News Introducing Fact Trek

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Harvey, May 9, 2020.

  1. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I took his meaning to be you can't research each citation. Which, in practical terms, is true for most of us.
     
  2. The Conscience of TNZ

    The Conscience of TNZ Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    [
    After watching ALIEN 158 times I used to consider myself above Ridley Scott in this respect.............until his DVD commentary revealed the eighth hidden human being in the film.
     
  3. Groot

    Groot Boomer American Premium Member

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    Well heck, some folks are willing to just check out WIkipedia and quote it wholesale...
     
  4. Indysolo

    Indysolo Commodore Commodore

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. Cancel Culture

    Cancel Culture Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, but we were talking about the level of research that authors invest when compiling their non-fiction works that are in turn sold to consumers. In context, it's a flat-out "nope."
     
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  6. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed, the very reason I have not purchased many; too often, the authors either post that same misinformation / myths, or quote uninformed people who contributed agenda or other historically inaccurate information.
     
  7. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Part of the problem is the people state things as definitive that are merely speculation. That’s sloppy. “May be” isn’t the same as “is”. That’s something we try not to do. We might address the likelihood of something, but try to steer clear of conflating logical assumption with fact.

    And we actually do try to check out sources and compare them to other sources to see if they agree, or why they might disagree. A good example of this is our takedown of Cash Markman‘s account of a horse stunt for “Spectre of the Gun,” wherein we compared multiple internal documents to illustrate fairly conclusively that Cash was full of horse manure.

    @Harvey and I actually have a research standard for Fact Trek which I call “the yardstick” by which we rank sources, which, amongst other things, treats temporal and physical proximity to an event as factors.

    Finally, it’s important to get our collective heads out of the sand that is Star Trek and look at the broader picture in terms of how TV production worked at the time, and what things were actually happening on television versus the popular conception of what was happening. Context is for kings.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2021
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Most of us don't have to. The people who write nonfiction books, though, have a responsibility to do it as much as they can.

    And that book's claim that Star Trek inspired the miniskirt trend isn't even a citation. It's an assertion. Indeed, it seems to be an assumption made without evidence, because even the most cursory examination of the facts disproves it.
     
  9. Mr. Spook

    Mr. Spook Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, apparently if you wanna grind out these books at a clip, you go for the mass appeal and assume that most fans will just take it as gospel because it's in print. Just spending a mind numbing few minutes on some of the Facebook groups reveals gaggles of fans who don't care. They take it as they heard it and repeat it in posts.

    Deep dives into the files and insuring accuracy takes a lot longer than doing internet searches or relying on someone else's due diligence. Cushman would probably still be working on the TOS books if he spent the time and did the work. Or actually figured out how ratings worked.

    Trek Fans still got the better deal with his books than Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea fans. Those two volumes are astonishingly lazy and shed no light on the dozens of questions I've had for years. And he still makes assumptions that are glaringly wrong if you know even a little about the show in question. :brickwall:

    Now if someone would do a Irwin Allen Fact Check blog, I'd be thrilled. :D
     
  10. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I think the point I am trying to make is something a little different. That is, I don't know anyone who checks every citation of a well-researched non-fiction book with an extensive bibliography. Except for a few academics, the overwhelming majority of readers are placing trust in a work (or not) based on something short of absolute personal verification. The level of trust is ultimately a personal decision, but when an author has shown their work at least it's an informed decision.

    Agreed, but plynch said provide a citation for an assertion, so I was taking that as given.
     
  11. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    That's not a problem unique to Star Trek reference books, but to lexicography generally -- has been for... well, probably for a good deal longer than there have been bound books. Very few "new" or "revised" reference publications are either completely new or thoroughly revised.

    I've personally encountered this a lot in music dictionaries / encyclopedias (Nicolas Slonimsky was one of the few editors to recognize this and take steps to do anything about it with the editions of Baker's which he oversaw).

    It's even more rampant in encyclopedias of literary and other quotations. So many misquotations and misattributions are simply copied piecemeal from one to the next to the next, and by the time you get to pop-culture sources like Brainyquotes or GoodReads you can just forget about accuracy altogether. 99% of Star Trek reference sources are on about the same level.

    tl;dr :

    Or, all too often, none whatsoever.
     
  12. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Writer and occasional starship commander Premium Member

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    This will never get old.
     
  13. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    I was reading through the March issue of the Smithsonian Air & Space museum's magazine (ironically, the last year-plus has made me even worse at keeping pace with my magazines, the peril of my reading-time being while I was waiting around for things outside the home), and they had an article on Star Trek and its reception in the real-world space program. There were a few instances of the kind of "folk history" that saturates Star Trek histories, but they mentioned one thing I'd never heard before that I thought was worth lighting the Fact Trek Bat-Signal (Fact-Signal?):

    There was even an effort to try to get astronaut Alan Shepard to appear on the show. Shepard, the first American to travel into space during his historic May 5, 1961 suborbital flight and the fifth man to walk on the moon, was asked to play a minor role in the series. Sadly, the deal never materialized.
     
  14. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Plagiarize
    Let no one else's work evade your eyes
    Remember why the good Lord made your eyes
    So don't shade your eyes
    But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize
    Only be sure always to call it please 'research’

    —Tom Lehrer​
     
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  15. Koloth TOS

    Koloth TOS Ensign Red Shirt

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    I just saw the discussion about the captain's chair here.
    I am looking for a 1:6 scale model (or a 3D file) of the Galileo space shuttle chair. Any help highly appreciated.
    [​IMG][​IMG][/url][/IMG]
     
  16. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Your image links are all sorts of broken.
    [​IMG]

    This is much better...
    thegalileosevenhd417.jpg


    And you'll probably have more luck asking about furniture and set piece modeling over in Fan Art.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2021
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  17. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    It takes work, sure, but part of it is having good note taking skills and being able to quickly cross-reference your sources.

    His problems stem from sloppy note taking and a bad habit of seeing connections where none actually exist. He also seems to treat secondary and tertiary sources, like long after-the-fact interviews, etc., as having the same historical weight as primary sources. He literally manufactures narrative of what supposedly happened based on erroneous assumptions.

    He doesn't understand how a lot of it works. He treats shooting schedules as equivalent to production reports, when the former is a planning doc subject to change on the shooting day and the latter actually records what happened.
     
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  18. plynch

    plynch Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is what I meant, yes. True for most in research, I think. You cite things in reputable journals or published books and trust the gatekeepers there. Cash was published (by himself with a company name -- same as I did, frankly) and it looks . . . real. And all these names endorsed it. It must be real. But it's garbage. Worse than fan speculation-malarkey because it has the sheen of real research to it.

    Unfortunately hardly anyone replicates research to see if it is accurate. One gets published (i.e. tenure or promotions) for original research, not replication or refutation nearly as much. Much of what we believe true, based on one study, turns out not to be.

    If I'm the PhD student, I cited my source, and then it's up to the reader to check it out (hence the citation) and see if it's trustworthy. That's the game that's afoot.

    Edit -- wish I could find that dissertation. It opened my eyes a bit as to a newer way of seeing things. According to PhD student, the Asian-sounding music cues in Trek serve to "other" the aliens. Which I think is the point, to show they are "other." (Hence the term, "alien.") But pointing out otherness is a wrong now, to many. Or some. Not sure. It was interesting to encounter, but I like reading all over the political spectrum too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2021
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    ???
     
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  20. Indysolo

    Indysolo Commodore Commodore

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    [​IMG]
     
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