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Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old August 23 2012, 09:54 PM   #16
Pavonis
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

OK, I understand now. Yes, some parts of the GQ would be closer than 70000 ly, but the wormhole's terminus is what they're referencing.

And "Alpha Quadrant" versus "Gamma Quadrant" always struck me as references akin to "East" versus "West" here in our modern world - in some part geographic, some part political, and in some part cultural. The Klingons always considered themselves Alpha Quadrant powers and were proud of defending the Alpha Quadrant, even though they are supposedly based more in the Beta Quadrant.
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Old August 23 2012, 09:55 PM   #17
Christopher
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Ok I'll expand. Some parts of the GQ might be more than 70 000ly away. But at it's closest point to Bajor the GQ is far closer than 70 000ly away.
But Sisko obviously wasn't referring to the closest point, he was referring to where he was at the moment -- "over 67 years to get here." Sure, he was speaking a bit imprecisely, but even I wouldn't be that pedantic about it.

And Pavonis, I agree -- the Federation and its neighbors are called "Alpha Quadrant" powers even though many are in the Beta Quadrant, in the same way Europe is considered part of the Western world even though most of it is in the Eastern Hemisphere.
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Old August 23 2012, 09:58 PM   #18
R. Star
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

I always figured that 8000 LY figure was the equivilent of citizing the size of the US being from Guam to Puerto Rico.

While it may be true from point to point, that doesn't mean it's that big all the way around or that the main body of it is anywhere near that size.
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Old August 23 2012, 10:28 PM   #19
MacLeod
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

Christopher wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
Ok I'll expand. Some parts of the GQ might be more than 70 000ly away. But at it's closest point to Bajor the GQ is far closer than 70 000ly away.
But Sisko obviously wasn't referring to the closest point, he was referring to where he was at the moment -- "over 67 years to get here." Sure, he was speaking a bit imprecisely, but even I wouldn't be that pedantic about it.

And Pavonis, I agree -- the Federation and its neighbors are called "Alpha Quadrant" powers even though many are in the Beta Quadrant, in the same way Europe is considered part of the Western world even though most of it is in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Perhaps Europe being referred to as the Western world, is all down to when the Prime Meridian was decided upon in 1884, and the influence the British Empire had on the world at that time.

However it would be accurate to say that most of Europe is in the Eastern hemisphere.
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Old August 24 2012, 09:21 AM   #20
Timo
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

...I guess the interesting question is, does the UFP lie predominantly in one "hemisphere" or another, or is it split more or less evenly between Alpha and Beta?

That is, does Earth, somewhat reasonably even if not completely canonically established as being at the quadrant border, lie in the middle of those 8,000 ly, or at one end?

There are some onscreen hints that Klingons and Romulans would be in the Beta direction very close to Earth and big enough to block the expansion of the UFP in that direction. Then again, e.g. the star Canopus/Alpha Carinae, some 200 ly into Beta, is mentioned as being UFP territory (wargames in "Ultimate Computer"); that's already something if the UFP is "mere" eight thousand ly across in total.

On a random note, Alpha Carinae is unambiguous for those of us who think the Trek galaxy is identical to our own save for the existence of so many Class M worlds and spatial anomalies and whatnot. Deneb is not, as the sky is full of stars whose name featured this word (meaning "tail"), some of them close to Earth, some far away. Picard may have been far away from Earth in the TNG pilot, then, or relatively close, and the "great unknown" may have remained so because of distance or because of political or astrographical obstacles. Whatever the explanation, in general we can probably rest assured that the UFP is not a sphere - but rather a weird amoeba shape, possibly with detached "islands" of territory as well.

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Old August 24 2012, 10:58 AM   #21
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

Christopher wrote: View Post
And Pavonis, I agree -- the Federation and its neighbors are called "Alpha Quadrant" powers even though many are in the Beta Quadrant, in the same way Europe is considered part of the Western world even though most of it is in the Eastern Hemisphere.
The reason that Europe is thought of as being in the West is because it coincides with the Western Roman Empire, much more so than with the Eastern Roman Empire. Our designation of Eastern versus Western as applied to civilization was originally established relative to Rome. On the other hand, the hemispheres of the globe were designated relative to Greenwich, England, a designation which came much, much later.

The situation with the Alpha Quadrant, Beta Quadrant, and the Federation cannot be the same as this unless there is an older convention which at one point placed the whole Federation more entirely in the (older conception of the) Alpha Quadrant.
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Old August 24 2012, 11:43 AM   #22
Timo
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

The reason that Europe is thought of as being in the West is because it coincides with the Western Roman Empire
It's not that Europe would be thought of as being in the West nowadays. It's that anything west of the river Oder is thought of being in the West, for very concrete reasons less than a century old.

