"Calculations are only a more thought-out method of quantification. Actually, without calculations there would be no way to quantify anything. We know that dodging a bullet is an impressive feat because Pipboy and his brother made calcs for it before. Before that discussions were completely opinionated about speed. In a way they were even ahead of their time. They used concepts like "reaction speed" and "combat speed" which only got popular in the OBD by 2011 (IIRC, thanks to me). Anyways, like I said calculations are nothing more than a detailed analysis of a feat. I do agree that there's an extend where we would be going overboard. That's why we have unwritten rules against calc stacking and such. But you should also realize that 90% of the calcs are nothing but grade school math. They boil down to time/distance calculations, volume calculations or simple cases where you calculate KE or multiply one number with another. They are about as straightforward as it gets. And I would also like to note that the author's opinion means little if anything. If you actually get down to it, you'd realize that the majority of the authors know jackshit about the power of their creations. They simply don't care, all they do is to make these characters perform cool stuff. With the exception of maybe a very few Hard SF writter I don't think any authors stop to analyze what the characters and technologies they made are truly capable of. So with this it's natural that the power of fictional characters is inconsistent. And no, using statistical mean is a bad idea. This is fiction, an imitation of reality. Not reality itself. There's no "truth" for a character's power. There's only various viewpoints. And over the years the one viewpoint which dominates VS debates is the "positive feedback" style. This basically means to take the character's most impressive feats and take these as the said character's "true" level of ability. Why? In short it's because the others lead to much hypocrisy and potential abuses. Yeah, much more than this "positive feedback" style. That's roughly the gist of it."
" Unfortunately, too often people put a set of "rules" over the laws of physics in a fiction. It is fair enough to say that there is a common trope which means physics law X doesn't exist in that universe, but you have to be able to show examples within that universe. You can't just say "there's a rule against it, so it doesn't apply".
The one thing I would disagree about in this blog post is that calculations make the debate less fun. It seems to me that seems a lot of the debates about feats in the pre-calc era basically consisted of pages and pages of a more sophisticated version of "no it isn't, yes it is". This still happens, in fact, for certain feats before anyone can be bothered to calc it. That isn't interesting. Calculations (in the comments to the calcs themselves) often turn out to be a rich discussion of the feat from all possible perspectives, much more interesting. When it comes to the thread themselves, yes it means they are resolved more easily by "stats". But what that means is you can have much more threads, giving you a bigger range of fictions to look at, and hopefully the more interesting ones will be the ones that stick.
I would like to say though, this I much more to the point of what we do and what people want to know than wong's lecture on SDN, which was what people previously were linked all the time here in relation to complaints about calcs and whatnot. Especially as the said post details the use of the argument that almost everyone in the fiction is an idiot, which is not used here and no-one has tried to introduce it."