Debate #2: Lord Edam

March 13, 2002 (my third rebuttal, part 1/3)


[Regarding his use of nitpick tactics] Our workload is nothing to do with this debate. Our personal obligations are nothign to do with this debate. If you don't have the time available don't challenge people to debates. You chose to start this debate now - you had the chance to take what you wanted from my page before christmas, but chose instead to go for this. Don't start moaning that I've got it easier than you have - you chose this debate, you chose this time. Any repetitions I make are a result of your responses.

Yes, they are a result of your inability to deal with them, hence your insistence on time-wasting nitpick arguments which evade the main points. The fact that I am irritated by this tactic has to do with my preference for dealing with major issues; a preference that you obviously do not share.


Honestly, I see no point answering your repetitive bleating on this subject. My generosity has nothing to do with the subject matter, which is Trek shield energy limits. You claimed mine were a "mistake", and that yours were based on the "correct surface area". All this talk of "generosity" is a pure, unadulterated red herring, and your insistence on devoting huge space to it is an obvious attempt to derail the discussion in order to distract from the fact that my figures are indisputably far better than your ridiculously exaggerated figures. I already refuted your strawman claims in my last E-mail, and your most recent response completely ignores my criticisms. I know that if I answer it, you will simply use it as an opportunity to continue harping on it, so I won't fall for it. The "generosity" red herring stops here. If you wish to continue masturbating to it, do so alone. In a very dark room. Very far from other people.

Upper and Lower Limits

If you still don't understand that the lower limit for energy absorption is 0% over the target area, and the upper limit is 100% over the target area, even after having had it explained to you in excruciating detail, I can't help you (although you didn't even address that in your most recent post, indicating that you have no answer for it). Ever since this debate has begun, I have made every effort to explain concepts very thoroughly, while you simply whine and complain about red herrings such as my "generosity".

And your assumptions are wrong, and your observations non-existant (infact, when I provide your obsrevations for you you decide to attack me, rather than thanking me for doing waht you are too lazy to do yourself). Your conclusions are not the upper limit of federation shield energy handling abilities as they are represented. Infact, since the actual figure can't be lower than the one you gave (it's actualy higher) they are lower limits

As expected, you don't bother explaining why my "assumptions" about the limits ranging from 0% to 100% are wrong (you simply dismiss them and repeat your demand that I consider 100% to be a basis for a lower limit), you complain that my observations about the hull being less than 78,000 m² are "non-existent" (but of course, you're operating on the strawman claim that I say the shields are that big rather than the hull), and you evade my point about the nature of limits by whining about my manners.

Your Lies

[Regarding miraculous appearance of Relics screenshot at perfect time] Actually, Mike, I've had screenshots of Relics since I took them on Thursday evening [blah blah blah, trying to attack my motives and personality]

Yeah, sure. And the dog ate your homework, you have some swamp land in Florida to sell me. Your blatant dishonesty has been made very clear by your conduct throughout this debate, not just with your ridiculous insistence that "Relics" hurts me more than it hurts you, but also with your ridiculous misrepresentation of nuclear weapon blast effects in the BDZ thread. And don't give me this bullshit about how you didn't know until now. Wayne Poe refuted your ridiculously exaggerated shield sizes a long time ago, Edam. You deliberately chose the biggest shield bubble you could find, in a very particular example (holding off the giant snowflake) which had nothing to do with EM radiation absorption and then pretended that this was "the correct surface area" for "Relics". Not an "upper limit", as you pretend now, but "the correct surface area." You ignored the screenshots he provided, and now you act as though you had no way of knowing you were wrong before now. You whine that I'm being unfair when I accuse you of lying, but any impartial observer can easily see that you're lying with or without my help. Your own words betray you.

Hull Profile vs Shield Profile

You really should knock off these accusations of lies, Mike. You aren't perfect yourself. I'm sure you've watched Paradise Lost the same as you watched Relics, the same as you watched Starship Down. I'm actually refering to the phaser beam (not the PPC, though several of the PPC shots immediately after this were obviously below the saucer from their initial glow - one shot even makes the shields glow as it passes close by without actually hitting), and the PPC shots that would just miss the nacelle as it was strafing them.

