Jump to content


Premier Members
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Blog Comments posted by bonesiii

  1. Iblis, I only had time to skim your latest replies, and if at this point touching on every point gives length errors this is becoming a point of diminishing returns. I'm baffled that after all of thaaaaat you could possibly say something like that you still don't know what my view is! (Why, then, even bother?)


    You know, this blog has been dead for so long, I started just reading the "bonesquotes" on the side for old times' sake, and I noticed one that seems to sum up the problem I'm seeing in your approach:


    If I didn't agree with something, I'd try to find out the reasons for it before doing anything else, which is something I think some people forget to do and instead they dig themselves a hole for no reason.


    I think your concern at its heart seems to be paranoia that by your using the definition fishers listed as #2, and people applying your same logic in a different way to use #1 (or using #1 on their own), that they will be confusing magic for science. It's a good concern, but it's also 1) extremely unlikely, and 2) already solved by just everybody using definition #3! You create that problem by seeing the mix as a subset in the first place.


    If I'm getting this right, all I can say in closing (for now... maybe...) is: relax. People know the diff between wizardry and elemental powers, and science. And if they don't, hey, a story having both could be written to help explain it in a fun and engaging (thus memorable) way. :) Or we can correct them.

    • Upvote 2

  2. Okay, my second reply isn't working, even when I make it short. Sorry, the above will have to do. I really should try to finish the "pedantic" response though:




    Here's the dictionary.com defs of pedantic:




    Notice the emphasis on refusing to acknowledge errors (from the example that somebody can point out a math error without intending to be pedantic). Insisting that a logical error is an error is not pedantic (like pointing out the fallaciousness of the universal negative in "not possible with our science" as a good reason not to include that in the definition). Actually just being dismissive of this point to justify keeping the fallacious part of the definition in would be the pedantic thing. (No offense; again, you brought it up, not me. :))


    And there's this:


    "overly concerned with minute details or formalisms"

    • Upvote 1

  3. "whilst you claim that this is a fallacy (carried by others); that I use a narrower definition"


    Not what I said. I said it's fallacious to use this to conclude that somebody else using a different label, by a different definition scheme, is "patently false" or the like. You would only logically be able to say something like "inconsistent with my personal definition."


    "those other definitions are merely less accurate & incomplete"


    Accurate to what? To your own definition? That's circular (and thus still arbitrary). It's not (evidently, based on things you've said) as accurate to the name itself -- science fiction.


    And as it would rule things out (in the "mix as subset" sense) that would normally count under "fiction about science" (or words to that effect like the cited definitions), it seems to me that it's yours that is more incomplete.


    And by the same logic, then your definition of fantasy must be incomplete, since you're not applying the limit to that, that you are to sci-fi!




    Keep in mind I was perfectly happy to let you go on using that unusual definition system in the topic -- we're debating this because when I did not reply to most of what you said, you started to object and seemed to think I should adopt your system. You can define it that way, just keep it in perspective that it shouldn't likely be adopted by everybody else, as it's arbitrary. Though then we must wonder why you would want to keep it yourself. :P




    I'm struggling to think of any works that would have to have their genre — any that have been classified as Science Fiction that I would classify as Science Fantasy have already been called Science Fantasy;

    You lost me here again, sorry. Except it sounds like maybe you lost sight here that we were talking about the "in a sense" classification of a mixture being a subset, as you used for Fantasy. But that seems unlikely so I figure you must mean something else. :shrugs:



    I'm not trying to force something new upon the world

    I wouldn't say "force" and wouldn't say (totally) new, but it does seem like you wanted everybody else to adopt this complex and confusing system, from several of your statements in the topic, when we have a more consistent and logical system that is also pretty straightforward.


    But even if "Bionicle is sci-fi' is patently false" do not work; why would anyone call something a less accurate term than they could otherwise use?

    You're the one that needs to answer that, not me. Again, I don't know how many times it needs said to sink in, but I'm not the one that normally classifies the mixture as a subset -- you did that by insisting Science Fantasy be seen as a subset of Fantasy. I simply pointed out that while it's logical that you CAN do that, Venn logic shows that by definition it also works the other way, so it could also be seen as a subset of Sci-Fi.


    Normally I just see everything on the spectrum from hard sci-fi to pure fantasy as in the category of speculative fiction, and classify based on "closest match" in sci-fi, sci-fant, or fantasy.


    So, you're the one that wanted to classify Sci-fant by the less accurate term Fantasy. You should answer why we should do that, but not also do the same for Science Fiction.


    And while you can arbitrarily do that, somebody else could just as easily say Fantasy is the one that stays limited, and Sci-fi isn't. Either way, you're not actually changing the content of the mixture story! So I say it's all just semantics, and if you want to look at it as a subset, it goes both ways.




    Incidentally, you could also just as easily see both sci-fi and fantasy as the subsets of science fantasy, for stories that are sci-fant like Star Wars or Bionicle. In this sense, the spaceships and robots in both series are in a set of "things that are in this story" and they are sub-classified as "sci-fi things in this story", while the Jedi or Toa ("wizards" with their own special types of magics) powers are in the subset of "fantasy things in this story."


    So, neither Fantasy nor Sci-Fi has to be seen as OVER Science Fantasy if you're going to work with subsets! They could both be under.


    Not saying I would put all Fantasy under Science Fantasy of course, but just within those stories you could do this. So, in addition to mixtures being able to be looked at as subsets, you can also look at mixtures as categories containing subsets!



    My point being, it's all somewhat arbitrary, when you worry about making one thing or another subsets of each other, within spec. fic.


