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Author Topic: [out of story] Things got a little heated.  (Read 1934 times)

Cannonshop

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[out of story] Things got a little heated.
« on: 25 November 2020, 21:48:46 »
I guess it's a side-effect and really lets you know you're doing a good job, if things get heated in the comments.

unfortunately, they can get a little, teensy bit TOO heated.   I'm not sure if that's what happened today, or not, and we don't discuss certain real-world things here. Period.

so, we're going to call "can you tell me where we start over" as 'done' at the last scene, with Liz leaving Earth.

Because honestly, every time I edged over to do another post on that story, I got drawn into reading the discussion in the comments, and had to resist the urge to explain, mansplain, bloviate, and bellow in the comments myself.

not because anyone had it wrong, but because the different perspectives were so interesting to me, and the level of passion being demonstrated was fascinating.

I mean, we're not just talking about fiction here, we're talking about a piece of that most pathetic of the breed, Fan fiction.

and my work was hardly on the level of, say, Mike Stackpole or Loren Coleman.  I got a ton of things wrong with the canon characters there-and will offer no apologies for doing so.

so the reactions, and the level of them, really knocked me on a back foot.  I was just screwing around with ideas.

kinda made me really wonder if there's a roleplay there-maybe putting Elizabeth Ngo on trial, with a poll.

Not sure if I wanna do that yet, but some of those impassioned arguments (You know who you are) were really, really interesting.

Parts I'm relatively happy with, but could use more and better work include the early sections of that story.  Henry's journey really needed more detailing, more fleshing out and more depth than I gave it, and he deserved more scenes later on.

I kind of bolluxed on the Liz/Nathan romance, it's because I suck at romance.  I'd love to get more depth there too, but who wants to read a bodice-ripper on a PG-13 site?  maybe something for Fanfiction.net there or something. dunno.  don't want to go past titilating to downright creepy with that.

More on Pat Ngo's life and especially his early life? maybe.  It's hard to find something interesting to do with the guy, since his life up to its end included romancing his childhood sweetheart, being a safe-space provider for his little sister, and being a generally stand-up guy who really didn't deserve what happened to him.

People I don't want to do much with, include Elizabeth's father.  I just...dislike the guy.  Really.  He hid from his responsibilities in the military and ignored his wife's growing mental illness, even to the point of volunteering to go on a hardship tour to get out of the house when she was at her worst.

no matter what I do, I can't like him enough to make him a main focus character.  I guess there is a brand of ****** I won't write sympathetically about, and that breed begins with moral cowardice.

of course, that might be me being a judgmental prick, too.

There were battle scenes I ought to have written better, more in-depth, with more narrative and storytelling and less making lists.

I'm not happy with how I handled the Hue Challenge this time, though it did give me the chance to put Lizzie in treatment for her disorder in a logical way.

incidentally, in THAT version, the treatment was full, complete, and successful.

and I gave a better reason for Stone's republic to have it in for Liz Ngo, but I could've (and should've) done a better job staging that up than I did.

and finally, we're back to the last few scenes in that story...

and the debate.

Here's MY position as the writer;

Elizabeth Ngo's action, the kinetics and her behaviour after? absolutely will be condemned by people, and it should be.  the debate SHOULD happen in-universe and in-character.  I even alluded to it in the scene with her flag captain Nicole Minh.  What Liz did was absolutely horrible.

it was also technically legal, and there would be (IN SETTING) people justifying it, both on legal grounds, and on moral ones.

neither side is 100% wrong.  that's 'gray' morality for you.  A sparkling white chrome hero would never order, or execute, that fire mission.

not even against the most evil and demented of enemies.

Victor wouldn't do it, Kai wouldn't do it, Phelan wouldn't, those are your benchmarks for spotless heroes.

At the same hook, the worst villains in the setting wouldn't restrain it.  The Master would've aimed it right at the Yellowstone Caldera and various dormant or semiactive volcanoes, fault lines, and other places where it would do the most damage, Max would watch such an act with GLEE, Malvina would be actively trying to maximize casualties and damage if she possibly could.  Katherine would sigh faux regretfully, then demand answers why it's going to take a few weeks instead of being instantaneous.  Nondi would drool in her cornflakes.

That's your opposite end spectrum, the characters that are for want of a better term, absolutely despicable villains by design.

Elizabeth's use of CROWBAR on Terra was absolutely on the dark side of the spectrum-but, she had practical immediate as well as long term reasons for doing it.

I think the problem Devlin really has, is that she did it to him, instead of his ordering it on someone else, because it's exactly the kind of th ing that the mind who came up with gray monday would do.

even with similar motives on the darker end of the scale.

There's a trope out there,

"Good is not nice".  the corollary is that Nice doesn't indicate goodness.

Elizabeth Ngo is not, in any of her various versions, a nice person to be on the wrong side of.

does that make her a bad person? sometimes.

is she a good person? sometimes.

are her appearances meant to be a bit controversial?

Hells yes.  The character started out back around 2000 as a deliberate attempt at a villain protagonist.

I've migrated her somewhat, but the essential nature of the character is a mix of willpower, ruthlessness and intelligence. 

that last part being the hardest part to write, since my wits aren't really all that sharp, and one of the hardest things to write in ANY format is someone smarter than yourself.

The core rules for interacting with me:

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2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

kindalas

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #1 on: 25 November 2020, 23:20:46 »
A friend once told me that there is a difference between people who are nice and people who are kind.

People who are nice, do good things for others when it is to their advantage.

Kind people do good things for others.

Externally these types of people look similar because nice people like an audience.

When it comes to the characters in Battletech some are kind and some are nice.

Elizabeth is kind.

Of course she has flaws because a perfect protagonist is as interesting as wonder bread.

They get the job done but you can't write much about a slice of wonder bread.



This story was very good, yes there were parts that could have been refined but all of the Ngoverse iterations are refinements on similar themes.

There is an Elizabeth, an Amanda, a Sharron, Sybil and Tabby are around somewhere but every version builds on the ideas that are added to previous versions.

