2014-08-31

Intergalactic Inflationary, Inflationary Intergalactic

(Alternate non-Beastie Boys Title:  Giving One's Audience the Finger)

You know more than a little about Star Wars.  You wouldn't have ended up here otherwise.   You've come to know it as a tale of good, evil, and destiny in a "galaxy far, far away", told against the backdrop of a rebellion against the Galactic Empire, and against the backdrop of a galactic war of secession which was itself largely a ruse concocted by the forces of evil to destroy the Jedi.   You've heard folks over and over again talk about "the galaxy" . . . Han boasting he'd been from one side of it to the other, the Jedi being guardians of peace and justice throughout it, the Empire being spread throughout it in a vain effort to engage the Rebellion, et cetera.   Maybe you've even caught wind of the multiple references to the fact that the Republic and Empire constitute but portions of the galaxy.

What if I now told you that you were wrong all along, and that in fact Star Wars spans multiple galaxies?

You'd demand some serious evidence, wouldn't you?

Well, Brian Young of SciFights.Net has made the claim that you and I were all wrong all along . . . that instead the Galactic Republic and Empire managed to control its entire local group of galaxies . . . but has neglected to provide serious evidence.  It constitutes one of the topics of his recent "Hyperspace Speed" videos here.

First, as a baseline, let's consider the instances of "galaxy" and "galactic" just in a couple of the film scripts:

I.  The Phantom Menace

1.  "TITLE CARD : A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."

2.  "Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic. The taxation of trade routes to outlaying star systems is in dispute."

3.  "While the congress of the Republic endlessly debates this alarming chain of events, the Supreme Chancellor has secretly dispatched two Jedi Knights, the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy, to settle the conflict....."

4.  "PADME : I can't believe there is still slavery in the galaxy. The Republic's anti-slavery laws...
SHMI : The Republic doesn't exist out here...we must survive on our own."

5.  "JIRA : I'll miss you, Annie.. there isn't a kinder boy in the galaxy. You be careful..."

6.  "The two galactic warriors, Sith and Jedi, are bashing each other with incredible blows. They move in a continual cloud of dust, smashing everything around them."

7.  "The spacecraft flies over the endless cityscape of Coruscant, the capital of the galaxy."

8.  "The sleek Naboo spacecraft lands on the platform high above the street level of the galactic capital."

There are also two references to the "Galactic Senate", bringing us to 10 examples.

II.  Attack of the Clones

1.  There is unrest in the Galactic Senate.  Several hundred solar systems under the leadership of the rebel leader . . .

2.  This separatist movement has made it difficult for the limited number of Jedi Knights to maintain peace and order in the galaxy.

3.  A small GROUP OF DIGNITARIES waits to welcome the Senator. One of the members of the group os a well dressed JAR JAR BINKS, a member of the Galactic Representative Commission, and DORME, Senator Amidala's handmaiden.

4.  Master Jedi, our records are very thorough. they cover eighty percent of the galaxy. If I can't tell you where it came from, nobody can.

5.  I'm glad you chose to serve. I feel things are going to happen in our generation that will change the galaxy in profound ways.

6.  They have to come halfway across the galaxy. Look, Geonosis is less than a parsec away.

7.  Don't you give me orders, Annie!  I'm a Senator of the Galactic Republic.

Put simply, had it been the desire for Lucas and company to actually portray a civilization which spanned multiple galaxies, they could have been much more clear about it.  Instead, it's pretty much totally opaque. Usages in the other films and scripts, The Clone Wars, and the assorted film novelizations all play out about the same way.

That said, there are three instances of the term "intergalactic" in all six scripts (four if you count a reference to the "Intergalactic Bank Clan").  From AotC we have:
"EXT. CORUSCANT, SPACEPORT FREIGHTER DOCKS, TRANSPORT BUS - DAY
A small bus speeds toward the massive freighter docks of Coruscant's Industrial area. The spaceport is bustling with activity. Transports of various sizes moves supplies and passengers as giant floating cranes lift cargo out of starships. The bus stops before a huge intergalactic freighter starship. It parks in the shadows of an overhang."
From RotS:
186 INT. CORUSCANT-PADME'S APARTMENT-AFTERNOON
A DC0052 Intergalactic Speeder pulls up to the veranda landing of Padme's apartment.
And finally, from RotJ, with the operative phrase more or less copied in the novelization thereof:
 "Threepio leans forward and the slobbering villain mumbles something to him. As Threepio steps up to a comlink, Jabba raises his arm and the motley array of intergalactic pirates fall silent."
Is that enough for us to declare that the Star Wars civilization spans galaxies?  I don't think so.  An "intergalactic freighter" and "intergalactic pirates" may seem somewhat tantalizing, but given that they run rather contrary to the great mass of other evidence they must be understood, not as "intergalactic" in the sense of "international", but simply as referring to being "among the galaxy", a common and defined usage of the term "intergalactic" which Brian ignores.

