Commentary on history forum rules thread

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ray245
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Commentary on history forum rules thread

Post by ray245 » 2009-01-16 11:32am

I want to bring up the question of creating historical based movies, series and documentaries threads in this sub-forum.

From What I understand, historical based movies, series and documentaries are the ones that shaped the public perspective of History. That instead of posting Historical based movies in the off-topic area, can we post threads about them down here?

The average viewers who would not know about the specifics of history can be given a correct viewpoint in this sub-forum. For example, it is much easier for people to debunk and learn about historical inaccuracy such as what kind of armour was worn and etc through Google.

On the other hand, inaccurate historical perspective will remain even if a person google about that film. Such as the example of the Persian army facing Alexander in the film 'Alexander'

Also, it might be interesting to discuss and debate about the Historical portrayal of kings and emperors in the past in documentaries and movies. We have tons of movies about Julius Caesar, and there has been relatively few discussion about the personality that was portrayed by the actor in the public.

Is the the depiction of Caesar's ambition and motivation accurately portrayed in the film? Is Alexander that rash at times, as shown in a documentary?


Also, we need to discuss over the issue of documentaries concerning History. Documentaries can depict innaccurate portrayal of History at times, and because of the fact that people view it as a documentary, there will be even lesser people who question is the Documentary accurate in its depiction of the past.
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Re: History Forum rules and policies

Post by Kanastrous » 2009-01-16 11:36am

^ I think ray's on to something, there. Seconded, FWIW.
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Re: Commentary on history forum rules thread

Post by Thanas » 2009-01-16 01:39pm

Let me make one thing absolutely clear - under no circumstances will this forum be the place for common review threads like the one about Valkyrie currently in OT, which consists of 17+ posts of people arguing about whether the movie is worth seeing and only five posts with historical discussion. If people want to talk about a movie in general, they have to do so in Off-Topic. This forum will not become a haven for posts like "I liked the movie".

If you want to create a topic arguing about specific historical mistakes in a specific movie, you are welcome to do so. However, as soon as that thread degenerates into "Did you like the movie?" I will personally deal with the topic at hand and boot it off to the appropriate place.

Now, when it comes to documentaries, these are supposed to be non-fiction. I would have no trouble if someone decides to make a review thread about a documentary like "Victory at Sea", providing of course he/she adheres to the rules about reviews as set forth in the forum rules.
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Re: Commentary on history forum rules thread

Post by K. A. Pital » 2009-01-17 01:06am

Yeah, I'll also say that the movies have to be reviewed in a fashion relevant to the topic: i.e., not focusing on the filmmaking errors, or achievements, and not just a general discussion of the movie or it's actors.

Non-documentaries should be fair play, and a case could be made that analyzing the mistakes or achievements of non-documentary movies in a truthful depiction of history can be rather useful for people who are planning to watch those movies - this way they would not be misled by fictional depictions. Case in point: Pearl Harbor, Enemy at the Gates etc.
ray245 wrote:Documentaries can depict innaccurate portrayal of History at times, and because of the fact that people view it as a documentary, there will be even lesser people who question is the Documentary accurate in its depiction of the past.
Critiques of documentaries are of course welcome (with the dramatically poor quality of historical documentaries from H... Channel and Discovery, I believe it won't be too hard to show at least some common documentary errors). Like any other historical work, they can be badly made or even falsifying history.
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Re: Commentary on history forum rules thread

Post by ray245 » 2009-01-23 08:40am

Just another question, is a 'historical' vs thread allowed in this section? Vs threads like Rome vs Han, Macedonians vs Carthage?

One on hand, those threads can result in a game of fan-boy shouting match, yet on the other hand, it is also capable of informing people about facts about certain nations and empires for example. People do gain extra knowledge about history in a vs thread.

I remember that we have a Mongols vs something thread, where people actually learned about the discipline of the Mongol army in that thread for instance.

So, is it a wise choice to allow vs threads in the history section?
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Re: Commentary on history forum rules thread

Post by Fingolfin_Noldor » 2009-01-23 09:25am

I don't see a point. It's no different from any of the RAR threads.
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Re: Commentary on history forum rules thread

Post by Maxentius » 2009-01-23 10:36am

ray245 wrote:
So, is it a wise choice to allow vs threads in the history section?
Instead of making inane "versus" threads like "LEGIO X EQUESTRIS VS TEN MONGOL TUMEN", why not just make a thread dedicated solely to comparing and contrasting the armed forces of the Roman Republic/Empire and the Mongol Khaganates? It's certainly less v apid.
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Re: Commentary on history forum rules thread

Post by Thanas » 2009-01-23 11:33am

Like Fingolfin, I see no point in vs threads. Especially not in threads that put two armies from completely different time periods against each other.

Maxentius, your solution has some merit, but the only way such a thread will survive is if there is some more context besides "Hey guys. What are the capabilites of a roman legion compared to [insert unit here]." Because I for once see no reason to play googlebot for anybody who is too lazy to read a book and do the work themselves. So the only way I can see a thread surviving is if the OP already has some work done on the subject.
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Re: Commentary on history forum rules thread

Post by Maxentius » 2009-01-23 12:57pm

Thanas wrote:Maxentius, your solution has some merit, but the only way such a thread will survive is if there is some more context besides "Hey guys. What are the capabilites of a roman legion compared to [insert unit here]." Because I for once see no reason to play googlebot for anybody who is too lazy to read a book and do the work themselves. So the only way I can see a thread surviving is if the OP already has some work done on the subject.
I agree, but I'm not sure context is exactly the answer. Certainly, I could create a thread with the hypothetical subject of, "How would the army Subetai invaded Hungary with fare if it replaced Julian/Heraclius' army during the invasion of Persia?" But really, all that would be doing is creating a scenario in which the main point of discussion would be the logistical and military capabilities of a 13th century Mongol army, or hypothetical (and pretty baseless, in my opinion) comparisons of the aforementioned army to a 5-6th century Sassanid Army. The former, while possibly suited to discussion, would most likely be reduced to simple information dumping with little in the way of actual discourse, while the latter would probably just end up as some inane back-and-forth over who had the superior method of mounted archery.

