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Old September 4 2013, 06:22 PM   #63
Re: Resigning from Starfleet

Ignoring all the evidence and twisting the statements made by multiple persons makes any other interpretation increasingly unlikely and becomes more convoluted.
Exactly - so it follows that cadets cannot hold rank even in Starfleet.

The "Kirk is an Ensign while in Academy" thing is a fundamental fumble by the Okudas in their original Chronology, an unnecessarily complicated explanation for something that needs no explaining. Building a whole parallel universe (parallel to that of Star Trek, that is) is a rather futile undertaking when nothing in that universe actually requires us to believe in the holding of rank in the Academy. If you bothered to view the evidence with a clear mind, you'd note that there are no people who would hold rank in the Academy explicitly - it's all in your mind, the consequence of convoluted rationalizations.

Except in the parallel universe of STXI, that is. But I already covered parallel universes.

To try and dismiss the logical arguments that Cadets hold rank in Starfleet by saying that the suggestion is like saying Saavik is male is an attempt to attack the proposition without using evidence.

Its an Ad Hominem attack on the idea itself, trying to make it look absurd.
As such it offers no worthwhile counter argument. Logical counter arguments are better for debate, wouldn't you say?
Ah, debating technique - the last refuge of the incompetent!

It's perfectly valid and relevant to point out that a whole line of reasoning of yours is fundamentally flawed, with the help of an analogy. No analogy is perfect, alas. Trying to dodge this as being insulting to you doesn't help - it's just a confession that the "insult" hit home.

The intent of the production team and the writers IS important.
Another fundamental fallacy. There is no such intent, because there is no "production team" or "writers". Star Trek is a hodgepodge collection of pseudo-facts by many production teams and writers, by definition incapable of accommodating any intent other than that which is manifest in the end product - the "lowest common denominator" of intents. Of the drama we actually see unfold across the series and spinoffs, this "lcd" is but a tiny and insignificant factor.

And this is not the only evidence we have of Cadets holding rank.
Very true, because it doesn't count as evidence at all. Your "rationalization" based on these onscreen pseudo-facts isn't evidence, it's just a house of cards.

we have already established there is no reason to suppose Starfleet works like the real military
Nope - you have made that a priori assumption and pretend that it is evidence.

An equally valid assumption would be that Starfleet otherwise works like the real military, and the one thing that is futuristic here is that future people can start their academic careers at an earlier age than today (but at a later age than yesterday, mind you). This is a lesser deviation from the default assumption that Star Trek is just like the present, only in spaaaaaace!

Based on the evidence presented. we see no graduation or emergency field comissions
And that's your prerogative. But it's not an absolute truth about the evidence, make no mistake.

I do see an emergency mission. And I do see graduation, as people never before referred to with graduated rank are suddenly being referred to with such. It even looks, walks and quacks like real world precedent, only in a somewhat condensed scale (mass promotions for individual emergency rather than for all-out war).

Obviously any cadet holding any rank, as Chekov holding Ensign rank at seventeen indicates, shows that cadets can hold rank - thus its another demonstration of the evidence stacking up to make my case.
Do you realize how circular you sound?

Commissioned officers wear entirely different uniforms.
Saavik wears the same uniform as Kirk and Spock, so what on Earth are you talking about?

There's subtle and seemingly random variation there in the undershirt colors, shoulder pad / sleeve sash colors and color combinations, and trouser and jacket seams, but nothing that would uniquely divide the universe into Saavik vs. non-Saavik.

If I may be so bold Timo, it seems to me that your entire position on this is weighted by the fact that in the real world cadets cannot hold rank. Would you say that if that is not the case then the evidence does indeed make it more likely that Cadets do hold rank
Actually, no. All the argumentation that Kirk must have been a Cadet while holding Ensign or Lieutenant rank in TOS is complicated nonsense, and couldn't have been farther from writer intent. It's just that intent counts for nothing in a TV show with multiple writers. Similarly, all the argumentation that Kirk must have been a child when being a Lieutenant teaching the even younger Mitchell is predicated on the idea that the writer of that episode knew that a later writer would establish the "present" Kirk as a youngster of mere 34 years: there are two intents there in conflict - but we have no reason to acknowledge either intent in any way, as any explanation built on explaining what we actually see is automatically superior to that.

What's left after that is just STXI. And STXI is quite easily explained as special circumstances.

or is there anything else that leads to your position?
The total lack of actual contrary evidence. That is, unless we invoke our own ideas about Starfleet Academy entry age. It's "Trek differs from reality" one way or another, but we have far more reason to think that Trek would be forced to differ from reality in the latter regard - not all Federation species mature at eighteen! And there's little point in choosing both aberrations when choosing one will do.

Closer to topic - Not quite resigning but I found it interesting to note that Tom Paris was recommissioned by Janeway as a Lt. in Caretaker. Anyone got any thoughts on that? Seems a bit odd he is promoted over other officers.
One might speculate that Starfleet bought Paris' cooperation with this promotion. A mere get-out-of-jail card wouldn't be all that appealing to Paris, considering that Federation penal colonies aren't exactly hellholes. Starfleet might have decided to reinstate Tom's speculative Lt (jg) rank (he did graduate before his misadventures were exposed and he was forced to quit) and raise that by half a pip.

Curiously, by the end of the season, Tom is back to Lt (jg), having lost the half pip somehow. There were many similar undiscussed demotions at the time. Since Janeway threatens her underlings with consequences in "Prime Factors", most of those might be explained by her making good of the threats. Tom didn't fuck up in "Prime Factors", but perhaps he did off screen, in some other context? That'd be true to character...

Janeway delivering a promotion that Starfleet had already undersigned would probably be a tad different from Janeway field-promoting her own officers - hence no extra pips every Christmas for the crew, but simply this initial jump for Paris and a lottery of ranks for the actual Maquis.

Nepotism. Janeway was buddies with his dad. He also got regular pips instead of the provisional ones like all the other Maquis.
And yes, there's that.

I wonder if Janeway initially chose to employ Tom Paris solely because of this relationship? It's not as if she would really have needed this specific failed Maquis for her Maquis hunt - or any Maquis, failed or not, for that matter. The whole thing might have been a favor for Owen Paris from the get-go.

Timo Saloniemi
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