I kind of hate to bring up semantics, but when the other side engages in the semantics gamesmanship of forgetting a perfectly valid definition of a term, meaning it's a part of why they're wrong, what are ya gonna do?

More to the point, here, "intergalactic" can be defined in the same way as "international", where "inter-" refers to "between two or more of (the thing in the last part of the word)".   However, "inter-" need not mean "between".   It can also mean other things, which is why "intergalactic" is also defined as "of, relating to, or occurring in outer space" rather than just "situated in or relating to the spaces between galaxies".

"Inter-" is defined as "between, among, or within" here (bolding mine), or here as "a prefix occurring in loanwords from Latin, where it meant “between,” “among,” “in the midst of,” “mutually,” “reciprocally,” “together,” “during” ( intercept; interest); on this model, used in the formation of compound words ( intercom; interdepartmental)."   "Intergalactic" as merely meaning "outer space" would most likely simply refer to "within or among the or in the midst of the galaxy".
(Incidentally, the word "Enterprise" has its roots in "inter-" and "prendere" (to take), making an enterprise probably originally refer to something taken together, a group activity. 
Also incidentally . . . nowadays, as networking causes us to need to distinguish certain things more strictly, "inter-" as referring to the outside (specifically in the sense of the hopping of a boundary) is becoming the more commonplace usage compared to the somewhat contrary meaning of "within", a fact that often requires explanation to newbies when confronted with the term "intranet".  However, that's something of a modern development, intramural sports notwithstanding.  I, for one, find this quite satisfactory and proper, since the "within" meaning, however common, is indeed potentially confusing.)
Of course, this argument would be familiar to Brian and quite acceptable were it not for the fact that he likes things in Star Wars when they "make it a better comparison to Trek", in his own words.  After all, he's made no claims of multiple galaxy control or visitation for Star Trek, despite a greater number of separate examples of "intergalactic", to wit:

In the 23rd Century, "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" references "intergalactic treaty" regarding extraditions with the planet Cheron which the ship soon visits. And, in Star Trek III the Klingon Ambassador claims the creation of the Genesis Device renders the Federation a band of "intergalactic criminals".  In the 24th Century, "Booby Trap" features Geordi inquiring of the computer whether a Starfleet engineer ever debated at the "intergalactic caucases".  "The Forsaken" has someone referencing Odo's tracking of "intergalactic malefactors"..   "Behind the Lines" features Kira describing the Female Changeling as an "intergalactic warlord".  "Endgame" features a character referring to Janeway not getting the crew home at all costs, instead working on her "intergalactic good will mission".

Of course, you understand and I understand that these references are merely to the "among the galaxy"/ "outer space" meaning of the term, much like Kirk's "to avoid interspace war" in "Balance of Terror".

Further, if pushed, we would probably seek to take a look at who's doing the talking when examining the Federation's intergalactic credentials.   To be sure, having Kirk, the Klingon Ambassador, Geordi, and "The Forsaken" having a Federation ambassador (of sorts) using the term might seem to strengthen the case, were we to be daft enough to try to argue it.  That's a pretty decent pedigree.

Brian's claims have no such pedigree.   He's stuck with the name "InterGalactic Banking Clan" which I already addressed in the Addenda section of this post about the true span of the Empire and Republic. There are also two references in The Clone Wars, one seemingly involving a droid cut off (i.e. in half) before completing the aforementioned name, and a young, not especially bright guy on a backwater planet who refers to the Clone Wars as the "intergalactic war".  There's not even a politician or military officer in that mix at all.  Oh, and he was also excited by the name of the DC0052 Intergalactic Speeder we referenced earlier, which is strange since I don't think we've ever seen a speeder leave the atmosphere of a planet.

Young's lynchpin, he believes, is Obi-Wan pointing on a screen in Attack of the Clones to a point that Brian interprets to be outside the galaxy.   This is, to my way of thinking, a truly hideous maneuver on his part.  I say that not because this comes from the movie and script that also gives us the fact that 20% of the galaxy seems to be unknown to the Republic (see the last link) . . . that's just an extra.   No, I say that because that very same pointing scene then features a zoom-in to well within the perimeter of the galaxy.  This was covered a decade ago or more on ST-v-SW.Net.  And yet, this is quite absent from Young's video . . . presumably he felt the audience didn't need to be troubled with it.

