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Element or molecule? Edit

Was dilithium ever definitely stated to be an element? It would be a lot easier to just call it a substance. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Davok (talk • contribs).

An element means a single atom, a molecule is a substance formed from more than one atom. If a "particle" of dilithium is made from 2(5)6 dilithlum 2(:)l diallosilicate 1:9:1 heptoferranide then it is not an element, it is a molecule, because it contains more than one atom (and the atoms are from more than one element, for that matter). The preceding unsigned comment was added by 4.178.51.68 (talk).
Well, for that matter, where did 2(5)6 dilithlum 2(:)l diallosilicate 1:9:1 heptoferranide come from? Does anybody have a canon reference? From VOY: "Threshold" I got the impression that dilithium was an element; whereas the name itself suggests a molecule. — THOR 17:51, 14 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Dilitihum was listed as an element in the periodic table chart seen in "rascals." this was background only, but it is still possible that crystallized dilithium is a molecule made up of dilithium in a lattice structure with other elements (iron and silicon seem to be indicated by that formula)
Is that a crystal formula, and does it even have a canon source? -- Captain Mike K. Barteltalk
I found the source. The formula is from the 1995 book The physics of Star Trek by NASA physicist Lawrence Krauss. It is not a canon source. For more information visit this article. —Shawn81 07:40, 25 Aug 2005 (UTC)
According to Wikipedia a crystal is simply, "A crystal is a solid in which the constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are packed in a regularly ordered, repeating pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions.". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal --TOSrules 05:56, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
Moved from page: "Dilithium formula : Li2Te". What's the source of this? Moved it here, cause it sounds like someone took lithium and put a 2 on it. -AJHalliwell 02:39, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Hmm... That formula would imply that "dilithium" is short for dilithium telluride (Li2Te). The formula would be reasonable, as tellurium has a valence of two; lithium, having a valence of one, would bond to it in pairs. —Shawn81 07:28, 25 Aug 2005 (UTC)
2(5)6 dilithlum 2(:)l diallosilicate 1:9:1 heptoferranide, I remember seeing something similar to this in the Star Trek TNG technical manual. Wish I still had one lying around... anyway the point of a fictional formula like this is to tell readers that dilithium crystals in star trek are not simple crystals made of lithium atoms. They are made of various fictional substances in some kind of organization and proportion. The individual atoms should all be on the real periodic table, but the crystal structure and embedded molecules are all fictional. Apart from the comment that dilithium is on the periodic table in "Rascals"(TNG), I would say the dilithium is not an element or a molecule, it is a crystaline substance with more than just lithium. 70.177.40.139 23:50, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Star Trek The Next Generation Technical Manual - THE ROLE OF DILITHIUM - PAGE 60. --152.163.100.8 04:05, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
Which still makes in non-canon. Away it goes. --OuroborosCobra talk 21:12, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
And that can't be mentioned in the background, coming from a valid reference, because...? --Alan 05:01, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Removed info Edit

  • In February 2006 a group of Engineers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute used two oppositely charged centimeter-sized lithium tantalate crystals, commonly called a "dilithium crystal" in many press reports, as a key element in creating a desktop sized fusion device that operates at room temperature.

While the above background info is interesting, I'm not sure how it relates to the dilithium of the main article, aside from the apparent fact that several press reports called it dilithium. I don't think that's enough to qualify it as background info, since it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the dilithium described in the article. --From Andoria with Love 04:33, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Dilithium mentioned in Minerology Database Edit

webmineral.com has a page about Dilithium

in which they state:

Chemical Formula:	Li2Te
Composition:	Molecular Weight = 141.48 gm
	 Lithium     9.81 %  Li
	 Tellurium  90.19 %  Te
	           ______ 
	           100.00 % 
Empirical Formula:	Li2Te
Environment:	Silica-poor planetesimals which did not undergo significant parent-body metamorphism during formation.
IMA Status:	Not Approved IMA
Locality:	Interplanetary asteroids. Link to MinDat.org Location Data.
Name Origin:	Named after it's composition.
Synonym:	Go Juice
		Warp Factor 9

The preceding unsigned comment was added by 12.218.155.57 (talk).

