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Discussion Edit

Retcons are really a category of their own when it comes to inconsistencies. Some retcons don't pose any problems. Minute changes in appearance of models, added detail to sets and such. There are cases where major retcons have been embraced back into continuity the "Klingon forehead problem", and "Enterprise XCV 330", and others when the earlier version simply disapears like the "TNG-trill" and the "Bonaventure C1-21" and it doesn't really conflict with the latter version even if it coexists.

As of now retcons have been treated as inconsistancies in valid sources. If both versions are as prominent the latter has prevailed as "the true one", early version is only noted in the background. If one is less prominent it has been added as a background note only. The "USS Melbourne resolution" has set a precedent where both versions are respected equally. As anyone familiar with that case knows, she was represented by two different ship classes in the show. Similar problem has surfaced in the TOS-R. Some ships are replaced. Simply ignoring the earlier version as a background note and accepting the new one without a grain of salt is to do the 40 years of history when that early version was considered the real version an injustice.

So we accept both as the real one and follow the USS Melbourne example.

Problem 1: exemplified by "Woden", "Starbase 6" and the "USS Melbourne". They have two different types or classes . People usually browse MA from categories and links. If we respect both versions do we classify these ships as undetermined, or add them to both classes simultaneously so they are easier to find. Do we essentially state they were both types simultaneously in the categories?

Problem 2: What about the articles themselves. Should it be formated in the way that the main body treats the object as if we didn't know what it looked like. And only the background section shows the contradicting images and possibly what it would mean to the in-universe if it was one or the other. In essense if the categories claim "go see this DY-100 class ship" they find an article that doesn't say we even know what the class is, in the main text.

Problem 3: If so, can the two versions establish something concrete. For example "DY-100 was still actively used in the 23rd century as an ore freighter" or "Due to retcon it is impossible to determine if DY-100 was still actively used in the 23rd century as an ore freighter" in the DY-100 page. or "K7-type deep space stations were also used as starbases" or "Due to retcon..." etc. Do we claim out loud that both version are true and establish something, and only note in the background the retcon side of matters. Do we ignore what the appearances establish all together, and only note the retcon side of matters in the background and what they might establish there as well.

A consensus must be reached as to what the policy is to deal with the current articles and for the future when other cases surface. --Pseudohuman 07:34, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

If you look at your own Talk: page, you'll see that there apparently IS a consensus. If you don't like what the consensus is, don't pretend it doesn't exist. I'm 'a move this there. TribbleFurSuit 17:19, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Due to the suggestion of User:Cleanse I have opened this matter to an open discussion in the forum. So it shouldn't be moved back to my talk page. I would welcome any oppinions regarding this issue. There is a current policy in place to treat retcons as "just another inconsistency", but I would be interested to hear if everyone is fine with it and the way it denies us objectivity. I suspect the upcoming movie will retcon a lot of things established in the two original pilot episodes. As these issues always stir up discussion (in essense pointing out everyone is not fine with the "consensus") I am hoping to establish a policy that specifically addresses this issue once-and-for-all so those separate case-by-case discussions and compromises become unnecessary. --Pseudohuman 17:50, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Then, OK, here's an opinion: You need to acknowledge that you don't like the consensus, not pretend that we don't already have one that actually does make sense when you follow it. So far. As another user recently conceded, let's deal with the movie in a year. Whatever problems it will reveal can not be dealt with today. TribbleFurSuit 18:11, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
This is more of the same attitude you showed during the Melbourne brouhaha: "Precedence isn't good enough, so, let's stir the cess and see if a new Policy falls out". There's tons of precedence around handling TOS-R matters. If there's an existing example that you think needs a different treatment, show it to us. Every "problem" you bring up has an answer that is beyond obvious once you accept the consensus that has been described to you. Before I describe these as they logically follow from the consensus, let me show you where your whole initial reasoning goes all wrong:
You say above "Some retcons don't pose any problems" and then "As of now retcons have been treated as inconsistancies in valid sources". The first statement is true, and that's basically what defines a Retcon. the second satatment is totally false: You are the only person who wants to treat "inconsistancies in valid sources" as Retcons. Even so, this is the way it should properly follow, NOT "Retcon treated as inconsistency", so you not only are alone in this, but you also have it backward. What you want to do is turn MA into a "Fan-Retcon" site, whereas we rightly honor deliberate Production Retcon.
On to your "Problems", which go away when you recognize the consensus that OuroborosCobra informed you of.
===Problem 1=== Not undetermined. Both categories, as long as there's not some balance-tipping canon evidence that establishes one category over the other. Hypothetical example: TOS-R updates a ship to a new class onscreen, but TNG dialogue specifically identifies that 100-year-old ship as belonging to the originally-portrayed class. Otherwise, without this balance-tipping evidence, then Yes, both categories include said item.
===Problem 2=== No, of course we don't pretend it's invisible and never seen. Yes, include in Background. Described Category problem doesn't exist.
===Problem 3=== Both versions treated as True. In absence of evidence that DY-100 was NOT a 23rd century ore freighter, there's no contradiction in your example. The expression "Retcon" never, ever belongs in an article's main text, and only rarely in Background text when the issue could not otherwise be effectively described in terms of production activity.
Now you have answers to the questions you raised. Is that enough for your satisfaction? Can you go be a productive contributor, now that it's cleared up and spelled out? There aren't any problems, and there's nothing wrong with MA's current state. When you identify a truly troublesome issue in some specific article, start by talking about it there. Don't invent Policy difficulties until it's wildly obvious to the community beyond your own workspace that one exists. TribbleFurSuit 18:13, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

TribbleFurSuit: Thank you for explaining the current rationale, I'm sure it will help all contributors understand the rationale behind the current system better. I hope any further discussion on this page, if anyone feels such is warranted, would not consist of personal attack-type arguments. If no one else finds the current system as inherently non-objective, there is no point in having a discussion on this matter any further. --Pseudohuman 19:54, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

(Edit conflict with last answer by Pseudohuman, but I think it's important to add this, anyway.)
To be honest, I'm a little annoyed by the schizophrenic tendencies of this discussion right now. Just one or two days ago, you and I had a discussion on IRC, where I told you that it is very well within our existing policies to reduce one half of what is called a "retcon" situation here to background info, if that half is less prominent than the other. This is part of our policies, it is current consensus throughout the site, and it actually makes sense looking at it from our standard "in-universe" POV, where a Production POV "retcon" simply wouldn't exist. You debated that then, trying to make a point that this mustn't be the case, and in fact isn't consensus - and now, just those two days later, you're telling us that, yes, in fact, reducing one to background info has been consensus, but should not be any longer because of the "Melbourne precedent"?
If the Melbourne example isn't a case of one half being very prominent (with visible class, visible registry and known place/time of destruction) and the other half being not prominent at all, then what is? This is a pristine case of a "retcon" (if it even is that much, seeing that we didn't really knew the first class of the ship to begin with) which doesn't lead to any inconsistencies - and as such, it would have been the best to just move the "retconned" part to a background section. Instead, we now have, from the in-universe POV, a ship that is both Excelsior- and Nebula-class. I also told you about a rule that really isn't "policy" around here, but should be common sense: "Don't unnecessarily confuse readers." Do you think this solution achieves that? -- Cid Highwind 20:19, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm confused just reading this entire discussion. All this came from the whole Melbourne Identity crisis? Well, I'm not sure I'm particularly happy with what happened with the Melbourne article so I certainly don't think we should do the same to other articles. As Cid said, it's been our policy all this time to have less prominent "retcon" situations in the background, and it's worked pretty well so far, IMO. No need to confuse matters any further. Now, if you don't mind, I'm gonna go back to being confused. --From Andoria with Love 20:43, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm confused by the responses to this discussion too. It seems like 90% personal attack and 10% contribution... I started this discussion as an attempt to feel out if anyone else thinks we are not being objective enough in the current system. My position has always been: what ever increases objectivity is the better way to go. Question is: does everyone feel the current way is the most objective or is it too obsessed to prerationalize retcons for the reader in it's presentation of the relevant facts? Please limit your comments to this subject. --Pseudohuman 22:10, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Again: Nobody seems to have any problem with the way things are done today except you. If it's an attack to say that, and if it's an attack to say that we said that, then we're guilty. If it's an attack to say that your claim "As of now retcons have been treated as inconsistancies in valid sources" is false, then I attack with "you want to treat inconsistencies as retcons". Ouch! That's gotta hurt. Furthermore: You asked some pretty specific questions and got some answers (from me, anyway). Were those responses off-limits? I didn't even know that objectivity was the subject of the conversation. I thought the subject of the conversation was "Let's reach a consensus", and in fact one already exists. Sorry for missing the point, but, it was like a trick question the way you're springing it now what you were really after. How about this: What's missing from your entire thing is a proposal. Why don't you just present a proposal that people can consider and respond to? This way it's really really clear exactly what you have in mind and you won't feel like your toes were stepped on unless someone is actually saying something mean. Look, I'm sorry for putting words in your mouth. I can understand why that feels like an attack. ""Precedence isn't good enough, so, let's stir the cess and see if a new Policy falls out". OK, my words, not yours. It just really seems to me like your modus operandi is to pretend that we don't actually have practices (consensus, policy, precedence, etc.) in place for the situations you're describing. We do. They're just apparently not the practices you want to see. That's fine, please say what you want instead. Just saying that "this is broken" isn't working. TribbleFurSuit

TribbleFurSuit: The "lets reach a consensus" was an indirect response to what User:Cleanse said on my talk page. I'm sorry this led to you misinterpreting my purpose or that it seems I pretend something. I am full aware there is a practice for how both versions are included, currently in place. I fully understand it, how it works and why it's there.

This is an open discussion on what people think the Melbourne resolution should mean to other retcons. Should it increase the objectivity of MA in a way that we include both versions as equals (in the same way we now do with the Melbournes) or do we go on "pre-choosing" one over the other for the readers.

