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Old August 7 2013, 01:49 PM   #16
marksound
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Re: Implications of "lifetime within hours" tech

Now, if you could download information and skills to be accessed on demand ... hey look! It's the Intersect 2.0!
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Old August 7 2013, 04:15 PM   #17
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Implications of "lifetime within hours" tech

I'll concede that it is hard to say if it is truly possible or not to use such complicated technology for recreational use, but I highly doubt it. The human mind, especially memories, are very delicate. The idea of putting an entire fictional life on top of yours and just walking away from it is laughable.

I too enjoyed "The Inner Light" but Picard just back on duty like it was nothing was dumb. I understand that TNG was during a television era when arcs weren't as prevalent and they preferred to stay episodic, but geez...

Anybody going through that trauma (or the one that O'Brien suffered) through would not just bounce back the next day or even in a few days.
Of course, we are entertaining a conceit. We can only determine the usefulness of such a technology according to how it is presented. Such neurochemical manipulation would probably have unforeseeable consequences in reality. However, we are basing what we write on what we see on the show. In that universe, it is possible for an individual to have a mental alternative lifetime and pick up where they were in their normal life, more or less. And let's not forget that O'Brien's suffering was by design, not simply an after-effect of the mind manipulation.

Technology like this sounds nice because people are assuming you can spend that time...learning a language or a skill but how? Would you live the life of a student for a few years? Wouldn't even that short amount of time not be disorienting? I mean, maybe it wouldn't be as bad as what Picard or O'Brien went through because they had no hope of going back to their old lives. They had resigned themselves to their artificial lives.
They had these lives imposed on them against their wills. That need not necessarily be so. Perhaps an individual can choose to sit down with a Klingon speaker for ten hours, day after day, week after week, until he or she gained proficiency in the language. There would be no resistance to the process. Moreover, the person could go in with the knowledge that the process would not be endless. That might mitigate some of the uncertainty that plagued O'Brien. Maybe the individual would need a social life as part of the program. That still would be compressed for time.
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Old August 7 2013, 07:12 PM   #18
The Old Mixer
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Re: Implications of "lifetime within hours" tech

In Picard's case, I imagine that once the experience was over, it was like waking up from a dream...he knew who he was, he knew that what he'd just experienced was an elaborate illusion, and recent memories of his true life were fresh. Certainly there would have been some disorientation, but relatively briefly.
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Old August 7 2013, 08:50 PM   #19
Timo
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Re: Implications of "lifetime within hours" tech

Also, like Jonas Grumby says, "Inner Light" looks and smells like a memory implant. Picard remembers the decades, but did he live through them? Or did ironweaver Kamin? For the first few days of the memory, Picard behaves like Picard - but for the following decades, we don't necessarily see him making any decisions in life, taking any action, thinking any thoughts - it could just Kamin doing the living, the thinking, the choosing.

"Inner Light" is ambiguous there, though. Would Kamin have had the skill or the drive to study climate change or solar behavior? "Hard Time" does not present us with such practical handles to the problematique. O'Brien spends twenty years in hell, yeah. But does he make any choices there? Had he really been locked in with that other fella for twenty years, would he have made any of the choices the memory-implant version of him is seen making? It's all awfully generic, rather than something specific either to a hero-in-a-jam like Picard or even to a "borrowed" or completely fictional personality like Kamin.

Memory implants could well be argued to fade in a day or two, if not sooner. Neither Picard nor O'Brien would have had their brains undergo any actual learning activity or major cognitive processing of any sort... Did Picard even learn to play the tin pipe - or was Kamin's lack of skill part of the dream, and his actual learning at the end of the episode a triviality (like tin pipe playing probably would be to many)? Remember how the characters in the dream actually go out of their way to say that Kamin doesn't know how to play...

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Old August 7 2013, 10:07 PM   #20
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Implications of "lifetime within hours" tech

O'Brien spends twenty years in hell, yeah. But does he make any choices there? Had he really been locked in with that other fella for twenty years, would he have made any of the choices the memory-implant version of him is seen making?
It depends. Was the goal to give O'Brien a painful memory of his own making, or simply make him imagine he has killed someone? The complexity of the technology suggests it would be simpler to make him imagine he killed Keiko, Molly, or worse, Julian. However, such an artificial memory might be easier to dismiss over the long run. On the other hand, putting him mentally in a controlled environment and driving him to desperation as part of an organic growth of his character might be more damaging. In Ex Post Facto, Paris maintained his innocence, even though the memory of the victim's death was implanted in him. O'Brien believed he killed E'char over bread, something which had no reality.

