Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by ainmneacha_Nollag, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. Shane Houston

    Shane Houston Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree with you 100 percent. Good comments. Let me take the argument one step further. What about aired episodes of Trek? Should we have to use spoiler code to discuss episodes of the live action series and the movies? I mean, there may be some folks out there that haven't watched all 800 hours of Trek. Should we force all the other forums to use spoiler code for episodes that came out 20 years ago? You would indeed have a board full of spoiler code and no discussion.

    I know there is a certain amount of common sense and respect for people who may have not read all of the books. But you cannot expect to one, insult people on one hand and call them assholes for not doing what you demand, and then expect them to listen to your arguments.
     
  2. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    I'm Indian. I'd have been a slave myself.

    --Sran
     
  3. Masiral

    Masiral Captain Captain

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    I find it very hard to take your argument seriously when you compare spoiling a Star Trek book to the enslavement of entire races of human beings.

    I have only seen about a dozen episodes of TOS, but I don't expect people to use spoiler codes to discuss them, just because I haven't seen them.
     
  4. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Did you ever watch the Columbo movies? The suspense in those wasn't in finding out "whodunnit" - that's shown from the get-go. In those movies, the suspense is in following Columbo's investigation, trying to spot the one tiny detail - the one little mistake - the murderer makes that tells Columbo who he/she is. Who cares if the murderer is usually the special guest star? The suspense is in the story itself. I'd have been quite upset if someone had blabbed the solution to Columbo discovering that (in one episode) William Shatner did indeed kill the victim. We know that happened. What the audience wants to know is how Columbo figured it out.

    As for The Mousetrap... of course the playwright didn't think the solution was the only worthwhile part of the play. That's ludicrous. The reason the audience was asked not to tell anyone is twofold: First, of course it would spoil the play for others if they knew in advance what the solution was. But secondly, it was a way of drawing the audience in further: "You have experienced this mystery, and now you know the answer. This makes you special, in that you know something the rest of the people don't. By knowing the answer from watching the play, you're a participant in the solution, and that's a wonderful thing. Please don't deprive others of this same special feeling."

    I just "love" the way some people here assume we should all be able to afford every book that comes out every month. :rolleyes: I spent a lot of years where food was a struggle and any new books (or even 2nd-hand) were undreamed-of. Also, as some have pointed out, books don't simultaneously appear in all bookstores at the same time. And not everyone has a Kindle or other e-reader. So it's entirely possible that a book can come out and it can take someone a lot longer than 6 months to actually get it, never mind read it.

    This is one reason why I rarely post in this forum. There are approximately 10 years' worth of ST novels I haven't read, and even though I have many of them now, there was a time when I couldn't even afford them second-hand nor could I get to a library to borrow them. So I'm hopelessly behind. And I do the responsible thing and stay out of threads where I know people are talking about these books.

    Where the danger lies for me is if I'm reading a thread about a book I've already read, and a recent post from someone who's further along could say, "This reminds me of what happened in the novel that came out last month..." and then they proceed to give away plot points about something recent in a thread that's actually about something else. THAT is what I object to. It's inconsiderate.

    It wasn't the spoiling of books, it was the attitude of "Disagree with the decision BEFORE it's made, and forever after, shut up" that was being compared to slavery.
     
  5. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    The thing is, we have a rule now on spoilers that DOESN'T WORK. So what some of us are trying to say is to be considerate and don't spoil things for others just because a book is six months old (or even older).

    Take the thread on Revelation and Dust. There is a MAJOR spoiler there that was posted in the open because the poster said he doesn't know how to use spoiler codes. But that spoiler is possible (and it's also possible to glance at it without wanting to) to bypass. But, then we have other people quoting the message without using a spoiler that that then make that spoiler out in the open.

    Have consideration and forget any such "it's OK after six month to ruin books for others rule". Is anyone going to follow this rule or are you going to use spoiler codes because it's the right thing to do?
     
  6. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Why do you keep using this as an example? It was a spoiler in a review thread for the proper book. That information is germane to the thread, which is already blanket-covered by a spoiler warning. It was not spoiling some other unsuspecting book. It was spoiling the book being reviewed.

    Using this as your case-in-point only serves to weaken your argument. Because, as rightly pointed out by others, if you can't discuss a book in the open inside its review thread, where can you?

