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Author Topic: New Talossan History Project  (Read 1448 times)

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: New Talossan History Project
« Reply #45 on: September 18, 2020, 05:20:14 PM »
Ian, I hope you or someone else will contribute. Currently it was written 100% by GV and Miestra and it is reflective of that fact. Not that there's anything wrong with their perspective, but it does rather leap out that it's very distinctly one viewpoint and a third of it is literally direct quotes from them.
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
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Offline Dr. Txec Róibeard dal Nordselvă, Esq., O.SPM, SMM

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Re: New Talossan History Project
« Reply #46 on: September 18, 2020, 05:55:27 PM »
Nearly all biographies have bias in them. Let's not lose sight of that. Also, let's not lose sight of the fact that you didn't want to contribute yourself. We don't need to rehash the whys and wherefores of why you aren't contributing but I don't think you can complain about it being "one-sided" while quite literally taking yourself out of it.
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Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: New Talossan History Project
« Reply #47 on: September 18, 2020, 07:26:56 PM »
Nearly all biographies have bias in them. Let's not lose sight of that. Also, let's not lose sight of the fact that you didn't want to contribute yourself. We don't need to rehash the whys and wherefores of why you aren't contributing but I don't think you can complain about it being "one-sided" while quite literally taking yourself out of it.
Of course all histories have a bias, but credible histories actively work at minimizing it (unless they're just blatant propaganda, which I don't think is the intention here).  I wouldn't have commented except that one of the authors is the Seneschal and she just said she wanted to make this mandatory reading for all new immigrants.  Certainly an official and mandatory state-sponsored history should try to be unbiased.

You guys have a pretty distinct vision, but making this thing the official version of events is beyond the pale right now.  It's a narrative, not really a history.  Here's one paragraph as example:

Quote
In late 2002, Cavéir and Gariçéir teamed up to form the Grey Congress Party, beating out Ben's announcement of his revival of the old Black Hand Party with Wes Aquilâ by about two days.[30] Ben's pocket-votes would go with him, and he would become the most powerful political force in the country. Gödafrïeu Valcádac'h suddenly found himself at the head of a three-way coalition. A full accounting - from GV's perspective, at least - of the years 2002-2004 in Talossa is found in his book A Nation Sundered, now in its third edition, having been republished in 2019. He gives a very quick summation of events in his own words below.

Quote
To be succinct, the whole thing was the biggest clusterf**k in Talossan history, but can be summarized thusly:

In October 2003, I had been PM since 25 June 2002 and wanted to step down. I had been incommunicado for a week (my fault on that), and it was clear to me having Chirisch Cavéir as my Deputy Prime Minister, ready to take over when I was done as PM, was the perfect way to leave office.

What I was unaware of was when Chirisch and Queen Amadâ met at TalossaFest held a few months earlier, they haaaaaated each other. There was no way in hell Ben and Amadâ were going to be happy with Cavéir as Seneschál, and they did not accept my selection of him.[31]

This was written by GV.  The first citation is this: "G. Valcádac'h, personal recollection."  The second reference isn't a citation at all; it's a quote from Chirisch Cavéir explicitly disagreeing with the quote presented in the main narrative.  There are no other references to support the account.  No one else is quoted in the main narrative of these events, and no other perspective is even hinted-at.

In other words, this is GV's personal narrative, not a history.  I'm not going to nitpick, but it's very clearly written from his perspective and centered on him.  And there's nothing wrong with that -- we need those! -- but we shouldn't pretend it's some kind of objective history at this point.  A large portion of an entire year of history is presented just in summary by GV in the first person.  GV himself said that there should be other perspectives.

Even if we wanted to make the personal narratives of GV and Miestra -- the only contributors -- into the official state history, surely this isn't ready for primetime.  The heavy reliance on their memories is a widespread problem.  The references seem to be almost exclusively bits of Robert I's history right up until footnote 20 -- literally the very moment in the history when Miestra enters the picture -- and then literally 87% of the references are either GV's memory, Miestra's memory, or their side commentary.  And it just plain needs more work!  The first Wittenberg was created in 1996 or 1997, it says, grabbing another bit at random.  Which is it?  Where is the reference to support this assertion, or is it just someone's best memory?  Impossible to say.

