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Old April 18 2010, 09:55 PM   #1
neozeks
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Transporters in everyday life

A discussion in another thread made me think - just how widespread are transporters outside Starfleet?

First of all, I don't think your ordinary Joe can get his hands on one. After all, potentially, they are an incredibly dangerous weapon. There would need to be some heavy restrictions and regulations regarding their usage.

Obviously, the government and it's institutions use them. Starfleet, the police, medical services (could be extremely useful for paramedics and cops).

I can see much of travel and transport being done by transporters, as well. I don't think they'd replace cars (flying, of course), those tube trains or just plain walking for short distances (though I vaguely remember one of the Siskos talking about beaming the furniture into their new house). However, talking about long distance transport, from city to city or continent to continent, I'd be very interested to see what transporters do to the existence of aircraft and water-borne ships. Are there any tankers in the future?

And with all that transporting going around, would there be 'congestion' and signal-interference in the air? 'Traffic control'? Land-line connected transporters could be used, I guess (would give a new meaning to the term information highway ).
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Old April 18 2010, 10:59 PM   #2
DevilEyes
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

As I said in another thread - I'm not sure that everyone would be so eager to use transporters if they don't need to, even if they had enough energy to waste, which I doubt. Let's not forget what transporters actually do - they take you apart and put your molecules back again. That in itself will be enough to creep out some people, and there is also a risk - statistically very small, but still existing - that a horrible accident might happen...

Besides, there is a pleasure in travelling itself, whether it is by car or bus or train or a plane or boat or whatever means of transport they have in the future, so if you're not in absolute rush to get somewhere, why not enjoy your trip? Bring a book to read, watch a movie (or whatever they do in the 24th century), watch the landscape you're passing by, get to know the people you're travelling with, have a nice conversation...
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Old April 18 2010, 11:30 PM   #3
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
That in itself will be enough to creep out some people, and there is also a risk - statistically very small, but still existing - that a horrible accident might happen...
Same goes for flying and driving, though.
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Old April 18 2010, 11:34 PM   #4
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
DevilEyes wrote: View Post
That in itself will be enough to creep out some people, and there is also a risk - statistically very small, but still existing - that a horrible accident might happen...
Same goes for flying and driving, though.
Which is why I prefer travelling by bus or train than by plane - if your bus or train is in an accident, you have a hell of a lot more chance of not getting killed, than if you're in a plane that is falling down from 10000 m high.
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Old April 19 2010, 12:06 AM   #5
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

neozeks wrote: View Post
...However, talking about long distance transport, from city to city or continent to continent, I'd be very interested to see what transporters do to the existence of aircraft and water-borne ships. Are there any tankers in the future?
We know that people transport directly city-to-city. Nog and Ben Sisko transported regularly from San Francisco to New Orleans just for meals.

In the VOY episode "Non Sequitur", Kim transported from San Francisco to Marseille, France, and Starfleet security officers beamed directly to Kim's apartment in San Francisco.

Didn't Uhura man the transporter at "Old City Station" in The Search for Spock?

It's tough to say if transporters are common outside of Starfleet, but why wouldn't they be?

There are probably people who would avoid transporters at all costs, some would do it only reluctantly when unavoidable, and some who would beam anywhere at any time without hesitation. What proportions of each are in the population is the question.

Clearly, we need to see more civilians and civilian life in Trek!
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Old April 19 2010, 12:16 AM   #6
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

If I had to guess, I'd say transporters are probably used as an alternative means to mass transit, supplementing commuter shuttles and high speed rail. For example: on a particular trip I might leave my house and walk to the nearby CTA station, take the high speed Green Line train downtown (an eight minute trip) and walk to Union Station where I can either hop on an Amtrak train heading to any other location (Amtraks now run through underground tunnels at 550mph using turbolift-style linear motors) or I can get a transporter pass and beam to any other transporter station at the major transport hubs at any city in America.

In this case, I use Metra's transporter and beam to the Amtrak station in Pittsburgh, then take one of the regular commuter shuttles to the University to buy a book from the local bookstore. The bookstore doesn't have it, so I head back to the Amtrak station, beam over to Philadelphia, take another shuttle t the U-Penn Bookstore where I finally find it. Then beam right back to the Chicago transporter pad at Union Station and take the Green Line back home.

