Federation: 8,000 ly across?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by zombar, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    The reason that Europe is thought of as being in the West is because it coincides with the Western Roman Empire, much more so than with the Eastern Roman Empire. Our designation of Eastern versus Western as applied to civilization was originally established relative to Rome. On the other hand, the hemispheres of the globe were designated relative to Greenwich, England, a designation which came much, much later.

    The situation with the Alpha Quadrant, Beta Quadrant, and the Federation cannot be the same as this unless there is an older convention which at one point placed the whole Federation more entirely in the (older conception of the) Alpha Quadrant.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    It's not that Europe would be thought of as being in the West nowadays. It's that anything west of the river Oder is thought of being in the West, for very concrete reasons less than a century old.

    Why, following the days of the two Romes - that is, in the early days of the third, in Moscow - there was no East vs. West. Muscovy wasn't an enemy one full compass direction wide: there was just Europe, and then the rest of the world, which didn't lie in any particular direction (except of course "India", which was a direction that covered everything that wasn't visible from mainland Europe or the shores of the Mediterranean).

    The division of the Trek universe into Alpha and Beta wouldn't be of ancient origin, either - certainly not if the dividing line runs through the upstart Sol system that played no role in galactic politics until about 100-200 years before the events. Indeed, none of the current major players is known to have thought of the galaxy in terms of Quadrants before Earth started making noise...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    My remarks pertained to the distinction between Occident and Orient, not to the parceling of Europe following World War II.

    The distinction between Occident and Orient persists in Western culture (cf the use of "Western culture" right here in this sentence), even though the terms "Occident" and "Orient" themselves have fallen out of use.

    ETA: Additionally, just because I said that comparing the Federation as something straddling two quadrants with Europe as something straddling two hemispheres doesn't make sense unless the Alpha Quadrant was redrawn, that doesn't mean that I think the Alpha Quadrant was redrawn, as the alternative is that it's not really the same at all (which would include the possibility that no meaningful part of at least the original Federation lay in the Beta Quadrant).

    However, I suppose that Christopher could have simply meant that the straddling alone is similar, while the respective causes for it are not analogous.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
  4. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    True, but without canical evidence all we can go in guess work. Perhaps it was decided to devide the quadrants based on the Sol system for the same reason Earth is the de facto captial world of the UFP. In the early days, it appeared as if there were a lot of mis-trust between races like the Vulcans, Andorians and Tellarites. With Earth being a relative newcommer to the Galactic Community the smae level of mistrust hadn't occured. SO rather than the Andorians objecting to the border going through the tellartie system, and the vulcans objecting to going through the Andorian system. The Sol system was choosen as the one least likely to cause offense.

    But it's all guess work.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    The need to choose is ill established, though, as we don't know whether any other culture besides that of Earth would use the terminology. And a Klingon saying "Alpha Quadrant" doesn't quite suffice, because they could either be using Earth terminology when speaking with Earthlings - or then not using it, but their local terminology would get translated just as surely as kellicams get translated to kilometers or d'akturak to iceman.

    Oh - in that case, they were in error, then. :p

    That is, the division to occident and orient has little or nothing to do with why "Europe is thought of as being in the West" when "a lot of it is in the Eastern Hemisphere". Much of that which is in the East is in occident, after all; as long as there has been "Europe" and "West", the latter has extended far to the east of the Greewich or even Paris or Antwerp zero meridians - and never mind the zero meridian of the Azores, the most relevant in the division of the world at the time the world was first becoming known.

    Of course, the border moves all the time. Before the Revolution, few in Russia would have had an interest in considering their realm that of the East...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Bingo!
     
  7. zombar

    zombar Ensign Newbie

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    The bottom line is that, just like on Earth, there is a geographical devision of the galaxy and a political one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
  8. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Or at least there's a political division between, say, the UFP and the Klingon Empire, and then another equally political division where the entire galaxy is split into quadrants by the mighty order of Earth. :devil:

    For all we know, Klingons also believe in galactic quadrants - but they insist the prime meridian runs through Qo'noS. :p

    Timo Saloniemi