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Old October 29 2012, 09:35 PM   #46
John Mason
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Re: Why do the Klingons have equal technology to the Federation

What good is an inferior adversary
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Old October 29 2012, 11:02 PM   #47
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: Why do the Klingons have equal technology to the Federation

I always liked the fact that their tech was equal to the Fed's. I like the fact that sometimes you don't think about it... my favorite example is the end of Broken Bow when the Klingons do a scan of Klaang's blood. Awesome stuff!
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Old October 30 2012, 01:57 AM   #48
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Re: Why do the Klingons have equal technology to the Federation

I agree. I like an evenly matched rival, that was what made the Klingons great. They were like the twisted Federation, instead of creating a equal and diverse nation they conquered them instead.

I have to admit that was the problem with the TNG, they were no longer the bad guy and they went down the path of "honor" and the writers of ENT took their cues from the TNG. Realistically the DS9 Klingons alone seem completely unable to develop warp drive or anything more complex than a pointy stick.
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Old October 30 2012, 02:15 PM   #49
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Re: Why do the Klingons have equal technology to the Federation

There are a few assumptions here that might warrant challenging. Key amongst them the biggest...

Klingons have a warrior class, once even called a warrior caste. Is this the ruling class - or merely the class currently favored by the true rulers?

Generally, a warrior caste is generated out of a desire to keep idled warriors out of mischief, by people who want to see the warriors corralled up. These might be leading warriors themselves, or then other people of power, supposedly those in a position to pay or withhold pay for the warriors. There would be little inborn motivation for the warriors to isolate themselves from the society!

Fat cats like K'Mpec might let brainless warriors enjoy a preferred status of sorts as long as they also obeyed moronic "honor rules" that kept them from being a threat to the society. Scientists, farmers and hairdressers would complain (and not even under their breaths, because quite possibly every Klingon is a brave one even if not a warrior) - but K'Mpec would fund them, too, to the degree required to make the Empire prosperous.

On occasion, a warrior would take charge of the Empire through palace coup. He'd soon be "corrupted" into becoming a sensible leader of a diverse Empire, though, only paying lip service to his earlier values. It is not as if any of the actual leaders we have seen would really have been handicapped by the stereotypical warrior thinking we learn from the likes of Worf.

The Empire overall would benefit from being bathed in warrior propaganda, because that provides not just stability but also patriotic comfort and looks good to the outside world. In times of internal trouble, stagnation and low moral, this might even take the form of religious fervor, with lots of Kahlessian mythology added on top of the basic honor code. But it would basically only affect the warrior class; others would keep on providing food, disruptors, starships and new Klingons to the Empire.

If it's all about the looks, then it's only natural that the audience may err into believing that warriors are the only thing of importance in the Empire. Our Starfleet heroes may make the same error.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old October 31 2012, 09:43 PM   #50
AggieJohn
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Re: Why do the Klingons have equal technology to the Federation

Timo wrote: View Post
There are a few assumptions here that might warrant challenging. Key amongst them the biggest...

Klingons have a warrior class, once even called a warrior caste. Is this the ruling class - or merely the class currently favored by the true rulers?

Generally, a warrior caste is generated out of a desire to keep idled warriors out of mischief, by people who want to see the warriors corralled up. These might be leading warriors themselves, or then other people of power, supposedly those in a position to pay or withhold pay for the warriors. There would be little inborn motivation for the warriors to isolate themselves from the society!

Fat cats like K'Mpec might let brainless warriors enjoy a preferred status of sorts as long as they also obeyed moronic "honor rules" that kept them from being a threat to the society. Scientists, farmers and hairdressers would complain (and not even under their breaths, because quite possibly every Klingon is a brave one even if not a warrior) - but K'Mpec would fund them, too, to the degree required to make the Empire prosperous.

On occasion, a warrior would take charge of the Empire through palace coup. He'd soon be "corrupted" into becoming a sensible leader of a diverse Empire, though, only paying lip service to his earlier values. It is not as if any of the actual leaders we have seen would really have been handicapped by the stereotypical warrior thinking we learn from the likes of Worf.