So even if Brian ignores the zoom-in, or if he is simply cherry-picking which part of a self-contradictory scene that he prefers (a not-uncommon maneuver on his part, despite the proverbial lady protesting too much), then he's still left to explain the 80%-of-the-galaxy figure that is still contrary to his claim.

And, if that's not all, Brian at least sort of acknowledges that The Clone Wars episode "Rookies" clearly places the Richi system (and with it, logically, Kamino nearby) within the Outer Rim.
""In The Clone Wars episode "Rookies", at 1:49, uh, one of the clones says "the most boring post in the Outer Rim" and uh then a sergeant or whatever says "if they get past this station they could surprise attack Kamino."  Um, and, uh, the outpost is established to be in the "Richi system".   Now, it was established in Attack of the Clones that Kamino is actually a halo system around the Richi Maze which is a satellite galaxy.  But, uh, they're talking here about the Outer Rim, so in any event, it's at least in the Outer Rim, probably extragalactic.  But, uh, in this instance, let's treat it as Outer Rim, uh, because that's what they said."  
In other words, Brian has three pieces of evidence . . . two from Attack of the Clones about which he makes the grand claim, and the entire plot of "Rookies" . . . which quite obviously run counter to his argument that Obi-Wan's finger is extragalactic.  But instead of acknowledging that something might have been amiss there, he simply ignores it and soldiers on, only considering Richi to be within the galaxy "in this instance" and no doubt patting himself on the back for being so kind to his so-called "fanatic" opponents or something.   In every other statement he pretends that the Republic and Empire are demonstrated to be multi-galactic entities.

Put frankly, such extremist inflationism is very off-putting to me, and would be even without Brian's strange attacks in my direction.  Brian knows very well how to talk like a reasonable person when discussing, in general, how to deal with evidence and fact, but operationally he's actually worse than some of the worst inflationists from a decade ago.   As far as I'm concerned, his treatment of the topic is so laughable . . . as well as his treatment of the speed examples from the rest of the video in which he declares offscreen time invalid for analysis purposes (!?what?!) . . . that he should have his geek/nerd credentials, if any, suspended.

I've often joked about making a parody site entitled GalaxyClassStarship.Net in which I try to inflate Star Trek.   Were I to create such a thing, it would, I am realizing, look an awful lot like Brian's efforts to inflate Star Wars . . . specifically, the Star Trek V trip to the center of the galaxy would not be an ignored outlier like it is at ST-v-SW.Net, but the standard . . . and of course, I would ignore offscreen time.   Similarly, the Federation would be intergalactic (in the "between" sense) despite logic and reason to the contrary.

Oh, and of course, just as with Obi-Wan's finger, I'd hammer the point that Professor Galen's finger is the end-all be-all of fact in regards to warp velocities.



As DITL notes, the course his finger plots accounts for about three quarters of the radius of the galaxy.  Assuming a 100,000 light-year Milky Way, that puts warp drive cruising speed somewhere in the range of 37,500 light-years in "a matter of weeks".   Assuming three weeks (I'd assume two in order to be a proper Trek inflationist but I just can't bring myself to do so), that's about 1786 light-years per day, or 652,000c.  But of course, as seen in the episode, it was done by the Enterprise-D in a hurry in "a few days", meaning (assuming five days just to be nice to the "fanatic" anti-inflationists) that we're looking at 7500 light-years per day, or over 2.7 million times lightspeed.   Were I without shame I could easily drive that up further, since (a) it'd need to be a round trip and (b) Picard could've been accounting for investigation time, meaning travel time was even smaller.   Even with what we stopped at, though, that's enough to get to another galaxy in a year . . . which, compared to Star Trek V, must obviously have meant they were in some heavy traffic or something.

Of course, I don't actually believe those figures, and neither should you.  I'd love to be able to credit Brian Young with not being the sort to go to such inflationist lengths in the direction of Star Wars, but I can't . . .much as he doesn't argue the Federation has sway in multiple galaxies, I don't recall Brian Young ever even bringing up Galen's finger.  Only Obi-Wan's matters to him . . . which, alas, shouldn't surprise a soul.

14 comments:

  1. Of course, your arrogant, long-winded self focuses unduly on Obi-Wan's finger when we're repeatedly told that Kamino is BEYOND THE OUTER RIM of the galaxy, 12 parsecs from the Rishi Maze.

    You really are pathetic, dude. First, you basically remain quiet for years ... as innocuous and as far removed as a pair of ragged claws scuttling at the bottom of silent seas; then, at the first sign of new "Warsie" activity, you start your chickenshit sniping campaign again, backed solely by a handful of rejects who hide in their SFJ bunker.

