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Author Topic: Star Trek questions
scifibum
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Why did Geordi LaForge have such crappy artificial eyes? We'll have better ones than those within 50 years, I think.

Why is perfect virtual reality used for entertainment and not as a replacement for gathering on a bridge?

Why isn't there anything resembling a service robot so the ship's chief engineer doesn't have to crawl around in access tubes?

Why can the ships cross a solar system in minutes or hours without invoking warp speed, while photon torpedoes travel at a mere km/sec or so?

Given the frequency with which crewmembers get tossed out of them, why don't the chairs on the bridge have any restraints?

Why isn't the galaxy big enough for species to stay out of each other's way when they don't want to play nice?

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Elmer's Glue
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Same reason the communicators in the original series were so much worse than cell phones.

Because Star Trek is dumb?

Crawling in tubes if fun.

I dunno...

Seat belts are LAME.

Because all the good parts are taken up.

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The White Whale
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1. Geordi's eyepiece let him see MORE than normal eyes could. I thought it was something he chose, and got use to since he found out he could be somewhat superhuman.

2. Because when things go wrong (as they do often), it's probably better to be really there, and not rely on a hologram (which also goes awry quite often).

3. There is, but...it also went crazy didn't it? It developed sentience or something....

4. To cross a solar system without warp drive would take a long time. Usually they fly in to their exact position using warp drive, and then use impulse to get closer. Also, they use time cuts. Warp drives are big (and are hard to make (I wanted to say expensive but they don't have money) ), and photon torpedoes explode.

5. Dramatic effect

6. The same reason Hamlet doesn't kill his uncle in the first act.

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neo-dragon
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I can offer answers for most of these questions but I honestly can't tell if this is meant to be funny or you're looking for serious responses.
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Stephan
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I just like the prop goofs.

I watched a 4th season episode of DS9 last night. Kira and Dukat were clearly in the badlands. Outside the window behind her was regular old black space with stars, the shots outside the ship clearly showing them with all those baslands disturbances.

But its all in fun, really. These things don't bother me because it is science fiction. To be entertaining, it has to ignore the laws of physics on occasion.

http://www.poetv.com/video.php?vid=47404

Data being shot by an arrow in the above video is my favorite.

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romanylass
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The recent book trilogy "Destiny" amswers #2.
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romanylass
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The recent book trilogy "Destiny" answers #2.
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by neo-dragon:
I can offer answers for most of these questions but I honestly can't tell if this is meant to be funny or you're looking for serious responses.

I think ST is full of humorous anachronisms and failures of imagination. So I was more trying to be funny.

But if you think I'm wrong, I wouldn't mind reading your explanations.

(BTW: the crappiness of Laforge's eyes is the bulky eyepiece, not what he can see. Why couldn't they miniaturize the things? I realize the finally did in one of the later movies.)

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neo-dragon
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Okay then...

quote:
Why did Geordi LaForge have such crappy artificial eyes? We'll have better ones than those within 50 years, I think.
As others have said, Geordi's eyes aren't crappy, and I really don't think that we'll be able to match them in 50 years. As for bulkiness, as of "First Contact" he has implants.

quote:

Why is perfect virtual reality used for entertainment and not as a replacement for gathering on a bridge?

Not knowing the technical demands of such a system I wouldn't assume that it's a viable alternative to just being on the bridge. Also, what happens if the system goes offline for some reason in the middle of a battle? So even if they could do it, I really don't see hoe it's an improvement.

quote:

Why isn't there anything resembling a service robot so the ship's chief engineer doesn't have to crawl around in access tubes?

No answer for this one.

quote:

Why can the ships cross a solar system in minutes or hours without invoking warp speed, while photon torpedoes travel at a mere km/sec or so?
[quote]

where did you get that info about torpedo speed?

[quote]
Given the frequency with which crewmembers get tossed out of them, why don't the chairs on the bridge have any restraints?

A better question is, why do some stations not have seats at all?

quote:

Why isn't the galaxy big enough for species to stay out of each other's way when they don't want to play nice?

