DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

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TrashMan
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DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby TrashMan » 2015-04-09 08:52am

DISCLAIMER:
I an not a SW fan. I am not a Star Trek fan. I hate and love both for different reasons.
I think the EU is a sea of s*** with a few good gems.
I think TOS is only good as a comedy. VOY, DS9 and ENT suck. TNG is pretty much the only ST series that is OK.

I normally stay out of debates. But hell, I'm gonna break my own rule to share a fw observatiosn about such debates in general.


Internet versus debates are like train wrecks. Nothing (good or otherwise) never comes out of them except that they can be entertaining to watch. That said, when it comes to „who would win“ debates, there are multiple arguments that keep popping up, that frankly go on my nerves:


DERIVED NUMBERS
Derived numbers – or numbers someone calculated from a show sequence or an image – are useless. They really have little validity, as the basic assumptions they are based off are almost always false.
First, the idea that real physics can be applied to a work of fiction. In theory it should work – especially if the work claims or suggests that indeed it does follow some specific laws of physics. However, since most shows are terribly inconsistent and give conflicting info, the accuracy of any calculation is in question. Real world enforces physics constantly. In a fictional universe, each specific law has to be enforced by the creator/animator in every scene/panel. And it never is.

Second, the idea that in-universe established ideas can be used as a base to calculate something. Would again be useful if there was consistency. It's not uncommon for superheroes shows to specifically claim something, and then introduce a totally conflicting element. For example, a mutation-based hero defeats a bio-engineered vilan by using knowledge of how DNA/cells and human body work. Sounds good except if the same knowledge is applied to the hero in question, it makes his existence impossible.

Lastly, the idea that scenes/shots from a movie/comic are actually representative of the reality of the setting. After all, does anyone really believe that a director or whatever guy is in charge comes to the artist/animator and tells him „I want superman to fly in the next scene. Here's a book on physics, make sure he flies at *exactly* 5000kmh and pay attention at how his cape flatters and his descent angle“? Something like that practically *never* happens. The directive usually amounts to „make him fly fast“.
When asked at what speed a ship moves, one SF-author replied „at the speed of plot“. Many comic book authors made similar replies to questions on characters strength/speed and other attributes – as strong/fast as the current story requires.
If you tried to calc someones speed/strength, the power of a gun or some other attribute that way, using various scenes, you would be getting different values for each scene. Because there is no consistency, there is no grand plan or anyone who presides over it to make sure everything fits. It doesn't. Heck, a lot of time people writing scenes or those collectable encyclopedias (a lot of time hired help) have no concept of what they are writing. They write 20 Gigawatts because it sound impressive, without having an idea of how much that is.

In other words, if you are cherry-picking which laws of physics and what formulas to use on what screens, then you have no leg to stand on. And you my friend are doing just that. Because, as previously established, there is no true consistency nor an effort to enforce it.

Bottom point: I don't trust your numbers!
Armchair psysicists are not a reliable source, EVEN in the case where the initial variable are correct.
why? Let me quote something:

Among the ranks of Star Trek fandom, there seem to be a lot of people with little or no technical background, who think that they can take a "shortcut" to advanced scientific knowledge by skipping over the usual years of hard work in university, and simply reading some books on quantum mechanics. I've gotten dozens of E-mail messages such as the following:

"You shouldn't discount the opinions of people just because they have no background. I've done a lot of independent reading, including all of the Stephen Hawking books, the Feynman books, and many other books on advanced particle physics and quantum mechanics. I dare say I probably have better knowledge of these subjects than you do, so you should watch your mouth before you go putting down my knowledge."

This argument has four major weaknesses, as I see them:

1. Strawman attack: It's a strawman attack because I don't automatically ignore everything that comes from untrained people. If a layperson makes an argument which is not scientifically invalid, I'm perfectly willing to listen. But if a layperson makes claims about science which I know to be incorrect, I will tell him.

2. How hard did he really work? What sounds more difficult? Reading some science books in your spare time, or studying science or engineering for 5 days a week, every week, for years? What's more difficult? Reading a handful of books for personal enlightenment, or reading textbooks and papers because you have to take grueling three hour long exams and submit a series of fifty page laboratory reports? What's more difficult? Skipping over the boring parts and jumping right to conclusions or abstracts, or knowing that the boring parts are the parts on which you will be tested? I think it's rather arrogant of these people to believe that their intelligence is so immense that they can skim through a handful of books and instantly gain the equivalent of many years of education.

3. Trying to run before you learn to walk: Comprehension of advanced scientific concepts requires comprehension of the basics. People without a grasp of the basics (and no, high school does not give you a grasp of the basics) tend to misinterpret complex material. The result of this ignorance is that they can read "The Physics of Star Trek" and conclude that Treknology is realistic, or they can read "A Matter of Time" and conclude that conservation of energy has been rendered obsolete.

4. Proof: When someone gets a university degree, there is a public record to prove that he has done the work that he claims to have done. But what about our "independent study" oppponent? How do we know he's telling the truth about all of that hard work he claims to have done? How do we know his idea of "research" isn't just casual web-surfing and bookstore browsing? When someone gets a university degree, there is a public record to prove that not only did he do the work, but he was tested and found competent. But what about our "independent study" opponent? How do we know that he understood any of what he was reading? No one forced him to write reports, submit theses, perform experiments, or take exams, did they?

I'm not trying to claim that everything I say must be correct simply because I have a degree. However, I have studied certain subjects at length, in a university environment where my comprehension of the material was tested. Therefore, if I make a statement about scientific or engineering concepts which were covered in my education, it is made on the basis of the fact that I studied those subjects at length, in much greater detail than one who has merely read a handful of science books (especially when those books are the type that contain no equations).




For an example, we know that Superman gets his powers from the sun, right? That is a canonical fact. Therefore, Superman cannot have more power than the Sun can produce. And we know the suns output. And given the size of the sun and inverse square law, the power of the radiation falls off with distance. And only a tiny, tiny power of that radiation will at any point be hitting Superman, since it's spread in all directions. Compounded by the fact that superman absorbs it trough his skin, his surface area is truly miniscule. Combine all that together and Superman would barely get enough power to lift a car. Even if he were able to absorb all of the suns power, that still cannot compare even to the smallest supernova – and allegedly supes taken attacks as strong as 15. Hence we have physical formulas applied to known, long-estalished facts that give us invalid numbers.
Superheroes defy multiple physical laws every second. From closing black holes with just his strength or static electricity to punching reality - the most basic laws like thermodynamics or perservation of energy are constantly ignored and broken. So how then, does it make sense to use physical laws to calculate things? I doesn't. But people jump onto it when their caclulation bring up numbers that rainforces their already established beliefs.

Or lets' take on more examples:
Since ST seems to be a common enemy to SW, let's use it. The fabled power of turbolasers vs. phasers. I've seen those redicolous numbers based on the turbolaser blasting an asteroid.
At the same time, for all those terrajouls of power, the turbolasers seem to have a rather underwhelming effect on anything else - like other ships or bombing towns/planets. Let's not forget that the blasters rifles, when used in total combat, cause a small burn (Remember Han being shot?)

And then we have the Enterprise carving trough to the planets mantle with a phaser (and sitting in the suns corona) and hand-held phasers vaporizing man-sized targets. Doesn't seem so weak to me, now does it?

I recently read a oh-so-glorified fanfic of the Empire invading the alpha quadrant. I laughed.
Oh, don't get me wrong, the Federation stands no chance against the Empire by the sheer virtue of size difference. But that's not a fair match, now is it, pitting an entire galaxy against a dozen planets? Now, the ST vs. SW would be a far more fair.
And let's not forget using EU stuff (that adds stuff stolen/taken from other franchies, stuff that was never mentioned before), while using only limited ST stuff (why not use temporal shield, time-travel, phased torpedos, etc..?) Or making ST inept at the very thing they should excel in - research. That's all the federation does anyway, they got a science boner!
For all it's glory, SW is like 40K - no real progress. The Old Republic, the Empire, the New One - exactly the same stuff, different packaging! You moved on from the proto X-wing to the X-wing in several thousands years. Go you!



Phew.

Have I commited Heresy here?
Oh well...heresy is fun. 8)

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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby TrashMan » 2015-04-09 09:21am

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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby madd0ct0r » 2015-04-09 12:16pm

Sorry, what's the actual argument?