    Attack rather than invent. Great stuff, that :|

    Of course, you weren't full of -- how did you mischaracterize Brian's decades-old online conduct? Ah, YES: "furious bluster" -- until Disney announced its so-called new "canon" policy. That was really when you went to town again, rehashing all the old arguments you pulled on, and repeatedly got your ass whipped, against the likes of that prick Wong: small SW galaxy, a Death Star that requires some "trick" to blow up a planet (which, of course, you could only back up with a laughable question-begging fallacy), pathetic Stormtrooper armor, ridiculously low FTL speeds, etc., etc.

    Why don't you tell folks the whole truth, Prufrock?

    Why don't you tell everyone that you're so hung up on this ridiculous SW/ST thing that, you not only envision that "oooh, secret mailing list!" thing as some grand conspiracy****, you also completely blew Brian off in the wake of Katrina as some agent of evil! LMAO.

    You know, when he wrote you to see that you were OK. Back when neither of you had any previous contact, but he knew you lived near or in New Orleans.

    Please, tell everyone how you responded to that. Tell them how you, like some lunatic, blathered a bunch of bullshit about his concern being a feigned effort, some kind of conspiracy between him and his pals, at getting your goat.

    Seriously, chief, get over being such a self-important egotist (or is that self-deluded madman? I do know how you adore referencing Trek dialogue, and I reckon Weyoun and I are both flummoxed at what you really are :D). Admit to your handful of followers just how obsessed and emotionally invested you are in this all but DEAD topic.

    ****I previously told you that list had precious little to do with anything versus related. Several members objected to the very topic. Curtis didn't give a shit about it (by the by, hard-head, "Trekkists" was a term of respect from him -- you know, that "idiot" who has an astrophysics doctorate and is a published SW author that oh-so-"sucks" at this "hobby" :| Curtis felt Trekkies and Trekkers were derogatory; hence, Trekkists.).

    And no, no one "helped" him write the ICS books. He credited some of those folks thusly based on the work they'd already done, like with the Turbolaser Commentaries in Brian's case.

    But you go on believing whatever you want to. Keep telling yourself the Star Wars galaxy is small so you can minimize it *just* so for Picard and company to beat up on the Empire. That's been your agenda all along, and the only people you fool are the people who you overwhelm with miles of text.

    Blowhard jerk-off.

    P.S. -- I have, of course, written in your little pond before. I can't remember the lame appellation you tried to hang on me, but you were way off. ("Who I am is not important! That I have them, is!")

    If you must, remember me as Darth Lodz, a guy who kicked your ass years ago on SW.com when you were pissing in Gary Sarli's ear about the second Death Star's size. Maybe you fancy Gary a moron now, too, but IIRC, he wrote off on my conclusion that, in spite of all your sputtering and bullshitting, it was definitely bigger than you purported.

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  2. To the above commenter, speaking as someone who has been quitely intrigued by the topic of ST vs SW for years, I have to say you're really not doing yourself any favours by acting like this. Throwing out a scattergun of wild insults, accusations and non-sequiters, standing in contrast to a reasoned, evidence-based post by RSA, isn't going to make anyone more inclined to think that your side has the right of it...

    From my perspective, people behave badly when they're doing the wrong thing, and from what I've seen, any debate of Star Trek vs Star Wars invariably ends with those on the SW side growing progressively angrier and angrier... and correspondingly badly behaved, behaviour up to and including attempting to use their superior numbers to bully those on the ST side out of the debate.

    As to the debate itself, I remain unconvinced that the Empire can win without the EU short of using death stars to blow up some planets and try to force immediate Federaton capitulation that way, but that's just me...

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  3. You're Darth who? And you did what? My main memorable encounters on StarWars.com were with a guy about canon stuff. UlicG99 or something like that, I think.

    I never even communicated with Gary Sarli so far as I know. (Scans mail) . . . oh, nevermind, then. Huh, cool! Seems we did have an exchange once . . . five or six e-mails back and forth over the course of a week. Thanks for the reminder. I'd completely forgotten ever talking to him.

    In any case, kiddo, I don't even know who you are, nor am I impressed, nor is it relevant if you guys harassed Sarli until he recanted (or you could *claim* he recanted while burning at the stake . . . whatever). But I can make guesses on who you really are.

    After all, there are three possibilities. Either (1) Brian's been advertising his mail exchanges to tell his buddies, all three or so of them, what a great person he is and what a meanie I supposedly am for not meeting someone of his so-called "star status" who projects his own social anxieties onto others, or (2) he has not, in which case your knowledge is *quite* unique, or (3) maybe his iCloud was hacked, and the Celebgate Fappening guy must be getting extremely desperate.

