Words and Pictures

I've been noticing something odd.  There's been some popular attention on the topic, split into two camps based on medium as much as preference.

There have been a number of significant websites that have covered the debate lately.   MakeUseOf and Gizmodo most recently, but there have also been sightings in recent years on CNN.   And that's not counting articles online that link to assorted Youtube videos, like this one from HuffPo.

Meanwhile, there have also been more of those Trek vs. Wars infographics floating around.  Here is one from 2013 that may well have text lifted direct from StarDestroyer.Net.  A more recent example, which at least uses an antique version of a page of mine for only the section on territory size but otherwise is a Star Wars tech inflationist mess, is here.  Vince just found another one the other day, which, though not a Vs. thing specifically, also certainly lifted happily from the Star Wars tech inflationist side of the aisle.  Then there is this fairly useless one that they didn't bother finishing, but which is all EU nonsense or just made up completely, I can't tell.

For some reason the pattern is:
  • Infographic = Star Wars tech inflationist claptrap lifted wholesale from Saxton, Wong, et cetera
  • Written Article = Somewhat more considered article with independent thought and research (often favoring my particular brand of claptrap, but still)
Right, sooooo ... what's up with that?

Is it visual-artsy people versus writers?   Right-brained smelly art hippies versus left-brained smelly fanboy logicians?   Emotion-evokers versus idea-communicators?

Inquiring minds want to know.

But actually, there is some semblance of an answer.  Note that most of the infographics are basically just advertisements.  One is for an online engineering degree site (which I find funny ... observing Wong's debating, wherein he would always happily tell you he was a mechanical engineer (and don't you forget it), had me believing those came free in every box of Cracker Jacks).  The other is for some coupon website.  And the useless one seems to just be a resume example.

In short, then, the ones being made for advertisement click-bait (or more accurately Facebook share-bait) are just poorly researched ... enough to get the job of making the graphic done but the time focus was spent on the art and the look.

By that logic, the written articles are where the mental action is.  Seems like I've said that before, recently ...


Anonymous said...

I didn't find it, rather it was sent to me. Apparently (almost oddly) they had a chemical engineer, a mechanical engineer and a physicist do (or verify) all of the math for them, according to the emails they sent me:

"It's insanely (maybe obsessively) detailed, and we got a real live physicist to help with the calculations. I also think it's just so cool to look at."

"And we had some buddies at Caltech, a mechanical and a chemical engineer, help us with all the conversions as well as the comparisons to real world power sources. Essentially, they had a part in every number that went on the chart, because we (the writers) may be good with words but we're not great at math."

Talk about overkill!

I wouldn't consider my YT channel / website to be artsy fartsy, lol. I'm hardly a great writer, so I just get to the point. This is, in part, why I have considered doing videos like Brian, haha.

- Vince

Guardian said...

They had their conversions done (e.g, AA batteries to 60GJ, 60GJ to MWH), but rather obviously not their source numbers from Saxton et al. Or (no offense), "garbage in, garbage out".

And the artsy-fartsy thing had nothing to do with anyone's site or channel. I was referring to the two distinct camps of recent popular interest in visual versus text forms. Neither of our sites, nor anyone else's dedicated to the topic, qualifies as artistic or popular.

People can make ill-researched claims on any topic and present them in myriad ways. I just find it interesting to see the pattern as it has played out lately.

Thanks for dropping in.

Charmed One said...

It always amazes me how no one seems to bother reading the Star Trek tech manuals cover to cover rather then cherry pick things and take them out of context.

Page: VII
"To any would-be Star Trek writers, we'd like to emphasize that this is NOT required reading. If your writing a Star Trek story, you will probably be doing yourself and the audience a disservice if you use more than a very tiny amount of this material. Remember, Star Trek is about people; the technology is merely part of their environment. As Gene points out in his introduction, the real mission of the starship Enterprise is to serve as a vehicle for drama.

An important word of cation: All Starfleet personnel are hereby advised that any previous technical documentation in your possession may be suspect because of an ongoing Starfleet program of disinformation intended to confound and confuse the intelligence assets of potential Threat forces. Such documents should therefore be verified with Federation archives and this Manual for authenticity."

Funny how despite page VII people quote the tech manuals for Star Trek as if the information can be believed to be accurate to the setting.

Then there is the stated but contradictory photon torpedo yields on page 141. Why everyone ignores the stated yield of 2.390057361 Gigatons and 4.78011472276 kilotons is beyond me.