Commenter GStone said something that I found interesting in the comments to the last thread, and (partially due to my ever-excessive verbosity, and partially for full "mea culpa" value) I decided to take my response and make an entry out of it:
"This whole situation feels anticlimactic"
Well, frankly I think that's my fault in large degree, and I've been thinking that way for awhile now.
If you think about it, there are any number of nonsense beliefs out there, and there simply comes a point where a rational person must ignore the loons in order to carry inquiry forward.
For example, there remains in the 21st Century a group and website (with rather active forum) for the Flat Earth Society.
While random folks might occasionally strafe the whackaloons who still claim a flat Earth, I rather doubt that anyone dedicates a serious percentage of his site-writing-time to debunking flat-Earth claims. That is to say, I rather doubt that there's a ShapeWars.Com or whatever.
But, to extend the analogy, this site is based on examinations of Earth's roundness and the effect this has on, say, naval force projection ability of two different nations.
Of course, the question of naval force projection can hardly be decided until the shape of the Earth is known. And before my entry into the debate on naval force projection, a loud and nasty bloc of flat-Earthers had proclaimed themselves the authority on all things, flaming anyone who suggested that, for instance, Russia could successfully take the Aleutians because, after all, the two were on opposite sides of the world.
Of course, whereas the flat Earth question has been decided for hundreds (and, in some areas, thousands) of years, the analogous canon question has only really heated up in the past four years.
It's been like compressing the hundreds of years of debate on the matter a hundred-fold.
Sure, there might've been a time when otherwise-reasonable people could've been swayed by the flimsy logic of flat-Earthers. There was a time when the limited resources and limited knowledge of man made the issue debatable.
But since then, it isn't like people who understood the roundness of Earth wasted time (better spent pondering the round Earth and the many results of that roundness) by tearing down and/or mocking flat-Earth beliefs over and over and over again because some people just didn't get it, and because flat-Earthers continued to yell and holler.
I, however, did make that mistake. In effect, I gave their cockamamie claims too much implicit merit by bothering to answer them.
My mistake . . . one that I make quite consistently . . . was to believe that (a) the modern-day flat-Earthers could be swayed by logic and evidence, and more importantly that (b) someone needed to provide a contrary voice to flat-Earth lies. The sort of optimism of the first is a very hopeful line of thinking . . . dare I say, it's very Star Trek . . . but in the modern world it's usually very wrong. Sadly, most absurd beliefs only disappear as adherents die off.
And while it may be true that a contrary voice is needed, there simply comes a time when a belief system is so absurd you just laugh and move on.
It was in August, 2005 that the Star Wars canon question was finally decided, via Lucas in Starlog. There was certainly plenty of evidence of the round Earth before that, but Starlog '05 was the equivalent of a satellite picture of a spherical Earth.
But just as flat-Earthers live and breathe and expel their mental muck upon the internet even to this very day, so too will there probably always be militant EU Completists of the SDN variety.
The Chee quotes are like a movie from a shuttle in low Earth orbit circling the globe . . . yet another confirmation of what we already knew.
I like them on that basis, but more importantly I find them liberating. There are no modern objective statements by high-ranking folks left for them to hang on to, and even if someone who hasn't gotten the memo says something (or, more likely, if someone says something they think they can twist), the facts are now so brutally obvious to anyone who troubles themselves to look that I don't feel like I have to do anything anymore to oppose the lies they tell. They are, in the end, just talking to themselves.
Sure, I still have a morbid curiosity as to what pitiful claims the flat-Earthers will make next, and I may yet give their silly attempts to maintain their worldview too press by tearing them apart yet again (once, that is, they concoct a defense against Chee). This I'll do even knowing it's a mistake.
But whatever my faults, you're right that this is anticlimactic. The climax of the war came in 2005 when they were decisively routed by Starlog. This event isn't the climax . . . just another profound rout of the foes of Star Wars, its makers, and its canons.
But of course, there will be no honorable Appomattox here, despite my challenge of the last post. The SDN insurgency, if you'll forgive the phrasing, is bound to continue.
But, like flat-Earthers, they are now so marginalized that it cannot be of consequence.