Can we please please please please keep further comments on that subject only. It is far easier for others to join the conversation when the comments only deal with the actual issue and are not filled with personal attacks. --Pseudohuman 02:55, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Re:Pseudohuman: What I was suggesting on your talk page was if you were going to change articles to "remove retcons", you'd have to get a consensus first. I wasn't saying there was no existing consensus and we'd have to get one. Just that in order to overhual MA as you are attempting to do, you'd have to give out a proposal and gain a new consensus on it. My statement "There is not yet a consensus to do so" was referring to this, and wasn't intended to imply that a consensus supporting your view a. would be gained or b. should be gained. I just meant if you have a suggestion about MA policy, you should bring it up on the forums.
On this issue, I fully support Memory Alpha's current position. Clearly, most other users do too. As such, we should continue along it. – Cleanse 03:26, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Hmm... perhaps I shouldn't have commented at all. I just realized the discussion was pretty much done by the time I commented. Sorry if my comments ignited any more flames. Next time I think I'll just stick to the sidelines. :/ --From Andoria with Love 03:43, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, it's hard to "stick to one topic", if that chosen topic is only half the deal. If the question now is: "What should "the Melbourne resolution mean to other retcons?", I think we also need to discuss the question: "What should current consensus and existing policy for other 'retcons' mean to the 'Melbourne solution'?"
Apparently, we're now at the point where all of us recognized that there is consensus about such cases - at least I get that much from the above discussion. If there is, I maintain that it is easier to change the one example that is inconsistent with the rest, than it would be to change all the examples that are inconsistent with the one, but internally consistent with each other.
To put that back into some bigger context - we're writing an encyclopedia about a TV series, for fans of that TV series. We've chosen an "in-universe" POV to do so because that POV easily leads to consistency in many aspects, but it still is an encyclopedia written by 21st century Trek fans for 21st century Trek fans. With that in mind and in my opinion, goals of our encyclopedia-writing process should be, in that order:
  1. Be as complete as possible without adding anything that is "not fact".
  2. Be as "unconfusing" as possible.
  3. Try to make the "in-universe" part as consistent as possible.
Having one object categorized as two different things definitely breaks rule #3. Even prominently mentioning one of those two things, if it is a)invisible, b)unmentioned in the series and c)later "retconned" (meaning "replaced with the other thing due to deliberate producer action") breaks rule #2. Mentioning that "less important" thing in a background section would not break either rule #2 or #3, and at the same time follow rule #1. -- Cid Highwind 08:37, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Goal 3 has the objectivity problem of inherent prerationalization when the limit is reached when it is no longer possible to be consistent. To solve this limit, rationale c) places more value on what is post-retcon than to what is pre-retcon when both versions are as visible and prominent. Confusion does indeed come from in-universe conflict, but also from the censorship measures taken to uphold goal 3 in the main text area. Goal 1 is not obtained when we are not as complete as possible. Then again, the current system is propably as far as we can go with it, as we fans are notorious for wanting everything in the trek universe to make sense. :) All though I'm pretty sure there is a policy of tolerance in valid resources towards film production capabilities. And what are most of the retcons dicussed here but retcons due to the lack of production capabilities. Is the current system tolerant in those cases? --Pseudohuman 11:44, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm confused again... it seems as if this discussion is actively trying to avoid spelling out its purpose. To cut through all of that, could you please clarify what exactly it is that you want to achieve with this discussion? Do you want to know if there is consensus or policy about something? Do you want existing policy or consensus to be explained to you? I think we did both already. Do you want existing policy or consenus to be changed? If so, it would really be helpful if you managed to put that into a simple suggestion: Give an example article, tell us what you'd like to change about it, and why you want to change it from what it is now... unless you can do that, I'm not really willing to continue this discussion. -- Cid Highwind 15:51, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
What the production team did to the Melbourne was not a retcon. It was an inconsistency: whether deliberate or mistaken, really does not matter, in-universe. When the production team creates a story that explains why the Melbourne didn't always look the same, THAT will be a retcon. I reject most vehemently the categorization of these nits as "retcon". Klingon faces got a retcon. The Melbourne has not. TribbleFurSuit
Wikipedia:Retcon - believe it or not, it is a "retcon" according to the standard definition of "retcon". Not that it matters much - we would have had the same discussion if we had called it an "inconsistency" from the beginning. -- Cid Highwind 20:26, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
When you say "it", you mean the Melbourne? And when you say "the standard definition", you mean "the deliberate changing of previously established facts in a work of serial fiction"? You're saying the Melbourne was deliberately changed from one class to another? I don't buy that - if they deliberately wanted to retroactively change the Melbourne's class, or to establish a second Melbourne, they would have damn well done it good instead of trying to slip some random Excelsior model by the unsuspecting dullard fetishistic Trekkies. I also don't buy that "we would have had the same discussion if we had called it an "inconsistency" from the beginning". People's insisting on imagining that continuity existed there was what drove the creation of 2 Melbourne pages. Freeing ourselves to acknowledge that DIScontinuity happens is what allows us to enjoy the shows and movies, to say nothing of writing articles like Trill and many things related to TOS-R. TribbleFurSuit 01:20, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Cid Highwind said: from the in-universe POV, a ship that is both Excelsior- and Nebula-class. I also told you about a rule that really isn't "policy" around here, but should be common sense: "Don't unnecessarily confuse readers." Do you think this solution achieves that? And Shran said: All this came from the whole Melbourne Identity crisis? Well, I'm not sure I'm particularly happy with what happened with the Melbourne article so I certainly don't think we should do the same to other articles.
Why didn't you raise your concerns at the time of that discussion then? If you were both following the discussion, and disagreed when it became apparent a consensus was close, and I specifically asked twice for someone more versed in Memory Alpha policy to come in and advise how this affects Memory Alpha as a whole, you stayed quiet? I'm utterly flabbergasted that you would stay quiet during the debate, and then complain about its resolution after the fact. The time for you to say you didn't agree was when we we'd had a preliminary consensus, and asked what the implications were. Hossrex 01:46, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Hossrex, is that really you? I can't believe you're the same person who wrote this, but... OK. TribbleFurSuit 02:35, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
What does that have to do with anything? I counted it as a success because we found a consensus in a situation where I don't think many people expected a consensus to be found. I was proud that we'd worked through our differences, and created something everyone could agree on. Now it turns out that we didn't really find a consensus, because there were people who were clearly following the proceedings, but who didn't express their concerns. That we found a consensus is now entirely meaningless, because people didn't express themselves properly, so its just a matter of time before the whole thing fires up again. When I said: 'I mostly chalk this one up as a success because we were allowed an open forum of discussion', I didn't mean "gosh, its great that everyone just humored us, and waited until we shut up". I meant "gosh, its great that everyone was able to express themselves freely, and we still found resolution". Everyone didn't express themselves freely (although they for some reason gripe about it later), so it was a failure. If you don't care, and don't bother to weigh in on an issue, thats one thing, but if thats the decision you make, I don't understand why you would make public your discontent the very next day. Baffling. Hossrex 04:24, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, don't get all riled up about that - as I see it, the situation was as follows: 1. tons of replies, making the discussion run in circles and hard to follow, 2. my question for clarification, 3. more replies, more circles, 4. Alan explaining the thing to me, then posting our IRC conversation to the page, 5. more replies, more circles, 6. my IRC conversation with Pseudohuman (which is what you quote at the beginning), 7. more replies, more circles, other work for me so that I can't reply on the page immediately, 8. Sulfur resolving the situation in a fair way, rendering any further reply unnecessary, 9. someone else changing this resolution to something that doesn't make sense according to our policies, pre-existing consensus and general common sense, 10. Pseudohuman starting yet another discussion suggesting to change all our articles based on that changed resolution. It's not really as if there hasn't been any participation, so please don't make it look like that. -- Cid Highwind 06:38, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
If you didn't approve of the consensus being reached, I would very much have liked to hear your reasoning. Opinions were swayed by everyone involved in that discussion, so your implication that anything you'd have said would have fallen on deaf ears is quite fallacious. We found a consensus because you didn't speak up your disagreement, and now you have a problem with the decision, and its implications regarding other articles, even though I'd specifically asked twice for someone to come into the discussion and explain these very implications. When no one replied, everyone involved assumed no one had any issues with the implication. If you had explained some of the issues regarding how this will cause difficulties for other articles, it may have changed my opinion. It isn't like I refused help. I specifically asked for it. Hossrex 07:04, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
I didn't imply any of that... -- Cid Highwind 11:11, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
On the subject of my "trolling": It was just a big surprise to me to see you flame the Forum within hours of posting something so civil, upright and classy (and apparently all-inclusive) as wjat you did on the Melbourne page. You know what, though? I shouldn'a said it, because it wasn't about the contents of any article. Sorry.
On the subject of my "discontent": I don't have any, regarding the consensus or the way the Melbourne article was resolved. You take me wrong. My discontent is over people's inability to recognize any difference between deliberate production continuity decisions and random production artifacts. Our version/definition of "canon" is the casualty, when 2 different Melbournes are definitively said in this encyclopedia to exist. When they "retcon" it by writing a story that firmly establishes 2 Melbournes with the same registry at the same time in the same battle, the situation will be different. Until then, I believe that the right thing was done, and if you saw my arguments, I don't know how you could think otherwise. 198.49.180.40 17:21, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
So long as everyone expresses themselves properly, any success on Memory Alpha is a success for all of Memory Alpha. Hossrex 20:30, 6 May 2008 (UTC)


Retcons and inconsistencies - two completely different things Edit

I should point this out, too: A retcon is not an inconsistency (quite the contrary), and an inconsistency is not a retcon. Retcons can always be explained in-universe from canon evidence, or it wouldn't be a retcon. Inconsistencies can never be explained in-universe from canon evidence, or it wouldn't be an inconsistency. Therefore: Retcon info belongs in main text, inconsistency info arguably belongs in Background, though I personally would lobby for the Nitpick section. TribbleFurSuit 20:49, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

And policy dictates no nitpicks. And that way it shall stay.
Oh, and I removed your link to "/dev/null", because, while the joke is there, there's always the likelihood that someone'll actually create something there. And that would be even more annoying. -- Sulfur 14:26, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

The Proposal Edit

Okay, apparently I was too vague in the beginning. Here is an example of what I was after, and what I thought would be a more objective practice in retcon cases, when a ship is replaced etc.

Our current practice is to write for example:

The Woden (NCC-325) was an old-style automated Federation Antares-type ore freighter...
Background
Originally, the Woden was a re-use of the DY-100-class studio model...

A proposal to improve objectivity is:

The Woden was an old-style automated Federation ore freighter...
In the original edition of "The Ultimate Computer" the Woden was a DY-100-class spaceship. In the remastered edition she was an Antares-type starship with the registry NCC-325.

