2006-10-14

Forums, Et Al.

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 . . .

14 comments:

  1. And if you're wondering where that is... click my name to go there.

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  2. I know Omega posted to the new SCN board after the recent move, but I don't know what he's doing with the database these days. I'll send him an IM.

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  3. I got a reply. Omega says he's been really busy the last couple of months, so he won't be able to set it up any time soon. So, we just need to find someone who can take it. Unfortunately, I don't have the time right now, but I'm sure someone will volunteer.

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  4. For reference, this is Sharp Thorn speaking briefly upon my recent banning from SB.com forums.

    To note from the record here:
    http://forums.spacebattles.com/showthread.php?t=108275&page=3\

    -Questioning a moderator is cause to be banned by them. This is not the rule of any healthy forum.

    -Alyeska refused to address any of the charges leveled at him or his fellow moderators.

    -In particular, please note for future reference that Alyeska does not think "asshole" is an insult or flame coming out of his own mouth.

    -As I predicted, being challenged to provide evidence for bias will result in banning even if I do provide such evidence.

    I rest my case.

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  5. Sharp Thorn, are you really Big Hairy Mountain Man?

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  6. Whoops . . . sorry I forgot to make that a link.

    GStone . . . if you could, let Omega know I'll host the archives. The STrek board was pretty dang good . . . I'd blow my old archived one away just to free up the MySQL database so I could have it.

    And Sharp Thorn . . . I haven't read the situation fully, but I would not be shocked to learn that a Spacebattles mod got away with bad behavior and banned you for calling him on it. If Alyeska's done such, then it would only imply that he's taken Modding 101 as taught by HBMC.

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  7. I think he said he was gonna email you about it to put it in the blog, but I'll tell him.

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  8. What is the size of the archive for your board, because it would be a shame to loose all of it because there are a few good nuggets in it, even if the strek-v-swars board is move extensive.

    I sent Omega an IM.

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  9. By that what I mean is that, if you want to free up space by taking out the archive of your forum, I could easily stash it away, in case it were ever needed in the future.

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  10. No, I just mean that this hosting account only features a single MySQL database. That's pretty sad, true, but still.

    I was young; I needed the hosting.

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  11. Ah, okay. So, what, you'll combine them or something?

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  12. That is pretty sad. Mine comes with ten, and I thought it was pretty bare-bones. I'm only using 3-4 or so right now.

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  13. That's goo, but how about finishing the ROTS analysis?

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  14. Hmm... considering it seemed to take hours to go less than a parsec, and hours to go from the Core to the Outer Rim... one can conclusively prove that ships in Star Wars move at the speed of plot!

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