    Whilst in a bookstore for example, I might place Urban Fantasy in/near Fantasy; when someone is asking me about a given book why would I say something is a Fantasy when it's clearly an Urban Fantasy?

    If you sensed they didn't care about the sub-genre; like if they asked, "I'm looking for a fantasy story. Not a sci-fi story, mind you. Hey, that book there... I see in the cover art there's real-world stuff... does that make that sci-fi?"


    In that case they would already be aware it's "urban" so you might find it wasteful to spend words saying it, and just say, "No, it's fantasy!"


    Or somebody else might make an argument, like the one in that question Greg was quoted as arguing in the topic. They might say, "I read this book, where they're in a normal city, and there's a mystery, but since there is technology like cars and stuff around, I assumed the answer to the mystery would be based in the real world, something you'd find in an Urban environment, but a few chapters in, magic started happening! This author took an Urban story and turned it into a fantasy story!"


    In this case you have two routes to go -- you could point out (as I would in my style of more thorough answers, compared to Greg who prefers very short answers to be read in context of the tons of other answers he gives) that it's a false dichotomy that a story can only be one or the other, and that it's Urban Fantasy, but if you have already pointed this out in the past (as Greg has for Science Fantasy), there would be no need to repeat it.


    And it doesn't address the main mistake being made by this person. (They already know, actually, that the Urban stuff was in the story. The issue is that they thought it was actually just an Urban story at first.) So you very well might point out "It was always a fantasy story, you just didn't know it at the start."


    I'm sure if we applied our brains with imagination we could think of other scenarios. Point being, "why would this happen" is never a solid argument to support a universal negative (or estimated negative, even :P) conclusion of "there is no reason", since you could just be failing to think of one. (Although such things can work as evidential arguments with uncertainty being clarified.)


    So whether Science Fantasy is viewed as a sub genre of both or either Fantasy & Sci-Fi, or as it's own thing (on a spectrum between the two) doesn't really matter

    I agree -- just keep in mind you were the one that was making "sub-genre of only fantasy, not sci-fi" matter enough to write lots of posts and challenge me to answer the points in them, and made strong negative statements against the alternatives. But it seems you are now admitting that it actually doesn't matter if people were to call it a sub-genre of sci-fi too. :) That's good. We done, then? :P



    There isn't anything that difficult about the concept I've presented

    Sure there is. When you say that a mixture of two ingredients can be viewed as a subset of one ingredient, but not of the other, this is strange. It isn't difficult to say your basic concept, and then not think it through, but that could go for any idea no matter how nonsensical. It's if you analyze it to see if it makes sense where it gets difficult (if you assume it somehow does make sense anyways).


    But it isn't about how easy or difficult it is, it's that it doesn't make sense; that identifiable errors in logic were spotted. (Or that if it you remove these by refraining from negative statements about alternate definition schemes, you're just admitting this one is arbitrary, so best avoided.)


    I brought up simplicity simply because the principle of Ockham's Razor does apply it in a way to help spot bad answers when simpler, good answers are available. :)


    I've gone it a ludicrous depth, because you where calling things fallacies without fully emulating on why it was wrong

    This assumes that the SIMPLE "emulating on why it's wrong" that I gave at the start wasn't sufficient for you to know it's wrong.


    It was. You shouldn't have needed me to say it five thousand different ways to get it. :P And I said it briefly because you weren't the only person in the topic; for the sake of others, who likely WOULD get it from the short version.


    In other words, if somebody calls you out for using a fallacy, don't outsource all the work on understanding why to them -- you should see this as a red flag that you should be doing thinking on your own to figure out why it is one (or whether it is one), and try to understand what would make it fallacious. Most people on hearing such a notice would do this within a few seconds, frankly. That you haven't, tells me you probably didn't want to think about it.


    But that's okay... sort of. :P It's still wasting my time and I really do wish you'd stop... But if it helps you see why the project won't be adopting these definition system so that you won't complain about this, then okay.



    I reject the notion that I'm only classifying Hard Science Fiction as Science Fiction; I'm classifying Hard, Non-Hard, & Some Soft Sci-Fi. as Sci Fi; the softest of the softest of so called "Sci-Fi" is being 'eliminated' from Sci-Fi by me; & all that I can see included in that have already been called Science Fantasy.

    I didn't say you were only classifying hard sci-fi as sci-fi. I said somebody COULD if they wanted. (But you're actually doing the same thing as people who would -- adopting your own abnormal definition scheme.)


    The whole point of me having Sci-Fi exclude things that have elements that are patently fantastical & can not be explained by present Science

    We've been over this -- present science is not the limiter in the definitions of sci-fi, as presently we don't know everything about it. But more importantly, this is again apparently forgetting that fantasy also excludes "speculative science"! Nobody is saying that the fantastical parts (elemental powers, Jedi powers) of a sci-fant story are themselves science fiction content!


    This is actually a "bait and switch" fallacy. You're using arguments like this to justify not grouping sci-fant under sci-fi, because sci-fant has elements that aren't sci-fi, but the whole reason we would want to put sci-fant under sci-fi despite its having fantasy elements is that you wanted to put sci-fant under fantasy, despite its having sci-fi elements!


    You're "baiting" the argument by starting by saying it's okay to include the mix in a loose sense under the label that normal goes for the pure for one side (fantasy).


    But then when somebody applies the same reasoning the other way, you're "switching" by now saying it's NOT okay to include the mix in a loose sense under the label that normally goes for the pure for the other side (sci-fi). You can't use the inverse of the support for your argument as a reason to reject the other!


