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-   -   "Second Chances" and its disturbing implications (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=223699)

polyharmonic August 25 2013 11:21 AM

"Second Chances" and its disturbing implications
 
In the episode "Second Chances", some kind of transporter "accident" causes Riker to split into two people. To beam Riker back, two transport beams of Riker were created to ensure his pattern could get through the planet's "distortion field". The two beams were supposed to be "recombined" back on the ship before re-materializing.

But instead one beamed back aboard safely while the other beam reflected back and rematerialized back on the planet. Eight years later they find the second Riker.

According to the episode, Will asks which one of them is real and Dr Crusher answers that they "both are". But I'm not sure if that makes the most sense.

Other possibilities are:
- One of the two is real and a continuation of the "original Riker". The other is a DUPLICATE.

- BOTH are duplicates. The original Riker is DEAD! And if so it is very possible that whenever someone transports, it is their DUPLICATE that rematerializes. The original is DEAD!

This episode strongly suggests that transporters are capable of "creating" new life out of thin air essentially. And if so, then it also stands to reason that it is also destroying life as well!

The Old Mixer August 25 2013 12:15 PM

Re: "Second Chances" and its disturbing implications
 
The idea that a person is killed and copied whenever they use a transporter has been around for a long time in offscreen lore. I read about it in the early novel Spock Must Die!

Regarding the transporter being able to make two equally valid versions of one person, there is precedent in Trek. In "The Enemy Within", neither half of Kirk is the whole package...each possesses qualities that are integral to his personality. Both are equal duplicates physically, however. There was no such clear division between the Riker duplicates, other than the circumstances under which they'd lived after the accident.

MacLeod August 25 2013 12:40 PM

Re: "Second Chances" and its disturbing implications
 
Post deleted.

vulcan redshirt August 25 2013 03:44 PM

Re: "Second Chances" and its disturbing implications
 
I would assume that episodes such as TNG Realm of Fear, and ENT Vanishing Point were deliberately written to 'assure' viewers that their favourite characters were not being killed off (and merely duplicated) each time they stepped onto a transporter pad. This is on the basis of an apparent continuity of consciousness of the person being transported.

Another disturbing implication of the Riker style duplication, is that it would seem perfectly plausible to create a clone (or more) of oneself for nefaroius purposes.

R. Star August 25 2013 03:56 PM

Re: "Second Chances" and its disturbing implications
 
But apparently it isn't murder if you kill your own clone, as Riker did in Up the Long Ladder, so at least there's a contractual loophole to get out that inconvenient implication.

Mojochi August 25 2013 04:17 PM

Re: "Second Chances" and its disturbing implications
 
Quote:

vulcan redshirt wrote: (Post 8554402)
Another disturbing implication of the Riker style duplication, is that it would seem perfectly plausible to create a clone (or more) of oneself for nefaroius purposes.

Such a recreation of the events which generated a second Riker could be nearly impossible to achieve. As I understand it, Riker was beaming through a planet wide distortion field at the specific time a massive energy burst occurred. Two containment beams were initiated, which turned out to be unnecessary as the 1st was sufficient. When the 2nd was shut down, it was reflected off the distortion field, in its highly charged state, back to the beam out point

So it's arguable that the nature of that specific distortion field, during that random energy fluctuation was as much, if not more, the reason for the 2nd beam resulting in a full pattern materialization of an additional Riker than just initiating 2 beams on one target

E-DUB August 25 2013 04:19 PM

Re: "Second Chances" and its disturbing implications
 
One recent novel has someone recreating that effect for purposes of building up the Andorian population. (Can't remember title, though.)

The Librarian August 25 2013 04:42 PM

Re: "Second Chances" and its disturbing implications
 
Quote:

R. Star wrote: (Post 8554447)
But apparently it isn't murder if you kill your own clone, as Riker did in Up the Long Ladder, so at least there's a contractual loophole to get out that inconvenient implication.

Actually, it is, per one of the early DS9 episodes. The only difference between the two is that Riker's clone wasn't fully formed and conscious yet. If he had tried to kill Tom or if the UPLL clone had been walking and talking, it would have been murder, no questions asked.

R. Star August 25 2013 04:43 PM

Re: "Second Chances" and its disturbing implications
 
Sorry, I'm not buying that as it's a cop out meant to save face on one of the main characters doing something heinous. Unless you really mean because a child isn't fully formed yet, killing them isn't a crime.

Makarov August 25 2013 05:53 PM

Re: "Second Chances" and its disturbing implications
 
In real life I would never step on the transporter pad, because the real you "dying" is the only explanation that makes sense to me. Not to mention both versions of "The Fly" freak me out.

However, I'm sure the intention by the creators is that it's a pretty harmless quick way of transportation, not a death machine.

DonIago August 25 2013 05:58 PM

Re: "Second Chances" and its disturbing implications
 
I'd think the UTLL scenario is more akin to aborting a child conceived by rape. Riker never gave his consent.

T'Girl August 25 2013 08:10 PM

Re: "Second Chances" and its disturbing implications
 
Quote:

polyharmonic wrote: (Post 8553973)
According to the episode, Will asks which one of them is real and Dr Crusher answers that they "both are". But I'm not sure if that makes the most sense.

If you take a starfish and either cut or rip it in half, the two halves will regrow a entire starfish, complete with any physical abnormalities the orginal starfish possessed. Identical in DNA too.

Quote:

The Old Mixer wrote: (Post 8554021)
In "The Enemy Within", neither half of Kirk is the whole package...each possesses qualities that are integral to his personality.

An interesting detail about this episode is, according to Deanna after the transporter incident Riker changed, his romance with her became less important and his career gained importance.

While less than with the two Kirk, perhaps the Riker who beamed up wasn't quite the same Riker. There was a psychological difference.

:)

Melakon August 25 2013 08:28 PM

Re: "Second Chances" and its disturbing implications
 
Will Riker is the evil Riker? Makes sense.

Timo August 25 2013 09:22 PM

Re: "Second Chances" and its disturbing implications
 
Quote:

Another disturbing implication of the Riker style duplication, is that it would seem perfectly plausible to create a clone (or more) of oneself for nefaroius purposes.
Or for beneficial, altruist, beautiful, wonderful purposes, for that matter. Why should one concentrate on "nefarious" here?

Human existence is all about creating new human existence anyway. What's so negative about cloning as opposed to other types of breeding?

Quote:

Actually, it is, per one of the early DS9 episodes.
"A Man Alone". But we don't know whose law we're talking about there. Bajoran law might be far more "archaic" in this respect than UFP law...

Quote:

Unless you really mean because a child isn't fully formed yet, killing them isn't a crime.
In most places, it isn't.

Timo Saloniemi

Push The Button August 26 2013 07:12 AM

Re: "Second Chances" and its disturbing implications
 
I have always understood the process as matter being converted to energy, then back to matter at the destination point. If it is your own original atoms being reassembled in another place, it isn't a copy of you, it is you.

If, on the other hand, the transporter is merely sending your "blueprint" somewhere, and you are being recreated out of the atoms on-hand at the destination point, that would be making a copy of you.


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