1) that numbers are invalid?
2) the fan calcuations are invalid because no degree
3) that superman dosen't work?
4) that turbolasers don't work equally well against rocks in space and shielded targets?
5) that the SW vs ST debate is skewed becuase of EU?
6) that you have an example you may have forgetten to write out before the sentence "Now, the ST vs. SW would be a far more fair."
7) research and development differences between SW and ST?

which of those do you actually want to argue?
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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby TrashMan » 2015-04-13 08:37am

Pretty much. But if you want a short version:
- don't use your shoddy calculations and your cherry-picked examples as absolute proof that your pre-concieved theories are the irrefutable truth.

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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby Borgholio » 2015-04-13 09:08am

Well if you want a short rebuttal, please be so kind as to do your own calculations and demonstrate that the ones on this site are shoddy. Otherwise, you'll have to forgive us if we simply don't take your word for it.
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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby Eleas » 2015-04-13 10:42am

TrashMan wrote:Have I commited Heresy here?
Oh well...heresy is fun. 8)


Surprisingly, you haven't. All we ask is that you don't come into the debate with a locked mindset. The example you give about Superman is, for instance, valid. Clearly, if you want to produce plausible numbers, you can't on the face of it accept that Superman's actual energy output is derived from solar power. Instead (again, if you want to produce consistent theories), you would have to come up with either an idea of how much power Superman's typical feats would produce, and/or propose an alternate theory, or simply decide that the numbers are too wildly inconsistent and the facts too disparate to reach a conclusion. This would be fitting, I think, for the various feats of Silver Age Superman, which basically boils down to "a wizard did it."

Amenability to analysis is a sliding scale, though. Star Wars and Trek all have their typical feats, and these typical feats have a typical consistency. ILM in particular have been meticulous in retaining consistency of scale and power, not so much in order to stroke fanboy egos but because otherwise, it detracts from visual and storytelling consistency. If the Big Bad Wolf was able to smash through solid rock at the start of the tale of the Three Little Piggies, the story would have made no sense.

The calcs don't create something new where there was nothing before. There's no sorcery behind numerical analysis -- we're simply describing the already visible feats of respective universes using numbers so that what we've already seen could be compared. Sometimes said numbers are cherry-picked (no community is without its bad eggs, after all) but generally, that's not necessary. For instance, I love Babylon 5. It's awesome. I don't have nearly enough like for Trek, and even less for Warhammer 40K. Still, there's little doubt that 40K would beat the snot out of the "present-day" Federation and casually annihilate almost anything seen in B5. My enjoyment of respective franchises seems to be inversely proportional to their demonstrated abilities, and that's all there is to it.

Everybody goes on about the EU, and it baffles me. Firstly, the figures we can derive from the EU are easily dwarfed by canon-derived figures. Secondly, the EU is mostly crap, and it's largely not worth debating -- the best EU stuff was always the story and the swashbuckling. And as we can see, despite its actual utility and power, only the most fanatic of SW debaters even mention the Sun Crusher or the Galaxy Gun. Why? Because they are shit. Nobody wins such a debate.

On that note, I have to say I disagree on one point of your methodology. Dialog should not, in my view, equate to demonstrated ability. In the first X-Men movie, for instance, we're told Cyclops' beams can punch through a mountain. Yet when he cuts loose, this isn't at all what we see. Should we accept that the visuals are wrong, then, or that Jean Grey simply said what she did for rhetorical effect? I favor the latter.

TrashMan wrote:I recently read a oh-so-glorified fanfic of the Empire invading the alpha quadrant. I laughed.
Oh, don't get me wrong, the Federation stands no chance against the Empire by the sheer virtue of size difference. But that's not a fair match, now is it, pitting an entire galaxy against a dozen planets? Now, the ST vs. SW would be a far more fair.


Do you refer to Conquest by Michael Wong, or Portal by Graham Kennedy? The one tells a relatively decent (if sparse) story about the Federation in desperate straits, where the Empire assumes the exact same role from the films, that of an unstoppable enemy that the Federation still decides to fight. It's that desperation that drives the story, and it works to some degree. The other is largely an excuse for sneering at the "primitive" Empire and show the Federation gunning down Star Destroyers en masse. One works as a story. The other lacks one.

TrashMan wrote:And let's not forget using EU stuff (that adds stuff stolen/taken from other franchies, stuff that was never mentioned before), while using only limited ST stuff (why not use temporal shield, time-travel, phased torpedos, etc..?)


I'm not quite following you here. As mentioned above, I would contend that EU stuff isn't that much of a secret weapon. Time travel has been mentioned lots of times, and is largely dismissed because Star Trek favors a many-worlds approach to time travel. In other words, even if you'd "win" by going back, the universe you'd be in would not be the same universe that others would be in. Finally, phased torpedoes seem to exploit the same frequency-based vulnerabilities that all Trek shields display; Star Wars shields typically aren't shown to have those.

TrashMan wrote:Or making ST inept at the very thing they should excel in - research. That's all the federation does anyway, they got a science boner!


The Federation does have a science boner, but from what I can tell, they're operating at a massive advantage compared to other AQ powers sufficiently large that they could spend the last two hundred years essentially using explorer vessels against warships. From my take on it, when the Defiant rolled out of the production lines and the Akira etc came into production, i.e. when the Federation took the gloves off, that wasn't a sudden research spike but simply retooling what they had from exploration to pure combat. The only conventional superpower, outside the Borg, with technological parity to the Federation was the Dominion. But after the Defiants and the Prometheuses and the Akiras and the Sovereign, we saw no quantum leap of Federation weapons technology. In short, the Federation may be good at research, but everything has limits. When faced with ships that can move superluminally across galactic distances in weeks at most, you're going to have problems because all else being equal, the Empire will dictate ROE.

Which can still make for great stories. They just have to be different. I think we can all agree that it wasn't the Narada that made Star Trek a bad movie (if it can even be said to have been a bad movie).
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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby TrashMan » 2015-04-15 08:52am

The calcs don't create something new where there was nothing before. There's no sorcery behind numerical analysis -- we're simply describing the already visible feats of respective universes using numbers so that what we've already seen could be compared.


Indeed. But so much is cherry picking.
There is the canonical scene of a star destroyer shooting a meteor. Like Alderaan, they use the same effect, since it's the easiest one to make and looks good. Eego, asteroid vaporized, so someone does a quick calc and sez "500TJ!!!"
Yet a shot with 500TJ of energy would be like a nuke if it hit a normal civilian building.. or pretty much anything for that matter. And yet there are canonical scenes of turbolasers hitting stuff with a "meh" effectiveness.
Now, pretty much all of sci-fi suffers from this, but it is something to take into account.


On that note, I have to say I disagree on one point of your methodology. Dialog should not, in my view, equate to demonstrated ability. In the first X-Men movie, for instance, we're told Cyclops' beams can punch through a mountain. Yet when he cuts loose, this isn't at all what we see. Should we accept that the visuals are wrong, then, or that Jean Grey simply said what she did for rhetorical effect? I favor the latter.


I didn't say it should. Especially if it's descriptory/comparative, rather than a flat-out factual statement.

for example, a officer saying "We're in no danger. Our shields can withstand 50000J of energy" is more direct and credible than a character saying "He shone as bright as the sun". Allegory. Poetic description.
Still, given that many official numbers are self-contradictory, one is often left shrugging


Do you refer to Conquest by Michael Wong, or Portal by Graham Kennedy? The one tells a relatively decent (if sparse) story about the Federation in desperate straits, where the Empire assumes the exact same role from the films, that of an unstoppable enemy that the Federation still decides to fight. It's that desperation that drives the story, and it works to some degree. The other is largely an excuse for sneering at the "primitive" Empire and show the Federation gunning down Star Destroyers en masse. One works as a story. The other lacks one.


The first one I think. The one with the whole preaching about "evolution trough war" and how the Empire with teach the Federation.


