthews


#1

Nick Matthews
NPDA Philosophy (national circuit; for my PSCFA philosophy, scroll down)
Current affiliation: Irvine Valley College
Past affiliations: CSULB, UCLA

  1. Speed:
  • You must speak at a conversational speed in front of me because I have a significant hearing impairment. Any rate of speed that is faster than conversational destroys my ability to accurately understand your arguments and impedes my ability to do my job.

  • If you speak faster than the dialogue of “The West Wing” in a prelim, you will earn a maximum of 27 speaker points. I don’t care what your NPTE ranking is, you will not earn more than 27 speaker points. If you choose to go fast in an outround for strategic reasons, I will respect that choice, but don’t complain if my decision doesn’t make sense.

  1. Theory guidelines:
  • You must take at least one question in each constructive. Clarifying the status of an advocacy requires all of three seconds and does not count as a question.
  • The affirmative team must read either a plan or an advocacy statement with a clearly defined text. (If it relates to the resolution somehow, fantastic!).
  • I will not revert to the status quo unless I am provided with a justification for doing so.
  • I will only vote on theory if the violation occurred in my physical presence.
  1. Evaluation method:
  • My default stance is that I will compare a topical plan to the world of the status quo or a competitive policy option or alternative. Feel free to argue that I should approach the round through some alternate means of evaluation. I am open to most arguments you may wish to present, so long as they are sufficiently explained and warranted.

  • I reward big-picture storytelling, intuitive arguments, and strategic decision-making. I rarely vote for arguments I don’t understand.

  1. Argument preferences:
  • As a competitor, I specialized in straight-up strategies: disads, counterplans, procedurals, case. These are also the debates I am most competent at judging. Don’t let me stop you from arguing what you are most comfortable with, but my understanding of straight-up debate is a lot stronger than my understanding of critical debate. Pref me accordingly.

  • I am comfortable with structuralist critiques of economies or state relations. My post-structuralist comfort zone begins and ends with Foucault. Arguments like anthro or “give back the land” are also okay. Beyond that, if you have to rely on words that do not appear in any dictionary in order to explain your argument, save the argument for another round.

  • Generic process counterplans like delay and consultation are lazy arguments in parli. I greatly prefer PICs and other counterplans that indicate critical thinking and preparation.

  • Disads need an issue-specific link, especially politics disads. “Plan is unpopular, causes Republican backlash” is not an issue-specific link.

  • Impact calculus—yes. Do you want to cheat? Turn case or control the root cause debate.


Judge Philosophy Directory
#2

PSCFA Philosophy:

Ten things to know when I am judging you:

  1. You must speak at a conversational speed in front of me because I have a significant hearing impairment. Any rate of speed that is faster than conversational destroys my ability to accurately understand your arguments and impedes my ability to do my job.

  2. I am not a fan of fact and value rounds. I think they are much more difficult to judge, and they are largely subsumed by policy debate anyway. As such, I don’t mind if you extrapolate policy cases from fact, value, or metaphor topics (within reason, of course).

  3. My default evaluation method in policy rounds is to compare a topical plan to the world of the status quo or a competitive counterplan or alternative. As a competitor, I specialized in straight-up strategies: disads, counterplans, procedurals, and case. These are also the debates I am most competent at judging. Don’t let me stop you from arguing what you are most comfortable with, but my understanding of straight-up debate is a lot stronger than my understanding of critical debate.

  4. I reward big-picture storytelling, intuitive arguments, impact comparison, and strategic decision-making.

  5. I rarely vote for arguments I don’t understand.

  6. I am biased against arguments that rely on faulty factual premises. I may vote for such arguments from time to time, but even minimal responses will likely defeat them.

  7. My biggest pet peeve is when you whine instead of making an argument:

  • Whining: “Their implementation is vague and they don’t explain it! They don’t solve!” (Waaah!)

  • Argument: “Three reasons why their implementation of the plan undermines solvency. First…”

  1. You should take at least one question from the other team in each constructive.

  2. The affirmative team must read either a plan or an advocacy/thesis statement with a clearly defined text. The text should be written down for the opponent.

  3. I don’t care if you stand or sit or if you prompt your partner a few times. You do not need to call points of order; I will protect against new rebuttal arguments for you.