    Fortunately, as it happens, I did have some notes I'd taken in HTML form and was considering for use in part of a retort to him. At the time I was going to do it all up in a fun fashion like the old "Battle of Britain" stuff, but this time in a Civil War motif with Brian, having just fired on Fort Sumter, being the one complaining about the War of Northern Aggression. (You can see a taste of that in my tweets from around the time he started his attack against me and SFJ.) I fairly quickly decided to drop that bit of personal amusement, but this page from February still has the accoutrements: http://st-v-sw.net/Nonsense/CSA-BYmails.html

    Those are the e-mails I have, some of which were part of a general recovery from a dead hard drive way back when. I don't think they show the nonsense you are making up.

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  4. In any case, you might like to pretend you know me, but you don't, and you won't. Brian can feel comfortable talking about personal things because his worst enemies are guys who use prepositions, which freaks him out (his big proof of SFJ lying was "answer" vs. "answer to" in the SFJ wiki!). Meanwhile, he's friends with folks like you, people willing to take what little info is available and make up lies about it, and worse. Case in point, you can't even get your chronology right . . . which figures, since my most dedicated foes love their anti-chronological thinking. After all, chronologic accuracy (e.g. Pearl Harbor before Hiroshima, to use my old WW2 analogy) would interfere with their personal attacks (where they try to paint Pearl as as justified response to Hiroshima).

    I was back in the saddle since January 2013, as the blog history clearly shows. Brian wasn't on my radar until 2014 . . . January featured the Mythbusters AT-ST smash which got me going (along with the Not Our Spock page that I have yet to complete which was the topic of the January 2014 interview). Another event from that month was Brian Young's strange attacks. All of those made it readily apparent that I had catching up to do inasmuch as doing something about my ancient site. Other than a brief look when his site was first advertised on SFJ in . . . 2010, was it? . . . Brian had not been on my radar until the attack, and I was already a year into blogging again at that point.

    (Incidentally, my goal initially was to respond quickly, but I used a bad technique of audio recordings so it's stalled . . . I still have transcriptions from at least March to do, if not February. Yet, curiously, my work on NoLettersHome proceeds apace. Hang on, I thought I was supposed to be the obsessed guy who didn't create new stuff? In any case, ST-v-SW.Net will benefit in educational value as much from elucidating how *not* to do things (re: Scifights) then as if I were to simply make new pages and not comment.)

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  5. But the point is, "Prufrock", that all your created fantasies about me and the debate at large are nothing more than that. "Silliest Trekkist fallacies" is hardly a term of endearment . . . 12 parsecs outside something in the Outer Rim is scarcely beyond the Outer Rim, and certainly not tens of thousands of light-years therefrom as claimed . . . the Superlaser Effect requires no question-begging (you have it confused with the Saxtonian position) . . . trooper armor is pathetic plastoid, though animation means there are now fewer visible necks and chins and the new GI-Joe-ified Rebels show previews don't seem keen on having observed humanoids obviously dying (exploding TIEs are okay, though).

    There's no reasonable way to have an inflationist viewpoint while accepting TCW as canon, and Rebels seems like it will continue this trend. There wasn't a reasonable way to have that viewpoint with the films, either, mind you, but at least it was more excusable then. Only a cultivated ignorance of the Star Wars canon can produce the sort of monstrously inaccurate views you clearly have. I realize that, for years, there were people more than willing to shovel that poo, but just because a new face has emerged holding a fresh shovel doesn't mean it smells any better.

    Put simply, people like you don't actually like Star Wars very much. If you did, you wouldn't have to work so hard to reimagine it while watching it, trying to force it to conform to your baseless viewpoint . . . you would accept it for what it is and what it shows of itself, enjoy it on its own merits, and not be all creepy freaksauce at people on the other end of the internet because they dare to insult your strange, sad, lonely religion.

    And you know, you'd think folks like you would've realized that such behavior doesn't work too well. I mean, did Saxton really gain favor when his allied fanfap attack dogs went all Talifan on people, trying to intimidate Star Wars authors and VIPs? Nope . . . if anything, there was a backlash. Indeed, it was just that failure that has led to this new "kinder, gentler inflationism" of Brian.

    Kinder and gentler, perhaps, but it still doesn't make any more sense than before.

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  6. Ah . . . did a little checking and it turns out the identity question was option #1, where Brian was telling a buddy, in this case Sean Robertson (who would've been one of the three, naturally, as he was part of the Babtech stuff and) an SDN regular.

    ASVS forum link where Sean claims the name Lodz and discusses Sarli

    Interestingly, you neglect to mention Sarli's surrender to your position in that 2012 ASVS.org post, and instead try to argue that Chee is a higher authority than him. So, like so many "he recanted at the end" stories of history, your claim of such is now in doubt. But I digress . . .