Seeing as Dilithium is described as an element in Trek separate and not related to Lithium, and therefore not a compound or mineral of Lithium, that information is fanon. --OuroborosCobra talk 19:21, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

The Quartz angle Edit

I can't remember which of the Star Trek novels (I believe its a TOS novel -- How Much for Just the Planet perhaps -- but I'm not sure) mentioned the history of dilithium, but it discussed amoung other things that dilithium's quartz-like appearance was because it was indistinguishable from quartz in 4-dimensional spacetime (3-D space) but not in 5-D spacetime. It refers to earth "quartz" being found to be some fraction of dilithium (15% perhaps? I read this years ago). If anybody knows which novel this is and the specifics of the history, it might be worth an Apocryptia subsection in the article. The preceding unsigned comment was added by 68.148.61.66 (talk).

Background info is not true Edit

However, lithium, being a metal, should not be able to exist in this state, as metals cannot form diatomic molecules.

It's not true. Source: wikipedia. The preceding unsigned comment was added by 85.25.148.242 (talk).

Theoretical information on Dilithium Edit

THE ROLE OF DILITHIUM
The key element in the efficient use of M/A reactions is the dilithium crystal. This is the only material known to Federation Science to be non-reactive with antimatter when subjected to a high-frequency electromagnetic (EM) field in the Megawatt range, rendering it "porous" to antihydrogen. Dilithium permits the antihydrogen to pass directly through its crystalline structure without actually touching it, owing to the field dynamo effect created in the added iron atoms. The longer form of the crystal name is the forced-matrix formula 2<5>6 Dilithium 2<:> 1 diallo silicate 1:9:1 heptoferranide.
This highly complex atomic structure is based on simpler forms discovered in naturally occurring geological layers of certain planetary systems. It was for many years deemed irreproducible by known or predicted vapor-deposition methods, until breakthroughs in nuclear epitaxy (SEE: nuclear epitaxy and epitaxy) and antieutectics (SEE: eutectics and antieutectics) allowed the formation of pure, synthesized Dilithium for starship and conventional power plant use, through theta-matrix compositing techniques utilizing gamma radiation bombardment.

(Dilithium formula: 2<5>6 Dilithium 2<:> 1 diallosilicate = 2 is less than 5 is greater than 6 Dilithium 2 is less than such that is greater than 1 diallosilicate 1 to 9 to 1 heptoferranide.)

See also: catalyst and control rod

According to Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual - pgs. 61, "...the normal operating temperature at the reaction site is 2x10^{12}K."

However, in the book:
SCHAUM'S SOLVED PROBLEMS SERIES
3000 SOLVED PROBLEMS IN PHYSICS No. 20.54, it states the following:
A nuclear fusion reaction will occur in a gas of deuterium when the nuclei have an average kinetic energy of at least 0.72 MeV. What is the temperature required for nuclear fusion to occur with deuterium? (1eV=1.6x10^{-19}J.) Answer: 5.57x10^{09}K


2,000,000,000,000 = 2.00x10^{12}K
0,005,570,000,000 = 5.57x10^{09}K
1,994,430,000,000

Therefore, the Dilithium crystal itself must be able to withstand an operating temperature of 5,570,000,000 Kelvin or 10,025,999,540.33 degrees Fahrenheit.
--64.12.116.130 09:52, October 13, 2009 (UTC)

This is nice, but it is all original research which is not appropriate for the article.--31dot 10:58, October 13, 2009 (UTC)

31dot, that original research has been there since 18:08, January 5, 2008 205.188.117.5. The latest update was today. --205.188.116.130 20:32, October 13, 2009 (UTC)

That changes nothing. Just because it has been here doesn't mean it's correct.--31dot 20:47, October 13, 2009 (UTC)
I also was pointing out that it is inappropriate for the article, not this page.--31dot 20:49, October 13, 2009 (UTC)
Fairly inappropriate for this as well since this is a talk page about improving the article and not where people can put their ideas willy-nilly about star trek. — Morder (talk) 21:28, October 13, 2009 (UTC)
I added a mention of the four dimensional structure of the crystal referenced to Shatner's novel Preserver. But this is non-canon, so I'm not sure it should go in the article section itself which is from an in-universe POV. Preserver also mentions Halkan having large dilithium deposits, which I believe is mentioned in canon TNG - something about two supernova shock waves interacting. The preceding unsigned comment was added by 216.9.142.188 (talk).
It's fine to add such information in an "Apocrypha" section but not in the main article itself as we only deal with canon information on MA. Plus, just a little tip, we don't have templates for novels just episodes. Simply link to a novel article by using a standard link. Also, if you could rememeber to sign your posts using ~~~~, that way we can keep track of who's talking. Thanks! :) --| TrekFan Open a channel 00:23, March 15, 2011 (UTC)

