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

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Old September 18 2013, 05:01 AM   #31
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Darth Duck wrote: View Post
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.
They weren't nuclear.

Christopher wrote: View Post
the very fact that we came out of the Cold War alive in reality
Neither was that one. Although it almost was (re: Cuban Missile Crisis).
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Old September 18 2013, 05:05 AM   #32
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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?
If World War III were to destroy everything, there would not have been a human race left to rebuild anything.

To me, it seems fairly obvious that Trek's WW3 must have been the worst war in human history, but still not the nuclear apocalypse. Remember, the United States and the Russian Federation today both possess more than enough nuclear weaponry to end all life on Earth. By definition, WW3 must not have been a full-scale nuclear exchange -- because if it had been, there would not have been so much as a tree left in Montana, let alone a city, however devastated, capable of launching the Phoenix.

I do, however, think that Trek tends to be unrealistic in its depiction of how many major cities' historic structures survived WW3.
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Old September 18 2013, 05:11 AM   #33
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Darth Duck wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post

It's WORLD WAR III, for crying out loud. How could it not?
World War I & II didn't.
They weren't nuclear.
World War II most certainly was nuclear! Or don't Nagasaki and Hiroshima "count"?
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Old September 18 2013, 05:11 AM   #34
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Darth Duck wrote: View Post

World War I & II didn't.
They weren't nuclear.
World War II most certainly was nuclear! Or don't Nagasaki and Hiroshima "count"?
Those were isolated strikes. The entire war was not a nuclear conflict.
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Old September 18 2013, 05:16 AM   #35
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

So? What makes you think WWIII would be entirely nuclear? For all we know, only India and Pakistan may have exchanged nuclear fire in their theatre of WWIII. No reason to think the entire globe was engulfed in a nuclear conflict. Certainly the 2060s don't look like a post-apocalyptic wasteland, since Cochrane was able to build and launch a warp-capable ship! Think of the resources behind that effort - how could it have happened if the entire world was reduced to the levels you assume?
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Old September 18 2013, 05:20 AM   #36
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Sci wrote: View Post
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.
There's no evidence either way. The phrasing of Riker's line from First Contact does suggest to me that the 600 million dead was one of the many things gone wrong with the decade: "Most of the major cities have been destroyed. There are few governments left. Six hundred million dead. No resistance."

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.
Perhaps an escalation to an all-out nuclear war?

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.
There was apparently no Romulan presence in the solar system, though that might be as easily explained by the bleakness of a post-human Earth as by a temporary Romulan deployment next door.
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Old September 18 2013, 05:21 AM   #37
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Pavonis wrote: View Post
So? What makes you think WWIII would be entirely nuclear?
It seems inevitable that it would be.

And in any case, no matter how unlikely, isn't it safer to ASSUME that any WW III will be entirely nuclear? Paranoid, maybe; but it'd make it just that less likely to actually occur. If more people assume the worst, they may not risk actually instigating it.

Certainly the 2060s don't look like a post-apocalyptic wasteland, since Cochrane was able to build and launch a warp-capable ship! Think of the resources behind that effort - how could it have happened if the entire world was reduced to the levels you assume?
We actually have no idea what the rest of the world looked like. Literally all we ever saw was a few acres of forest and a missile silo. For all we know, entire cities for two hundred miles in every direction were ashes.
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Old September 18 2013, 05:25 AM   #38
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Sci wrote: View Post
To me, it seems fairly obvious that Trek's WW3 must have been the worst war in human history, but still not the nuclear apocalypse. Remember, the United States and the Russian Federation today both possess more than enough nuclear weaponry to end all life on Earth. By definition, WW3 must not have been a full-scale nuclear exchange -- because if it had been, there would not have been so much as a tree left in Montana, let alone a city, however devastated, capable of launching the Phoenix.
It's at least possible to engage in more moderate, calculated forms of nuclear war than the 1980s era of tens of thousands of nuclear weapons, especially if nuclear weapons are relatively rare and there is functioning anti-missile technology.

I do, however, think that Trek tends to be unrealistic in its depiction of how many major cities' historic structures survived WW3.
Maybe France had the good sense to stay neutral? The survival of New Orleans and San Francisco is noteworthy.
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Old September 18 2013, 05:27 AM   #39
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
It seems inevitable that it would be.
Nothing in human history is "inevitable".

And in any case, no matter how unlikely, isn't it safer to ASSUME that any WW III will be entirely nuclear? Paranoid, maybe; but it'd make it just that less likely to actually occur. If more people assume the worst, they may not risk actually instigating it.
What does that have to do with Star Trek, though?

For all we know, entire cities for two hundred miles in every direction were ashes.
And if that were the case, how the hell did he build a warp-capable ship? Wouldn't focusing on essentials like food, shelter, and security be more resource-worthy? The fact that there was an entire community focused on the warp-capable vessel there suggests that the community could afford to not worry about things like food, shelter and security. So there must have been some kind of infrastructure in place to make it possible, such as cities. Maybe not as big and bustling as they used to be, but not "ashes" either.
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Old September 18 2013, 05:32 AM   #40
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

^ What "community" there was around that complex looked very hastily built. And if you'll notice, everyone in it wore rags, except maybe for Lily.
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Old September 18 2013, 05:40 AM   #41
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Geez, from what I gather about what you're imagining, Mr. Laser Beam, it sounds something like Zef Cochrane and Lily were living in a Walking Dead-type environment, and that just can't be the case. It would be impossible for the likes of Rick Grimes and his rag-tag bunch of zombie-bait to decide to build a faster-than-light ship rather than, y'know, survive.