    Sean, with apologies, I don't recall you and I conversing in opposition ... well, ever, but also specifically not about the old mailing list. Indeed, just looking at my records, what I see is that around the time of the Wong debate in 2004 you were telling me about my "very cogent arguments" or somesuch. Not sure what changed, there . . . I guess socializing with inflationist hardliners resulted in sharing of kool-aid.

    I'm tempted here to do my old olive branch maneuvers, pointing out my condolences about how your inflationist and related EU-canonical worldview has indeed been shattered repeatedly through the years, and even agreeing with the second anonymous poster and noting that we should a bit more pity, but I don't think that tack would prove useful. You are, to paraphrase your friend Brian, full of hate and obsession and anger and whatever.

    Of course, in reference to StarfleetJedi.Net and the guy who accused Vince of smoking pot Brian suggested such passion means that they shouldn't be listened to, but in reference to Wong Brian says that sort of thing to be ignored in favor of focusing on the arguments. So, since the double-standard there has an obvious direction, I would guess Brian would argue that I should ignore your passion and focus on your arguments, except you really didn't make many if any. It was more of a general poo-slinging against the backdrop of the Vs. Debate.

    But more to the point, an olive branch seems useless since, in addition to your general rage and, to paraphrase Wayne Poe, "butthurtness" over losing Star Wars to the Lucas vision for now, there's the fact that I will be continuing to point out the flaws in Brian's work. Presumably, then, your friendship with him will cause you additional angst in my direction.

    So, I thank you for your interest and feedback and hope that you can someday enjoy Star Wars for what it is, not what you so desperately want it to be.

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  7. Very good detective work, Robert :) I figured it'd only be a matter of time before you reckoned it was me.

    I had a long response typed out, but I reckon I'd better shift gears slightly.

    To start, even before you identified me, I was going to apologize for two reasons: one, for being so nasty, and two, for having a hidden motive for seeming so truly hateful.

    Simply put, I thought I might draw your attention to certain things better *if* I really honked you off first.

    You know, a'la Curzon and Kang.
    For some reason, it seemed like a good idea at the time :-|

    But that entailed saying a number things I didn't actually mean, and I feel especially bad about those insults. I'm sorry. The end doesn't justify the means. It was an ill-conceived approach, and I really hate that it misled you into thinking I hate you, think you're nuts, don't want to get along, etc., etc. That's not true, but I won't blame you if you:

    A. don't think that it actually was a tactic
    or
    B. are so insulted by the underhandedness that the intent's irrelevant.

    In retrospect, I wish I'd just properly introduced myself. In truth, I was a little afraid you'd be leery -- you know, a Young puppet and all. I remember PMing you at SD.net and definitely meant what I said.

    Back to what I was saying ...

    My attempt, however heavy-handed, was to try and show that, IMO at least, everybody involved in this debate are more or less guilty of the very same behavior. You say inflationist, he says minimalist. He dismisses what his grate-blasting firepower would entail for the good guys, you just suggested something similar re: Stormtrooper armor from that "Rebels" bomb scene. You think he's a fanatic, with a screw loose and thorough hatred for Star Wars; he thinks you're willing to say anything and can't help but to conflate him with Wayne and Wong. You appeal to the worst of his possible motives, so I appealed to yours.

    And so on and so forth.

    I hate that y'all will probably never see eye-to-eye, but I also see no reason why we can keep from people getting seriously hurt feelings, if not now, then someday.

    Best,
    Sean

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  8. Wow, I haven't heard a tune change that fast in awhile. "Kinder, gentler" indeed. My compliments to Anon2, and Brian if he got on to you a little, prompting the about-face.

    As for the apology, it is quite fully accepted, and returned for any over-the-top harshness I may have used in response. That said, you're right to hypothesize that I don't believe for a moment your half-baked cockamamie bullshit story of trying to annoy me in order to direct my attention, given that the general tone was the same as in the ASVS post. Nevertheless, I shall accept it, as well, in the interests of diplomacy.

    I also concur that we can all be jackasses. I make no bones about having that capacity or that I've demonstrated it on more than one occasion, and sometimes improperly. For those who never change positions whatever the evidence this isn't a problem, but in my experience yummy delicious crow is entirely too flavorful when you have to eat it with your own jackass sauce.

    Certainly the ASVS (Real ASVS, I mean) regulars were acculturated toward jackassery, and furthermore the internet and just modern US society in general seems rather less keen on maintaining good manners than might've been the norm even 15 years ago. On the one hand I would agree there's little excuse for it, but on the other hand I also recognize that there are some folks out there who seem bent on doing nothing more than trolling, in which case a message with a tone like your first comment is not entirely uncalled for. (I had to exercise great restraint just recently with someone who once had an anti-fan site and who was engaged in "resistance typing", which is a somewhat polite way to refer to a nuanced form of "trolling".)