This time around I think that the focus on the early years was a very valuable addition. Henry was at his most fascinating and Elizabeth's cure came naturally with a minimum of hand-wavium.

I'm sad to see this story end I was excited to see how this would extend into the RotS and the ilClan era.

ThePW

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #2 on: 25 November 2020, 23:33:32 »
I'm surprised that the story caused so much butt pain... But i totally want Part Two: Ez On Trial! Because I also agree that by authorizing CROWBAR, she crossed a line that will require her to explain herself in court. I want to read THAT STORY... please?

In fact, that should be the story Title... Things got a little heated. It's perfect.

Derain Von Harken

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #3 on: 25 November 2020, 23:41:50 »
I also am saddened. Especially that such heated comments killed the thread. I wanted to see the Consequences. Not just the defence of liz which she would win since it was both within the rules of war and very restrained in comparison to what wob dished out. Also the consequences for Stone and how ironically he might still get the Republic of the sphere. Only now without Terra. And possibly a small border state that survives only because of being politically useful to actual powerful states. Which is what he claimed it was meant to be while seeking something else.
Finally I wish to see Peter give Victor some truly epic burns in defence of liz if Victor ever lambasts him on what liz actions have prevented. The rising of a state that could truly (not really) have changed things in the sphere. And Peter responds that Victor would know since he chose to kill the federated commonwealth instead of dealing with the actually difficult part of maintaining such a state.

On the plus side. Thanks for the message. Because now I will not go crazy waiting for the thread to be unlocked.

Cannonshop

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #4 on: 25 November 2020, 23:43:37 »
I'm surprised that the story caused so much butt pain... But i totally want Part Two: Ez On Trial! Because I also agree that by authorizing CROWBAR, she crossed a line that will require her to explain herself in court. I want to read THAT STORY... please?

In fact, that should be the story Title... Things got a little heated. It's perfect.

I think I'm going to need to consult with someone who can do Trial scenes better than I can.  (a bit like with Black Jumpsails I found a person conversant with fundamentalist religion as it actually exists when writing the final major segment of Nicole's story.)

the problem of course, being that consulting a lawyer usually involves some form of payment, and I'm flat broke most of the time. (drum riff)
The core rules for interacting with me:

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2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

kindalas

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #5 on: 25 November 2020, 23:55:18 »
I think I'm going to need to consult with someone who can do Trial scenes better than I can.  (a bit like with Black Jumpsails I found a person conversant with fundamentalist religion as it actually exists when writing the final major segment of Nicole's story.)

the problem of course, being that consulting a lawyer usually involves some form of payment, and I'm flat broke most of the time. (drum riff)

You could watch that Marisa Tomei film a couple of times.

Derain Von Harken

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #6 on: 25 November 2020, 23:56:53 »
I think I'm going to need to consult with someone who can do Trial scenes better than I can.  (a bit like with Black Jumpsails I found a person conversant with fundamentalist religion as it actually exists when writing the final major segment of Nicole's story.)

the problem of course, being that consulting a lawyer usually involves some form of payment, and I'm flat broke most of the time. (drum riff)
It would not necessarily be a formal court setting. Who would try it? Possibly a tribunal or meeting of the coalition Council where Stone can throw metaphorical stones. Also if there is a war crime trial it would also be of what the WOB did. And those very things would justify a strategic response such as what happened. The WOB pissed on the Ares conventions, the Geneva convention and any other convention.Plus remember Peter would be on trial as well. Not to say liz might not want such to formally justify herself. And burn stone because he seems more upset about the loss of shines then the actual loss of people.

Cannonshop

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #7 on: 26 November 2020, 00:02:56 »
I'm actually cautiously getting an idea forming.

a Triptych sort of thing, showing a parallel, the scenes posted in three time periods.

The First time period revolves around Tranh Truk Ngo and Elbar.

The second would be riffed off of what Liz did in the Jihad.

the third? I'm not defined at what the third period should look like.

It'd have to be three periods to have the magic, I think.

Dunno, I have to marinate this a little more, the idea doesn't really gel yet.
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namar13766

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #8 on: 26 November 2020, 08:35:42 »
Finally I wish to see Peter give Victor some truly epic burns in defense of Liz if Victor ever lambasts him on what liz actions have prevented. The rising of a state that could truly (not really) have changed things in the sphere. And Peter responds that Victor would know since he chose to kill the federated commonwealth instead of dealing with the actually difficult part of maintaining such a state.

Victor should be proud that Peter has followed in his footsteps then.

Stone planned for the Lyrans to get wrecked enough that they wouldn't be able to resist what manipulations the ROTS would be able to do after they took Terra. He's more mad that now the ROTS is going to have to work to keep their position as a buffer state instead of slapping his brand name over the place and continuing what the Word of Blake, Comstar, and the Terran Hegemony did in shackling humanity to the sclerotic heart of a frozen empire.

eriktheviking

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #9 on: 26 November 2020, 10:19:41 »
I would like to see a number of scenes with different characters, of varying levels of influence, discussing the attack and the differences between their public and private opinions.

In real life, how many public (or self-important) figures have been exposed for the difference in their public and private actions/opinions?  8)

Elmoth

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #10 on: 26 November 2020, 11:21:22 »
Just pointing out that since the previous thread was cut short by the mods maybe it would be a good idea to run the option of a continuation with them.

Cannonshop

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #11 on: 26 November 2020, 11:25:42 »
Just pointing out that since the previous thread was cut short by the mods maybe it would be a good idea to run the option of a continuation with them.

Kinda why I'm not writing the continuation right now.  I don't know what caused the lock, and until they tell me what the problem is?  I'm pretty much stuck at 'hands off' for that storyline.

« Last Edit: 26 November 2020, 11:27:34 by Cannonshop »
The core rules for interacting with me:

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2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Sir Chaos

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #12 on: 26 November 2020, 12:53:05 »
I'm surprised that the story caused so much butt pain... But i totally want Part Two: Ez On Trial! Because I also agree that by authorizing CROWBAR, she crossed a line that will require her to explain herself in court. I want to read THAT STORY... please?