The Federation does have a science boner, but from what I can tell, they're operating at a massive advantage compared to other AQ powers sufficiently large that they could spend the last two hundred years essentially using explorer vessels against warships. From my take on it, when the Defiant rolled out of the production lines and the Akira etc came into production, i.e. when the Federation took the gloves off, that wasn't a sudden research spike but simply retooling what they had from exploration to pure combat. The only conventional superpower, outside the Borg, with technological parity to the Federation was the Dominion. But after the Defiants and the Prometheuses and the Akiras and the Sovereign, we saw no quantum leap of Federation weapons technology. In short, the Federation may be good at research, but everything has limits. When faced with ships that can move superluminally across galactic distances in weeks at most, you're going to have problems because all else being equal, the Empire will dictate ROE.


You misunderstand.
The whole gist of the Federation, the repeating theme or trope in Star Trek is that the Federation crew quickly analyzes and finds solutions.
Heck, in TNG, the Enterprise alone made many quantum scientific leaps and defeated many opponents in record time.
Voyager took it to absurd levels, to the point it was made a running joke.
Image

99% of all problems in trek are solves trough quick thinking, out-of-box solutions and SCIENCE. Aka Technobable. AKA reversing polarity and becoming invulnerable to what happened.

I'm not talking about direct military might, I am talking about potential. So much of ST tech can be so DEVIOUSLY abused for war purposes, and the feds are masters at hacking and reverse-engineering. Hell, every single Federation officer seems to have more PhD's then the entire Harvard. Their ships are floating labs with every kind of scientific equipment, and their ships can do all sorts of crazy stuff with that.

No other of the big universes usually discussed can compare. The Imperium of Man is stagnant and science is almost heresy. Star Wars is pretty much in stasis, with nothing really changing except for packaging. ST practically worships science.

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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby Eleas » 2015-04-15 10:13am

TrashMan wrote:Indeed. But so much is cherry picking.
There is the canonical scene of a star destroyer shooting a meteor. Like Alderaan, they use the same effect, since it's the easiest one to make and looks good. Eego, asteroid vaporized, so someone does a quick calc and sez "500TJ!!!"
Yet a shot with 500TJ of energy would be like a nuke if it hit a normal civilian building.. or pretty much anything for that matter. And yet there are canonical scenes of turbolasers hitting stuff with a "meh" effectiveness.


Really? I don't want to be an ass here, but I can't recall any such "meh" effectivenesses against unshielded targets. When an actual turbolaser hits a target, it generally vaporizes it, and not in a tidy chain reaction kind of way either. Additionally, one can't directly compare the effects of a nuclear bomb to that of an energy weapon and expect the end result to look similar. One is omnidirectional, the other is not.

TrashMan wrote:Now, pretty much all of sci-fi suffers from this, but it is something to take into account.


By just claiming dialogue trumps visuals? I don't think that's a better method, particularly since ILM have been known to be meticulous about getting the size and scope of effects just right.

TrashMan wrote:for example, a officer saying "We're in no danger. Our shields can withstand 50000J of energy" is more direct and credible than a character saying "He shone as bright as the sun". Allegory. Poetic description.
Still, given that many official numbers are self-contradictory, one is often left shrugging


Possibly. I still contend that visuals are more reliable, because that's what actually happens on screen. It's not the supposition that the characters are spouting, but actual fact. Dialogue is easily misinterpreted, as per the old "lasers" malarkey.

TrashMan wrote:The first one I think. The one with the whole preaching about "evolution trough war" and how the Empire with teach the Federation.


Right. Though I have to say that the preaching was confined to that of the character of Q, who's hardly known for his subtlety or balanced mind. I found the character of Chang far more annoying. Most of the Trek characters got several chances to show their quality in the fic, as I recall, something that just cannot be said for all stories.

TrashMan wrote:You misunderstand.


I don't think I do. I get your point. Really, I do. Maybe I explained badly, so I'll try it again: the Federation have long been operating with one hand tied behind their backs. Many of their "solutions" appear to exploit potential that already existed in their technology, but was not used. But such potential is always finite.

The Borg attacked the Federation. The Federation responded not by pulling out a new hundred times more powerful warp core and metatransmorphic temporal guns... but by simply saying "screw it, we're going to build a ship that directs warp core energy straight into the target in the most efficient way possible with the heaviest guns we can field, and armor it to the gills." When for the longest time you've had your military running around in pickup trucks, switching to armored personnel carriers may seem like a quantum leap in science. It's not. It's simply already existing engineering, now applied to war. To then assume that this feat would be a trend, that said leap in capabilities would mean that, ten years later, the military would use fifty foot mechas (i.e. that the improvements would continue unabated) would just add a no-limits fallacy to the misapprehension.

TrashMan wrote:99% of all problems in trek are solves trough quick thinking, out-of-box solutions and SCIENCE. Aka Technobable. AKA reversing polarity and becoming invulnerable to what happened.


That's not entirely true. I know you disliked DS9, but the fact of the matter is, all these frequency tricks and polarity bongles have their limits. During the Dominion War, once the Federation had plugged the frequency hole in their shields, where were the "out-of-box solutions and SCIENCE" applications that saw either side becoming invulnerable to what happened? There were none. That only makes sense if you posit that Trek vessels somehow optimize their defenses to deal with a given threat. If you defend only against weapons covering a certain spectrum of EM radiation, then sure, you might conserve energy by not covering the rest of the spectrum, but that does not make your defenses insurmountable.

Take the Borg for another example. Trekkies generally like to point to their famed "adaptation" as if it was magic. Yet by First Contact, we see the Federation grinding down their defences (that were supposedly made inviolate through the same magical process of "becoming invulnerable." In the end, Borg superscience had hard limits, and the Federation just overwhelmed those limits. Why would the same not be true for the Federation?

TrashMan wrote:I'm not talking about direct military might, I am talking about potential. So much of ST tech can be so DEVIOUSLY abused for war purposes, and the feds are masters at hacking and reverse-engineering.


So long as it's understood that "potential" isn't limitless and the abuse will also have its limits, believe me or not, I'm fine with that. The problem is that Federation reverse-engineering is decidedly overrated to my mind. It took them how long to adapt Borg shield systems, automated hull repair, power sources? There's also the possibility that the technology gap is simply too wide, or that SW technology requires galactic-scale infrastructure to efficiently produce and field. But the basic principles of Hyperdrive should be attainable on reverse-engineering; the proliferation of that technology and its age almost means it has to have happened before.

TrashMan wrote:ST practically worships science.


Yes and no. I don't agree that the Romulans or the Klingons or the Ferengi or even the Cardassians seem to do so. It doesn't really seem as if the ST empires apply said science in very practical ways. Look at something like the Culture novels by Iain Banks (please read them, they're amazing) for a world in which innovation is truly leveraged. The Star Wars galaxy is, as you observed, largely static, but they do perform R&D. It's possible that they've already picked all the low-hanging fruit, and that what remains is a slow process of refinement and iteration.
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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby TrashMan » 2015-04-16 04:28am

Eleas wrote:Really? I don't want to be an ass here, but I can't recall any such "meh" effectivenesses against unshielded targets. When an actual turbolaser hits a target, it generally vaporizes it, and not in a tidy chain reaction kind of way either. Additionally, one can't directly compare the effects of a nuclear bomb to that of an energy weapon and expect the end result to look similar. One is omnidirectional, the other is not.


Given that many SW games and comics and cartoons are also considered canonical, I'd say turbolasers (I am told it is a plasma weapon?) are not really impressive.

A laser is not the same as a nuke? Neither is a baseball. Yet launch it speed approaching c in atmosphere and the effect will be even worse.
Turns out matter doesn't react well so much energy concetrated in a small space.


By just claiming dialogue trumps visuals? I don't think that's a better method, particularly since ILM have been known to be meticulous about getting the size and scope of effects just right.


Scale/size of ship? Maybe.
Other stuff? Lucas arts is hardly consistent, especially with newer stuff.
Getting new content out to milk a cash cow is more important than qaulity.


Possibly. I still contend that visuals are more reliable, because that's what actually happens on screen. It's not the supposition that the characters are spouting, but actual fact. Dialogue is easily misinterpreted, as per the old "lasers" malarkey.


Yet visuals can be comšpelteply at odds with visual from another scene or source, or with dialogue, or even with an supposedly official number...


I don't think I do. I get your point. Really, I do. Maybe I explained badly, so I'll try it again: the Federation have long been operating with one hand tied behind their backs. Many of their "solutions" appear to exploit potential that already existed in their technology, but was not used. But such potential is always finite.

