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Old July 24 2013, 03:32 PM   #28
Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

Only if they believe it's a "collision", though.

In "Time Squared", the heroes did not know the nature of the threat facing them, and indeed we got no reason to think that the anomaly would not have stood in their path no matter what path they chose. No matter that the actual maelstrom-in-space was just a few hundred meters across, it seemed to be their "destiny".

In "Cause and Effect", they know their deaths are caused with collision with another starship - an event that requires them to be at an incredibly exact spot in spacetime, with only meters or seconds to spare! That sort of a collision shouldn't really be repeatable no matter whether a course change is made or not, as random things such as Picard being a split second slow or fast to command "slow to impulse" should completely preclude the event. Logic would thus dictate that the strange starship is deliberately aimed at the E-D, either by the commander of that vessel or by potentially sinister greater forces at play. And changing of course would not help in either of those cases, while keeping the course would not increase the jeopardy!

The bottom line is, Riker could have quoted about fifty reasons why changing of course is a silly idea, and Picard or Worf or Troi or LaForge could have quoted fifty others why it's actually a splendid idea. But both sides resigned to only spelling out one of their arguments, even though Picard in no way discouraged the free presenting of ideas. This sort of suggests the participants all had experience and expertise in these things ("Time Squared"!), and saw the overall futility of trying to fight a time loop with insufficient information; the arguments offered were mere token expression of the complexity of the situation.

In the end, let's remember that it was Picard's duty to solve the mystery, quite possibly even at the cost of his life, his ship and his crew. Merely steering clear of danger would not have sufficed, not until Picard found out what that danger was exactly, and how it could be neutralized.

Timo Saloniemi
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