It is important to recognize that Daystrom Institute is a curated space. We have much stricter rules than typical internet discussion boards, designed to encourage deep-dive analysis and thoughtful discussion throughout our community.
Our rules, listed on the sidebar, give an overview of what Daystrom Institute contributors should and should not do. This post is designed as a slightly more detailed guide, for anyone entering our community from elsewhere and looking to join the discussion.
These rules are not arbitrary, but built up over ten years of trial and error at reddit.com/r/DaystromInstitute. That said, they can and will change over time, as the needs of different circumstances, communities, and platforms shift.
What kinds of comments can I make here?
In general, any comment which seeks to further civil discussion of Star Trek is appropriate. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Attempting to answer a question
- Proposing a counterargument to another user’s point
- Asking a relevant followup question
- Mentioning a relevant piece of evidence and connecting it to a previous point
What kinds of comments are not permitted here?
First off, rudeness in any form is unacceptable in Daystrom. We expect all commenters to be polite and diplomatic to each other under all circumstances. Among other things, this rules out insults, snarky behavior, and passive aggressive attempts to get the last word. If someone is being rude to other posters, do not “fight back”. Report them and move on; we will deal with the problem.
Additionally, there are many types of comments which are appropriate elsewhere on startrek.website and most other corners of the internet at large, but are not acceptable in Daystrom. They include:
- Dismissing the validity of someone else’s post or comment. This includes declaring a point invalid because it references shows which are non-canonical or which you simply don’t like. Alternately, declaring that “the writers didn’t think about it” or “Q did it” are so banal as to be worthless: if that’s all you have to say, don’t say anything.
- Note: this does not preclude discussing the show or answering questions from an out-of-universe perspective. Such comments are encouraged provided they are thoughtful and constructive, and not an excuse to devalue another poster’s contribution.
- Asserting something without explaining your reasoning. If it’s worth mentioning at all, it’s worth telling us why you believe it to be true.
- Sharing an opinion without further explanation. Your opinion is not interesting to other people, unless you can explain why you hold that opinion in a substantive way.
- Whinging: If you want to express a negative opinion about a show, a writer, a cast member, etc, that is permitted provided that (like any other content) it is substantive, constructive, and relevant. “Burnham sucks” is never appropriate, while a longwinded explanation of how Michael Burnham is an overpowered character is appropriate in a discussion about how the Michael Burnham character is written, but not appropriate in a discussion of (for example) how the Spore Drive works which happens to mention Michael Burnham.
- External links (such as to blogs or videos) without context. If it’s worth sharing, it’s worth explaining what it is and why it’s relevant.
- Memes, image macros, gifs, and other examples of visuals intended to deliver a joke.
- One-off jokes in any other form.
Wait, we can’t tell jokes here?
Injecting humor into a post or comment which would stand alone as an acceptable submission without the joke is acceptable: humor can be very effective for making a point. However, any submission which exists primarily to deliver a punchline is not appropriate.
But what if it’s really, really funny?
If these rules seem overly harsh to you, that’s okay. The other communities on startrek.website are much less stringent, intentionally, and we encourage you to go there for shitposting and more casual Trek discussion. That’s the benefit of specialized spaces: if this one doesn’t seem like a fit for you personally, one of the others should.