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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old March 19 2013, 05:49 PM   #31
CrazyMatt
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Re: Commodore Wesley confuses me

Let's go back to the first act, in the Enterprise's transporter room:

KIRK: Twenty? I can't run a starship with twenty crew!
WESLEY: The M-5 can.
KIRK: And what am I supposed to do?
WESLEY: You've got a great job, Jim. All you have to do is sit back and let the machine do the work.

Maybe that's exactly what Wesley thought Kirk was doing, just sitting back and watching... Wesley would have then thought "Why the hell doesn't he hit manual override and turn that damn computer off!?!?"
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Old March 19 2013, 05:57 PM   #32
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Re: Commodore Wesley confuses me

Not to repeat another thread, but what really confuses me about this episode is why Wesley wears a Starfleet Command patch...
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Old March 19 2013, 06:00 PM   #33
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Re: Commodore Wesley confuses me

CrazyMatt wrote: View Post
Not to repeat another thread, but what really confuses me about this episode is why Wesley wears a Starfleet Command patch...
Because he was likely the mission commander not the regular captain of the Lexington. That explanation always worked for me.
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Old March 19 2013, 06:05 PM   #34
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Re: Commodore Wesley confuses me

Hmmm... so one of Starfleet's finest officers--I think if you're one of twelve starship commanders that's obvious... just gets thrown aside for a wargame???
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Old March 19 2013, 06:17 PM   #35
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Re: Commodore Wesley confuses me

CrazyMatt wrote: View Post
Hmmm... so one of Starfleet's finest officers--I think if you're one of twelve starship commanders that's obvious... just gets thrown aside for a wargame???
Why not?

If Wesley has a personal or professional interest in M-5 he may have wrangled himself into the center seat for the exercise much like Kirk bumped Decker in The Motion Picture.
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Old March 19 2013, 06:18 PM   #36
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Re: Commodore Wesley confuses me

CrazyMatt wrote: View Post
Hmmm... so one of Starfleet's finest officers--I think if you're one of twelve starship commanders that's obvious... just gets thrown aside for a wargame???
I think 5 of them, really. Kirk was thrown aside, the possible captain of the Lexington and the 3 captains of the other 3 ships as well, you don't call what they were doing part of their normal duties. This was a Major commitment by the Federation. If there really were only 12 like Enterprise, then that's 41% of their fleet in one spot, yet Enterprise is usually "the only ship in the _______ (quadrant, sector, area)" That's big. The regular Enterprise crew is in security detention, not shore leave. Wesley was shocked when Spock knew so much in the transporter room.

Just think about the areas of Fed space underdefended, if the Klingons or Romulans were aware, there's a huge potential for loss of life.
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Old March 19 2013, 06:24 PM   #37
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Re: Commodore Wesley confuses me

Timo wrote: View Post
Juridically, yeah. But that shouldn't affect how Wesley assesses the tactical situation at hand. If a ship is about to run aground because of a faulty route marker, the concern of the eyewitness should be the marker, rather than the skipper's theoretical responsibility.
In that example, if the witness were able to communicate with whomever had the conn of the ship, it would be imperative to let that person know what was happening. Wesley was in communication with the person most likely to be able to address the tactical situation, Kirk, and he made himself known. He may have said it in kind of a dickish way, yes, but that's a personal issue.
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Old March 19 2013, 08:42 PM   #38
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Re: Commodore Wesley confuses me

Provided that Starfleet did have Kirk under constant, strict surveillance and worry about him snapping a twig, why test the M5 on his ship? Why not test it on a ship where the captain wouldn't be as unhappy with becoming redundant?

As for Wesley having more faith in the M5 than Kirk, that doesn't say anything about Kirk. Wesley likely had been a starship commander before so he is obviously aware that computers can and do malfunction. Sure, people snap twigs too, but what's more likely; Kirk snapping a twig all of a sudden or a brand spanking new, never been tested in live conditions computer malfunctioning? The fact that he's believed all this nonsense about how wonderful the M5 is proves he's a freakin' loon. Sure, it's been hyped up, but never tested in live conditions and Wesley retains absolutely no skepticism. Heck, Scotty knew plugging that thing in the Enterprise was a bad idea and he was just going off what the M5 was *supposed* to do.

And people keep mentioning the off switch. Those can malfunction too. Wesley is lacking in the critical thinking skills department. He's not considering more than one possibility. That's the point.
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Old March 19 2013, 09:00 PM   #39
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Re: Commodore Wesley confuses me

In that example, if the witness were able to communicate with whomever had the conn of the ship, it would be imperative to let that person know what was happening.
Okay, I chose a confusing example. In that one, the skipper would probably have nothing to do with the fact that his ship was being steered towards a big rock - some poor junior officer standing behind the shoulder of an enlisted steering wheel turner chap would be relying on incorrect data, and that is where the alert bystander should direct his communications.

In the Trek case, Wesley would of course know that Kirk would be in actual charge. That's quite different from him merely knowing that Kirk was legally culpable, and would IMHO fully justify him yelling at Kirk when the Enterprise opened fire.

As for Wesley being surprisingly happy about a technology that erases his own job, well, the air forces of the world today are full of people like that. They see great merit in taking the pilot out of the aircraft, and realize that this in no way reduces the force's need for gifted and experienced officers.

And that insignia of his? I don't believe it's "Starfleet Command" at all. It's just another one of those Fleet insignia. You know, arrowhead for 1st Fleet, starburst-flower for 3rd Fleet, rectangle for 11th Fleet, fancy lotus leaf for 23rd Logistics Fleet, etc.

