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

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Old April 6 2014, 04:44 AM   #61
ClayinCA
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Re: TNG: Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang coming in June 2014

Enterpriserules wrote: View Post
I am personally just not sure about this. I hope it is good. I just don't know what to make of the Data story right now.
As someone who's also been somewhat on the fence about Data since his return, can I ask, why do you say that? Just curious.
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Old April 6 2014, 06:48 AM   #62
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Re: TNG: Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang coming in June 2014

Jeffrey Lang also talked about the cover, and other ideas for it on his blog.
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Old April 7 2014, 01:59 PM   #63
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Re: TNG: Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang coming in June 2014

ClayinCA wrote: View Post
Enterpriserules wrote: View Post
I am personally just not sure about this. I hope it is good. I just don't know what to make of the Data story right now.
As someone who's also been somewhat on the fence about Data since his return, can I ask, why do you say that? Just curious.
To me, personally, just is strange to have this character out of Starfleet. Just not sure how he fits in the universe as much anymore. I am ready for Jeff to pull me in and make me a believer, but it just seems strange.
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Old April 7 2014, 05:37 PM   #64
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Re: TNG: Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang coming in June 2014

Just so you know, we didn't approach the idea of Data being out of Starfleet casually. It felt like the right thing to do for now, especially given the changes in Data's circumstances AND the changes to Starfleet and the Federation since Data's "death." One of the items Margaret Clark kept pushing while I was developing the story is the idea that, for the first time in his life, Data is kind of coloring outside the lines, which makes Geordi very, very nervous. The friction between these two old friends is one of the main drivers of the story.
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Old April 8 2014, 01:07 AM   #65
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Re: TNG: Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang coming in June 2014

Jeffrey_Lang wrote: View Post
Just so you know, we didn't approach the idea of Data being out of Starfleet casually. It felt like the right thing to do for now, especially given the changes in Data's circumstances AND the changes to Starfleet and the Federation since Data's "death." One of the items Margaret Clark kept pushing while I was developing the story is the idea that, for the first time in his life, Data is kind of coloring outside the lines, which makes Geordi very, very nervous. The friction between these two old friends is one of the main drivers of the story.
I really appreciate your response Jeff. I have an open mind for sure. I never judge or write something off till I've seen it or read it. I do actually hope to like the book!
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Old April 8 2014, 06:26 AM   #66
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Re: TNG: Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang coming in June 2014

Jeffrey_Lang wrote: View Post
Just so you know, we didn't approach the idea of Data being out of Starfleet casually. It felt like the right thing to do for now, especially given the changes in Data's circumstances AND the changes to Starfleet and the Federation since Data's "death." One of the items Margaret Clark kept pushing while I was developing the story is the idea that, for the first time in his life, Data is kind of coloring outside the lines, which makes Geordi very, very nervous. The friction between these two old friends is one of the main drivers of the story.
So does mean we will see more of the main TNG characters than just Data?
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Old April 8 2014, 01:55 PM   #67
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Re: TNG: Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang coming in June 2014

Definitely, yes, though very little of the story is set on the Enterprise.
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Old April 8 2014, 05:55 PM   #68
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Re: TNG: Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang coming in June 2014

I also am grateful for your response, Jeff. Actually, it's not so much "Data-not-in-Starfleet" that rings weirdly in my mental ear, but the new Data with fully-integrated emotions; he seems at times to be so far away from the Data we knew (and I realize that's at least partially the point). I just occasionally have a difficult time reconciling this new Data with the old. But I see Geordi is having the same problem, so I guess I'm not alone...!
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Old April 8 2014, 07:51 PM   #69
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Re: TNG: Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang coming in June 2014

^ That was the whole point of his resurrection-and-transformation in the Cold Equations trilogy — to raise ontological questions about the nature of identity for a being with a synthetic soul. (And, for that matter, to wonder whether Data's soul exists at all, existed ab initio, was transferable or able to be duplicated, or if he's a being with his memories and his father's soul, etc.)
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Old April 8 2014, 08:09 PM   #70
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Re: TNG: Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang coming in June 2014

In other words, no one's really sure if Data's back or not, and that includes Data himself. Which besides allowing for all those complex explorations of matters of self, also lets readers have Data back without playing this as a reset.
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Old April 8 2014, 08:38 PM   #71
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Re: TNG: Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang coming in June 2014