    But I digress . . .

    I do note that I neglected to address your suggestion wherein, by putting quotes around the word "idiot", you suggest that I think that of Curtis Saxton. I may be wrong, but to my knowledge I haven't called him an idiot, and in any case I don't think that would be a fair assessment, globally speaking. After all, the notions of tachyonic hypermatter and neutrino-based heat dissipation are very nifty sci-fi ideas. I just don't think they are necessary or proper for Star Wars, and indeed I think most of his work represents less of an analysis of Star Wars and more an insertion of preferences, nifty sci-fi ideas, et cetera.

    My saying he sucks at this hobby is tl;dr shorthand for that, as I think I made clear in the original spot you found the hobby-sucking quote.

    As for the idea that no one helped Curtis write the ICS books . . . I think that's true inasmuch as the prose text (beyond the normal editing process of course), but the leaked e-mails available on my site do feature Brian (unless I'm mistaken on identity) talking about what "we calculated for the ICS", or words to that effect. That has suggested to me at least conceptual background and calculatory work provided during the writing of the book, which Brian seems to confirm at different points in his however-many-hours of ICS apologetics. (I have notes on that but at least some are still in audio form and hence difficult to copy and paste at the moment.)

    Other than that . . . what *was* the Death Star question-begging thing about, anyway? I don't recall at the moment anyone saying the Superlaser Effect begs the question before. If anything, I was the one prosecuting that argument against the Saxtonian line at ASVS recently.

    Thanks, and do come again. The adversarial method, within reason, has its perks inasmuch as providing motivation, but sometimes simple discussion is far more productive.

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  9. Robert, what this post (or rather, the comments) illustrates is something that we can all learn from. I am heartened to see you acknowledge that you can be a jackass (as can I, as hard as I try not to be sometimes).

    I reject your characterisation of my recent activity on Starfleet Jedi as 'trolling', and I still have grievances with your behaviour toward me in those exchanges, BUT, I will also agree that, in my haste, I have said some things I shouldn't have, and I wish to move beyond that sort of behaviour.

    I basically hope for a reasonable and open dialogue, rather than the hostility that has erupted of late. Yes, nearly a decade ago, I had some pages on my old site about you. Yes, those pages were less than complimentary. There is no excuse for indulging in such behaviour, but back then, the 'culture' of the vs debate was a harsh one. I'm sure you will agree that you were not a paradigm of virtue back then either.

    So, can we both move on from angry stances and accusatory posts? I certainly want to, and I offer an apology, toward that end.

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  10. Don't confuse me with Brian, Robert. He's always been the kinder, gentler one, not me. I certainly try to be good to my parents and my fiance, but I honestly figure myself a highly flawed creature and, when push comes to shove, oftentimes a jerk.

    Mind you, I certainly *try* to strive against that on a day-to-day basis, but I know I've been a royal pain to a couple people I've met since day one. Or three, maybe more. I lost count!

    I do appreciate you accepting my apology. After what I said, that's big of you. K'adlo.

    I also don't blame you a bit for not accepting my "cockamamie bullshit story" excuse.

    Somehow, I didn't think you would.

    And the more I think about it, the more I realize you're right to doubt me apart from my word. You might think differently if I'd posted my intended reply this morning, but once you'd unveiled me, I couldn't go through with that tome any longer.

    As I said, I know I went way over the line. Perhaps more could be said in private that would make things a bit more clear; regardless, my effort at peace through conflict was genuine albeit, in retrospect, terribly misguided.

    All else I can say is this:

    You've my word I was attempting to, via the harshness, initiate a kind of Gilgamesh/Enkidu means of understanding. Detente through conflict, per the understanding that very intense emotions like love and hate are just a hair removed.

    I'd honestly hoped that an ugly fight, followed by peace, would convince you of my passion about soothing everybody's wounds ... but I, in my stupidity, paid little attention to the fact that the ugliness could very easily distract from the ultimate goal. It's a risky approach, and I should have accounted for its likelihood to backfire.

    At the risk of being redundant ...

    Ordinarily, when someone questions my honesty, I take that very personally. But in this case, I see how I've screwed up; and if you continue to doubt the veracity of my claims, I can certainly understand your skepticism.

    In time, I do hope you will come to accept my explanation as a matter of honor, but then, you don't owe me that. I think private correspondence would help elucidate certain things, but again, that's entirely up to you.

    Once again, I'm sorry, Robert. I stand by my claims, but it was a poor way to go about it.

    Yours,
    Sean

    P.S. -- The rest of the topics beg far more time than I can afford you now so, per the old SD.net rules, you could consider me conceding the Death Star question and the bit about Curtis receiving help for the ICS books.

