Are debates getting enough votes?

Author: DynamicSquid ,

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DynamicSquid
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Is it just me, or are debates not getting enough votes?

Like, how in the world did I tie this debate????


And I'm sure it's not just me.

Is there a fix to this problem?
ethang5
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--> @DynamicSquid
Is there a fix to this problem?
Yes, but it will never be implemented.

Imagine you amble into the debate forum, see a debate that looks interesting, and vote on it.

Hold on there squid. 

There is a clique of liberal members, some of them mods, who spring into action if the conditions are right.

If your vote goes against a clique member, your vote gets reported. A mod comes in and either reduces or removes your vote. If the mod cannot credibly change your vote enough to put the liberal debater in the lead, the mod himself (or another clique member) instantly votes, putting their friend back in the lead.

If you are a known conservative, your vote gets reported. A mod comes in and either reduces or removes your vote. If the mod cannot credibly change your vote enough to put the debater you did not vote for in the lead, the mod himself (or another clique member) instantly votes, putting their friend back in the lead.

How many times do you think this can happen before members know voting is a waste of time?

The same people wonder why so many members spend their time only in the forums.

Look at the leaderboard. Virtually all the mods have a 100% win ratios. The mods that don't are new and will be shooting up shortly. The rest of the top are clique members.

Now sort the board by number of votes with most votes on top. The first half of the first page is mods and clique members.

The debate forum has only a few people going around repeatedly voting for each other. Like a cabal.

The mods and the "elites" will never voluntarily let this system go. Mike has shown he isn't interested in board operations. So, short another cataclysmic change, the debate board will remain the same.

Ways to mitigate the problem:

If you are a conservative:
Do not debate or vote against clique members. Unless you just enjoy losing.

Do not vote or debate against touchstone liberal positions. Unless you enjoy wasting your time.

Debate only members who have given no indication whatsoever their religious or political leanings. Noobs are best.

Debate only topics that are impossible to classify as liberal or conservative. Like, "Are Babies Cute?"

If you are liberal:
Go wild. As long as you do not debate a clique member, you're going to win.

Find conservatives or theists and challenge them on the most absurd liberal talking points, like, "Can Babies Be Aborted 50 Years After Birth?" Have no fear, you'll win.

Go to a few debates by clique members and vote for them, and they will return the favor to you. Do that often enough and they might invite you into their clique, then watch your elo rise!

This isn't a solution but its the next best thing. Happy debating!
Ramshutu
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--> @DynamicSquid
Ragnar and myself are generally the most active voters - I normally prep votes while on the bus in the morning/evening, pooping, or when I have a particular complex software build that takes time that I can’t spend elsewhere. As I’m driving now, I have been given an extra workstation; it’s down to poop time only, which I normally try and spend on other urgent web related business. 

Ragnar is now a mod, which takes up a lot of his times

To get votes, the best way is to try and mention it in the debate request section. I’m hoping to run a debate tournament too shortly, which could help.



RationalMadman
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You didn't tie it, you lost it. You are lucky Trent voted at all.
Dr.Franklin
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ethang is 100% CORRECT
Joshua1
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Wow... well, I guess it's the same everywhere, huh? :D
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--> @DynamicSquid
I do not have enough time to vote on these debates and give full RFD's on everything. I have done votes when I am free, but school is getting in the way of me doing debates and voting. I am going to get into debating more since of the new rough draft feature implemented, but voting is just hard for me to do at this point of time if it is not FF.

There are debates that get votes. This site is also relatively small, so not every debate gonna flood
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Could it not be that mods vote frequently and win often because they are skilled and highly committed to this site?

And could it not be that, as you put it, "conservative" viewpoints often lose because their proponents are poor debaters, or simply because the "conservative" position can't stand up in logical debate?

I have considered the "cabal" scenario, too. Viewed through a cynical lens, mods certainly do look like a self-interested cabal. But can you prove this? You have certainly identified the dots, but how can you prove you are connecting them correctly?

