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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old March 6 2013, 02:07 AM   #31
yousirname
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Re: Data and killing

ITT people make unwarranted assumptions about disruptor technology.

Viewing the episode as a piece of drama, what it wants to do is force Data - the implacable, flawlessly logical, unbiased and emotion-free sentient machine - to a position where he must kill an unarmed man. Where he is ethically compelled to do so.

There are arguable flaws in the episode's depiction of that crux. For example, if nothing else, Data could destroy himself (we know from Nemesis that he's prepared to die to save others - it's possible to argue that his actions there were emotionally driven but I'm not inclined to accept that). Currently Fajo is threatening the lives of others in order to gain control over Data. If Data were dead, Fajo would then no longer be in a position to threaten the lives of others because of Data. But it would still leave Fajo in a position to threaten others. We know he has wilfully endangered the lives of others to get what he wants, has tortured to get what he wants, has killed to get what he wants.

We might ask if Data should attempt to convert Fajo's employees. Given that Varria explicitly says that "[Fajo's] rewards for loyalty are lavish", we can reasonably say that it is possible that such an attempt would not succeed. Since, as we said at the beginning, the episode wants to force Data to fire, these objections can be neutralised quite simply: We imagine that Data attempts to convert the crew. But he fails. They are simply too greedy, too terrified, too whatever. And we imagine that Data tries to whack-a-mole Fajo into a confined space by throwing things at him. But Fajo simply closes his eyes. He can no longer see what's being thrown at him and will not jump where Data wants him to. We imagine that Data throws things at Fajo with the intent of injuring him - and we imagine that Fajo dodges the first shot and runs straight out of the cargo bay to the nearest panic room (one of many on the ship), far from Data's reach.

As I said earlier, for the sake of discussion, I'm happy to interrogate the specifics of situations like this. But I think there's a golden rule that when judging the episode, you have to meet it half way. I don't think there's a show in the series that doesn't require that kind of 'good faith viewing' - Why isn't the anomaly there when the Pasteur first arrives in All Good Things? How much does Odo weigh? How can Data get drunk? "I'm fine, Sir"?!?! Are you conscious during transport or aren't you? Why aren't Starfleet soldiers in the Gamma Quadrant surgically altered to look like Founders? Is Mirror Bashir also genetically enhanced, and if so, how, and if not, why isn't he mentally deficient?

All of these are potentially fun discussions, and they're just a tiny sample. And if some of them simply don't have proper answers, well what then? Is the episode ruined forever?

If the only objection to 'The Most Toys' is that it doesn't depict Data exhausting all his options, then that's no objection at all. What it wants to do is show the consequences of all Data's options being exhausted. As long as it shows something that looks like Data exhausting all of his options, it achieves that.

We hear clocks chiming in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. But clocks didn't exist in ancient Rome. Does this destroy the play? If you think so, I think you're doing it wrong, even though there's nothing wrong with pointing it out.
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Old March 6 2013, 02:14 AM   #32
Tiberius
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Re: Data and killing

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Tiberius, your little idea of shooting the floor at Fajo's feet has already been refuted in this thread.
I'm sorry, where?

And are you telling me that Fajo isn't going to jump if a lethal disrupter blast hits the floor a centimeter away from his feet?

The main problem is that Data doesn't know all the means that Fajo has at his disposal. Data has already been surprised. What we do know is that once he recaptures Data, he will increase his security. The more chances Data takes at that moment, the worse his position.
Data should act on the information he has at that moment, which is that Fajo is unarmed and incapable of harming anyone.

Fajo believes that Data will not harm him. Firing warning shots will therefore have no effect; Fajo will believe that the threat is empty.
Rubbish. If I throw a bowling ball at your head, and you know for a fact that the ball is attached to an unbreakable cable that will stop the ball a centimeter before it hits you, are you going to flinch anyway? Of course you are.

On the other hand, if Data fires in proximity, he could accidentally hurt Fajo. Knowing he could get hurt accidentally, Fajo will simply activate one his failsafes, which we can assume he has based on his pattern to date, to recapture Data.
Such as...? You're assuming that he has failsafes, and you're assuming that he is in a position to use them. All speculation.

Or, it could ricochet and kill Fajo or someone actually more innocent.
You think Fajo is going to use a bullet?

Fajo is vulnerable only because he is gloating in this moment when he believes Data will not fire. Change any of that, and it's Data who becomes vulnerable.
How so?