Neither Picard nor O'Brien would have had their brains undergo any actual learning activity or major cognitive processing of any sort... Did Picard even learn to play the tin pipe - or was Kamin's lack of skill part of the dream, and his actual learning at the end of the episode a triviality (like tin pipe playing probably would be to many)? Remember how the characters in the dream actually go out of their way to say that Kamin doesn't know how to play...
I think we need to imagine that there is something between book-learning and real experience. The tin whistle can be an easy instrument to pick up, but the Resikan flute isn't necessarily a tin whistle. It might require special techniques: half-holing, over-blowing, tonguing, embouchure, sliding. I believe that the classical pieces that Picard tried to tackle in Fistful of Datas weren't no strictly diatonic, so some additional technique would be necessary.
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Old August 8 2013, 02:15 AM   #21
The Emissary
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Re: Implications of "lifetime within hours" tech

Bad thoughts wrote: View Post
I'll concede that it is hard to say if it is truly possible or not to use such complicated technology for recreational use, but I highly doubt it. The human mind, especially memories, are very delicate. The idea of putting an entire fictional life on top of yours and just walking away from it is laughable.

I too enjoyed "The Inner Light" but Picard just back on duty like it was nothing was dumb. I understand that TNG was during a television era when arcs weren't as prevalent and they preferred to stay episodic, but geez...

Anybody going through that trauma (or the one that O'Brien suffered) through would not just bounce back the next day or even in a few days.
Of course, we are entertaining a conceit. We can only determine the usefulness of such a technology according to how it is presented. Such neurochemical manipulation would probably have unforeseeable consequences in reality. However, we are basing what we write on what we see on the show. In that universe, it is possible for an individual to have a mental alternative lifetime and pick up where they were in their normal life, more or less. And let's not forget that O'Brien's suffering was by design, not simply an after-effect of the mind manipulation.

Technology like this sounds nice because people are assuming you can spend that time...learning a language or a skill but how? Would you live the life of a student for a few years? Wouldn't even that short amount of time not be disorienting? I mean, maybe it wouldn't be as bad as what Picard or O'Brien went through because they had no hope of going back to their old lives. They had resigned themselves to their artificial lives.
They had these lives imposed on them against their wills. That need not necessarily be so. Perhaps an individual can choose to sit down with a Klingon speaker for ten hours, day after day, week after week, until he or she gained proficiency in the language. There would be no resistance to the process. Moreover, the person could go in with the knowledge that the process would not be endless. That might mitigate some of the uncertainty that plagued O'Brien. Maybe the individual would need a social life as part of the program. That still would be compressed for time.
You make fair points. It's hard to argue with that. If we are going by the preestablished parameters set by the show, I suppose such technology could be a benefit for mankind in terms of learning.

Thinking of it as "waking up from a dream" as The Old Mixer stated also makes more sense than it feeling like you lived a parallel life in the midst of your own.
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Old August 8 2013, 02:18 AM   #22
Push The Button
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Re: Implications of "lifetime within hours" tech

Carcazoid wrote: View Post
It sounds a lot like Total Recall to me.
Or the memory player/recorder from the movie Brainstorm.
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Old August 8 2013, 02:51 AM   #23
polyharmonic
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Re: Implications of "lifetime within hours" tech

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
In Picard's case, I imagine that once the experience was over, it was like waking up from a dream...he knew who he was, he knew that what he'd just experienced was an elaborate illusion, and recent memories of his true life were fresh. Certainly there would have been some disorientation, but relatively briefly.
In "Hard Times", O'brien acts very much like someone who really just completed a 20-year prison sentence. Yes he realizes that it was all fake afterwards but it was so real to him that it affected him greatly, much more than, say, a simple nightmare would.

Also, according to the episode, O'brien didn't simply have fake memories "implanted". He really experienced them even if only in his mind. The best analogy would be as if he were plugged into a "Matrix" like machine except that this machine allowed one to experience things in a 2hour:20year ratio. This is why Bashir says he can't erase them because he really experienced them, even though the experience was simulated. IOW, the memories were not FAKE in the sense they were implanted but that the memories were REAL but the memories came from a SIMULATED experience.

Another way to look at it is imagine that all of this took place in a holodeck but with the following additions:
- [ETA] O'brien did not know until the "program" ended that he was in a holodeck but thought he was really in a real prison all along
- the holodeck was run in a "time-dilated" environment so that 20years inside the holodeck=2 hours outside of it
- at the end of the holodeck program, whatever happened to him "physically" in terms of aging, etc, the Argrathi were able to reverse
This scenario would be almost equivalent to what I believe O'brien experienced. (I also think that Picard experienced something equivalent to this as well).

So I disagree with everyone that says that it was "implanted memories". Rather it is my belief that both Picard and O'brien actually experienced what happened but that the experience was simulated in their minds. Certainly in "Hard Times" that is made much more explicit.

Last edited by polyharmonic; August 8 2013 at 03:10 AM.
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Old August 8 2013, 03:00 AM   #24
The Emissary
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Re: Implications of "lifetime within hours" tech

polyharmonic wrote: View Post
The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
In Picard's case, I imagine that once the experience was over, it was like waking up from a dream...he knew who he was, he knew that what he'd just experienced was an elaborate illusion, and recent memories of his true life were fresh. Certainly there would have been some disorientation, but relatively briefly.
In "Hard Times", O'brien acts very much like someone who really just completed a 20-year prison sentence. Yes he realizes that it was all fake afterwards but it was so real to him that it affected him greatly, much more than, say, a simple nightmare would.