In fact, that should be the story Title... Things got a little heated. It's perfect.

Liz should absolutely face trial for this. Which would be better than Liz has - in other iterations - executed people (such as regent Stonecipher) for far less than she did.

For the record: I have absolutely no problem with Liz ripping the lid off that old can of whoop-ass where the WoB is concerned - or for that matter, putting a couple of bullets into Stone (based on what we know about him from the other iterations of the story) and chucking the remains into the sun with a stake through their hard just to be on the safe side. I would also have had no problem with Liz´s people putting every single card-carrying member of the Word of Blake they could catch on an Elbar Toothpick.

The troubling part was her deciding that the population of Earth became acceptable targets based on the actions of someone else. Turning Geneva into a volcano because of what the Blakists had done or because of what Stone could do, compared to turning Alarion into a lifeless rock because of something the House Lords did... the only difference is that of scale. Yes, the Master was considerably more ruthless and murderous and deranged; so were Mad Max or Malvina, although they had less nasty toys to play with. No question there. It´s just that merely being "not nearly as bad" as various monsters isn´t really a place I´d want a protagonist to be, nor something that I´d want people in-universe who are portrayed as relatively decent (such as Peter Steiner-Davion) to be even remotely comfortable with.

Even leaving aside the ethical implications, there´s the practical side of what Liz has done. She said she did it so that her children (and *their* children and so on) would live in a better universe, essentially.
The problem with that is the universe she is creating is NOT better. Before she bombarded Earth, committing war crimes was BAD. After she bombarded Earth, and got away with it, committing less severe war crimes than the other side was acceptable. That nuke that wiped out Kowloon´s capital in the story´s other iteration, killing ten million people just to get Liz and Nathan? That would be a perfectly acceptable means of taking out a military target (such as Liz herself and Nathan) under the precedent that Liz herself established. Anything less severe than her bombardment of Earth would be an acceptable act, as long as the one committing it had a valid reason for taking out Liz or her husband, or really any one thing or person on Kowloon.
THAT is the universe Liz has created for her children: One were killing massive numbers of civilians in the pursuit of military goals is more acceptable than at any point since the early Succession Wars, maybe even the Amaris Civil War.
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nomad_345

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #13 on: 26 November 2020, 13:56:04 »
That nuke that wiped out Kowloon´s capital in the story´s other iteration, killing ten million people just to get Liz and Nathan? That would be a perfectly acceptable means of taking out a military target (such as Liz herself and Nathan) under the precedent that Liz herself established. Anything less severe than her bombardment of Earth would be an acceptable act, as long as the one committing it had a valid reason for taking out Liz or her husband, or really any one thing or person on Kowloon.
The difference in this case is two-fold: 1: the WoBbies have bio-bombed/WMD'ed two+ worlds already, AFAIK Liz never did anything Quite that bad (please correct me if I am wrong); 2: All of the targets that were CROWBARed were WoB command centers, SDS locations, or otherwise MILITARILY SIGNIFICANT. Bases or places like that.
She also used what is quite possibly the 'cleanest' WMD out there, depending on what the impactors were constructed out of.

Sir Chaos

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #14 on: 26 November 2020, 14:07:42 »
The difference in this case is two-fold: 1: the WoBbies have bio-bombed/WMD'ed two+ worlds already, AFAIK Liz never did anything Quite that bad (please correct me if I am wrong); 2: All of the targets that were CROWBARed were WoB command centers, SDS locations, or otherwise MILITARILY SIGNIFICANT. Bases or places like that.
She also used what is quite possibly the 'cleanest' WMD out there, depending on what the impactors were constructed out of.

You know, I explicitly admitted that what Liz did was not quite as bad as what the Blakists did, so why act like it refutes what I wrote?

You´ll also have to note that Alarion and Galedon (assuming that´s the second world you are thinking of) were also MILITARILY SIGNIFICANT. Arguably more so that places like Geneva, for that matter.

There´s also the consideration that, while Liz didn´t do the worst she could have done, she did way worse than she needed to. Why not, for example, work her targets of choice over with orbital artillery a couple of times, *without* plunging the entire planet into a nuclear winter?

Besides, my point is: If Liz doing something horrible (but less horrible than the actions of the Blakists) is fine, then someone else doing something horrible (but less horrible than the actions of Liz) should be just as fine.
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Euphonium

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #15 on: 26 November 2020, 14:08:55 »
Kinda why I'm not writing the continuation right now.  I don't know what caused the lock, and until they tell me what the problem is?  I'm pretty much stuck at 'hands off' for that storyline.

My bet is that the lock was caused by the heat with which some of us were discussing Liz's actions rather than by anything in the story, so I appologise for my part in that.

And for that reason I'm going to bite my metaphorical tongue and not respond to Sir Chaos & nomad_345. I don't know if it's best to drop the discussion completely, or take it to another thread, but I don't want our discussions to interfere with Cannonshop's storytelling or get this thread locked too!
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Cannonshop

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #16 on: 26 November 2020, 14:20:27 »
The difference in this case is two-fold: 1: the WoBbies have bio-bombed/WMD'ed two+ worlds already, AFAIK Liz never did anything Quite that bad (please correct me if I am wrong); 2: All of the targets that were CROWBARed were WoB command centers, SDS locations, or otherwise MILITARILY SIGNIFICANT. Bases or places like that.
She also used what is quite possibly the 'cleanest' WMD out there, depending on what the impactors were constructed out of.

There are a couple other differences there;

1. In the story Sir_Chaos referenced for his example, the LC and the RoTS were allies, politically aligned with good relations and military trade with no restrictions prior to the Nha Tranh incident, with the Archon even supporting Stone's goals and projects to the extent that he was only a step or two removed from using an RCT to transfer property from Kowloon to the Republic by force.  Liz blocked it with a legal challenge and some support in the Estates General, but she was on the slippery side of the slide on that one when someone Republic-side got impatient and assumed media control and leverage would cover for any hiccups.

