Although I prefer the individual debate paradigm to forums insofar as debates are concerned, I do still try to keep abreast of what's being discussed in the forums. Fresh ideas can come from many sources, and although I have a backlog of my own ideas that I haven't gotten a chance to flesh out into pages, keeping an eye out for better ideas certainly can't hurt.
Over the course of recent months, I've noticed that, for the purposes of technological comparisons of Star Trek and Star Wars, the StarDestroyer.Net forums are intensely dull. The reasons are manifold and interrelated, including the rapid banning of posters who don't toe the line (i.e. those who are pro-Trek or insufficiently pro-Wars), the declaration of Star Wars victory, ICS-thumping, et cetera. The only mildly interesting points have generally been the Talifan threads against Karen Traviss and other modern "EU minimalists" who don't write about Star Wars as if the technology and infrastructure are sufficiently 'uberwanked' for the ICS thumpers' preferences. Other than that, though, there's been little to nothing of note for a long while.
In short, like ASVS, the SD.Net forums have largely faded to irrelevancy.
So where is relevant discussion taking place? Well, at one point of course the STrek-v-SWars.Net forums, now faded into memory along with the STrek-v-SWars.Net main site, were the best, but they're long gone now. SpaceBattles has some good discussions, but the entrenched pro-Wars majority (many of whom, including some moderators, are SD.Net members) means that many discussions get squashed or lost under shouts of "THE ICS IS CANON! CANON CANON CANON! INCONSISTENCIES AND LUCAS'S STATEMENTS BE DAMNED!"
(And, naturally, you get plenty of ST-v-SW.Net hatred from the same quarters. In one thread about a Borg "Fusion Cube" from some Trek game, for instance, someone linked to the old page on hull strength. Immediately the pro-Wars camp responded that the entire site was totally incorrect on all pages and regarding all points, and that I was a dishonest liar. What amused me was that the given basis of the claim that I was a liar was a quote from the hull strenght page: "However, because the KE values look better, they are the ones being employed."
As the claimant then said, "Wow, he admits that he is being dishonest right there. Clearly a man to listen to."
I'll admit that the quote sounded really bad. I myself was left to wonder about my own honesty! It didn't sound like me at all, but if this pro-Wars debater was quoting me like that then surely the quote must've appeared on the page. So I went to the page and searched for the quote . . . and then started laughing my fool head off.
In the conclusion section, I noted that going by the kinetic energy calculations I was using to compare two collision events, "The Star Destroyer took a hit approximately 11 times more energetic than the Galaxy Class starship, losing between 8 and 16.7 times the mass." But I also noted that were we to use momentum, then the "impact against the ISD had only 5.7 times the momentum of the [collision with the Galaxy], doing far more than 5.7 times the damage. However, because the KE values look better, they are the ones being employed."
Yes, you read that right. In other words, I said that I was using the kinetic energy calculations because they enhanced the Star Destroyer's apparent performance in the collision (i.e. where comparative energy was roughly equal to comparative lost mass), compared to using the calculations involving momentum.
And so this pro-Wars poster declared me a liar on the basis of my open and blatant attempts to keep Star Wars looking as good as it could in technological comparisons.
I love it . . . you just can't make this stuff up. Next thing you know they'll be opening up GalaxyClassStarship.Net themselves.)
But, even though some of the people who post in Trek-related threads know very little about Trek ('The Die is Cast? What's that?'), the sheer number of people involved means that some interesting ideas can be generated. One user, VivFTP, stands out with some well-researched data, and though I don't always agree with his points he often makes good ones.
However, while the sheer population has its uses, the rampant Trek ignorance at SpaceBattles (and the related entrenchment of ICS thumpers) limits the depth of the discussions.
What's needed, in my opinion, is an enhancement of the population at the StarfleetJedi.Net forums. The discussions are limited at the moment due to a smallish population, but the focus of the place and the number of willing and able neurons already present argue for it being the home of forum-based debate online.
Now, if only I could get that copy of the STrek-v-SWars forums said to be lurking around . . .