Finally, how much charge is there on the disruptor? Can Data be sure that there is even enough to fire it more than once or just a small number of times?
As I've already said, Data is surrounded by a cargo bay of things he can throw at Fajo.

Your little idea depends on being able to fire the weapon a large number of times,
No it doesn't. I've already said in this post and my previous posts that Data has a cargo bay full of things he can use.

and it offers too many chances to Fajo. Data was never going to have a better opportunity in the foreseeable future to neutralize this brutal danger to the galaxy.
I fail to see how an unarmed person is going to be able to defeat Data, even if Data loses the weapon and is unable to physically get close to Fajo.

Like I said, Data picks up a big crate, throws it at Fajo, breaks Fajo's leg or arm. Fajo is incapacited, and is unable to harm others.
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Old March 6 2013, 02:27 AM   #33
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Data and killing

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Old March 6 2013, 03:02 AM   #34
Tiberius
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Re: Data and killing

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Is that all?
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Old March 6 2013, 03:21 AM   #35
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Re: Data and killing

I think this all might be enough.
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Old March 6 2013, 05:22 AM   #36
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Re: Data and killing

Tiberius wrote: View Post
Firstly, I'd find Fajo's threat more serious if he hadn't just thrown his weapon away. At the time, Fajo was an UNARMED man trying to intimidate Data.

Secondly, the only way that Fajo was able to capture Data was with a sneak attack to incapacitate him. Data isn't going to let ANYONE on that ship close enough to do that again.
Data is already IN captivity. He is a prisoner on someone else's ship, & no one, least of all you or Data know what his capabilities on that ship are. While aboard that ship he is still in a position to threaten lives.
We can figure from past experience with his character that his process of reasoning is sound enough that he's not the kind of person to execute someone without the need, HIM least of all.
And there was no need to do it in this case.
Thank you for not responding to the character point I made. Do you watch every episode as though we have never seen these characters before?
Unless your point is that since Worf and Riker got away with it, Data should as well, I don't see what your point is.

Anyway, the circumstances are different. I'm not talking about why Data should get away with "Perhaps something happened during transport." I'm saying that it never should have happened in the first place. Both Worf and Riker's action can be logically explained by the circumstances. Worf was acting in accordance with Klingon culture, Riker was an inexperienced junior officer who was blinded by loyalty to his captain. I've already given my arguments that Data's actions were not justified.
My point is that Riker & Worf actually did something wrong according Federation law, & because of extenuating circumstances were only minimally reprimanded. Data actually didn't do anything except pull a trigger while in captivity, & yet you began your whole argument by saying
Tiberius wrote: View Post
Data firing at Fajo was a terrible decision. Fajo was unarmed and in no position to threaten Data. Data should have been courtmartialled.
My point was to address the 3rd part of your statement as being unwarranted, seeing how everyone else has torn down both of your other points
Yes, defending everyone from a man who was so shocked at what he'd done that he'd thrown his weapon away and left himself unarmed.
He wasn't shocked at what HE had done. He was shocked by what the weapon did, because he'd never seen it work before on someone. He pointed out shortly after that he had no remorse about it nor any repulsion from doing similar again if he didn't get what he wanted
So? You think Data was going to let Fajo activate some control panel? Call for help from his crew? There are many other ways of stopping Fajo from using his ship as I've already explained.
And every method you've suggested has been put down or can be. Control panel? You've seen TNG before right? You're aware that voice activated technology exists? None of us know what level of control he still has. So throwing cargo containers at a guy who even has his own forcefield is ludicrous
lol, I think we need a role play thing here. You suggest something that Fajo could do, and I'll play Data and try to stop you.
Ok, wtf. "Computer... Activate a maximum strength containment field around Data"

The only reason he maybe hasn't already said it is because he's stupid enough to think Data won't even shoot him, or because if Data tried to use the disruptor in some other fashion, a blast inside a containment field would damage Data... A.K.A. Fajo's rare property
But in any case, a ship full of help? Come on, his crew has just seen him murder one of his closest associates. You really think they're going to help him? More likely, Fajo's going to get a good old, "Screw you. What are you going to do, whip me with harsh language?" And then they'd beat the crap out of him. Killing Varria ensured that his crew would be DISloyal to him. Fahjo would need a weapon to get them to do what he says - and he just threw it away!
So apparently you don't know much about fear coercion. All his crew are already in fear of him. They likely know better than Data how much control he has, & damage he can do. This is why they already follow his orders. A disruptor in his hand is not the only power over them he holds. Varia was clear about that
And as I've said, Data can use the disrupter in non-lethal ways. And he has more assets than just a disrupter. he has the entire contents of the cargo bay he's in!
Throwing furniture at the guy? That's you're big master plan for sparing the life of a murderer who is still a threat? The man has a forcefield of unknown design around him, & is standing aboard a 24th century ship he commands, full of crew who fear him. Seriously, you explain to me how that guy is helpless in the single moment Data has to stop him

