Thread: rethinking Data
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Old July 3 2011, 12:12 PM   #4
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Re: rethinking Data

captrek wrote: View Post

When we first meet him, he is logical, efficient, and emotionless. Some time in Season 1 he is in a situation like Spock in The Galileo Seven, where his failure to understand emotion leads to him mishandling both his crew and the life forms threatening them, resulting in a failed mission and some dead officers.
I would accept this behavior from a first year Cadet Data during a simulation. Data's work usually doesn't get him missions that could turn out like this. He is the Ops manager so his main job is to stay on board and schedule things. When he does work as a science officer, he is usually with a team when he goes to the planet. Starfleet does not play into his weaknesses to prevent stuff like that from happening.

captrek wrote: View Post
As a result of this and other experiences, he concludes he needs to understand emotions better in order to be effective in his role as a Starfleet officer. At first, he studies emotion as an outsider, approaching it as a logical problem of studying emotional beings and deciphering how stimulus relates to response. This way he gains some insight, but it only gets him so far, because the subject is too complex for that kind of analysis to explain it thoroughly. He comes to the conclusion that he will never really understand emotions unless he experiences them, and sets himself to that task.
I think he came to that conclusion years ago, but I also think he started back further than this. He thrives on talking. The Vulcans (who I would guess would be the standard in logical behavior/minds) say much with few words. I think at Data's core, he is a social butterfly that is expressed strangly by lack of emotions and no social skills. Back when he was first activated, he had no job functions, no awareness of emotions. He may have been sitting in some sort of 10Forward and watching the others. In Rightful Heir he described being told he was an android and instead believing he was a person. The other persons in the room are eating, so Data imiates the table manners. His lack of culture with other androids ment the prevalent humans became his adoptive culture. He experimented with behavoir and with time stumbled upon emotions.

captrek wrote: View Post
Not that the TNG writers could have pulled it off. Their “exploration” of this aspect of Data’s character consisted of little more than a bunch of scenes of Data making puppy dog eyes asking Picard to explain emotions to him, and Picard giving answers that were profoundly lacking in profundity. They painted by numbers, and did it poorly.
Like I said, Data is social, and the better he got at it, (and the less angry Picard got as the seasons went on) the more his adoptive culture replaced what he didn't have when he was first found. Data kind made Picard his active father figure. I personally found Picard's answers to Data's questions philosophical.

Sorry about the rambling post. It's 5am here am I am going to BED!
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