Debate #2: Lord Edam

February 28, 2002: the challenge is issued on alt.startrek.vs.starwars

Hello? Feel like having that debate now? You've been running around attacking me from a distance for more than a year now, and I say it's time to put your money where your mouth is.

He responded quickly:

Hello?

there's nobody here but us chickens

Feel like having that debate now?

Felt like having it two months ago. I thought you'd chickened out. ;)

You've been running around attacking me from a distance

Hardly from a distance - my two criticisms of two pages on your site were both sent to you at the time.

for more than a year now,

18 months

and I say it's time to put your money where your mouth is.

Yep. Time it be. I do accept all major credit & debit cards, just in case you were wondering, but i must insist on a 3% surchage for non-domestic.

As we discussed before christmas, there's the Trek shielding weakness (www.trek-wars.info/STshield.html) and you might be interested in corrections & comments for your TNG canon database season one (an excuse to use that fabulous new style database thingy you did) www.trek-wars.info/drb1.html Then we were supposed to discuss BDZ. take it off-group to prevent everyone trying to de-rail it.

He obviously believes that my lack of response was due to fear rather than my dismissive evaluation of his arguments as a bunch of unimportant nitpicks. Since we were about to start our debate anyway, I decided not to bother making a big issue out of that overconfident assumption. After all, if his confidence was unwarranted, that would soon become quite apparent once the debate started. My reply:

Felt like having it two months ago. I thought you'd chickened out. ;)

Everybody looks for excuses to accuse me of cowardice. If it isn't the idiots like Chris O'Farrell who think that any website without a BBS is evidence of cowardice, it's something else.

As we discussed before christmas, there's the Trek shielding weakness (www.trek-wars.info/STshield.html)

Yes, I recall.

and you might be interested in corrections & comments for your TNG canon database season one (an excuse to use that fabulous new style database thingy you did) www.trek-wars.info/drb1.html

Those comments would presumably not be a "debate" per se, but a suggestion? I'll look at it.

Then we were supposed to discuss BDZ.

Excellent. Do we need to discuss ground rules? I propose similar ground rules to the Gothmog debate. Two-day response time, full posting of both sides' complete posts without edits on whichever forum you prefer to use (I use my site, you can use your site or sb.com). Please let me know when you'd like to begin. Would you like to issue the first salvo, given that I don't actually know exactly what your alternative BDZ theory is, thus making it rather difficult for me to comment on it?

PS. How the hell do you respond so quickly? Do you have a lot of free time at work or something? I'm home sick with bronchitis, otherwise I would have put this off until the weekend.

His response:

Those comments would presumably not be a "debate" per se, but a suggestion? I'll look at it.

for you it's really just pointing out the parts of the scripts that changed by the time they were filmed. The rest of them are collections of comments from a number of people so that we wouldn't have to reply individually everytime someone used your canon database in a debate. BTW, the above link is wrong. It should be www.trek-wars.info/dbr1.html

Excellent. Do we need to discuss ground rules? I propose similar ground rules to the Gothmog debate. Two-day response time, full posting of both sides' complete posts without edits on whichever forum you prefer to use (I use my site, you can use your site or sb.com).

Two days, give or take, full posting without editing and without commentrary (save that for once the debate's over).

I'll post it all on my site and depending on how I'm feeling I might post a "get it here" update in other forums I frequent (SB, ASVS etc.). Most interested parties will be keeping an eye on either of our sites anyway

Not too sure about the posting limit of five - see how it goes, rather than putting a false limit on there. I think it'll be pretty obvious when there's nothing left and lets face it, this'll all be judged by our peers, so even if one of us claims the other ran away it won't mean anything.

Other than that, I think the usual common sense rules of debate apply. No needless insulting, plainspeak only. Give references where appropriate but don't bother with full quotes unless asked, and if you want to use images, sounds or videos keep them as small as possible and include links to them rather than the images themselves

I don't think we realy need to agree sources, do we? I'll be using http://www.sfdebris.com/faq.html#7, minus the Star Wars "this official source is better than that official source" unless you have any particular objections (or really really want the ST TMs included for your Trek shielding piece)

Please let me know when you'd like to begin. Would you like to issue the first salvo, given that I don't actually know exactly what your alternative BDZ theory is, thus making it rather difficult for me to comment on it?