The Borg attacked the Federation. The Federation responded not by pulling out a new hundred times more powerful warp core and metatransmorphic temporal guns... but by simply saying "screw it, we're going to build a ship that directs warp core energy straight into the target in the most efficient way possible with the heaviest guns we can field, and armor it to the gills." When for the longest time you've had your military running around in pickup trucks, switching to armored personnel carriers may seem like a quantum leap in science. It's not. It's simply already existing engineering, now applied to war. To then assume that this feat would be a trend, that said leap in capabilities would mean that, ten years later, the military would use fifty foot mechas (i.e. that the improvements would continue unabated) would just add a no-limits fallacy to the misapprehension.


The federation started with no transporters, no phasers, no shields. In.. .300 years or so they made GIANT leaps.
In the series they make constant breaktrough. Phasing. Temporal shields. . Teleporters that ignore shielding. Dimensional shifting. Sitting the suns corona. And all kinds of crazy stuff I can't even remember.
And TIME TRAVEL. This beats pretty much anything.

6000 years ago, SW had light sabers. And blasters. And a "X-wing". And they performed pretty much the same. They have the exact same things now.



Take the Borg for another example. Trekkies generally like to point to their famed "adaptation" as if it was magic. Yet by First Contact, we see the Federation grinding down their defences (that were supposedly made inviolate through the same magical process of "becoming invulnerable." In the end, Borg superscience had hard limits, and the Federation just overwhelmed those limits. Why would the same not be true for the Federation?


Of course everything has limits.
Point is, the Federation is better at finding those and new ways to get around or exploit them.

do we have canonical examples of the Empire pulling off such stunts?



So long as it's understood that "potential" isn't limitless and the abuse will also have its limits, believe me or not, I'm fine with that. The problem is that Federation reverse-engineering is decidedly overrated to my mind. It took them how long to adapt Borg shield systems, automated hull repair, power sources? There's also the possibility that the technology gap is simply too wide, or that SW technology requires galactic-scale infrastructure to efficiently produce and field. But the basic principles of Hyperdrive should be attainable on reverse-engineering; the proliferation of that technology and its age almost means it has to have happened before.


I dunno. ST also shows how quickly the Federation (and others) can tinker and adjust their ships. They are modifying things REALLY fast, to the point of absurdity.

And devious applications. The teleporter alone - why bother fighting enemy troops when you can just teleport their lungs out of their bodies? Teleport a bomb on the enemy bridge? Teleport their reactor out?
With replicators, you can create anything on demand, on the spot. Your troops need food? Replicate. New armor? Replicate. New guns? Replicate. This basically means the Federation only needs 1 thing to stay supplied - energy.
No large supply convoys or supply chains.

The one advantage SW does seem to have is the Hyperdrive.
But I'm not really sure, since the particualars about it are iffy. Solo sez he made the Kessel run in 12 parsec. Parsec is a measure of distance, not time.

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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby Eleas » 2015-04-16 10:14am

TrashMan wrote:Given that many SW games and comics and cartoons are also considered canonical, I'd say turbolasers (I am told it is a plasma weapon?) are not really impressive.


Given that the games were subordinate in canonicity to the films even before the EU was dismissed, and given that you don't give any specific examples, I can't really comment on that.

TrashMan wrote:A laser is not the same as a nuke? Neither is a baseball. Yet launch it speed approaching c in atmosphere and the effect will be even worse.

Turns out matter doesn't react well so much energy concetrated in a small space.


You need to provide some context before we can discuss that. The question is whether X amount of joules gives the same effect regardless of whether it's a directed or omnidirectional weapon. It does not, particularly in space which I believe was the original context.


TrashMan wrote:Scale/size of ship? Maybe.
Other stuff? Lucas arts is hardly consistent, especially with newer stuff.


You just shifted from ILM (a special effects company) to Lucasarts (which is a gaming company). The two are not the same.

TrashMan wrote:Getting new content out to milk a cash cow is more important than qaulity.


I'm speaking of the movies, which (while in some ways lamentable) had some effort put into them.

TrashMan wrote:Yet visuals can be comšpelteply at odds with visual from another scene or source, or with dialogue, or even with an supposedly official number...


And when they are that, we take that particular scene into account. We don't make vague allusions to said scene and use that as an excuse to toss everything out in favor of character dialogue. Why would the dialogue be more "true" than what the characters actually do? The events of a story matter.

TrashMan wrote:The federation started with no transporters, no phasers, no shields. In.. .300 years or so they made GIANT leaps.
In the series they make constant breaktrough. Phasing. Temporal shields. . Teleporters that ignore shielding. Dimensional shifting. Sitting the suns corona. And all kinds of crazy stuff I can't even remember.
And TIME TRAVEL. This beats pretty much anything.


I already addressed these things. Restating them does not invalidate my points.

TrashMan wrote:6000 years ago, SW had light sabers. And blasters. And a "X-wing". And they performed pretty much the same. They have the exact same things now.


They have the Death Star, a game changing feat of technology. They have the Holonet. They have ships a thousand times more massive than any vessel the Federation has been shown to be able to build. All of these require supporting technologies on a breathtaking scale. And all of it was already addressed by what I said earlier about the pace of technology and the no-limits fallacy.

TrashMan wrote:Of course everything has limits.
Point is, the Federation is better at finding those and new ways to get around or exploit them.


Like in the Dominion War, which saw no such thing happening?

TrashMan wrote:do we have canonical examples of the Empire pulling off such stunts?


We do. They developed the Death Star, which was capable of breaching any planetary shield and threaten the previously-safe core worlds with utter annihilation should they rebel. In the EU, they created cloaking devices impervious to all scanning, which required scanning space-time to find them. They made a distributed system able to boil worlds or cast them into perpetual night. All of these are technological feats of stunning scope and power, and I haven't even deigned to pull out the more ridiculous stuff from Kevin J. Anderson's shitfests. Actual invulnerable hulls and supernovas on demand, anyone?

TrashMan wrote:
So long as it's understood that "potential" isn't limitless and the abuse will also have its limits, believe me or not, I'm fine with that. The problem is that Federation reverse-engineering is decidedly overrated to my mind. It took them how long to adapt Borg shield systems, automated hull repair, power sources? There's also the possibility that the technology gap is simply too wide, or that SW technology requires galactic-scale infrastructure to efficiently produce and field. But the basic principles of Hyperdrive should be attainable on reverse-engineering; the proliferation of that technology and its age almost means it has to have happened before.


I dunno. ST also shows how quickly the Federation (and others) can tinker and adjust their ships. They are modifying things REALLY fast, to the point of absurdity.


From what I can tell, you simply restate your position here without looking at what I wrote.

TrashMan wrote:And devious applications. The teleporter alone - why bother fighting enemy troops when you can just teleport their lungs out of their bodies? Teleport a bomb on the enemy bridge? Teleport their reactor out?


Teleport people through theatre shields or radiation or heavy metals? Oh, wait, unlikely at best. Because there are limits. Yes, the transporter is useful, one of the genuinely impressive achievements Trek has, and the Empire would love it. But the Empire has impressive tricks of its own -- personal cloaking devices, localized gravity fields for disabling enemies, etc..

TrashMan wrote:With replicators, you can create anything on demand, on the spot.


No, you can't. Trek canon specifically shows that replicators have limits. Even a certain kind of rain water was impossible to duplicate.

TrashMan wrote:Your troops need food? Replicate. New armor? Replicate. New guns? Replicate. This basically means the Federation only needs 1 thing to stay supplied - energy.
No large supply convoys or supply chains.


That's inaccurate. They still need shipyards to service ships; they still need to take on supplies in Voyager.

TrashMan wrote:The one advantage SW does seem to have is the Hyperdrive. But I'm not really sure, since the particualars about it are iffy. Solo sez he made the Kessel run in 12 parsec. Parsec is a measure of distance, not time.


