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Old April 19 2010, 08:41 PM   #16
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

I was trying to remember the quote. I seem to remember something about "transporter credits" or something in reference to Sisko going home every night for dinner. I would assume that's some artificial limit put in place to prevent overuse, but it clearly is a large number, if he went home every night. Anyone remember the quote/what episode it was in?
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Old April 20 2010, 02:24 AM   #17
Pavonis
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

The reference was in DS9, season 3, "Explorers". Ben was relating to Jake a story of being homesick while away at the Academy. He used up a month's worth of transporter credits (in less than a month, apparently).
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Old April 20 2010, 02:34 AM   #18
indolover
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

it probably is the easiest way to travel long distance, not just on Earth, but in the solar system.

I'd imagine that there are public transporter pads in cities, taking you wherever you want to go. So one could transport from Paris to London in literally the blink of an eye.
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Old April 20 2010, 02:44 AM   #19
The Wormhole
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

Pavonis wrote: View Post
The reference was in DS9, season 3, "Explorers". Ben was relating to Jake a story of being homesick while away at the Academy. He used up a month's worth of transporter credits (in less than a month, apparently).
I thought it was from the Homefront/Paradise Lost story, with Sisko's dad remembering Ben using up the month's worth of transporter credits.
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Old April 20 2010, 02:57 AM   #20
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

I checked Homefront, it wasn't that (was my first guess). It was explorers. It's possible he used up a month's worth of transporter credits in three days (although Jake suggests he used them up before he found out that it only lasted a few days, so he could have had more). Either way, it suggests that people don't use transporters every day, which suggests they were in public places only.
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Old April 20 2010, 03:01 AM   #21
Pavonis
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

^ No, it suggests that Academy cadets aren't allowed to leave campus willy-nilly. Sisko's story tells us nothing about civilian transporter use.
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Old April 20 2010, 03:31 AM   #22
The Wormhole
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

Yeah, I prefer to think that transporter use is somewhat unrestricted, but Starfleet cadets are only entitled to use it for certain circumstances, hence the "trasporter credits." After all, how are you going to prepare a cadet for being on a deep space assignment if they can just visit mom and dad every evening?
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Old April 20 2010, 03:40 AM   #23
Pavonis
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

indolover wrote: View Post
it probably is the easiest way to travel long distance, not just on Earth, but in the solar system.

I'd imagine that there are public transporter pads in cities, taking you wherever you want to go. So one could transport from Paris to London in literally the blink of an eye.
Paris to London? Hell, you could transport from Anchorage, Alaska to Pretoria, South Africa in the blink of an eye (or, rather, the 6 seconds that a transporter cycle takes).

Talk about jet lag!
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Old April 20 2010, 03:55 AM   #24
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

Timo wrote: View Post
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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I don't think there is anything irrational about thinking of transporters as riskier than other modes of transport, just like there isn't anything irrational about thinking of an airplane flight as riskier than a bus or train ride. It's not a matter of statistical probability of being in an accident, it's about how much control you have over your fate and what your chances are of doing something and saving yourself if you happen to find yourself in an accident. I'd be much more confident that I could get out of a bus or train that has crashed and stay alive, than I am about a chance to do something to save myself if I happen to be in a plane that is falling down from the height of 10000 m. And the transporter... if you happen to be one of those small percentage of people who have a transporter accident - well, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, it's something that is completely out of your control.

It's only a phobia if you are panicking over the use of transporter every time you really need to use it, or if you refuse to use it even when you REALLY need it.

And don't forget the issue of wasting energy on unnecessary use of transporters. Using a transporter all the time instead of any other means of transport would be at least as idiotic as getting into a car in order to drive to the shop at the corner, when you could just walk. If you are not in any kind of rush (and from what we've been told about the Federation society, they are hardly corporate businessmen types always in a hurry, what do they have to be in such a rush for?) and you don't have a huge distance to travel, why wouldn't you use another means of transportation? There is a pleasure in travelling, sightseeing, meeting people during your trip on the bus/train/plane/whatever they use in the 24th century, you can have an interesting conversation, or you can prefer to spend the time by reading... Walking can be more fun that taking a bus, and travelling by, say, a shuttlepod, or some "old-fashioned" mode of transport, can be a lot more fun than beaming to places all the time.
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Old April 20 2010, 06:33 AM   #25
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

Pavonis wrote: View Post
^ No, it suggests that Academy cadets aren't allowed to leave campus willy-nilly. Sisko's story tells us nothing about civilian transporter use.
Agreed, Academy Cadets will have a bunch of limitations imposed on them.
I recall a non-Trek story where a cadet arrives at the Academy for the space-navy and gets dressed-down because he came in a private vehicle. "Your orders specifically said to arrive by public transport." So, yeah, I can imagine Starfleet Cadets have a bunch of rules imposed on them, and limited transporter use is an obvious one.