Regarding the fusion reaction of deuterium, it is important to note that this is the reaction of deuterium and its anti matter counterpart, not a fusion reaction of just deuterium. --Bailbondsman (talk) 01:38, July 23, 2012 (UTC)

Dimensions for Dilithium Crystal Edit

According ton my Next Generation Technical Manual, the Galaxy Class uses 1200 cubic centimeters of that stuff. Unless I am doing my math wrong, that seems very big for what we have seen on screen. Could anybody figure out what 1200 cubic centimeters of dilithium crystal would look like? --64.12.116.209 06:46, January 18, 2011 (UTC)

1200^(1/3)=10.62 - means that a volume of 1200cm^3 corresponds to a cube with side lengths of about 10.62cm (that's a little more than 4 inches). The naturally shaped crystal that is shown at the top of the article seems to fit that description. -- Cid Highwind 09:35, January 18, 2011 (UTC)
I found an on line scientific calculator that gave me 10.62658569182611cm when I put in \sqrt[3]{1200cm} Thanks again for the assist. 10.62658569182611 centimeters is equal to 4.18 inches. --205.188.116.209 03:55, January 20, 2011 (UTC)

Lithium oxide (Dilithium oxide)? Edit

Is there anything to suggest that dilithium might not just be a phrase meaning lithium oxide? Lithium oxide has a formula of Li2O and it is what you'd expect lithium to form in an oxygen environment in the absence of water. Lithium is the lightest solid element and also has the best paramagnetism-to-mass ratio of all the elements.[1] Hydrogen, the most likely element for plasma generation, by contrast is diamagnetic, and therefore repelled by magnets.[2] Oxygen is also paramagnetic, therefore if the matter and antimatter plasma streams were magnetically charged, they wouldn't come together without a paramagnetic or ferromagnetic layer to bring them together.

Not that the authors thought about this, but speculation is the realm of the possible.--Ipatrol 19:17, February 21, 2012 (UTC)

Some interesting thoughts, but talk pages are not for mere speculation, unless you are proposing an addition or other change to the article.--31dot 21:21, February 21, 2012 (UTC)

Regulator or Energy Source? Edit

This article states the following,"It was used to power the warp drive systems of many starships. Dilithium regulated the matter/antimatter reaction in a ship's warp core because of its ability to be rendered porous to light-element antimatter when exposed to high temperatures and electro-magnetic pressures". So does it regulate the matter/antimatter reaction or is it a power source? Doesn't the dilithium just regulate the reaction much like control rods in a nuclear reaction as well as convert the energy into a plasma stream while the deuterium and the anti-deuterium actually provide the energy? --Bailbondsman (talk) 22:57, July 20, 2012 (UTC)

Pre-Federation Earth's Dilithium supply? Edit

The article does not state where Pre-Federation Earth obtained it's dilithium. Is it in the Star Trek canon somewhere? --Bailbondsman (talk) 23:31, July 20, 2012 (UTC)

Nonsense Edit

Much of this article is complete nonsense. Dilithium was NEVER intended to be its own element. The "Dt" element on the poster in Rascals was a joke; it is no more canon than the capsule signs with quotes from Buckaroo Bonzai. Dilithium is a real substance (Li₂); a homonuclear diatomic gas consisting of two lithium atoms, which, under the right circumstances, could theoretically be crystallized and used to channel energy. The dilithium referred to in Trek IS Li₂ (the dilithium we know of IRL), and this is well-established in canon. Indeed, it was referred to as "lithium" in some TOS episodes (homonuclear diatomic molecules are often referred to by their elemental names in chemistry). In addition, TNG, VOY, and GEN established that trilithium is a byproduct of warp reactions, which is completely impossible if "dilithium" is its own element. In short, much of this article is based on non-canon material, and a background sign that was intended as a joke. It should be entirely rewritten. 99.67.62.180 07:39, December 21, 2013 (UTC)

I suggest you read the content and resource policies before throwing around the word "canon" here. - Archduk3 07:59, December 21, 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. The article is quite correct. 31dot (talk) 12:43, December 21, 2013 (UTC)

