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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old September 15 2013, 10:47 PM   #16
Stevil2001
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Christopher wrote: View Post
^Even the first issue where Spock blithely exterminates a planet full of sentient life?
Especially that one.
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Old September 17 2013, 02:21 AM   #17
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

One thing I'd also like to see regarding Trek's WW III is because of O'Brien's line in DS9's Past Tense. He was talking about a visit to a timeline where Gabriel Bell died and the Bell Riots never happened. Whatever he found there, he never said, but he just remarked "Earth's had its rough patches, but never THAT rough." So whatever he saw there must have been worse than World War III! I wonder how that could be possible...
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Old September 17 2013, 02:25 AM   #18
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Well WW3's death toll evidently wasn't all that high, all things considered. Given a population in the 10 billion range, 4-500 million while still a tragedy of unfathomable proportions, would mean a fair portion of humanity got off scot free. Presumably most of the casualties would have been in the combatant nations, which would mean you'd see enormous death and destruction in a small portion of the globe.

Do kinda think this and the Eugenics War are a missed opportunity for movie storytellers. I mean the Khan revelation in STID would've been meatier if there'd been like a Cumberbatch centered EW/WW3 movie as a prequel.
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Old September 17 2013, 02:50 AM   #19
Sci
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
Well WW3's death toll evidently wasn't all that high, all things considered. Given a population in the 10 billion range, 4-500 million while still a tragedy of unfathomable proportions, would mean a fair portion of humanity got off scot free.
Mere survival is not the same thing as "getting off scot free." 5% of an entire planetary population is huge, and would have devastating economic, medical, and social impacts on the survivors.

That's to say nothing of indirect deaths from lack of infrastructure, disease, mass migrations, and social unrest.
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Old September 17 2013, 07:15 AM   #20
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

I thought that the figure of a half-billion dead was the total dead from the conflict, including indirect casualties from disease and famine and the like.

I am grimly curious about the timeline that was created by the death of Gabriel Bell. O'Brien said that the 2048 he and Kira visited was bad:

[T]hat wasn't the mid-twenty-first century that I read about in school. It's been changed. Earth history had its rough patches, but never that rough.
Inasmuch as, by the mid-24th century, Earth still hadn't recovered any spacefaring capacity, the Third World War must have been much worse. The scans of the devastated Earth--and of the apparent Romulan-dominated sphere--must be interesting ...

One thing I found. The script for "A Matter of Time", talking about the asteroid impact on Penthara V, says something disconcerting. Picard:

"The resulting dust cloud could very well create a phenomenon not unlike the nuclear winters of twenty-first-century Earth."

Winters?
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Old September 17 2013, 08:03 PM   #21
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Steve Mollmann wrote: View Post
If I was the King Of All Star Trek, the Gold Key comics would be the canon. And nothing else.
I wouldn't go that far...but I would only include the Bantam novels. Sorry, anyone that likes stories with spacefaring Klingons in them.
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Old September 17 2013, 11:06 PM   #22
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
I am grimly curious about the timeline that was created by the death of Gabriel Bell.
Perhaps in this timeline, the Vulcans didn't help with the post-WW III cleanup and rebuilding like they presumably did in the real one.

I'm just guessing that they did, anyway. I find it extremely unlikely that Earth could have recovered so quickly from an all-out nuclear war (which most agree would completely destroy all civilization - indeed, all life - if it were to happen), with ALL MAJOR CITIES REBUILT, in only a hundred years. Hell, it'd take a hundred years to rebuild just ONE city, let alone all of them! Look at how long it takes to build a typical skyscraper right now, in peacetime...then multiply that by a factor of a thousand or so.

Then again, in one ENT episode, Soval says that the Vulcans are wary of humanity precisely because they recovered from WW III in only a century, whereas Vulcan took a thousand years to do the same after its last major war. Which suggests that the Vulcans didn't help after all.

Dammit. I don't know how to resolve this.
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Old September 18 2013, 12:41 AM   #23
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

The possibility is that despite it being a nuclear conflict, the number of strategic weapons had been downgraded sufficiently at that point that almost all strike capability was expended on counterforce targets rather than countervalue targets, leaving most countervalue strikes to lower yield weapons which maybe just took out the portions of metropolitan centers with EMP destroying a lot of the infrastructure, but without completely incinerating the cities. This might particularly be the case if there was some warning about this possibility, people might construct shelters and ABM systems to protect large economic centers so they wouldn't bother taking out the city proper, but rather try to cripple it with a high atmosphere strike.

That could explain why things seemed so backward, but that cities largely remained habitable and rebuild in time. There was probably a lot of latent human industrial capability that was just looking for the political will to unite and rebuild rather than continue on in the post-atomic horror situation of nothing working.

