Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by DarkHorizon, Oct 19, 2009.
Or maybe the mother nation from Earth was meddling and the Martians were being dicks.
^ It's always either/or with me. Surely you know that.
But history is full of nations that were both "bad" (for the purposes of this argument, anyway) going to war with one-another. The mass-murdering Kingdom of Spain and the human-sacrificing Aztec Empire, for instance, or the Soviet Union and the Third Reich.
I can understand not wanting to accept the idea of two "good" nations going to war, but why can't two "bad" nations go to war in your philosophy?
Because then there would be no "good" guy to root for I suppose. Its usually "good" vs "bad" or "bad" vs "worse".
I suppose it's possible for both sides to be evil. Good, however, is a special case. It's held to a higher standard. It requires more "proof," as it were. And as rahullak pointed out, there should always be someone to root for, to choose their side. You've got to pick one side, so why not have the choice be clear?
Why can't you just have a war you don't root for, that you just want to not happen? Why can't you just have a war where you say, "Good riddance to you both!" instead of picking a side?
Of course, all peace-loving people do not want war, between any kind of country (good-good, bad-good, bad-bad, bad-worse, whatever). Aren't we talking about after war has broken out and there is no choice but for the war to continue until one side or the other or both stop to negotiate? Unless we want to ignore the war itself and forget about it.
I was actually thinking of fictional wars, like the Romulan one. Sorry for the confusion.
I'm still not following why a fictional war must feature one side as the one we should root for and not another. Why can't a fictional war be a "Good riddance to you both" war?
Because then why should I care who wins?
Presumably because it's interesting backstory rather than the focus of the main story.
Personally, I think the most interesting conflicts in fiction are those where both sides are in the right, where they both mean well but are unable to avoid clashing due to their conflicting needs, priorities, and values. It's more poignant and challenging that way.
Which is how the Earth-Romulan war supposedly came about. The Romulans wanted humanity to stop expanding in its direction because they were being hemmed in by the Klingons on one side and humanity on the other (and for some reason didn't want to expand into unexplored space, outward from the explored AQ area as seen in Star Charts). Humanity didn't want to have the Romulans attacking their colonies, but did not know of the Precept of Unlimited Expansion. Additionally, the Romulans hoped that by sundering the fledgling Coalition they would be able to expand further--but their meddling ended up forcing a war and creating the Federation, so I would say their plan backfired spectacularly.
I'd hardly say the Romulans were "in the right." Maybe they had some legitimate concerns about territorial encroachment, but instead of seeking a diplomatic, peaceful solution, they pursued infiltration, deception, genocide, and a war of aggression. They're a military dictatorship that actively seeks war and conquest. They're the bad guys, pure and simple.
I haven't finished reading Beneath the Raptor's Wing, but on what basis do you make the accusation that they seek genocide? It's my understanding that they want to conquer Earth and the Coalition worlds, not drive them into extinction.
Actually, the way the novels tend to describe the Romulan political culture, it does seem as though the military traditionally obeys a civilian government (their backing of the Shinzon coup seems to be an exception to the rule). And we don't know the mechanism by which individuals ascend to the Senate; it's distinctly possible that Senators are popularly elected, making the Romulan Star Empire an illiberal democracy, more an autocracy dominated by an aristocratic elite than a military dictatorship. The Russian Federation under Putin has become something like that. Militant, certainly, but not military.
That was the one part I actually didn't like all that much. Didn't make sense in regard to the story, and just felt like it was shoehorned in to explain away the difference in looks between ENT and TOS.
You can make valid points about changing out the computer software, even going more towards hardware-oriented solutions rather than software in some cases, but trying to explain why there were pushbuttons instead of touch-screens was silly at best.
Only reason that's how they were shown in TOS is because that's how computers were understood/worked at the time. Not even 100% sure you could put enough push-buttons in for the complex shit they'd need to do on a starship, anyway, but that's another argument.
Either way, could have (and in-universe, probably would have) replaced the main computers, and a lot of the internal stuff to not be succeptible to the tele-capture weapon, but no reason you couldn't still have the touch-screen interface still control the hardened equipment. Unless they went all-analog for some reason, which again, I don't think could handle the amount of processing they are doing.
I get WHY they wanted to explain away the different look, or even why they wanted to say there were using the Dadelus hull design instead of the NX design, but things like installing blinky lights and toggle switches where touch-screens were is silly. If you're just flipping a switch, all you're doing is altering the voltage across a circuit, and doing it digitally wouldn't have been any more succeptible to tele-capture unless they were taking control of a ship at a console level instead of main computer or system level (and designing a weapon to work that way would be dumb, as usually more than one console can control the same system, like the bridge vs. somewhere else on the ship)
The attack on Coridan in The Good That Men Do. Seems to count as attempted genocide to me.
As DEWLine says, I'm referring to the sneak attack on Coridan which started the war in the previous book. That attack killed a billion and a half people. Perhaps "mass murder" is a more accurate term than "genocide," but either way, when you're responsible for a death toll reaching 10 digits, you forfeit any claim to being on the right side of anything.
I always liked the explanation behind TOS tech given in Memory Prime by Uhura. That it's big, ugly and clunky, because it's robust. She also mentions that it will keep working despite relativistic effects where touch screens and miniaturised circuits wind up quantum tunnelling their electrons five meters south of where they're supposed to be.
My only real issue with the book is that, given the situation presented, it's unbelievable that the Romulans didn't win.
For the first three quarters of the book, every ship--EVERY SINGLE ONE--that comes upon against any Romulan craft bigger than a fighter switches sides and then self-destructs. You can't have a "fight" that one-sided and still make it believable that Earth would be able to eventually turn the tide.
Anyone who's ever played a real-time-strategy game knows----once you've got an offensive weapon that effective, you don't waste time on the border outposts. You strike at the enemy manufacturing, which in this case would be Earth's shipyards. That the Romulans didn't do this makes them out to be fairly inept.
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