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Old September 3 2008, 02:27 PM   #22
Christopher
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Re: Data - B4 Question

Timo wrote: View Post
Yes, Data's information and memories were transferred, but reduced to facts and events, rather than experiences.
How do we know this?
Well, in terms of the novel continuity, we know it because it's been explicitly stated in GTTS and maybe another book or two. As far as the novel continuity is concerned, this question has already been decided: B-4 does not hold Data's "katra."


For all we know, Data was dumped into B-4's head in totality. How much of that overflowed and was lost, we can't tell; Data and LaForge probably wouldn't have attempted the operation unless B-4's brain had the ability to receive the essence of what was being given, though. Data clearly expects B-4 to undergo a rapid change from moron to clever android brother, and even when he's disappointed, LaForge still comforts him that this may simply take some time.
Data didn't expect that to happen, he hoped it would. The fact is, any pretense that Data didn't have emotions without the chip is bull; he obviously had hopes, desires, regrets, the works, even if he didn't express them with the intensity of human emotion. He felt excitement at the prospect of having a brother (who wasn't evil) and the desire to nurture and encourage that brother. He was willing to try anything to help B-4, whether it had a good probability of succeeding or not.

And when Geordi said it might take time for B-4 to assimilate the knowledge, that was immediately after the transfer. By the end of the movie, Data himself had become convinced that the transfer had failed completely and that B-4 had no capacity for significant growth. Sure, the bit about B-4 remembering "Blue Skies" at the end was meant to offer a ray of hope to the audience, but it's unrealistic to assume based on that single recollection that Data's judgment about B-4's capability was so profoundly off the mark, especially since Data was the one person who most wanted to believe B-4 could grow. At most, B-4 might have some limited capacity to learn and grow, he might have incorporate a small percentage of Data's engrams, but at best he's the equivalent of a human with a severe learning disability.
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