    In all honesty, I don't recall him ever saying anything about needing "help," nor do I recall Brian saying what you quoted. I also interpret his ICS videos rather differently than you do. He never looked at them as apologetics; rather, he thought folks who objected to the figures therein just didn't understand how those figures were derived. To that end, the videos were, contrary to some peoples' opinion, not just numbers Curtis pulled from thin air.

    And that was very much before Disney/Lucas decided to wipe the canon/official slate clean, I might add.

    My apologies again. You deserved my benefit of doubt and I erred on the side of bad.

    Yours,
    Sean

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  11. Sooooooo you very accurately portrayed one of many loyal SDN opponents circa 2006 just so we could fight and then have great make-up sex? That's what I am getting out of this. But baby, you know you don't have to play games to get me in the sack. I am easy, and it's always great.

    And now Sothis wants to play, too. Alright, fellas, not to echo Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction here, but who's gonna be the fourth man in our blowsquare love-in? It's gotta be an even number or else folks have to twist uncomfortably.

    All kidding aside, my compliments to all on the present tone. I wasn't going to mention you by name, Sothis/Ben, but since you rolled on in here then I thank you for your apology. My first disdainful response post in the SFJ thread in question could be viewed as an unnecessarily disdainful reaction to very minor set of stimuli.

    And Sean, fear not, we're cool. Further, your concession on the other topics is emphatically not accepted. That sort of who-wins stuff is mere theater. Let's say your argument is totally devastating . . . I would not be right or winning or whatever merely because it has gone unstated.

    Folks are still pulling details from the old canon, after all, and if something major was missed by any or all of us then conclusions can and should change. And with new canon coming out there's gonna be a ton more of that (even if there seems to be no technical proofreader, what with all the "subspace" references in A New Dawn ... I am nervous it is about to become a big hot mess of contradiction).

    The whole "it is a debate" concept can spoil fact-finding, after all, especially for those who are less encumbered with scruples. It is a temptation in any adversarial system to, if not actually hide things from the opposition, then to at least go make them do the work themselves. That's the start of a bad spiral.

    Anyway, the point was: catch me whenever it is convenient, and wherever . . . here, e-mail, et cetera. No rush.

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  12. Anon 2 here again...

    I'll gladly be the forth man! ^^

    My compliments also on Sean's retractions and attempt to make amends. It's nice to see Trekkies and Warsies being nice to each other for once. I must admit that I too find the idea of 'peace by making the biggest ass of myself possible' a little far-fetched on the surface, but honestly, people have far, FAR zanier 'it seemed like a good idea at the time' moments every single day, so I can at least concede that it's possible you're being genuine about that, Sean, even if I, like RSA, remain skeptical.

    Speaking of skeptical, you know the most famous Trek vs Wars video on YouTube, the one with 6.7 million views? Well, it's comment section is currently under siege by a fellow calling himself EmpiricalPragmatist. Out of curiosity, do any of you know anything about him? He constantly makes ICS-inspired claims like Slave 1 being able to defeat Borg cubes and whilst that wouldn't be so strange on its own (since there are plenty of fans who have accepted the ICS without subjecting its numbers or even its mere canonicity to any critical examination), his belligerent, smug style of discussion (which he has refined to a point that even his avatar, with its Photoshop-filtered hipsterish-looking fellow striking a Thinkerish sort of pose, reinforces the affect) is so startlingly, uncannily reminiscent of the stylings of Michael Wong and Michael Ossus ca. 10 years ago that I really do have to wonder if he might really be one of the Michaels or someone who was close to them...

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  13. Triarii, I'd say you were being an entirely too eager beaver in regards to being the fourth man, but that would be incongruous with the rest of the joke.

    As for the Youtube guy, invite him over . . . we'll need a cameraman. ;-)

    Actually, I decided to take a chance this morning and see if I saw that avatar picture in a glance at the SDN member pics thread, striking a possibility on the second page I looked at (page 34 of the current member pic thread, very near the bottom).

    Comparing against the larger avatar pic on the Google+ profile, the hairline, brow, ears, and cheeks are strongly suggestive of SDN user "His Divine Shadow", though I haven't done any hardcore analysis and don't really plan to. It would fit the reported smug tone, though, as I recall, and it would definitely make sense if an SDN regular were so engaged. I mean, they're loud and proud, but there really aren't that many active inflationists out there.

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  14. Not to mention that the YouTube avatar has a beard and His Divine Shadow mentions having recently lost a beard in that post. Hmm, a strong possibility, RSA. Not truly conclusive, obviously, but, consider my curiosity satisfied. :3

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