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Old March 10 2009, 07:10 AM   #136
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Elemental wrote: View Post
Edit - Haha, I like how you went through my post and corrected my laziness by adding italics to all titles.
Huh? The whole quoted passage is italicized, and the board does that automatically.
LOL, whoops, I'm obviously way too sleep deprived right now...
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Old March 10 2009, 03:57 PM   #137
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

Vestboy wrote: View Post
There is a difference between a potential danger, and consequences for actual actions. If a human crew member attacked a fellow crewmember, or abandoned his post, I would hate to think it would be considered acceptable because, hey, fight-or-flight instincts. Because at the end of the day, it's not about what his species-based instincts are; it's about what he did.
So now you've abandoned your former argument that it's his instincts we should be worried about and are reverting to one I've already responded to. See above about precedents for crewmembers not being prosecuted for actions they committed under external mental influence.


That... is some rather spurious logic. That's stalker I'm-doing-this-because-I-love-you logic. Anything is justified, even if the imagined goal isn't being achieved. Namely, there was NO ACTUAL DANGER to the baby, until he kidnapped Deanna and put her, the baby and himself in the center of a hostage situation.
That is not the point at all. You're twisting it. Nobody's denying that Ree acted inappropriately, and I've explained why his judgment was compromised through no fault of his own. My point is that his parenting instinct is not something that's automatically dangerous, as you alleged it to be. Under normal circumstances, in 999,999 cases out of a million, the Pahkwa-thanh parenting instinct keeps their children safe.

You really need to make up your mind. When I explain why Ree's actions were not malevolent in intent but the result of a misdirected instinct, you condemn the instinct. When I explain that the instinct is not intrinsically a threat, you shift right back to condemning Ree as some kind of psychopath. It sounds to me like you just have it in for Ree and won't accept any argument that exonerates him.


Except for the fact that, in this circumstance, there was no significant danger, except in Ree's delusions.
Again, you're shifting the goalposts at random here. You were saying that the instinct itself was to blame. My whole point is that you can't condemn the instinct because his perceptions were distorted and the instinct was therefore being misapplied. And you can't condemn his perceptions because they were distorted by external influence. But you seem to want to paint him alternately as a psychopath who's personally to blame and an innately savage monster whose whole species is to blame.


I'm getting that from the text itself, from where Riker essentially says they'll have the hearing quickly, and there's no sense that it will be treated as a serious inquiry. Rather Riker says, "He needs this. He's obviously very guilty about what he did-- I think he wants to feel he's paid his dues." The big thing I'm reading out of that is that Riker really feels there aren't any dues to be paid, and it's just a matter of doing the paperwork regulations require, as well as giving Ree some guilt-assuaging therapy, before letting things go back to normal. Which, instinct and psychic influence aside, is a pretty blasé attitude to have for Kidnapping an Officer, Assault, Shuttle Theft and a massive Prime Directive violation.
That's ridiculous. Just because Riker was reassuring his wife on that particular aspect of the case doesn't mean he was unaware of the other concerns.

And I'm not going to reiterate the argument about crimes committed under external influence. I will point out that "massive Prime Directive violation" is gross hyperbole -- as the novel made clear, there was no real harm done in the end. And Riker's hardly in a position to be judgmental about Prime Directive violations after what happened on Droplet -- with everyone involved being in their right minds at the time. At least Ree has an excuse. Not that you're interested in hearing it.
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Old March 10 2009, 04:02 PM   #138
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

Vestboy wrote: View Post
Except for the fact that, in this circumstance, there was no significant danger, except in Ree's delusions.
Well, actually they were in the middle of a big crisis with the astoroid, so yeah the baby was in danger. And, as Chris said, the whole point of what Ree did was to get the baby out of danger (which was real), so there really was no way he would have allowed any kind of harm to come to her.
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Old March 10 2009, 04:25 PM   #139
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

JD wrote: View Post
Well, actually they were in the middle of a big crisis with the astoroid, so yeah the baby was in danger. And, as Chris said, the whole point of what Ree did was to get the baby out of danger (which was real), so there really was no way he would have allowed any kind of harm to come to her.
Good point. The ship and crew were in imminent danger, and Ree acted to remove the baby from that danger. It was an overreaction, but the threat was real. And after that, he made a point of taking Deanna to the one world within range that was safest for the baby -- the natives were small and rarely violent, their technology was not advanced enough to pose a threat, but they were humanoid enough and had sufficient medical science that they would have adequate facilities for ensuring a safe delivery and postnatal care. Within the context of a mindset that elevated the baby's safety above all other considerations, Ree's choices were quite logical. True, as Deanna pointed out, by creating a hostage situation, Ree did generate a degree of risk, and that was where his judgment became questionable. But in his state of mind, he convinced himself that the risk was minimal, certainly in comparison to that of being on a starship on the verge of destruction.
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Old March 10 2009, 05:04 PM   #140
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

