The Manhattan Effect aka Why we use FEATS

Now, this whole idea popped into my head after reading some of the Battle Forum arguments over Dr. Manhattan, so to get this out of the way right now:  I am not picking on nor making fun of Dr. Manhattan.  I call it the Manhattan Effect, because this is the most recent example in my mind, and it sounded like a catchy title.  So, basically, I am going to rehash and repost something I posted earlier, and expand upon some the ideas in the hopes of opening some eyes, and maybe squashing some future problems before they start.

What is the Manhattan Effect? In short:  When someone is arguing a case for their character to win, and they begin to expand upon and theorize about the characters abilities, usually to levels far beyond what has been shown in their comic appearances, and begin to use the theories and expanded abilities in battle threads as a basis for said character to win.   

Or, for an even simpler explanation:  It is using a lot of "ifs" and "buts" with no real "feats" to back up their argument.

Let's take me for example.  In a battle thread between a comic book character and myself, I would probably have a poor showing.  But, let's say one day I make a lucky guess about what someone was going to do or say.  Now, you don't know if I can read minds (I am fairly certain I can't), but in the battle thread, you take that bit of information and run with it:
  
"What if Wyldsong has telepathy or can read minds? Just because he hasn't done it before doesn't mean he can't do it.  He may not have the feats to back it up, "but" what "if" he really can? It's possible, I mean, he did state what so and so was going to say before they said it."

And we see where this train of thought starts run it's course to, and eventually I end up beating Galactus in some battle thread in the future...
 
You see, good arguments aren't won with "if".  You need facts to back up your case, and of course the feats or the characters showings in the comics are what we have to go on, in other words, those are our facts.  This is what justifies losses and wins in these theoretical debates, because if not, then the "ifs" go on forever:
 
"Well just because you haven't seen Mr. Y do so and so, doesn't mean he can't." 
"Well just because Mr. Y might be able to do so and so, then Mr. Z might be able to do so and so, disabling Mr. Ys so and so." 
"But just because you haven't seen Mr. Y do so and so, and Mr. Z might be able to do so and so, doesn't mean Mr. Y couldn't do so and so, beating Mr. Z." 
Etc., etc., so forth and so on. 
 
This is why people work hardcore with feats, because those are the actual benchmarks, it is your proof for your argument.  Regardless of whether or not the character was in 2 or 200 issues, those issues are what we have to work with.  It might not be fair for those characters that haven't been in a lot of issues, but that is a problem you need to take up with the publishers and writers, because its not a factor that should excuse the use of "ifs" and "buts".  Like any good scientist, you need proof to prove your theories.   
  
The proof doesn't lie in "ifs" and "buts".

32 Comments
32 Comments
Posted by Decoy Elite

Very well written and a good explanation as to just why feats should be used. My only qwam is that I'm not sure it this goes here(I think it goes in the Off-Topic section) but besides that well done.

Posted by Morpheus_
@Wyldsong: Good post.
Moderator
Posted by Pr_Beyonder
@Decoy Elite said:
"Very well written and a good explanation as to just why feats should be used. My only qwam is that I'm not sure it this goes here(I think it goes in the Off-Topic section) but besides that well done. "

you beat me to it :) 
 
You actually got what I was going to post....word for word :D
Posted by Wyldsong

Thanks all.  Hopefully it does the job and gets the point across.  
 
As for posting it here versus Off Topic, I was torn a bit on that one.  I went Battle Forums in the end, because it is Battle Forum related, and I wanted Battle Forum lurkers to actually see it.  If the mods decide to move it, then it really is out of my hands I guess, but I just wanted to give a heads up on why I threw it into the Battle Forums first.
Posted by Silver2467

Well said. Were I you, I would bring this the attention of one of the mods to either have it moved or pinned, as this describes how battle threads should be debated. Even if they move it, they will still appreciate the post.  
 
Again, very well done. 

Posted by spidey 15
@Wyldsong: Very well written, good job. 
=D
Posted by beatboks1
@Silver2467 said:
" Well said. Were I you, I would bring this the attention of one of the mods to either have it moved or pinned, as this describes how battle threads should be debated. Even if they move it, they will still appreciate the post.   Again, very well done.  "
agreed
Posted by Thor's hammmer
@Wyldsong: 
 
this should be a required read before posting in the battle forum.
Posted by RiseofApocalypse

You mean the Superman Prime One Million effect.

Posted by Thor's hammmer
@RiseofApocalypse: 
 
thats more based off statemeants in comics  
 
manhattan is based off of nothing
Posted by JediXMan

This should be pinned to the top of the Battle board.

Posted by Silver2467
@JediXMan said:
" This should be pinned to the top of the Battle board. "
I agree. 
Posted by OblivionKnight
@Thor's hammmer said:
"@RiseofApocalypse:  thats more based off statemeants in comics   manhattan is based off of nothing "

Very much so. 
 