I hesitate to say this, because the official (EU) explanation for this is a bit shit, but basically that region is hella dangerous and plotting the course as close as possible to the black holes would lead to a shorter path... as they explained it, anyway. Personally, I just think Han was trying to bamboozle Obi-Wan and Luke (i.e. two rubes from a hick planet) with fancy words rather than go into the details of a famed exploit of his (which is the direction the EU chose to go with it). Rather like Palpatine's comment to Luke about Luke's lightsaber being "much like your father's", which is plainly false and obviously just said as a segue to mocking Luke and cause him to lose his composure -- EU writers, however, interpreted it as Palpatine being an expert at recognizing Jedi artifacts.

Hyperdrive speeds, though, are shown with a fair bit of consistency throughout Star Wars. And due to its ludicrous speed and the inability for ST ships to affect ships in hyperspace, it represents an absurd force multiplier simply by itself.
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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-04-16 10:42am

As far as the Expanded Universe goes: Right now most of it is now 'Legends', i.e. non-canon because it's being invalidated by the new sequel trilogy coming out. It's still worth discussing and can be highly useful in its own right but if we're going to have a serious discussion it's not really available unless agreed upon by the parties disputing.

As noted, LucasArts is a (now defunct) game company, not the people who made the films at all. Industrial Light and Magic is a visual effects company. Lucasfilm is the actual film company that makes the Star Wars movies.

The fact of the matter is that while they are often coming up with new tricks and applications of technology in the Trek series, it's extremely rare that they repeat the trick or continue applying their technology in that fashion. They're one-offs. Even Voyager, a series where you would think they would attempt to put to use anything they could given their situation, never really bothered-- the status quo was king.

Replicators don't just need energy; it's been stated a few times that they require a number of raw materials.
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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby Tribble » 2015-04-16 10:56am

They don't always succeed either. Despite having the theoretical knowledge for transwarp since TOS they have yet to build a working transwarp drive. Data has yet to be duplicated despite the fact that they have his complete schematics and have had experiences in assembling Lore and Lal. While their ability to reverse engineer technology is impressive, it does have limits. Just because they can learn how something works does not mean that they can build it themselves.
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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-04-16 11:06am

Tribble wrote:They don't always succeed either. Despite having the theoretical knowledge for transwarp since TOS they have yet to build a working transwarp drive. Data has yet to be duplicated despite the fact that they have his complete schematics and have had experiences in assembling Lore and Lal. While their ability to reverse engineer technology is impressive, it does have limits. Just because they can learn how something works does not mean that they can build it themselves.


Modern day comparison: Do you know how an internal combustion engine works? Yes? Good, now go make one. What? You don't have milling machines, industrial-size rolling mills, sand casting facilities, blocks of steel and whatever other metals you need, etc? Guess you're out of luck.

Understanding how something works does not equate the ability to make it, even with technology like the replicator. Hell, we have similar situations nowadays-- the Alcubierre drive is theoretically possible, but we're nowhere near being able to make one.
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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby TrashMan » 2015-04-20 02:42am

Eleas wrote:
TrashMan wrote:A laser is not the same as a nuke? Neither is a baseball. Yet launch it speed approaching c in atmosphere and the effect will be even worse.

Turns out matter doesn't react well so much energy concetrated in a small space.


You need to provide some context before we can discuss that. The question is whether X amount of joules gives the same effect regardless of whether it's a directed or omnidirectional weapon. It does not, particularly in space which I believe was the original context.


A redicolous amount of energy will act the same on contact with a surface. In space it can't spread trough the asmosphere, but the effect CAN spread trough the ship you hit.
And for some fun:
https://what-if.xkcd.com/1/



TrashMan wrote:Scale/size of ship? Maybe.
Other stuff? Lucas arts is hardly consistent, especially with newer stuff.


You just shifted from ILM (a special effects company) to Lucasarts (which is a gaming company). The two are not the same.


LucasArts was the one that determines what's canon, and ILM was owned by LucasArts, unless I'm mistaken.




I already addressed these things. Restating them does not invalidate my points.


Not really. You just seem to ignore the advancement rate.
Takes biologiy/medical technology.

Star Trek is LIGHTYEARS ahead of SW.

Re-growing organs. Perfectly re-attaching them. Fast and simple operations. No scarring.
In SW, your scars seem to be forever.
If Vader was in ST, they would have patched him up as good as new.


TrashMan wrote:6000 years ago, SW had light sabers. And blasters. And a "X-wing". And they performed pretty much the same. They have the exact same things now.


They have the Death Star, a game changing feat of technology. They have the Holonet. They have ships a thousand times more massive than any vessel the Federation has been shown to be able to build. All of these require supporting technologies on a breathtaking scale. And all of it was already addressed by what I said earlier about the pace of technology and the no-limits fallacy.


There is no no-limits fallacy, since I never stated there are no limits. Stop moving the goalpost.

Building the same thing, but only bigger, only shows aptitude at construction, and while it might be impressive, it's not a technological advancement/evolution of any note. In most cases it would be a waste of resources.
Is there anything stopping humanity from building a 1km long carrier today? Or a hotel 4x at big as the biggest one? Not really. The knowledge is there. There's is just no incentive to do so.

Also, unless I'm mistaken ST has techologies to blow up a sun (which are conveniently forgotten. Another aspect of unintened consequences of technologies shown in previous episodes. They seem to be either forgotten or ignored on purpose by later writers).



We do. They developed the Death Star, which was capable of breaching any planetary shield and threaten the previously-safe core worlds with utter annihilation should they rebel. In the EU, they created cloaking devices impervious to all scanning, which required scanning space-time to find them. They made a distributed system able to boil worlds or cast them into perpetual night. All of these are technological feats of stunning scope and power, and I haven't even deigned to pull out the more ridiculous stuff from Kevin J. Anderson's shitfests. Actual invulnerable hulls and supernovas on demand, anyone?


EU is crap where they just stolen stuff from other Sci-fi franchies. Cloaking never even existed in SW before the EU.
And ST has supernovas on demand too.




Teleport people through theatre shields or radiation or heavy metals? Oh, wait, unlikely at best. Because there are limits. Yes, the transporter is useful, one of the genuinely impressive achievements Trek has, and the Empire would love it. But the Empire has impressive tricks of its own -- personal cloaking devices, localized gravity fields for disabling enemies, etc..


Weather SW defelctors would even stop transporter beams is anyones guess. And lets not forget Trek has teleporters that ignore shields.

Alas, when you got writers trying to out-wank each other, you run into a endless procession of stupidity since the consequences are often ignored or downplayed.


No, you can't. Trek canon specifically shows that replicators have limits. Even a certain kind of rain water was impossible to duplicate.


Not many.
Things that can't be replicated are rare.
Latinum and Dilithium being the only two I remember.

TrashMan wrote:Your troops need food? Replicate. New armor? Replicate. New guns? Replicate. This basically means the Federation only needs 1 thing to stay supplied - energy.
No large supply convoys or supply chains.


That's inaccurate. They still need shipyards to service ships; they still need to take on supplies in Voyager.


Dilithium. That is the only supply a ST ship really needs.
Although they take stop to get fresh food (replicator food taste?) or for the crew to relax (holodeck?), even that is not really necessary.

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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby TrashMan » 2015-04-20 02:49am

Elheru Aran wrote:The fact of the matter is that while they are often coming up with new tricks and applications of technology in the Trek series, it's extremely rare that they repeat the trick or continue applying their technology in that fashion. They're one-offs. Even Voyager, a series where you would think they would attempt to put to use anything they could given their situation, never really bothered-- the status quo was king.


In this you are correct.
Status Quo is king. Which is why technologies are forgotten, the applications or ramifications almost never explored, why everything always goes back to the same mold.
Both in ST and SW.

Jumped to the edge of the universe? Forgotten.
Time Travel? Something Trek has since TOS is almost always ignored.
Teleporting trough shields? Yeah, let's just forget this technology.

This is also why SW seems in stasis for several thousands of years - because it has to be the "same".
This is also why Enterprise lost it's novelty by the second episode. They had more primitive technologies and they could have run with it, but NOOOOO... back to standard trek imediately.
Grappling hooks, shuttles and pew-pew lasers >> tractor beams, teleporters and phasors

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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby Eleas » 2015-04-20 03:39am

TrashMan wrote:
Eleas wrote:You need to provide some context before we can discuss that. The question is whether X amount of joules gives the same effect regardless of whether it's a directed or omnidirectional weapon. It does not, particularly in space which I believe was the original context.