Implying that I am not familiar with the content and resource policies is patronizing and in no way contributes to the discussion. I am well aware of those policies. In truth, the resource policy is quite clear: spoken dialog trumps visual materials when there is a conflict. Since spoken dialog confirms that dilithium is a form of lithium, and not, in fact, a separate element, it would be quite bizarre to suggest that one joke sign in the background of a TNG episode trumps that. 99.67.62.180 22:00, December 21, 2013 (UTC)

Edit to my above comment -- Looking around, I note that your policy IS to include the background joke signage as canon (i.e., the Discussion page at Periodic Table), no matter how ludicrous. Oh well. Still doesn't change the fact that spoken dialog trumps visual materials in this case. 99.67.62.180 22:14, December 21, 2013 (UTC)

You probably would have received a more friendly response if you hadn't set the tone of this discussion the way you did with your first sentence. That said, if there is "spoken dialog confirm[ing] that dilithium is a form of lithium" (and not just separate references to both lithium and dilithium), please provide that and I'm sure we can work out something regarding this article. -- Cid Highwind (talk) 22:27, December 21, 2013 (UTC)

I understand you guys' policy to include EVERYTHING visible as canon, no matter how ludicrous (i.e., daffyduckium). As long as it doesn't violate established canon, it's not hurting anyone, so no harm no foul. The problem is that, in this case, dilithium is such an inherent part of the Trekverse. You are basing THE definitive article about dilithium on something that was never, ever, EVER intended to be seen on screen -- something which completely contradicts the writers' and producers' intentions, as well as spoken dialog (not to mention the laws of physics). This Memory Alpha article is considered gospel by a lot of people -- including Wikipedia, which cites it in its article about dilithium. In this particular case, I suggest that you have an obligation both to Trek fans and non-Trek folks alike to reevaluate your "joke signage" policy and thus improve the accuracy of this article. As for the spoken dialog -- it's been established in dialog that trilithium is a by-product of chemical reactions involving dilithium. Thus they are the same element. 99.67.62.180 22:31, December 21, 2013 (UTC)

I don't see how one logically follows from the other. While indeed it would be reasonable to assume that all forms of *lithium are related a priori, we can't (and/or shouldn't) uphold that given the fact that dilithium is being described as rare and available on a few planets only. If, as the Wikipedia article states, about 1% of lithium exists as a 2-atom molecule in the vapor phase, and if this gaseous dilithium could be condensed (somehow?) into the crystalline dilithium we all know and love, it wouldn't exactly be that rare, would it? Also, again, please find us the spoken dialog that is being contradicting by not stating that lithium and dilithium are one and the same. -- Cid Highwind (talk) 22:43, December 21, 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the discussion. Homonuclear diatomic lithium ("dilithium" -- Li₂) exists on Earth as a rare gas. It is entirely chemically and physically possible for it to exist in crystallized form under JUST the right conditions on other planets, though it would be quite rare (this is why it was chosen in TOS, in fact, if you read Roddenberry's memos). As for the spoken dialog... there is no dialog that explicitly states that "lithium" and "dilithum" are the same element; but in TOS it IS explicitly stated that the ship needs crystals from a "lithium cracking station," and in later episodes this is specified as "dilithium." Unless the Enterprise used "lithium" crystals (impossible -- no such thing) for a while, then switched to "dilithium" -- but again, this is not physically possible. I suggest that we indeed DO have to take the laws of physics and chemistry into account here. The chemical prefixes di- and tri- are ONLY used to denote homonuclear polyatomic elements. In addition, it is physically impossible for "dilithium" to be "an element with an atomic number of 87 (indeed, if that were the case, it would be identical to francium). Again, my whole point is that this article is an example of the "everything on screen, even joke-signage, is canon" policy being taken to a ridiculous extreme and doing far more harm than good. A little bit of common sense needs to apply here. 99.67.62.180 22:53, December 21, 2013 (UTC)

Apparently, "lithium crystals" were explicitly mentioned several times, according to the article Lithium, and not just implied be the fact that they got "crystals from a lithium facility" (in which case this could indeed refer to any *lithium). So, even if impossible for one reason or another, we will have to accept that lithium crystals are a thing in the Trek universe.
That aside, I personally understand your concerns in regards to taking some production jokes far too serious, but where do you think we should draw the line instead? If we ignore "atomic Dilithium", what other computer screen information would be up for discussion again, because it was equally visible? Should we delete all of that, or what other objective way of deciding is there?
Also, even if we assume that "atomic Dilithium" was a bad joke not meant to become visible at all, there's still the fact that other production sources (TNG technical manual, to be exact) believed Dilithium crystals to not be crystals made of pure 2-atomic dilithium - but, apparently, some other complex compound which might or might not include this type of dilithium. -- Cid Highwind (talk) 23:16, December 21, 2013 (UTC)