The Empire overall would benefit from being bathed in warrior propaganda, because that provides not just stability but also patriotic comfort and looks good to the outside world. In times of internal trouble, stagnation and low moral, this might even take the form of religious fervor, with lots of Kahlessian mythology added on top of the basic honor code. But it would basically only affect the warrior class; others would keep on providing food, disruptors, starships and new Klingons to the Empire.

If it's all about the looks, then it's only natural that the audience may err into believing that warriors are the only thing of importance in the Empire. Our Starfleet heroes may make the same error.

Timo Saloniemi
That makes sense. Its more a fairy tale warrior code then reality. It would explain why Worf was so confused when he actually visited his home-world. He was filled full of the propaganda and came face to face with the reality.

Plus there is the notion that one can mix warrior into no war jobs, look at how the bushido code was infused into Japanese business. One could imagine Engineers, scientists, and doctors who were weekend warriors fighting in Bat'leth torments.
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Old November 1 2012, 08:00 AM   #51
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Re: Why do the Klingons have equal technology to the Federation

Timo wrote: View Post
There is also the possibility of plateauing. While the UFP might look like a veritable think tank in combining the innovation resources of 150-something cultures, it might be that each of those cultures had already reached the same peak level when joining (else how did they survive the Klingons before joining?), and there's no major synergy advantage from 150 plateaued cultures knocking their heads together.

Timo Saloniemi
Hardly.
Advancements do not just stop.
There are ALWAYS new things to explore and technologies to develop.
The apparent slow-down of technological discoveries (mainly being stuck on Warp drive for example for a long time) was the unwillingness/inability of writers to do it (along with other things).
In the midst of very advanced techs that were developed as a 'one time thing' (never to be heard from again), these breakthroughs could have been used in other areas (and it wouldn't take a long time for the Feds to implement it).
The main problem was the writing staff that seemingly had issues thinking within the terms Roddenberry laid out (Humanity as a culture underwent radical changes, which at the time that to a Capitalist mind-set of the late 20th century would seem ludicrous at best).

One thing some of you didn't take into account is that it seemed in early TNG, the Federation was sharing its technological breakthroughs with other races (not part of the Federation) openly.

The Klingons probably became a space-faring race because of the Hur'q some time ago given what little we were able to piece together, however, they are far from stupid, and they WOULD in effect create certain advancements of their own over time.
They would start off with learning how to use the technology and then analyze its inner workings and reverse-engineer it.
Them essentially retaining their warrior-like mentality is probably the vestige of an era that didn't include social changes.
They were conquered before they had a chance to sufficiently develop and change their culture in the process.

The Romulans had the same issue.
They broke apart from the Vulcans who underwent a large social change of global proportions at a time when Warp drive was first developed.

If Humanity launched that Warp missile before WW3 happened, chances are, they wouldn't underwent large cultural changes that Roddenberry laid out in the first place.
Humanity had 600 million dead - which included leveling of most major cities and few governments left.
The conflict essentially made a clean slate, cutting off the main root of the problems temporarily which paved way for those who advocated change (that, and seeing what happened, probably made it clear to others that doing things as they did before was unsustainable - couple that with arrival of the Vulcans, etc.).
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Old November 1 2012, 08:14 AM   #52
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Re: Why do the Klingons have equal technology to the Federation

Advancements do not just stop.
Well, they have stopped in the real world, and for periods much longer than just a couple of centuries, too.

Generally, this would happen to a civilization in isolation. But civilizations clustered together into one complacent Federation would basically just amount to one big civilization, which would then exist in isolation and not enjoy a particularly stimulating set of challenges or threats.

The Romulans had the same issue. They broke apart from the Vulcans who underwent a large social change of global proportions at a time when Warp drive was first developed.
Intriguingly, Vulcans supposedly went interstellar about a thousand years before the Romulans left (the monastery of P'Jem thing). We don't know the exact chronological order of events - did Romulans first come to existence on planet Vulcan, then wait for Surak to be born before moving out in disgust, or did Surakism create the Romulans? We might even speculate that Romulans were the primary starfaring faction of Vulcan from the very beginning, and their "exodus" from Vulcan was more like a decision not to make weekend visits to the ancient homeworld any more... They'd then be an established interstellar power (rather than a ragtag group of refugees in failing ships, confused about what just happened) for three thousand years and still only barely the match of Archer and pals in the 2150s.