    That is, again, contradictory.


    that something can't technically ever be disproved is entirely pedantic

    This is nothing but an appeal to an insult (I'm sure you don't intend to flame, but in terms of the logic this is what you're doing). It's not "pedantic" -- it's why the standard definition of sci-fi is not limited to only things we presently know how to do in this world. (Hard sci-fi does, but not soft.)


    And like any fallacious argument, I could just as easily say that your approach is pedantic. (And it may apply better, although had you not brought it up, I would not have mentioned it.)


    [i'm getting a "bytes exhausted" error message to this. Undoubtedly for the expected reason. :P So, splitting reply into two...]

    • Upvote 1

  4. Lemme do this slightly out of order with this one first:


    Well if you don't see Science Fantasy as a subset of Fantasy, then your Venn Diagram comparison doesn't work for you either.  :wacko:

    Not quite, for two reasons. First, I brought up the Venn diagram alternative way of looking at it only because you wanted to discuss the mixture being a subset, and it's Venn categorical logic that enables that. :) Second, different points in the overlapping region in a Venn diagram are seen as representing different types of things, so ones closer to the pure fantasy side of the diagram could be seen as one side of a spectrum. This could actually be illustrated simply by having the two pure parts be different colors and the overlap be colored as a spectrum. :)


    You've said "contradictorily banning" & frankly I still don't see the contradiction in it

    I did explain this briefly elsewhere, but lemme clarify what it isn't, and then what it is.

    The contradiction is NOT between your chosen definition that adds a limit and the practice of categorizing that you use, but this is just circular reasoning. We could also define "flat" as "three-dimensional instead of twenty-dimensional" and then by that definition say that Earth is flat, and that would be self-consistent... but it also helps illustrate the obvious problem. Doing this doesn't help make things clear.

    The contradiction that's most important for purposes of this project is that we aren't looking for overspecialized definitions outside the normal understanding in plain English. (And in plain English, science fiction is fiction about science. :) )

    While it's true that a fallacy of limiting the sci-fi definition is out there, it's still arbitrary, even if it were to become the most popular, and a similar limiting of fantasy exists (and even if it didn't, could exist). Witness for example the reactions of many to mitocloriens on this basis. :)

    There's also a contradiction as I mentioned between an implied, necessary premise in your approach of picking a specialized definition arbitrarily. If you get to do that, then logically others also get to pick their won specialized definitions, so your own logic actually implies justification for people defining sci-fi differently than you. So absolute negative claims like "'Bionicle is sci-fi' is patently false" do not work.

    That claim says that NO definition scheme exists in which Bionicle could be seen as sci-fi. But some do, especially if we adopt your "the mix can be a subset of one end" logic and apply it consistently so that it can be a subset of BOTH ends under Venn logic. :)

    I know this gets complicated, but that's again because you chose to undertake this type of argument. Normally the concept of the genre is simple to grasp and most people don't need this kind of complexity to see that "fiction with science in it" can be part sci-fi, and also part fantasy if it also has "magic" in it, so science fantasy. :)

    Let's pull in some other definitions since you keep bringing that up. The top def on dictionary.com:

    "a form of fiction that draws imaginatively on scientific knowledge and speculation in its plot, setting, theme, etc."

    No mention of ONLY doing this. I would still, again, say that hard science fiction only does, but there is also soft science fiction, and sci-fi elements in science fantasy.

    "a literary genre that makes imaginative use of scientific knowledge or conjecture"

    Again, this is only a positive statement of what is in there to make it count as sci-fi, not a negative statement that even if these things are in it, if something else is too, it somehow isn't sci-fi or part sci-fi.

    As an analogy, if we say "something with a lot of lettuce or spinach in it is salad", it doesn't stop being salad if we also put in carrot slices.

    It might become really weird salad if it's lettuce plus chocolate chips or something (:P), but that definition doesn't say that it stops being salad if there's other ingredients. Actually you would need something more like my definition of the spectrum with three main parts to do that! (Then it would still be chocolate salad though. :P)

    "Works of fiction that use scientific discoveries or advanced technology — either actual or imaginary — as part of their plot."

    This one not only doesn't have a negative statement, the imaginary combined with scientific discoveries opens the door to the fanciful versions of science like Star Trek or a science fiction story taking place in another universe clearly so defined as having different physics (rather than Trek's usual portrayal as our universe with physics not yet discovered).


    I've said that Science Fantasy is more useful than simply saying Fantasy because why be less accurate than one can be (at the cost of a single word)?

    Your other approach though is also contradictory with this. By saying that fiction with both science and magic in it can be a subset of fantasy, but not of science fiction, you using a less useful approach (useful apparently only for sowing a lot of confusion), and being obviously less accurate.

    Calling it science fantasy is accurate because there's some science in it. Thus, calling it loosely science fiction (in a mixture-subset sense) is ALSO accurate because there's science in it!

    Make sense? :)


    I saw this as one of two internally-consistent interpretations

    Please understand that this is mainly what makes your argument off-topic for this project. We aren't only looking for internally consistent definitions but externally consistent (plus internally) ones, like the one I use primarily. :)

    To continue the analogy, defining "anything with less than twenty dimensions" as "flat" and then calling Earth flat is internally consistent, but inconsistent externally with normal usage and easy comprehension without the need to include the definition every time. Since normal usage of flat means two-dimensional (or less :P), flat Earth in plain English is false.