"Lithium crystals" are absolutely a thing in the Trek universe. That's what "dilithium" IS. In chemistry, homonuclear diatomic elements are often referred to by their elemental names. For example, we often refer to dioxygen (O₂) as simply "oxygen." Dilithium (Li₂) can be referred to as simply "lithium" (because it is indeed a form of lithium). This is the only logical explanation for why the Enterprise is sometimes said to use "lithium" crystals, and sometimes said to use "dilithium" crystals -- because they are, in fact, the same thing in chemistry (indeed, lithium could not be crystallized unless it was in dilithium form). It also is the reason why dilithium reactions produce trilithium (Li₃) as a by-product. As for your question about where we "draw the line," I think a it's simply a matter of common sense. Obviously no one's going to agree on everything, but I think everyone (except totally unreasonable people) would agree that a graphic which includes references to Daffy Duck and the Three Stooges was not intended to be serious. (As for the TNG technical manual, I didn't think that books were considered canon on Memory Alpha.) 99.67.62.180 23:29, December 21, 2013 (UTC)

To sum up my position -- and then I'll shut up about it :) -- In order to accept dilithium as its own element, we must a.) disregard the laws of chemistry, b.) disregard the laws of physics, c.) disregard the common-sense-Occams-Razor explanation that dilithium is a form of lithium, and d.) disregard the writers' intentions... and instead rely solely on a background graphic that includes references to Daffy Duck and Curly. This, as I said, is when the "everything-visible-is-canon" policy becomes patently ridiculous. 99.67.62.180 23:38, December 21, 2013 (UTC)

When you determine a method of making determinations of what is valid and what is not, let us know. 31dot (talk) 04:23, December 22, 2013 (UTC)

The determination is "When it becomes more complicated to retcon background joke signage into canon, than to simply accept it as a joke, it should be disregarded." Otherwise, I guess I'll write an article about the giant hamster on the Enterprise-D, because after all, that joke graphic WAS visible on screen. 99.67.62.180 08:22, December 22, 2013 (UTC)

It would be nice if things were that simple; unfortunately they are not. 31dot (talk) 12:27, December 22, 2013 (UTC)

I didn't say it was simple. It's complex. But we're human beings, with the capacity to make complex judgement calls. Otherwise, Memory Alpha loses credibility as a legit source of Trek info, and instead devolves into fanon. So again, seriously though, why isn't there an article on the giant hamster? 99.67.62.180 21:47, December 22, 2013 (UTC)

The hamster is canonically just part of an image. There is no canonical text that comes along with it making it something specific, so it is just noted in the bg-section of the master systems display page. --Pseudohuman (talk) 23:19, December 22, 2013 (UTC)

By that standard, anything on background signage is "just part of an image." The fact that daffyduckium is a element could just be a joke that Geordi stuck on the wall. I understand what you're saying, guys, but your standards for what is and is not canon are not as clear cut as you assert. You are obviously exericizing reasonable judgment in saying that the hamster isn't actually on the ship, but just "part of an image." The fact that you choose not to apply this same level of critical reasoning to other signage is puzzling. 99.67.62.180 23:58, December 22, 2013 (UTC)

First, retain your indent.
Second, the false dichotomy you keep pushing between a shape on the Enterprise-D MSD and a labeled chart is hardly you making your point and "shut[ting] up about it", though I would like to point out that I would be fighting tooth and nail for the "article on the giant hamster" if it had been labeled as such, simply because that would be awesome. That said, you suggest MA will lose creditability because we have a pretty clear cut policy on what can and can't be included as in-universe information, but won't if we just willy nilly decide what is or isn't "canon" depending on what you think common sense, though the real reason you're here arguing this is because MA is already the creditable source, as you already pointed out, and has been for what I'm just going to assume is most, if not all, of the time that information has been in the article. I do find it puzzling though why you think the "common-sense-Occams-Razor explanation" for the poster is that it was a "joke that Geordi stuck on the wall", because Geordi is known for confusing children through the power of reading, and not simply authentic, but then again I'm "totally unreasonable" and "patently ridiculous", as I'm sure anyone who knows me would point out. Of course, maybe I just find your "tone" to be "complete nonsense", regardless of your points. Though that does bring me to point the...
Third, TNG-R has changed any number of in-jokes during the process, so if CBS really doesn't want this information to be "canon", they will change it. MA simply reports what was said and seen, and unless there is an unresolvable conflict between in-universe references, everything is equally valid. You've made a good case here for why there is an unresolvable conflict between reality and Star Trek, but not much else. You're free to expand on the background note already covering this, provided you can word it to not be a nitpick. - Archduk3 03:45, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