    If you go your route, every single review thread:
    will
    look
    like
    this.
    Or the conversations in the review threads will all be along the lines of:
    It's sort of like child-proofing a bar, where children aren't allowed in the first place. Or, I don't know, mandating that every ladder be handicap-accessible.

    You're losing this war by choosing to fight the wrong battles.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  7. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Alternately, perhaps if one wants to discuss a book without having to worry about being spoiled they should start a thread that explicitly requests that spoilers not be added. They may still happen inadvertently, but that's always going to be a risk.
     
  8. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think we have any problems with that, and in fact, you SEE that on occasion. Both in here and in the TV forums. Someone says they are starting a series, and wants to discuss it on their schedule, please no spoilers past that point. Not saying that maybe someone doesn't screw up somewhere, or you could get an annoying "oh, you'll see" when you ask a question, but I haven't really seen problems with anyone honoring that.
     
  9. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think we do either, but since some posters are evidently more concerned that they might be exposed to spoilers than others, creating "No Spoiler" threads for themselves would address their concerns for the most part.
     
  10. Masiral

    Masiral Captain Captain

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    I remember some forum that I visited actually had 2 threads for each book - a spoiler thread and a non-spoiler thread. I don't know if that could be done here, but maybe it would work?
     
  11. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    They wouldn't really be 1:1, though. The non-spoiler threads only exist when someone is behind, yet starts a thread for an old book they are reading. You wouldn't make one for every new release, because most people would just be in the regular thread so they can actually talk about what happened in the book and how that related to things going on in the rest of the series...
     
  12. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    What would be the point of a general no-spoiler review thread for each book? I'm not being facetious here, I genuinely don't understand what activity would take place in the thread if you can't discuss the events of the book being reviewed. I can understand an individual user posting a thread to discuss things at his own pace, as he progresses. But how would that work for a general thread for everybody?
     
  13. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Have you been reading this thread? It's evident that some people want threads with no spoilers. So they can start no-spoiler threads when they feel it's desirable and get what they're looking for.

    If they're not happy with the results? Well, they apparently weren't happy with the Moderators' decision either.
     
  14. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    I agree with this and think people need to use common sense when it comes to discussing information in other novels that aren't directly related to the thread in question. Having said that, I don't believe that people purposely avoid doing this in an effort to be rude. People make mistakes and forget. It happens.

    I should explain my point in saying that. I don't have a problem with debate and discussion about a particular topic. But I think it's inappropriate to constantly question the decisions of other people when they have shown themselves to be thoughtful and considerate. I used to be a member of a forum whose moderators were quick to stamp out any dissent by issuing warnings, bans, and numerous "my way or the highway" speeches that alienated several longtime posters, myself included.

    I've not found the mod staff at this site to be that way. Every action I've seen them take has been carefully considered before being undertaken. This includes their decision about the rule of six-months for mandatory spoiler tags when discussing novels. It's perfectly acceptable to question the wisdom of a decision before it's made. But once the decision has been reached and implemented, it is the responsibility of everyone to stand the behind the decision and support it.

    If people believe that a decision has been improperly or without consideration for all factors involved, the best approach would be for these individuals to present the moderators with new information that may facilitate new discussions and the implementation of a new policy. My problem with the way this situation has been handled is that the moderators have made a decision that- at face value- seems to be fair. But those opposed to the decision have insisted on repeating the same rhetoric they were using before the decision was made instead of presenting the moderators with information illustrating why the six-month rule doesn't work (as suggested by another poster).

    Except that you've provided absolutely no proof that the rule doesn't work. You've only whined repeatedly because you don't agree with its existence. Another poster made an excellent suggestion that you and your supporters poll the members of this forum to determine what they think the best alternative policy should be. You've ignored this suggestion to this point and continued spewing the same tired rhetoric you were resorting to prior to the six-month rule's conception. We don't know if the rule works or not because it hasn't been in place long enough. What's more, people like you are determined to do whatever you can to undermine both it and the mods because you have an agenda you believe is superior (despite no proof of said superiority).

    It's not your place to tell other people what's right or wrong where this forum is concerned. You're not a moderator and are no more important than any other poster here. You've repeatedly whined, bitched, and moaned because the mods have made a decision that you don't agree with. You've provided absolutely no statistical evidence that the rule doesn't work, nor have you suggested a suitable alternative that other posters agree with. You've whined, whined, and whined some more, as if throwing tantrum after tantrum is somehow going to have an impact on how this site is run.