The exact quote, if folks want it:
SISKO: I remember, Jake, I wasn't much older than you when I left for San Francisco to go to Starfleet Academy. For the first few days, I was so homesick that I'd go back to my house in New Orleans every night for dinner. I'd materialize in my living room at six thirty every night and take my seat at the table just like I had come down the stairs.
JAKE: You must have used up a month's worth of transporter credits.
SISKO: My parents, they never said anything about it. Just 'how you doing, son, how was school today? They knew that I would get over being homesick soon enough. And after about the fifth, sixth day, you couldn't pry me from that campus. Of course now, if you go to Pennington, you won't be able to beam back to the station to have dinner with your old man. After about a week or so, you'll get over it.
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Old April 20 2010, 12:20 PM   #26
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

Safety wise, the only time I can remember a transporter problem where the problem was the transporter itself was TMP, were not all the other time because of a outside influence? And if they were using some kind of wave guide "cables" instead of transmitting the matter stream, that could be safer still. As long as the injury and death rate is lower than we experiance with cars, the future public would use them.

If the use of transporters was totally flagrant, there could be a information traffic volume problem.
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Old April 20 2010, 09:27 PM   #27
C.E. Evans
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

I've always been of the opinion that while transporters are common on Federation starships, they are not the common mode of transport for the everyday person.

I've always imagined that most people get around on airtrams, subways, and even cars and motorcycles that don't use internal combustion engines. I could see some people even getting around by suborbital shuttlecraft.
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Old April 20 2010, 09:47 PM   #28
Timo
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

I don't think there is anything irrational about thinking of transporters as riskier than other modes of transport
There might be, as LaForge says transporters are the safest way, and he generally doesn't lie (although he has a weird sense of humor).

What I meant was that there is plenty of irrational fear of flying, in addition to the rational variety - and this irrational sort was the analogy they were milking in "Realm of Fear". Transporters are inherently rather scary, but probably they indeed very seldom kill or maim people, compared with antigrav buses or walking.

In air travel, the good safety record comes partially from the fact that air travel spans longer distances than other travel modes, hence good figures for accidents-per-kilometer; that might well be true of transporter travel as well, because going from New Orleans to San Francisco and back would expose Ben Sisko to a far greater variety of dangers if he walked or took the antigrav bus... On shorter distances, this effect would be diminished.

And don't forget the issue of wasting energy on unnecessary use of transporters.
Any alternative means of getting from New Orleans to San Francisco might use far more energy, to be sure. We've seen a transporter energized with the battery of a hand phaser ("The Hunted"), but we have seen that taking a shuttlecraft to a ballistic trajectory that might propel the passengers between those cities drains a great number of phasers ("The Galileo Seven")...

And if they were using some kind of wave guide "cables" instead of transmitting the matter stream, that could be safer still.
That sounds likely. The "broadcast" variety of transporting seems to be strictly line-of-sight: in "Legacy", two kilometers of solid granite was enough to preclude transporting, and there's much more than two klicks of rock between San Francisco and New Orleans... Some sort of relaying would be necessary, and I could easily see Earth using land cables instead of satellites.

OTOH, even though we never quite learn the maximum range of Federation transporters in an episode or a movie, backstage sources suggest a limit at a five-digit number of kilometers. So transporters won't take you to the Moon or to Mars, not unless there is a relay chain of satellites there. There might be one to the Moon, I guess, even though we never learn of such a thing. It's a bit unlikely there'd be one to Mars.

I've always imagined that most people get around on airtrams, subways, and even cars and motorcycles that don't use internal combustion engines. I could see some people even getting around by suborbital shuttlecraft.
FWIW, episodes featuring Earth or some other major UFP world seldom feature vehicles. People tend to walk a lot and drive or fly very little. But we don't get too many such episodes, to be sure.

The novels feature a variety of vehicles: groundcars, flitters, skimmers, hoppers. Both civilians and Starfleeters seem to utilize those, but admittedly we get no statistics to indicate whether owning a flitter is akin to owning a family sedan or a floatplane - that is, whether it's common or an indication of an opulent or eccentric lifestyle.

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Old April 20 2010, 11:18 PM   #29
scotpens
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
. . . Using a transporter all the time instead of any other means of transport would be at least as idiotic as getting into a car in order to drive to the shop at the corner, when you could just walk.
Sounds like most folks here in Los Angeles! What's really ironic is that people will pay for valet parking so they don't have to walk two blocks to the gym to work out.
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Old April 21 2010, 10:13 AM   #30
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Re: Transporters in everyday life

In Starfleet usual when someone is transporting there is a operator standing at a console who handles problems that spring up. Occasionally Starfleet uses pure computer control. With the volume of traffic we're talking about, there can't be a operator for each and every transporter move, but there is probably a room full of operators somewhere waiting like 911 operators to cross circuit to B.

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