Why, following the days of the two Romes - that is, in the early days of the third, in Moscow - there was no East vs. West. Muscovy wasn't an enemy one full compass direction wide: there was just Europe, and then the rest of the world, which didn't lie in any particular direction (except of course "India", which was a direction that covered everything that wasn't visible from mainland Europe or the shores of the Mediterranean).

The division of the Trek universe into Alpha and Beta wouldn't be of ancient origin, either - certainly not if the dividing line runs through the upstart Sol system that played no role in galactic politics until about 100-200 years before the events. Indeed, none of the current major players is known to have thought of the galaxy in terms of Quadrants before Earth started making noise...

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Old August 24 2012, 12:18 PM   #23
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

My remarks pertained to the distinction between Occident and Orient, not to the parceling of Europe following World War II.

The distinction between Occident and Orient persists in Western culture (cf the use of "Western culture" right here in this sentence), even though the terms "Occident" and "Orient" themselves have fallen out of use.

ETA: Additionally, just because I said that comparing the Federation as something straddling two quadrants with Europe as something straddling two hemispheres doesn't make sense unless the Alpha Quadrant was redrawn, that doesn't mean that I think the Alpha Quadrant was redrawn, as the alternative is that it's not really the same at all (which would include the possibility that no meaningful part of at least the original Federation lay in the Beta Quadrant).

However, I suppose that Christopher could have simply meant that the straddling alone is similar, while the respective causes for it are not analogous.
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Old August 24 2012, 12:45 PM   #24
MacLeod
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

Timo wrote: View Post
The reason that Europe is thought of as being in the West is because it coincides with the Western Roman Empire
It's not that Europe would be thought of as being in the West nowadays. It's that anything west of the river Oder is thought of being in the West, for very concrete reasons less than a century old.

Why, following the days of the two Romes - that is, in the early days of the third, in Moscow - there was no East vs. West. Muscovy wasn't an enemy one full compass direction wide: there was just Europe, and then the rest of the world, which didn't lie in any particular direction (except of course "India", which was a direction that covered everything that wasn't visible from mainland Europe or the shores of the Mediterranean).

The division of the Trek universe into Alpha and Beta wouldn't be of ancient origin, either - certainly not if the dividing line runs through the upstart Sol system that played no role in galactic politics until about 100-200 years before the events. Indeed, none of the current major players is known to have thought of the galaxy in terms of Quadrants before Earth started making noise...

Timo Saloniemi
True, but without canical evidence all we can go in guess work. Perhaps it was decided to devide the quadrants based on the Sol system for the same reason Earth is the de facto captial world of the UFP. In the early days, it appeared as if there were a lot of mis-trust between races like the Vulcans, Andorians and Tellarites. With Earth being a relative newcommer to the Galactic Community the smae level of mistrust hadn't occured. SO rather than the Andorians objecting to the border going through the tellartie system, and the vulcans objecting to going through the Andorian system. The Sol system was choosen as the one least likely to cause offense.

But it's all guess work.
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Old August 24 2012, 01:05 PM   #25
Timo
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

The need to choose is ill established, though, as we don't know whether any other culture besides that of Earth would use the terminology. And a Klingon saying "Alpha Quadrant" doesn't quite suffice, because they could either be using Earth terminology when speaking with Earthlings - or then not using it, but their local terminology would get translated just as surely as kellicams get translated to kilometers or d'akturak to iceman.

My remarks pertained to the distinction between Occident and Orient, not to the parceling of Europe following World War II.
Oh - in that case, they were in error, then.

That is, the division to occident and orient has little or nothing to do with why "Europe is thought of as being in the West" when "a lot of it is in the Eastern Hemisphere". Much of that which is in the East is in occident, after all; as long as there has been "Europe" and "West", the latter has extended far to the east of the Greewich or even Paris or Antwerp zero meridians - and never mind the zero meridian of the Azores, the most relevant in the division of the world at the time the world was first becoming known.

Of course, the border moves all the time. Before the Revolution, few in Russia would have had an interest in considering their realm that of the East...

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Old August 24 2012, 02:12 PM   #26
Christopher
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
However, I suppose that Christopher could have simply meant that the straddling alone is similar, while the respective causes for it are not analogous.
Bingo!
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Old August 24 2012, 02:46 PM   #27
zombar
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Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

The bottom line is that, just like on Earth, there is a geographical devision of the galaxy and a political one.

Last edited by zombar; August 24 2012 at 05:54 PM.
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Old August 26 2012, 08:03 PM   #28
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Federation: 8,000 ly across?

Or at least there's a political division between, say, the UFP and the Klingon Empire, and then another equally political division where the entire galaxy is split into quadrants by the mighty order of Earth.

For all we know, Klingons also believe in galactic quadrants - but they insist the prime meridian runs through Qo'noS.

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