Edit: Oh I forgot the point about non-lethal disruptor use. I'm not thinking your plan of firing an energy beam at the bulkheads beneath his feet like bullets in the dirt from a pistol, in some old western is such a good idea aboard a space ship

Last edited by Mojochi; March 6 2013 at 05:51 AM. Reason: forgotten last point
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Old March 6 2013, 05:25 AM   #37
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Re: Data and killing

Mutai Sho-Rin wrote: View Post
I think this all might be enough.
Yeah... you're probably right
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Old March 6 2013, 07:41 AM   #38
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Re: Data and killing

While Data takes the point of being emotionless, he does show emotion at times. I'll never forget him in Gambit Part I&II, when he was in command and was being challenged by Worf in front of the crew. You could see the restrained anger in Data's demeanor, regarding Worf's behavior. If he was truly emotionless, he's be very plain and matter of fact, without any other expression. This showed itself again in another episode, when Data was in command and had some extra as his first officer (can't remember the episode name off hand), who clearly demonstrated prejudice against Data, claiming he was making decisions without regard for people's lives. Data appeared visibly angry with him... and at first I wasn't sure if he was exercising "anger" as a means to an end without feeling it, thinking a human being who is stubborn needs to be shown anger to gain awareness. But when the XO was dismissed, it looked like Data was rather satisfied for having unleashed his harsh tone.

With Fajo, it seemed like Data had an emotional moment there as well, though very slight. Did the weapon have stun capability? Could he use a lower setting to maim him and allow justice to be dispensed according to Federation law? If not, why didn't Data merely throw himself at Fajo and knock him unconscious? I believe there was an underlying emotional response. Fajo was goading Data on... about how he can't feel rage or anger. And in essence, Fajo's experiment worked--he got Data to do what he wasn't supposed to--attempt to kill an unarmed being.
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Old March 6 2013, 07:54 AM   #39
Tiberius
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Re: Data and killing

Mojochi wrote: View Post
He wasn't shocked at what HE had done. He was shocked by what the weapon did, because he'd never seen it work before on someone. He pointed out shortly after that he had no remorse about it nor any repulsion from doing similar again if he didn't get what he wanted
From the script...

69 WIDE (OPTICAL)

Fajo holds the disruptor on Varria... they look at each
other... he sighs, shrugs, fires. She screams a
horrible scream... slowly DEMATERIALIZES... the scream
echoes after she's gone. Data is stunned. Stares at
Fajo. Fajo himself is a little shaken by what he's
done.

FAJO
This is your fault. You knew the
price for disobedience. And so
did she.

Fajo tosses his weapon away, repulsed by the violence
he has committed... trying to walk away from it.
Calming himself down. Nods to himself. Yes, it was
the right thing to do.

FAJO
Well, there's always another
Varria.

It's quite clear that Fajo is shocked by his own actions, not how the weapon worked.

And every method you've suggested has been put down or can be. Control panel? You've seen TNG before right? You're aware that voice activated technology exists? None of us know what level of control he still has. So throwing cargo containers at a guy who even has his own forcefield is ludicrous

Ok, wtf. "Computer... Activate a maximum strength containment field around Data"
And in the second or so that it takes you to say that, Data would be able to pick up some lose bit of equipment and throw it at Fajo's head to knock him unconscious.

Data's reflexes are certainly fast enough.

Throwing furniture at the guy? That's you're big master plan for sparing the life of a murderer who is still a threat? The man has a forcefield of unknown design around him, & is standing aboard a 24th century ship he commands, full of crew who fear him. Seriously, you explain to me how that guy is helpless in the single moment Data has to stop him
Actually, it isn't a forcefield. Fajo describes it as, "It's a proximity-actuated field that impedes positron flow. Not good for your brainpaths in the long term." So if Data picks up a container or something and throws it, it will hit Fajo just fine.

