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Old September 28 2012, 01:40 AM   #1
ngc7293
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A reason why Captains and Admirals know each other

In the Photoshop Thread, I suggested a Kevin Bacon Captain so that all the Captains and Admirals could know each other.

Then I decided to look up Six Degrees of Separation and I wondered if in the Federation or Starfleet this kind of thing would work. Because Starfleet is so much bigger, would six be a big enough number? I don't understand these things. I just look at it and say "AH HA!"

So, what do you guys think. Do you think the Six Degrees thing is a good reason for why Captains seem to know all the other Captains and Admirals?
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Old September 28 2012, 01:57 AM   #2
Admiral_Sisko
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Re: A reason why Captains and Admirals know each other

ngc7293 wrote: View Post
In the Photoshop Thread, I suggested a Kevin Bacon Captain so that all the Captains and Admirals could know each other.

Then I decided to look up Six Degrees of Separation and I wondered if in the Federation or Starfleet this kind of thing would work. Because Starfleet is so much bigger, would six be a big enough number? I don't understand these things. I just look at it and say "AH HA!"

So, what do you guys think. Do you think the Six Degrees thing is a good reason for why Captains seem to know all the other Captains and Admirals?
I would say so. Keep in mind that even an organization as large as Starfleet has numerous meetings, conferences, and other events that command-level officers are required to attend, though we don't always see these events unfold.

There's also the matter of numerous subspace messages and otherwise being sent back and forth between ships, starbases, and other facilities, allowing officers to communicate without speaking in person.
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Old September 28 2012, 02:03 AM   #3
Delsaber
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Re: A reason why Captains and Admirals know each other

They're all in the same Facebook group.

I just assumed that a lot of these people weren't that far ahead/behind each other in their academy years, plus in the average Starfleet career any given officer is probably getting transferred around a lot.

Plus, all those endless conferences and symposiums and soirées and box socials that everyone is on the way to/coming back from whenever their shuttles crash. Now, if they would just stop doing all those...
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Old September 28 2012, 03:20 AM   #4
Finn
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Re: A reason why Captains and Admirals know each other

Most of Picard's Academy friends,classmates and roommates as well as his crewmates from early in his career (who are alive by the time of the TNG movies of course) are most likely to be Admirals...

Janeway seemed to work with Admirals regularly before coming to Voyager.

Just as others said, there would be conferences, etc and their old superiors from their prior assignments who went on to be admirals by the time of their respective series...
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Old September 28 2012, 09:47 AM   #5
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: A reason why Captains and Admirals know each other

I would imagine former classmates, shipmates, etc.

There could also be some hero worship going on: Admirals were once Captain who did great things to get promoted up, current Captain's would know of their exploits and may have followed their careers.

Then of course all the typical meetings and conferences that they would attend and mingle at.
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Old September 28 2012, 01:54 PM   #6
The Wormhole
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Re: A reason why Captains and Admirals know each other

Similar things go on in the real world, senior managers and other higher ups within the same company pretty much know each other.
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Last edited by The Wormhole; September 29 2012 at 12:47 AM.
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Old September 28 2012, 02:42 PM   #7
Timo
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Re: A reason why Captains and Admirals know each other

Are we even talking about a real phenomenon here, or just an urban myth?

I mean, which of our heroes or sidekicks really do know each other outside their professional context? Two of Picard's officers had a joint past, the others were strangers to each other, even if the unique Data and Worf of course had a reputation. None of Sisko's officers knew each other. None of Janeway's did. Of Kirk's officers, McCoy was the skipper's old friend; another friend was brought aboard by Kirk's request and promptly died in the pilot episode. And that was it.

Kirk was on first-name basis with one fellow captain, Commodore Decker. Picard, too, somewhat knew the skipper of another starship of the same class as his (Varley), plus was personal friends with another skipper (Keel). Picard's XO met a captain friend of his (or an image of him, anyway) once. Sisko knew Calvin Hudson, and came to meet him because of this very fact. He also indicated he knew fellow captains but never met them. No friends of Janeway were in evidence. And that was it.

Kirk did not seem to be close friends with any flag officers, but he did know some professionally, and they knew him. Picard and Quinn were friends of sorts, but no connection beyond Starfleet was revealed; other admirals just had working relationships. Sisko did not have old flag friends of note. Janeway and her helmsman came from Starfleet families with flag officer dads. And that was it.

What was there to "explain" again?

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Old September 28 2012, 04:11 PM   #8
Finn
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Re: A reason why Captains and Admirals know each other

None of Janeway's people knew each other?

Janeway knew Tuvok

Chakotay knew Paris

If they didn't, their original mission probably would have never happened, at least not the way it did

Also, I believe there was some implication that both Picard and Riker separately barely knew Geordi before their time on Enterprise D. Could someone correct me on that?
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Old September 28 2012, 06:23 PM   #9
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Re: A reason why Captains and Admirals know each other

During Court(s) martial, Kirk addressed a few of the officers in the base bar, I beieve he referred to them as old class mates, which would explain a past - perhaps distant - relationship.