I think we're all overlooking a key fact in this discussion: Doctor Ree is awesome. Doctor Ree performing surgery in a hostage situation? Even more awesome. Doctor Ree performing surgery in a hostage situation that he purposely engineered himself? Off the charts!
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Old March 10 2009, 05:23 PM   #141
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Within the context of a mindset that elevated the baby's safety above all other considerations, Ree's choices were quite logical. True, as Deanna pointed out, by creating a hostage situation, Ree did generate a degree of risk, and that was where his judgment became questionable. But in his state of mind, he convinced himself that the risk was minimal, certainly in comparison to that of being on a starship on the verge of destruction.
My key point, Chris, is not whether or not his species's protective instincts are normally a good thing. It's that the analysis of how responsible he is for his actions and his state of mind is a critical step that should not be glossed over. You cited examples of people being externally influenced-- but many of those involve outright possession or mental control to a degree that was was not the case here. Ree made his own decisions, based on his instincts, driven by empathic influence... but his own decisions. During the incident he even verbally asserted his own rationality.

As for it being a massive Prime Directive violation, I stand by that statement. The Prime Directive has gray areas, and certainly room for debate in situations such as Droplet. However, I can't see any room for debate or shades of gray in a situation where a member of Starfleet lands on a PD-protected world, threatens members of that species, holds them hostage, and creates a public incident.I don't think the degree of violation Person A commits should be judged on how well Person B managed to clean it up. The fact that Tuvok and his team had to take action to clean up the mess is what damns Ree in this case, and the fact that they succeeded does not exonerate him.

I don't "have it in" for Ree. Frankly, he's been a favorite for me for the whole Titan series. But what happened here is quite a bombshell, and the underlying sense one gets here is that there isn't going to be any fallout from it, that all is forgiven... and that's something I've got a problem with.
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Old March 10 2009, 05:46 PM   #142
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

Vestboy wrote: View Post
My key point, Chris, is not whether or not his species's protective instincts are normally a good thing. It's that the analysis of how responsible he is for his actions and his state of mind is a critical step that should not be glossed over. You cited examples of people being externally influenced-- but many of those involve outright possession or mental control to a degree that was was not the case here. Ree made his own decisions, based on his instincts, driven by empathic influence... but his own decisions. During the incident he even verbally asserted his own rationality.
So if an irrational person asserts his rationality, that makes him rational?

And yes, "many" involve outright possession, but many more just involve exactly this kind of influence. I even explicitly stated in the text that it's analogous to Sarek's mental influence driving the E-D crew to violence in TNG: "Sarek" and Lwaxana driving the DS9 crew to inappropriately amorous behavior in "Fascination." And what about the Psi 2000 virus from "The Naked Time"/"Now"? Nobody was being mind-controlled; they simply had their judgment compromised by an external force. Yes, they made their own decisions, but they made them while non compos mentis. And so they were forgiven.

And you're still making the totally false and unjustified assumption that those concerns would be "glossed over." The very fact that there is a hearing proves that they won't be glossed over in-universe, that the questions will be explored according to regulations and proper procedure. I, the author, glossed over them in the text because the climax of the story had already passed and I was going for an upbeat denouement. If a mystery story ends with the culprit being caught and arrested, that doesn't mean there was no trial or that it was treated merely as a formality. It just means that the trial wasn't part of the story being told. Don't confuse narrative focus with in-universe "reality."

I don't think the degree of violation Person A commits should be judged on how well Person B managed to clean it up. The fact that Tuvok and his team had to take action to clean up the mess is what damns Ree in this case, and the fact that they succeeded does not exonerate him.
"Damns?" Good grief! How can you say you don't have it in for him when you use language like that? And you totally misread the story if you think that the only reason a major violation was averted is because of Tuvok's team destroying the evidence. That was incidental, so much so that I didn't even need to show it. The violation was minimal because the Lumbuans didn't have effective telecommunications so only a limited part of the population was aware of the event, and because those who were aware of it chose to interpret it in a way that didn't disrupt their existing assumptions, either by dismissing it as mass hysteria or by perceiving it as a spiritual visitation consistent with their existing beliefs.