2. The Word of Blake and the Lyran Commonwealth in the story being discussed, were formally at war, and had been for nearly a decade. 

State of War vs. State of Peace.  The relations between RoTS and LC chilling to cold-war status was a consequence of the Nuking of Nha Tranh, but outright war wasn't already ongoing.

which is what made that incident different on a fundamental level.  In the first case, it was an act of outright betrayal, in the second, it was the use of a nasty form of strategic bombing.

on the question of fallout: objects moving at those speeds will create a certain amount of radiation when they hit other objects, it's cleaner than a plutonium nuke, but it's not completely clean.  Nothing is, yo'd get the same radiation and fallout from using naval autocannons and PPCs to level a city.

(well, maybe a little less, the explosion's more contained with the kinetics.)

The cleanup IS fundamentally easier from the perspective of dealing with fallout and associated nuclear war problems.  Less easy if you want to reclaim any buildings or structures in the area-whatever wasn't shattered by the impact is likely to be buried in magma, and of course, the gas eruptions from that aren't going to be nice.  They'll be survivable, but they  won't be nice.

You know, I explicitly admitted that what Liz did was not quite as bad as what the Blakists did, so why act like it refutes what I wrote?

You´ll also have to note that Alarion and Galedon (assuming that´s the second world you are thinking of) were also MILITARILY SIGNIFICANT. Arguably more so that places like Geneva, for that matter.

There´s also the consideration that, while Liz didn´t do the worst she could have done, she did way worse than she needed to. Why not, for example, work her targets of choice over with orbital artillery a couple of times, *without* plunging the entire planet into a nuclear winter?

Besides, my point is: If Liz doing something horrible (but less horrible than the actions of the Blakists) is fine, then someone else doing something horrible (but less horrible than the actions of Liz) should be just as fine.

Context actually matters in terms of these actions.

for example, if an off-duty soldier shoots a civilian, that's murder.  if he shoots a soldier he's not at war with? murder.

a crime.

If a soldier in the field opens fire on a position containing enemy soldiers, it's not murder, even if the enemy soldiers are using civilians as human shields.  It's still horrible, but it's not murder, not a crime.  (doesn't do anything nice for the soldier afterward, as my uncle can attest after three tours in Vietnam).

If an airman drops a bomb on a building containing enemy administration, it's chalked on the side of his plane as a mark and he might get a medal for it, but if he did it outside wartime, he'll die in leavenworth if he's convicted.

so the context of the act matters as much as the act.  changing a stranger's tyre might be a humanitarian, ultra-cool thing to do-unless that stranger is an enemy soldier in wartime, then it's rendering aid and comfort to the enemy in wartime, which is a crime.

Context of an act matters as much as the act when it comes to the concept of the laws of war, existing Rules of Engagement, or treaties your nation is signatory to.
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cklammer

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #17 on: 26 November 2020, 15:01:03 »
In the original thread and here, too, the political and legal issues are really mixed up in the comments.

I guess a big cause is how CS changed the canon "future" ROTS characters ... I call absence of canon author fiat.

After WW2, in the UK a monument to Marshal "Bomber"-Harris was built; in Germany we do not call him "Bomber" but something else: it is all in where you are coming from ... 

Cannonshop

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #18 on: 26 November 2020, 15:07:50 »
I'm going to confess something: I found teh discussion in the locked thread to be fascinating.  I really didn't see anybody bringing in real-world politics past the hypothetical.

It was kind of interesting seeing something that I made, drawing that much interest, involvement, and attention.  Especially since it was being discussed almost as if it were a real event.

so now I'm stuck wondering what I did wrong, and what I did right.  I mean, I felt bad that I didn't get as in-depth as I should have, and worried that my characters and characterizatoin were weak...

But I think the core of that discussion is two groups talking past one another.

One side, is the moral side,  questioning the righteousness of the act.

The other, is the legal side,  arguing that it's within the bounds of conventional war (as in 'war conducted per x conventions') and the laws of war.

Moralist vs. Legalist, if you will.  Right versus Permitted.

to me, that's a fascinating thing to dissect in a fictional setting, it's right up there with good/gray/evil.
« Last Edit: 26 November 2020, 15:11:26 by Cannonshop »
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Cannonshop

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #19 on: 26 November 2020, 15:22:40 »
You know, I explicitly admitted that what Liz did was not quite as bad as what the Blakists did, so why act like it refutes what I wrote?

You´ll also have to note that Alarion and Galedon (assuming that´s the second world you are thinking of) were also MILITARILY SIGNIFICANT. Arguably more so that places like Geneva, for that matter.

There´s also the consideration that, while Liz didn´t do the worst she could have done, she did way worse than she needed to. Why not, for example, work her targets of choice over with orbital artillery a couple of times, *without* plunging the entire planet into a nuclear winter?

Besides, my point is: If Liz doing something horrible (but less horrible than the actions of the Blakists) is fine, then someone else doing something horrible (but less horrible than the actions of Liz) should be just as fine.

I can give a purely tactical reason why she did it the way she did.

Surface. Defenses.

in Canon, WoB put to sea with mobile antiship missile platforms that were submersible.  (which is something a version of Liz did in at least three stories so far), but they had surface ADA sites capable of hitting a warship coming in on an orbital bombardment mission.  Now, remember in the BTU, for whatever reason, ships coming in on OB have to be upper atmo/low orbit range, under power, which makes them vulnerable to counter fire.

I'll give you two tactical choices: risk tens of billons of Kroner doing blind orbital strikes with a ship that can be shot down against an enemy whose naval presence might be degraded, but their shore defenses are still intact...OR...

drop a strike from out of range on a timer, to suppress those defenses.  In order for the strike to work you have to assume their 'atlantic wall' is proof against most lighter weapons (because it is).

This works even better if you also disrupt their commo *(preventing damage control and throwing command chains in to chaos) and hit their command and control nodes.  Since you're doing a strategic bombing run with the equivalent of ballistic missiles, this first wave of strikes softens things up and puts holes in that defense net, enabling you to, if necessary, bring the heavy iron into close bombardment play.

