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Old April 19 2010, 08:26 AM   #12
Re: Transporters in everyday life

Or at least as ubiquitous as airports. Doesn't LaForge call them "the safest way to travel" in "Realm of Fear", in a not so subtle analogy to air travel today (and to the associated mix of irrational phobias and rare but real and very gruesome ways to die, as per the theme of the episode)?

I'd think the ability to transport from platform to platform would keep the playing field much the same as today: getting to and from a platform would call for personal vehicles and the associated culture of driving them for business and pleasure. Yet if civilians had transporters that could move them from platform to a platform-less destination, or vice versa, the traffic culture could be very different. Many would probably prefer to beam to within a walking distance of a target, yet not to the target itself; a social code might develop in which it is rude or perhaps illegal to beam directly to pretty much anywhere. Some advanced technology might also be needed to protect the privacy of one's home or workplace.

In general, I'd think the civilians on Earth have access to much more advanced technologies than our Starfleet heroes. Military organizations operating in the rugged outdoors do not readily adopt the newest gadgetry, and do not buy all the bells and whistles when they do agree to purchasing an item. In "Devil's Due", Picard considers a soundless and sparkle-free transporter a "cheap trick", perhaps suggesting that civilian transporters are all like that (with some resulting loss of ruggedness, range or somesuch)...

Timo Saloniemi
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