Firstly, I continued to discuss this because I was asked a specific question about my recommendation for how to handle the situation. Sorry if that was in some way out-of-line(?). Secondly, I'm not suggesting a "false dichotomy." Indeed, MA is the one doing so, by enforcing an arbitrary policy wherein if a sign includes text, it has to be counted as representing something real in-universe; but if it does not include text, it doesn't have to be counted as representing something real in-universe, and can instead be written off as "just something on an image." What is MA's basis for this rule? I don't see it anywhere here. Indeed, the uncomfortable truth is that MA does NOT have a clearcut policy on what can and cannot be considered canon; on the contrary, the policy ("if it has text, its real") is totally arbitrary. Third, I find it puzzling why you feel I suggested that the "common sense" explanation of the periodic table was that "it was a joke that Geordi stuck on the wall." I was being sarcastic to illustrate the capriciousness of the hamster explanation. The "common sense" explanation for the table, of course, is that it was a joke or production error that wasn't intended to be visible onscreen, just like the hamster. The point, of course, is that editors go to great lengths to retcon roundabout explanations for joke signage that they personally choose to include in canon ("daffyduckium," or "dilithium" being a real element); yet at the same time editors simply dismiss joke signage that they choose NOT to include in canon (the hamster "is simply something in an image" and not intended to be an actual map of the Enterprise). So you're already exercising judgment calls about which joke signage should and should not be included. You've already determined in your own mind "where the line is drawn" between which joke signs represent something canon in-universe, and which "are simply images" which mean nothing. I'm simply suggesting that this line be reevaluated in order to be more reasonable and less arbitrary. But it seems I've struck a nerve in the process, and I can't imagine why. This seems like a reasonable discussion to have. Finally, you state that I refer to you as "totally unreasonable" and "patently ridiculous." I've never insulted you personally, and I can't imagine why you feel I have. "Of course, maybe I just find your 'tone' to be 'complete nonsense,' regardless of your points." -- you're reading 'tone' into typewritten words. Believe me, it's not personal. I don't know you and know nothing about you personally. The idea that criticism of MA's policies is somehow criticism of you personally is difficult for me to understand. 99.67.62.180 04:53, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

Side note -- Since dilithium is a real substance IRL (Li₂), and apparently MA's policy is that it is also the name of a separate element ("Dt") on the periodic table in the classroom, why are you choosing to go with the explanation that the element dilithium (Dt) is what powers the ship? What if Li₂ is the thing that powers the ship, and Dt is simply another element with the same name? Is there anything definitive, either spoken or visual, that states that the elemental dilithium on the chart (Dt) is the type of dilithium that powers the ship? 99.67.62.180 04:59, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

You're missing the point here, several in fact.
First, MA does not "decided" what is "canon", we even say so, which is the very reason why we are the reliable source for Star Trek information. The more you talk about "canon", the more likely it is that people here are going to tune you out.
Second, MA does not care what dilithium is IRL, because we only care about Star Trek for our in-universe articles. Wikipedia handles real life, which is why your points about Li₂ really only have any bearing on the background note. They're interesting, but you haven't presented an unresolvable conflict in what was seen and heard in Star Trek.
Third, the reason you're creating a false dichotomy with your examples is that we know Dt is dilithium, it says it right there, but we don't know what the hamster wheel is in-universe. We know it's a joke IRL, but in-universe that could be Stellar Cartography, we simply don't know. Readable text does trump shapes on a stylized cutaway, and I shouldn't have to explain why. Comparing the two is simply apples and oranges. There is a judgement call being made though, and that is answering the question "do we know what this is in-universe."
Fourth, you really need to familiarize yourself with the POV. The common sense answer is never it was a production joke if you're writing the article from an in-universe POV.
Fifth, you did insult me personally, though I'm going to assume for now that you didn't release it, because you made some very broad generalizations about anyone who disagreed with you. While that is a very effective tactic when speaking to people who already agree with you, it isn't going to win anyone over. Especially when...
Sixth, you are talking directly to the people who, at this point, have effectively written those "arbitrary polic[ies]". We have been here for years, some longer than others, and have had to live with the consequences of every little wording decision in them, while you're just an IP address. That's not to say your opinions are invalid in any way because you're new here, it's just that we know more than what the policies say, we know why they say it. Then again, if you honestly think you can get me, or anyone else here for that matter, to change their mind by being insulting and telling us what we were thinking when writing that policy, then by all means. I should warn you though, it didn't go so well the last time I tried that. - Archduk3 08:05, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

