Friday, January 24, 2014

Flame Wars!

Somebody commented the other day asking if I watch Madoka subbed or dubbed, so I figured I might as well just jump into several flame wars simultaneously:
  • Star Trek, because it isn't single-handedly responsible for convincing Hollywood and a distressing number of watchers that there is only one way to tell a story.
  • Deep Space Nine, because it makes humans something other than the Mary Sue people from the Mary Sue planet, and adds in some moral complexity. (Except the last episode going all black-and-white good-vs-evil, what the hell guys?)
  • Subs, because most American voice actors doing anime aren't actually very good. Obvious exception for Disney translations of Miyazaki films and a few other standouts.
  • They have wings if and when they want to, because like all Maiar except Sauron, Morgoth, and the wizards, they're shapeshifters.
  • As there is no empirical experience within this universe that can distinguish between divine entities existing or not existing, the two alternatives are logically equivalent, and the question becomes purely normative.
  • It should be legal, period, no restrictions whatsoever.


  1. In my defense, I did say _morbid_ curiosity. Although I do agree on these points.

  2. Totally with you on the subs v dubs. I would very much prefer to watch a show where I can focus my eyes entirely on the content and not have to read everything, "original flavor" be damned, but so many of the English voice actors/actresses are so god-awful that only maybe one in six dubs is watchable. At least from what I've seen you usually end up with either an entire cast of awful or an entire cast of crap instead of one bad voice ruining everything.

    1. An entire cast of awful or an entire cast of good, is what I meant to say.

  3. The last point is ambiguous :-\

    Also...could you explain what normative means in this context?

    1. Indeed it is. =)

      In this context, I'm using it as it is used in postpositivism. A positive question is one that asks about the physical properties of material phenomena, and thus can (at least theoretically) be answered by means of empirical research. An example would be "How do bees fly?" or "How many bees are there?" A normative question is one that is not positive, such as "How many bees should there be?" In positivism, such questions are considered meaningless and unanswerable; in postpositivism, they are considered to have socially constructed meaning and be answerable, but the answer will change from person to person and community to community.

      Another way to put it is that a positive question has one right answer, and all other answers contradict observable physical phenomena or performable experiments. A normative question is one for which observable physical phenomena and performable experiments provide no answer, and such, no matter what you believe on the question, physical reality will never contradict you. They tend to be questions of preference (such as taste or morality), hence the name "normative," "having to do with norms," but not always. The question "Does X exist?" is positive as long as X is a physical phenomenon or behavior, but if it's an abstract social construct such as "Justice" then it becomes a normative question.


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