A redicolous amount of energy will act the same on contact with a surface. In space it can't spread trough the asmosphere, but the effect CAN spread trough the ship you hit.

Again, you're going to have to give an example of where said turbolaser hit, and what you'd expect the effect to be, so that we can discuss it. I'm not trying to be obtuse here, I just don't agree without evidence.

TrashMan wrote:And for some fun:
https://what-if.xkcd.com/1/


Randall Munroe remains awesome. And the point is taken. The issue is just how much energy is delivered, and when we see this done. Hence my question above. But I will grant you this point: if Darksaber had been canon, the orbital bombardment would have indicated vastly lower yields or a very odd ROE.

TrashMan wrote:
Eleas wrote:You just shifted from ILM (a special effects company) to Lucasarts (which is a gaming company). The two are not the same.


LucasArts was the one that determines what's canon, and ILM was owned by LucasArts, unless I'm mistaken.


Slightly, but that's me being pedantic. You're thinking LucasFilm. I get what you mean now. Anyway, without knowing the methodology they used, it's hard to say for sure who made the ultimate call.

Not really. You just seem to ignore the advancement rate.

No, that was the entire point of what I said. By looking at the entire advancement rate (for instance, during the Dominion War) it can be seen as flattening out once the Federation got to the point where they could no longer coast on their unrealized but already extant technology. Thus, you're doing exactly what I described: extrapolating unnecessarily from a cherry-picked sample and ignoring the limits we see.

TrashMan wrote:Takes biologiy/medical technology.

Star Trek is LIGHTYEARS ahead of SW.

Re-growing organs. Perfectly re-attaching them. Fast and simple operations. No scarring.
In SW, your scars seem to be forever.


I don't disagree on the medical technology, except in regards to Vader, below.

TrashMan wrote:If Vader was in ST, they would have patched him up as good as new.


If Vader was anywhere else, they would have given him a substantially better medical overhaul. Perhaps not up to the standards of the Federation, but Palpatine was the absolute worst person to care for Vader, because Palpatine had every reason to keep Anakin in constant pain and self-hatred.

Your larger point still stands, but in the case of Vader it doesn't hold.


TrashMan wrote:
They have the Death Star, a game changing feat of technology. They have the Holonet. They have ships a thousand times more massive than any vessel the Federation has been shown to be able to build. All of these require supporting technologies on a breathtaking scale. And all of it was already addressed by what I said earlier about the pace of technology and the no-limits fallacy.


There is no no-limits fallacy, since I never stated there are no limits. Stop moving the goalpost.


I am not. You claim Trek has a much faster rate of technological advancement, and that they would "catch up" when I've shown that their advancement actually faltered. To claim that a temporary increase in capability must be continuous and unbounded, especially after it's shown to be not nearly as impressive as you claimed, is a no limits fallacy.

TrashMan wrote:Building the same thing, but only bigger, only shows aptitude at construction, and while it might be impressive, it's not a technological advancement/evolution of any note. In most cases it would be a waste of resources.


That's simply untrue. This myth has already been dealt with.

TrashMan wrote:Is there anything stopping humanity from building a 1km long carrier today? Or a hotel 4x at big as the biggest one? Not really. The knowledge is there. There's is just no incentive to do so.


I work at a company specializing in construction software. Either you're bullshitting, or you truly don't know how wrong you are.

TrashMan wrote:Also, unless I'm mistaken ST has techologies to blow up a sun (which are conveniently forgotten. Another aspect of unintened consequences of technologies shown in previous episodes. They seem to be either forgotten or ignored on purpose by later writers).


Is this between ST/Wars or Federation vs Empire?

Supernova weapons are, from a storytelling perspective, just not a very good idea. As I said, the Empire had the Sun Crusher that could do the same thing and was invulnerable to boot, but the story itself was shit largely because of that.

TrashMan wrote:EU is crap where they just stolen stuff from other Sci-fi franchies. Cloaking never even existed in SW before the EU.


Not true, given the fact that the Falcon's disappearance in Empire Strikes Back was attributed to a freakishly miniaturized cloaking device. And while some (a lot) of the EU is crap, why would whether they were inspired by other sci-fi or not even be relevant? That attack reads more like a rant, TBH.

TrashMan wrote:And ST has supernovas on demand too.

Again, is this Federation vs Empire or ST vs SW?

TrashMan wrote:
Eleas wrote:Teleport people through theatre shields or radiation or heavy metals? Oh, wait, unlikely at best. Because there are limits. Yes, the transporter is useful, one of the genuinely impressive achievements Trek has, and the Empire would love it. But the Empire has impressive tricks of its own -- personal cloaking devices, localized gravity fields for disabling enemies, etc..

Weather SW defelctors would even stop transporter beams is anyones guess. And lets not forget Trek has teleporters that ignore shields.


SW deflectors don't seem (and have never been shown) to have the frequency gaps of Federation shields. They are shown as vastly more powerful than Federation shields. Federation transporters are blocked by ambient natural radiation, certain types of rocks, etc.. There is no indication that Wars shields would be mysteriously vulnerable to transporters. Also, I don't see Federation marines willing to use teleporters that irreversibly break down their cells.

TrashMan wrote:Alas, when you got writers trying to out-wank each other, you run into a endless procession of stupidity since the consequences are often ignored or downplayed.

Why would you say that in one breath and in the other bring out a one-off superteleporter that was never used again?

No, you can't. Trek canon specifically shows that replicators have limits. Even a certain kind of rain water was impossible to duplicate.

Not many.
Things that can't be replicated are rare.
Latinum and Dilithium being the only two I remember.


The issue was, can replicators replicate anything? And they emphatically cannot. This is why the Enterprise needs drydock and supplies from time to time. Nothing strange about that, it's just not a no-limits thing.

TrashMan wrote:
TrashMan wrote:Your troops need food? Replicate. New armor? Replicate. New guns? Replicate. This basically means the Federation only needs 1 thing to stay supplied - energy.
No large supply convoys or supply chains.


That's inaccurate. They still need shipyards to service ships; they still need to take on supplies in Voyager.


Dilithium. That is the only supply a ST ship really needs.


The drydocks of the Federation disagree. But all right, let's list it.

TNG Code of Honour: replicators cannot recreate a specific vaccine.
TNG The Schizoid Man: replicators cannot recreate rainwater.
TNG Evolution: Computer chips are manufactured, not replicated.
TNG The Enemy: Replicators cannot create ribosomes.
TNG Sins of the Father: Replicators cannot recreate caviar.
TNG Data's Day: Replicators add single-bit errors to complex proteins.
TNG The Mind's Eye: Replicating chips introduces errors.

Clearly, there's a reason why ST ships require both supplies and servicing, as we see on the show.

TrashMan wrote:Although they take stop to get fresh food (replicator food taste?) or for the crew to relax (holodeck?), even that is not really necessary.

It clearly is on the show.
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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby Tribble » 2015-04-20 10:46am

Oh, don't get me wrong, the Federation stands no chance against the Empire by the sheer virtue of size difference. But that's not a fair match, now is it, pitting an entire galaxy against a dozen planets? Now, the ST vs. SW would be a far more fair.


Judging from this part of the original post, this is a Star Trek vs Star Wars debate.

I'm presuming TrashMan is talking about a giant fleet battle here, and beings like Q are not involved.
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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby Eleas » 2015-04-20 11:06am

Tribble wrote:Judging from this part of the original post, this is a Star Trek vs Star Wars debate.
I'm presuming TrashMan is talking about a giant fleet battle here, and beings like Q are not involved.


Then we might as well discuss magic spells, since most of the big iron in the Trek universe are too hard to quantify. In TrashMan's terms, they're "a[sic] endless procession of stupidity" spawned by "writers trying to out-wank each other". And if we abandon numbers and go solely by our own interpretations, then Q would either win by finger-snapping or be revealed as impotent fraudsters. So that's one debate solved, I guess. :)
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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby Tribble » 2015-04-20 12:35pm

Eleas wrote:
Tribble wrote:Judging from this part of the original post, this is a Star Trek vs Star Wars debate.
I'm presuming TrashMan is talking about a giant fleet battle here, and beings like Q are not involved.


