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Old April 11 2011, 11:57 PM   #1
kythe
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Klingon mind sifter

This is a bit of technology that isn't delved into much in the Star Trek universe. It seems to be used as a plot point more than anything else, but does anyone have any idea how such a device would actually work?

What would it's effect be on telepaths? We see it used on Vulcans periodically, and because of their mental disciplines they appear more resistant to it's effects. But because they are also telepaths, wouldn't they be able to "call" for help with someone they are mentally linked to, or does the mind sifter mess with their telepathic abilities? I think this wouldn't have applied to Spock since he didn't have anyone near that he was telepathically close to. But a married couple would have some sort of mental connection, and what about other telepathic races, like Betazoids?

I think this idea should have been explored more in the series. If they are going to do a show involving telepathy and mental attacks, they should have delved into the dark side of this as well.
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Old April 12 2011, 12:30 AM   #2
C.E. Evans
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Re: Klingon mind sifter

I always figured it was more of torture device that worked directly on the brain, physically attacking it in very painful ways until the subject reveals exactly what the operator/interrogator wants to know.
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Old April 12 2011, 03:16 AM   #3
Paradon
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Re: Klingon mind sifter

I've seen Tuvok's blood boiled and then he recovered from it just find like nothing had happened. I don't see how you can torture a Vulcan with this device.
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Old April 12 2011, 03:40 AM   #4
scotpens
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Re: Klingon mind sifter

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
I always figured it was more of torture device that worked directly on the brain, physically attacking it in very painful ways until the subject reveals exactly what the operator/interrogator wants to know.
In “Errand of Mercy,” it’s made clear that the Klingon mind-sifter is more than a sophisticated torture device — it can actually read a person’s thoughts and memories. Of course Vulcans, with their strong mental discipline, can block a mind-sifter probe to some extent.

KLINGON: He is what he claims to be, Commander — a Vulcanian merchant named Spock. His main concern seems to be how he would carry out his business under our occupation.
KOR: Nothing else?
KLINGON: The usual. A certain amount of apprehension regarding us. The mind is remarkably disciplined.
KOR: You are sure?
KLINGON: I used force four, which is sufficient to break down any pretence.
KOR: Very well, Lieutenant. Would you like to try our little truth finder?
KIRK: I don't understand.
KOR: It's a mind-sifter or mind-ripper, depending on how much force is used. We can record every thought, every bit of knowledge in a man's mind. Of course, when that much force is used, the mind is emptied. Permanently, I'm afraid. What's left is more vegetable than human.
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Old April 12 2011, 04:11 AM   #5
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Re: Klingon mind sifter

Ooh, I read that in John Colicos' voice... I loved Kor!
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Old April 12 2011, 04:15 AM   #6
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Re: Klingon mind sifter

Definitely should have delved into it. I'm reminded of the spin Rick Berman used to spout about there not being any stories left to tell in the Trek universe, and yet there are a dozen episodes here. Smaller personal ones, broad sweeping interstellar ones, quirky funny ones... The same could be said about genetic engineering and artificial intelligences - both subjects which will be very real this century.
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Old April 12 2011, 05:01 AM   #7
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Re: Klingon mind sifter

^ Or about torture. How different is the mind sifter from waterboarding?
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Old April 12 2011, 05:21 AM   #8
scotpens
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Re: Klingon mind sifter

^^ Considering that it extracts information directly from the victim’s brain, I’d say it’s a lot more reliable, for one thing.
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Old April 12 2011, 06:27 AM   #9
T'Girl
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Re: Klingon mind sifter

jayrath wrote: View Post
^ Or about torture. How different is the mind sifter from waterboarding?
At lower power levels (force four?) it would be just as unpleasant and from Spock's experience just as harmless.

The closest parallel would likely be Spock's forced mindmeld of Valeris in The Undiscovered Country.

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Old April 12 2011, 06:42 AM   #10
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Re: Klingon mind sifter

Considering that it extracts information directly from the victim’s brain, I’d say it’s a lot more reliable
Considering that the one time it was used, it failed completely, I'd say the opposite!

Indeed, didn't somebody once publish a story wherein it was revealed that the feared Mind Sifter was just a box with blinking lights, designed to evoke terror in the interrogation victim by sheer placebo effect?

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Old April 12 2011, 07:14 AM   #11
scotpens
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Re: Klingon mind sifter

Timo wrote: View Post
. . . Indeed, didn't somebody once publish a story wherein it was revealed that the feared Mind Sifter was just a box with blinking lights, designed to evoke terror in the interrogation victim by sheer placebo effect?
Never read that story, but I love the idea.

It kind of reminds me of the James Bond parody in which the villain had a huge, hulking henchman who could break inch-thick boards with a single karate chop. But when he and Bond got into a fight, it turned out that the big sonofabitch only knew how to break boards!
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Old April 12 2011, 07:26 AM   #12
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Re: Klingon mind sifter

Nah, the mind sifter was actually a sieve. But every other race had become so advanced they had never heard of this primitive device. Except for Chekov
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Old April 12 2011, 09:46 AM   #13
T'Girl
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Re: Klingon mind sifter

Timo wrote: View Post
Considering that the one time it was used, it failed completely, I'd say the opposite!
It's possible that it only really works on the Klingons themselves.

I remember a story once where Kirk was exposed to a mind sifter, escaped through the Guardian of Forever and ended up in a 1930's psychiatric hospital for a year.

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Old April 12 2011, 09:57 AM   #14
Paradon
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Re: Klingon mind sifter

The mind sifter might work on the Vulcans, considering Klingons are supposed to be tougher...physiologically. Good point!

Of course, the device may stimulate mental stress; that might be how it works. Like being crazy! Well, a better term would be psychotic...having a full blown Vulcan psychosis.....
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Old April 12 2011, 11:02 AM   #15
kythe
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Re: Klingon mind sifter

The weird thing is, the Klingons are not supposed to be telepathic. There is a certain irony in it being the Klingons who would develop a technology to overcome mental barriers, when they are the race one would least expect to understand how such things work. Most of their society seems based on physical strength and battle, not mental.

I do like the idea that it is only a blinking box that works by placebo effect, but I would think that true telepaths with mental disciplines would be able to see through that.
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