Simply put, she had to put paid to those Brian forts somehow. It was inevitable they'd have to be taken out of the fight.  Taken out of the fight sooner means fewer friendly casualties and a faster mission completion.

The sites would have had to be either taken out completely, or taken by ground forces.  taken out completely shortens the war.
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Euphonium

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #20 on: 26 November 2020, 15:28:12 »
I'm going to confess something: I found teh discussion in the locked thread to be fascinating. 

You're not the only one!

Quote
I really didn't see anybody bringing in real-world politics past the hypothetical.

Neither did I, although I found myself struggling to strick to in-game examples

Quote
It was kind of interesting seeing something that I made, drawing that much interest, involvement, and attention.  Especially since it was being discussed almost as if it were a real event.

A good story is real in the minds of it's readers  ;)

Quote
so now I'm stuck wondering what I did wrong, and what I did right.  I mean, I felt bad that I didn't get as in-depth as I should have, and worried that my characters and characterizatoin were weak...

There were places that I would have liked more depth but I don't think your CHRs are weak.

Quote
But I think the core of that discussion is two groups talking past one another.

One side, is the moral side,  questioning the righteousness of the act.

The other, is the legal side,  arguing that it's within the bounds of conventional war (as in 'war conducted per x conventions') and the laws of war.

Moralist vs. Legalist, if you will.  Right versus Permitted.

to me, that's a fascinating thing to dissect in a fictional setting, it's right up there with good/gray/evil.

Definitely! I think that the fact we can argue such things is a sign that your characterisations are good. No one arguing that Liz or Stone wouldn't do that - we are taking their actions as real and plausible and arguing the consequences.
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georgiaboy

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #21 on: 26 November 2020, 16:53:00 »
As a military officer, giving the order for this action, Liz would face a military tribunal. Liz's actions would be judged if she received and there after gave a lawful order. Then review the actions and decide if they warrant a trial for war crimes.
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Cannonshop

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #22 on: 26 November 2020, 17:05:49 »
As a military officer, giving the order for this action, Liz would face a military tribunal. Liz's actions would be judged if she received and there after gave a lawful order. Then review the actions and decide if they warrant a trial for war crimes.

(taking notes for possible plot points).
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Cannonshop

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #23 on: 26 November 2020, 17:19:02 »
the part that makes this discussion so interesting to me, is the difference in points of view, and the possible intricacies involved.

The idea it's giving me is a really BAD one, and I'm going to need help making it happen.

I want to do the Tribunal, but I want to write up two possible outcomes, then, run a poll.

is this a better idea for the roleplay thread?
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georgiaboy

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #24 on: 26 November 2020, 17:19:32 »
A good example of a military tribunal that was a war crimes is the My lei village massacre during the Vietnam War.
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Cannonshop

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #25 on: 26 November 2020, 17:22:54 »
We'll need to define the exact damages done, figure out things like damage, casualties, projected casualties, and political factors.

Then, I'll need to figure out how both a prosecutor, and a defense advocate, would present their case, the arguments, the weighting of law, necessity, and strategy.

I already see a couple directions Liz can actually be convicted.
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Korzon77

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #26 on: 26 November 2020, 17:24:10 »
For myself, this isn't surprising--or disturbing in the story sense.

The thing is, from their memorializing of the 171st to the actions on Kolwoon (Elber Toothpicks), LIz and her people have a very... bad history of war crimes.  They memorialize it, see it as throwing the Rimjobs off, but when POWs go running to other units rather than being taken by one unit, it's saying bad things about that one unit. 

Sure, not many people would *sympathize* with the soldiers stationed on the planet, but even so, there were probably more than a few who were innocent of the crimes they were accused of (because there always are). 

So whether the strikes on Terra were legitimate or not, they come from a commander, who descends from a people with a legacy of engaging in war crimes, which is going to color any post-event tribunals.

But more importantly, and I hope this is brought up--the only thing protecting the worlds of the inner sphere from things like this, is the fact that it generally just isn't done.  Liz's homeworld is just as vulnerable as Terra, because as pointed out, once you know the orbital mechanics, any world is a sitting duck to anyone with a jump ship and a few weaponized dropship (especially if they don't care about exact targeting--a mammoth loaded up with a few hundred multi-ton iron projectiles is a flat out planet-killer).

New Avalon, Atreus, Tharkad--there's *no defense* against this kind of attack, save for the idea that it's just not done.

Now, you can argue that the WOB took actions beyond the pale, requiring a response in kind--but the counter argument to that is that, well the reason the WOB are the *bad guys* is that they don't care about civilian collateral. 

And if Liz said she did, people are going to point out the collateral of her strikes aren't planet killing, but they're probably a bigger butchers bill by far than Anything Amaris inflicted on her homeworld--and what was the proper punishment, in her people's eyes for that, again?

But the big issue that I hope someone brings up, is that she's now demonstrated the weapon, and by doing to, her defenses in legitimizing its use, can be used by anyone else--just as the reasons legitimizing the "limited" use of nukes in the Succession Wars quickly were adopted by everyone and eventually spilled over to general strategic weapons.

You've just given the entire human sphere an example of an unstoppable weapon that everyone from house lords to pirates with a dropship to spare can emulate, and introduced a form of warfare that Amaris and Kerensky *at their worst* never emulated.

And even worse--it worked.

And people always emulate tactics that worked.



Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #27 on: 26 November 2020, 17:33:03 »
As a military officer, giving the order for this action, Liz would face a military tribunal. Liz's actions would be judged if she received and there after gave a lawful order. Then review the actions and decide if they warrant a trial for war crimes.

There is the question, I doubt she'd do this without Peter Steiner signing off on it.  I know "Only Following Orders" is not an excuse, but there is a whole lot of political difference of pushing her discretion, and her National Command Authority specifically authorizing a plan to use heavy tactical WMDs to clear the enemy defenses for an invasion.