What if the mods are reasonably fair, intelligent, and dedicated to the site, and you just happen to lose often because you are not a good debater, and/or your positions are logically inferior?
whiteflame
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I haven’t had the kind of time I used to, so I’ve slowed down on voting. Each of my votes takes quite a while to write out, and I’d rather do fewer than spend less time going through and analyzing each debate on which I vote. That being said, I have been pretty consistent in voting on debates when asked and reminded.
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That's interesting, could you give us some good examples of it? Ones where a conservative won the arguments, yet was voted against and lost in the end?

I haven't read many debates, but I would like to examine a few good ones and see if that seems true or not.


Also, I could imagine Conservatives losing a few debates from being too practical, not spelling things out enough for their opponent. They might expect their opponent to get their logic and be surprised when they don't, or go against it.

I could also imagine Conservatives losing because it seems that conservative positions are harder to debate.

Left-wing sources are often counted as more reliable than they are, and right-wing ones less.

And the Left-wing position is often a relatively nihilistic position, which is easier to debate as well. I also think leftists also tend to define things in favor of their own views.

Rationalistic positions, the ones (or most of them at least, and R does it a little more extreme and agrees with a little bit better positions than just those ones) RationalMadman supports are often simply just easier to debate. I see all of his positions to be similar to debater's positions, which is part of the reason why I voted for him in the Hall of Fame. He's sort of the embodiment of Rationalism and also the desire to debate.

LordLuke
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--> @ethang5
I meant to direct that to Ethgang.
Ramshutu
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This type of accusation goes round all the time. There’s little basis in it. If you look at the lowest scoring debaters on the site - Type1 and Billbatard, the latter is solely liberal and solely espouses liberal debate. He also loses so much because he’s a bad debater.

Theres been some conservatives on the site, Alec and Our boat is right - both are okay debaters; Alec used to be #1 at one point, and both have recorded good wins on conservative points of view. There are a few “troll” conservative accounts - there’s a lot that simply copy and paste arguments from elsewhere; and get penalized. 

There’s been a few abortion debates - I actually have a tendency to vote pro life on these as it’s easier to frame the argument for pro life; and many Individuals I’ve seen simply argue bad points for the pro choice side, with a few exceptions.

The “cabal” is basically highlighting the fact that Oromagi, myself and Ragnar are at the top of the board. Oromagi is objectively a great debater; he covers all his basis very well, and ends up getting voted for as a result, there’s one example where he didn’t get my vote related to electrical air craft, and my vote there explains the slip up he made and why. 

If I recall, at some point last years Ethang made the same accusation that I only voted for liberals and atheists in debates - and still continued to make that same claim even after I posted dozens of debate links showing my votes for conservatives and theists.

In general, I think we can all acknowledge that we may be imperfect, and I may have missed things in debates or messed up a vote: but in reality thus far it’s just a lot of accusations with no one really being able to point out exactly what part of the vote was wrong or unfair or why. I wouldn’t trust anyone’s accusations that don’t specifically mention a vote, and clearly specify how that vote indicates unfairness.



Zaradi
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Good to see a friendly face. Still as perpetually busy as before?
Joshua1
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Well, I'm glad to know that you guys are trying to be impartial. Although in today's world, honestly, I acknowledge that as a conservative and especially as a Christian, I'm fighting from a disadvantage, so to speak.
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Good to see you as well. Yeah, nearing the end of this wild ride that has been my PhD, so there's a lot to do in order to wrap up. Good news is that I think my timeline is doable, so it's just a matter of doing it.
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I don't think that's necessarily true. I'm neither of those things, but many of the best arguments I've heard come from Christian conservatives. It's a matter of how you support them and the ways you approach reaching your audience. The problems really only become apparent if you dig in too deeply on biases rather than focusing on the objective merits of your case.
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They are great debators HOWEVER I believe they are biased voters, liberals get free passes on debates, notably Our_Boat_is_right debates
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I'd think it'd be easier to vote pro-choice in an abortion debate.

