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Thread: Short Story - The Teacher

  1. #31

    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    Whatever your job, someone would do it better than you and would have seen your mistakes a mile away. Does that make an idiot of you?
    It's a matter of perspective but yes. If you were any good at your job, you'd be the one doing better and seeing the mistakes a mile away of lesser skilled people. Besides, it is a rare and enlightened soul who does NOT out/reveal themselves to be such an idiot even when they knew without a doubt what they did was stupid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    Saying Loew is a civilian is arguable. She had worked with Dominion soldiers for the last few weeks and she was the leader of a top Dominion military project. All right, she would have been to valuable to be ever put in a battle zone if that was real life. But you make it sound worse than it is: they didn't take a random scientist and put the command card in her hands without any evaluation. Loew created the thing herself, tried everything she could to get the Dominion's attention, and looked quite cooperative even as Garr informed her they might be fighting humans (the text explicitly said that she didn't show any of her resent).
    I would agree with you if any of the above was different, but a loyal Dominion scientist that simply didn't expect her Zerg to be used against Terran would have behaved in pretty much the same way.
    Eh, I've forgotten the specifics but it seemed to me that her work wasn't really for the Dominion until Garr came along and conscripted her. A scientist for the Dominion is still a scientist at the end of the day.

    As to her being a loyal Dominion scientist, well, utter loyalty breeds stupidity, so what does that say about assumed loyalty then? Loew was never loyal to the Dominion, only to her research and her own morality. For Garr to come in and assume she would nonchalantly help in the killing of colonists is ludicrous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    That he would have killed people no matter what is speculation. So is the fact that he wouldn't, but his command did not imply an order to slaughter for the sake of it, and he was not making promises at this point, he was giving orders for immediate actions. We can't know if he would have changed his mind afterwards, but as far as I can see, I have no particular reason to believe it.
    I fail to see how your hair-split is any more relevant than mine since this is cherry-picking to suit your argument. You take it as a tacit fact that when Garr says (paraphrasingly) "take the factory. harm any who stop us" that he does not actually intend any harm when that is speculative as well. Indeed, as it turns out, it is not speculation that Garr would not harm innocents because why else would Loew feel compelled to actually turn against him in such vicious and murderous way before Garr actually did any killing?
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  2. #32
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    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    It's a matter of perspective but yes. If you were any good at your job, you'd be the one doing better and seeing the mistakes a mile away of lesser skilled people. Besides, it is a rare and enlightened soul who does NOT out/reveal themselves to be such an idiot even when they knew without a doubt what they did was stupid.
    I completely disagree with that. You are basically saying that there are two sorts of people in the world, supremely competent experts and idiots, with nothing in between. It doesn't work like that: people always make mistakes, no matter how smart they are, and there is no such thing as a person perfectly competent at all times. I've told the same to people arguing that Fenix and Raynor were utterly dumb to have trusted Kerrigan in Brood War: no they weren't, they had reasons to act like that and simply made the wrong choices.

    Eh, I've forgotten the specifics but it seemed to me that her work wasn't really for the Dominion until Garr came along and conscripted her. A scientist for the Dominion is still a scientist at the end of the day.

    As to her being a loyal Dominion scientist, well, utter loyalty breeds stupidity, so what does that say about assumed loyalty then? Loew was never loyal to the Dominion, only to her research and her own morality. For Garr to come in and assume she would nonchalantly help in the killing of colonists is ludicrous.
    Not any more ludicruous that assuming a spy is giving you accurate information. It is assuming that the other person is trustworthy enough to do his job, and people have always been fooled like that.
    If Garr had put a soldier to command the Zerg and Kerrigan had killed them all, I suspect you would also have argued that he was utterly stupid, on the ground that he should have given it to someone who could understand all the data and see the Zerg were about to rebel.