Then we might as well discuss magic spells, since most of the big iron in the Trek universe are too hard to quantify. In TrashMan's terms, they're "a[sic] endless procession of stupidity" spawned by "writers trying to out-wank each other". And if we abandon numbers and go solely by our own interpretations, then Q would either win by finger-snapping or be revealed as impotent fraudsters. So that's one debate solved, I guess. :)


Well a Death Star could handle most of the Star Trek Milky Way Galaxy by itself; hell the things are so damn big that even without their weapons they could wipe out fleets by simply ramming into them.

EDIT: oh but I forgot - the Death Star uses a big laser, and the E-D's navigational deflector can block lasers, therefore the E-D can block the Death Star's main weapon without even having to raise shields :P
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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby Borgholio » 2015-04-20 12:40pm

EDIT: oh but I forgot - the Death Star uses a big laser, and the E-D's navigational deflector can block lasers, therefore the E-D can block the Death Star's main weapon without even having to raise shields :P


There was a really REALLY awful fanfic that's linked somewhere on this site where exactly that happens. The Death Star can't hurt any Fed ships due to the navigational shields, yet it is able to blow up the planet Mars. And the rest of it goes downhill from there.
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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby TrashMan » 2015-04-21 05:56am

Eleas wrote: But I will grant you this point: if Darksaber had been canon, the orbital bombardment would have indicated vastly lower yields or a very odd ROE.

LucasArts was the one that determines what's canon, and ILM was owned by LucasArts, unless I'm mistaken.


Frankly, I'm not sure what's canon anymore...

All I know is that turbolasers never impressed me or struck me as redicolously powerful as I hear people claim them to be. They come off no stronger or weaker than 99% of spaceship canons from other universes.


Not really. You just seem to ignore the advancement rate.

No, that was the entire point of what I said. By looking at the entire advancement rate (for instance, during the Dominion War) it can be seen as flattening out once the Federation got to the point where they could no longer coast on their unrealized but already extant technology. Thus, you're doing exactly what I described: extrapolating unnecessarily from a cherry-picked sample and ignoring the limits we see.


Well, if you want to be pendantic, DS9 was written by different writers.
And while there was far less exploring and more shooting, there was still plenty of technobabble solutions.
Let's also not forget the Federation won that war in the end.

If Vader was anywhere else, they would have given him a substantially better medical overhaul. Perhaps not up to the standards of the Federation, but Palpatine was the absolute worst person to care for Vader, because Palpatine had every reason to keep Anakin in constant pain and self-hatred.

Your larger point still stands, but in the case of Vader it doesn't hold.


That doesn't make much sense.
While I see the logic for Palpatine, the attempt wouldn't be worth it, as Vader would surely know what is medically possible and he'd know he'd been shafted. And I don't think even Palpatine can prevent Vader from knowing that.

I can imagine the conversation:
P: Anakin my dear boy... You got an arrow in your knee.
A: It hurts like hell. Get a doctor to remove it.
P: I'm afraid we'll have to cut off your leg. Don't worry, we'll replace it with a prosthetic!
A: What? Can't you just remove the arrow?
P: Infection. Too dangerous.
A: Infection? In this day and age? What about antibiotics?
P: ....You're allergic.
A: I am?
P: Yes. Also, some arrow splinters might remain in your leg,causing you pain. Remember to HATE THE JEDI for it.


TrashMan wrote:I am not. You claim Trek has a much faster rate of technological advancement, and that they would "catch up" when I've shown that their advancement actually faltered. To claim that a temporary increase in capability must be continuous and unbounded, especially after it's shown to be not nearly as impressive as you claimed, is a no limits fallacy.


I never claimed that.
I just claimed that the Federation (and trek in general) is more scientifically oriented, advances at a faster rate and is far better known for fast jury-rigging and modifications.

I work at a company specializing in construction software. Either you're bullshitting, or you truly don't know how wrong you are.


And I work for the Major of Earth



TrashMan wrote:EU is crap where they just stolen stuff from other Sci-fi franchies. Cloaking never even existed in SW before the EU.


Not true, given the fact that the Falcon's disappearance in Empire Strikes Back was attributed to a freakishly miniaturized cloaking device. And while some (a lot) of the EU is crap, why would whether they were inspired by other sci-fi or not even be relevant? That attack reads more like a rant, TBH.


Attributed by whom?
Fans who speculate that?
Some explanation added after the fact to fill a plot hole?

And I guess you miss the point. When you add too much foreign stuff, you end up weakening your core. If you simply copy stuff from other setting, you end up every setting feeling almost the same, with minor cosmetic differences. That's not to say to never add new stuff or be influenced, by each addition should be done VERY carefully.




SW deflectors don't seem (and have never been shown) to have the frequency gaps of Federation shields. They are shown as vastly more powerful than Federation shields. Federation transporters are blocked by ambient natural radiation, certain types of rocks, etc.. There is no indication that Wars shields would be mysteriously vulnerable to transporters. Also, I don't see Federation marines willing to use teleporters that irreversibly break down their cells.


We don't even know how SW deflectors work or how strong they are. For all we know SW may have never even figured frequencies.

And transporters are standard usage in ST. They have always seemed willing before.

TrashMan wrote:Alas, when you got writers trying to out-wank each other, you run into a endless procession of stupidity since the consequences are often ignored or downplayed.

Why would you say that in one breath and in the other bring out a one-off superteleporter that was never used again?


Because just because it works both ways, it doesn't make it any less true?


The issue was, can replicators replicate anything? And they emphatically cannot. This is why the Enterprise needs drydock and supplies from time to time. Nothing strange about that, it's just not a no-limits thing.


And I never said it. You are again doing this.
Fact is, ST ships would need FAR LESS supplies and drydock time



Your troops need food? Replicate. New armor? R
The drydocks of the Federation disagree. But all right, let's list it.

TNG Code of Honour: replicators cannot recreate a specific vaccine.
TNG The Schizoid Man: replicators cannot recreate rainwater.
TNG Evolution: Computer chips are manufactured, not replicated.
TNG The Enemy: Replicators cannot create ribosomes.
TNG Sins of the Father: Replicators cannot recreate caviar.
TNG Data's Day: Replicators add single-bit errors to complex proteins.
TNG The Mind's Eye: Replicating chips introduces errors.


Half of those things make no sense, but I figured as much.
It's why teleporters have to break down ever second episode. Because otherwise there would be no tension.
It's a problem when you create a perfect unintended solution to 99% of all problems. You have to start inventing new problems or nerf the solution.

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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby Eleas » 2015-04-21 06:42am

TrashMan wrote:Frankly, I'm not sure what's canon anymore...

Well, there are rumblings. Seems the EU will be toast, so good riddance.

TrashMan wrote:All I know is that turbolasers never impressed me or struck me as redicolously powerful as I hear people claim them to be. They come off no stronger or weaker than 99% of spaceship canons from other universes.

Well, unless you look at what they can do in a quantifiable manner, which is my point.

TrashMan wrote:Well, if you want to be pendantic, DS9 was written by different writers.
And while there was far less exploring and more shooting, there was still plenty of technobabble solutions.
Let's also not forget the Federation won that war in the end.

What does any of that have to do with the price of fish?

TrashMan wrote:That doesn't make much sense.
While I see the logic for Palpatine, the attempt wouldn't be worth it, as Vader would surely know what is medically possible and he'd know he'd been shafted. And I don't think even Palpatine can prevent Vader from knowing that.

I can imagine the conversation:
P: Anakin my dear boy... You got an arrow in your knee.
A: It hurts like hell. Get a doctor to remove it.
P: I'm afraid we'll have to cut off your leg. Don't worry, we'll replace it with a prosthetic!
A: What? Can't you just remove the arrow?
P: Infection. Too dangerous.
A: Infection? In this day and age? What about antibiotics?
P: ....You're allergic.
A: I am?
P: Yes. Also, some arrow splinters might remain in your leg,causing you pain. Remember to HATE THE JEDI for it.


Heh. Ok, you made the point persuasively. Although can you honestly say that the Anakin seen in Episode III would not be just that credulous?

TrashMan wrote:I never claimed that.
I just claimed that the Federation (and trek in general) is more scientifically oriented, advances at a faster rate and is far better known for fast jury-rigging and modifications.

Allright. Then I don't see what your objection really means, since advancing faster doesn't really mean you'll ever come close to catching up.