I see you're playing games again, Edam. Not only are you taking my words out of context, and "Effects of Nuclear Weapons" out of context, but you're even taking screenshots out of context. The accompanying video clip (Divx 4+ codec) will make things quite clear to all readers. That beam shot would have barely missed the Lakota, and PPC shots that were indistinguishably close to that one did miss (see the clip), thus indicating that this particular beam shot was right on the edge of the shield's useful perimeter (naturally, you picked it and ignored the rest, hoping no one would notice). In some cases, out of two shots fired from adjacent guns on one of the Defiant's phaser bank, one squarely hit the saucer and one flew harmlessly by, thus indicating how small the range of absorption really is. Sorry, but the useful shield contour visible in this clip is clearly one that is wrapped around the shape of the hull, not a big ellipsoid.

Another episode you've watched but not actually remembered, I see. That image is after Voyager has taken the hit - after Voyager has started to tumble. Try going back a few frames, watching where the S-8472 weaopn was really going. It would have just missed the ship if it had not clipped the shields and caused it to start tumbling.

Oh, so it would have missed but the effect require us to freeze-frame and look very carefully? Fine, then provide a screenshot of this little miraculous event that nobody else saw. I'm sick of running around and providing evidence to refute all of the claims you casually make. Given your track record so far, you have no reasonable expectation that anyone should take your claims at face value.

I asked you to provide examples of weapons hitting the shield bubble that would have otherwise missed the ship (a crucial component of your argument). You have failed to do so, yet you continue to claim victory anyway. Self-delusion is obviously one of your talents, Edam.

Hull-huggers vs Bubbles

riiight. V'ger's weapon just happens to creating lightning effects round a definite ellipse, the same shape Trek shields just happen to be. Either one of us could be right. It could be shields, or it could be V'ger's weapon.

Yeah, sure. Backpedaling, Edam? You shouldn't have stopped partway. I'll let readers judge the truth for themselves:

VGer takes out a Klingon ship
V'ger's lightning effect envelops the Klingon ship.

Well, what have we here? A big lightning effect which bears no resemblance whatsoever to an ellipsoid, never mind the traditional ellipsoid shield bubble? That's what most people see, Edam. Why do you see a shield bubble? Are you suggesting that the Klingon ship has shield bubble that looks like a potato with sprouts sticking out of it?

And ST 2 clearly shows shields that project from the hull (some distance, infact)

Your bizarre claim that they could not do hull huggers in TOS is completely unsupportable. We know they could project shields forward if they wanted to (Scotty said they could), but they could also do hull huggers (a dual-mode capability that you insist did not exist before "A Call to Arms". Consider the following screenshots:

Enterprise being seized by Apollo
Enterprise with shields up, being grabbed by Apollo.
Where's the bubble, Edam?

USS Reliant shield display
USS Reliant shield display from ST2. LED's indicate the shield perimeter.
Notice how it is contoured to the perimeter of the ship, and not a big ovoid.
Where's the bubble, Edam?

Enterprise being hit in ST6
Enterprise-A being hit by a photorp in ST6. Where's the bubble, Edam?
Will you argue the shield must be down? If so, consider the next screenshot:

Enterprise shield display
Enterprise-A shield display more than 1 minute later in ST6, showing
that while the shield is "compromised" (ie- less than 100%), deflector
power is still well over 70%. It also shows that the shield is contoured
to the ship, just like it was in ST2, and that the display actually
exaggerates the projection away from the hull, since we had seen earlier
that a photorp suffers no impedance whatsoever until it strikes the hull,
or a shield invisibly close to the hull. Where's the bubble, Edam?