Lots of possibilities there overall, with "everybody always keeps on inventing new things and these become household technologies in less than a decade" among the less interesting and evidently less common ones.

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Old November 1 2012, 01:36 PM   #53
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Re: Why do the Klingons have equal technology to the Federation

Deks wrote: View Post
Hardly.
Advancements do not just stop.
There are ALWAYS new things to explore and technologies to develop.
The apparent slow-down of technological discoveries (mainly being stuck on Warp drive for example for a long time) was the unwillingness/inability of writers to do it (along with other things).
That's the insular assumption Westerners make, that the current conditions of our society are a universal constant for all time. But history says otherwise. Progress is not a constant, but varies depending on the society and the era, influenced by factors like the social structure and values, the availability of resources, the incentive for change and growth, etc. Many societies value stability more than change. Many societies turn away from valuing science and innovation. Hell, look at the extreme right wing in the United States and how hostile it is to science and scholarship. Look at how many members of the Congressional Science Committee are Tea Partiers who don't believe in evolution or climate change or, heck, the Earth orbiting the Sun for all we know. If they ever succeeded in taking over the country completely and imposing their values, then progress in the US would go into reverse and we'd end up being a Third World country mired in superstition (heck, we're halfway there already). So there's no guarantee that even the most scientifically progressive and open-minded society will stay that way indefinitely. That's just one of the possible states a society can exist in.
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Old November 2 2012, 03:50 PM   #54
Deks
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Re: Why do the Klingons have equal technology to the Federation

Given the mind-set of Humans in the early TNG as Roddenberry laid them out, and living in a technologically advanced environment that STIMULATES cooperation, critical thinking, being problem solvers, exposure to relevant general education on a vast level, etc... advancement wouldn't come to a HALT just like that.

There is a difference between advancement stopping in the real world of the past, compared to the Star Trek universe in which environmental factors that impact individuals are completely different.
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Old November 2 2012, 06:02 PM   #55
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Re: Why do the Klingons have equal technology to the Federation

^What makes you think I'm talking about human progress slowing down? Remember, the Klingons were initially more advanced than Earth, but by the 23rd century they're about equal. So clearly humanity was advancing faster than, err, Klingonity.
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Old November 2 2012, 06:32 PM   #56
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Re: Why do the Klingons have equal technology to the Federation

Timo wrote: View Post
complacent Federation would basically just amount to one big civilization, which would then exist in isolation and not enjoy a particularly stimulating set of challenges or threats.
The one exception there might be in the area of military science and technology. Starfleet's ability to deploy ever outward, to employ violence in increasing advance levels, has been seen during the history of the series'.

Shields and phasers increased in power, the engines became capable of higher speeds. The photon torpedo seemed to be the same (casing at least) from TWoK throught TNG, but then came the quantum torpedo.

Whether there was a corresponding advancement in the Federation's general public is hard to point to. We know at least a few homes on Earth had replicators. But from what we saw their lives were similar to our own. The Vulcans were depicted as a traditional people in spite of a long history of possessing technology, T'Pol's mother's home wasn't "high tech." Neither was the house Kirk owned in GEN. Neither was the elder Picard brother's home.

Maybe this was the "paradise" that various characters said existed on Earth. The technology was there, but people's daily lives largely didn't submerge them in it. Instead of being something radically different, the people in the 24th century live in pastoral peacefullness.

No advancement to speak of.


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Old November 2 2012, 06:45 PM   #57
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Re: Why do the Klingons have equal technology to the Federation

Christopher wrote: View Post
^What makes you think I'm talking about human progress slowing down? Remember, the Klingons were initially more advanced than Earth, but by the 23rd century they're about equal. So clearly humanity was advancing faster than, err, Klingonity.
IIRC, humanity's rapid advancement is one of the reason's the Vulcans were putting up "roadblocks" in the 22nd Century. Of course, once the Coalition/Federation came into existence, humanity could draw on the technology of other members to keep pace with the Klingons,
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Old November 3 2012, 12:15 PM   #58
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Re: Why do the Klingons have equal technology to the Federation

Some Vulcan's were basically putting up roadblocks because they feared Humanity would surpass them in technological advancements and possibly try to conquer them later on - at least, this is what Soval indicated towards in early Season 4 of Enterprise (I think Vulcans were also skeptical of the transformation Humanity underwent in the 50 years following FC which is why 40 years later they wanted to monitor us).
And from what we could gather... there is a good indication Humanity would have surpassed Vulcan's level of tech by 2151 - Vulcans at the time were seemingly paranoid plain and simple (unwarranted), and Earth didn't want to lose them as possible allies.