    I fail to see how your hair-split is any more relevant than mine since this is cherry-picking to suit your argument. You take it as a tacit fact that when Garr says (paraphrasingly) "take the factory. harm any who stop us" that he does not actually intend any harm when that is speculative as well. Indeed, as it turns out, it is not speculation that Garr would not harm innocents because why else would Loew feel compelled to actually turn against him in such vicious and murderous way before Garr actually did any killing?
    There are two things here.
    First, what I'm saying is that he was willing to kill as many people as necessary to take the facility, and didn't care for collateral damage. While undisputably "bad", this is very different from slaughtering everyone for no good reason.
    Second, Loew did not want her Zerg to be used against Terran at all, she says so multiple times in the story. She would have done the same if the refinery had been held by a military force. Yes, this is a very brutal and murderous way to terminate the project, especially since she couldn't hope to survive for long after that betrayal. That's the sort of craziness you only do when you have very strong ideals, and since it is explicitely written that she didn't show how much this was unacceptable to her, I believe that even intelligent people may not see it coming.
    Last edited by Telenil; 02-28-2013 at 01:42 PM.

  3. #33

    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    You are basically saying that there are two sorts of people in the world, supremely competent experts and idiots, with nothing in between. It doesn't work like that: people always make mistakes, no matter how smart they are, and there is no such thing as a person perfectly competent at all times. I've told the same to people arguing that Fenix and Raynor were utterly dumb to have trusted Kerrigan in Brood War: no they weren't, they had reasons to act like that and simply made the wrong choices.
    I was basically trying to get across that it's a matter of degrees and perspective with the information at hand. As for the betrayal thing in BW, it's not so much that they went along with Kerrigan that was stupid but rather that Mengsk is stupid because he is actually surprised when Kerrigan finally betrays them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    If Garr had put a soldier to command the Zerg and Kerrigan had killed them all, I suspect you would also have argued that he was utterly stupid, on the ground that he should have given it to someone who could understand all the data and see the Zerg were about to rebel.
    No. That would mean I'd be shifting the goalposts. Garr's stupidity lies solely in his dealings with Loew, a thing that was easily in his vision (narrow as it is) and within his control if he had any forethought, not in accounting for a "tomato surprise" that was Kerrigan's usurping of Zerg control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    First, what I'm saying is that he was willing to kill as many people as necessary to take the facility, and didn't care for collateral damage. While undisputably "bad", this is very different from slaughtering everyone for no good reason.
    A hair-split at the end of the day. In either case, full intention of killing people (whether it be one or more or whether or not it is stopped in time or enacted) is exactly what is expressed here and that's what I'm saying. There was no way you can defend Garr as being innocent of such intent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    Second, Loew did not want her Zerg to be used against Terran at all, she says so multiple times in the story. She would have done the same if the refinery had been held by a military force... That's the sort of craziness you only do when you have very strong ideals, and since it is explicitely written that she didn't show how much this was unacceptable to her, I believe that even intelligent people may not see it coming.
    This just reinforces what I've been trying to say before. Loew is an "unknown quantity" to Garr (which I loosely defined previously when describing Loew as a "civilian" with regards to Garr's militaristic stance) when they first meet and a potentially dangerous one at that given her control over monsters. This is often enough for any self-respecting leader to remove straight away if they wanted to reduce risks because there is just about an equal chance for an 'unknown quantity' to go either batshit crazy or stay pliable/loyal when their buttons are pushed. If not this, more visible and overt methods of control would've been in place to prevent potential "batshit craziness" from happening later, not just idle threats of "I'm in charge here now but keep on doing what you're doing whatever it may be" or "the Dominion is going to take full control of your work, but just not right now...".
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  4. #34
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    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Mengsk is stupid because he is actually surprised when Kerrigan finally betrays them.
    Arguable. While his lines in True Colors imply that, he explicitly states that he considers Kerrigan to be completely untrustworthy in a previous briefing. Of the three heroes, he is the one who expresses his doubts most openly, and when he does, it is Raynor who tells him to shut up.
    No. That would mean I'd be shifting the goalposts. Garr's stupidity lies solely in his dealings with Loew, a thing that was easily in his vision (narrow as it is) and within his control if he had any forethought, not in accounting for a "tomato surprise" that was Kerrigan's usurping of Zerg control.
    I fail to see how one is more of a "tomato surprise" than the other. Your first concern when leading bloodthirsty monsters to battle should be that they might turn against you - not necessarily because Kerrigan would usurp control, but because of an equipment failure, interference, or any unexpected factor that might come in a real-life environment. This is a much more realistic contingency than that the leader of the project with full accreditation could go rogue.
    A hair-split at the end of the day. In either case, full intention of killing people (whether it be one or more or whether or not it is stopped in time or enacted) is exactly what is expressed here and that's what I'm saying. There was no way you can defend Garr as being innocent of such intent.
    That "hair-split" is the difference between collateral damage and a war crime. That's a major point when the morality of a military assault is discussed.

