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Old November 13 2012, 04:10 PM   #46
Timo
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Re: life-extension technology in Star Trek (or lack thereof)

We don't, as a matter of routine, nor was there a time when it was. Even YOU conceded that it was something that sometimes occurred under unusual circumstances -- bitterly cold winters, overcrowded communities, etc -- but is not and has never been the norm.
Bitterly cold winters and cramped, isolated settlement are the norm rather than the deviation for the classic western lifestyle in the past thousand years. That's where we all came from. Having sex in the same room (or the same bed!) where your kids, parents and grandparents slept was indeed quite standard, and not regarded as anything else, either.

The idea that Gideon would face an even more extreme situation only makes it more natural for sex to occur in conditions of limited privacy. General logic would establish the sex and the procreation; story logic would then establish the lack of Malthusian mass death that would normally inevitably result from the diseases of closely packed conditions. And ultimately the civilization would start hitting the much wider and less well understood limits relating to food production and general sustainability - perhaps indeed rather humorously leading to space as such being the limiting factor.

I guess my point is that I praise the consistency between general logic and story logic: take ordinary humans and make them immune to the usual epidemics, and this is what you do get. And governments, religions and technology will be impotent in the face of the phenomenon, and irrelevant.

Probably the introduction of a potent disease was but the first, minor but painful deviation from the local ethical norms; had this not worked, the next step would have been farther away from the path, until eventually the government would have been lobbing nukes in hopes of killing off a sizeable chunk of the population.

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Old November 14 2012, 04:27 PM   #47
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Re: life-extension technology in Star Trek (or lack thereof)

Timo wrote: View Post
We don't, as a matter of routine, nor was there a time when it was. Even YOU conceded that it was something that sometimes occurred under unusual circumstances -- bitterly cold winters, overcrowded communities, etc -- but is not and has never been the norm.
Bitterly cold winters and cramped, isolated settlement are the norm rather than the deviation for the classic western lifestyle in the past thousand years. That's where we all came from.
1) That's where EUROPEANS all came from. You may or may not have noticed that Earth isn't Europe.

2) I am pretty sure that seasonal climates other than "bitterly cold winters" existed in Europe 1000 years ago.

3) Isolated communities and OVERCROWDED communities are two very different things.

Having sex in the same room (or the same bed!) where your kids, parents and grandparents slept was indeed quite standard
I'm sure it was in Timoland (Finland?) but even you know that was by no means "standard" as a global norm.

I guess my point is that I praise the consistency between general logic and story logic...
Which is few and far between in TOS. Gideon makes about as much sense from a "general logic" standpoint as the yangs and the cohms, the inexplicable duplicate Miri Earth, and the idea that an entire planet populated mostly by gangsters could /should be unified under the regime of some random guy that Captain Kirk just met six hours ago.

I like to explore the more real-world implications of what's going on there, which on some level is the whole point of the episode anyway.

Who wants a Gideonburger?
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Old November 19 2012, 02:10 PM   #48
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Re: life-extension technology in Star Trek (or lack thereof)

Forget it, Timo,

If he's not even willing to stop judging all humans by his subjective cultural standards and accept diversity in our own species, how are you ever going to get him to tolerate that a culture of biologically distinct aliens on a different planet with vastly altered conditions might have different values...

Obviously the Gideonites deserve to die, because they don't share his prudish class privileged American Christian values when it comes to sex.
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Old November 19 2012, 07:43 PM   #49
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Re: life-extension technology in Star Trek (or lack thereof)

chrinFinity wrote: View Post
Forget it, Timo,

If he's not even willing to stop judging all humans by his subjective cultural standards and accept diversity in our own species...
Begging your pardon, but I'm not the one arguing with a straight face that a few hundred years ago every human being in on planet Earth enjoyed the exact same living conditions and the exact same seasonal climate conditions in sufficient uniformity to make this a global norm.

Obviously the Gideonites deserve to die, because they don't share his prudish class privileged American Christian values when it comes to sex.
The Gideonites deserve to die because they refuse to take any responsibility whatsoever for the condition of their species, even when the condition is impossible to ignore. They refuse to expand into space, they refuse to exercise birth control, and in the end they even refuse to exercise personal restraint of any kind by simply abstaining from sex. Just keep poppin em out until your planet is covered in a sea of people who can't even spit without hitting two other people.

IOW, they deserve to die because they don't seem overly interested in staying alive. Meanwhile, there are planets in the galaxy that occasionally suffer food and resource shortages, and if the Gideonites are THAT prolific, we might as well put them to good use.
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Old November 19 2012, 11:00 PM   #50
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Re: life-extension technology in Star Trek (or lack thereof)

Like Easter Island.

Had the natives used a handful of trees for ships, they could have gone to the mainlaind, harvested trees from there for the erection of those giant heads, and kept their own island (read "planet") pristine.

I wouldn't say they deserved to die. To keep in-universe, you might remember the Kelvin species having the ability to turn people into small cube-like forms. Power-free stasis! In Spocks Brain you see a weapon that can also stop mobs even not when line of sight.