Edit: Oh I forgot the point about non-lethal disruptor use. I'm not thinking your plan of firing an energy beam at the bulkheads beneath his feet like bullets in the dirt from a pistol, in some old western is such a good idea aboard a space ship
Why not? Guinan once fired an energy weapon at the ceiling in Ten Forward. And there have been lots of other times people have fired energy weapons at bulkheads on ships.
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Old March 6 2013, 02:51 PM   #40
yousirname
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Re: Data and killing

Tiberius wrote: View Post
And in the second or so that it takes you to say that, Data would be able to pick up some lose bit of equipment and throw it at Fajo's head to knock him unconscious.

Data's reflexes are certainly fast enough.
Or there was no loose equipment around. Or there was, but it was all either too light to knock Fajo out or too heavy to avoid killing him. Can't throw the disruptor because they're very unstable (wouldn't you know).

Why not? Guinan once fired an energy weapon at the ceiling in Ten Forward. And there have been lots of other times people have fired energy weapons at bulkheads on ships.
None of them were Varon-T disruptors, though. They're special and it would be incredibly dangerous.
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Old March 6 2013, 11:56 PM   #41
Mojochi
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Re: Data and killing

Tiberius wrote: View Post
Why not? Guinan once fired an energy weapon at the ceiling in Ten Forward. And there have been lots of other times people have fired energy weapons at bulkheads on ships.
Guinan's weapon was set at it's lowest setting, & pretty much all incidents of such, the shooter knew the setting of their weapon & the integrity of the hull they were shooting at. To our knowledge, Data knows neither of those things, & the last thing Data's weapon did was this


It would be a hazard to fire that thing indiscriminately.
Tiberius wrote: View Post
Actually, it isn't a forcefield. Fajo describes it as, "It's a proximity-actuated field that impedes positron flow. Not good for your brainpaths in the long term." So if Data picks up a container or something and throws it, it will hit Fajo just fine.
You have absolutely no basis to assume that from what he said. Field & force-field are synonyms. It is a field that exerted force against the propelled body of Data, & repelled him halfway across the room. One can at least postulate that inanimate objects might respond the same way. After all, Data is comprised of non-biological materials. So you're saying that Data could remove his arm, thus making it an inanimate object, & throw it at Fajo & that will breach the field, but attached to Data it cannot? There is no grounds for assuming that & it doesn't even make any sense, & even if it did, why wouldn't he just throw stuff at the guy from the beginning, so he could successfully escape? What would the point even be of a defense field that protects you from being touched by someone but not protect you from a projectile assault?

Tiberius wrote: View Post
And in the second or so that it takes you to say that, Data would be able to pick up some lose bit of equipment and throw it at Fajo's head to knock him unconscious.

Data's reflexes are certainly fast enough.
Assuming we overlook my last point (Which I haven't) So you're saying that in the second or two that it takes me to say "Computer put a containment field around Data" Data will have the necessary time to maneuver about this room & find something to launch at Fajo which will knock him fully unconscious fast enough to prevent him from saying it, BUT not kill him?



He's easily upwards of 10 feet from anything. His reflexes may be good, but even though his dexterity is shown to be miraculous, his maneuvering speed in an emergency is barely above normal human speeds, as evidenced in his escape from the Crystalline Entity attack, where he had to run back to retrieve a child from from Riker

The only definite solution in this moment for Data to remove all the potential threat that Fajo represents, is to fire that thing & hope it's fast enough & strong enough to breach that perimeter field
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Old March 7 2013, 01:08 AM   #42
Tiberius
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Re: Data and killing

Mojochi wrote: View Post
Tiberius wrote: View Post
Why not? Guinan once fired an energy weapon at the ceiling in Ten Forward. And there have been lots of other times people have fired energy weapons at bulkheads on ships.
Guinan's weapon was set at it's lowest setting, & pretty much all incidents of such, the shooter knew the setting of their weapon & the integrity of the hull they were shooting at. To our knowledge, Data knows neither of those things, & the last thing Data's weapon did was this


It would be a hazard to fire that thing indiscriminately.
First of all, I'm sure Data can recognise a power level adjustment knob when he sees one.

Secondly, a solid metal deck plate will be more resistant to such effects than a flesh and blood body.

In any case, if Fajo had that beam anywhere near him, he'd run away from it.