Sure, I'll get an opening post to you by monday evening if that's OK.

PS. How the hell do you respond so quickly? Do you have a lot of free time at work or something?

Mondays & Thursdays I'm on the help desk. Plenty of free time - reminding users what their username is doesn't take very long. Rest of the week really depends on how the network's behaving. On a good, I do maybe four hours proper work in an eight hour day. Bad days have stretched to 6 hours sleep in three days [Editor's note: let me guess: Windows network :)]

I'm home sick with bronchitis, otherwise I would have put this off until the weekend.

ew. You're off sick and you want to debate sci-fi? You're madder than I thought.
Get back to you monday if there's no more ground rules to discuss.

My reply:

Not too sure about the posting limit of five - see how it goes, rather than putting a false limit on there. I think it'll be pretty obvious when there's nothing left and lets face it, this'll all be judged by our peers, so even if one of us claims the other ran away it won't mean anything.

With all due respect, there's a reason that formal debates generally have time limits, and in most cases, they even have limits on each person's response time. A "see how it goes" approach only works if the losing party is willing to admit that he's losing, and that rarely happens. It is up to readers to determine later who they felt to be the winning party based on the exchange, and if one debater cannot make his point within the allotted time, that's as much a reflection on his performance in the debate and the validity of his point as anything else.

Moreover, while you may have enormous amounts of spare time, I do not. Unlike you, my job does not give me time to participate in newsgroups during work hours. I also have a wife and two kids to take care of. It is a major imposition on me to commit myself to one of these debates, and I simply cannot commit to an open-ended debate. Unlike you, I have schedules and commitments to worry about, hence my desire to set aside a fixed block of time for this event. I had hoped you would be able to understand this.

Other than that, I think the usual common sense rules of debate apply. No needless insulting, plainspeak only. Give references where appropriate but don't bother with full quotes unless asked, and if you want to use images, sounds or videos keep them as small as possible and include links to them rather than the images themselves. I don't think we realy need to agree sources, do we? I'll be using http://www.sfdebris.com/faq.html#7, minus the Star Wars "this official source is better than that official source" unless you have any particular objections (or really really want the ST TMs included for your Trek shielding piece)

Newsgroup rules are OK with me.

Sure, I'll get an opening post to you by monday evening if that's OK.

That's OK.

Mondays & Thursdays I'm on the help desk. Plenty of free time - reminding users what their username is doesn't take very long. Rest of the week really depends on how the network's behaving. On a good, I do maybe four hours proper work in an eight hour day. Bad days have stretched to 6 hours sleep in three days

You're lucky. Me, I'm expected to function as system administrator, help desk, and a design engineer all at the same time. There are no days in which I can lay around doing 4 hours of work and picking my nose the rest of the time.

ew. You're off sick and you want to debate sci-fi? You're madder than I thought.

When one has bronchitis, there's little else that one is physically capable of doing. Sci-fi debating, after all, is not a cardiovascular exercise, as numerous out-of-shape newsgroup participants can undoubtedly attest. I hope to be healthy by next week, however.

Get back to you monday if there's no more ground rules to discuss.

No really big disagreements except for the time limit. While you may be able to sustain an open-ended debate indefinitely (as demonstrated by your constant activities on ASVS and elsewhere), I have too many other commitments, and I reiterate that formal debates are traditionally time-limited. It is hardly an unreasonable stipulation.

His final reply:

Five posts / 2 days it is then
See you Monday

Well, we can at least be thankful that the pre-debate negotiations didn't drag on like the godawful Gothmog soap opera. Unlike Gothmog, who tried every trick in the book to avoid a fair fight, Mr. Griffiths obviously believes that he has enough ammunition to win standing up (albeit on very narrow subject matter). He's still labouring under the assumption that I'm afraid of him, as his website debate page says that I've decided to "step from behind [my] website" to debate him. Can you tell he hangs out at spacebattles.com's "vs" boards? They all spout this "Mike Wong hides behind his website" bullshit, because it's the only criticism they have; after all, they've gotten their asses kicked every single time they've tried to go toe to toe with me on actual subject matter (gee, could this be due to the fact that their position is simply wrong? Hmmm ...)

So is this one's confidence warranted? Or is he just like the others, with a mouth writing cheques that his brain can't cash? Time to find out! Time to ...

Fight!

Continue to Edam's first post


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