In essense we obtain all goals set by the current practice in a non-confusing way. As the reader may not be aware of our subjective system of weighing evidence values and goals and rationales, they might get the wrong idea that the version we end up promoting in the article main text should be considered "the real one". Instead we would remain more neutral in the matter, hence more objective. Hence a better source of information. As this concerns more than just that one article, and I want to avoid edit wars, I started this discussion here to see what people think. I for one think it would be a more objective take on the material we are archiving. (Please continue discussion on the discussion-segment of this page.) --Pseudohuman 16:49, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

To me, personally, this specific proposal about this specific article looks fine. To finish it off by addressing one of your concerns above, what category(s) would you put the Woden in?
Now, how would you use this example to spell out a proposal? That is, what are the rules? Describing the rules gives us a better idea what will happen to other articles than looking at the single example gives us. Thanks, TribbleFurSuit 03:44, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Starships at Wolf 359 looks to me like a good precedent of listing the ship in a table like that when something like that is called for of a ship like this. I would use the word "uncertain" rather than "unknown" though in those cases. It's best to say a ship is only a part of the "Category: Federation starships" like the USS Melbourne is now and not confuse things by puting up two conflicting "...-class starships" tables to the bottom of the page. In the class pages, Excelsior-class and Nebula-class pages make a good precedent of placing USS Melbourne under the heading Uncertain in the Ships commishioned-segments. So Woden would be in the uncertain ships commishioned of Antares-type page and in the uncertain ships commishioned of DY-100-class page, so it's something you would definetly check out if you were a reader looking for all info on all ships of the classes. When it comes to the ambiguities of what it would establish if the Woden was a DY-100, a Background-segment note like the one I put into the DY-100-class page would be the way to go. I would like IKS Klothos to recieve the same treatment as a line of dialogue from DS9 retconed graphics of a TAS-episode there. And go from there.

Alternatively an Ambiguities-segment set aside from the Background-segment, like in the James T. Kirk page, would be a good precedent on where to put uncertain things established too, but I wouldn't use it unless there's a lot of information that is retconed all over the place for a single ship. (Please continue discussion on the discussion-segment of this page.) --Pseudohuman 08:15, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

It seems to me that the ultimate question boils down to "whats more confusing to the uninitiated? Having one ship listed concurrently in two categories, or having a ship that has reason to be in a category for some reason unlisted". A lot of people here automatically assume that it would be less confusing to have a situation where we either don't list a ships classification, or don't list one of the possible classifications for a ship. If nothing else, I ask that those of us who take this as an axiom could please understand that it could be equally as confusing for new readers to ignore certain "contradicting" information, simply because it is contradicting. I ask that we remember that perhaps our mandate that we try to foster an environment of "no contradictions" in Star Trek might in itself confuse the issue. Smirks of course follow a statement like that. If the most important unwritten rule is "don't confuse the readers", should we necessarily be throwing out good information (that someone might be looking for), simply because it doesn't fit into our "there are no contradictions in main canon" philosophy? Hossrex 10:32, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

The Analysis Edit

Step 1 Edit

OK, analysis time, as requested. In this first step, I'm going to ignore existing policy, guideline, consensus about the topic. It obviously already exists for the majority of questions that do come up, but we'll deal with that later.

First, what this suggestion is about is any situation in which two "facts" "contradict" each other, where "fact" is, for the moment, anything regardless of our canon policy and "contradict" is supposed to mean "can't be true at the same time if this were a situation in real life", independent of whether this contradiction is deliberate ("retcon") or indeliberate ("production error"), visible or not.

Second, our articles consist of different parts: An "in-universe" part which describes the object in question as if it really existed, a "background" part that describes the object as part of a fiction, and a "navigational" part, consisting of navigation templates, category links and so on, individual elements of which can be a part of either the in-universe part or the "background" part, but not both at the same time.

So, how can we deal with two contradicting facts A and B? We can either:

  1. ignore both facts, in every case
  2. use both facts, in every case
  3. ignore one fact in favor of the other, depending on some rule yet to be determined
  4. use a combination of the above, depending on other factors that we haven't addressed yet.

Also, different "parts" of an article, as described above, can deal with this situation differently. Let's have a look at the different parts:

"Background" part
This is definitely the one where we can most easily decide. Since this part deals with the object in question on a meta-level anyway, we're free to include any information we have, regardless of any contradiction. Let's use #2 from the above list here.
"In-universe" part
This one is a little more difficult. In this part, we're supposed to describe an object as if it really exists, which means that #2 is the one option we can not use in any such case - since, from our definition above, both facts can not be true at the same time... This leaves us the option to either handle all our articles like USS Melbourne is handled right now (#1), handle all our articles like Woden is handled right now (#3, rule for decision between facts yet unknown), or use a combination of #1 and #3 (#4), depending on another decision rule we haven't made up yet. This seems to be the hot spot of this discussion, so more about that later, probably. In any case, the contradicting information would never be lost completely, because we are always free to use it in the "background" part. An obvious constraint here is that each decision regarding a specific case should be consistent throughout the database. We can't choose to favor A in one article, B in another, and ignore both facts in a third...
"Navigational" part
Here, we don't have to decide which of the 4 ways we want to take - instead, we have to decide to which of the above two "parts" any individual element should belong. A constraint here is that this decision, too, should be consistent throughout all of our articles. For example, if we decide that "starship class categorization" is supposed to belong to the background part, then it should be handled that way on all articles. And if we decide that that categorization is "background", then it would be hard to make a case for any other categorization to be "in-universe" at the same time. We can't really have both here. The same, but separately, is true for navigational templates.

With that, the open questions seem to be, from bottom to top:

  1. Navigational templates - in-universe or background?
  2. Categorization - in-universe or background?
  3. In-universe part - handle contradictions according to #1, #3 or #4?
    1. If #3 or #4, what should be the rule for ignoring one fact in favor of the other?
    2. If #4, what should be the rule for choosing either #1 or #3 in any specific case?

That's it for the moment. Feel free to further discuss the open questions. In the next step, I'm going to address what the effect of different answers to those question would be. :) -- Cid Highwind 13:53, 7 May 2008 (UTC)


So... if I read the analysis right, the proposal I put out would address the open questions with: 1. in-universe, 2. in-universe - with the uncertain and uncertain plus note when applicable, 3. 2. #4 - with the rule - If contradiction is known to be deliberate or visible (legible or audible from direct footage or valid supplements): #1 - but try to include the major contradictions to the in-universe part in a non-confusing way with short italics to avoid stubing the contradicting facts completely out of the in-universe part. Follow with a more detailed account in the Background part when needed. If contradiction is only indeliberate (error, mistake, limited production capabilities), an article name conflict or minute detail change: #3 use current practice. (If I gave this out not accurately enough ask for a more detailed account.) What effects would this have? --Pseudohuman 16:30, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
You've broken this down well Cid. Very nice. I agree with all your points but one. Why is it so important that our "navigational" part be structured in the same "in universe" POV as the rest of the article? I checked the Melbourne, and the Woden pages (the two pages you cite as polar opposites), and its remarkable how similar the pages look. The in "in universe" part of one article cites what class of ship it was (Woden), the "in universe" part of the other doesn't (USS Melbourne). Otherwise, they both explain the ships function, and show pictures. The Woden article has a little classification organizer at the bottom so you can click over to the other ships of the class, and the Melbourne doesn't, but since this little classification thing is at the bottom of the article (usually either in the "background" section, or later), I'm not sure why we have to be terribly concerned with that following our "in universe" pov. My suggestion (and the way I'd vote at this minute, before hearing other good points to the contrary), would be to do the "background" section using option 2, do the "navigational" section using option 2, and I don't necessarily have a preference for the "in universe" part, except for to recommend against option 2. Just my opinion. Hossrex 22:36, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, the "organizer" templates are currently listing only the "certain" ships commishioned from the in-universe POV. They leave out all the uncertain cases, which you can reach from the class page. Although if retcon ships were listed as "ambiguous" rather than "uncertain" or "unknown", it would set them apart from the rest of the uncertain cases. And they could be included with two templates in the bottom of the page for both classes. It would make them easier to find from MA. At one point the USS Melbourne-page had this, but Sulfur removed them. A short declaration in italics like the one in my proposal would serve as a declaration of the classes in the in-universe part of the page so that it would become immediately clear to a reader why this ship is in both categories. Something thats missing from the current USS Melbourne-page. That would make it work. --Pseudohuman 23:42, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Especially considering we already have an "uncertain" qualifier of ship classification (which to my eyes, means "we don't really know, but we think"), it shouldn't be any worse of an in universe POV problem to have an "ambiguous" qualifier (which in my mind implies "we have reason to think either/both"). In my opinion, its a good suggestion, but quite radical. Radical to the point where I predict resistance, simply because its different. I do feel necessary though, to say this specific issue isn't a crusade for me. I got embroiled in this because I had a heartfelt desire to make sure the page for the Melbourne wasn't split into two pages. On this subject, I'm not nearly as passionate. Hossrex 00:59, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
The template is at the bottom of the page because that is where templates of that nature go, in terms of page formatting. There is no other rationale or explanation other than that.
Before this discussion gets stupidly long, I'm going to just upfront say that I oppose any related changes made with regards to supposed conflicts created by the "upgrades in the special effects" from TOS-R (which affects more than just starships, but the *new* planets created as well). These "upgrades in the special effects" (vs. "retcons", which is overstated, IMO) shouldn't be creating conflict, they should be resolving the bind the late-60's budget put the original series into with recycling old footage vs. the ability to create "upgrades in the special effects", and the intentional desire to use them to "make right" what could only be "half-assed" 40 years ago. Some things are just meant to be ignored in favor of production abilities and requirements...like how we accept Saavik's apparent radical reconstructive surgery between ST2 and ST3, which we simply tolerate for production based reasons. If we are going to recognize TOS-R, we should do so fully (while still obviously recognizing the original conceptualization in the background sections or on related pages), and not just recognize the cases where no conflict exists... --Alan 01:04, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Romulans surround the Enterprise, TEI remastered

This picture is not simply updates special effects, this is a retcon to replace an existing ship class with another

See picture attached to right. I understand that the reason the D7 replaced the Romulan Bird of Pray is supposedly that the BoP model was lost. Okay. If this was simply the updating of 1960's special effects restrictions, all three would have been "updated". That one was changed, and the others not, clearly implies more weight than you're giving the situation credit. I don't understand the logic in ignoring these changes. Wouldn't it better fit our mandate to catalog everything seen on screen? Hossrex 01:11, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Why is it so important that our "navigational" part be structured in the same "in universe" POV as the rest of the article?