But, malfunctioning off switches? Only in Hollywood. M-5 isn't a nuclear reactor: you can turn it off in a thousand different ways, some destructive, some not. And at least fifty of those will work come hell or high vacuum.

As regards taking these ships away from the front lines, I'm not sure if that's a big sacrifice at all. Perhaps Starships are predominantly exploration vessels with little or no use in defense (since the only "defense" job we ever saw Kirk handle was a purposeless vigil at the eternally peaceful Romulan Neutral Zone - and never mind that things unexpectedly went south there).

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Old March 19 2013, 09:11 PM   #40
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Re: Commodore Wesley confuses me

In that example, if the witness were able to communicate with whomever had the conn of the ship, it would be imperative to let that person know what was happening.
Okay, I chose a confusing example. In that one, the skipper would probably have nothing to do with the fact that his ship was being steered towards a big rock - some poor junior officer standing behind the shoulder of an enlisted steering wheel turner chap would be relying on incorrect data, and that is where the alert bystander should direct his communications.
There's an actual real-life precedent where that happened. The Battleship Missouri ran aground in 1950 while trying to get out of Chesapeake Bay. There was a faulty fathometer as well as a number of mistakes made by junior members of the ship's crew, but the captain was ultimately held responsible for what happened to his ship. An inquiry found enough evidence for a case of negligence on his part, which led to a court-martial, and the captain being relieved of his command.
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Old March 19 2013, 09:45 PM   #41
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Re: Commodore Wesley confuses me

^^

Happened to a friend of mine! He was the captain of a Los Angles Class Sub and while he was asleep whomever was in command at the time ran into a Japanese ship due to the venturi effect (basically the sub got sucked into the ship as the ship passed over it) and my friend was relieved of command and shortly thereafter left the Navy. Keep in mind before he was a captain of the vessel he was the chief tactician for an admiral at the pentagon. He had a great reputation and knew the right people but in the end it just didn't matter. The commander is where the buck stops.
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Old March 19 2013, 09:52 PM   #42
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Re: Commodore Wesley confuses me

CrazyMatt wrote: View Post
Maybe that's exactly what Wesley thought Kirk was doing, just sitting back and watching... Wesley would have then thought "Why the hell doesn't he hit manual override and turn that damn computer off!?!?"
I think that's what went on - when Wesley says "what the devil is Kirk doing?", he means "why hasn't Kirk shut the M5 off?", not "why is Kirk attacking us?" As I recall, M5 shut off communications, so there was no way for Wesley to find out what was up or even if Kirk and company were still alive. At that point he assumes the ship is out of control, and moves to destroy it.
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Old March 19 2013, 10:24 PM   #43
Robert Comsol
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Re: Commodore Wesley confuses me

feek61 wrote: View Post
Happened to a friend of mine! He was the captain of a Los Angles Class Sub and while he was asleep whomever was in command at the time ran into a Japanese ship due to the venturi effect (basically the sub got sucked into the ship as the ship passed over it) and my friend was relieved of command and shortly thereafter left the Navy. Keep in mind before he was a captain of the vessel he was the chief tactician for an admiral at the pentagon. He had a great reputation and knew the right people but in the end it just didn't matter. The commander is where the buck stops.
Ouch! So you are telling us the modern US Navy still clings to this outdated, rigid "the captain is responsible for everything (i.e. every thing)" 300 year-old naval "tradition"?

This would be rather stupid, considering the costs the taxpayer invested into the training and education of your friend from an economical point of view (from a human point of view it's awful: so you have to be an a**hole to make sure the crew will do its job 100% right but in return will hate and despise you - unless you are a born and natural leader?).

At least, TOS suggests progress in the far future: In "The Doomsday-Machine" Kirk tries to persuade Matt Decker to return to the Enterprise - "We need your experience!"

Bob
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Old March 19 2013, 10:37 PM   #44
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Re: Commodore Wesley confuses me

siskokid888 wrote: View Post
CrazyMatt wrote: View Post
Maybe that's exactly what Wesley thought Kirk was doing, just sitting back and watching... Wesley would have then thought "Why the hell doesn't he hit manual override and turn that damn computer off!?!?"
I think that's what went on - when Wesley says "what the devil is Kirk doing?", he means "why hasn't Kirk shut the M5 off?", not "why is Kirk attacking us?" As I recall, M5 shut off communications, so there was no way for Wesley to find out what was up or even if Kirk and company were still alive. At that point he assumes the ship is out of control, and moves to destroy it.
"Full phasers? What the devil is Kirk doing? Damage report, Lieutenant. Helm, course one six four, mark three."

"Enterprise--Jim! Have you gone mad? What are you trying to prove? Break off the attack! Jim, we have fifty three dead here--twelve on the Excalibur! If you can hear us, stop the attack!"

"Jim, why don't you answer? Jim! Answer! Come in, Jim!"

"Jim, break off your attack!"

I think the notion that Wesley thought Kirk was trying to prove something actually has some merit. It's too bad we can't ask Bob Wesley what he thought was happening and to what degree he thought Kirk was responsible.
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Old March 19 2013, 11:28 PM   #45
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Re: Commodore Wesley confuses me

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
TOS suggests progress in the far future: In "The Doomsday-Machine" Kirk tries to persuade Matt Decker to return to the Enterprise - "We need your experience!"
And, on the other hand, Kirk also says: "As captain, I am responsible for the conduct of the crew under my command."

It looks like even in the 23rd century, if crewmembers screw up, the captain takes the heat.
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