As for why the Klingons are able to keep up with the Feds...
Probably because the Feds shared their technological discoveries with everyone else openly (as i already mentioned). This method would in essence preserve the balance of power between larger organizations and the Klingons would be able to keep up with the Federation (as would the Romulans).
In essence, neither side would gain the advantage - and due to the sheer size of the Federation, the Klingons and the Romulans wouldn't try to directly challenge them because they would probably lose in such a conflict.
As for why would the Feds allow this (share their knowledge even with seemingly hostile races) - because they aren't bent on galactic/universal domination and instead would like to avoid war/conflicts wherever possible and unite other races - this practice is evident throughout the shows.

Plus, the Klingons formed an Alliance with the Federation roughly over 70 years before TNG took place.
It would seem evident that the two would increasingly share knowledge and resources during those decades (minus the small time-frame when the Arcanis sector stupidity bursted out, and post Dominion War), hence the Klingons would be able to keep up the pace either way.
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Old November 3 2012, 01:33 PM   #59
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Re: Why do the Klingons have equal technology to the Federation

I've skipped over some of the discussion but it should be obvious (if only after someone more neutral points it out,)
but modern Klingons are unbelievable. There is no convincing way to rationalize the continued existence, much less progress of such a society. Obviously that's because the modern Klingons are not really thought through, not really written. They are melodramatic poses, struck for coolness.

Real people are inseparable from their culture. The same is true of fictional people, even fictional alien people found in SF. A good deal of the problem is that so many writers find it profitable to accept the capitalist ideal of economic man, a socially atomized creature who is uniquely responsible for his fate. This is a convenient ideology for the rulers, as it denies that social problems even exist, meaning that there are no social/political solutions, especially those that treat the economy as a human creation, rather than the natural (or God-given) order. Unfortunately for the artistic pretensions of such writers and dramatists, their beloved view of the Human Condition is ignorant lies.

Modern Klingons are stupid. The original Klingons were the nefarious enemy. Star Trek portrayed "us" as making peace even with enemies in Errand of Mercy, Day of the Dove and even Trials and Tribbleations. A Private Little War was a partial exception, but the phoniness of the comparison to Vietnam was a dead giveaway. Powerful Klingons who get their power from nowhere are ideological constructs, fake enemies for vicarious hate-ons against the latest designated threat to our lives. Any ambiguity about Modern Klingons lies in a yearning to revel in the fruits of empire.
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Old November 3 2012, 06:03 PM   #60
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Re: Why do the Klingons have equal technology to the Federation

stj wrote: View Post
Real people are inseparable from their culture.
But how many cultures does the Klingon Empire hold?

If you were to imagine a Empire that had a population of Klingons numbering in the multiple tens of billions, would there be any real expectation that they would all be of the same ethnicity?

Add to that all the non-Klingons species in the Empire.

but modern Klingons are unbelievable. There is no convincing way to rationalize the continued existence, much less progress of such a society.
Because of the nature of the show, we see mostly (not exclusively) the warriors and the leaders of the Empire. Just as we see mostly Starfleet activities when it comes to the Federation. The warriors are likely a tiny percentage of the total Klingons in existence. America has a large military, but the active duty numbers are only 0.45 percent of the total American population. The majority of the Klingon population could go extended periods with no interaction with a warrior of any kind. I can't remember any mention that Klingon warriors "police" the general Klingon population.

The warriors exist in a societal pocket.

The bulk of the Klingon population goes merrily about the daily affairs of the Empire. Engineers, designers, and programmers increase the technology over time. The warriors do not generate the technological advances, and they don't impede it, they utilize it as it arrives.

Modern Klingons are stupid.
Except they're not. Stupid people don't accomplish what the Klingon are shown to have accomplished. Stupid imbecilic fools don't solve problems, efficiently operate starships, build (or conquer) a Empire, and hang on to it for multiple centuries.

Kirk: "And unfortunately, though the Klingons are brutal and aggressive, they are most efficient."

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