Jul. 5th, 2008

lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Over at Jezebel there was a post with a clips from Resolved, an HBO show about the world of high school debate teams. This clip features the apparently very popular and successful tactic of spreading, which is to say that you speak very fast and try and cram as many facts as possible into your allotted time. It results in something which appears to resemble human speech but at a rate that baffles comprehension. (At this point I should confess that I haven't seen any more of the show than this) but here's the link to the Jezebel post: Resolved.

Most people's reaction is pretty much what you would expect, which is to say that whatever this is it doesn't seem very useful as a debate skill given that the speakers are by and large incomprehensible, which does seem to be an issue in anything most people would describe as a 'debate.' Cue lots of people who debated in high school coming on to say that people just don't understand and that this is building lots of useful skills. I don't know enough to say for myself; just from what I've read elsewhere the research skills would certainly be useful, even if you could learn them elsewhere just as easily. If it really does teach memorization that's another good thing as it isn't something that is often that stressed. However, what I am more intrigued by is that it seems not to enable you to convince people because the debaters and ex-debaters on Jezebel a) haven't really managed to convince anyone that this is so (as I said, I picked up most of my information on this from other places when I googled it) and b) they've more or less not engaged anyone's actual comments for a while. Instead they just talk to each other about how great it is and occassionally comment about how judges get used to this style after a while.

Look, not everything one does in high school has to be useful or even educational - if you have a great time doing this I'm happy for you and if helps you get into college, fair enough: there are lots of strange and probably not every useful things people do in high school to get into college and this is no odder than most of them. I bet the travel is fun and you probably do pick something up along the way. But it would convince me a lot more that this is a useful way to learn to persuade people if, you know, your representatives on Jezebel actually managed this. Or even showed any interest in it. Otherwise all it is is a way to teach people to talk really, really fast.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
No! Don't disagree! I know you are just hating if you do. LA LA LA CAN'T HEAR YOU IF YOU DISAGREE.

Because my sister said that my mum (whom neither of us knew actually watched Doctor Who) texted her with an OMG! about the season finale I have been impelled to catch up* so I can watch it. And Donna Noble is absolutely, definitely the best companion ever.

* On The Doctor's Daughter now.

If you comment I don't mind if you spoil me. I am so spoiled that if I were milk I would...well, you know.

ETA: Oh right, I'd forgotten I don't like Alex Kingston. I blame all the terrible writing she got as Corday on ER. It is hard to think of her not shrieking at Mark for something or other. I'M WEAK THAT WAY.

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