Hard Time: Really as effective a punishment?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by JirinPanthosa, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the reason he brought up mental illness is that he believes just the experience would cause emotional trauma even if you know it's fake, so it sounded like I was saying 'You should be able to overcome PTSD through willpower' or something.

    I would argue that, knowing it was fake, it would not cause the same emotional trauma. I suppose maybe if they did something to block out your knowledge that it's fake during the simulation. But it's not the same as getting emotionally involved in a holodeck program. When you enter a holodeck the goal is to become emotionally involved. You are putting yourself in a state where you are emotionally receptive to something you know not to be real, in this simulation you would not do this.

    I suppose if there was physical pain involved you could easily develop PTSD from the experience, but again, I'd argue that'd be more difficult if you were able to carry the knowledge that none of it would have any lasting real life consequences. For O'Brien a big part of what made is so traumatizing was the belief that he was seriously in danger of starving to death and the belief he would never see his family again. I absolutely believe it would have cushioned the blow and changed his attitude toward his cell mate if he knew no real time was passing, he would definitely see his family again in the same state he left them, and he was in no danger of death.
     
  2. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Me fail English? That's unpossible! :alienblush:
     
  3. SignGuyHPW

    SignGuyHPW Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I think it'd work the same mentally as when people have a dream and during such think it's a real experience or if they were hypnotised and think something imaginary is really happening. It's the same principle as when Garak was hit by the Cardassian gaurd while in the version of the Great Link, but started to really bleed as a psycho-symatic response in the real infirmary.

    As long as O'Brien percieved the experience as real then it'd have the same effects on him as if it were real. I think the point behind this system was that they didn't have to house the criminals and care for them in order for the punishment to take place.
     
  4. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    Disregarding the particulars of the episode and the technobabbly explanation that might come if the writers were pushed, false memories are still memories. In spite of the fact there was no real event, they are nonetheless in memory, and years of therapy are required to recover from them, if not a lifetime.
     
  5. Reeborg

    Reeborg Commander Red Shirt

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    What would happen if somebody (convincingly) told you that all you life was just a fake memory induced by technology? Would this change your personality and state of mind because of those experiences and memories. I would guess no, you would still be the same, especially when they would (convincingly) tell that the responses to stimula were really your own.
     
  6. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't buy that psychosomatic Matrix stuff they do in dream world episodes. The way you could die in The Thaw made absolutely no sense. The 'If you think you die you die' stuff is just a scifi plot contrivance to add danger to virtual world stories.

    I agree the emotional experiences would feel real, IF, as in O'Brien's case, you believed the simulation to be reality. If you knew it all to be fake, you knew it would not leave lasting physical damage and that it had a definite end date, you would not emotionally react the same way.

    Consider these scenarios:

    A) A person walked up to you and said "I am going to punch you for five minutes, then I am going to stop. It will be very painful but I will not beat you bad enough to actually kill you or leave any permanent physical damage.", and you had reason to believe he was telling the truth. Then he did so exactly as promised.

    B) A person walks up to you and starts punching you, without telling you anything. Then after five minutes he stops.

    I would argue, B would be a lot more emotionally traumatic for you. In the case of A you can mentally prepare yourself for exactly five minutes of punching. You know exactly when it will be over and you know you will not die. In B, you don't know what's going on, you don't know when he's going to stop or if he's going to stop, and you don't know if he's going to leave you alive. Also you don't know whether it's going to happen again in the future.

    Part of the psychological effect of torment happens because your brain and your emotional and physical reactions readjust themselves to deal with the torment, and then they can't readjust back after. If you knew it was fake, and knew exactly when it was going to end and you would not suffer any permanent damage, your brain would not readjust itself the same way, and simply brace itself for the specific amount of torment it knows it will receive.

    And you know there's got to be criminals out there who know what it's like, have figured out ways to endure it better, and tell their buddies all about it, so that's even more mental and emotional preparation.



    Of course it wouldn't change my personality. But, moving forward, knowing it was all fake, my personality would develop far differently than it would if I did not know. It's all about whether you know it's fake during the experience or not.
     
  7. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Stands to reason if they can implant interactive memory programs into anyone's brain, even aliens, it would be a small thing to erase any details of prior knowledge of their penal system and how it works.
     
  8. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Argrathi had better consider themselves lucky that Sisko didn't dispatch the Defiant to fire a few warning shots across their bow, in response to what was pretty much an act of war on the Argrathi's part.
     
  9. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Again, this all makes me wonder why the heck these guys don't bother creating rehabilitation simulations instead of needlessly traumatizing guys and then turning said trauma cases loose on the world. That way the criminals still get the years of simulation, but now they're more ready to re-enter society as not-headcases.
     
  10. Kathy Kringle

    Kathy Kringle Commodore Commodore

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    This is like my least favorite episode of DS9 for some reason lol.
     
  11. Kathy Kringle

    Kathy Kringle Commodore Commodore

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    Haha yes....
     
  12. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Who says they wanted to rehabilitate them? The whole thing seemed like they wanted to punish O'brien. Especially since the charges were trumped up anyways.
     
  13. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    ^It might also be easier to break someone than fix them.
     
  14. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    From a cost/effort standpoint sure. O'brien nearly offed himself, saving them the trouble and any future problems from the pesky troublemaker.
     
  15. _C_

    _C_ Commander Red Shirt

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    I think that episode makes us, the viewers, uncomfortable because we value our minds so much, and the idea that someone can basically mess with it is creepy as hell. At least to ME.

    A traumatic memory is a traumatic memory is a traumatic memory. Doesn't matter if it's real or not. It's real to the person it's been inflicted upon and it hurt/scared/angered them. It's always seemed to me that memories tied to emotions leave the deepest marks on us, so to be filled with memories of pain and misery, real or not, would mess anybody up.
     
  16. Marten

    Marten Captain Captain

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    The system makes perfect sense if you don't know it's a simulation before you commit crimes. But with that information, you should be less scared with the prospect of being punished compared, which isn't good politics.
     
  17. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think you can simply gloss over 20 years of implanted memories, even if you knew they were fake to begin with.
     
  18. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    'gloss over'? No.
    But these memories will lose most of their emotional punch if you know they're fake. An illusion, out of which you will wake up on the same day you went to sleep.
    Every time you're hungry, you know you're not really starving. Every time the prison bully beats you to within an inch of your life, you know you don't actually have a scratch on your real body.
     
  19. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    It was bound to happen: Prisoners 'could serve 1,000 year sentence in eight hours'. I believe this raises serious questions about how authorities would choose to let prisoners use (or waste) their time. Even if the experience of long periods of isolation are all they experience, how much better would it be if they come out with severe psychological trauma.
     
  20. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There was an Outer Limits story about this, basically the message was that we should really think about the true inhumanity of the punishments before sentencing people to them.