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Old September 9 2008, 02:25 PM   #36
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Re: First Replicator Usage?

shipfisher wrote: View Post
The logical end of the road for this would be a transporter/replicator/re-sequencer that simply gives one a bowel or bladder "beam-out".
That possibility occurred to me last night when I remembered that the 24th-century term for a bathroom is "waste extraction." Hmm...

Timo wrote: View Post
I don't think you grasp the degree of poundfoolishness here. Probably we should not be talking about pounds at all, for clarity - but about pennywise vs. theGNPofabignationfoolish.

Out of the many variables involved in optimizing a Trek starship, power consumption simply cannot be anywhere near the top of the list. Granted that many an episode suggests shifting power from life support to combat systems, as if the magnitude of ventilation or heating or plumbing mattered, but OTOH and IIRC there is never any suggestion that transporters or replicators would go down when power wanes - and certainly not when there is still enough power to maintain propulsion or shielding. Transporters and replicators only go down when directly damaged, or when there is an extreme shortage of power as in "Night Terrors".
Again, it's totally missing the point of this discussion to bring in 24th-century examples. That's like making an argument about the capabilities of a 1958 Edsel by citing the satellite navigation and computerized traction control in a 2008 Taurus. We're talking specifically about the power requirements of transporters during the time frame of the Original Series. Remember, the question on the table is whether it makes sense to assume the TOS food slots used microtransporters or dumbwaiters. Since we know that TNG replicators are transporter-based, it is a given that TNG-era transporters use little enough power for that to be practical. The question is whether the same was true in the 2260s specifically. Only evidence from TOS itself is relevant to the question of how advanced the technology was during TOS itself.

Good reasons as such - but by those same tokens, areas like the bridge, or main engineering, or shuttlebay, should be similarly served. Many of those might even take precedence. At some point, the expense of installing and operating physical chutes would start to surpass the cost of installing and operating millimeter-thick waveguides.
As I said, the transporters are only one deck above the processing machinery and between them and the crew quarters. So it wouldn't incur any additional cost to put a slot in the transporter room if the dumbwaiter system already goes by there anyway. Even if the dumbwaiters are limited exclusively to decks 5-8, it's still feasible for there to be one in at least one of the transporter rooms.

Now that's something I definitely want to fight from the saddle of my hobbyhorse. What are the odds that Trek 23rd century technological marvels would still go for solutions familiar from the 19th century?
That's a ridiculous attitude, that technology from the past must inevitably be replaced. Do you use ducted fans to lift your car off the ground, or does it have wheels? Do you wear plastic sheets as clothing, or is it woven from fibrous threads? Do you have shoes that can morph to mold to your feet, or do you tie them with string? Do you cook your food with lasers, or do you use fire? You yourself still make everday use of technology that is tens of thousands of years old. The details are different, but the core principles, the basic engineering and mechanics, are still the same. Because it works. It is absurd to say that something that works perfectly well has to be abandoned just because it isn't flashy and new. That's a common conceit in sci-fi, but reality says different.

Besides, Trek itself contains a counterargument to your proposal. By your standards, they shouldn't use turbolifts to get around the ship, but should use mini-transporters to beam themselves instantly from one room to another. But they don't. They use elevators. Why should it be any different for moving foodstuffs than it is for moving people?
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