There's nothing wrong with this narrative.  It's fine for what it is.  But the Seneschal is pitching it as mandatory state history for new immigrants, so please take it seriously.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2020, 07:30:32 PM by Sir Alexandreu Davinescu »
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: New Talossan History Project
« Reply #48 on: September 19, 2020, 01:33:56 AM »
You guys have a pretty distinct vision, but making this thing the official version of events is beyond the pale right now.

Everything you say is precisely right in principle (and it seems that the ongoing proposal to make this Required Reading has done its job in concentrating minds). And you know what? You could fix it yourself if you swallowed your pride and became a member of the NTHP. You're welcome to do so.

The current text is not perfect, and should be improved; but it's IMHO good enough to start with. It gives an overview - a partial one, granted - of Talossan history with some context. It's certainly far less tendentious and better sourced than Ár Päts, which I needed to pass an openbook text on in 1997. It will get better, the more input it receives. But I will suggest to the Minister of the Interior that - combined with the TalossaWiki "History" page - it is now good enough to tell prospectives to read.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 03:30:43 AM by Miestră Schivă, UrN »

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Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: New Talossan History Project
« Reply #49 on: September 19, 2020, 08:50:33 AM »
Everything you say is precisely right in principle (and it seems that the ongoing proposal to make this Required Reading has done its job in concentrating minds). And you know what? You could fix it yourself if you swallowed your pride and became a member of the NTHP. You're welcome to do so.

When you announced the idea, I was enthusiastic and immediately contributed an initial large chunk of my own history.  You accused me of trying to seize control.  I'm not really sure about how exactly a coup of the project would work in practice, but that doesn't matter.  The point is that it's very obvious that any attempt at collaboration would end badly.  I'm sure you don't mean any harm, but I can't work with someone who is going to assume bad faith.

I wish you the best of luck.  I will continue with my own work.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 08:54:33 AM by Sir Alexandreu Davinescu »
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein

Offline Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial

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Re: New Talossan History Project
« Reply #50 on: September 19, 2020, 09:03:20 AM »
But... we'll just end up with two differently biased histories that way. What's the point of that?

(EDIT: As a tangent, I'd love to contribute if I had anything to contribute. I've only been here since 2014 and never paid much attention to the political side of things.)
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Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: New Talossan History Project
« Reply #51 on: September 19, 2020, 09:59:07 AM »
But... we'll just end up with two differently biased histories that way. What's the point of that?

(EDIT: As a tangent, I'd love to contribute if I had anything to contribute. I've only been here since 2014 and never paid much attention to the political side of things.)
I intend to work hard to have the least biased history possible, and I will use multiple sources, quote from different perspectives on contentious issues, and find objective references for as much as possible. If you look at the talk page on the wiki page for this project, you can see the first third of what I had done at the time. That's about the level of quality I aim for with my history. It will be imperfect, as all histories are, but I think it will be an actually really useful good guide for what has happened in our country.

I wrote the history timeline that is currently on the wiki when I first started on the project and I am pretty proud of the quality there. That's my outline, with the end goal of fleshing out each event into a paragraph or two of solid and well-referenced prose.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 10:01:32 AM by Sir Alexandreu Davinescu »
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: New Talossan History Project
« Reply #52 on: September 19, 2020, 04:51:39 PM »
I intend to work hard to have the least biased history possible,

I encourage you to complete this work, the more Talossan literature the better - but given your previous literary achievements and other contributions to the discourse, I just can't see the above happening. I envisage a work which explains in great detail about how Sir Alexandreu Davinescù was Talossa's noblest son, who fought the long and losing fight against the malice, corruption, and sheer will to destroy Talossa of his bestial enemies. Ár Päts with a different central character, in other words.

At least with what we have already, GV and I disagree on historical interpretations.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 05:21:19 PM by Miestră Schivă, UrN »

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Talossa. Ask me anything.

"IS INACTIVITY BAD? I THINK NOT!" - Lord Hooligan
"It probably would be a bit helpful if you resigned and became inactive..." - Sir A. Davinescù