Since you've decided to be adversarial about the matter, despite my best efforts, I will be blunt: You misunderstand what I'm saying. I'm not trying "to get you to change your mind." And I certainly don't care whether easily-offended people "tune me out" -- defensiveness and refusal to critically consider one's own positions, simply because you get your feathers ruffled, is an indicator of insecurity. I've shed light on the fact that MA's system is self-contradictory; in response, you've refused to offer any explanation of your hitherto-undocumented "there has to be text on a sign" rule beyond a simplistic invocation of your own authority ("we know more than what the policies say and we know why they say it"). You claim that MA doesn't "decide" what is or isn't canon; MA's content policy explicitly states that "The information Memory Alpha considers 'in-universe' is, for the most part, what the studio considers canon"; yet at the same time, you choose to retcon SOME -- but not all -- joke signage into the Trekverse, which the producers at CBS/Paramount do not consider canon! You say that background signs with text trump background signs without text, yet give no reason beyond "I shouldn't have to explain why" -- which is precisely the type of arbitrariness that the other editors and admins on this page have railed against. You state "The common sense answer is never it was a production joke if you're writing the article from an in-universe POV," yet you ignore the fact that certain background signs ARE written off ("it was just an image") while others aren't. If the hamster is "just an image," why isn't the periodic table? And finally, you give absolutely no reason whatsoever why the element labeled "dilithium" (Dt) on the chart in "Rascals" IS the same thing as the "dilithium" crystals that are used in warp cores. Until you do, at least have the intellectual courage to admit that your position on these matters is arbitrary. Or don't -- it honestly doesn't matter. After all, if you truly want casual readers to believe that "daffyduckium" is a real thing in the Trekverse, then I suppose Trek fans are wasting our time trying to bring MA in line with canon. You're certainly welcome to continue concocting arbitrary policies at will, while insisting that you aren't. After all. you seem to think that it's "your" site since you're an admin.  :) I should warn you though, it doesn't bode well for MA's future as a serious source of info to objective readers. 99.67.62.180 08:25, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

Retcon, "you keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means." Also, please seek professional help for whatever the reason is that your reading comprehension skills are so poor, unless of course you're 12, in which case, I have to inform you you're too young to edit here according to wikia's TOU. - Archduk3 09:41, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

Stay classy. In the meantime, I invite other admins to answer my question: "If the hamster is 'just an image,' why isn't the periodic table?" And "How do we know that the element labeled 'dilithium' (Dt) on the chart in 'Rascals' IS the same thing as the 'dilithium' crystals that are used in warp cores?" Any takers? 99.67.62.180 09:46, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

Words on a screen are much different than an image, especially when we know they appear in a table of elements. 31dot (talk) 10:02, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

OK. Thanks for discussing. But where is the "Words on a screen are much different than an image" policy stated here on MA? I agree in principle that words are different than pictures, of course... But why is one is considered valid and the other not? Difference does not imply "better." Also... still no answer re: how do we know that the Dt on the chart is the same crystal that's used in the engines? 99.67.62.180 10:11, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

Not everything has to be written down as a policy; let's use common sense. Text has context; an image by itself (without accompanying information) does not. 31dot (talk) 10:17, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