This might be the key to overpopulation. Immobilize some to keep them from starving. Procreation may be limited, and the cubes thawed out as it were on an as need basis--and to reduce the size of ships for space exploration.
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Old November 20 2012, 09:57 AM   #51
Timo
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Re: life-extension technology in Star Trek (or lack thereof)

[qujote]Begging your pardon, but I'm not the one arguing with a straight face that a few hundred years ago every human being in on planet Earth enjoyed the exact same living conditions and the exact same seasonal climate conditions in sufficient uniformity to make this a global norm.[/quote]

You most definitely are. And in the same breath you then argue against yourself in a weird masturbatory cycle, not noticing that nobody else is participating.

I simply point out that your insistence that a special case is impossible is false because the special case is a verified (and fairly commonly known and applied) fact. And the special case already covers all the required bases in debunking your ideas about where and how sex between humans can take place. You do demonstrate a remarkable lack of historical perspective there.

Isolated = crowded is basically always true, too. You need infrastructure to get room.

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Old November 20 2012, 04:52 PM   #52
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Re: life-extension technology in Star Trek (or lack thereof)

Timo wrote: View Post
Begging your pardon, but I'm not the one arguing with a straight face that a few hundred years ago every human being in on planet Earth enjoyed the exact same living conditions and the exact same seasonal climate conditions in sufficient uniformity to make this a global norm.
You most definitely are.
Really? Because I look up thread and see this:

Timo wrote: View Post
Bitterly cold winters and cramped, isolated settlement are the norm rather than the deviation for the classic western lifestyle in the past thousand years. That's where we all came from.
And further upthread I see this:
Twenty people per room was fairly standard for the early age of industrialization in the major cities of Europe
And what was my reply? That those conditions were NOT the general norm in Europe and are not the general norm at the present time, and that's just accounting for Europe. Note that I have not questioned whether those conditions existed AT ALL, nor have I questioned whether they could be found in some parts of modern cities or rural areas. YOU made the claim that everyone, everywhere, lived like that at some point. I called you on your bullshit, and now you're complaining.

I simply point out that your insistence that a special case is impossible...
Is a strawman. Thanks for playing, though.

Isolated = crowded is basically always true, too.
Except, of course, for the thousands of cases historically where it ISN'T. The specific cultural scenario you're projecting from early-industrial Europe doesn't accurately describe concurrent conditions in Africa, the Americas, or the Indian subcontinent. In the case of the latter two, it's the metropolitan areas that are massively overcrowded and rural areas are less densely populated than any time in their history.

And even trying to project that onto Gideon isn't going to work, because again, their population problem is no longer voluntary: they're not huddling together for warmth, they're huddling together because they have nowhere else to go.
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Old November 22 2012, 08:53 AM   #53
Timo
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Re: life-extension technology in Star Trek (or lack thereof)

That those conditions were NOT the general norm in Europe
Which is false - obviously, they were, at the time specified. That's what industrialization was all about. Just go have a look at the standard British or French "suburb" from the era.

and are not the general norm at the present time, and that's just accounting for Europe.
Which is doubly irrelevant, because the present day does not enter the picture, but such a form of habitation does remain the norm on many locations outside Europe.

I have not questioned whether those conditions existed AT ALL
This is exactly what you have been questioning all the time.

I say crowded conditions existed -> you say "bullshit". I say two people having sex in a crowded room is a likely scenario, as per well-known historical fact -> you say I'm imagining things. All in feeble attempts to sidestep the fact that the existence of the conditions and the scenario voids your original claim that Gideonite-like folks procreating would somehow be unlikely. That's simply ignorance of the history of sex speaking.

YOU made the claim that everyone, everywhere, lived like that at some point.
Well, in Europe, yes. In North America, yes. In Asia, yes. In Africa, yes. In Oceania, I sort of doubt it.

As said, crowding is a natural result of lack of infrastructure, so isolation results in crowded accommodations. A nomadic lifestyle, even more so. You just don't build separate rooms for having sex unless you live in luxury to start with. What do you imagine ancient habitats really looked like? Again, just go have a look - the nearest library can't be that far away.

People went outside to pee. They stayed inside to fuck. That was civilized behavior, the opposite was, well, the opposite.

rural areas are less densely populated than any time in their history.
Which in no way leads to spacious accommodations. Quite to the contrary, smaller housing arrangements will have to make do. Just go and have a look.

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Old November 22 2012, 05:38 PM   #54
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Re: life-extension technology in Star Trek (or lack thereof)

Maybe you didn't mean it to come across as such, but the way I read it, it seemed you were claiming that those conditions exist everywhere on Earth -- today.
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Old November 22 2012, 06:25 PM   #55
Crazy Eddie
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Re: life-extension technology in Star Trek (or lack thereof)

Timo wrote: View Post
That those conditions were NOT the general norm in Europe
Which is false - obviously, they were, at the time specified. That's what industrialization was all about. Just go have a look at the standard British or French "suburb" from the era.
Why? Because everyone in Europe lived in French and British suburbs during the dawn of industrialization?

This is exactly what you have been questioning all the time.