Although I personally think that making the "navigational" part "in-universe POV" is the only viable option (more about that later), I didn't make this point yet, at all. The only thing I said is that, if one category or nav template is supposed to be of either one of the two POVs, then all categories or nav templates should be of that POV. For example, if a category "Federation starships" is background POV, then the category "starships" should be as well, as should a category "starbase", etc. - because all those categories are used in the same way ("Function:describe objects of the Trek universe"), and it would be very hard to explain why one of those categories would need to have a different POV than another. It would be internally inconsistent.

Also, since there's some reference to "indented italics" in an in-universe part - with "background part", I'm not just referring to the "Appendices" section at the end of an article, but to all text fragments not written from an in-universe POV. This, of course, also includes the "inline" background comments. Whether to use one (inline) or the other (separate section) is more a stylistic choice than one we need to discuss in this context, I think. -- Cid Highwind 11:26, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Hossrex: In the dialogue of that ep there is a line "Intelligence reports Romulans now using Klingon design." so they didn't change all the ship classes. Only put romulan BOP-paintings on the hull-bottoms of the D7s too.
Cid Highwind: I agree with keeping categories in-universe. Also regarding the italics being only bg, solution could be an "Ambiguities" appendix as the place of sorting out the retcon, so its not really bg or in-universe but "in between" as it should be. Again if its absolutely too much to have a contradiction in the categories due to ambiguity, I'm fine with only having the ship accessible from the class-page. But I don't think the categories should be that strict in the expense of readers looking for articles as that is their function.
I'm confused by Alan though... In what way would planets now be affected? They fall into the minute change in appearance category in my suggestion which would still be treated the same as it is now... They are all still round and class-M or class-L just as they were in the 60s. A TOS-R argument "they would have done this in the 60s, if they had had more budget" doesn't really work here when a ship of the 60s is replaced by a design that wasn't invented until the 70s, and a station of the 60s is replaced by a design invented in the 2000s and nothing I've read even suggests the original production wanted another type of ship or another type of station for those scenes even if they had had more time and money to do so. I would like to see a more neutral position taken by MA. --Pseudohuman 12:17, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

If we define an "in-universe" part and a "background" part as above, how can a third part exist that is both, or neither? The way I see it, everything that is not strictly "in-universe" (and a paragraph describing an object as belonging to two mutually exclusive groups can not be "in-universe" as defined above) automatically makes up the "background" part - and a new "ambiguities" section is just another name for what already exists. Pretending that an object actually belongs to two groups in-universe would need doubletalk that would make Ingsoc proud... :) -- Cid Highwind 12:27, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Cid Highwind: An ambiguities section is not a new invention for use in sorting out conflicting canon. See: James T. Kirk. I'm perfectly happy with treating it as a clarifying extension of bg and categories only listing the "certain ships" if you feel categories can't list "certain and ambiguous ships" at the same time due to conflicts. --Pseudohuman 13:26, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Good. So an "ambiguity" subsection is just one of many ways to internally arrange the information that we put in the "background" part of an article. Maybe we can move that discussion to a later point and first concentrate on the still open questions... I'm out for a few hours now, but will see if I can continue that after I return. -- Cid Highwind 14:39, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Umm.. So, does someone have objections to implementing the proposal? --Pseudohuman 00:51, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Could you be more specific... --Alan 01:40, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
In what way? --Pseudohuman 02:03, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
That's what I'm asking...your comment is vague. --Alan 02:25, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh... The Woden etc. discussed here... conversations sort of died for over a day here, so I thought to ask. --Pseudohuman 03:14, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I'm gonna go ahead with some of the changes as no one is objecting the idea here anymore... --Pseudohuman 16:06, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Just because no one is participating means that you are right. As I stated above, I opposed, which you evidently ignored, so clearly there is no valid consensus on doing what you did to the Woden page (and the rest of articles containing remastered information that you took it upon yourself to defile), which I think now looks like absolute shit. This *idea* of yours is a waste of Okuda's time creating remastered content and our time for contacting him for the background information. --Alan 02:34, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry. I answred to your opposition above, you didn't reply to it. I asked if there are objections, again no reply of objection. I just finished adding the layer of objectivity to the articles I felt were in need of it. If being objective is "absolute shit" and "defilation"... then what is the point of MA? I think it is an absolute treat that you have contacted Okuda for background information. But it shouldn't automatically override other canon for the sake of respect. Again I am sorry, but if I ask something two times and get no objections, I assume there are none. Apparently there was, and I would have continued the conversation before making a single change. I hope this will not result in an edit war of blind undos, as I added a lot of information to the articles other than just those retcon related edits. Again I am truly sorry. --Pseudohuman 03:01, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
I haven't read every single bit of this conversation, but I kinda have to agree with Alan about the Woden page. The remastered Star Trek episodes was intended to improve upon the old episodes, not give us two different episodes set in two different realities (if that makes sense). Basically, what's seen in the remastered episodes should probably override what's seen in the original episodes. We're not dealing with two canons here, we're dealing with one. The-Powers-That-Be chose to "re-do" the original episodes, therefore the "re-do" is now canon and the original is what was canon. It therefore stands to reason that what is canon should take precedence over what was canon... yes? --From Andoria with Love 03:41, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Nope. There are improvements, and there are blatant unwarranted replacements. If you are too blind to see there is a line there, then who am I to argue with subjectivity. :) There are no two realities, only one fictional slightly ambiguous reality that can be catalogued either with subjectivity or objectivity. "Old=bad" and "new=good" are subjective evaluations. Both versions will go on existing as long as Trek exists. Improvement is a subjective term. Many fans think what Okuda is doing is in some cases a defilement to the original, many think it's an improvement. We are not objective if we take sides. :) But if everyone else thinks Memory Alpha should be Memory Okuda, then let's go for it. --Pseudohuman 04:27, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
(Edit conflict, actually this was to be before Shrans comment, and contains no reference to the above two comments)
Well, for one, Cid was out of town for the weekend, and in the cases of others, expecting replies on the weekends shouldn't be held with the high hopes you apparently had. Secondly, my stance remained, so to suddenly declare your participation poor, self-motivated "idea" as a consensus "win" and shouldn't justify shoving all the TOS-R data into the "background" and casting it off as some foolhardy attempt to introduce ambiguity (or rather, replace originally unclear, low grade or controversial special effects with something more palatable), from the people who apparently care enough about the franchise to do this in the first place "for the fans", rather than actually giving them a something *new* to look forward to. I never saw that from the beginning, and I still don't see that, nor do the (dare I say) dozens of contributors (who have been involved in various levels of contributing to the *new* TOS-R data as "canon") and maintaining the precedence of using "what is, over the what was" for over 2 years now, that which two contributors are wishing to change overnight (and yes, on MA overnight can equal a week). --Alan 04:31, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I also call those "blatant unwarranted replacements" as canon. btw how in the name of Zeus was I to translate "I'm out for a few hours" into "out of town for the weekend"... are you using that "hours instead of days"-code from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan? Well, what you have been doing belongs to a Okuda-fan site, no doubt about it, it just doesn't belong to a supposed objective wikipedia. :) But if you are too blind to see it, then this was just one of those atheist - jehova's witness type of conversations where you can only agree to disagree. Levels of logic are just too far apart. :D --Pseudohuman 05:02, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Just wanted to clarify (so ya'll don't get confused) that Pseudohuman's "blatant unwarranted replacement" comment above was in response to a comment I removed before he could reply. You know... just for clarity. :) --From Andoria with Love 05:46, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Having said all that, it would appear that the current retcon-practice is basically concerned with a too vague of an entry to the database, and my proposed view is basically concerned with the entry ending up as way too subjective. As a compromise, clear bgnotes would almost completely fix the problem. A few disclaimer sentences like: "The Woden is listed in Memory Alpha as an Antares-type ship, instead of a DY-100-class ship, for the sole reason that the Antares-type version was the most recent version from the production point-of-view. This should not be interpreted to mean it should be preferred as more canonical over the other." or something to that effect... and a "see also" note in the DY-100 class page for the Woden after the ships commishioned list. and the same such notes to these types of solutions we take, as a reader might not be familiar with the unwritten practices of MA contributors and might get the wrong idea. --Pseudohuman 08:05, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
I must agree with Alan's comment (though I would put it into different words ;-)) The "changed" pages read horribly now, the ambiguity sections make things much more confusing then it was before and, as Alan said, having all the information we exclusively and directly got from Mike Okuda being moved to subsections in the background sections is, honestly, a slap to the face. Having followed the whole discussion but being not able to reply properly earlier, because I was busy with other things, I must say that I don't see any agreement for the changes you made here. Just because nobody hasn't replied for a day doesn't make it right. Again, I strongly oppose the changes. --Jörg 08:18, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Yep. I suppose someone has to be slapped in the face any which way we go, if it's not Okuda, then it's the original 60s production team who really had to slave for those studio models and effects back then and the writers who presumably wrote the UltimComp script with those reuses in mind. It's propably not the best solution to slap both as I have been suggesting. It would be equally respectful and disrespectful at the same time to both, but on the grounds that what is newer is more likely to be followed up in future canon, than what was the older version, it is a better way, the way we are going now (as long as there are disclaimers) :) So, appologies for my edits. This whole discussion was to avoid a confrontation like that. I'm so new here I didn't know how long one should wait for oppositions to surface and replies to come up in these discussions. But I learn from mistakes. I honestly misread the way I was replied to. I am sorry. --Pseudohuman 15:41, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, then, I guess we'll just have to call off the execution. A shame... I was up for a good beheading! ;) -- Renegade54 16:03, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Sulfur on Woden: ok, that disclaimer was garbage. stupid. inane. so is the whole "we're retconning" crap. so... let's make it simpler. "the ship was updated". we already list the old type there - no disclaimer. If you all stand behind even that, then I'm gonna back off here. Apparently you are beyond all reason at this point. --Pseudohuman 19:54, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
"everybody is beyond reason:" is an asinine way to characterize "everybody strongly opposes your own preference". That's not "backing off", that's "having the last word". TribbleFurSuit 18:48, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

OK, I'm back from the weekend. It's true, I didn't put a huge disclaimer on this or any other page, announcing my absence - but I generally don't like to do that sort of stuff, and I let some people know that I'm unavailable for at least the whole weekend. In any case, as has already been stated, a single day of no reply does not mean the discussion has died down and can be closed. Different timezones, different work schedules, and "special events" like, in this case, my little camping trip for which I had to leave earlier than expected, mean that it is generally best to wait at least a whole week before considering any discussion "over".

