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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

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

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Old July 24 2013, 11:12 PM   #31
Workbee
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Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

Actually, the saucer likely would have fared better. It was the damage to the warp nacelle that turned a severe impact into a catastrophe. Even if the saucer could not avoid impact, it is very possible the collision could have been survivable.

Now, whether this would still have triggered a time loop is another question. If it did, would time reset for the entire Enterprise, or just the saucer section? Then would they have ended up with two saucer sections, with living crew on both? Or maybe it would recreate the stardrive, with the original still flying out in space. Argh... this is starting to hurt my brain. :-(
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Old July 25 2013, 06:29 AM   #32
FFunctionalData
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Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

What i do not understand is why they billed Kelsey Grammer as a guest star when he was only in the show for like 30 seconds.

Brief star is more like it.
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Old July 25 2013, 07:41 AM   #33
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Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

Because billing is negotiated by agents, and Mr. Grammer was a big enough name to get it, and it had publicity value for the show.
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Old July 26 2013, 02:19 AM   #34
Tiberius
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Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

Timo wrote: View Post
Remember that our heroes already know they are caught in a repeating loop - a loop that apparently has already repeated itself multiple times. Turning back is an obvious idea, but it has done them no good in the supposed previous attempts!
But the first time through they made no attempt, because they didn't know they were going to be destroyed. Thus they would not have turned back. Remember - the only knowledge they could get about what was going to happen came from previous trips through the loop. The first time through, there had been no previous attempts, so the logic, "Reversing course didn't help last time" is wrong. There was no last time.

It's not as if our heroes would know that the time loop is the result of the ship being in spot X at time T. In other words, there's no guarantee that avoiding spot X would keep the ship out of the loop. Perhaps it's more a matter of the ship doing activity Y at time T? Or doing activity Y at any random time? Or not being in spot X at time T?
True, but there's no reason to assume that it wouldn't be because of that either. So it makes sense to act as though the ship's location plays a part in causing it, even if they can't know for sure.

The "they knew nothing during their first time around" argument is not a helpful one, because any number of exotic things could have happened during their first time around already. Nothing necessitates an "uneventful" original run where the only event is the ship crashing into a time loop, or makes this more or less likely than an "eventful" run where all sorts of things happen and just one of those is responsible for the loop.
But, however, the first time through they would have done nothing until they experienced an event which would give them cause to do that thing. By doing something at random, with no cause, they are changing the sequence of events and that could be what prevents the loop from forming.

In general terms, yes, it may make sense to "struggle" as much as possible, to turn around, to separate the ship, to sing "Allamaraine, allamaraine!" while standing on one's head... But "strugging" is exceptional, and time loops are exceptional, so there's the very real danger that the two are actually connected.

Timo Saloniemi
I see this as contradicting the episode. You are, in effect, claiming that struggling to avoid the collision by turning around could cause the collision, yet the episode shows very clearly that not turning around leads to the collision anyway. The worst case situation is that the Enterprise collides with the Bozeman no matter what. But the best case situation is that the Enterprise escapes the collision. Since we know from the episode that not turning around leads to the collision, trying to avoid it by turning around makes sense, yes?
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Old July 26 2013, 03:58 AM   #35
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Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

Stop where the ship's at, launch a few probes or remote controlled shuttles, and just wait and see. That's the first thought that went through my head. Besides, they know at what point the echoes started, just back up in a straight line till the echoes go away and the slowly swing wide around your old course or just sit and wait and see.
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Old July 26 2013, 03:14 PM   #36
Timo
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Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

But the first time through they made no attempt, because they didn't know they were going to be destroyed. Thus they would not have turned back.
They can't know that for sure. There would be any number of reasons why they could have made an odd course change the first time around, leading to their destruction. Odd course changes is what starships do for a living!

But if taking a certain course is the thing that leads to destruction, then the odds of one getting destroyed are extremely low no matter what the course. After all, there are an infinite number of courses available!

Yet our heroes know that there is a time loop there. It's extremely unlikely, then, that the course they take would be of any consequence, because if the loop really is course-dependent, then only one choice out of an infinite number will create the loop.

So logically, our heroes should decide that course is of no consequence. It is weird and unusual and against all odds, then, that the loop in the end is revealed to be not only course-specific, but course-specific to the centimeter!

Of course, yes, admittedly, all right, by not turning at all, one is choosing a "special" course that has higher odds of being chosen than any of the others, in a repeat sample. But as said, for our heroes in the n'th loop, it must appear likely that deviating from this course has been attempted at least once before, and it hasn't helped at all.