Which makes Stone demanding Elizabeth's head a much thornier problem, if she was filling Peter's foreign policy of delivering WMDs in retaliation for WMDs, and other War Crimes, comitted against his realm.  And Liao would certainly not back any extradition just to spite Stone.  How many other leaders of Inner Sphere states will see this, at least in the immediate aftermath, as not just the WOB getting their own shit thrown back in their face, but that Peter's response was down right restrained?

As for the defense?  Detection is the likely key, these are purely ballistic weapons, if you can chuck something solid enough in its path you can probably deflect or destroy it short of its target.  You just have to spot it while under boost so you can plot out its course and a possible interception point or five.

georgiaboy

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #28 on: 26 November 2020, 17:51:31 »
That is why I  gave the My lei village massacre as an example. The rulings at the time were wrong. But elements of the into were tried and guilty of war crimes.




As for the actual actions. You have to take into consideration the design of the target. Then make scenarios for taking it. Taking into consideration, manpower requirements to take the target, manpower losses, environmental impact, long-term effects. Then take the best scenario and put forward for approval.


I bet, the junior officer's of the command group came up with many different scenarios. Going from worst to best recommendations.


Two in universe example's:
SLDF bombardment of Kowloon.


Rock-jack bombardment of Kowloon Independence War.
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Sir Chaos

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #29 on: 26 November 2020, 18:17:02 »
I can give a purely tactical reason why she did it the way she did.

Surface. Defenses.

in Canon, WoB put to sea with mobile antiship missile platforms that were submersible.  (which is something a version of Liz did in at least three stories so far), but they had surface ADA sites capable of hitting a warship coming in on an orbital bombardment mission.  Now, remember in the BTU, for whatever reason, ships coming in on OB have to be upper atmo/low orbit range, under power, which makes them vulnerable to counter fire.

I'll give you two tactical choices: risk tens of billons of Kroner doing blind orbital strikes with a ship that can be shot down against an enemy whose naval presence might be degraded, but their shore defenses are still intact...OR...

drop a strike from out of range on a timer, to suppress those defenses.  In order for the strike to work you have to assume their 'atlantic wall' is proof against most lighter weapons (because it is).

This works even better if you also disrupt their commo *(preventing damage control and throwing command chains in to chaos) and hit their command and control nodes.  Since you're doing a strategic bombing run with the equivalent of ballistic missiles, this first wave of strikes softens things up and puts holes in that defense net, enabling you to, if necessary, bring the heavy iron into close bombardment play.

Simply put, she had to put paid to those Brian forts somehow. It was inevitable they'd have to be taken out of the fight.  Taken out of the fight sooner means fewer friendly casualties and a faster mission completion.

The sites would have had to be either taken out completely, or taken by ground forces.  taken out completely shortens the war.

All good points. If we´re talking about Castles Brian and other military asset that can hinder the invasion (such as a SDS submersible detected in port, which you´d have to hit NOW before it sails and disappears), I absolutely agree that speed is of the essence, and that you´d do what you have to in order to take it out of the equation with a minimum of friendly losses.

Note, however, that the specific target that I´ve objected most strongly to was the city of Geneva. I´m assuming that Hilton Head has valuable command and control capabilities and can be assumed to be the location of whoever is running the show on Earth for the Blakists; and IIRC the Cairo fortress was a major SDS command and control facility. But beyond SDS sites and SDS command and control facilities - and locations suspected to harbor either - I don´t really see the need for extreme overkill early on.

You smash anything that can reach a ship in orbit or control things that can reach ships in orbit (i.e. SDS and possibly aerospace bases) from way beyond orbit.

Anything else can then be safely attacked using warships in orbit. Or, if it cannot kill your troops or command/control things that can kill your troops, you do not bombard it at all. You wait until the invasion is over, then destroy it *without* killing countless civilians.

What I took from the story was that Liz´s rationale for wiping out various targets on Earth CROWBAR was *not* (or at least not in most cases) that they had to be taken out that way to minimize friendly casualties, but that she wanted to completely destroy them in order to deny them to Stone, and that she deliberately decided to employ that sort of overkill in order to wreck Earth´s value as the center of an interstellar empire in order to cripple Stone, or whoever subsequently kicks Stone out. She sees Earth as something that has symbolic value for those stupid enough to look inward instead of outward, and she wanted to make sure that this is *all* the value Earth had.

And that, in the end, is a purely political rather than military rationale.
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al103

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #30 on: 26 November 2020, 18:31:08 »
Moralist vs. Legalist, if you will.  Right versus Permitted.
Can't exactly agree here. Thing is for me opponent argument smells of that old debate of "civilian life is sacred, soldier life is worthless". If you troops siege a city you have a choice of either sending your troops to meatgrinder for the sake of sparing civilians or shelling defensive position with the rest of the city civilians be damned. If it's your civilians? Yeah, soldiers are obligated to die to save them. But if it's enemy civilians? They don't. You sacrifice you people to "sleep good" afterwards and they are people you actually obligated to care about. Terra is one such "city" and quite well defended at that. That's on one hand.

On other hand while eye for eye make everybody blind, system of proportional retaliation also exist for reason. Both in our world and in BT, Third Succession War was different from 1st and 2nd because all sides toned down that shit even if incidents still happened and some sides caused more such incidents than others. Even Kurita and Liao for all their problems could see writings on the wall and that writing were "yeah, we WILL start glassing planets too if..." And good government is not just legally, but morally obligated to provide it's citizens protection, including protection like that. Which means very pointed "do NOT try to fight dirty against Lyrans, just DO NOT". Because Mutual exist in MAD for reason and "oh, you can use worst things and it's cost effective, they can't properly retaliate by their doctrine" does lead to "cost effective" choices. And no, "Terra is not WoB" do not fly, Terra is not only WoB and WoB is not only Terran, but WoB is heavily Terran and Terra is heavily WoB.