That said, and given the hostile attitude right now, I'm not sure I want to continue this right now. -- Cid Highwind 19:51, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

No I'm really backing off. It is useless to continue when you are all dead-set on taking the remastered-trek as a total replacement like it was comparable to a director's cut version of the original, even though none of the original directors or writers are even involved, and it's admittedly just a project to make TOS more appealing to a younger audience and the highdef market. Even Okuda and other TOSR producers admit there is no involvement with their CGI decisions and the direction the new movie takes. [X]wbm To me, all this point to TOSR being just an alternative version, and alternative scenes in general are the ones our policy gives the value of reference material when they conflict with the original product, not the other way around. This has been like talking to a wall. Please, have it your way. :) As far as I am concerned, you can have the last word on this one. :D --Pseudohuman 22:01, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Ever think about starting a new wiki? Lessee, we got a wiki each for Trek canon, Trek licensed works, Trek fanworks, howbout "TrekReboots.wikia.com"? You could keep track of all the alternatives there and set the policy you like. I'd join it :D TribbleFurSuit 01:36, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, that's the "best" solution TribbleFurSuit. When we all have different views, we just divide up the community. That is so the Star Trek way! I bet that in the new movie, the writers will take notice of the way we do things, and write in that Kirk seperates the Federation into two because he has slightly different views than them. Considering how hostile and uncomprimisable this community is, it's hard to believe that these people are actually fans of Star Trek when the ways they run this Wiki completely contradict Star Trek's message! Rather than making this Wiki a fun place to be, you treat it like a battlefield. Considering we are arguing about a fictional universe that doesn't exist, you think we would be more easygoing and open to the views of people like Pseudohuman. Obviously though, we think this Wiki has the same level of importance that Wikipedia does. That's why I'm starting a Star Wreck wiki. Hopefully, since Star Wreck is an even lighter subject than Star Trek, then maybe people will realize the purpose of it is for pure fun! Linus Tovalds says that the point of open-source is more fun, and that everybody gets to play. Obviously, MA wishes to have the same mindset as Microsoft does towards software. One day, I wouldn't be surprised if MA didn't allow people who weren't using Internet Explorer.
Good riddance.
Ambassador/Ensign_Q 19:45, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
This community is "hostile and uncompromising"? Qbie, you're the one who thinks that if "A Certain User" does not now want the plain-as-day verifiable fact of a "Certain Ship's" attack to be removed from the cutting beam article, then he should have spoken up in an unrelated discussion months ago and now it's too late. As far as "fun" goes, you look like you're having a lot of it on your Melbourne drills and your name calling. Nice work - just don't throw babies out with bathwater or call people the T-word. This entire farce is the reason I'm so against elevating inadvertent inconsistencies to the status of (retroactive) canon. When they make an episode or movie which establishes that "Oh, and by the way, Number One, a ship visibly labelled "Melbourne" was actually NOT at the battle of Wolf 359 after all", then your edit will have been justified. Until then, yeah, we are gonna say that the Melbourne was there. Have a fascist day, --TribbleFurSuit 05:48, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
What I was trying to do with the cutting beam article was modify it in a way to match the concensus on the Melbourne article. Except apparently now, there was no concensus, and a bunch of users (including mods) decided to sit around with their head up their butts not voicing any objections until a day ago. Yeah, I'm really at the wrong here, trying to modify other MA articles to match what I thought the majority had voted on in relation to the Melbourne article, based on what I had read and could see. and you call me a fascist... Ambassador/Ensign_Q 13:52, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
I am not calling you fascist, I am making fun of you for describing MA as fascist. Beyond that, I don't see how anyone could have mistaken the consensus for "we have to say that wasn't the Melbourne". --TribbleFurSuit 02:28, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, if you actually could interpret situations, rather than do the Fox News approach of leaving things out to suit your view, you would actually see that to a casual observer, and even to Hossrex as he himself stated earlier, that it seemed a consensus had been reached. At least 3 to 4 people, including Pseudohuman, Sulfur, Hossrex, and myself, agreed with the new approach. More importantly, no body objected. In fact, you yourself seemed to be on board:


Pseudohuman: Hossrex: That is actually the best damn suggestion yet - Really treat the ships like actors. Instead of bickering over which ship should be "the real Melbourne", and which do we ignore, we avoid the inconsistency alltogether. We say both were. All scenes of the wreck, the dedication model and the reused Excelsior-model are of the same ship. Sure the model was changed from one scene to the next in "Emissary", so what. Instead of arguing which class of ship it was, we say it was both. We take into play the "suspension of disbelief"-factor like with actors playing the same part. Instead of beginning with a sidebar of "actor: something" and "actor: something" we just put "class: Nebula" "class: Excelsior". In order of appearance, as demonstrated there. We avoid the issue of claiming the ship has a "real class" at all. The entire time my point has been that all canon needs to be respected in this case. I had the problem with the current system of placing ships into categories by class and therefore forcing us and our readers to basicly ignore canon by naming the nebula-Melbourne as an "unnamed Nebula-class ship", which I have a real problem with. This solution would ignore no canon. It wouldn't blindly go the Encyclopedia path of claiming "Melbourne was ever an Excelsior-class ship". Neither ship would only be mentioned in the background. It wouldn't claim either way. We then add the ship into both classes categories in all pages. Like we would add a character played by two actors to both actors pages. This could actually be a great precedence on how Memory Alpha deals with inconsistency. When it happens we don't weigh which instance has more evidentiary weight, we just stay neutral. If Klothos was a D7 in one episode and a D5 in another, we say it was both, for example. List it as a D5 and a D7 ship. We remove the mention of class from the main text and state them in the background. What do you think? Thats the only way to make an objective article even though it goes against policy when it substains from weighing evidentiary values. It really leaves it up to the reader to decide as freely and objectively as is possible what to make of it. -- 02:32, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Hossrex:I have *ABSOLUTELY* no idea how badly that might contradict Memory Alpha policy, but frankly... its at least a fair compromise. I'm curious why you're opposed to background notes explaining the discrepancy though. My position has been solidly on the side of there being only one page for "both" ships, but how that one page is executed I'm very open to debate, and compromise. Can we get a Memory Alpha expert in here to act like a lawyer (errr... I actually mean that in a good, respectful way), and give us the ramifications of this idea, in regards to how it effects policy, and if possible, how it could be modified to fit into that context? Good job Pseudohuman. We're actually getting somewhere. Hossrex 02:55, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
TribbleFurSuit: Point of order: I move to call the question and proceed immediately to voting on the Merge proposal, without any further discussion. TribbleFurSuit 03:17, 3 May 2008 (UTC)


And even after the merger, when I posted the "Congrats" section, nobody was voicing any opposition. Well, except for your stupid and completely non-productive response to a message Hossrex had posted in the same section, although it had really nothing to do with the Melbourne-issue:
TribbleFurSuit: Hossrex, is that really you? I can't believe you're the same person who wrote this, but... OK. Make some friends, lose some friends, I guess TribbleFurSuit 02:37, 6 May 2008 (UTC)


To which Hossrex appropriately responded:
Hossrex: Why are you going around trolling Memory Alpha? Are you trying to make me look bad, or are you trying to start a fight? I can't figure out any other answer for your actions here. Please stop. Hossrex 04:27, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
So yeah, I'm totally in the wrong for assuming that apparently everyone was onboard with idea when nobody voiced opposition. Of course now, it is obvious that people has opposition, but they probably bottled it up and waited to use to take advantage of people, or voiced it in forums and/or IRC chats, so they could keep it between themselves, and where the casual editor (me) would not think of looking. Of course, only after I started editing Melbourne-related articles to match the apparent consensu did opposition suddenly come out. I bet that if I left said articles as they were, no one would have voiced opposition to the Melbourne article as it was. Ambassador/Ensign_Q 12:30, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
...Or maybe everyone was tired of the 5kb long entry per user discussion contributions, as I am sure anyone who had objections stated them in the beginning, and unless they renigged later. So, it is a safe bet they still stood after the fact, and simply gave in to the diluge of endless rants and moved on. (Also please note and maintain the same indent space so to keep each person's contribution in line with their previous.) --Alan 13:12, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Yup, that is basically what happened with me. Got tired of reading insanely long responses that had no business being that long, and never stated anything new. --OuroborosCobra talk 16:27, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough, Cobra. But Alan, you contradict yourself, because you are, as OuroborosCobra elaborates, stated something that isn't new. You are again posting the same arguement, which I myself have already responded to in the previous talk page entries. The only reason why you are doing this is probably to make a casual user biased towards your side. Ambassador/Ensign_Q 17:13, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Seems to me you are the biased one here. Seeing as you are not me and don't personally know me, you can hardly pretend to say you know why I have any part in this whatsoever. My argument is as valid today as it was 2 years ago when this asinine War and Peace-class discussion started. So if anyone is swayed, which was hardly my point, it is because they can swallow my talk page contributions in one bite, and because I'm not willing to ignore the obvious. --Alan 17:22, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
If your arguement is "so valid", then why the hell didn't you change the article yourself? You argued your point, then did absolutely nothing. A few days ago, you repost the exact same arguement, and again you do absolutely nothing. Two points can be extrapolated from this. Either you wanted someone else to make the change because you were too lazy to make yourself or you feared an edit war, or my arguement actually has merit. Bernd from Ex Astris Scientia agreed with my point of view enough to change his site to reflect it, so this proves that my arguement is not nonsense at all.
"it is because they can swallow my talk page contributions in one bite"; What the hell is that supposed to me? So basically what you are saying is that you arguement is stronger since you summarize it in a shorter paragraph, while mine is weaker because I listed in detail every point? In that case, I'll put all of my arguement in vague point form notes. At the end of the day though, this discussion has nothing to do with this forum's topic, which it why my next response will be of Pseudohuman's latest comment. Summarizing, the only thing that this arguement proves is that the Melbourne-dispute has been largely brought upon by a lack of proper communication that the consensus that we appeared to have actually didn't exist. People actually were opposed to the new format, but instead did not voice their objections in the talk page on the grounds that their arguements were already summarized in the previous talk page entries. Now for no reason at least one user (Alan) decided to out of the blue voice his objections more than three months after the consensus has apparently been reached. It is a shame he and others opposed didn't do so sooner, especially since a topic posted by me congratulating the community on finding a compromise had been posted and once again there was no opposition (aside from a stupid comment posted by "TribbleFurSuit"). Furthermore, it appears any opposition to the new format was posted instead in forums such as these or IRC chats, where, as I said before, the general editor like myself would not have thought to view. Instead, I has assumed that such discussion would have been posted in the Melbourne talk page. After, it is logical that opposition related to the new Melbourne article's approach would be posted in the Melbourne talk page. 64.230.127.169 18:19, 12 August 2008 (UTC) (aka Ambassador/Ensign_Q)

A summaryEdit

For anyone coming into this discussion (that has veered off topic lately) here is a summary of what the issue is (was) about:

As you know, the current interpretation of our goal to be the most precise and reliable Star Trek database, has been interpreted as meaning: to create an in-universe database that includes absolutely no contradictory statements between articles. In cases when two incompatible accounts exist, it threatens the unwritten non-self-contradictory mandate. To handle these situations we choose which one was the most recent (productionwise) addition to the canon, or the more prominent, or from the director's cut version, and include only this as our in-universe entry. The other incompatible canon is given from a real-world perspective as a background note in what ever article seems most appropriate.