I say crowded conditions existed -> you say "bullshit".
Yes, because what you ACTUALLY said was that crowded conditions were "fairly standard" or that personal privacy was an "incredibly rare luxury" for most people in the world. Basically you made a sweeping generalization that in hindsight turned out to be absurd and now you're reduced to "You don't believe me that crowds exist!"

I say two people having sex in a crowded room is a likely scenario, as per well-known historical fact -> you say I'm imagining things.
Yes, because what you actually said is that it is a COMMON scenario that would be more the rule than the exception.

All in feeble attempts to sidestep the fact that the existence...
It's not their existence we're debating, it's their UBIQUITY. This in a context of a discussion of the planet Gideon, where those conditions ARE depicted as being ubiquitous, primarily because of the population's long life and irrational aversion to birth control or self restraint of any kind. And lest we drift too far from the point: it wasn't about prudishness or the morality of public fornication. It was about the fact that the GIDEONITES seem to find their living conditions unbearable, and both their leader and his Typhoid Mary daughter make statements implying how miserable they all are due to the overcrowding.

To be clear: they're not overcrowded because it's cold outside.
They're not overcrowded because all the jobs are in the city.
They're not overcrowded because their houses are small.
They're not overcrowded because the governor's mansion uses up way too much land (it obviously does, but that's not the reason). They're overcrowded because there are so many people on their world that their population density approaches that of insects and you literally can't find a spot on the entire planet that doesn't have at least ten people standing on it.

your original claim that Gideonite-like folks procreating would somehow be unlikely.
And I claimed this is because the Gideonites THEMSELVES find those conditions uncomfortable. I could only imagine they find sex equally uncomfortable to be still doing it under those conditions. Which means they either don't care for sex all that much and have it for other reasons ("love of life," or maybe some sort of Mote-In-God's-Eye reproductive drive) or they're a bunch of incredibly short-sighted hedonists who are perfectly content to fuck themselves into extinction.

YOU made the claim that everyone, everywhere, lived like that at some point.
Well, in Europe, yes. In North America, yes. In Asia, yes. In Africa, yes. In Oceania, I sort of doubt it.
You're 0 for 5 on that one, unless you backtrack again and amend that with "in a few places in special cases." Otherwise, I maintain a writ of "Bullshit."

rural areas are less densely populated than any time in their history.
Which in no way leads to spacious accommodations.
And is in no way equivalent to what we're talking about. If the people of Gideon were crowded because of their accommodations, then anyone who wanted more room would be to simply move the hell away from each other or build bigger houses. Introducing a virulent alien plague among their population makes no sense at all unless it is the ONLY way to thin out their population (i.e. there is no "elsewhere" for them to move).
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Old November 22 2012, 11:56 PM   #56
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Re: life-extension technology in Star Trek (or lack thereof)

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
i.e. there is no "elsewhere" for them to move
Which may have been the case, I remember a line from the movie Soylent Green, that the farm areas were protected like fortresses. People stayed in the cities, because they literally couldn't get out. They weren't permitted out.

Consider, currently urban and suburban areas account for three percent of the land area on Earth, agricultural crop land is around eleven percent of Earth's surface, and pasture range land is another approximately twenty-five percent. Now multiple the Human population by twenty (or a hundred) times. Even if you make us all vegetarians, and increase crop yields, you can't have the bulk of the population spreading out into the agricultural lands. The same would apply to living on top of the majority of the water surface, you're pulling food out of the water, you have to leave it alone. The food has to come from somewhere.

Most of the Human species would likely still be in the same three percent of the land area.






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Old November 24 2012, 04:44 AM   #57
Crazy Eddie
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Re: life-extension technology in Star Trek (or lack thereof)

^ Well it would still have to spread out a bit, but that makes perfect sense. Starvation doesn't seem to be a huge problem on Gideon, so voluntary overcrowding just to prevent starvation is another possibility.

OTOH, the Soylent Green line is pretty apt, considering how THEY decided to solve their population problem . Suffice to say, a planet whose population is so massively saturated would have HUGE downward population pressure even without the introduction of a plague. I sort of thing that without the introduction of Kirkitis, nature would eventually run its course and the Gideonites would start murdering each other like a NORMAL dystopian society.
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Old November 26 2012, 02:44 PM   #58
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Re: life-extension technology in Star Trek (or lack thereof)

I think the notion of most of Gideon being given over to agricultural space (thus crowding the rest of the populace into futuristic domed cities) is a great one and solves one of the chief nits of the episode - the issue of feeding the sea of people.

It also explains how the Gideons managed to find the space to build their starship replica, which if their entire planet is shoulder to shoulder ought to be have been impossible - however, giving up a little of their farmspace for such a vital project is well within the realms of possibility.

How they got hold of the exact plans of the Enterprise in the first place? Erm......
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Old November 26 2012, 03:47 PM   #59
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: life-extension technology in Star Trek (or lack thereof)

newtype_alpha's making more sense than Timo here.

Beyond which, there was certainly nothing in that episode that disposed me to be sympathetic to the Gideonites. Let them die.
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