So that Liz managed to keep high ground of legality and comparative morals while doing her duty is added bonus.
« Last Edit: 26 November 2020, 18:33:15 by al103 »

georgiaboy

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #31 on: 26 November 2020, 18:54:02 »
When Liz is tried, each target will be evaluated by Joint Command Battle Damage Assessment team. I can see all except Geneva being ruled as ok.


Geneva is a valid Total War Target, ie: Seat of Government, Security Command, Control, and Records, - Valid Targets.

Weapon used and Damage Caused evaluation:
Question, Is the minimum weapon type and size used necessary to totally destroy targets.

The Question would be the deciding factor.
If Geneva had deep-dwelled bunkers that had to be hit, then target valid and weapon valid

If not. Then the Question is, why not use smaller size and multiple weapons to generate required damage without causing a Penetration/Access to a Magma Chamber or Active Vents.

Accessible Geological records would have shown any such.
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EAGLE 7

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #32 on: 26 November 2020, 20:10:09 »
Edit from original


. ... reprisals, which are war crimes in themselves but war crimes which become legal in order to punish an enemy who violates the law of war, deter him from violating it, and remove the advantages which accrue from such violations.....

.....Reprisals work? You're kidding us, right?

Wrong. Why wasn't poisonous gas used in the Second World War? The threat of reprisal. What happened when, in 1944, the Germans threatened to execute some numbers of French resistance fighters and the French Resistance, which was holding many German prisoners, answered, "We will kill one for one"? The French prisoners held by the Germans were left unharmed. Why didn't the Southern Confederacy during the American Civil War execute the white officers of black regiments as they had passed a law to do? Because the Union credibly threatened to hang a white Southern officer for every man of theirs so mistreated. Why didn't the United States or South Vietnam execute, generally, Viet Cong guerillas who had gravely violated the laws of war in the course of the insurgency there? Because the North Vietnamese had prisoners against whom they would have reprised had we or the South Vietnamese done so.

Reprisals work; courts and statutes do not. The law of war, because of the nature of war, must be self enforcing, through reprisals. Nothing else can work and any attempt to do away with reprisal is an indirect attack on and undermining  of the law of war.....


     Something about reprisals, if the reprisal does not keep the enemy from committing more atrocities, you can argue it is morally wrong to commit an act of reprisal.

The flip side of that is it could be argued it is morally wrong not to commit a reprisal, if it will keep an enemy, or future enemy from committing an atrocity.
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Cannonshop

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #33 on: 26 November 2020, 21:05:00 »
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Korzon77

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #34 on: 26 November 2020, 22:57:11 »

As for the defense?  Detection is the likely key, these are purely ballistic weapons, if you can chuck something solid enough in its path you can probably deflect or destroy it short of its target.  You just have to spot it while under boost so you can plot out its course and a possible interception point or five.

That's a lot harder then it sounds. There are a few tactics--the first one would be sending your actual planetary attack projectiles in preceded by smaller "dispensers" that would put a spray of ballberaing (or smaller) projectiles in front of them, shredding anything you use to stop them.

Equally, it's more expensive to intercept than it is to hit the target--at .75 light speed, any intercepted is going to have to be a hit to kill interceptor, so even a few meters in either direction means you miss--while the projectile itself is still going to hit the planet, especially if it's a planetary attack that doesn't are about collateral. When you consider that even something like a mammoth could unload thousands of KE rounds... yeah.

As for detection, it depends on the timeline of the attack. The longer you can wait until impact, the further away you can launch your projectiles, and Btech sensors aren't that great about detecting stuff coming in from the Oort cloud or further.

Trace Coburn

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #35 on: 26 November 2020, 23:37:41 »
C:-)  MODERATOR INTERVENTION  C:-)

 
Ladies and gentlemen, pay attention.
  (Note the lack of a question-mark or the word ‘please’.  I am not asking.)

  The Moderators on this forum are its police, and collectively we are also its judges.  Speaking for myself, I would much prefer to spend my days here as Deputy Barney Fife, but if people here want to force me to be Judge Joseph Dredd, so be it:beatdown:

  The Moderation of this forum has well-established protocols; one of them is you are not John Wayne, so don’t go riding in with guns blazing.  If a thread-lock is needed to prevent a discussion from flaring into an outright flame-war, it’ll be put in place (as was done in the “can you tell me” thread), but that is purely an interim measure.  Anything beyond that requires discussion amongst the Moderators to reach consensus on the proper course of action.  That takes time, especially since the Mods are scattered all over the world — I’m posting from New Zealand, for instance — and time-zones and work-schedules can play a significant factor in themselves.
  The thread-lock is meant to stop a discussion from continuing, and possibly exploding, while we formulate a proper, measured response.  It’s supposed to be a not-so-subtle hint that behaviour in the thread was riding the borderline (or worse) and should not be continued, either in that thread or elsewhere, until the Mods issued a ruling; continued behaviour in that fashion could bring even more Mod action.

Just pointing out that since the previous thread was cut short by the mods maybe it would be a good idea to run the option of a continuation with them.
Kinda why I'm not writing the continuation right now.  I don't know what caused the lock, and until they tell me what the problem is?  I'm pretty much stuck at 'hands off' for that storyline.
My bet is that the lock was caused by the heat with which some of us were discussing Liz's actions rather than by anything in the story, so I appologise for my part in that.

And for that reason I'm going to bite my metaphorical tongue and not respond to Sir Chaos & nomad_345. I don't know if it's best to drop the discussion completely, or take it to another thread, but I don't want our discussions to interfere with Cannonshop's storytelling or get this thread locked too!

  Here, we see three posters wise enough to take the correct message from a thread-lock, and I thank them for posting in a restrained, responsible manner.  Unfortunately, some others have not been so astute.  I guess it’s like one of my own characters is fond of saying: “subtlety is overrated.”

  So, I will be blunt.  When a thread is locked “pending Moderator review”, the Mod staff are saying “This line of discussion is closed until further notice.  We may choose to let it re-open, but if so, it will be at our discretion.  Do not attempt to do it yourself, or we may well take action against you as well.  What’s going on here may be grounds for Warnings and Bans, and we’re talking about whether to hit someone(s), who, and whyDo not test our patience.