Besides, Zefram was only interested in $$$ - money. Who's going to pay him for his warp ship if there's no civilization, and therefore no economy, to speak of?

Clearly the world didn't end with World War III, but came close enough to scare the survivors into cleaning up their act.
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Old September 18 2013, 05:46 AM   #42
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

Pavonis wrote: View Post
So? What makes you think WWIII would be entirely nuclear? For all we know, only India and Pakistan may have exchanged nuclear fire in their theatre of WWIII. No reason to think the entire globe was engulfed in a nuclear conflict. Certainly the 2060s don't look like a post-apocalyptic wasteland, since Cochrane was able to build and launch a warp-capable ship! Think of the resources behind that effort - how could it have happened if the entire world was reduced to the levels you assume?
For the record, we get a glimpse at the start of World War III in The Lost Era: The Sundered, by Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin. The Sundered establishes that the nuclear strikes commence on 1 May 2053. It specifically establishes that London, New York City, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Mecca, Riyadh, Karachi, and New Delhi were hit by atmospheric detonations, and that nuclear detonations happened on every inhabited continent. The novel implies that one hundred million likely died in the immediate attacks on the first day, and establishes that the planetary economy collapses as a result of the war. It also establishes that the self-sufficient O'Neil colonies established on a number of hollowed-out asteroids in Earth orbit helped Zefram Cochrane obtain the materials needed to launch the Phoenix, which is implied to be an independent continuation of a U.S. government project Cochrane had led before the government collapsed.
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Old September 18 2013, 05:54 AM   #43
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

That's nice.
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Old September 18 2013, 06:05 AM   #44
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
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.
Perhaps an escalation to an all-out nuclear war?
Maybe. On the other hand, I don't recall O'Brien needing to be treated for radiation exposure upon his return from any of the alternate pasts, so I'm inclined to interpret his "things never got THAT bad" line as a reaction to something social rather than physical.

It seems probable that a version of WW3 would have played out in a Bell-less timeline; perhaps the social degradation caused by Bell's absence caused the social impact of the war to become even worse, even if the weaponry used remained the same? I could see a devastated society that has already gotten used to mass imprisonment and exploitation of the poor in the Sanctuary Districts deciding, in a timeline without Bell to provoke an anti-Sanctuary District backlash, ending up falling under the sway of elites who revive forced labor and de facto slavery, for instance.

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.
There was apparently no Romulan presence in the solar system, though that might be as easily explained by the bleakness of a post-human Earth as by a temporary Romulan deployment next door.
There are any number of possibilities -- maybe the Vulcan government follows a similar course to that outlined in the alternate history featured in Christopher's DTI: Forgotten History, for instance, eventually rejecting Romulan interference in their government but emerging not as the Confederacy of Vulcan, but as the aggressive Vulcan Protectorate. Thus, perhaps Earth remains under a Vulcan-imposed "no-fly zone," and the Romulans are trying to establish a presence in Alpha Centauri -- perhaps in a bid to eventually conquer Earth and turn its still-pre-warp population into a subject race?

Or maybe that was actually a Vulcan ship the Defiant detected at Alpha Centauri, and the post-V'las Vulcan government uses communications protocols derived from the Romulans, leading to the Defiant's mistaken identification?

Quite a few possibilities.
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Old September 18 2013, 07:03 AM   #45
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

I think it might be safe-ish to assume that one of the things that might have made WW3 actually happen is the reduction of MAD as deterrent concept. Either ABM technology or arms reductions had gone to the point where the great powers no longer felt threatened by assured destruction. The fact that so many major population centers survived suggests that the gigantic stockpiles of multi-megaton MIRV warheads were no longer a valid counterforce weapon. If there was a nuclear exchange, the first shots with the really big warheads (e.g. Minuteman III silos) would probably be aimed at counterforce operations and the hits on cities would probably be single SLBMs from the surviving ballistic missile subs. Also the recent wave of arms reduction treaties have reduced the total stockpiles and put restrictions on things like delivery systems.

So we can probably see half of lower Manhattan being destroyed by a ~100-250kt SLBM, but there's probably sufficient defenses to keep that from outright destroying the city.

The thing that's more likely to cause long-term damage to things like governance is the destruction of electronics stemming from widespread EMP. Again, as postulated earlier, if ABM systems are sufficiently advanced, they may have gone for targetting high altitude bursts with the goal of knocking out the entire communications infrastructure of modern states instead of killing people (perhaps expecting limited retaliation as a result).

Either way, we're probably not talking about a Cuban Missile Crisis retaliation style outcome, but more an outcome where you have cities badly damaged, but not rendered completely uninhabitable by the nuclear exchange.
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