Where's the bubble shields, Edam? They could extend the shield away from the ship in TOS according to Scott, but it's plainly obvious that they could also do hull huggers, with the same shield system. Funny how you continue to claim they lacked this dual-mode capability until "Call to Arms". Did TOS happen after "Call to Arms" now, Edam? And don't tell me you didn't remember this stuff until now; no one could possibly be a real Star Trek fan and not remember these scenes, particularly the famous "Sir, our shields are dropping!" scene from ST2.

No, Mike. We do know from DS9 that they have altered their shields to counter the threat from Dominion weaponry. This is stated in A Call To Arms.

The first two times you made this statement, I demanded evidence for this claim of major shield modifications for "Call to Arms", as opposed to a clever countermeasure to a shield-piercing weapon (the Dominion phased-poleron beam) which still used the existing system (note that you gave an example of just such a countermeasure in "Voyager", yet you insist that it must have been an entirely new shield system in "Call to Arms"). You ignored those demands and simply repeated the claim, again without a shred of evidence. I'm not going to bother repeating my criticisms a third time, since this is being done for the benefit of readers, not you. They can easily check the rest of the debate to see how you've ignored repeated calls to back up this illogical claim of yours.

Call to Arms - not bubble shields, not bubble shields Infact, the only bubble shields they have are directly surrounding the command module when a cardassian sihp tries to ram them

In other words, you just admitted that they did use bubble shields in "Call to Arms", and around DS9's command module no less, which was the most important target! Concession accepted.

do we ever see the E-d whilst clearly shielded (stated or not been in a previous battle) taking hull hits without the shields flaring? That would prove your case. Anything else is unsupported supposition

Correct; it makes sense, but there's no irrefutable proof. However, a reasonable theory, even without irrefutable proof, is still far better than a claim which has already been proven wrong, such as your claim that they were incapable of making hull huggers before "Call to Arms", because numerous screenshots show that they could do it, not only earlier in DS9 but also way back in TOS. When a theory does not require any extra, unobserved terms and mechanisms (such as your claim that wholly different shield systems were required for "Call to Arms" and the entire fleet received new shield systems), and when the competing theory is clearly wrong as seen in the screenshots above, it is clearly the best choice, even if no irrefutable proof exists for it.

[On vector vs scalar] Or, alternatively, the shields are blocking energy where we see them blocking energy. The shield flare covers the majority of the projected profile of the shields -of course it drops off more towards the edges, there is less energy per unit area there due to the altered angle of incidence.

Forgive me for not explaining it in excruciating detail for you. A single phaser beam hitting the shield will be distributed across a very large portion of its surface area. This leads to the obvious question: if it's catching radiation across its entire surface irrespective of incident angle, then why isn't the retransmission spread out more? Why does it begin to fade out well before the end of the region of absorption? And don't chalk that up to the incident radiation drop-off; it also has to retransmit energy conducted from the area of highest intensity. One sharp point impact on the middle of its shield produces just as large a flare as this supposedly all-encompassing bombardment; explain why!

They rely on a single question - if there are hull-hugging shields prior to A Call To Arms why don't we see them?

We do. You dismiss those examples with the unsupported claim that shield technology underwent major changes between TOS and TNG, and then again between two seasons of DS9, and your even more ludicrous claim that they didn't have them in TOS.

Every shot that flame-bursts happens after the ship has started moving to miss. We don't know if those are hitting the shields or not.

So Dominion weapons have a flak burst mode now? Why don't we see it anywhere else? Why does it look exactly like direct hits on DS9's shields from the same weapons? Why does it not happen when those same beams miss the Defiant by just a few metres in that same scene? You're just trying to wriggle out of canon facts again.


[Re: your silly idea that 15% shield drop was a fraction of 23%, not a fraction of 100%] No, every percentage drop is a specific and easily-calculable time left before the shields fail and the ship dies. It's far easier using my way to know how much longer you've got left. It starts off at 100% (3 hours) and drops from there - a 15% drop in shields means a 1 hour 20 minute drop in time left.

In other words, you admit that it's 15% of the nominal value as I said, and not 15% of the reduced 23% value, as you had claimed in your previous E-mail. Concession accepted.