  Cannonshop is quite right that the discussion in, and stemming from, the “can you tell me” thread is fascinating, informed, often incisive, and for the most part has been blessedly free of real-world political comparisons that could or would oblige action under Rule #4.  He is also right that the two sides were emotionally invested not only the story, but also in their positions, and were beginning to argue past each other.  The lock was meant to prevent things from exploding into personal attacks and an outright flame-war while we consulted on possible action.

  It’s Moderator protocol that if a post is deemed a Rules infraction, it is removed from public view so it won’t provoke further incidents.  It is also protocol not to discuss who may or may not have been infracted, when, or over what, with any third party, much less the forum populace as a whole; it’s no-one else’s business.  ‘Calling people out’ is considered bad form.  As I noted at the start of this post, another protocol discourages unilateral action, since things done in the heat of the moment are not always well-thought-out.

  To sort this out here and now, I’m going to breach all three of those protocols.  If my fellow Mods choose to censure me, or overrule me on review, I accept that.

  I will not quarantine the posts that prompted the lock of the “can you tell me” thread, nor the related ones in this thread, as they are insightful, on-topic, informative, and worthy of being read; however, they will not be open to further comment where they are.  By order of a Moderator, the open-forum debate over the morals, ethics, or legalities of Elizabeth Ngo’s use of ‘precision’ KKV bombardment in “can you tell me” ends here and now.  The discussion is now over; attempting to publically continue or re-open it, here or elsewhere, would be unwise[«— THIS IS A ‘SUBTLE’ HINT.]
  However, if the participants wish to continue the discussion in a mass-PM, they are more than welcome to do so.  Indeed, I would ask them to include me in that discussion; I’d like to take off the Mod hat and keep reading such a highly engaging conversation.
  Similarly, I eagerly invite Cannonshop to continue the “Tribunals” thread, being a fic based on the in-universe legal and political fallout of the Kowloonese tendency towards... impolitic wartime behaviours, though I do ask all posters to be mindful of the Rules when posting responses.

  I would also remind certain posters in this thread — Sir Chaos in particular — of Rule #3:
Quote
3. Don’t start trouble
Posts the Moderators consider overly confrontational will not be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to, trolling and ignoring in thread requests from moderators.
Additionally, this rule covers actions that span more than a few posts. This includes deliberate, conscious and continued antisocial behaviours like thread crapping. If you have a problem with the basic premise of a discussion such that you wish it weren’t taking place at all, just ignore it. Blotching the thread with confrontational posts that don’t add anything to the discussion will infringe rule 3.
  (Added emphasis is mine.  A thread-lock is a ‘request’ to stop talking about the current topic.)
  Much like a sitting Judge in the USA can cite people in his court for ‘acting in contempt of authority’, posters on this forum can be, in the past have been, and in the future (sadly) will be, issued Warnings and/or attendant Bans under Rule #3 for flouting or attempting to circumvent Moderator rulings.  This includes behaviours like, for instance, continuing a line of discussion after it has been locked and declared subject to Moderator review.

  Ladies and gentlemen, I love reading Cannonshop’s story-threads, just as much as any of you.  Please, don’t make me come into them as a Mod.
« Last Edit: 26 November 2020, 23:40:01 by Trace Coburn »

Korzon77

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #36 on: 27 November 2020, 00:58:12 »
Then asking for a bit of mod clarification here. In the current open thread, so talking about Elizabeth's actions in relation to say, Kentares, the succession wars or stuff like that is allowable, correct? that's the in-universe bit.

the Ban would be on relating it to real world political figures and recent events?

Just want to be certain I have it right.

Trace Coburn

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #37 on: 27 November 2020, 01:13:39 »
 C:-)
  Correct.  As a rule of thumb, we’d rather no parallels are drawn to real-world events more recent than World War 2, so references to Oradour-sur-Glane, Malmedy, or Chenonge are permissible; touching on anything fresher tends to strike raw nerves.  The explicit in-universe parallel, the mass-impalements and other abuses of prisoners by the 171st Volunteers on Elbar in the backstory, is absolutely fair game as well.
C:-)

Sir Chaos

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #38 on: 27 November 2020, 13:56:48 »
C:-)
  Correct.  As a rule of thumb, we’d rather no parallels are drawn to real-world events more recent than World War 2, so references to Oradour-sur-Glane, Malmedy, or Chenonge are permissible; touching on anything fresher tends to strike raw nerves.  The explicit in-universe parallel, the mass-impalements and other abuses of prisoners by the 171st Volunteers on Elbar in the backstory, is absolutely fair game as well.
C:-)

In light of what you said, would there be any objection to discussing the purely practical aspects of Liz´s actions (which I didn´t touch on previously because they really only clicked while thinking about this over the course of today), while ignoring whatever legal, political or ethical aspects there are to the whole issue? The phrase "the genie is out of the bottle now" is a pretty good summary of those practical aspects.

Regarding real-world parallels, the parallel I would like to use, since it is the most similar to what I intend to argue, is nuclear weapons proliferation. Nuclear weapons themselves are technically still a WW2 topic, but their proliferation really only happened afterwards. (FWIW I am more than willing to let you look over whatever I write on that before I post it, if you´re on the fence about this one)
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mikecj

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #39 on: 27 November 2020, 15:47:52 »
TAG.


There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
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Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

Trace Coburn

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Re: [out of story] Things got a little heated.
« Reply #40 on: 27 November 2020, 23:13:06 »
Regarding real-world parallels, the parallel I would like to use, since it is the most similar to what I intend to argue, is nuclear weapons proliferation. Nuclear weapons themselves are technically still a WW2 topic, but their proliferation really only happened afterwards. (FWIW I am more than willing to let you look over whatever I write on that before I post it, if you´re on the fence about this one)
  That would make my job much easier, and the willingness to work with the Moderators is much appreciated!  PM inbound.

 

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