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Old September 4 2013, 09:19 PM   #64
Re: Resigning from Starfleet

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.
Its quite the reverse, there is a multitude of circumstantial evidence indicating that Starfleet cadets hold rank on screen and none that they don't - you hold the assertion it MUST work like a real world military and that is your only counter argument.
Unfortunately that counterargument becomes more untennable the more evidence of cadets being comissioned stacks up.

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.
Nothing states it explicitly ( or lets face it Timo, we'd not be having a debate about it) but the circumstantial evidence is compelling, given the timeline ( and I am not beholden to the Okuda chronology, though its telling that they have come to the same conclusion).
I am looking at the onscreen facts and formulating a logical hypothesis.
Indeed I think your judgement is clouded and you are ignoring facts due to you conviction Starfleet works like a real military ( something we have agreed as fictional is not necessarily the case). Its worth remembering that STarfleet academy seems to function as a composite of a military and a university.

I note that you seemed to dodge the question of if you had any evidence to present that was not " real cadets do not hold comissions".

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.
Don't worry, I'm not insulted, I enjoy a good debate to be honest, and I'm not trying to insult you either. Truth is though pointing out the uses of a debating technique that YOU used.... Well turnabout is fair play.
In point of fact, my reasoning is perfectly sound as is demonstrable by the evidence stated.

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.
Well those individual "Pseudo facts" build on one another to build the larger metafiction of Star Trek. The newer production teams build on the work of other, and try where possible to remain consistent. I'm sure you are aware of how much attention is paid to non canon Star Trek, even though it does not count. Even then they insist on consistency, the difference is that TV writers are not beholden to the facts in such works ( a subtle difference but important).
Hell the first statement made Kirk as a "stack of books with legs" seems to imply a dedicated student, and is followed with the Lt. Kirk reference. I don't think it was a mistake by the writer it seems deliberate ( perhaps because Gene wanted to push his Starfleet is not military agenda).

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.
No I am taking onscreen facts and presenting them as evidence. In fact if the evidence was not so compelling my assumption would be that Starfleet did work like a real military. But with considerable onscreen evidence to the contrary then I'd be blinkered.

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!
The onscreen evidence indicates that Starfleets minimum age for entry is sixteen. nothing onscreen indicates anything different. - so that seems logical.

We see a commissioned seventeen year old, and on screen we see that the academy lasts four years ( or eight for medical, it seems ) and the only exception noted is The implication NuKirk manages in three. -
so we can infer that Starfleet does not work like the regular military.

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).

The point stands. We do not see anyone get a field comission or an emergency graduation. yet they have rank. Its evidence.
No its not as conclusive as if Spock said " It is most fortunate that cadets are comissioned in the academy, unlike three hundred years ago" but its not really needed. Neither is this the sole reason for the presumption.

And of course we have the fact that Kirk is a Lt. but he certainly is not graduated/ commisioned in the movie ( as I said Pike points out that he does not belong there) and we see the action with Pike from Kirks arrival on the bridge to his leaving in the shuttle, theres no point where Pike give Kirk rank ( hell Kirk isn't even given a spiffy new overshirt).

Do you realize how circular you sound?

I am sorry, if I seem to be repeating the evidence somewhat, but its in case anyone reading this does not want to read our gazillions of posts ( assuming everyone is not bored senseless by the two of us ).
Mind you I note that you have no evidence to repeat

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.
Actually they seem to divide Cadet from non Cadet. The red undershirt is a clear indication in ST II, and only cadets seem to have a red shoulder strap and their wrist band is distinctly different. - it has a stripe along it instead of the years of service pins. - its supposed to indicate that Cadets

And yes, Valeris wore a red undershirt in STVI, but the sad fact is from a production standpoint the undershirts were apparently in short supply by that time. So I guess they used what they had ( still if they remaster it, who knows?)

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 we see on screen includes what the characters say. And all the evidence indicates that Kirk was commisioned at the academy.
Thats then backed up by Saavik being a cadet
and then the Abramverse

its a variety of things that say the same thing. THATs why its compelling. individually a piece of evidence is discountable but pull all the threads and the tapestry of continuity that surrounds everything unravels.

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.
As restated above there is evidence to the contrary, quite a bit of it. Now it may have started as an unintentional side effect of what writers did ( though I tend to think not given the "Stack of Books" comment as I mentioned earlier ). but it certainly became the foundation they built on
And when Abrams took on Trek he seems to have run with the idea ( honestly, given your position I expected you to say it did not count when I first mentioned it, which is why I said something about some questioning its validity) and honestly, really seems to have driven the nail home.

I'm puzzled by the age of entry thing though, you suggested earlier that Chekov joined at, well 13, given that he is a seventeen year old ensign and Starfleet is four years ( which TBH I think is the absolute biggest stretch in credulity in your arguments )
But I never said that Trek says entry is at 18, looking at onscreen evidence the minimum entry age is sixteen ( and FWIW with an academic year running from Autumn to summer as far as I can tell - no Idea if that is different from the military but it is like most universities).

That said is it not true that to become a comissioned officer you should have a university degree first? ( this is largely true in the UK at least).
It occurs to me that given this is not the case with the academy, and that the academy graduates get a degree. It may well get the military bit out of the way in the first year and then primarily focus on the more academic, if you see what I mean - thats just speculation though no real evidence for that.

One might speculate that Starfleet bought Paris' cooperation with this promotion....
Not sure about that, since Janeway does not say that to Paris when she makes her offer ( I know, I'm a slave to onscreen evidence ). That said Ro Laren got recommissioned. Maybe it was at Janeways discretion if she liked how her "observer" worked out?

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.
TBF after thinking, it occured to me she might be sending a message to the Maquis and making sure that Paris is not everyones Bitch.

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.
Having looked at Relativity, Janeway seems to have decided herself that she wants Tom, and that everyone deserves a second chance. So yeah favour ( before or after the fact) to Admiral Paris seems likely.
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