This is having serious ramifications, as we now have no canonical page of the Aurora-type starship from the original "The Way to Eden", for example, that had been a well established part of canon for 40 years. From our in-universe database perspective no such design ever really even existed, because it was retconed out of existence by the recent remastered version. The question here is, should we rather allow different canonical accounts to coexist in our in-universe database, when the fictional universe we are writing these facts about unapologetically contains such alternative versions. Current policy imposes a strict false continuity to a fictional universe that doesn't actually have it. It is something we as fans are imposing on it, and does not originate from the source material. If our goal is to be the best resource on Star Trek, such a resource should not have room for this kind of "fanedit" approach in it. At least in my view.

To the majority of contributors my concerns have gone completely beyond comprehension, as they see having the older or less prominent incompatible canonical facts reduced to background notes to obtain the same goal of objectivity as what I am calling for. Any deviation from it to be unnecessary cluttering of articles, confusing the reader and a spit in the face to recent reimaginings of certain elements of canon. As such, no real discussion, I initially called for, has taken place, regarding what a better appropriate way would be, that we can all agree on, of equally including alternative in-universe accounts. As long as I am the only person calling for this change of direction, I am a minority of one. I have stated my case and have been effectively "shoved aside". The continuation of this discussion requires other people to share my view, however as long as there are none, the discussion should remain closed. --Pseudohuman 09:17, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Coming in in the middle is always a bad idea.... I have previously thought retcons are a mistake & lazy, & the "remastering retcon" isn't helping. Bad enough budget constraints (or stupid production design decisions, or lazy writers) lead to the likes of NCC-1017 (2 ships apparently the same class, with 700 built in between?) and NCC-74656 (70 thousand ships built in, what, 50yr?); all easily fixed, had anybody been paying attention. To have an established ship vanish into the ether for the sake of a retcon... Maybe it's bad form, but I'd say leave off the "in-universe" if needed. Can this be answered in-universe/in-continuity? Do. Otherwise, ignore it, 'cause not everybody will be seeing TOSR (me, for 1). Maybe the only solution is to do something like what WP has done for histories of some Marvel characters: describe what's true for a given circumstance/ep, expressly say it was retconned/remastered, say somebody boobed or there wasn't the budget to fix it, & let the reader figure it out. It may not be possible to be as encyclpedic as if these were real ships, or there'd be a naming/hull classification system & these problems wouldn't arise...which is something the producers evidently have never heard of, or the problems would never have arisen to begin with. Have I muddied the water enough yet? gul garak 21:50, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
A side note- it was never established that the registry numbering scheme was sequential.--31dot 22:15, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