Why isn't the Earth?
To some extent the Federation and the Romulans try this. They each have their own space with a neutral zone in between, but I guess there's always going to be a desire to expand, and unease when there's a potential enemy doing who-knows-what out in the distance.

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by neo-dragon:
Okay then...

quote:
Why did Geordi LaForge have such crappy artificial eyes? We'll have better ones than those within 50 years, I think.
As others have said, Geordi's eyes aren't crappy, and I really don't think that we'll be able to match them in 50 years. As for bulkiness, as of "First Contact" he has implants.

quote:

Why is perfect virtual reality used for entertainment and not as a replacement for gathering on a bridge?

Not knowing the technical demands of such a system I wouldn't assume that it's a viable alternative to just being on the bridge. Also, what happens if the system goes offline for some reason in the middle of a battle? So even if they could do it, I really don't see hoe it's an improvement.

quote:

Why isn't there anything resembling a service robot so the ship's chief engineer doesn't have to crawl around in access tubes?

No answer for this one.

quote:

Why can the ships cross a solar system in minutes or hours without invoking warp speed, while photon torpedoes travel at a mere km/sec or so?
[quote]

where did you get that info about torpedo speed?

[quote]
Given the frequency with which crewmembers get tossed out of them, why don't the chairs on the bridge have any restraints?

A better question is, why do some stations not have seats at all?

quote:

Why isn't the galaxy big enough for species to stay out of each other's way when they don't want to play nice?

Why isn't the Earth?
To some extent the Federation and the Romulans try this. They each have their own space with a neutral zone in between, but I guess there's always going to be a desire to expand, and unease when there's a potential enemy doing who-knows-what out in the distance.

Eyes:

How/why did warp drive and synthesizing food out of pure energy come before miniaturizing some relatively simple electronics?

VR/Bridge:

The thing is, VR 1/10th as good as the holodeck would be perfectly fine for communicating with crew members and keeping up to speed on what's happening. If they can reliably run holodeck for a few minutes or hours at a time, they can ultra-reliably run some relatively simple VR for ship operations. The advantages are numerous: you can avoid putting all your officer eggs in one basket, you won't have ensigns walking in front of the captain when he's engaged in sensitive negotiations with hostile ships, and you don't have to wait while people travel to the bridge in a crisis. Let's face it, the Enterprise is basically a spacefaring WW2 ship. (Even had sonar pings there for a while.)

Torpedoes:

Watching them fly from ship to ship, with context for ship size and separation distance provided by footage from various other contexts. Ships aren't more than a couple hundred meters long, often fight each other separated by a mere few ship lengths, and torpedoes move between them at a speed that is easily tracked by the unaided eye.

Now, I'm not completely confident about impulse drive speeds. But I did get the impression that for in-system movements, warp is out and impulse is it, and travel times are never lengthy.

Seats:
You're right. The chair sitters are definitely safer than the console standers, even without seat belts. They must have good orthotics in any case.

Space:

Well it's easy to see the Earth has relatively limited real estate and a relatively low number of desirable locations for cities. But that was the weakest of my questions, I admit. Perhaps the galaxy has a limited number of spots that humanoid species want to occupy.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
If they can reliably run holodeck for a few minutes or hours at a time ...

Ummmm, wrong show?
The Star Trek I remember had the holodeck as the most likely piece of technology to go awry, short of the transporters and curiously most failures would take place (and be solved) within an hour [Wink]

quote:
Watching them fly from ship to ship, with context for ship size and separation distance provided by footage from various other contexts. Ships aren't more than a couple hundred meters long, often fight each other separated by a mere few ship lengths, and torpedoes move between them at a speed that is easily tracked by the unaided eye.
This isn't really a Star Trek thing. After all, all of Star Trek, BSG, Star Wars, and Babylon 5 often have starships battling it out on the same screen when there is obviously technology to avoid this.