And once again you're ignoring the "insanity plea" here. Nobody's denying that it was a potentially severe violation, but it's mitigated because his judgment wasn't sound.


But what happened here is quite a bombshell, and the underlying sense one gets here is that there isn't going to be any fallout from it, that all is forgiven... and that's something I've got a problem with.
Then you must have one hell of a problem with "The Naked Time" and "The Tholian Web" and "Sarek" and "Brothers" and all those dozens of other times when crewmembers have committed criminal acts and been excused because they weren't of sound mind.

Besides, what kind of "fallout" did you have in mind? Titan's in a similar position to Voyager when it comes to penal actions. They're months away from any Starfleet facilities. They can't put Ree off the ship and bring in a replacement doctor. They can't just stick him in the brig indefinitely, because they need their CMO. So they need to be flexible when it comes to crew discipline. Particularly given the unprecedented diversity of this crew and the unpredictable problems that could arise from it. A zero-tolerance mentality is irreconcilable with the whole philosophy of the mission.
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Old March 10 2009, 05:51 PM   #143
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

Chris, I'm not seeing the annotations link on your homepage. Did I miss it somewhere? I've enjoyed your past annotations and am eager to read this one.
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Old March 10 2009, 06:38 PM   #144
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

Dark Gilligan wrote: View Post
Chris, I'm not seeing the annotations link on your homepage. Did I miss it somewhere? I've enjoyed your past annotations and am eager to read this one.
http://home.fuse.net/ChristopherLBen...tSeaAnnot.html
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Old March 10 2009, 06:57 PM   #145
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Then you must have one hell of a problem with "The Naked Time" and "The Tholian Web" and "Sarek" and "Brothers" and all those dozens of other times when crewmembers have committed criminal acts and been excused because they weren't of sound mind.
That's completely different, Christopher. They were mammals who didn't have sharp pointy teeth.
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Old March 10 2009, 07:51 PM   #146
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

Sci wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Then you must have one hell of a problem with "The Naked Time" and "The Tholian Web" and "Sarek" and "Brothers" and all those dozens of other times when crewmembers have committed criminal acts and been excused because they weren't of sound mind.
That's completely different, Christopher. They were mammals who didn't have sharp pointy teeth.
Actually, it's completely different in "Naked Time", "Tholian Web", "Sarek" and other such incidents in that they were broad-spectrum effects; many if not all of the crew were affected. It's easier to prove that something external was going on. Here, ONLY Ree is affected.

"Brothers" is a far more comparable situation, and yeah, I do have a problem that there is no resolution to, or addressing of, the fact that someone can PUSH A BUTTON and Data can take over the whole shp and be unstoppable. That should have been followed on.
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Old March 10 2009, 07:59 PM   #147
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

Vestboy wrote: View Post
Actually, it's completely different in "Naked Time", "Tholian Web", "Sarek" and other such incidents in that they were broad-spectrum effects; many if not all of the crew were affected. It's easier to prove that something external was going on. Here, ONLY Ree is affected.
Because of a freak confluence of circumstances that would never happen again in a million years. Not because Ree is intrinsically dangerous (well, any more than we already knew he was).

"Brothers" is a far more comparable situation, and yeah, I do have a problem that there is no resolution to, or addressing of, the fact that someone can PUSH A BUTTON and Data can take over the whole shp and be unstoppable. That should have been followed on.
If they ever did Star Trek: JAG, then maybe you'd get your wish to see all these incidents investigated in detail. But this isn't a courtroom series. We can assume that the hearings and investigations do occur, but they're not the emphasis of the series, so they occur offscreen.
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Old March 10 2009, 09:39 PM   #148
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

Thanks for the link, Defcon.
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Old March 11 2009, 01:30 AM   #149
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

If it helps, I'm looking forward to reading OaTS, and after this discussion particularly Ree's part. Because I like him and I have a feeling this will add more depth to the character. He's not just a sentient lizard after all...
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Old March 12 2009, 04:40 AM   #150
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

Christopher wrote: View Post
This is the same instinct that we celebrate and praise when we see a human parent practicing it -- the unrelenting determination to protect their offspring at all costs, even if they have to kill or die to do it.
If someone beat me up and stole my car in the name of safeguarding his child, when I was doing nothing to threaten it, I for one would most certainly not celebrate and praise that behavior.
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