And they give those registries to passenger shuttles and runabouts, so it's easy to spit out thousands of "ships" in short ammounts of time anyways. Gul garak: I'm confused by your statement. Are you suggesting we have incompatible canon stated in our in-universe database, but simply labeled in some way that they were established in what ever episode they were, but then retconed out at some point? or are you suggesting we keep it as it is, as a background note because that is what is needed to keep our in-universe database free of contradictions? --Pseudohuman 22:42, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree with what Pseudohuman stated above. Even more so, his proposal and the subsequent retaliation from certain MA users show in fact that the decision to make TOS-R the "true" canon version of those events has been influenced by bias, even bribary. Behold the following quotes:
This *idea* of yours is a waste of Okuda's time creating remastered content and our time for contacting him for the background information. --Alan 02:34, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
The "changed" pages read horribly now, the ambiguity sections make things much more confusing then it was before and, as Alan said, having all the information we exclusively and directly got from Mike Okuda being moved to subsections in the background sections is, honestly, a slap to the face. --Jörg 08:18, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
So how I read this, because Mike Okuda gave us "background information", that somehow this makes TOS-R canon in the eyes of MA users. My response: what the hell??! So if Okuda didn't give us the background information, then we would be less eager to make TOS-R the only the canon?! That is not only clear bias, but even some bribary. If Bill Gates said he would give a billion dollars to Memory Alpha in exchange that we make a page about a Microsoft-class USS Gates, we wouldn't do it because it is immoral. Yet Okuda is basically doing the same thing. The MA community was asking themselves whether or not to make TOS-R the only canon or not, and then Okuda came in and said "Oh yeah, I'll give you exclusive background info as well", and then the MA community in exchange for this "gift" TOS-R should be declared canon over the 40+ year old original TOS. That is bribary, the only difference being that the bribe is information and not money.
Pseudohuman mentioned earlier that the community was trying to turn Memory Alpha into Memory Okuda. I think a more accurate description is Memory Chaos, since we are obviously swaying on the importance of Okuda. If we're so easily ready to declare TOS-R (basically Okuda's version of TOS-R), on the ground that in the "deal" we got special background information, then why don't we go ahead and declare Star Trek Encyclopedia and the Star Trek Chronology canon? By this logic, it was a waste of Okuda's time to write these two volumes if we don't even have the "decency" to declare them instantly canon, and instead regulate them to mere background notes. On that same note, we should also declare the USS Sovereign canon with a registry of NCC-75000 because Okuda "confirmed" that in an email, and declare TAS not canon since Okuda states in the Encyclopedia that it isn't. It's an obvious slap to the face that MA has decided against Okuda that TAS in their eyes is canon.
The only difference between TOS-R and prior Okuda "stuff" is that TOS-R was shown on screen. But wait a minute, wait a minute! To this day, I have not seen TOS-R on screen at all, aside from a few pictures and and FX vids! On the cable network station "Space", you would probably think they would have instantly sprung up to replace their existing TOS eps with TOS-R. Nope, they stil show the original TOS. Ah well, it's nice to know that what I'm watching is is at least 50% irrelevant since it has been replaced. The same is probably felt by thousands of viewers who to this day have never watched a TOS-R episode.
Finally, we should also mention Ex Astris Scientia. Bernd's mandate for the site is that the Star Trek Encyclopedia, and certain other reference manuals, are canon, while TAS is mere background "semi-canon" information. His notes have clear speculation. Seems to be the complete opposite of MA, right? But even he doesn't exclude the original TOS ships and footage. He list both TOS and TOS-R versions, with information of both, in a clear and simple format. He even makes it so the background information from Okuda is clearly included, so as to not "slap Okuda". He doesn't want to instantly make TOS-R the only canon because he feels that fans have not all agreed with that assumption. Wow, that sounds like an impartial and neutral viewpoint, which for MA is one of the most important rules, even above making the article clear. Which, by the way, is a stupid arguement against Pseudohuman's suggestion. Sure, I could make a "clear and easy to read" article about the USS Miranda, but it certainly wouldn't be impartial or neutral. Ambassador/Ensign_Q 13:39, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
I have asked Mike Okuda in the past for some additional bits about the starship and planets, including registries, names etc. He certainly hasn't bribed anybody (not me, as I'm the only one in contact with him regarding MA stuff) but has graciously shared the information he has access to with us. If there were another edition of the Encyclopedia, all those bits and pieces would be in there. As there sadly isn't going to be another edition, he kindly provided me with the background information and allowed me to share it with Bernd at EAS and the MA community. He has absolutely nothing to do with the way we implemented those bits here, he just writes brief mails, giving me the information, apart from that, it's our decision how to deal with it. Just wanted to make this completely clear. --Jörg 13:58, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Well obviously he is not bribing you conciously, but in relation to TOS-R, the way your are handing the background information is just like someone acccepting a bribe. If Okuda has no say in how the information is implimented, then why are you so concerned about his feelings?
This *idea* of yours is a waste of Okuda's time creating remastered content and our time for contacting him for the background information. --Alan 02:34, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
The "changed" pages read horribly now, the ambiguity sections make things much more confusing then it was before and, as Alan said, having all the information we exclusively and directly got from Mike Okuda being moved to subsections in the background sections is, honestly, a slap to the face. --Jörg 08:18, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
That doesn't sound like you are objectively using the information. It sounds exactly like, "Oh, Okuda gave us this wonderful information, the nicest thing we could do for him is consider TOS-R canon." What if say, an person with the original TOS gave you something even more enticing. Would that mean this issue would be finally taken seriously by you? The fact remains that Okuda's provided-background information should not and does not and will not make TOS-R more canon then TOS, yet by your own words, the info. does just that. Therefore, there is bias in the current implentation, and therefore, you are not being objective in discussing this issue. Ambassador/Ensign_Q 14:36, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
I think you're confusing me with Alan, my name is Jörg. --Jörg 14:41, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
You still quoted him, and therefore you made it clear in your own words that you agree with his biased view. And no, I'm not confusing you with Alan. Ambassador/Ensign_Q 15:03, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
I think that is the second time you have accused various of us of "biased viewpoints". Mind cutting it out? "Biased" is not defined as "disagreeing with Ensign q". When you are getting as far as using words like bias, and most of all "bribery", it is time for you to take a step back. Take it from someone who has needed to take his own steps back. --OuroborosCobra talk 15:11, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, I do agree with Alan when it comes to that. I realize that you mean the comment I made back in May. Now, I just wanted to make clear, how we really got the information from Mike Okuda, as you made it sound pretty interesting and spectacular. --Jörg 15:16, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
How got the information is irrelevant. And to OuroborosCobra, I appreciate your advice, but at the same time, if I don't express my viewpoint, then the issue that I feel is important to the intergrity to MA will never be discussed. That is not bias, that is a viewpoint. My viewpoint is that these quotes clearly show that the parties involved show bias towards TOS-R based on the fact that they said "putting Okuda's information in the background would be to slap Okuda in the face" or so to that extent. I believe these show bias, which is why I argue this point. Obviously, others like Hosserex, Sulfur, and Pseudohuman share a similar view, so saying that my purpose of promoting my evidence is because these people don't believe was I believe is stupid. This is forum to discuss the issue of ignoring the 40+ year old TOS footage without taking a neutral and unbiased viewpoint. I just showed evidence that supports this. Ambassador/Ensign_Q 15:50, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
I'd not have you put words in my mouth. My take is, and has always been, treat them the same way we treat the rest. When they're close enough to be the same thing, use the best info we have (TOSR), when the conflict, note the conflict, just like we do with the rest. Oh, and stop accusing people of "bias" and "bribery". Just stop. -- Sulfur 15:58, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I mistakenly thought that since you were the one who implented the current Melbourne article format, that you were in agreement with this view. My mistake. Regardless, calling TOS-R "the best info we have" is bias in itself, lol. Since when is TOS-R > TOS? Since when is the new Aurora "the best" compared with the old Aurora? Both were clearly seen. And "noting the conflict" in a tiny little entry in the background won't change the readers opinions or even give the ability for the readers to decide for themselves. It basically says to them "The Aurora was originally represented by a different model, but the footage is obsolete because we have decided (with bias) that TOS-R is superior to TOS for some reason. Since we don't mention of the old Aurora in the main article part, there is no reason why you should consider at all if the original "Aurora" is the real one." The background is to often mixed with "real world" information and other inconsitencies that make it so that the reader won't perceive any of it value. The original Defiant plaque, for example, said the ship was a Valiant-class, but we kno for 100% that this isn't true. So if this plaque entry is completely untrue, why should the reader perceive any other background any more possible?
Oh, and finally:
>Oh, and stop accusing people of "bias" and "bribery". Just stop.
Why, exactly? I backed up these statements with direct and real evidence in the form of quotes. I'm sorry, but what you just said sounds like "I don't like your opinion or viewpoint, so I'm going to try and silence with a subtle hint of hostility and a threat." That may or may have not been your intention, but the fact remains my viewpoint stands, and if you disagree with it, please do so with backed up stated, not a subtle threat. Ambassador/Ensign_Q 16:25, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Why should you stop? Because if you don't stop violating the policy against personal attacks (which is all accusations of bias, and most especially "bribery" are), you may eventually get blocked from editing. Then who is going to defend your viewpoint? Why the hell are we not allowed to have a viewpoint of our own without it being called bribery and bias? Why are you the only one "entitled" to a viewpoint? What makes you so special? --OuroborosCobra talk 16:33, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
These aren't personal attacks! A personal attack is when I insult you by calling you stupid. When I called someone biased or having a biased viewpoint, the person can either return and argue reason why he is not biased, agree that he is biased, or feel that he is under personal attack and feel insulted. That I think, is very dumb. I am not going after just Alan and Jorg, but rather the other who posted above couter-arguements that I feel are faulty. The fact that I used Alan's and Jorg's quotes as evidence is simply the way it is.
If you have a viewpoint of your own, Cobra, then you should state it with reasons backing it up, instead of accusing me or "personal attacks". I am by no means not allowing others to have alternate viewpoints. I am allowing them to present their viewpoints with backed up statements. And by no means am I the only entitled to a viewpoint. The fact that I'm the only talking about my viewpoint in awhile seems to present as such, but it is not the case at all. In fact, my viewpoint is actually part Pseudohuman's viewpoint, who you all ignored saying the "majority" had decided, etc, in short, ganging up on him. You personally, Cobra, may have not been involved with this, so I'll elaborate: when I say "you", I refer to those involved. Period.
So frankly I'm tired that people think when I use words "bribary and bias" that I'm somehow cursing at them or calling them names. I don't see how one relates to the other. I'm not here to go on a personal attack tiraid, I'm here to help Pseudohuman get his point across, because I believe it is valid, and I want to show that not everybody is against, and that there are MA users that think in the same way. Ambassador/Ensign_Q 17:07, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, than here's my viewpoint: I'm happy with the way things are at the moment, how we deal with TOS and TOS-R images/information. I think it's a good thing, not a bad thing, that we get insider info from Mike Okuda and various other sources that have worked/work on Star Trek. I am not biased, because I am in contact with Mike Okuda. I can very well decide for myself. On EAS, I'm working on articles about planets, planet surfaces and starships as they appeared in the original TOS and how they changed, when they were redone in TOS-R. Nobody bribes me, by providing me with info. Nobody mailed me and told be "Gee, I've got some cool info for you, please add it to MA), it was the other way around, I asked people for background info for the benefit of MA, because I think it enriches our project and I will continue to do so. --Jörg 17:21, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
  • "...show bias towards TOS-R based on the fact that they said "putting Okuda's information in the background would be to slap Okuda in the face"..."
Talk about taking words out of context: that is not what my twice aformentioned quote was about. Jorg may have mistook what I said, but my original comments have nothing to do with whatever the rest of this rant is about (--again the longer the post the less interested I am in reading it). My highlighted comment, "waste of Okuda's time" had nothing to do with bias, but with the fact that Paramount has endorsed and encouraged the upgrades to TOS that Okuda, Rossi and others have spearheaded. The fact he was gracious enough to assist us in a limited role in our collaboration is merely a bonus. Heck, if it wasn't for Okuda's background information there would have only ever been one Melbourne (the one whose name and class can be clearly seen on screen) and this discussion would have never happened. Seems Q owes something to Okuda as well... --Alan 17:47, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Okuda also wrote the Star Trek Encyclopedia, yet we don't use it to supplement canon. As for the Melbourne, Okuda's background information is supplemented by the fact he himself considers the Excelsior-Melbourne the only Melbourne. In my case, the background information is not being used in conjuction with Okuda's view, but rather I decided how to interpret it. As for whether Paramount endorsed or encourage TOS-R is also quite irrelevant. Paramount also endorsed and encouraged writers to make novels and reference manuals, but that doesn't mean they are canon. Nor does it mean we should accept TOS-R as an instant replacement. Before I summarize, I must I was quite amused that you don't want to read a long post. Should I just make it unintellagible and primitive sound for you convience? I bet that don't like reading Ex Astris' articles either unlessed they are summarized in 5 sentences.
Now to summarize. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether we like the original TOS or TOS-R "better". The purpose of this wiki is to provide a neutral viewpoint and not assume. Declaring TOS-R the canon version is assuming. After all, the TNG episode "Relics" showed a original TOS affects shot, planet and stars all, so we would have to ignore that footage as well.
Quoting Ex Astris, "Note that, once again, the question what is canon should not be about quality or taste." The fact that TOS-R has higher quality effects shouldn't render it more canon than TOS. The fact that the ships may "look better" should also not influence our decision. Furthermore, Ex Astris states "There are certainly TOS purists who only accept the episodes the way they always were", so to say there is only a few people opposed to making TOS-R the only canon is absolutely ridiculous. Finally, as I stated before, Ex Astris clearly lays out both versions of TOS without making one appear more canon than the other as is stated: "Whenever new facts from the remastered version become available, there is a disambiguation at EAS like "In the original version... whereas in remastered TOS...". Additionally, facts from the remastered version will be tagged with an according symbol." Both are mentioned in the same section, not having one (TOS) tagged to a secondary role in the background section.
Saying the background section is somehow the best way to "make the reader decide" is completely not true. In some instances, it does, like in this example from the USS Melbourne article:
Background
This starship may have been named after the city of Melbourne, Australia (which in turn was named after Lord Melbourne).
In this case, there is no contradicting evidence in the "in-universe" section, for example "Picard mentioned that the Melbourne lived up to its distinguished Captain-derived name." The reader is allowed to fully decide for him/herself what the name is derived from.
However, in the case of the Aurora, the background section fails to give a reader a choice:
Main Article
The Aurora (NC-17740) was a Federation Class J starship. It was a civilian craft in operation during the mid-23rd century, also described as a "space cruiser"...
Background
The studio model used in the original edition of "The Way to Eden" for the Aurora was a modification of the Tholian starship that previously appeared in "The Tholian Web". The modifications between the new design include the addition of warp nacelles to the model, taken from the AMT USS Enterprise model kit, which were attached to the main body via nacelle pylons taken from the AMT D7 class model kit, with the completed model finally being flown in "reverse".
In this case, the reader isn't being given a choice, but is rather being told "The Aurora IS, with no doubt, that the Aurora is a "Class-J starship", and that the footage of the original model is completely and utterly obsolete. Which is totally wrong, since there has been no statement stating that TOS-R is more canon that TOS. Yet this article leaves no room of doubt for the reader.
While TOS-R is definitely not an "alternative universe" of TOS, it is definite an "alternate version", in which details do not match what the original producers, writers, and directors intended. It also isn't as widely shown in the world as TOS. In some places, TOS-R hasn't been showed at all. So for those who liked the original show the way it is, should we just ignore their view, because we had the fortune of being able to see it? It is not up to Memory Alpha to decide the "higher canonness" of the two versions. As I said before, nobody has come out and said "orignal TOS is now irrelevant", therefore, there is no direct statement to base this notion. We are therefore "speculating" that this is the way it supposed to be. Ambassador/Ensign_Q 18:43, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
  • (diff) (hist) . . Forum:Retcons; 14:43 . . (+4,904) . . Ensign q (Talk | contribs | block) (→A summary: )
The +4,904 part is exactly why I refuse to participate in these discussions. If I wanted to read a novel, I would be curled up on the couch right now...which is why I drifted off on the third paragraph and am only replying up to that...
With that said, what exactly is the relevancy of telling me that Okuda wrote the Encyclopedia and that all those types of sources are not canon? I've been here to this site once or twice, even made a couple edits...which brings me back to the point that that has nothing to do with what I was talking about, or what I think you owe Okuda for...
Secondly, quoting Ex Astris is not different than quoting one of us here, so constantly referring to that point is moot. --Alan 20:07, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
>"The +4,904 part is exactly why I refuse to participate in these discussions. If I wanted to read a novel, I would be curled up on the couch right now...which is why I drifted off on the third paragraph and am only replying up to that"
Great Alan. For now on, whenever you respond, I'll close my eyes because I don't want to read it. If you can't accept that to make my response thorough it therefore suffers from being long, then you are either unable to read properly (which isn't true), have problems understanding English (which isn't true), or are just plain lazy and don't take your position seriously.
>With that said, what exactly is the relevancy of telling me that Okuda wrote the Encyclopedia and that all those types of sources are not canon? I've been here to this site once or twice, even made a couple edits...which brings me back to the point that that has nothing to do with what I was talking about, or what I think you owe Okuda for...
The fact that Okuda WROTE the Encyclopedia means he INCLUDED background information that he knew of, just like he apparently does normally. The only difference is that it is in a book format, and we don't automatically take it for being canon because we don't know where background info ends and speculation begins. Frankly, I think you've brought the Okuda thing so out of context that to attempt and reiterate would be a waste of time.
>Secondly, quoting Ex Astris is not different than quoting one of us here, so constantly referring to that point is moot.
Well, I guess it helps our case to show that more than one of the community (which seems to be the image that is overall being pushed) agrees with what PseudoHuman is saying, and that what he is saying isn't some radical concept. Also, for a mere person, Ex Astris must pretty important considering how many times we link to his site. Ambassador/Ensign_Q 22:07, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

