2014-07-23

ST-v-SW.Net - Past and Future

In searching for something for a forthcoming blog post, I came across a familiar URL in the search results.  Hitting the link, I found this post:

http://dsg2k.blogspot.com/2009/10/tesb-docking-bay-asteroid.html

"Holy crap," I thought to myself, "I don't even remember that.   That's awesome!"

That may be true, but it's also terrible, because I had completely forgotten that, even when I recently saw someone making the claim that it was an asteroid hitting the ISD directly.

This brings up something I've been wanting to do lately, which is to really just stop what I'm doing and go through every blog post, StarfleetJedi.Net post, and all the other little morsels I have collected in different places, and make sure that ST-v-SW.Net reflects the current state of my thinking.  I'd wanted to do that for old e-mail feedback and whatnot previously, but I think it more important (with apologies to my poorly-responded-to feedback folks) to get the site right first.

I say that because, let's face it . . . ST-v-SW.Net is currently a blog portal, for all intents and purposes.  As is probably apparent, my thinking has evolved over the course of blog posts (which were intended merely as informal quickie-repository notes for stuff that was meant to later become pages anyway).

As a result of very little page progress over the past several years, there are only a handful of pages I would consider to be both current and up to my standards.

The main Volumetrics page, for instance, is somewhat close to my standards (though the footnotes on ship classes are kinda messy), but not especially current . . . not only are most of the links long-dead (it's not even Google SketchUp anymore, but Trimble SketchUp), but of course the recent work on Star Wars vessel densities is not properly reflected there.

Even some of the site design itself comes from the time when the pro-Wars inflationists were at their most venomous, threatening, and otherwise unpleasant, which had led to my own Star Wars fandom waning for awhile as I mistakenly allowed their behavior to sour Star Wars for me.   Indeed, many of the older pages are basically expanded forum posts, and maintain the tone of having been written to a specific, very hostile audience.

I'd spoken before about trying to transition over to some other website-maintaining technique that works with my current workflow needs, but frankly I don't want to end up with a whole extra level of annoyance wherein I'm forced to fight the system constantly to get it to do what I want.   And then there's all the security holes.  And, of course, I'd hate to be that guy who suddenly screws with everything and makes over a decade of links to specific pages on my site just die.   Not to mention the aspect of perhaps someday wanting to bequeath this to some other poor interested sap benevolent humanitarian.

So, basically, things languished . . . it hardly made sense to rewrite a page unless I was doing it for whatever new system, and I couldn't find a satisfactory new system . . . still haven't.   (That said, I've been enjoying working on the NoLettersHome wiki, but that's not the direction to go for this site, and not just because of MediaWiki's Nazi enforcement of single spacing after sentences.)

So in the interim, I had the thought at one time of taking any page that was too out-of-date or crappy and just making new sections . . . one for premier pages, and another for the not-so-premier.

But, I ended up putting that on hold when Brian Young of SciFights.Net posted a very strange attack video against the forum regulars of StarfleetJedi.Net, wherein he basically tried to pretend that they were just as bad as his StarDestroyer.Net buddies were back in the day, and in which he generally just made up things. For example, he attacked my ancient "Brief Note" "placeholder" page for blaster firepower that shows the blaster shot against Leia's arm.  The second half of the page (seen here as it existed in 2003) later got expanded into the Trek ground weapons materials, but the similar Star Wars version (which would, of course, be far longer) has never gone any further.

In the video, he even tried to claim that I was currently pointing people to that dozen-year-old page in active efforts to counter his modern claims of higher firepower, which was another bald-faced lie of the many in that crooked video (in which, for example, he declares the authors of the StarfleetJedi wiki to be liars and claims proof in that the crazed lunatics dared to use a preposition, "to"! (gasp!)).   Out of sheer spite, I decided to leave the page untouched, so that anyone who looked at it could see the big notes all over it that indicated it was not a real page.

I also intended to fairly quickly respond to that video as well as other parts of his site, SciFights.Net, which had not graduated to my radar before but which, I've now noticed, had been sniping in my direction for some time.  But despite my desire to respond all at once, the fact is that video, by its nature, is a mess to deal with.   It allows for sleight-of-hand and aw-shucks huxterism that can seem quite persuasive, but it is not the professional's debate technique.  

The reasons are many and varied, but suffice it to say that (a) hours of rambling video (such as the 2.5 hours or so of ICS apologetics on his site) make it quite difficult to get a cohesive narrative that can be quoted for dismantling, and (b) unless one is sitting in front of a computer the video can't be easily dealt with at all . . . you either have to be sitting at the computer with the video doing transcription, or with a video program editing up one's own video response.   Either way, it's not exactly conducive to my modern workflow.

I took to recording audio notes about the videos, but that was a mistake as the fun part was thus complete, and only the drudgery of doing my own transcription remained.  I haven't gotten far, there.

But I digress . . .

The silliness notwithstanding, the underlying principle his attack made plain . . . that there were now-antique pages that were ripe for misrepresentation, and that this would be used even against the most ancient and the most "this-is-a-placeholder"-marked pages . . . was made even harder to ignore.

And of course, his misrepresentation efforts weren't even original, but were instead reminiscent of some other nonsense claimed about that page back in 2003 . . .
"Ossus and Wong then assume silly things about what the pictures represent (even in spite of the words I write in addition to the thousand words the pictures speak), and come up with ludicrous ideas like this one:
He then goes on to claim that the shot is representative of blaster firepower in SW by stating that he would rather fire bullets than blaster shots.
In fact, I made no such claim . . . I simply said that I'd rather use bullets.  Had the stormtrooper scored a direct hit on Leia's arm with a bullet instead of a blaster bolt, he'd have done much more damage, and possibly saved his two buddies that Leia easily killed a few moments later.   Hell, even a blaster's stun setting would have been more incapacitating."
One would think that complimenting the stopping power of a blaster on stun over the blaster shot that scorched Leia's arm would be sufficient, but I guess not.

Now, in fairness, much as I railed against the messiness of video, it is also true that my ideas are not properly condensed into neat packaged pages either . . . I never changed the Leia page to include the stun reference, for instance.  And indeed, ST-v-SW.Net will never be complete.  This is not the sort of topic you can just toss out a few videos on and claim to have completed.  Even if I stopped accepting any new canon right now, there's enough minutiae in existing material to keep me occupied for the rest of my life.   So no, not complete.

But, just from a quick look around the site and comparison to my modern thinking, ST-v-SW.Net can be made far better, and needs to be, if even for no other reason than to disarm the Brian Youngs of the world.

3 comments:

  1. This is only tangentially related to the above post by way of the whole Brian Young trying to make SFJ look like extremists thing, but what do you think of work of YouTuber Idazmi7? I remember a great many moons ago you speculated about how you could, if you really wanted to, create a counter-website to SD.net called GalaxyClassStarship.net wherein you could easily dig-up isolated examples from the Star Trek canon that would allow you to inflate Trek's numbers to much the same absurd levels that Michael Wong and his crew do. Well, Idazmi's body of work seems to be a real-life version of that exact concept, albeit not quite as extreme as you were proposing:

    https://www.youtube.com/user/Idazmi7/videos

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  2. I've watched a video or two and seen the SDN thread dedicated to it.

    Thing is, even if one decides it is GalaxyClassStarship.Net: Youtube Edition, the simple fact is that he's going against those who live by that proverbial sword. They can hardly complain when slain by it, or even just nicked . . . or just ticked.

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  3. Hehe, I see what you mean there. But what I really wanted to know was how what merit (if any) you feel Idazmi's work has in isolation, as opposed to within the context of being a counterpoint to SW inflationism.

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