Also, according to the episode, O'brien didn't simply have fake memories "implanted". He really experienced them even if only in his mind. The best analogy would be as if he were plugged into a "Matrix" like machine except that this machine allowed one to experience things in a 2hour:20year ratio. This is why Bashir says he can't erase them because he really experienced them, even though the experience was simulated. IOW, the memories were not FAKE in the sense they were implanted but that the memories were REAL but the memories came from a SIMULATED experience.

Another way to look at it is imagine that all of this took place in a holodeck but with the following additions:
- the holodeck was run in a "time-dilated" environment so that 20years inside the holodeck=2 hours outside of it
- at the end of the holodeck program, whatever happened to him "physically" in terms of aging, etc, the Argrathi were able to reverse

So I disagree with everyone that says that it was "implanted memories". Rather it is my belief that both Picard and O'brien actually experienced what happened but that the experience was simulated in their minds. Certainly in "Hard Times" that is made much more explicit.
Kind of funny Bashir said he couldn't erase memories considering what he did to Kurn...

You make a good point, but I think the idea of it being a "nightmare" or whatnot is the only real way to describe the obvious discrepancy that one cannot live a parallel life in the middle of their own, then wake up and act as if it didn't happen hours or days later. It's simply not possible. Unless Roddenberry's claim that Mankind is much more enlightened also came with heightened mental and emotional stability the likes of which our species does not even come close to having now.
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Old August 8 2013, 03:05 AM   #25
Dream
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Re: Implications of "lifetime within hours" tech

Using the lifetime implanted memories to getting masters degrees might seem cool, but it would still be terribly boring for the person living it in when they know the life they are living is a fake.

Careers in place like Starfleet would still need to be lived in if you want to advance to the higher ranks. Real life experience will always be more important than fake memories.

Also how long until everyone wants to just live in an easy and programmable simulation life instead of living in real life? Would everyone end up being plugged into a machine like the Matrix?
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Old August 8 2013, 03:08 AM   #26
polyharmonic
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Re: Implications of "lifetime within hours" tech

The Emissary wrote: View Post
You make a good point, but I think the idea of it being a "nightmare" or whatnot is the only real way to describe the obvious discrepancy that one cannot live a parallel life in the middle of their own, then wake up and act as if it didn't happen hours or days later. It's simply not possible. Unless Roddenberry's claim that Mankind is much more enlightened also came with heightened mental and emotional stability the likes of which our species does not even come close to having now.
At least wrt "Hard Time", that clearly didn't happen. That episode took place at least over several weeks and clearly O'brien DIDN'T act as if it didn't happen hours or days later.

I will concede that, at least the way "Inner Light" ended, it gave the impression that Picard treated it the same as we would treat waking up from a dream. But its not NECESSARILY the case here either. It is plausible that "off-screen" he needed a lot of time to adjust and they just didn't show it. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the writers would have done better to have had Picard say that he was stepping down to get re-oriented with his "former" life. I'm not saying they needed to have this play out over several episodes and the "next" episode could have Picard re-take command after several months but that would have been more what we would expect certainly if anyone one of US just "woke up" from living this other life, even if that other life was simulated.
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Old August 9 2013, 05:16 PM   #27
137th Gebirg
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Re: Implications of "lifetime within hours" tech

Timo wrote: View Post
Also, like Jonas Grumby says, "Inner Light" looks and smells like a memory implant. Picard remembers the decades, but did he live through them? Or did ironweaver Kamin? For the first few days of the memory, Picard behaves like Picard - but for the following decades, we don't necessarily see him making any decisions in life, taking any action, thinking any thoughts - it could just Kamin doing the living, the thinking, the choosing.
I don't buy that it was purely a memory implant. To me, that would imply a passive participation in the download - watching events happen and moving through it as if you were watching a 30-year movie, from start to finish. I got the impression that he was always an active participant in what was going on, as in what would happen to Picard if he was thrown into this situation and was forced to live it out. He was an explorer at heart, always venturing into the nearby mountains, a hobby that his "daughter" started to embrace once she became of age, many years later. This would imply that certain parts of Picard's personality and "original life" were always interwoven within the "new life", and not totally supplanted. Picard's scientific mind allowed him to see what was going to happen to the planet and its star. Ironweaver Kamen was likely nothing more than a construct in which to place Picard, to be used as a vessel to interact with everyone else in the program, that may or may not have been loosely based on real people. (It's been years since I've seen the episode, BTW, so my recollection of specific lines of dialog here are nil). He really could have done anything in that world, but he approached it as Picard would through the very end.
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Old August 9 2013, 05:25 PM   #28
Timo
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Re: Implications of "lifetime within hours" tech

Or then it would be the exact opposite: Kamin was a very real person, lovingly transferred to this exotic medium in great detail, and was only going to be implanted into the memory of a compatible person. With the E-D, the probe had a thousand people to choose from, and found its almost-Kamin in Picard.

The transfer probably would run into difficulties of the recipient had inborn reasons to reject it outright. A married man might reject an alien liaison imposed upon him; a particularly swinging single might categorically refuse marriage, let alone the having of children. Hence the scan and the choosing process.

In the end, choice is usually an illusion...

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