The Lensman wrote:
No, it's not the same at all. "The Inner Light", while a fantastic episode is a perfect example of the "Reset Button". Picard had a wife and children and a whole lifetime of experience and the idea that the only real change in him was that he knew how to play the flute (and got a little misty eyed thinking about his former "life") was unrealistic.
Having lived for decades in a non-Starfleet life, having seen how much value and worth there was in things like marriage and children, having developed new interests and cultivating different talents, Picard should've been a much different person as his Starfleet life was decades behind him.
When you talk about living another life on your lunch break....well when you got back from your lunch break, you'd be a vastly different person because of your life experiences and assuming you even remembered your job and how to do it, the person you are now may not give two shits about that job.
The Inner Light was a tremendous episode but I agree it could have been handled even better. If it were me, I would have ended it with Picard telling Riker that he was taking a leave of absence and Riker was now in command for a while while he got his bearings back. That ending, to me, would have been much more true to how I imagine any one of us would react. I'm not even saying they need to have further episodes on this as the next episode with Picard back in command could have taken place months later.
But that is my point, isn't it?
What if the Argrathi/Kataan type tech were something that was widely available? I mean what would it do to a society when people, as you say, go on "lifetime" breaks during lunch and then return in a daze. Maybe they would have to ban such tech for "general" use b/c it is so disruptive?
Consider for example if Federation scientist studied the Kataan probe tech and figured out how to replicate it for general use!