Adama: "Context matters."I can't believe I haven't quoted BSG yet. Sooooo much quotable dialogue. Still, that's all right. Means I can start with a doozy.
Tigh: "Context? That woman shot an officer right in front of the crew."
Adama: "We shot down an entire civilian transport, with over a thousand people on board. Says so right there."
Tigh: "That was completely different. And we don't know there were people on that ship."
Adama: "Which is why I hope the Admiral reads the complete log... and understands the context."
-- Battlestar Galactica, "Pegasus"
A little over two weeks ago, after I came back from my holiday break, I wrote a little fluff piece I called "Didn't want that space anyway". If you don't remember it, I don't blame you. I didn't consider it a particularly important piece at the time... just something to get me back into the groove. But go over and read it. I'll wait.
The point to the piece was that we hadn't had a really good alliance versus alliance slug-fest in 2011... all of the space that was lost in 2011 was more attributable to the loser than the victor. I pointed out that I wouldn't be using the word "stagnant" to describe EVE's sov politics any more, lamented the fact that there were no hungry new names on the map in 2011, and hoped that there would be a major war with two relatively equal sides in 2012, and that was that. But at a couple of points in the post, I used the word "rot" to describe the major reason why campaigns were lost in 2011. I wrote a post whose point wasn't about why sov space alliances failed, and used the short-hand word "rot" to bemoan the fact that there hasn't been a really good war between equals in New Eden in some time.
As of today, I've written 544 posts on this blog. Know how many of them involve deep analysis on why 0.0 sov space alliances failed? Zero. Know why that is? Because writing deep analysis on why 0.0 sov space alliances fail isn't my deal. There are other people who are far better at it than I am, notably The Mittani and Mord Fiddle.
Well, for some reason last night, Mord decided to use me as an example of a blogger that was somehow failing for not doing that. First, he quoted two lines from my blog post above without even the courtesy of linking to the post that contained them, then he said this:
"Rot" has become a convenient shorthand used when we wish to forgo deeper analysis, or lack the inputs or insight needed to do deeper analysis. It has become a one-size-fits-all diagnosis that is, more often than not, ignorance or indolence masquerading as insight. Next time someone tries to palm it off as obvious unvarnished truth, politely ask them to define their terms and defend their argument.Now don't get me wrong. If I had a dime for every time someone called me ignorant, I'd have many many dimes.(1) I don't get angry about it, and I don't take offense. Still, this time strikes me as a special case. If I use a word like "rot", it's because it's convenient short-hand pointing to a context that most of us understand. Mord equates using this word to the condescending term "vapours", which Victorian men used to describe women who weren't felling well for reasons they didn't much care about.
Context matters. And taking my post out of context in this way is just silly.
In my post, I bemoaned the fact that there were no "Great Wars" in 2011. In his post, Mord seems to try to make the case that the loss of space by IT Alliance and by Against All Authorities last year qualifies. Now that -- to my mind -- is ridiculous. Again, you're not going to see any deep analysis from me on why 0.0 sov space alliances failed. But in my opinion, neither of those were Great Wars with grand strategies driving the actions of IT and -A-. Great Skedaddles, perhaps.
Is that ignorance? Judge for yourself. That's why context matters.
(1) Given my output, I can only assume that he wasn't calling me indolent. ;-)