Other than the episode, which I note you still assume you remember perfectly but haven't bothered watching, Mike

I like the way you have vacillated between saying you are so intimately familiar with the episode that my knowledge from memory and a copy of the script is useless, and suddenly saying "Oh, I don't remember anything, but a copy of it just happened to fall in my lap on the same night I had to send my next post in the debate". No, I haven't watched every single Star Trek episode. And no, I don't intend to. I have a life, Edam. But I do have a copy of the scripts, which are very easy to check. The scripts are used to make the show, Edam. Unless you can show me conclusive evidence that the scripts are wrong on some major point, you have no justification to ignore them.

[Ignoring limited energy content of real solar flares] our star is not unstable, has not entered a period of icnreased activity, and is not kicking of massive flares every few seconds

More of the Trekkie "no numbers" fallacy, Edam. Care to explain why you believe the solar flare intensity of this star (less than half as powerful as our own Sun) would be more than two orders of magnitude greater than that of our Sun? What mechanism would produce this unusually dense stellar plasma? Since main-sequence stars change their gross behaviour characteristics over timeframes of millions or billions of years rather than a few minutes, would you care to explain how the interior of the sphere still held green vegetation and liquid oceans, despite your imaginary monstrous increase in stellar activity?

Oh, and by the way Edam, we never actually do see the flare hit the ship. We never see any flare hit the ship (it would presumably have overwhelmed their special effects budget at the time, hence the scene's deletion), and the only flare we ever see onscreen is hundreds of thousands of kilometres away at the minimum:

Relics solar flares

Your continuing claim about a constant bombardment of flares is not justifiable, Edam.


You have never successfully dealt with the chart I made in my very first post, Edam. My numbers are better than yours. All of the evasions, appeals to motive, and personal attacks in the world won't change that fact. You can complain about my behaviour, whine about my "generosity", bitch that I'm not treating you well, say that I'm a very bad person for pointing out that you're a liar, do whatever the hell you want, but in the end, I'm still within 20% even if we use your method instead of mine, while you're off by a staggering 470% even using your own method. Your attempt to paint your enormous (and obviously deliberate) overstatement as an "upper limit" won't fool anyone, and neither will all of this evasion.

The whole point of this was to show your claims of generosity and upper limits were wrong - lies, if you like, seeing as you enjoy that word so much

No, the whole point of this was to see whose numbers were a "mistake", and whose numbers were "correct", using your original words from your original "Mike Wong's Star Trek Shielding Mistakes" page. If it was called the "I think Mike Wong should be More Generous" page, you might have a point, but that was not your original position. The "generosity" idea is a red herring, and your refusal to let go of it merely underscores your weakness in this debate.

I have shown that my numbers are far better than yours regardless of whose method we use, so you lose. I have already explained that the upper limit for energy absorption is 100% of incident energy, and the lower limit is 0%, yet you insist I use 100% on the target as a "lower limit". I have already explained that if we use the ship as a target rather than the big shield bubble which is not firmly established to block energy passing through it in all directions, 78,000 m² is a very generous estimate for ship area. You continue to harp on your strawman that I portray 78,000 m² as a "generous upper limit" for the shield area, instead of a generous estimate of the hull area. You commit the "complex question" fallacy of conjoining two separate ideas together and treating them as a unified proposition (generous estimates of hull area + upper limits into "generous upper limit"), and every time I have explained this to you, your answer has been deafening silence.

You get upset when I accuse you of lying, but you insist on continually attacking the strawman despite being repeatedly reminded that I have never claimed the shield has a profile area of 78,000 m². You can repeat your strawman till the cows come home, but you can't be so stupid that you didn't see all of the times I pointed out your mistake. It is only reasonable to conclude that you know it's a strawman and yet you repeat it anyway, in the hopes of snatching rhetorical victory from the jaws of logical defeat. In the end, you will lose because our readers aren't stupid enough to fall for your continuing insistence upon repeating this lie, or that "wounded innocent" bullshit you pull whenever I point out that you're obviously lying.

Continue to part 2/3

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