    This just reinforces what I've been trying to say before. Loew is an "unknown quantity" to Garr (which I loosely defined previously when describing Loew as a "civilian" with regards to Garr's militaristic stance) when they first meet and a potentially dangerous one at that given her control over monsters. This is often enough for any self-respecting leader to remove straight away if they wanted to reduce risks because there is just about an equal chance for an 'unknown quantity' to go either batshit crazy or stay pliable/loyal when their buttons are pushed. If not this, more visible and overt methods of control would've been in place to prevent potential "batshit craziness" from happening later, not just idle threats of "I'm in charge here now but keep on doing what you're doing whatever it may be" or "the Dominion is going to take full control of your work, but just not right now...".
    There is not "equal chance" to go batshit crazy or stay loyal. Very few people would do the equivalent of a suicide bombing because they are concerned with the way their creations was used by the military force they willingly gave them to.
    Loew's records notwithstanding, this was also the first time the Tamed were ever used in a real battle. For anyone realistically concerned with security, the real risk was that the Zerg might break loose, not that Loew would go crazy before the first test even ended. It would have been entirely different if she had given them serious reason to doubt of her loyalty, but she didn't.

    We're more or less repeating the same thing at this point, though. I'm not sure it's worth going on for long.

  5. #35

    Default Re: Short Story - The Teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    While his lines in True Colors imply that, he explicitly states that he considers Kerrigan to be completely untrustworthy in a previous briefing. Of the three heroes, he is the one who expresses his doubts most openly, and when he does, it is Raynor who tells him to shut up.
    Yes, but in the end, Mengsk's final display in True Colours is what truly counts and remembered for all posterity (much like how Mengsk is telegraphed as a villain forever more by the end of Rebel Yell).

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    I fail to see how one is more of a "tomato surprise" than the other. Your first concern when leading bloodthirsty monsters to battle should be that they might turn against you - not necessarily because Kerrigan would usurp control, but because of an equipment failure, interference, or any unexpected factor that might come in a real-life environment. This is a much more realistic contingency than that the leader of the project with full accreditation could go rogue.
    I'll concede this but generally, in sci-fi settings, the "technology" is always given more faith and more sound/reliable than the people who develop them. There is evidence (albeit revealed as fake in the end, but that's something else) for the tech to work making it more accountable, whereas with people, you can never be too sure especially when you've just known them a short while.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    That "hair-split" is the difference between collateral damage and a war crime. That's a major point when the morality of a military assault is discussed.
    Garr is nowhere near intimating unnecessary collateral damage when he issues the command of "attack" on defenceless colonists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    There is not "equal chance" to go batshit crazy or stay loyal.
    You misunderstand my intentions with that statement - it was more to highlight the 'loose end' nature that Loew represents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    It would have been entirely different if she had given them serious reason to doubt of her loyalty, but she didn't.
    This needn't be necessary for Garr to be suspicious. His stupidity also comes from his insensitivity and blindness to the possible consequences of his evermore oppressive handling of Loew and her not even offering anything in the way if resistance each time he pushes. It's like Garr was thinking, "Gee, Loew's a real pushover. I can force her to do ever more unconscionable things and she doesn't seem to bat an eyelid. I wonder why? It can't be anything to do with her ultimate control of ravening monsters, surely. She'd never turn them on me in an instant because she's been so loyal so far!"

    He was essentially baiting and aggravating a sleeping dog only to realise too late that the dog can wake, can turn the table on you quickly and can bite back very hard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telenil View Post
    We're more or less repeating the same thing at this point, though. I'm not sure it's worth going on for long.
    Yeah, I'm getting tired of it, too. Let's just agree to disagree.
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