Picard didn't know Riker except from his record.

Picrd met LaForge before on a inspection of another ship, LaForge worked all night to repair a minor fault, impressing Picard and resulting in Picard having LaForge assigned to the Enterprise.

I got the impression that Picard didn't request Crusher to the Enterpise, she was assigned and he didn't refuse.

Wasn't Voyager mission to the badland to search for the Maguis raider kind of a rushed, last minute thing, with Janeway taking command in a hurry? And her officers were not hand picked (except Tuvok), simply assigned?

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Old September 28 2012, 06:44 PM   #10
R. Star
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Re: A reason why Captains and Admirals know each other

I dunno, she had time to personally fly to Earth to personally recruit Paris instead of just sending an email saying "Put Paris in a transport to DS9" which by all means is what happened anyways being Paris flew in on a shuttle and not with Janeway.
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Old September 28 2012, 07:10 PM   #11
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Re: A reason why Captains and Admirals know each other

Timo wrote: View Post
Sisko did not have old flag friends of note.
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I would consider Admiral Leyton a friend of note, particularly seeing as how Leyton took credit for turning Sisko onto the command track and the fact that Leyton was Chief of Operations in all of Starfleet.

And while they might not have been best chums, I would say that Sisko was certainly friends with Admiral Ross, who at times seemed to be practically running the war from DS9 on his own...with Sisko's and Martoks help. (that warrants a discussion in its own right. Where was the rest of Starfleet command during the war? Sitting on their hands back on Earth? You've one three star admiral calling all the shots on the front line, with what appears to be practically no backup from command.)

Moving on...

Sisko also seemed well acquainted with numerous captains throughout the fleet, given their involvement during the war.


Realistically, it would make sense to have a working relationships with those above your pay grade as well as the fellow senior officers within your specific fleet assignment. While advancement is ideally merit based, there will always be those who move up the ranks because of who they know.

And given that Starfleet Command and Starfleet Acadmy are right next door to each other, it seems likely that there would be plenty of opportunity for cadets to meet higher ranking officers. As Admiral Hanson said, he took note of Picard during a race in his freshman year at the academy. So I would imagine that any career minded cadet would make a serious effort to gain the attention of as many captains and admirals as possible during their time at the Academy in order to build relationships that might help their careers down the road.

While it might be slightly off putting, there is something to be said for accumulating favors among those that have more power than yourself.
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Old September 29 2012, 05:50 AM   #12
ngc7293
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Re: A reason why Captains and Admirals know each other

Timo wrote: View Post
Are we even talking about a real phenomenon here, or just an urban myth?
He also indicated he knew fellow captains but never met them. No friends of Janeway were in evidence. And that was it.

What was there to "explain" again?
I did leave a link to Six degrees of Separation. It isn't a game and it isn't a myth. Just by the Kevin Bacon game (as an example) two people can be associated without actually having met, or at least that is the way I understand it. If you read the link, or look up Kevin Bacon Six Degrees of Separation, it will point to the link that I gave. The Six Degrees thing started back in 1921 and progressed.

It was a question of wether Captains and Admirals could know each other based on this idea. It seems so.
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Old September 29 2012, 08:33 AM   #13
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Re: A reason why Captains and Admirals know each other

Don't forget that Kirk knew Bob Wesley well enough to be on a first name basis with him.
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Old September 29 2012, 09:11 PM   #14
Count Zero
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Re: A reason why Captains and Admirals know each other

I actually don't find the fact that many Starfleet officers know each other that baffling. It's a somewhat tight-knit organisation and I assume people stay informed on what goes on inside the fleet, exchanging gossip and things like that.
I recently was at a meeting of a local Pirate Party group and the people there seemed to know any other active party member. I told one of them that a friend of a friend is also a member and my vague description was enough for him to identify her and he had a good idea of her character and her political convictions. It was kind of impressive and also somewhat baffling but the answer is pretty simple. They follow each other on Twitter and other forms of communications (blogs, the party forum, Mumble). It stands to reason that there are similar tools in use within Starfleet and that you can get to know someone without meeting them in person.
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Old September 30 2012, 09:36 AM   #15
Timo
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Re: A reason why Captains and Admirals know each other

I'm not sure how we're supposed to get even to the "not baffling" stage with this.

I mean, these people are supposed to be coworkers. They all work at the same office, spending days sitting at monitors connected by a LAN (where L is defined as the known galaxy). What possible reason could keep them from knowing each other when they work on the same project?

I can grok it would be odd for them to know a random coworker since 2351 in this massive office if the projects weren't related. But that doesn't really happen. They know their bosses, and they know people working on the same sort of ships and assignments. Plus at most one other person in the same overall business, which is in fact rather on the low side.

I can appreciate a game of Six Degrees, but I don't see why such matrix linking would be necessary in this fundamentally hierarchical environment where people are supposed to know each other.

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