Isn't an abortion debate essentially or at least typically a debate about whether or not it is moral to kill unborm babies?

Because of the nature of the debate, simply not considering immoral to kill unborn babies ought not to be considered kritiking, and therefore the burden of proof is on the pro-lifer. It is up to them to prove that you ought not to kill unborn babies and that morality comes into play in the debate.

That would be hard to do in my opinion and also require much specification to sound perfectly coherent.
whiteflame
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I can see where you're coming from, but I actually share Ramshutu's view on this. When it comes to an abortion debate, there are two things that we recognize without anything being said:

1. The unborn are being killed, and
2. The choice exists to do so

My view (and I think this is broadly shared by many in the debate community) is that bodies on the flow are a big problem for the side that is defending their continued existence. Those are lives lost, and it's very simple to make the argument that lives are important. That's automatically a big impact, whereas the impact of lost choice is a lot more nebulous and vague. We can all agree that choice is important, but weighing that value is not so simple. So, when one side comes into the debate with a very easily weighed impact of lives lost vs. another side that is advocating for choice (something we don't have infinite rights to access in all instances), I'd say the first side is in better shape from the outset. I'd go so far as to say that they're in a lot better shape. I'm personally pro-choice, and therefore I do find those arguments more convincing, but within the context of an objective debate, I think they start off in a weaker position.

Now, you talk about burden of proof, and while I'd say that's dependent on the resolution, even if we assume the pro-life side has it, I don't see that as a problem. At least from my perspective, the burden of proof in a net benefits debate is to show that your position is net beneficial. That's it. Since showing that it's net harmful automatically nets the other side the debate, regardless of the burdens, that means that burdens really only affect this debate in the really unlikely circumstance where it's unclear there's any net benefit or harm. I don't see that as a heavy burden. I've seen arguments made for why the burden needs to be higher than that, but the opponent would have to provide some pretty persuasive points to show that those burdens should be increased. That's not an automatic thing. As for morality coming into the debate, I'd say it plays a role, but the debate doesn't solely hinge on morality. You could stay away from a values-based debate almost entirely and still win it on either side. That's what I do when I argue the pro-choice side - I talk almost entirely about the feasibility of implementing pro-life policies. Pro-life is a little more reliant on the moral debate, though I've heard arguments that manage to take it out of the subjective realm.
Ramshutu
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The issue with abortion debates is broadly covered by WF above; it’s why you’ll find going back on my vote history I tend to go for pro life way more than pro choice - even though my personal beliefs are opposite. (Which is in part why I lol at these sort of claims of bias by people like Ethang)

The issue of framing is that regardless of what else happens, abortion fundamentally involves killing unborn humans, and that’s an immediate substantial harm that has to be overcome. Most people tend to focus on mitigate this particular harm - but even if motivate it’s still a harm; which means that they need to really sell the particular benefit as being better than harming the unborn.

The one debate I do recall voting pro choice is based upon basically rendering that harm mostly irrelevant (but also mitigated), by focusing on the relegation of women to property without any bodily autonomy; it’s not that the harm is better or worse, but irrelevant. 

Zaradi
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Also, for the moderation teams here, I'd be willing to start voting immediately but I haven't finished two debates on this site. I have close to 300 done on DDO, however, and people like whiteflame can testify that I know what I'm doing when it comes to voting.
Ramshutu
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The voting restriction is a blanket restriction out in place due to a debate where an individual started creating alt accounts just to vote on debates; we can’t gaurentee to be able to detect such accounts so placed a limit on there. 

I don’t know whether we can make a special exemption for people that came from DDO (I’m not sure if that’s the case), however the limits were set low enough to be fairly achievable; so I’m sure it won’t take long to get your posts count up.

If it helps, the best way to make it to 100 posts is to try and get the last word in an argument with me.

Zaradi
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What's the post requirement?
Zaradi
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Wait, nevermind apparently I dont know how to read. Eesh,i might as well just play a game of mafia. 
Annie_ESocialBookworm
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Go argue in the religion forum?