I see this as contradicting the episode.
Sure. But the nature of the time loop in the episode takes our heroes quite justly by surprise - they could not have known that deviating from their course would be the right choice. The episode features an exceptional and unlikely time loop that in "reality" should have zero odds of happening, because it depends on centimeter/millisecond accuracy of events, and yet we know each loop is different in subtle ways. Our heroes would know how exceptional and unlikely a loop of this very sort should be, and thus not bet their lives on that. Not lightly, anyway.

Stop where the ship's at, launch a few probes or remote controlled shuttles, and just wait and see. That's the first thought that went through my head.
That wouldn't have achieved anything in either "Cause and Effect" or "Time Squared", though. Space is too big for that.

Besides, they know at what point the echoes started, just back up in a straight line till the echoes go away and the slowly swing wide around your old course or just sit and wait and see.
The former ought to work fine. The latter would apparently involve sitting for all eternity, which a starship cannot afford to do!

Timo Saloniemi
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Old July 29 2013, 01:14 AM   #37
HoserTrek37
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Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

can't wait to see a post-Nem reappearance of Captain Morgan Bateson of the U.S.S. Bozeman (Kelsey Grammer).

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Old July 29 2013, 09:18 AM   #38
Tiberius
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Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

Timo wrote: View Post
But the first time through they made no attempt, because they didn't know they were going to be destroyed. Thus they would not have turned back.
They can't know that for sure. There would be any number of reasons why they could have made an odd course change the first time around, leading to their destruction. Odd course changes is what starships do for a living!
But if they had changed course the first time around, then there would be some reason which would also apply the second and third and fourth times. If they change course at random based solely off the fact that they have information which they could not possibly have had the first time, then they know they are doing something which did not happen the first time.

But if taking a certain course is the thing that leads to destruction, then the odds of one getting destroyed are extremely low no matter what the course. After all, there are an infinite number of courses available!
That's right. However, the fact that they know the Enterprise has been destroyed at least once proves that the course they are on definitely leads to their destruction, then taking any other course will almost certainly avoid the destruction.

Yet our heroes know that there is a time loop there. It's extremely unlikely, then, that the course they take would be of any consequence, because if the loop really is course-dependent, then only one choice out of an infinite number will create the loop.
Agreed. Changing course would make no difference if the distortion was not based on a location in space. Perhaps it was attached to the Enterprise somehow and would always appear at a certain position relative to the Enterprise, regardless of where the E actually was.

So logically, our heroes should decide that course is of no consequence. It is weird and unusual and against all odds, then, that the loop in the end is revealed to be not only course-specific, but course-specific to the centimeter!
However, there no evidence in the episode that suggests that the distortion was Enterprise based (ie, it would always appear at a certain position relative to the Enterprise no matter where the ship was) rather than location based (ir, it would always appear at a certain location in space, regardless of whether the Enterprise was there or not).

Of course, yes, admittedly, all right, by not turning at all, one is choosing a "special" course that has higher odds of being chosen than any of the others, in a repeat sample. But as said, for our heroes in the n'th loop, it must appear likely that deviating from this course has been attempted at least once before, and it hasn't helped at all.
They could certainly make this assumption, but without evidence, it would be a very foolish assumption to make. After all, would you just assume you;d tried and failed a potentially life-saving course of action the last time through and then assume it didn't work and give it up without any evidence to support this conclusion?

The crew was not using that kind of logic. if they were, then they'd figure that the first time through they tried the tractor beam idea, and it didn't work, so they'd straight away try the shuttle bay idea.

I see this as contradicting the episode.
Sure. But the nature of the time loop in the episode takes our heroes quite justly by surprise - they could not have known that deviating from their course would be the right choice. The episode features an exceptional and unlikely time loop that in "reality" should have zero odds of happening, because it depends on centimeter/millisecond accuracy of events, and yet we know each loop is different in subtle ways. Our heroes would know how exceptional and unlikely a loop of this very sort should be, and thus not bet their lives on that. Not lightly, anyway.
They would have had very good reason to suspect that altering course would avoid the crash. After all, with nothing to tell them to alter course the first time through, they hit the Bozeman. The second time through, with this information, they can be reasonably sure that they didn't alter their course the first time, and so trying to avoid the location of the collision by turning around would certainly make sense.