    While you CAN categorize things in the weird way you propose, you can also do it in various other ways (maybe flat means monochromatic for example, in which case even a two-dimensional Earth would not be flat lol), so that makes that arbitrary.


    I saw this as one of two internally-consistent interpretations, the other would be to not have one/either limiting the other; which would allow a lot of Science Fiction to be a subset of Fantasy; which seems to reminisce the unnaturalness of this;

    You're missing the simple way of limiting it with the already well known labels of "hard science fiction" (or pure science fiction as I've been saying) versus soft or mixed. Both are easy to understand in plain English, so there's no need for all your complexity and technicality to get across that simple concept!

    And the "unnaturalness" of your latter clause here is already solved by just seeing both sci-fi and fantasy (and sci-fant) as equals under the category of speculative fiction as is normally done (or physics fiction as I've called it), not one over the other.

    In fact I would suggest that intuitive understanding of this is -why- that feels unnatural.


    "That which can be classified as Science Fiction is no longer Fantasy (simply so as to make Fantasy a less broad term)."

    Which lends itself to;

    "That which can be classified as Science Fantasy is no longer Fantasy (simply so as to make Fantasy a less broad term)."

    I do agree with these, but NOT if you start considering mixture-as-subset logic. This is more consistent (since it doesn't talk about mixture-subsets) with how this conversation started in the topic, as just seeing sci-fi here as short for "(pure) sci-fi".


    On a rather different note: for things that people aren't being imaginative enough to think of way for something to happen in a story that isn't magic; all Fantasy could be Science-Fiction by virtue that all things could be explained away by 'brain-in-a-jar'/'the matrix' scenarios.

    It could -- and your approach of using "weird" definitions beyond the basic "fiction about science" and "fiction with magic" and "fiction about both" is just about as reasonable. :P My point is in fact that the ability or lack to come up with explanations shouldn't be the focus of the definition of sci-fi, it should be more about whether the content of the plot has science being practiced or not, as the latter is not based on any universal negative assumptions but positive evidence. :)


    If everything can be classified as something, then that particular classification is no longer that relevant. It might technically be a logical extreme, but it certainly isn't a functional one.

    Three problems with this:

    1) Classifying sci-fant as under sci-fi only came up as a possibility because (well, in addition to Regitnui trying to do that for different reasons) you brought up seeing sci-fant as under fantasy. Since I see no need to bring that up (in a misconception answer for the project), there's no issue to begin with. You're the one creating that issue to then need such a mess to try to clean up. Ockham's Razor would cut away all of that.

    2) You're also then classifying a lot of science content in a story as fantasy! So by that logic, if applied consistently, then your definition could also apply to anything, as the normal definition about magic for fantasy now doesn't apply anymore, since even science that characters DO understand could be seen as fantasy. The fact that this is not functional (or self-consistent as you're saying science content in a mix is still fantasy, but the exact same content in pure sci-fi wouldn't be... makes no sense) is precisely why I don't use it.

    3) As explained to the previous quote, this is really making my point for me about why we shouldn't base the definition on a universal negative assumption. The moment somebody thinks of a way to explain it, it would then change from fantasy to sci-fi by that definition, without the content of the story itself changing at all! The definition should have an objective basis on what is in the story.

    I do think there's wiggle room here for "alternate physics is fantasy" versus "unstudied physics is fantasy", but I'm saying the latter is still more objective for a genre study than "impossible with our physics is fantasy", which has that fallacy of univ. neg.

    (And the practice of science even in another universe with different physics still seems more consistent with the label of science fiction than fantasy. This means Bionicle COULD be easily reinterpreted as hard science fiction. Incidentally, that's partly the approach of my retelling, in fact! However, the canon as we have it for Gen1 is not. Why gets a little tricky, since we don't know the extent of what the GBs understand, but at the very least most of the main characters don't understand, yet, how things like their elemental powers work. So I would still call it sci-fant, no sci-fi, by averaging out how much science practice is done.)


    Maybe, although not consciously.

    Well, figured not. :P  


    For the record I wasn't trying to bring TV Tropes into this discussion, but the word "trope" did exist before that site. ...I think ;)

    I would presume so, but not my point. Once you open the door to looking at things as tropes, as that site illustrates, you can quickly turn anything and everything into a trope and require a lot of research to understand what the heck anybody is saying. Plain English can usually express the same meanings without doing that (whether using the terms from that particular site or not), so is generally wiser.


    Ultimately I'm content-happy if Bionicle is called a Science Fantasy (I strongly agree with this); whether they view that as a spectrum or something else. (I still see it as a spectrum of sorts, but to me Flowers for Algernon, Planet of the Apes, Star Trek are all examples of non-hard Sci-Fi, but still Sci-Fi)

    I would agree, but also wouldn't be dogmatic about it. If somebody also wants to just use sci-fi for the pure variety, the spectrum basic definition still works. There'd just be more in the middle category.


    I still don't really see how your interpretations invite these labels to be useful; as whilst they might avoid prescriptivism, they don't seem to be very descriptive ...so what is their use?  :shrugs:

    The main difference between my definition and yours is that you get into seeing the mixture as a subset of one side and/or the other of the spectrum, but add a strange rule that you can only do this for one side. I don't worry about mixtures as subsets of sides. I just see all three categories as subsets of speculative fiction (so not one side or the other, but an overall category), as is the normal practice and what I was taught, makes the most sense etc.

    I DO worry about good logic, though, so if you want to open that can of worms, it doesn't work to say it's only possible for one side as many of your statements looked worded to say. (I presume you meant those only within that internally-consistent definition scheme, but this still illustrates the problem because then you really should be clarifying the definition every time, which is impractical.) To be clear, it IS possible to positively define it that way, but you can't get from that to a statement that no other definition schemes exist (or shouldn't word things in a way that without being clarified seems to say that).

    To use another analogy, a mutt is best understood as one of three categories under the overall category of "dog". We don't normally look at it as a subset of one of the two pure breeds, but we COULD... and if we DID, then it works both ways.

    Now you're bound to run into some stickler about dog breeding who has a favorite breed and insists mutts never be groups under them, but is fine with (probably derogatorily) lumping the mutt in with the other breed. Their definition scheme is possible, but also arbitrary. If we don't share their bias, we have no reason to agree to it (and just to avoid rewarding bias we probably should too). Now I doubt your reason is based in bias quite like that, it seems more like you missed some basics in logic in trying to solve a problem and just solved it poorly, but that is also arbitrary, and we shouldn't want to reward bad logic either. :shrugs:

  5. My thoughts are in essence:


    Bionicle is Science Fantasy.


    Science Fantasy is a sub-genre of Fantasy (but not a sub-genre of Science Fiction).


    I don't understand what the fallacy is about calling something that takes elements of category A & category B, being a part of category B, but not category A if category A is defined in a way that elements of B don't fit in; category B in this case is in this case Sci-Fi.

    Well, as far as the reasoning you gave that I replied to specifically, this part explains the fallacy most clearly:


    "^(It might seem strange that (in these scenarios) something can be Fantasy + X, but something cannot be Sci-Fi + X"


    Problem with this logic is that the X in the first is sci-fi, and the X in the second is Fantasy, so by putting variables in instead, you're obscuring the illogic of your argument. If you translate this back to "clearspeak", you just said that something can be fantasy + sci-fi but not sci-fi + fantasy!


    The mathematical principle of commutation says that A + B is the same thing as B + A. Therefore, fantasy + sci-fi IS sci-fi plus fantasy!


    And this is so obvious that everybody gets this intuitively, I'd say, even if they don't spot the error consciously as easily due to your using variables (BTW, you should have used a different variable for the second sentence, since X has a different value than in the first), which would be why it seems strange. ;)

    I also explained that I reject the premise that science fantasy is normally a subset of fantasy anyways. I'm only agreeing that you CAN see it that way, simply because mixes (due to basic Venn diagram categorical logic) can qualify as subsets logically. But by that same logic, it's necessary that it can also be seen as a subset of sci-fi too.


    Your main mistakes seem to be in 1) pointlessly requiring Science Fantasy to be a subset of fantasy (you CAN see it that way but it's more natural to see it as the middle of a spectrum, or basically its own category), and 2) contradictorily banning it from being a subset of science fiction by the same logic.


    It seems obvious that you're trying to base this on a prescriptive, limiting definition of science fiction (and thinking that such prescriptive definitions don't exist for fantasy), but I also mentioned why this doesn't work. Mainly because the mixture isn't trying to fit the pure definition of sci-fi!


    At least these are the best answers I could come up with based on my best estimates of what you seem to mean. If I'm reading that right, all you're doing by having these very "technicalized" definitions is sowing confusion, apparently (it was the main thing in that discussion that ended up making it so ridiculously long), so that alone is probably a great reason not to buy into your approach.


    No offense... and hope this helps. :)


    The rest of your latest post here seems to proceed from the same false premise of confusing a mixture for being intended to fit the definitions of the two ends of the spectrum exactly. But fitting either definition exactly would only come up as a problem if you insisted on seeing it as a sub-genre of just one, which is a completely arbitrary assumption, and using this in an argument to lead to that very idea as your conclusion is circular reasoning.


    And the definitions you keep citing say nothing like that anyways, for either one. (And somebody could just as easily argue that the fantasy definition excludes science as being part of pure fantasy stories, and then apply your same reasoning to say sci-fant could only be a subset of sci-fi and not fantasy! The whole enterprise is missing the point that the mixture has both science and "magic", so it counts as a mix of both genres. And I can't see what treating things your way solves that is helpful at all. The misconception as it was brought up and as I agreed to get to at some point solves an identifiable mistake seen often in past discussions. I don't see how this does.)


    Thus "Bionicle is not Science Fiction", although "Bionicle is Fantasy", and more accurately (or rather, informative) "Bionicle is Science Fantasy" are all true (& "Bionicle is Science Fiction" is patently false).

    The problem with insisting on this is that the latter claim commits the fallacy of the universal negative and contradicts one of the underlying premises in the former -- that you can say something like "Bionicle is fantasy" by using a very specialized, prescriptive (and limiting, or in this case perceived as non-limiting) definition of fantasy beyond the very basic descriptive definition of "fantastical" (to use the word from a common definition of speculative fiction).


    This premise is necessary to get to the logic that you can use an extra-specialized definition of sci-fi that limits it from even including in the mixture sense a subcategory with magic in it. But the premise also means that somebody is just as allowed to use a non-specialized definition that says "science fiction is fiction about science", so a story that has both science and magic in it could be seen as a subset of both sci-fi and fantasy. (Although again, it's waaaaaay simpler to just call it science fantasy and not get into any of this subset logic!) The premise is that you can pick a different definition from the norm (or even if that happens to be normal, from the definition most consistent with the label of the genre in question -- "science fiction" here).


    And as I pointed out, it especially makes little sense to do it that way for a story in which the "magic" isn't even called magic in-story, and is defined as "science you don't understand", a phrase that has been used in science fiction stories, etc.


    In other words, "Bionicle is science fiction" is ONLY false if it's specified "by a definition scheme of science fiction that refuses to use the label for anything but pure, hard science fiction, even loosely in a partial sense to refer to a mixture of science and fantasy being in a story."


    While that's true within that definition, your ability to pick (and even insist on) that definition doesn't make it the only possible definition or even the most reasonable. A much more unbiased definition of science fiction is fiction with science in it, and Bionicle does have that. And your choosing a more specialized definition also implies that others could also choose more specialized ones... but specialized in a different way that is inclusive.


    Your comparison to Venn diagrams is [too] simple: both Fantasy & Science Fiction have a definition; the definition of one of them is more limiting than the other.

    You have not provided sound support for the idea that it is too simple. And by definition, a mixture with elements of both should fit into such a Venn diagram (although as I said years ago, it's really better seen as a spectrum because the amounts of the one or the other can vary in proportions). While you could make an alternate diagram, with sci-fi being one circle and the fantasy circle having a smaller circle of sci-fi, that fits entirely in it so is also called science fantasy, this would be illogical because the same thing -- sci-fi -- in VDs are supposed to be one circle.


    And again, the definitions you cited say nothing about one being limiting and the other not, whether in the sense of mixtures between the two being seen as subsets or not. You're adding that idea as your own personal definition (likely taken from others, but the point applies either way). And both the spectrum view and the Venn diagram view already allow for both limited and unlimited versions of it. Stories at both extremes of the spectrum, which could also be seen as stories only in the non-overlapping parts of both circles, can be seen as subsets of both science fiction and fantasy that do not allow overlap. Hard science fiction would be the one, and magic-only fantasy (with no science) would be the other.


    Remember the argument you tried to make about the Jack and Jill nursery rhyme in the topic? Your point there was that if even an author classified his story in a way that the content of his story does not match, we would not call it by his chosen genre label.


    The problem with your reasoning here is similar -- you are defining the term science fiction in an arbitrarily limiting way that is divorced from the content. If two stories both have the content of science being done and technology being developed, especially using real-world physics (as Bionicle does in part; normal matter exists there and many principles of real-world physics are confirmed to work there), but one has ONLY that, while the other just uses that partially, both stories do have that ingredient in their content. This is both intuitively obvious and sound, which is why I have talked about it this way in the past; that makes it easy to understand. So it makes sense to say that both are sci-fi so far as that part goes. (And science fantasy has other parts that aren't sci-fi.)


    Bionicle has magical things that can't be explained with anything speculative without completely rewriting physics

    Now you're going off on another tangent that could get very complicated fast. Suffice to say that you can't prove this as it's the fallacy of the universal negative. You could only prove it if we were sure we knew everything there is to know about real physics (but we know of several places in which there are unknowns, and it's hard to rule out the possibility of Black Swan unknowns, especially of possible future technology, as many of the things now possible in both technology and chemistry were thought impossible once).


    This is why as I pointed out in the topic, Bionicle is not necessarily picky about whether its explanations are "unknown future science of this world" or "definitely alternate physics of a different universe." It allows for the second, because it is confirmed that it IS a different universe, but also allows for the first because many things there work like here (like normal matter). Because it's fiction and the authors can't actually know how to make those things work (under either explanation :P), this makes sense. The goal of these kinds of stories, both in the sci-fi and fantasy side, isn't really to figure out how they could work, but to see what could happen in a world if you take it as a given that somehow or another they're possible.


    BTW, you keep mentioning "speculative" as if it applies only to science fiction, but its normal definition, as I mentioned earlier, is the category that contains both sci-fi and fantasy (and thus the mix too). Rewritten physics are "speculative" too, just in a different way from speculative future real-world technologies.


    Also, very little in Bionicle even seems to need much rewriting of physics anyways (the subject of my ancient "Wacky Physics" topic, for example, lost unfortunately to the archives, and also partially the subject of my upcoming molecular protodermis theory). People who say things like that usually haven't actually thought it through; they're really just saying they haven't imagined ways, so assume none are possible.


    It isn't about 'purity' of tropes and elements used; it is whether any tropes or elements violate a definition.

    Again: 1) Let's not worry about tropes here. This is complicated enough without pulling in TVTropes. and 2) "A" definition is not the same as "the only possible definition" or even "the most reasonable one." This also falls apart because you're just putting purity into the definition! (Of one, arbitrarily, and not of the other, again arbitrarily.)


    I really can't see why you would want to do that except to create a way to cause really complex debates. :P Maybe the simplicity of the more reasonable definition just bores you and you enjoy talking about genres too much to accept the simple, but the simple and accurate has value too. :) Especially for a project that is TRYING to keep the answers to these misconceptions simple and straightforward. :)


    Hope this helps. :shrugs:

  6. What's going on with your epic? Amethyst or something? I guess it was lost in the recent downtime. Would love to see it finished. :)


    I'd have to agree with Jag; Greg categories.


    Selfishly, I would also love to see your thoughts on TDoB, but no rush. :shrugs:


    Jag, I for one would love it if people would post more of Greg's new posts in the Compendium, but I don't know how often he says anything of relevance. Personally I'm too intimidated by the sheer size of that topic to try to keep up with it directly. If there are more that are relevant to story than what we've seen in the Compendium, then I'd hope for some organization to it too.


    Fun fact: Waaaaay back in the olden days BZP tried to do a database search Greg quotes archive. It never really got much of the quotes put in it though. Since then every such attempt has been abandoned (I guess we never anticipated just how much he had to say). But if anyone can do it, it's probably fishers!

    • Upvote 1

  7. I don't see anything wrong with suggesting a new fan-made name to be established into canon.

    Unfortunately, LEGO's lawyers disagree. :P Previous attempts were turned down and the official policy became to only use names from a list LEGO already cleared through legal, and those are now being used for HF instead.


    We can think of it as "fanon" though if people like it.

  8. Zahaki, still need a few for much later, yeah. Right now the most urgent is an attempt at the pre-alteration forms of Vorox and Zesk (for the very early chapters).


    Disciple, I don't really need the Miserix one, as I drew his mask and plan to just use that image for that scene. The others, go for it. :)


    darthme, I changed my mind and decided the canon image for Matoro's death is good enough. But if you did want to try it, I'm all eyes. :P

  9. Tolkien, I must say your posts have surprised me, in that while it's perfectly valid for you to express reasons you (apparently?) dislike this suggestion, you haven't done the thing people would normally do in such cases, and which you're famous for. :P So, rather than continue to reply line by line, why don't I just cut to the chase, and ask (I'm serious -- curious, this isn't meant combatively :)), what alternatives would you suggest?


    Either way, the Latin comparison is a non-sequitor, although there probably is a legit example out there for you to use. LEGO went for Latin in the Bara Magna years because it's potentially easier to clear legally and it's not likely to offend anyone since it's a "dead" language (and Roman culture is similarly absent).

    I'm not sure why you say the first phrase here -- how so? (If you mean what comes after to explain it, the problem is that "ia" is, as I said, also part of English culture and several others, so it's still real-world and very much not dead.) But again, let's just grant the argument and call it agreeing to disagree; this is all kind of distracting from what I wanted this entry to be asking about, which wasn't whether you like how I happened to be inspired for this one, but whether you like it for what it is. :) The Maori thing is just an added bonus really, for those who resonate with that approach.


    Main reason I'm quoting this is just for two minor nitpicks -- it's "non sequitur" (even I messed it up for years too, though, so no biggie :P), and Xia and such predate Bara Magna.

  10. We have a specific set of Maori-derived Matoran words that are "in bounds", and therefore I would argue that etymologies derived from those canon Matoran words are legitimate. Etymologies derived from randomly picked Maori words after the fact are not if you want them to line up with the canon.

    But again, the original canon did indeed draw inspiration from Maori primarily, so if we want to be consistent, it makes sense to continue to look at the Maori for ideas. Anyways, you may be overthinking what I'm asking here; like I said, if you don't want to consider it Maori-related, keep in mind I was already looking for something possibly starting with "Ta" because of what's already canon, (which incidentally also fits with "Mata"), and "ia" as a suffix is also already canon, as is "aia". Right? What I'm asking is more if people like the sound of it. :)


    Simply put, that means no taking words from Maori, since Maori has been off-limits since early '02.

    Even if we accept that premise, which I don't (Bionicle has continued to use inspiration from real-world languages; Maori is just as valid a source as any other), I'm really not seeing the problem here, since every part of this word is already well evidenced from existing canon, which sounds like what you're arguing for... so...? Wuzzada problem? :P


    In any case, it has always been agreed on BZPower that while LEGO can choose not to draw inspiration from Maori due to raw emotions and the like in the "Tohunga Incident", that it remains appropriate for fans to continue to use that word or Maori inspiration. But if your tastes are such so as not to agree, that's fine. I'm just saying, it sounds like the standard you're putting forward here is a great fit to this, since every part makes etymological sense from pre-existing canon. :)


    While it's true that I didn't think of "taia" before seeing the Maori, I still instantly realized how it fits perfectly (IMO?) with established canon. (That happens a lot when you look at the Maori, which is one reason I keep checking it. :))


    [Note: I opted not to include "Tohunga" in my retelling, FTR, but more out of a goal to keep things simple for space considerations than anything else. In my Paracosmos I do use it roughly how it was in the "original canon", with the later change back to Matoran symbolizing their re-embracing of unity.


    Anyways, my point is that I do not at all accept the premise that the self-imposed rules LEGO opted for in the canon are in any way also applicable to fanfics. LEGO was wise to impose those rules, but it's a profit-making toy company, and we're just writing fan fiction, which can be more free to be higher quality. The argument is also self-refuting, since it is saying we should model LEGO's behavior. But many of recognize that LEGO had a good idea in drawing inspiration from a great language, which has only increased our understanding of a different culture by inspiring ongoing research. Since LEGO did that too, then patterning our actions on LEGO means that's also a valid route to take.


    Since your own argument accepts that words used prior to a certain date are valid, there's no magical reason that date prevents the same validity from extending into the future. Those of us who resonate deeply with that style don't have the option of hopping in a time machine. :P Some things are just timeless.]


    Just because there’s no chance of a fan-expansion being accepted as canon doesn’t mean those fan-expansions can’t still be held to the same standards as canon would be.

    Based on this sentence, I suspect the issue is you are subjectively (perhaps erroneously?? but it might be a taste thing) seeing drawing inspiration from real-world languages as a lower standard. But IMO it's clearly the other way around, although there's nothing particularly wrong with randomness either. Especially for Bionicle, because it was started that way, and consistency is important. LEGO's later avoidance of anything* Maori came across to a lot of people as overcorrection, a lowering of quality, albeit done with good intentions.


    *Not sure, but I think some of the Mata Nui map names that were later assigned "original" meanings were from Maori or similar languages.



    As for "appropriation", let's not rehash the whole "problem with Ninjago" thing here. I just want to know if people like the sound of this, and if they don't like the Maori inspiration, just look at the in-story reasons it fits with no need to reference the Maori word. :) It draws just as much on the existing word "Makuta", and "ia". (Is it appropriation if it comes from Latin? Nobody seems to think so, so that argument seems inconsistent to me, and even the vast majority of English is borrowed from other languages anyways.)


    Incidentally, I also liked Taiao because of its similarity to Chinese Tao; "Way", although that isn't so relevant etymologically, but also Taia for its similarity to Gaia -- so there's LOTS of inspiration from different cultures going on here, Maori just being one.




    Edit: Here's another possibility -- Mataia. Literally, just add "ia" to "Mata" (as in Mata Nui). Taia could simpy be a shortened form of that, or even the second-half being "translated" as "-verse". "Ia" clearly already means "place" in Matoran, and "Mata" means Spirit, also with connotations from Matoran. And then there's the fact that the element prefix for Fire, which is commonly traditional for leaders, is Ta. Just so many ways to come at it! (I do think I prefer Taia over Mataia, but yeah.)

    • Upvote 2

  11. Ah, okay, missed that. But even so, for all practical purposes, isn't "inspired by Maori" pretty much the same as "taken from Maori"? [...] I guess, in the grand scheme of things, I'd still love a term that has some kind of grounding in actual Matoran etymology.

    If you're saying you don't like Bionicle-language words inspired by real-world, that's cool, but it's something I greatly prefer, as it makes them more meaningful than just picking something random. Etymology derived from actual canon Matoran is just as grounded in Maori and other real-world languages, so it's six of one, half dozen of the other.


    But you could also see it as just adding "ia" to "Makuta", which is a suffix common to English and deriving I think from Latin? One of those. And then subtract Maku. (lol @ Tekulo BTW). The cool thing is this works from many different angles. IMO that's a great reason to go with it; if you don't like thinking of it as coming from Maori, look at it in another way.


    And by practical purposes I mean: "Could this work as a canon Matoran word?" Legally? Not if it's derived from Maori.

    Not sure I'm following you here. No fan-made words work for canon, legally. Whether pure random generation or inspired from real-world languages; the LEGO legal department made that decision years ago. You probably know this, but just checking. :P And many words that remained canon come from Maori. The vast majority of the originals do, and that's a style I've always liked a lot, arguably best, in Bionicle. :)


    However, if there were legal problems with using "Taiao" for the express reason of being a Maori word, this isn't that word, so it would seem to be a moot point, unless I'm misunderstanding you. (It might have other issues, I dunno, though. Google says it's the name of a river in Romania... but not much else shows up.) But it really doesn't matter as I'm not talking about canon at all but whether people like this for use in my fanfic. :) (This isn't like that Mask of Creation poll for example which included a potential canon part, so belonged in S&T.)

    • Upvote 1

  12. Hey, then when Makuta takes over, you could call it the Makutaia!

    Right, that's what I had in mind. :)


    For the record, the vast majority of the time I will probably keep it "Matoran Universe" in the story, but I could go back and edit this in somewhere as an alternative, as having synonyms is usually good for narrative purposes.


    Interesting...but why use straight, unfiltered Maori for this?

    It isn't -- I mentioned in the entry that my version is shortened. The actual Maori word is "Taiao". :) This is meant to be Matoran, simply inspired by Maori.


    You could even consider it evidenced entirely without appealing to Maori and just look at the similar Maori word as further inspiration. Since evidently the word "Makuta" would mix well with whatever their non-translated word for "universe" is, I looked for things starting with "Ta" or having it somewhere in the word. Multiple islands end in "ia" -- Xia, Daxia, etc. And like I said, there's evidence Makuta would like the "aia" sound since he chose that as the ending for his lair. So when I saw taiao, it was just a perfect match for what I was looking for, IMO. But a bit heavy on the vowels -- so just dropped the o.


    To be fair, "-verse" could imply the actual word has a prefix he's leaving off, but that could just as likely be seen as a translator's appeal to an existing trope in English, and that in the actual language something similar to this happens; in this case shortening "Makutataia" to cut the second "ta". Anyway, that was my thinking. :)

  13. Well, it looks like NuvaTube will be doing the main thing that needs done, the Glatorian form of the guy who would later become the Jungle Element Lord. I also need Annona, but I have found a good one on deviantart and will be asking that artist, if NT can't do it. Everything else major that I need for that time, I plan to draw myself. :)

  14. I like the use of the Maxilos head, the body, and legs. Would it be possible to get rid of the white, though? Maybe replace that for black? And maybe some shading on the rest? The arm shapes I'm a bit confused by, but I guess it can work.


    The Maxilos head especially can fit in my plot well, as those are robots and this guy is supposed to be a geek; I could say the robots were designed by him. :)


    FTR, I definitely like the "standard" better.

  15. Thanks, Primis. I've PMed him. Still a longshot, but maybe he'll decide to check back.


    I just noticed, though, that BS01 says that Brutaka's species has a quirk, so that while he became a waterbreather immediately his physical form took much longer to change significantly. So I guess the image is technically made not very accurate by this. If I get no reply I guess I'll have to go with that excuse. Still...

  16. If you don't mind, I'd like to take a stab at the OoMN agent. What resolution would you like the image to be?

    It's up to you. It would probably best not fill more than a third of an 8 by 11 page (in Word, or rather Open Office Writer), so whatever that comes out to in pixels. :P Many of the images I'm using are very small, but larger is probably better so if it's too much I can just size it down.

  • Create New...