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Old November 21 2012, 12:35 AM   #2
Lieutenant Commander
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Location: The marvelous progressive utopia of California
Re: Data's station switch

This isn't a complete answer, but in terms of an in-universe explanation, it's likely that the two forward stations are interchangeable anyway due to the completely touch-based LCARS interface. We've already seen that the far-back stations are modular like that, since they can each individually be set for different departments. It makes sense that either forward station could be helm or ops depending on the preference of whoever is in command.

Picard perhaps realized that he preferred it the other way, for whatever OCD reason.
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