Exactly. Common sense is what I've been arguing for all long. Unfortunately, some people refuse to acknowledge that we, as readers/editors, are capable of common sense. Common sense would, in fact, suggest that a chart including "daffyduckium" is not intended to be "real," wouldn't it.  :) Again, I find it interesting that people say "Common sense dictates signs with text are valid but signs without text are just 'images' and can be disregarded" -- a MAJOR judgement call if there ever was one -- yet simultaneously insist that no judgment calls or "lines" are being drawn.  :) Incidentally, please note that the article on the Periodic Table contains the following sentence: "It contains many in-jokes and errors." Isn't this directly contradictory to the "if it's a sign that's visible on screen and includes text, it's canon" concept? Indeed, this sentence is a judgement call about the ACCURACY of this on-screen visible text, which Archduk3 insists is a no-no. And finally, I'm still wondering where the canon source is that states the Dt on the chart is the same crystal that's in the warp core.99.67.62.180 10:25, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

MA:NOT, second list, items #2 and #5. -- Cid Highwind (talk) 10:43, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

Yup. And yet... the majority of this article consists of "personal speculation" that the thing in this background sign is the same thing that's in the engines. 99.67.62.180 10:46, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

Now you're grasping at straws. If there happens to be a lemma (like "dilithium"), we are writing one article about it - unless there's a definitely "unresolvable conflict" between two mentions of it, in which case we might be going for a disambiguation with two or more articles. Thus far, you haven't really provided much regarding your claim that a "conflict" is not only that severe, but even that a "conflict" (using just Trek information) even exists at all. -- Cid Highwind (talk) 10:57, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

So the fact that the Enterprise is sometimes referred to as using "lithium," and sometimes referred to as using "dilithium," can be disregarded? The fact that dilithium is said to form trilithium as a by-product can also be disregarded? Indeed, the fact that "dilithium" -- like "water" -- is a REAL THING can also be disregarded? If so, why? 99.67.62.180 11:14, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

The fact that, sometimes, lithium was used instead of dilithium is not disregarded (see Lithium and related articles) - it is just not being used the way you think it should be used. The fact that trilithium is, somehow, connected to dilithium is not disregarded (see Trilithium), it is just not spelled out using real-world knowledge the way you'd like it to. Last but not least, the fact that dilithium is "a real thing" is not quite disregarded - again, it is just not spelled out, just like we (probably, I'm sure you are going to check that) we don't spell out that "indeed, this is a real material!" for other elements and compunds. -- Cid Highwind (talk) 11:21, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

OK -- as long as you're comfortable with the idea that the definition of a given English word is entirely different in "Star Trek" than it is in real life, simply so that you can brute-force a joke sign into legitimacy rather than just going with the real world definition that we know the writers intended from their production memos. I suppose, if that's the unwritten policy you're adopting now, then who am I to argue. But at the very least -- as I said earlier -- if you guys are gonna implement such a policy, at least admit to the public that you're making such subjective judgment calls, rather than pretending that "the information Memory Alpha considers 'in-universe' is what the studio considers canon" -- when that's not at all the case. I recommend that you outline this new "signs-with-text-are-valid-but-other-signs-are-just-pictures" policy somewhere. And yes, I understand that not everything has to be written down; but it seems to me that a major policy matter such as this -- literally re-defining English-language words to fit background joke signage -- should be stated clearly to readers, so that the general public knows how seriously to take articles on MA. Indeed, not stating this critical information to your readers begs the question as to why you wouldn't want your readers to know you're doing this. (Speaking of, I'm still wondering why personal judgment calls about the "accuracy" of the periodic table are allowed on the Periodic Table article.) 99.67.62.180 11:37, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

We're going in circles here, with you accusing us of things that we didn't do, or at least for other reasons than those you claim, while at the same time not taking into account errors you made that were pointed out to you. I don't see how this discussion could become somewhat productive soon, so I'm leaving for the time being. -- Cid Highwind (talk) 11:49, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

Circles? How so? I asked a straightforward question: Why does the Periodic Table article contain a disclaimer stating that these elements are intended as in-jokes, yet the (arguably far more important and frequently-referenced) article about "dilithium" does not? Why isn't the "signs-with-text-are-valid-but-other-signs-are-just-pictures" policy transparently disclosed and readily accessible to readers in the general public? What would be the downside of disclosing such a policy? Saying "I'm leaving" without answering this very straightforward and pertinent question is puzzling. Are the admins opposed to readers knowing of this "policy"? Would most readers indeed no longer consider MA to be definitive and authoritative, if such a policy were to be openly disclosed? 99.67.62.180 11:58, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

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