Tiberius wrote: View Post
Actually, it isn't a forcefield. Fajo describes it as, "It's a proximity-actuated field that impedes positron flow. Not good for your brainpaths in the long term." So if Data picks up a container or something and throws it, it will hit Fajo just fine.
You have absolutely no basis to assume that from what he said. Field & force-field are synonyms. It is a field that exerted force against the propelled body of Data, & repelled him halfway across the room. One can at least postulate that inanimate objects might respond the same way. After all, Data is comprised of non-biological materials. So you're saying that Data could remove his arm, thus making it an inanimate object, & throw it at Fajo & that will breach the field, but attached to Data it cannot? There is no grounds for assuming that & it doesn't even make any sense, & even if it did, why wouldn't he just throw stuff at the guy from the beginning, so he could successfully escape? What would the point even be of a defense field that protects you from being touched by someone but not protect you from a projectile assault?
What the...?

Fajo explicitly states what it is and what it does, and you say we have no basis to make that assumption? he clearly states that it works by impeding positron flow. So why do you think an object that has no positrons would be influenced in any way?

Tiberius wrote: View Post
And in the second or so that it takes you to say that, Data would be able to pick up some lose bit of equipment and throw it at Fajo's head to knock him unconscious.

Data's reflexes are certainly fast enough.
Assuming we overlook my last point (Which I haven't) So you're saying that in the second or two that it takes me to say "Computer put a containment field around Data" Data will have the necessary time to maneuver about this room & find something to launch at Fajo which will knock him fully unconscious fast enough to prevent him from saying it, BUT not kill him?



He's easily upwards of 10 feet from anything. His reflexes may be good, but even though his dexterity is shown to be miraculous, his maneuvering speed in an emergency is barely above normal human speeds, as evidenced in his escape from the Crystalline Entity attack, where he had to run back to retrieve a child from from Riker
Actually, that supports my point. Data was at the front of the rather large group of colonists, and he made it to the back in a few seconds. He was obviously moving very quickly. And anyway, if Data was smart, he'd position himself close to something he could use. If worse comes to worse, he could bend or break the weapon he is holding so it stops working and then use THAT to knock Fajo out. Pitch it like a Baseball. I'm sure Data of all people would be able to give it a lot of impact.
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Old March 7 2013, 01:34 AM   #43
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Re: Data and killing

Tiberius wrote: View Post
First of all, I'm sure Data can recognise a power level adjustment knob when he sees one.
I guess Varon-T disruptors must only have one setting.

Secondly, a solid metal deck plate will be more resistant to such effects than a flesh and blood body.
... he theorised, possibly inaccurately.
In any case, if Fajo had that beam anywhere near him, he'd run away from it.
Unless he closed his eyes so that his reflexes couldn't betray him.

Fajo explicitly states what it is and what it does, and you say we have no basis to make that assumption? he clearly states that it works by impeding positron flow. So why do you think an object that has no positrons would be influenced in any way?
He says that it impedes positron flow. He doesn't say that impeding positron flow is all that it does. For instance, doctors heal broken bones. This doesn't mean doctors are useless if you have a viral infection.

Tiberius wrote: View Post
And anyway, if Data was smart, he'd position himself close to something he could use.
If my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle. You're still assuming that there's something in the vicinity which is neither too light to be effective nor too heavy to be non-lethal.

If worse comes to worse, he could bend or break the weapon he is holding so it stops working and then use THAT to knock Fajo out. Pitch it like a Baseball. I'm sure Data of all people would be able to give it a lot of impact.
Unless it would explode if he did that.
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Old March 7 2013, 02:54 AM   #44
Tiberius
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Re: Data and killing

You guys seem to be going out of your way to come up with reasons why Data had no choice to be a murderer.
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Old March 7 2013, 03:40 AM   #45
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Re: Data and killing

Tiberius wrote: View Post
You guys seem to be going out of your way to come up with reasons why Data had no choice to be a murderer.
Well, yeah. Like I said, you have to meet the episode half-way. At the heart of all this is a simple logical inference: If Data could have avoided firing, he would have. But Data fired. Therefore Data could not have avoided firing.

Now there are things that simply stretch one's tolerance and past a certain point it gets subjective. If you won't go along with the episode's intentions far enough to accept 'The Most Toys', well, fair enough. But if I were applying criteria as rigorous as yours, I'd have to reject all of Trek. Every species with access to FTL travel has Death Star style planet-killing technology, but war is still chiefly fought on board ships, often in neutral ground. Please. But depicting that realistically would mean they wouldn't be able to tell the kind of stories they want to tell. So they don't depict it realistically.

(Shrug) I'll take it.
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