In fact, I can only think of one particular exception that jumps out at me and that would be the Gorash 7 battle of Babylon 5 which goes out of its way to show that the forces are fighting at great distances.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-48ewmvPE6c
(Oddly enough I can only find it in German)

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neo-dragon
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quote:
Perhaps the galaxy has a limited number of spots that humanoid species want to occupy.
Most definitely. We wouldn't be sitting around still wondering if we're the only intelligent life in the universe if Earth-like planets were a dime a dozen. Although it doesn't come up much in Trek, for every "Type M" planet there must be a million uninhabitable dirt balls and gas giants.
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Teshi
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All answers: Dramatic Effect.

Honestly. Why do all the senior officers go on away missions? Why does practically every planet have some kind of strange interference in the atmosphere that prevents communication?

Most shows, let alone science fiction shows, rely on choices that do not reflect reality.

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rivka
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True. But ST is also notorious for incredible internal inconsistencies. Clearly because if they got rid of them, the die-hard fans would have to find something else to bitch about. And that could be catastrophic.
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MightyCow
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They only show us the interesting stories. There are countless boring encounters where they visit a planet and nothing's there, the holodeck doesn't try to kill anyone, and the teleporters work every time.

Nobody wants to watch those episodes.

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Nighthawk
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quote:
Why did Geordi LaForge have such crappy artificial eyes? We'll have better ones than those within 50 years, I think.
It was the closest thing that Jordi can do to become an actual Cylon.

quote:
Why is perfect virtual reality used for entertainment and not as a replacement for gathering on a bridge?
Have you seen the show? "Perfect virtual reality" is an oxymoron.

Besides, with the amount of porn simulations they probably have loaded in the holodeck, you think there's room to simulate the bridge?

quote:
Why isn't there anything resembling a service robot so the ship's chief engineer doesn't have to crawl around in access tubes?
Even five hundred years from now, the concept of "job security" still exists.

quote:
Why can the ships cross a solar system in minutes or hours without invoking warp speed, while photon torpedoes travel at a mere km/sec or so?
You know, if I fired what is essentially a nuclear warhead at someone, I'd *really* like to see where it's going.

quote:
Given the frequency with which crewmembers get tossed out of them, why don't the chairs on the bridge have any restraints?
The "inertial dampeners" are not "inertial inhibitors". They *reduce* inertia, not eliminate it. I think the creators of the Enterprise overestimate the effectiveness of the dampeners.

Semi-related, reminds me of what Paris said once: inertial dampeners are what "...prevent us from being blood splatters on the back wall of the bridge."

quote:
Why isn't the galaxy big enough for species to stay out of each other's way when they don't want to play nice?
Nothing is ever "big enough".
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
They only show us the interesting stories. There are countless boring encounters where they visit a planet and nothing's there, the holodeck doesn't try to kill anyone, and the teleporters work every time.

Nobody wants to watch those episodes.

Actually, one of the novels has a fairly amusing dialogue between Kirk and Spock on that topic.
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Orincoro
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As for the warp in solar system question: it is dealt with somewhere in Trek Lore, and the answer is essentially that a warp field within a certain radius of a star could cause that star to become unstable. It was tried only once that I know of, in Deep Space Nine, when the Defiant had to go to warp to catch a changeling who was trying to detonate a tri-lithium bomb in the sun's corona. I believe it would be considered an extreme risk.
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Mucus
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I don't think that would affect the star all that much. I think the idea was that it (warp really close to a star) might affect the ship negatively, after all warp near or around planets or stars is pretty common.

One prominent example is warp around Earth's Sun to travel in time to find whales [Big Grin]

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Darth_Mauve
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Oh what a fun game. Let met try.

Why did Geordi LaForge have such crappy artificial eyes? We'll have better ones than those within 50 years, I think.

They weren't bad. They were stylish, aerodynamic, and could pick up other wavelengths such as infrared or HBO via satellite.

Why is perfect virtual reality used for entertainment and not as a replacement for gathering on a bridge?

How do you know it isn't?

Actually, the Holo-Deck was a room. You are talking turning several rooms into holo-decks. Basically its the difference between watching a movie and real-time video-conferencing. There were a lot of great movies and some time spent before we had video-conferencing available.

In the last season of Voyager--which went farthest down time in the Star Trek Universe, breakthroughs in Holodeck technology were making this a possibility.