This is a very nicely thought out post. I believe the mods will pin this up as this thread is a very essential read to many people. Very nicely done, sir.
Posted by JediXMan
@Silver2467 said:
" @JediXMan said:
" This should be pinned to the top of the Battle board. "
I agree.  "
We should contact the mods. Petition that this be pinned.
Posted by Silver2467
@JediXMan said:
" @Silver2467 said:
" @JediXMan said:
" This should be pinned to the top of the Battle board. "
I agree.  "
We should contact the mods. Petition that this be pinned. "
Good idea. I did recommend that Wyldsong bring this to the mod's attention, but he is not online at the moment. Either you or I should pm a mod and request that it be pinned. If they agree that it is important for the sake of debating (and I believe they will), then it will most likely be pinned. 
Posted by Wyldsong

Wow, thanks everyone! This has gotten a better response than I thought.  I appreciate it, I really do.   
 
I petitioned a mod that was online as recommended, not sure if anyone else did, but I guess we will see what happens.  Thanks again all!
Posted by The_Martian

Nice thread Wyldsong.  I agree personally with most of it, but I'm not going to pin. I don't feel we need another pinned thread explain how to debate. This is also just opinion based because I can just as well tell you that not all feats are fact.

Posted by Wyldsong
@Nobody said:
"Nice thread Wyldsong.  I agree personally with most of it, but I'm not going to pin. I don't feel we need another pinned thread explain how to debate. This is also just opinion based because I can just as well tell you that not all feats are fact. "

I respect your decision and opinion, but I do have to say that while not all feats are fact, they are the benchmark by which characters are judged and rated.  PIS and CIS obviously have their effects on things feat wise, making a lot of feats not fact in peoples eyes, but still, feats are the closest things we have to facts to use in the forums.   
 
Those battle forums are often plagued by people using "the Manhattan Effect" as it were, and of course my main objective was to get that thought into the open, and into the light.  Sometimes aiming a spotlight at the fault can help correct that fault, once it is illuminated and bared for all to see.  Definitely won't work with 100% of the forum lurkers, but at least a few people who replied here seemed to think it might help. 
 
One of the things preached in the battle forum stickies is researching your argument and such, and today I just really opened my eyes and noticed the amount of people not arguing with research, feats and such, but just the ideas starting with "but" and "if". 
 
Alright, getting off of my soap box now, just wanted you to know where I was coming from with all of this, but like I said, I do respect your position on this.
Posted by Wyldsong

Bumping "for great justice"

Posted by ComicMan24
@Wyldsong:  Very good post.
Posted by karrob
@Morpheus_ said:
" @Wyldsong: Good post. "
Posted by Death Certificate

     

Non-comic fans should read this post.


 

Edited by Wyldsong

Thanks again everyone.  I wasn't able to get the sticky/pinning, but hopefully people will still see it and read it!

Edited by Wyldsong

@Death Certificate:  Chuck Norris Approved, that rocks!

Posted by difficlus
@Wyldsong: you make an excellent point. I wonder if it will in the minds of Dr Manhattan fanboys but its worth the effort.  
 
Good job!
Posted by Wyldsong

Bumping "for great justice"    
Posted by difficlus

Bump!

Posted by Wyldsong
@difficlus: Bumps are always appreciated my friend=)
Posted by difficlus
@Wyldsong said:
" @difficlus: Bumps are always appreciated my friend=) "
:P
Posted by Wyldsong

Haven't bumped this in awhile, but I'm feeling nostalgic=)

Posted by hart7668

Good article.

Posted by SC

Okay I kind of see what your going for I think, but to add some of my own thoughts, there is a difference between theories and hypotheses. A good scientist doesn't try to prove theories, a scientific theory is the end game, only years and years of anti evolution sentiment has tried to sell the idea that "its only a theory and needs to be proven" is a credible statement. Fiction and real life work very different, can't really have facts and proof inside of fiction, you can have examples which demonstrate consistency, are intended to be considered as truth within the narrative or examples/demonstrations have extra merit or validity than other examples, but its very subjective. In this sense absence of proof not being proof of absence applies heavily just like it does in logic however just like logic its not a good reason to assert positive claims. In other words people playing the what if and maybe game can actually be very valid and reasonable - sometime even more reasonable and sound than using "feats" but not in a way which can allow them to assert certain outcomes exclusively because the same rule applies to all characters.

Its only weak point is that its not exclusive to one character, one can speculate and provide reasoning without proof or facts (incidentally things you can't get in comics anyway) but since this is available to all characters the strength of the argument will depend on the reasoning and basically relative levels of evidence. Good thread all the same.

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