"cause and effect"

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Immolatus, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    One of the taps was transporting them to the holodeck.
     
  2. Kobayshi Maru

    Kobayshi Maru Commodore

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    The needs of the many... They were counted as acceptable casualty...;)
     
  3. at Quark's

    at Quark's Captain Captain

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    I think there's an additional problem with this.

    We know that the time-repeat fragment of this loop is about a day, or a few days, at best, they don't. When they are listening to the fragments in the loop, there's nothing to indicate this collision will be tomorrow, or three months from now. (although I must admit, the episode suggests that they know it will be 'soon').

    To randomise your actions over a potentially unlimited period of time is infeasible, in particular if you don't know what courses of action will effect the outcome and what won't.
     
  4. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Assuming at that point the name was in use by another vessel. Remember The name Enterprise wasn't used for over eighty years. Circa 2161-2245 or around twenty years 2245-2264.
     
  5. JesterFace

    JesterFace Commander Red Shirt

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    The explosion doesn't look convincing, the model is twisted during the explosion between warp engines... takes out some of the "cool factor" from the explosion.
     
  6. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    At least they used a different explosion each time. My favorite was the one where the ship just fizzed out. :techman:
     
  7. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, but just deciding to go forward or double back is not an 'Infeasible amount of randomness'. And it makes a lot more sense than just always choosing to keep going on the logic that "For all we know, doubling back is what led to the anomaly".
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There's that possibility, that no matter how they changed course, the anomaly would have still appeared in front of them.

    I did the math a few years ago.

    Given the dimensions of the main shuttle bay door, and assuming that there is sea level pressure in the main flight deck, there would be over six thousand tons of force for several seconds.

    According to the (non-canon) ST: TNG Technical Manual, each of the Enterprise D's malnuvering thrusters generates about 510 metric tonnes of thrust. So opening the main shuttle bay door was equal to firing twelve of the Enterprise's maneuvering thrusters for several seconds..

    Now consider how Picard was able to maneuver the ship using only a single maneuvering thruster (at a time) in Samaritan Snare.

    Also consider how a person can move a multi-tonne car by pushing on the back end with only 50 to 100 pounds of force.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
  9. danielcw

    danielcw Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    What happens in the commentary?

    It is my favourite episode, and I love audio commentaries and both guys. So I am really looking forward to hearing it.
     
  10. ManOnTheWave

    ManOnTheWave Vice Admiral Admiral

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    When the episode aired, I watched it in a room full of people who just got progressively more and more pissed off with each act. I enjoyed it and thought it was a kind of clever way of doing a time loop story. It reminded me of Meglos on Doctor Who which is one of my least favorite Who stories because of the reuse of footage. The same scene over and over drove me nuts and I appreciated that TNG re-shot each scene using different angles and adding slightly different elements. Some years later, Stargate SG1 did Window of Opportunity which is the same kind of story, but borrows a great deal from the movie Groundhog Day. I think that's my favorite time loop episode of a sci-fi series. It's character oriented and funny.
     
  11. Richard Baker

    Richard Baker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    From what I can tell the Enterprise has a mass of 4,500,000 metric tons- I know you did the math but it is hard for me to see how 6,000 tons for several seconds could move it quickly enough to avoid collision.

    In Samaritan Snare it was shown using a single thruster but it was already in motion using the impluse engine and the thruster was used to change direction only. It is much easier to deflect a moving body than start to move one from a stationary position.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Not really - all motion in space is relative anyway, and any object moving at a steady speed can also be defined as standing still. Kicking a "moving" ship aside by fifty meters is no different from kicking a "standstill" ship the same way, because there really is no difference between steady motion and lack thereof.

    Here on Earth, objects at motion have managed to triumph over some initial friction, so it is a tad easier to give them a boost, in any direction (if they are on balls, that is, rather than wheels that still retain full sideways friction). In space, there is no friction. The only factor relevant to how much thrust you need for a given level of acceleration is your inertia, which depends on your mass and nothing else.

    Now, what mass the Enterprise has is actually up to debate. We know that subspace fields actually reduce the mass of the object within (DS9 "Emissary" makes this onscreen fact, after several years of it being backstage fact only), so the E-D might well weight all of fifty kilograms at the time. Or minus two million for that matter, whatever that means. We know that rocket technology couldn't even theoretically allow a multi-million ton ship to travel through space at high interplanetary speeds, because even at theoretically maximal speed of ejected propellant, the fuel requirements would be impossibly large. So impulse probably involves always reducing the mass of the ship (and the propellant/fuel!), or possibly increasing the mass of the propellant, or both.

    Supposedly, subspace fields require power to run. But the ship did have power - enough to run the tractor beam. Would that be enough to run the mass reduction field? No way to tell, as we never get a plotline where the energy requirements of that system would come up (as opposed to, say, transporters, which we know for sure can run on extremely low power in all sorts of emergencies).

    The ship has other systems of interest, too: the shuttlebay is equipped with tractor beams. Perhaps Data could use those to push out the air more forcefully. The shuttlebay also has independently controllable gravity (it says so in a warning text on the wall!). Perhaps Data could turn the gravity to point aft and ramp it up to max? We already know that neither tractors nor gravity fail because of the Typhon Effect, so those options are available to him.

    Why do the shuttlecraft stay in place? Well, they, too, supposedly can toy with gravity. Their landing gear by all rights should be of a type that grips the ground or the floor unless told not to. And we know that gravity requires truly minimal power, as total derelicts can have plenty of it remaining after centuries of drifting... However, if Data was to kick out as much air as he possibly could, wouldn't he also have wanted to kick out those shuttles? There would have been no harm done - they could have been recovered later if need be. Although our heroes are happy to burn shuttles for the slightest excuse, suggesting they aren't expensive or difficult to replace.

    This dodging part of the episode isn't all that dodgy. It's the "let's not turn around" part that requires more excuses. But let's remember that starships are not in the habit of moving in straight lines. The E-D was tasked with surveying the region, and would no doubt have made many twists and turns in its course in the upcoming hours and days. One of those would be the "wrong" one, but the heroes are correct in that they can't really second-guess themselves: they can't at any turn plausibly choose the "right" direction over the "wrong" one as they lack the information to do that. Nor can they choose to turn when they "weren't going to", or not to turn when they "were going to", as they again can't predict what they actually would have wanted to do.

    Turning back, or taking a detour, or waiting or speeding up... Those would work if the E-D were scheduled to fly through Typhon to destination X at the speed suggested by Starfleet field manuals. But this was not the case here at all. (However, it was the case in "Time Squared", where the very same argument against second-guessing oneself was used, that time falsely.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     

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