    You've also repeatedly attacked the character of other posters by suggesting that people are intentionally ruining books you've not read as a way of spiting you. Yet you've no proof of this, either. Why do you believe that everyone here must watch out for you when you've shown absolutely no consideration whatsoever for the rights, opinions, and feelings of other members? Who are you to tell other people how to behave when you've no authority to do so?

    This situation reminds me of pedestrians trying to cross a busy street. The law says that pedestrians have the right of way (as they should). But anyone crossing a street should realize that he or she must look both ways before trying to cross. It's common sense. Cars can't stop as easily as people can. And accidents can be avoided if people take the time to watch out for themselves rather than assuming that someone else will be doing it for them.

    The same is true of this forum. Each of us has a duty to follow the rules the moderators have set down. Each of us also has a responsibility to be courteous to other posters when it comes to discussion new novels or works that they've not yet read. But it also falls on individual posters to have enough sense to avoid clearly marked and titled threads if they've not read the book in question, as it's entirely plausible key details of the novel will be divulged there. A poster has no one to blame but himself if he opens a clearly marked thread about a book and reads it before reading the book. It's a matter of willpower and common sense. Have enough self-restraint not to the click the mouse button.

    --Sran
     
  15. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    They won't be. They believe that everyone here should accommodate them even though they've made no effort to do the same for other posters. One poster has gone out of his way to attack other members because he's convinced they have no regard for other people, conveniently ignoring the fact that his repeated accusations show even less regard for another person's feelings than does the accidental posting of a spoiler of a recently released novel.

    It's disgusting. As I said in my previous post, I believe the moderators of this site are fair and open to suggestions made by regular posters. But the people opposed to the new rule have provided no alternatives that either the staff or other users can live with. They've merely whined as though throwing a fit will somehow convince the mods that the decision must be reversed. For all their posturing and verbal masturbation, they've failed to consider that all they've done is further alienate this community. Not exactly the best way to get their voices heard. But to each his own, I suppose.

    --Sran
     
  16. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    More to the point, I suppose, would be that I gave them what I thought was a pretty reasonable means of establishing how the board membership feels about the existing policy, and as of yet they seem uninterested in or unwilling to do anything with my suggestion.

    It's hard for me to sympathize with people who take issue with a situation but neither follow a suggestion for improving it nor explain why they won't follow the suggestion.
     
  17. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    A suggestion that I wholeheartedly agree with. As I said in my earlier post, I believe the mods of this forum are reasonable and will listen to any thoughtful suggestions made by its users. But the people in question have done nothing but whine because they were shot down when the issue was first brought up, and they've done nothing but attack other posters to justify their position.

    Another point that I agree with. I'd add that the people in question need to do a better job of explaining their perspective. Saying "you'll do this because I said so" over and over when you don't even have the authority to make such a proclamation is the work of an unstable mind.

    --Sran
     
  18. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

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    Absolutely - if you want to discuss something but do not want spoilers, this is definitely the approach to take.


    Another forum I read has a long running Game of Thrones thread, but because it is for the TV series it states in the thread title "No Book Spoilers". That could work just as well here. If you want to discuss a book in a series but don't want to risk spoilers of other books in that series (for example) just say so in your thread title.

    People may make mistakes, but people here will try their best to honour no spoiler requests. If you think someone is posting spoilers deliberately then notify on the post - that's the quickest way to let me and the other mods know something's wrong.
     
  19. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    For anyone who doesn't know, the white & red triangle with the exclamation point is the notify button. If you click it it'll take you to a seperate PM-like page that will let you send a message directly to the mods.
     
  20. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    No, I never liked Columbo. Where's the mystery when the crime is shown explicitly, but the "little details" aren't actually shown to the audience? There isn't even the possibility of Columbo not figuring it out. So then it's just a tedious story of how the famous detective caught yet another killer. Woo-f-ing-hoo. B-O-R-I-N-G!

    Ugh. Keeping secrets doesn't make people special.

    So why would you spend time on a bulletin board reading about the books you've not been able to find, buy and read?

    What is "ten years' worth" of novels? Ten novels, or a thousand novels? How fast do you read? And do you really think catching up is realistic at this point?

    What's inconsiderate is thinking that the rest of the posters must stop and consider you first before posting. What makes you think people like me want to post here if we have to walk on eggshells to avoid offending you?