Obviously, as you mentioned, we need something more than simple context, and yeah, a prior basis of knowledge and research is practically required, but I just can't see a purpose for such a thread in the long run. It might be fun to some people at some times, but it's pretty vacuous in the end, especially since the discourse that would follow really can't be backed up by anything more than personal opinion. So, I suppose I mean to say, I can't really see where such a thread would go even if the OP is firmly grounded in prior knowledge.
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Re: Commentary on history forum rules thread

Post by ray245 » 2009-01-23 01:05pm

I think I can agree with the mods decisions. In many other forums where historical vs threads is a lot, it always end up as a shouting and spamming thread, where one side thinks they won the debate by the sheer amount of fan boys spamming that thread.

There is definitely to many variable to consider, in regards to making a historical vs threads. Same thing can be said in regards to 'who is the best' kind of threads.
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Re: Commentary on history forum rules thread

Post by ray245 » 2009-02-02 04:10am

I have thought of this idea, we can adopt for a historical vs match. Instead of creating a vs match or a comparison thread with the intention of finding a winner, we do something else instead.

We use the data available to us in archeological finding, and historical documents, and use it to find the best tactics one side can adopt.

For example, we have a Han Chinese vs the Roman army thread. Instead of trying to find who is the winner or comparing the different tactics and weapons used, we find what is the best way to use the Roman army against the Han Chinese army.

An thread discussing what is the best viable tactic to adopt, when you have detailed information regarding the enemy forces, and their composition. If it is a well known fact that the Chinese has effective crossbows, and is able to deploy them en mass, we can discuss is it wise to keep the legions in close formation, and their armour and shields withstand the barrage?

What happens if we find out that the Chinese crossbows cannot penetrate the Legionnaire's armour effectively? Is it wise to send the Chinese infantry on a head on charge against the legionnaires? What kind of terrain should the Romans and Chinese seek for, in order to use their armies effectively? What kind of terrain should the different armies avoid, when they are facing each other?

While we cannot find a definite conclusion, we can find the most effective ways to deploy an army against the opposing army. This idea is mostly inspired by the Strategikon of Maurice, where proper advice was written down, and seek to provide ideas and information on how should a general handle an enemy force through analyzing how their enemy fight, what kind of customs the enemy have and how do they organize their army.

Just an idea that can be implemented, but might have to be reworked.
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Re: Commentary on history forum rules thread

Post by Thanas » 2009-02-02 04:04pm

How is that any different from the discussion in a normal vs thread?
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Re: Commentary on history forum rules thread

Post by Stark » 2009-02-02 05:44pm

Ray, before you ask this inane crap just ask yourself the simple question of 'what is the historical information I am looking for, or the issue I wish to explore'. Then make THAT thread instead, rather than a childish and ridiculous 'vs' thread. We all know you're just asking another of your inane 'Rome vs China who is better' questions, so if you actually ask that instead of trying to hide it behind a vs thread you'll get an actual answer.

Frankly, as soon as any thread moves away from historical research and information and into speculation, fiction, game-ness or whatever it no longer belongs here. Alt-history is my enemy, but insofar as it stimulates discussion of historical fact or research it's acceptable.

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Re: Commentary on history forum rules thread

Post by ray245 » 2009-02-02 08:32pm

Stark wrote:Ray, before you ask this inane crap just ask yourself the simple question of 'what is the historical information I am looking for, or the issue I wish to explore'. Then make THAT thread instead, rather than a childish and ridiculous 'vs' thread. We all know you're just asking another of your inane 'Rome vs China who is better' questions, so if you actually ask that instead of trying to hide it behind a vs thread you'll get an actual answer.

Frankly, as soon as any thread moves away from historical research and information and into speculation, fiction, game-ness or whatever it no longer belongs here. Alt-history is my enemy, but insofar as it stimulates discussion of historical fact or research it's acceptable.
The reason for that, is I think it can simulate historical discussion over the facts like how should an army be used in different scenario. The Rome vs China crap is rather old, so I have no real intention of starting it here. I am simply using it as an example.

Normal or most historical vs threads often fail to consider the fact that every battle outcome is different, due to the general themselves, and how those general use their army, is the thing that decided the battle results.

Through analysis and trying to find the best course of action to take, we can discuss what is the strength and weakness of those army, how should that army be used and deployed and what kinds of actions should the army avoid.

However, given that I am not the moderator of this forum, I will rest my case and leave the rules for Thanas, MkSheppard and Stas Bush to decide.

Arg, I got to stop posting every single thing that is on my mind onto this forum. :banghead:
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Re: Commentary on history forum rules thread

Post by Fingolfin_Noldor » 2009-02-02 09:07pm

ray245 wrote:Arg, I got to stop posting every single thing that is on my mind onto this forum. :banghead:
YOu know, it will do you good to remember to think before you post anything and avoid reflexive posting.
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Re: Commentary on history forum rules thread

Post by Thanas » 2009-02-02 09:09pm

ray245 wrote:Normal or most historical vs threads often fail to consider the fact that every battle outcome is different, due to the general themselves, and how those general use their army, is the thing that decided the battle results.

Through analysis and trying to find the best course of action to take, we can discuss what is the strength and weakness of those army, how should that army be used and deployed and what kinds of actions should the army avoid.
How the heck do you think we would be able to determine that, given that it depends on a lot of factors, including terrain, logistics, training etc....?
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