I work at a company specializing in construction software. Either you're bullshitting, or you truly don't know how wrong you are.

And I work for the Major of Earth


http://www.strusoft.com/about-us
Anyone with Google and five minutes to spare can link me to StruSoft, where I work as a programmer. And anyone with even cursory knowledge of engineering would flatly dispute your idea about size not mattering. Unless you have the Force as your ally, in which case I'm going to deny I ever disputed anything you said.

TrashMan wrote:Attributed by whom?
Fans who speculate that?
Some explanation added after the fact to fill a plot hole?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu9pmj6pZ_8&t=2m0s

I thought you'd seen the movies.

TrashMan wrote:And I guess you miss the point. When you add too much foreign stuff, you end up weakening your core. If you simply copy stuff from other setting, you end up every setting feeling almost the same, with minor cosmetic differences. That's not to say to never add new stuff or be influenced, by each addition should be done VERY carefully.


I agree. I just don't see why the EU would be a particularly heinous offender, compared to, say, Trek or Stargate.

We don't even know how SW deflectors work or how strong they are. For all we know SW may have never even figured frequencies.

Principle of parsimony. Frequencies aren't magic, and nothing says SW technology is frequency based, so why would it that vulnerability extend to

TrashMan wrote:And transporters are standard usage in ST. They have always seemed willing before.

Moving goalposts. The transporters we talked about were clearly the ones bypassing shields, the ones causing irreparable cellular damage. They have not used them again, and likely will not magically do so in any conflict.

TrashMan wrote:Alas, when you got writers trying to out-wank each other, you run into a endless procession of stupidity since the consequences are often ignored or downplayed.
Why would you say that in one breath and in the other bring out a one-off superteleporter that was never used again?

Because just because it works both ways, it doesn't make it any less true?[/quote]
It's true. It's just strange that it's a truth you would trot out that damages your "side" as well as my own, but one that you wouldn't apply to your own "side" until I pointed it out.

Fact is, ST ships would need FAR LESS supplies and drydock time

Your troops need food? Replicate. New armor? R

That's a different argument entirely. I have no issues with it.

TrashMan wrote:Half of those things make no sense, but I figured as much.
It's why teleporters have to break down ever second episode. Because otherwise there would be no tension.
It's a problem when you create a perfect unintended solution to 99% of all problems. You have to start inventing new problems or nerf the solution.


That's the problem Roddenberry brought with him, I'm sad to say: he wanted a "perfect" society where people didn't grieve and didn't have to struggle. Though you can do pretty cool things even so. If you've read the Culture novels, they have a nice post-scarcity utopia going on, and there's still tension aplenty. Of course, that tension is bought on the premise of utopia not being perfect and breaking down, so problems definitely have to be invented for drama to be dramatic, just as you said.
"Travelers with closed minds can tell us little except about themselves."
--Chinua Achebe

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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby TrashMan » 2015-04-22 09:57am

Eleas wrote:Well, there are rumblings. Seems the EU will be toast, so good riddance.


Too bad for Thrawn. Everyone seems to like that one.
Other than that..I agree

TrashMan wrote:All I know is that turbolasers never impressed me or struck me as redicolously powerful as I hear people claim them to be. They come off no stronger or weaker than 99% of spaceship canons from other universes.

Well, unless you look at what they can do in a quantifiable manner, which is my point.


Which is not really much different from any other similar weapon.
The effects on hitting another warships hull, in terms of explosion size and damage and generally pretty much the same.

But all series are rife with inconcistencies. In the beginning of TNG, a phaser or photon torpedo would vaporize a ship.
Then it went to (after taking 2-3 hits) "Shield down to 12%! We cant take more!" (proceeds to take another dozen hits) "Sheilds failing!" .. Someone was REALLY bad at math.



Heh. Ok, you made the point persuasively. Although can you honestly say that the Anakin seen in Episode III would not be just that credulous?


Well.... :|
you got a point there :lol:



Allright. Then I don't see what your objection really means, since advancing faster doesn't really mean you'll ever come close to catching up.


That depends. Does one really have to catch up or it just enough to find out the ways to exploit gained knowledge? Is there a big gulf to catch up? How big is it?



http://www.strusoft.com/about-us
Anyone with Google and five minutes to spare can link me to StruSoft, where I work as a programmer. And anyone with even cursory knowledge of engineering would flatly dispute your idea about size not mattering. Unless you have the Force as your ally, in which case I'm going to deny I ever disputed anything you said.


Allright.
I wasn't being serious.

I acknowledge that building big requires advanced material engineering - assuming one uses the same construction methods. After all, with GRAVITY GENERATORS and INERTIAL DAMPENERS, those calculations about mass and forces acting upon the ship don't really work that well.
If you reduce a ships mass my a factor of 1000, suddenly everything else become MUCH simpler.



I agree. I just don't see why the EU would be a particularly heinous offender, compared to, say, Trek or Stargate.


Where did you get the impression I actually liked ST or SG additions?


We don't even know how SW deflectors work or how strong they are. For all we know SW may have never even figured frequencies.

Principle of parsimony. Frequencies aren't magic, and nothing says SW technology is frequency based, so why would it that vulnerability extend to


Still not convinced.
We simply don't know enough, especially not to assume what is known or not known by characters.



Moving goalposts. The transporters we talked about were clearly the ones bypassing shields, the ones causing irreparable cellular damage. They have not used them again, and likely will not magically do so in any conflict.


In an all-out war for survival? There would be people willing to risk it.
And again, you don't need to teleport people.
bombs.
Holographics warriors.
Drones.
A virus.


TrashMan wrote:Because just because it works both ways, it doesn't make it any less true?

It's true. It's just strange that it's a truth you would trot out that damages your "side" as well as my own, but one that you wouldn't apply to your own "side" until I pointed it out.


I did apply it to my "side" (insomuch that I have a side). If I didn't, I would be pointing out the glaring plot holes in Trek all the time.

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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby Tribble » 2015-04-22 11:59am

Sorry, what was different about the Federation and Star Wars medical tech again?

Picard had an artificial heart
Geordi (as of STFC) had artificial eyes
Nog had an artificial leg

I don't see any qualitative difference between them and, say, Luke's replacement hand.

As for Anakin, his replacement hand's design was a deliberate choice because it was easier to repair in battle. One could imagine that the same logic was applied to Vader, with the bonus of it being intimidating. Considering that Palpatine deliberately withheld anesthetics so that Vader would be in as much pain as possible during the operation, I'm not really surprised at his decision to make another Grievous over restoring Anakin's appearance to normal. What exactly would Vader be able to do it about afterwards? Complain? It's not as if he was in any position to challenge Palpatine over this. And even if it were possible to have another operation to try and restore his appearance why would he want to, seeing as Padme was dead and as far as he was concerned at that point so was Anakin?
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Re: DISTRUST IN NUMBERS

Postby TrashMan » 2015-04-24 05:35am

Tribble wrote:Sorry, what was different about the Federation and Star Wars medical tech again?

Picard had an artificial heart
Geordi (as of STFC) had artificial eyes
Nog had an artificial leg

I don't see any qualitative difference between them and, say, Luke's replacement hand.

As for Anakin, his replacement hand's design was a deliberate choice because it was easier to repair in battle. One could imagine that the same logic was applied to Vader, with the bonus of it being intimidating. Considering that Palpatine deliberately withheld anesthetics so that Vader would be in as much pain as possible during the operation, I'm not really surprised at his decision to make another Grievous over restoring Anakin's appearance to normal. What exactly would Vader be able to do it about afterwards? Complain? It's not as if he was in any position to challenge Palpatine over this. And even if it were possible to have another operation to try and restore his appearance why would he want to, seeing as Padme was dead and as far as he was concerned at that point so was Anakin?



For one, ST seems more advanced in that regard. Healing without leaving any scars (even burns), tissue regeneration, and all kinds of weird s****. Injuries that are a big deal in SW are healed quickly. Their operations are fast and painless.
And ST medicine WOULD be able to so something after.

And again, Anakin would now what Palapatine did. That would only cause him to hate him more and be LESS obedient, not more.
And wouldn't "robotizing" Vader make him weaker? After all, the Force is the energy produced by all living things. Not robot parts. With less of his biological self, wouldn't he be producing less of that energy?


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