Stop where the ship's at, launch a few probes or remote controlled shuttles, and just wait and see. That's the first thought that went through my head.
That wouldn't have achieved anything in either "Cause and Effect" or "Time Squared", though. Space is too big for that.
Doesn't matter. They can be reasonably sure that whatever is going to happen will be reasonably close to their current location. Doubtful it was going to happen in the Gamma Quadrant, after all.
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Old July 29 2013, 09:56 AM   #39
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

Tom wrote: View Post
Separate the dam ship! LOL
Woah - if they did that, and the stardrive section continued on. crashed with the Bozeman and exploded, would they then meet the saucer on the next loop? THAT would have been awesome.
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Old July 29 2013, 10:00 AM   #40
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Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

HoserTrek37 wrote: View Post
can't wait to see a post-Nem reappearance of Captain Morgan Bateson of the U.S.S. Bozeman (Kelsey Grammer).

He keeps cropping up in the post-NEM novels. Most recently [i]Cold Equations: Silent Weapons[i]. Before that, he starred in Ship of the Line where he was the first captain of the Enterprise-E. He's captain of the Sovereign-class USS Atlanta now.
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Old July 29 2013, 12:10 PM   #41
Timo
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Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

The big problem here is in the concept of the time loop, not in our heroes' treatment of it. The loop must be nearly unavoidable by definition, or else it would not exist.

1) If the loop depends on this super-accurate collision with a fellow starship, then it must follow that the collision is going to happen no matter what course the E-D takes, although perhaps within certain limits. If changes in course were relevant, then the random fluctuations of the loop would preclude the collision most of the time, and there could be no loop. Somehow, the E-D must be a disaster magnet, causing the Bozeman to pop out of the past at the exact millisecond and location that will result in a collision, regardless of where the E-D herself is and when. Although, I guess, still within the Typhon Expanse... (But the ship isn't allowed to leave the Expanse - her orders are to study it. And if it eats starships, then all the more reason to poke around and make the area secure for further visitors!)

2) If our heroes knew the above, they should not worry about course changes, but they should worry about ways to survive an unavoidable collision. And this is indeed the conclusion they reach in the discussion. However, the heroes in each of the loops, even the final one, are unaware that there is going to be a super-accurate collision with a fellow starship. All they know in the very final loop is that they are going to die in a collision with something, perhaps an unavoidably large object or entity. That's in some ways even less reason to think that changing the course will change the future - but in other ways, it gives hope, as the concept of a "safe course" might still theoretically exist. The episode as written makes good sense if the heroes assume the collision will be with a small object, though, even if they never voice this sentiment.

3) The heroes don't even know when disaster is going to strike. Today? Tomorrow? Three years from now, as per the mysterious "signs of three"? Stopping to worry, to launch probes, or otherwise prevaricate, is unthinkable in those circumstances; Starfleet officers can't afford to be paralyzed like that. And luckily the episode doesn't feature them immediately springing to rash action; rather, it has the disaster visit them again before there is time to decide between action and inaction.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old July 29 2013, 03:54 PM   #42
Tiberius
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Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

I get what you're saying, Timo, but the episode does not say in any way that changing course would not avoid the collision. All they say in the episode is:

PICARD
If you're right about this...
perhaps we could escape the loop
by avoiding the collision...

GEORDI
That's our guess.

WORF
Maybe we should reverse course.

RIKER
For all we know, reversing course
might be what leads us into the
crash.

Picard thinks a moment, then shakes his head.

PICARD
We can't afford to start
second-guessing ourselves. We'll
stay on our present course until
we have reason to change it.
(beat)
In the meantime, let's do
everything we can to avoid a
collision.

They just somehow assume that changing course will do nothing. No explanation is giving for this decision. We can come up with fanwank explanations after the fact, but it doesn't matter. Our speculation isn't canon, and there's no logical reason why they shouldn't at least TRY. After all, what's the worst that could happen if it fails? They'll crash and get stuck in a repeating timeloop?
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Old July 29 2013, 05:54 PM   #43
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Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

I just always wonder if Morgan Bateson's ship was like the movie Down Periscope.
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Old July 30 2013, 10:15 PM   #44
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Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

HoserTrek37 wrote: View Post
can't wait to see a post-Nem reappearance of Captain Morgan Bateson of the U.S.S. Bozeman (Kelsey Grammer).

Don't hold your breath.
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Old July 30 2013, 10:53 PM   #45
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Re: Cause and Effect - why didn't they...

Tiberius wrote: View Post
They just somehow assume that changing course will do nothing. No explanation is giving for this decision.
Maybe it was because Worf suggested it and they never listen to Worf.
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