^ Precisely.
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Old April 8 2014, 10:51 PM   #72
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Re: TNG: Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang coming in June 2014

I prefer to think of this new Data more as a sort of offspring or clone of the original, a hybrid of Data's memories and the Noonien Soong android's operating system (which would probably translate as behaviors, emotions, inclinations of thought, etc.).
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Old April 8 2014, 11:02 PM   #73
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Re: TNG: Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang coming in June 2014

Christopher wrote: View Post
I prefer to think of this new Data more as a sort of offspring or clone of the original, a hybrid of Data's memories and the Noonien Soong android's operating system (which would probably translate as behaviors, emotions, inclinations of thought, etc.).
But it could be argued that behaviour, reactions and emotional responses are also largely learned responses shaped by experience, which is after all, memory.

I see the new Data as being Data. Slightly changed, but still Data.
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Old April 8 2014, 11:21 PM   #74
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Re: TNG: Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang coming in June 2014

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But it could be argued that behaviour, reactions and emotional responses are also largely learned responses shaped by experience, which is after all, memory.
But that argument would be objectively wrong. Science tells us that the human brain has many behaviors and responses that are instinctive and inbuilt, and different humans have different inclinations of thought and behavior that are functions of their basic neurology rather than life experience -- e.g. being attracted to one sex over another, or being autistic or schizophrenic, or having tone-deafness or perfect pitch. A great deal of behavior is a function of the brain's structure and anatomy rather than experience and learning. Certainly we can learn to adjust and moderate the potentials we start out with, but it's a complete fiction to claim the brain is an absolute blank slate where everything is shaped by nurture and nothing by nature.

And it wouldn't work here either, because we're talking about the operating system vs. the software it runs, or even about the hardware vs. the software. We know that "Data Soong"'s brain is structured different from Data 1.0's, simply because it has emotions if nothing else. And we know that emotions are a hardware issue for Soong-type androids because they were made possible by the installation of a chip. There are bound to be other hardware/structural differences as well, because this android's brain was designed to emulate Noonien Soong's very human psychology and behavior, rather than being a from-scratch AI like Data -- and because it's a more advanced model with upgrades over the original. So there are bound to be inbuilt potentials and inclinations that differ from those within Data's brain. These brains can't be treated as empty containers that have no influence over the minds poured into them; they would have an effect on the resultant personality.
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Old April 9 2014, 05:19 PM   #75
Relayer1
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Re: TNG: Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang coming in June 2014

Christopher wrote: View Post
Relayer1 wrote: View Post
But it could be argued that behaviour, reactions and emotional responses are also largely learned responses shaped by experience, which is after all, memory.
But that argument would be objectively wrong. Science tells us that the human brain has many behaviors and responses that are instinctive and inbuilt, and different humans have different inclinations of thought and behavior that are functions of their basic neurology rather than life experience -- e.g. being attracted to one sex over another, or being autistic or schizophrenic, or having tone-deafness or perfect pitch. A great deal of behavior is a function of the brain's structure and anatomy rather than experience and learning. Certainly we can learn to adjust and moderate the potentials we start out with, but it's a complete fiction to claim the brain is an absolute blank slate where everything is shaped by nurture and nothing by nature.

And it wouldn't work here either, because we're talking about the operating system vs. the software it runs, or even about the hardware vs. the software. We know that "Data Soong"'s brain is structured different from Data 1.0's, simply because it has emotions if nothing else. And we know that emotions are a hardware issue for Soong-type androids because they were made possible by the installation of a chip. There are bound to be other hardware/structural differences as well, because this android's brain was designed to emulate Noonien Soong's very human psychology and behavior, rather than being a from-scratch AI like Data -- and because it's a more advanced model with upgrades over the original. So there are bound to be inbuilt potentials and inclinations that differ from those within Data's brain. These brains can't be treated as empty containers that have no influence over the minds poured into them; they would have an effect on the resultant personality.
You may well be right, but for sake of argument, an androids brain may well be a blank state when manufactured, without the hard wired responses inherent in biological brains and DNA. The 'potentials and inclinations' you refer to might need to be downloaded too, and therefore would just be the first 'memory'.

By implanting Data on the positronic brain, whatever characteristics the Soong android carried from the biological host of Soong may either have been overwritten or rewritten as Data.

The fact that the Soong brain experienced emotion may not mean that it was functionally very different from Data's when the emotion chip was connected.
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