Why isn't there anything resembling a service robot so the ship's chief engineer doesn't have to crawl around in access tubes?

Every time they make a service robot smart enough to do what needs to be done, it gains self-awareness and tries to take over the ships.

If they use remote controlled dumb robots, that control is a security threat. Do you want some hacker to be able to blow up your ship by telling maintenance robot 10110 to vent plasma into the dilithium chamber?

Why can the ships cross a solar system in minutes or hours without invoking warp speed, while photon torpedoes travel at a mere km/sec or so?

The cost of an Impulse engine, in man-hours and materials, is the 2nd most expensive part of the ship (short of the Warp engine). Its also the biggest and bulkiest. So if you strap a warp-engine onto a warhead, and it takes three warheads to destroy an enemy ship, you've destroyed more of your resources than of theirs.

Given the frequency with which crewmembers get tossed out of them, why don't the chairs on the bridge have any restraints?

If flown under appropriate Star-Fleet parameters, the inertial system will resolve the need for any restraining devices.

Why isn't the galaxy big enough for species to stay out of each other's way when they don't want to play nice?

for the real answers to all of your questions--because it would be a boring show/story if that were so.

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scifibum
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I think hollywood thinks that rigorous sci fi would be boring.

Maybe it would be. I can't remember any sci fi tv or movies that actually do a credible job of world building and consistently applied tech level.

I'd like to know for sure, though.

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Hobbes
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quote:
Maybe it would be. I can't remember any sci fi tv or movies that actually do a credible job of world building and consistently applied tech level.

Submitted for your approval, a story that could only happen in.... the year 2001. [Big Grin]

Hobbes [Smile]

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scifibum
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Good example. Unfortunately, a lot of people find it boring. [Frown]
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Raymond Arnold
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Well... yeah. I think that's the point.
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scifibum
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Yeah. That's the point I was acknowledging. [Wink]

This unnecessary post brought to you by sushi and beer. And heartburn. (Soooooo worth it.)

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andi330
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
As for the warp in solar system question: it is dealt with somewhere in Trek Lore, and the answer is essentially that a warp field within a certain radius of a star could cause that star to become unstable. It was tried only once that I know of, in Deep Space Nine, when the Defiant had to go to warp to catch a changeling who was trying to detonate a tri-lithium bomb in the sun's corona. I believe it would be considered an extreme risk.

Actually, in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, they are so desperate to get to V'ger that they risk going to warp in the Solar System. It's what causes the wormhole to open.
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Tante Shvester
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This has bothered me for a long time. When someone keels over dead, McCoy will go over, touch the keeled-over person, and pronounce, "He's dead." Huh? Don't they even want to try CPR? Get the defibrillator? I don't know, check for a pulse for something longer than two seconds? Nope. Just "He's dead" and then just go off and leave the corpse laying around while they get back to whatever they were doing.

And here's another thing that bugs me. When they have those windows, you always see the stars streaming past, like streetlights on the road. No parallax or anything. Are they just flying around in circles? Well, sometimes they are -- they're orbiting a planet -- but when they are in orbit, you always see the planet out the window, no matter what window you are looking out of.

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Starsnuffer
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Those inconsistencies videos are hilarious.
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Mocke
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Also, Zephram Cochrane goes to warp to get from Earth to Pluto.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by andi330:
Actually, in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, they are so desperate to get to V'ger that they risk going to warp in the Solar System. It's what causes the wormhole to open.

Not so much ...

quote:
Kirk seeming to collect his thoughts now -- he gives
Decker a look, uses the intercom himself:

KIRK
Warp Drive as soon as possible,
Mr. Scott.

SCOTT'S INTERCOM VOICE
(protesting)
Captain, it was our anti-matter
imbalance that created the
wormhole in the first place. It
will happen again if we don't
correct it.

KIRK
That object out there is less
than two days from Earth, Mister
Scott. We've got to intercept
while it still is out there!

SCOTT'S INTERCOM VOICE
(near annoyed)
Aye, we understand that sir!
We're doing our best.


http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/startrek01.html
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