Binge these videos and get smarter the next debate round

Elevate your score the round after by watching these superior edutainment YouTube videos.

A compilation article by Andree Chandra

I’m a sleepyhead, and I have one very specific habit before sleeping – one habit that everyone who has the privilege to share a hotel room with me will know and be slightly annoyed (I’m sorry Hans): I’ll put YouTube videos on autoplay until I doze off.

While I could corroborate this article with journal articles on how we can remember stuff better during unconscious, deep sleep, I’ll leave that to you. The take here is simple: entertaining educational YouTube videos works best when you want to spend your free time while still being productive in preparing for tournaments. You don’t have to take research notes when binge watching. Casually listening to them builds those memories in your head. It’ll be proven useful one day when those memories get triggered by the adrenaline rush during 15-minutes prep time.

Disclaimer: This style of matter grabbing is not for everyone, but is worth trying out!

And without further ado, here’s some recommended channels and videos, broken down by topics!


Without loss of entertainment value, ReligionsForBreakfast is a great entry to gain insights on religion from an academic and historical perspective. Personally speaking, I’ve crafted motions and have used historical contexts provided in this channel for my debate speeches. The host, Dr. Andrew M. Henry, is a scholar of religious studies whose research focus is early Christianity and late Roman religion. He earned his PhD at Boston University.

One famous case is how WUDC 2021 Round 6’s motion (“This House believes that it is in the interest of the Catholic church to officially recognize Folk Saints”) is literally based on his video about Santa Muerte.

If you want to start binge watching his channel, I recommend you start here:

What Did Freud Think About Religion?

Why Do People Leave Their Childhood Religions?

What is the Hajj?

The Rise of Atheist Churches?


The biggest problem for me in my early debating career is trying to understand abstract economic concepts. It wasn’t until recently that I stumbled upon lots of these small documentaries breaking down the rise and fall of lots of startups, economic crises, and others, that I started seeing patterns and concepts. While examples will be extremely useful in niche motions (e.g. KOMPeK 2019’s motion that mandates Indonesian Unicorns to go IPO), the patterns and concepts you’ll unconsciously learn through binge watching multiple companies’ profiles, scandals and cases will be extremely useful in more general economic rounds. Here are some good channels to start.

ColdFusionTV mainly covers business scandals, finances, and technology. They’re very simple but keep the most important details intact. Bonus: the ASMR style is really relaxing and their introduction to crypto is a good start. If you’re looking for more insight on common debate topics such as Meme stocks, Russian Sanctions, or recently Meta’s downfall, this channel is for you.

If you’re looking for more in-depth yet simple explanatory videos, Economics Explained is the perfect channel for you. They provide lots of recent news with deeper insights, broken down by countries and ready-to-use analysis for debate rounds such as on China’s recent debt problem, Turkey’s hyperinflation, and Silicon Valley vs. Shenzhen problem.

Asianometry provides 20-minutes short documentaries on Asian countries’ economic conditions and updates, especially on TSMC, energy, and other industries. Similar to Asianometry, PolyMatter also uploads lots of interesting videos you can binge, such as sanctions on North Korea

Additionally, if you’re looking for lighter bites accompanied by some hot-spilling corporate tea, iilluminaughtii – YouTube is perfect for you. Their “Corporate Casket” series covers lots of scandals from the NFL to Deutsche Bank to Mormonism to NRA to Theranos with important details and a slick sense of humour.

International Relations and/or Politics

As someone who loves to understand the bigger picture first before understanding what and why things are happening today, my approach to international relations and geopolitics is to start with the historical context behind an event. You might love this approach because historical context can be a good start in crafting arguments (I’d always love to refer to Rizqi Isnurhadi from UGM and his style on using historical context as to why certain values and proposals may be relevant).

The first channel that introduced me to this is Extra Credits’ “Extra History” series. Extra Credit started as a channel that discussed video game design, but they started to cover other topics such as history and sci-fi. Their huge coverages range from Japanese Militarism, World War 2, or even The History of Paper Money.

P.s. their main video game design series are also recommended as their explanations are extremely philosophical and conceptual, delivered in easily digestible words – just in case gaming motions do crop up. 

On a daily basis, Vox and The Economist provide quick bites to keep you updated with what’s going on with the world. Wendover Productions also has some cool IR related videos, especially on Africa and China’s relationship which you might want to check out. When you’re ready to bite harder, one personal favourite mathematician of mine runs a series on Game Theory on Security Dilemmas, such as on nuclear proliferation, and on bargaining and war. But if you’re here for the memes and the lolz, Oversimplified provides you with history lessons that you’ll definitely won’t forget.

Some random ones

This section will be more random as I can’t categorise this properly anywhere. I’m just dropping what I think is sometimes useful but always entertaining for me – hopefully someone somewhere out there will find this useful too. This will range from laws, to military, to some deeper philosophical stuff…

LegalEagle actually provides extremely detailed but easy to follow explanations on law (although mostly US law). A good start will be his reactions and analysis on TV series and their accuracy. 

Task & Purpose employs simple but deep storytelling on military strategies and paradigms. This channel is run by an ex-US Marine. I’ve used lots of his materials on war paradigms, military invasion tactics, and US military spendings on numerous war-related motions so hopefully this will prove to be useful as well. 

Kurzgesagt taught me a lot of philosophy – especially how to present an abstract philosophical idea in a compact manner. The language used is sophisticated and beautiful and can be used as a vocabulary reference, yet is still easy to comprehend. Their videos on Egoistic Altruism and Optimistic Nihilism are both exceptionally well written and have been used as arguments (by me!) multiple times.

Wisecrack explains lots of philosophical concepts quite accurately with lots of memes. They also update you with the most recent movies (if you don’t watch them a lot) as they’re over-analyzing movies, TV series, and sometimes anime (their analysis on justice based on Death Note is actually a good start on some law concepts).

Overly Sarcastic Productions creates lots of videos on history and literature, and it can really help you with debaters that speak in 200+ Words Per Minute. Their dramatic, dry and sarcastic tone makes binge watching their channel extremely enjoyable and will give you giggles here and there.

NationSquid recently provides lots of good tech videos such as The Pirate Bay drama and online scams.

TedEd covers a variety of topics from psychology to humanities to science of vaccines. This channel has many general insights that might be proven useful.

The Infographics Show is very lighthearted yet very informative and covers lots of general information that might be useful every now and then – just take everything here with a grain of salt.

Crash Course is the usual go-to for people to start matter grabbing. While their content is good and extremely well-structured, it might not be suitable for some looking for quick updates as they often cover academic basics.

What this means for you

Please ignore the clickbaity title. This article is to share what works for me and how I matterload throughout my late-bloomed debating  career. I find this method really enjoyable as it doesn’t take my time (I can run these videos while asleep, while driving, or even while tabbing a tournament).

I can’t promise this will 100% work for you too — but perhaps, worth experimenting if you don’t know where to begin?

Hopefully, this article brings insight and help your journey ahead*!
*Hopefully your journey ahead is with the Aurgumentum First Half Series — a series of accessible events ranging from high school to varsity tournaments, in both English and Bahasa Indonesia. Details here at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *