The Battle of Britain

Re:   "Correcting Misconceptions about the Borg, Projectile Weapons, and the Holodeck"


Amazing.  Ossus had a whole page of canon facts to whine about, so he focuses on the bit expressly referred to as conjecture.  Typical.

This page is a good example of Mr. Anderson refusing to apply principles consistently to different things. 

The above sentence is a good example of Mr. Blackburn refusing to back up his BS claims.

The first thing to note about the Borg drone's alleged anti-kinetic impact shields is that, if they exist, they should stop bullets. Anderson realizes that these shields have not been used to stop fists or knives in the past, but insists that:

"there is no evidence in support of the Warsie conjecture that bullets, arrows, or spears would kill Borg drones."

[Editor's note: there is an obvious "burden of proof" fallacy here; since we've seen bullets [...] kill Borg drones

A stupid lie by Wong.  As made brutally obvious on the original page, or as should've been obvious to anyone who watched First Contact, no bullets were ever fired at the Borg. 

"With the holodeck safeties off, even holographic bullets can kill."
- Picard, First Contact.  (emphasis mine)

, the burden of proof is on him to prove that they can adapt to physical attacks]

We've already seen that the Borg have shields capable of repelling physical attacks, at least in shipboard applications.   And, to quote myself:

"1. We have never seen projectile weapons used against the Borg.

2. Starfleet has access to modern-design projectile weapons, and can evidently recreate old ones.
(reference: "Field of Fire"[DS9], "A Private Little War"[TOS], "The Big Goodbye"[TNG], ST:FC, etc.)

3. Starfleet has studied operational drones and their technology, has extracted technology from former drones, and has studied non-operational Borg equipment.
(reference: "Best of Both Worlds"[TNG], "I, Borg"[TNG], First Contact, "Scorpion"[VOY], "Drone"[VOY], "Unimatrix Zero"[VOY], "Dark Frontier"[VOY], etc.)

4. Several Starfleet officers and personnel have spent time as Borg drones, giving them detailed information on Borg technology.
(reference: "Best of Both Worlds"[TNG], First Contact, Seven of Nine, etc.)

5. Phasers are particle weapons
(reference: Picard in First Contact, Malcolm Reed in "Broken Bow"[ENT], Tuvok in "Endgame"[VOY], et cetera)

6. Borg drone shields stop phasers.
(reference: Every Borg episode since "Q Who"[TNG])

7. When Starfleet needed a weapon that would work in conditions where phasers wouldn't, they looked to a projectile weapon.
(reference: "Field of Fire"[DS9] TR-116 backstory)

8. Borg drone shields do not stop physical attacks, such as hands or knives.
(reference: Every Borg episode since "Q Who"[TNG])

9. The Borg drones are capable of interacting with their environment.
(reference: Every Borg episode since "Q Who"[TNG])

So, which is the better synthesis of this data? That the Borg lack all forms of KE shielding, or that they are selective about it?"

In short, the argument regarding my conjecture comes down to whether you want to use the escape-clause argument that the Borg and the Federation are both populated entirely by morons, or whether you think there might be a reason for what we see.   Picard, knowing drone weaknesses, didn't replicate a TR-116 Starfleet projectile weapon in First Contact . . . he employed an advanced holographic attack.   What, did he just want to dance with Lily?   I think not.

Let's also not forget that the Borg, having assimilated Starfleet personnel and gained knowledge accordingly, must also be aware of the Starfleet personnel forcefields, mentioned during the "Homefront"/"Paradise Lost" events of the fourth season of DS9, a full year and a half before First Contact.  

Now, of course, it's entirely possible that Borg drones do not have selective KE shielding.   After all, drone onboard medical tech is generally quite adept at repairing damage, as we're told by Seven in "Revulsion"[VOY4].  And, it isn't like the Borg care all that much about the lives of individual drones.  But, as seen, the Borg have developed a response to particle weapons that could allow one unassimilated person to wipe out many drones . . . why assume they wouldn't do the same for KE weapons which would allow the same thing, given that we've seen them have the required technology, know-how, and assimilated knowledge?

This leads, inevitably, to the question of what the shields will and will not stop, and why the Borg bothered to install shields if they will not stop bullets, fists, knives, or bulkheads. Anderson never addresses these concerns, except to say that:

"In theory, then, this selective KE shield operates somewhat less effectively than the holodeck's safety protocols . . . it will stop some obviously-damaging KE attacks such as bullets, but does not affect a drone's ability to interact with its environment. It will also likely be overwhelmed by large, fast objects, such as a flying bulkhead or (for non-Trek examples) speeding planes, trains, and automobiles."

In other words, "he never addresses these concerns, except for when he does."   Stupid Ossus.  

There are far more important concerns with Anderson's page, however. Anderson spends a great deal of time trying to get us to accept that Starfleet personnel are familiar with firearms. He uses numerous examples from TOS, which is somewhat amusing because they are from a completely different era

Ah, I see . . . demonstrating a continuous chain of projectile weapon knowledge from even a century prior to the time period in question is not a logical demonstration, but is instead merely amusing?   Stupid Ossus.

, but he also brings up several good examples of TNG and DS9 era officers that indicates that they would have known about traditional (chemically propelled) firearms. Anderson then explains that, if Starfleet officers knew about firearms, and they understood Borg capabilities, then they should have been able to put two and two together in order to use firearms against the Borg.

(snipping long quote of me from the page that demonstrates extensive Starfleet knowledge of the Borg)

This seems superficially reasonable. Starfleet seems familiar with Borg capabilities in combat, but has never been seen to use projectile weapons against the Borg. It should have done so during some of the Borg encounters with the UFP prior to ST:FC. Thus, the Borg can be assumed to be using shields that are effective against kinetic impacts. This is another of Anderson's double standards.

Translation:  "I, Ossus, am about to engage in yet another moronic argument in my desperate attack on G2k's credibility.  Observe."

Let's apply this fairly to all tactics and weapons involved. Starfleet did know about Borg capabilities. They also knew about the holodeck. Therefore, Starfleet should have used holograms to attack Borg drones prior to ST:FC. Anderson himself admits that such a holographic assault had never been done before against a Borg drone. "Picard's holographic bullets were nothing more than 'smoke and mirrors', backed up by a forcefield. It was not an attack with a projectile weapon firing bullets with kinetic energy . . . it was a crafty forcefield attack that the Borg had obviously never encountered before, and had therefore not adapted to."

This begs the question of why Starfleet had never launched such an attack against the Borg. 

It doesn't beg any such question.  We know drones have the technology to just pass right through forcefields, when it is properly applied . . . witness Seven stepping through an unknown race's forcefield in "Hope and Fear"[VOY] after getting Janeway to fiddle with her implants in the appropriate manner that Seven described to her.   (Hugh did not demonstrate this ability, but he also did not have anyone else to fiddle with his implants.)   In First Contact, as shown on my page, the drones that entered the holodeck demonstrated the ability to disrupt a holo-character, which (as seen in "The Big Goodbye"[TNG1]) is nothing more than a projection.

Ossus simply ignored the "not adapted to" (i.e. "not yet adapted to", for retards who didn't get it the first time), and believes that all forcefields are devastating weapons against drones:

Starfleet officers are obviously familiar with the use of the holodeck, and with holographic weapons—even more so than they are with conventional firearms. Starfleet personnel are very familiar with Borg capabilities, as is revealed by Anderson himself. Anderson also dismisses the possibility that Starfleet officers are stupid, but they must have been. Otherwise they should have used holographic weapons against the Borg, in earlier encounters.

That's right, boys and girls.   He really said that.

In TNG and DS9, the only place one had access to holodeck-style holography was (gasp!) a holodeck.  In Voyager, we got our first glimpse of holotech elsewhere aboard ship . . . this time, it was locked in Sickbay, and so were any holograms created there.  That's the whole reason the Doctor's 29th Century holoemitter was such a coup for the poor Doctor.

Most half-wits could've figured out the concept without much trouble, but not Ossus . . . I guess he assumed Picard didn't take his holo-Tommy gun with him out of the holodeck because . . . because . . . gee, why wouldn't he, except for the fact that it wouldn't have worked?

Praytell, what earlier encounters would've allowed Starfleet personnel to attack the Borg on the holodeck?   Not Wolf 359 . . . they'd had no Borg to study, nor the knowledge from Picard to work with.   Not the incident with Lore's Borg . . . they never boarded the ship except as a quick distraction, and the Ohniaka III facility they'd attacked in force was not said to have holodecks.  The next time we see the Borg aboard a Federation ship was four years later during (gasp!) First Contact, which is when Picard pulled his maneuver anyway.   That was also the first time we'd seen the Borg attack and try to assimilate a starship en masse.  Mark yet another point for Ossus's idiocy regarding the canon timeline.

But hey, let's say that Ossus's idea is worthwhile . . . that the Borg would not have adapted to the forcefield attack idea.  So what is Ossus's brilliant tactical plan to circumvent the lack of holography all over the ship?

All that Starfleet personnel would have needed to do during a Borg attack is evacuate everyone except for the bridge crew, and move them to the holodeck. 

That's right . . . "all hands, evacuate to "The Big Goodbye", as per our previous plan regarding what to do if the Borg ever tried to assimilate the ship, which they've never done before."

Granted, they would have a greatly diminished ability to repair damage and respond to problems elsewhere, but the goal is to prevent the ship from being overrun by Borg drones in the unfortunate eventuality that it is boarded by the Borg. 

Ridiculous!  "Hey, let's prevent the Borg from overrunning the ship by . . . evacuating to a handful of rooms and letting the Borg overrun the ship!"  What is this, the French defense?

Granted, holodecks cannot be everywhere at once, but Barclay demonstrated in "Nth Degree" [TNG] that all computer controls, including those of the starship, can easily be re-routed to the holodeck, with other controls locked out to the point where they cannot be regained from anywhere else on the ship. 

Once again, Ossus demonstrates his own idiocy and hopes no one else knows more.   In "The Nth Degree", Barclay, having been affected by the Cytherian probe and rendered a genius with access to technology and concepts far beyond Federation science, created a device on the holodeck (after having to tell the computer how to make it after it said the computer equivalent of "excuse me, you want what?") that caused his mind and the computer to become linked.  He didn't even know how to make it stop without causing his own death, and the rest of the crew didn't even know how it worked.

To Ossus, this naturally means that it's easy for any old crewman to lock out all computer control and route it to the holodeck.  Stupid Ossus.

Funny, in First Contact, Data's emergency lock-out of the main computer was only successful because of the coding he employed . . . he even told them what sort of code it was, and that they would therefore not be able to break it . . . hence that whole "drilling into his skull" bit, and their efforts to assimilate him.

Additionally, such a modifications might be performed to a ship before battle, so that if it was boarded, the bridge crew could move to the holodeck and regain control of the ship from there, protected by their holographic weapons.

In other words, Starfleet personnel should've known that the Borg would try to board and assimilate a ship even though that had never been done before (even Lore's funky ship was a Borg design, seen again on a computer display in "Scorpion"[VOY]).   Starfleet personnel should also have known that the Borg could not possibly have adapted to a forcefield attack, even though there would be no reason to leap to that conclusion (and it would've been wrong anyway).   Further, Starfleet personnel should've had a Data-esque ability to key in a wonky fractal code at a moment's notice, so they could all run to the holodeck and thereby virtually abandon the ship.

Riiiiight.  Ossus would seem to be a Pakled tactician.

Thus we see that Starfleet officers must be stupid for not trying such tactics, prior to ST:FC, or that Mr. Anderson's line of reasoning must be incorrect. 

Sorry, neither.

Or they could install holographic projectors around critical areas like the bridge and engineering.

Eventually, such a thing would become the case . . . we see this on the USS Prometheus, though it still wouldn't help in a Borg situation.  

There are, of course, other contradictions within this page. For example,

"Finally, there's the issue of logic. As seen in "Encounter at Farpoint"[TNG], the walls of the holodeck are usually just covered up with a projection of light. Data throws a rock and hits the wall, causing the image to digitize and wobble. While the resilience of the holodeck walls to bullets is unknown, it would not make sense for this to be tested by allowing real bullets to go flying through the air whenever the safeties are turned off. The thesis that "safeties off" = "inanimate holographic objects turn to matter" simply doesn't make sense. "

This is another example of when Anderson fails to apply things equally to different things. Re-examine the above statement. The rock disrupted the holodeck's walls, demonstrating that a physical impact to the walls will cause distortion of the image. Anderson uses this to conclude that bullets must not be used by the holodeck because, if they were, they would disrupt the walls. Unfortunately, the rock was also a part of the holodeck. 

Another stupid attempt to prove a contradiction which doesn't exist.  Of course the rock was part of the holodeck . . . that was the whole point!  This means, therefore, that the impact against the wall was not a physical one, as Ossus randomly decides to claim . . . I was demonstrating that the walls of the holodeck are not, themselves, protected by a forcefield.  Otherwise, one would not expect the image of the scenery beyond to have wobbled when the rock hit it.   

It is unreasonable to assume that the removal of the holodeck safeties, objects that are merely holographic projections become real. Since in "Encounter at Farpoint" [TNG], the holodeck safeties were on, it can be assumed that the rock is real, in which case bullets on the holodeck must also be real when the safeties are "off," or the rock was merely a projection, in which case the bullets on the holodeck would also be holographic projections. If the rock was a holographic projection, then this demonstrates that the walls of the holodeck can be disrupted by other holographic projections and precludes Anderson's logic that the bullets must have been projections to avoid disrupting the projections on the walls of the holodeck. If the rock was real, then the bullets should also have been real.

Somewhere in that confused jumble of words, it sounds like Ossus is trying to claim that the reality of the rock and bullets would have to be connected . . . i.e. if one is, the other must be.   He then tries to prove that the rock was real, though he fails miserably.  His argument is odd in a wide variety of ways:

1.  His argument is contrary to the one commonly employed by Warsies, where things magically become real because the holodeck safeties are off.  Ossus argues that it's the same either way, thereby arguing against his own Warsie line.

2.  The holographic rock did not hit another holographic object, but merely a visual representation of continuing scenery . . . there was nothing even holographically there for a forcefield to be projected as representing, just the holography light-play.   As the touching of two holodeck objects that do involve forcefields has never been seen to produce distortion before (otherwise the holodeck would suck, since everything would be distorted all the time), Ossus's argument is moot.

3.  By hanging all his hopes on the disruption argument and claiming that the holo-rock implies holo-bullets, Ossus shoots himself in the foot when he fails to prove that it wasn't a holo-rock.  Concession accepted.

Ossus thus moves on to the last entry of my objections section, culled from the whining at SD.Net which occurred when my idea of Borg KE shielding first appeared.  Several Warsies argued the following:

"4. When it comes to Borg KE shields, absence of evidence equals proof of absence."

And I replied on the page with a link to a fallacy definition, the argument from ignorance:  Sure.

Finally, note how Anderson's own link specifically states that:

"Arguments of this form assume that since something has not been proven false, it is therefore true. Conversely, such an argument may assume that since something has not been proven true, it is therefore false."

The existence of Borg drone kinetic shielding has clearly not been proven, as it has never been seen in operation and the ability here attributed to them is based solely on conjecture.

In other words, Ossus agrees with the argument from ignorance . . . to paraphrase:  "Borg drone kinetic shielding has clearly not been proven true; it is therefore false."

Ossus then tries to claim that I am the one who is engaging in the fallacy:

It can be argued that its existence has not been disproved, either, but to assume that it exists based on the evidence that we have is fallacious, according to Anderson's own link 

In other words, by openly stating that I'm engaging in conjecture, and by calling the shield idea in my conclusion a "likely hypothesis", I am somehow claiming that Warsies haven't proven the idea false, and that it is therefore true.  The hell? 

Where does Ossus come up with this crap?  Oh, wait, I see where he gets the ability to pull things from his rectum:

[Editor's note: RSA's amusing penchant for linking to sources which actually disprove his point is well-known]. 

And where does Wong come up with that crap?   One instance of Ossus wrongly accusing me of something does not create a penchant for me . . . indeed, given how often Ossus wrongly accuses, that's the only amusing/annoying penchant around.

In the final analysis, I see no counterargument to the hypothesis that holds water . . . they certainly didn't make any worthwhile attack regarding the holographic nature of the bullets, which is what Warsies commonly whine about most.   They also didn't manage to demonstrate the validity of their "Starfleet is stupid" escape-clause argument.

And so, we come to Wong's demonstration of what happens when all three of his neurons are rubbed together:

[Editor's note: Later on, RSA tries to deal with the reaction force problem by saying this: "Projecting a graviton-based spatial distortion need not result in force rebound to the shield projector when an impact occurs"; using gravitons as a "Get Out of Jail Free" card? This is completely wrong and laughably ignorant of high-school level physics; action/reaction equality does apply to gravitational forces, and have ever since the famous apple fell on Newton's head. 

Here's another high-school level physics fact for you:  no one can go faster than light.   Oh, wait, holy crap!  They do that all the time!   Well, hell's bells.  

What Wong seems to have forgotten is that this is science fiction we're analyzing here.  That doesn't mean all the rules go out the window, but it does mean that our early 21st Century rule-set need not be rigidly followed . . . and when we have evidence that the rules we know aren't being followed, we have to accept that.   Otherwise, the whole concept is rendered moot . . . bye-bye hyperdrive and warp drive.

The force coupling issue regarding Wesley's device being but one example.  And, really, just how in the hell does Wong figure that a graviton-based distortion field is going to transfer all the impact energy back to the emitter?  He can whine about the apple tale all he likes, but localized spatial distortions are quite outside our simple experience with gravity. 

He tries to defend his claim with the following: "This is demonstrated in "Naked Now"[TNG], when Wesley's desktop tractor emitter was turned into a shield which easily repulsed the hefty assistant engineer . . . the emitter did not get knocked off the table when the guy hit the shield. Other graviton applications, such as tractor beams, do not result in such effects . . . note how Wesley was able to pick up a large chair with his desktop model effortlessly in the same episode.

Now, I don't know about you, but the fact that scrawny little Wes could hold the thing and pick up a chair pretty much settles the issue.  But, of course, Wong disagrees: 

It is a hallmark of the unscientific mind that when faced with an interesting scenario, he invariably picks the most outlandish explanation. 

And he's right . . . as proof, just take a look at what he says: 

In this case, he sees a desktop emitter which can lift a chair or knock a man on his butt, and decides that it must be violating the laws of physics! Does it ever occur to him that perhaps it is simply well-anchored to the table, perhaps via magnetic attraction or the same forcefields he touts so highly?

That's right, boys and girls.  Mike Wong's outlandish explanation is that, when picking up the big comfy chair, the emitter had anchored itself firmly to Wesley's hand (which evidently became a table), and he simply used his scrawny ass's superhuman strength to pick it up a few feet with one arm, without even moving said arm appreciably.   Uh-huh.  I guess this also explains why his later drunken arm movements in Sickbay didn't make the little medical instrument go flying around the room . . . instead, it was locked in place by his tractor beam, which altered its direction of emission even though the emitter was flopping all about.

If Wong were not so ignorant of the Trek canon, he might've noticed that his objection was retarded.  Wesley's emitter did not have magical magnets attaching it to the console or his arm, nor were there forcefields holding it in place, nor do we see any indication of such Wongian wankings.  

It simply didn't transfer the forces in the way Wong desperately wants to believe it should've.  So sad, too bad.


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