Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Captain Shatner, Sep 6, 2012.
I thought is was more a WTF? Flintlocks??? reaction.
As David Gerrold wrote (I think it was in The World of Star Trek): "Good grief! It makes you wonder what's going on behind the walls of the Enterprise."
Maybe the transported personnel would turn Japanese?
(Sorry, couldn't resist)
Yeah, that's what I thought.
There is no evidence internal to TOS that there are food replicators aboard the Enterprise.
No evidence contrary to it either.
So what? You have no real evidence that I'm not Cindy Crawford, but it would nonetheless be absurd to assume that I am.
That said, as has been already pointed out in this thread there is evidence internal to TOS that more traditional food storage and preparation took place aboard the ship - the aforementioned infestation of the system by tribbles and Chef Roddenberry's concerns about turkey loaf.
This really is a stupid discussion. They can obviously fabricate things even if it's not instaneous. Who cares if it's called a food processor or a replicator? They're both doing similar things: using raw material or raw matter to be processed into the form they desire.
And just because they have this system it doesn't automatically preclude having some food stored in a more conventional way.
The internal structure of Dilithium has polarization effects which make it impossible to replicate.
Or some other techy explanation.
Having read through this discussion, here are the basic threads I sort of pulled from it. Summarized as:
1. There is probably a combination of real and synthesized food on the Enterprise. Picard's ship has a galley (Complete with a Whoopi Goldberg!), so we can make the general assumption that Kirk has one too. But, thanks to Charlie X, we know they synthesize turkey.
2. For some strange, unknowable reason, dilithium is impossible to replicate. Whether this be the instability of the nucleus or because Kirk said so, you just can't make dilithium.
3. The food replicator may or may not have the ability to replicate things other than food. We see this in the manufacture of flintlocks on short notice, since it is unlikely that the Enterprise carried 18th century weapons on board.
4. Fascinatingly enough, nobody ever addressed the question of using the transporter to replicate stuff. Obviously, cloning is possible, albeit with amusing results, so what's so wrong with using it to convert one object into another?
The incident with the tribbles is evidence that what the TOS Enterprise has, isn't what the Enterprise Dee has. The food in Trouble with Tribbles wasn't being materialized in the small alcoves and then the little door opens. The food was being produced elsewhere and then was moved to the dining area. How do we know this? Because the tribbles needed a opportunity to get to the food.
When were the tribbles going to be "jumping" on to the food, if the replicator is materializing the food inside of the alcove?
And where was Scotty bring them from, when he said that they were in the food processors?
As far as we know, Guinan never cooked. Even in the parallel universe of "Yesterday's Enterprise", her establishment served MREs...
But we explicitly saw cooks doing their usual work aboard Kirk's ship in the 2290s, making it all the more likely that such things took place in the 2260s as well.
But whether they do that onboard, or in the factory that packages the stuff for the mission at Starbase 42, we don't know.
There is no real reason to think dilithium could not be replicated.
From various episodes, we know that functioning neural tissue can be replicated but people still don't replicate replacement brains; that functioning phasers can be replicated but people still store readymade phasers in locked cabinets; and that tools can be replicated as needed but the engineers still haul entire belts full of different tools, rather than a single tool that can become anything at the push of a button, exocomp style.
It's simply that replication is sometimes less practical than other manufacturing methods, not that it would ever be impossible.
Remember that replicators could not solve the problem of the missing circulator pump in "Devil in the Dark", yet we know that the pump must be nothing but a slightly more complex flintlock. Somebody created it at some point, using unknown technologies. But the feat could not be repeated instantaneously, even though a comparable feat could be achieved a tad more slowly in "A Private Little War". There's plenty of room for "conventional" manufacturing and acquisition technologies in the Trek universe, despite the parallel existence of amazing new technologies. Just like in the real world today.
OTOH, a food replicator could not have made a flintlock, because the barrel would not fit inside.
It's pretty clear that whatever manufacturing capabilities Kirk's TOS ship has, these are based on separate machinery in dedicated workshops. No doubt this separation is also reflected in said machinery being optimized for its job and thus at least subtly and probably grossly different from the food-producing systems, even if both happen to rely on the same scientific principles of bringing things to existence.
Cloning only happens by curious accident, which our heroes struggle to understand. Trying to make use of that is a bit like trying to power your computer with lightning strikes. And we never get any indication that the transporter could transform an object in any significant way. At best, it can take things away from the object: remove disease carriers, depower a weapon, make Kirk's clone a few retards short of a Jack Pack...
The bottom line is, Star Trek has never been a show where much-needed things can be made to appear trivially on demand. It always involves a lot of sweat, blood and tears to get stuff done, just like today. I can cook; I can build a small house; I can even pile atoms on an AFM to create a funny stick figure a few nanometers tall. It doesn't follow that I could make a pony appear out of thin air, least of all if I desperately needed one for a quick getaway.
Considering dilithium crystals are still a form of matter and are in close proximity where the annihilation of matter and antimatter take place, it's doesn't seem to be that strange to me that it's something you can't replicate (like antimatter). The properties of dilithium appear somewhat supernatural.
If this were the hardest natural substance known to federation science (cast rodinium is or was at one point the hardest artificial substance) the question would be inevitably how you could be capable to give it a specific shape or form.
In Trekverse, there appears to be at least 2 other periodic tables as "di"-lithium and "tri"-lithium seem to suggest. There may also be "di" carbon, "di" iron, "tri" magnesium, and so on. Maybe these other elements cannot be replicated, for some reason. The gemstones in "Catspaw" may be made up of the "common" elements which can be replicated, hence Kirk's comment on being able to manufacture them.
That line kills me. Thanksgiving, on ALL of Earth?! Or just the US? Canada?
Its an Earthican holiday.
the title of this thread makes me think perverted things.
thinking of a young France Nuyen and gaping holes at the same time might tend to do that i guess
Even if dilithium crystals COULD be replicated aboard Kirks Enterprise, there is no evidence that they could be created in the time available (with a Klingon warship swooping in).
Say the crew did have the capability of creating crystals......but that it would take several days or weeks to do so. This would still make having naturally occurring crystals vitally important (and why dilithium mines are still important even in the 24th century).
A modern day example. Uranium waste from nuclear reactors can be reprocessed to create new nuclear fuel for other reactors. But uranium mined from the ground right now is cheaper so reprocessing is not used that much.
Well, remember, if they could have done this in the 23rd century the episode Mudd's Women would have progressed as it did.
Well, perhaps manufacturing of dilithium calls for full main power, which isn't available without dilithium.
There's good scifi written where anything and everything can be manufactured effortlessly on the spot, and dramatic plots are nevertheless possible. But Star Trek never was that sort of drama. And I doubt it ever will be.
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