In a world where information asymmatries are shrinking, its probably best to consolidate all available information and thrive as an activity. Does anyone disagree?
When you say "thrive as an activity," I'm assuming you're refering to Policy? Or forensics in general? Either way, consolidation of information is good in theory (convience, people are at the exact same advantage), but it can be limiting. If all teams have access to the same information, how is one going to get the upper hand with pulling some good evidence another team might not have heard about? Because you know if there was a list of materials to be used, large teams would know enough about that list to navigate through it effectively.
Further, the consolidation of knowledge horrifies me slightly as a concept. What would be the point of researching for fresh ideas when it is not a part of the "accepted" listing of evidence? The organization of such an endeavor would be a feat. How is new information deemed appropriate to add to the consolidated list? Does anything get booted off and how? Ideas and opionions vary based on who is discussing it, so are particular views not allowed into this consolidated list?
What is deemed important to one team might mean little to another, so how do you decide what is worth knowing--or do you just list everything? And if you mean list EVERYTHING, then what is the point? EVERYTHING is already available EVERYWHERE. It's just an issue of locating it. So why bother with an organized effort? Research for yourself, ask around, and pay attention in rounds.
The idea of it sounds nice, organized, helpful for all, but I wonder if through time it would become an outdated, highly political list of what was innovative and all-encompassing. Usually when something turns into a system of some sort, run by "higher-ups" it all goes to hell. Forensics should be for free-thought (and independent thought as well). Kinda takes some excitment out of events when you already know all the possible information that can be pulled. It makes it more challenging when you get that random piece/evidence that you have never heard of and now you have to compete with it.
However, TOO much aysmmetry and TOOLS such as computers will make crafty individuals from places outside of the traditional powerhouses to consider a #virus that #steals debate evidence. I am NOT advocating this, in any way. But a smart, motivated and upset high school in a place where she or he may not get a fair shake may be willing to try just about anything.
Have you ever been denied entry to the largest tournament in your region MULTIPLE times for no real reason other than spite?
I don't mean to call institutional biases into this information aysmmetry question...but I REALLY feel they are related.
Were you denied access because your team was perceived as having too much information to compete against? Because yes, then they would be related. However, that's when rules about what it takes to enter a tourney would have to be looked at to see if an appeal could be made for an unjust denial. Isn't there a higher group you could contact about being turned away from a tournament for no solid reason (especially if your team meets qualifications)?
As far as information theft, this is beginning to sound like a James Bond film, haha. Would a high school debater really go through all the trouble to devise a virus to steal debate information when most of it is readily available through research? I would think that theft most likely would come in the form of having observers in the audience taking note of what sorces the opposition is using. But is that really theft when, again, most everything is available after some research?
This is why I just don't see the point of consolidated information. Maybe it is just personal drive/preference, but I like to research things myself and take what information I deem most valuable. I like that discovery. I like some slight guidance through "authorities" like coaches. Even if you want some base starting point, googling something like "top philosophers" will give you a list of who are considered "the best." Read and go from there. Or your team mgiht already have stuff stored away and then you use that to look into related materials. I know it's work, but that's part of the fun isn't it? Self-discovery? With everything handed to you or stolen etc. it's like you're more of a machine being programmed with "the essentials."
I guess what my real question of clarification is for you is this: when you say consolidate information do you mean a regulated, end-all of resources allowed? Or do you mean just like a handy, dandy list of suggested reading that every entry level team would be handed when becoming a member of a league? If it's the later I hardly find faut with that. With the regulated list, I find serious fault and limitations.
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