The Vulcans might have come and helped patch up the human electrical/information infrastructure, and was then shocked that the countries banded together so quickly to rebuild and putting aside old hatreds/changes. I mean if we take the Vulcan's Soul Trilogy at face value, Vulcan was so riven by state conflicts that they were still working at city-state level despite being at roughly 21st century/22nd century tech levels. So the ability of humanity to go beyond that quickly might have been unexpected from their experiences.
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Old September 18 2013, 12:45 AM   #24
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
I thought that the figure of a half-billion dead was the total dead from the conflict, including indirect casualties from disease and famine and the like.
It's my understanding that indirect deaths from a war can be very hard to quantify. I would be inclined to assume that the 600 million dead figure is direct deaths, but that's just me.

I am grimly curious about the timeline that was created by the death of Gabriel Bell. O'Brien said that the 2048 he and Kira visited was bad:

[T]hat wasn't the mid-twenty-first century that I read about in school. It's been changed. Earth history had its rough patches, but never that rough.
Inasmuch as, by the mid-24th century, Earth still hadn't recovered any spacefaring capacity, the Third World War must have been much worse. The scans of the devastated Earth--and of the apparent Romulan-dominated sphere--must be interesting ...
Well, "Past Tense" seems to imply that the chief contribution of the Bell riots to Earth history was to start the process of reversing a system of severe economic oppression against the unemployed, the homeless, and the mentally ill. [Indeed, its depiction of deepening economic inequality and class oppression is proving disturbingly prophetic 11 years out from its fictional 2024.] "Sanctuary districts" -- in reality, large open-air prisons for the poor -- were established as having been in place in place in cities across the planet. Bell's sacrifice helped turn public opinion against the Districts. Perhaps in a timeline without Bell, the riots were much worse, and the riots only made the tensions between economic classes that much worse -- perhaps provoking an earlier World War III. Or maybe a long-term degeneration into a neo-feudalist economy.

I would point out that the presence of Romulan ships in the Alpha Centauri system does not necessarily mean that the area of the Federation core worlds is Romulan-dominated in this alternate 24th Century -- though that is certainly a possibility, especially if there was never an Enterprise NX-01 to prevent a Vulcan invasion of the Andorian Empire and depose a Romulan puppet in Administrator V'las.
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Old September 18 2013, 03:42 AM   #25
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Hell, it'd take a hundred years to rebuild just ONE city, let alone all of them! Look at how long it takes to build a typical skyscraper right now, in peacetime...then multiply that by a factor of a thousand or so.
I think the Japanese and the Germans, for two, would disagree with that "estimate". Unless they're still rebuilding from WWII in areas that I didn't visit.....
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Old September 18 2013, 03:45 AM   #26
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

^ But like I pointed out in another thread, Hiroshima and Nagasaki (and other cities hard hit in WW II) were rebuilt in a world which still, in general, had its civilization and infrastructure. A full-out World War III would leave none of that intact. How could you rebuild a city if there is no infrastructure or technology or power left to rebuild it with? That wasn't a problem with II, but it would be with III.

When everything is destroyed, where do you go from there?
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Old September 18 2013, 03:59 AM   #27
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

When was it ever claimed in Trek that WWIII was "full-out" or destroyed "everything?" Sure, "Encounter at Farpoint" suggested that much of the world was lawless and chaotic for a while afterward, but First Contact makes it clear that enough infrastructure survived to develop warp drive within a decade after the war's end, so clearly it wasn't completely pervasive. To all indications, we're talking something bigger than WWII but considerably smaller than the wholesale nuclear apocalypse of Roddenberry's Genesis II/Planet Earth.

As far as building cities goes, Shanghai and Dubai have turned flat open fields into towering metropolises in just two decades. There are comparison pictures here, though with some annoying ads over them.
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Old September 18 2013, 04:02 AM   #28
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Christopher wrote: View Post
When was it ever claimed in Trek that WWIII was "full-out" or destroyed "everything?"
It's WORLD WAR III, for crying out loud. How could it not?
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Old September 18 2013, 04:23 AM   #29
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
When was it ever claimed in Trek that WWIII was "full-out" or destroyed "everything?"
It's WORLD WAR III, for crying out loud. How could it not?
World War I & II didn't.
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Old September 18 2013, 04:42 AM   #30
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
When was it ever claimed in Trek that WWIII was "full-out" or destroyed "everything?"
It's WORLD WAR III, for crying out loud. How could it not?
What a thoroughly bizarre answer. Yes, there is a common fictional trope of WWIII as a global conflagration that destroys civilization, but the very fact that we came out of the Cold War alive in reality should prove that that's just one possibility. ST has always made it clear from TOS onward that WWIII, while more destructive than WWII, obviously left most of human civilization intact.

And there have certainly been other works of fiction that portrayed WWIII as a limited nuclear conflict rather than a global apocalypse. Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress called it "The Wet Firecracker War," while his Starship Troopers had WWIII simply bring about the collapse of previous nations and the rise of the military state that ruled Earth in the novel. Various works of anime including Akira and Ghost in the Shell have been set in cities rebuilt after WWIII destroyed the previous ones. Babylon 5 had a limited WWIII in its backstory, leading to the replacement of the UN with the Earth Alliance.

And let's not forget "Lisa's Wedding" from The Simpsons, where England saved America's arses in World War III.
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