What this is really about is our assumed role as a continuity police. I don't know why this role has been assumed, why it is so important we weigh canon. Why do we want to have a misleading in-universe database. Who came up with the idea that our in-universe entries must have no contradictions. That is fanedit, fanfiction, fanrationalization. We all want, as fans, trek in-universe to have an unbreakable continuity but it doesn't, it never has and propably never will. We are not accepting trek as it is when we have entries like the ones we have now. --Pseudohuman 20:27, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

This is not just "some idea"... If we want to have an in-universe section, it should be without contradictions - because, if it was an existing universe, it wouldn't have any.
If there are contradictions, those mustn't be addressed in an in-universe section - because they can't possibly be addressed from an in-universe POV... that's not really hard to understand, isn't it? -- Cid Highwind 21:13, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Why could it not be a "real" universe with contradictions when it is clearly a universe with contradictions. Why not simply accept it as it is. Saying it cannot have contradictions is contradictory to all the contradictions that there are. Why not simply write all canon statements and facts to the in-universe part and be just as unapologetic about as all the creators of trek are. Then explain in the background if there is some contradiction there that needs to be explained. I believe Memory Alpha:Point of view actually supports my suggestion. --Pseudohuman 21:59, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Is that really supposed to be a serious question? It couldn't be a "real universe with contradictions" because... real universes do not have contradictions. -- Cid Highwind 22:06, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

It is. You can still format your statements as if they referred to a real universe. It's just a matter of how do I write a sentence. That is as far as an objective approach can go, should go, any further and we start twisting star trek into something it is not. --Pseudohuman 06:30, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

real universes do not have contradictions What else don't "real universes" have? "Warp"? "Fluidic space"? What about "Temporal incursions" and timeline cleanup SWAT teams? "Infinite velocity"? (OK nevermind that last one - real universes really don't have it, particularly not the ST universe) Sorry, Cid, you know, I'm on your side here as far as "assuming in-universe consistency" goes, but, the argument is weak. I think the only defensible position there is to say "We do it that way for the same reason we have the canon policy that we do - it's what MA decides". And then... see if... MA decides... so... Or did we do that already? I mean, I would. --TribbleFurSuit 23:17, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
It is a weak argument only if you want to argue semantics - and I really don't want to, on top of everything else. This page is long enough already. So, in short, and the only answer regarding that tangent: "Real" here obviously doesn't refer to "the exact universe we live in" but rather to "a universe that internally makes enough sense to be considered 'real'". A universe where an entity can be two different things at the same time is not "real" in that sense... -- Cid Highwind 09:18, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

A new proposal Edit

After I got off yesterday, I began thinking about what Cid has said. He basically says that the current in-universe concept being used cannot be modified to allow contradictions. So I then started thinking of Wikipedia, and a similar scenario to the one Pseudohuman is describing.

Imagine if you, there are two slightly different "historical documents" that tell of the War of 1812. Both of them are equally possible to be true, though one is newer than the other. I don't think Wikipedia would just ignore the older one in favour of the new, but rather state the facts that are common to both and note the inconsistencies following said facts. There is an example of an "in-universe" section (in this case relating to our universe) with contradictions. The only way to end those contradictions would be to have a "living witness" to those events tell us exactly what happen.

The problem with why we can't implement this with the Star Trek universe is that we assume that what we saw on the Star Trek shows and movies was real-time footage of the events they depict. Basically, someone (or something) has a camera in the 21nd-31th(?) century and is recording footage at the time those events are happening.

So I suggest, a new, but rather controversial way of looking of this. Stop thinking of the movies and TV shows as real-time recordings but rather recreated "non-fiction" footage of the events. Like how a non-fiction novel or documentary may try to as accurately as possible retell an event, but at the same time will never be as accurate as someone actually being there. Therefore, the only way one of us could ever know what really happened at an event in the Star Trek Universe is that we would have to actually be at the event, just as in real life that a person would have to be witness to a event at the time it happened to get the truth.

This would allow the Star Trek Universe itself to be free of contradictions, like "our" universe is. The inconsistencies would therefore fall to the creator of the historical documents (aka ST movies and tv episodes) as simply being an error in recreating the event. Just like how in VOY "Living Witness" the depictions of the events on the USS Voyager were wrong. Granted, almost none of the Trek episodes and movies (save perhaps "Threshold" and Star Trek V) would be to that degree of error.

This solution would solve a lot of our problems. The fact that Saavik looks different, for example, could be attributed to the fact that the creator of the footage simply decided that the original Saavik didn't look as good, or perhaps the original Saavik recreation was lost and he tried his best to recreate it. The speculation doesn't really matter, as what matters is that in the "real" Star Trek Universe(s), Saavik has only one appearance, and the fault lies with the recreation. Likewise with Star Trek XI, the creator may have has a slightly different interpretation to the events that happened in the Star Trek universe (the look of the Enterprise for one).

As to how this relates to the issue Pseudohuman has presented, well I go back to the situation I mentioned earlier about the two documents. In our case, we have two "historical documents", TOS and TOS-R, both equally possible to be the "real one" (we have received no definite message to suggest otherwise). So with my idea, we treat them both as similar but slightly different interpretations of the same events. As would be done on Wikipedia, we would record in the affiliated articles the common events between the two versions, and note the inconsitencies. As I said before, in "the real" Star Trek universe, there would be only one version of the event, but since we don't have a living witness who was actually at the event, we can't say whether TOS or TOS-R is the true representation. Much like how we can't say how exactly human evolution happened since we don't have a living witness to those events.

One possible objection I see to this proposal is that by "reducing" the films and shows to mere "historical recreations", that this would raise the canon status of novels. This is not true. Novels can be interpreted as "fictional" stories set in the Star Trek Universe that happen to use real characters. A real life example is Nicholas Meyer's Sherlock Holmes stories, which feature real characters like Sigmund Freud, and may even be set during real life events, but they are definitely not real.

Here's a summary of the proposal:

  • --STAR TREK UNIVERSE-- < where the real events took place; no inconsistencies

|

  • --Movies and Shows-- < historical non-fiction recreations of what took place in the STAR TREK UNIVERSE, though may contain errors due to the creator; these errors do not exist in the STAR TREK UNIVERSE

|

  • --Novels/Storybooks-- < fictional stories that often feature real STAR TREK UNIVERSE characters and may describe real STAR TREK UNIVERSE events, but are completely not real

In conclusion, though I agree with what Pseudohuman is trying to put across, I also agree with Cid that our current "in-universe" concept is incompatible with what Pseudohuman's suggestion. The problem however isn't the "in-universe" subject, but rather how we treat the movies and shows as real time recordings of what was happening in that universe. If the shows and movies were in fact 100% accurate recordings, then there should be no inconsitencies because, as Cid put, a real universe has no inconsitencies. Since there are inconsitencies in the films and shows, our current way seems to be that the problem lies with the Star Trek universe. My suggestion would allow the Star Trek Universe to remain a consistent whole, and the inconsitencies can be blamed on the depictions of those events. In real life, even recordings are often not neutral or consistent because of how they were they shot, the people shooting, and the fact that they can be altered. Furthermore, inconsitencies occur not because the universe is inconsistent, but because of the fact that humans make mistakes in interpretation or documentation. Ambassador/Ensign_Q 13:59, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Interesting. So, MA would strive for consistent documentation of an inconsistent documentation of a consistent universe? --TribbleFurSuit 22:43, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

That's what Wikipedia does. :) Ambassador/Ensign_Q 01:01, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

This is an excellent ideology for achieving total objectivity towards the valid content source material we are documenting. --Pseudohuman 08:40, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

In case some of what I said didn't make since, I've went through and corrected some spelling mistakes and gramatical errors. Ambassador/Ensign_Q 12:22, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

The prior comment was not a reply to Pseudohuman's comment, BTW. Ambassador/Ensign_Q 18:25, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

So other than Pseudohuman and TribbleFurSuit, we have no feedback on this suggestion? Ambassador/Ensign_Q 12:19, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

This isn't really a new proposal when it comes to "true" retcons - the Saavik example has been brought up, and it is a good one. "We" pretend that there is no difference in appearance between the two times this character has been shown, because "the producers" intention was to show the same in-universe character. Although both actresses have been clearly visible, we handle Saavik as just one person.
Which leads us directly to the Melbourne discussion, to which this suggestion obviously is supposed to be applied, seeing as the same people discuss here and there. I still maintain that the situation there is a completely different one. The two different starships have not been equally visible (this is the big elephant in the room that stays conveniently unaddressed in that discussion) - we only know about one of them through behind-the-scenes info. The Melbourne situation is not directly comparable to Saavik (where both "appearances" are acknowledged by putting different images in the sidebar), but rather to the Sela situation. In her first appearance, Sela was played by a different actress, with a later voiceover by Denise Crosby. In that case, producers intention and "lesser visibility" leads to a solution where only the "Crosby-version" of the character is accounted for. -- Cid Highwind 12:51, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
This is actually supposed to be applied mostly to the TOSR cases and all types of alternative versions and accounts of events cases. Taking away all of the weighing of canon or valid sources out of the policy and leave it to the reader to extrapolate what the real in-universe is like. What the non-contradictory truth is there. As we strive only to accurately discribe what the canon and valid content is like and stay out of the extrapolation business. There are a lot of different types of situations that would all get solved after we discuss what the method of application would be. Obviously we dont extend this to different appearance of actors or nitpicking. --Pseudohuman 14:27, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

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