Total trip time: Two hours, twenty minutes. And most of that was spent sitting at a stop waiting for a shuttle or a train or waiting for my turn at the transporter.
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Old April 19 2010, 01:14 AM   #7
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

I doubt transporters are something Average Joe has in his home. However, I imagine civilian run transporter terminals are quite common on Earth and other Federation worlds.
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Old April 19 2010, 01:30 AM   #8
Tyjos Azari
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

I'd rather use a shuttle to get to where I need to go, I don't really like the concept of getting my molecules scrambled in a blasted computer that I wouldn't trust not to turn me into a pile of slop on the receiving pad.
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Old April 19 2010, 01:35 AM   #9
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

^Yeah, I imagine that would be quite a common attitude. Sort of like with airplanes today. Statistically, it's the safest way to travel (just like Geordi said the transporter was) but many would still fear using it.
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Old April 19 2010, 02:28 AM   #10
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

Beaming from place to place on a planet might in some ways be like making a cellphone call today. If you're out in the open you are dematerialized and your pattern/matter stream goes to a near-by transporter tower, from there your matter stream travels through a underground wave guide conduit (like a cable) to your destination, up into a different transporter tower and finally rematerialized at the spot of your choosing.

Going pad to pad would be easier, use less power, less resources and be cheaper. If either your dematerialize or rematerialize point was in the middle of nowhere, your matter stream would be routed through a satellite in orbit, muy expensive. Beaming into a private home would require the owners permission, he has a pad or you're using a nearby tower, without his permission the system won't even dematerialize you. Emergencies would over ride the permission provision, hopefully the police would require a warrent to enter unexpectedly. You would possess a security key to beam into your own home.

Most transporting would be through a public station, Pads in private homes might be pricey. High traffic destinations would have a large number of pads. You set your destination into your padd (everyone has one, like a cellphone) you touch it to a pedestal, are assigned a pad and you're gone.

I kind of imagine it being something like getting on and off a ski-lift.
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Old April 19 2010, 02:45 AM   #11
Rojixus
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
I doubt transporters are something Average Joe has in his home. However, I imagine civilian run transporter terminals are quite common on Earth and other Federation worlds.
You've pretty much took the words out of my head. I think they would be as ubiquitous as bus stops.
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Old April 19 2010, 07:26 AM   #12
Timo
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

Or at least as ubiquitous as airports. Doesn't LaForge call them "the safest way to travel" in "Realm of Fear", in a not so subtle analogy to air travel today (and to the associated mix of irrational phobias and rare but real and very gruesome ways to die, as per the theme of the episode)?

I'd think the ability to transport from platform to platform would keep the playing field much the same as today: getting to and from a platform would call for personal vehicles and the associated culture of driving them for business and pleasure. Yet if civilians had transporters that could move them from platform to a platform-less destination, or vice versa, the traffic culture could be very different. Many would probably prefer to beam to within a walking distance of a target, yet not to the target itself; a social code might develop in which it is rude or perhaps illegal to beam directly to pretty much anywhere. Some advanced technology might also be needed to protect the privacy of one's home or workplace.

In general, I'd think the civilians on Earth have access to much more advanced technologies than our Starfleet heroes. Military organizations operating in the rugged outdoors do not readily adopt the newest gadgetry, and do not buy all the bells and whistles when they do agree to purchasing an item. In "Devil's Due", Picard considers a soundless and sparkle-free transporter a "cheap trick", perhaps suggesting that civilian transporters are all like that (with some resulting loss of ruggedness, range or somesuch)...

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Old April 19 2010, 05:53 PM   #13
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

Didn't Ben Sisko "beam" home for the weekends while at the Academy?
Maybe that's just a perk of being Starfleet, though.
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Old April 19 2010, 07:38 PM   #14
Timo
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

Or, alternately, only people training for the hardships of Starfleet life have limitations imposed on their transporter use; civilians get an unlimited number of free trips per day, week or year, but SF cadets get fixed quotas like Ben Sisko did.

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Old April 19 2010, 08:37 PM   #15
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

Tyjos Azari wrote: View Post
I'd rather use a shuttle to get to where I need to go, I don't really like the concept of getting my molecules scrambled in a blasted computer that I wouldn't trust not to turn me into a pile of slop on the receiving pad.
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