Insects and transporters

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Lt. Cheka Wey, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. LoneDragon

    LoneDragon Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    There would be no way to know! You would realize it as you died, then your clone would emerge, none the wiser, thinking that it IS you and always has been.
     
  2. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, it's pretty nightmarish. Not like fear of swimming, where they can just throw you in and you realise it's not so bad. No matter how many times they 'throw you in' the transporter it would still be the same...
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    That one is actually among the consistent cases. The dialogue emphasizes that Picard beamed out "energy only", which in terms of later technobabble would mean that his body was still (mostly) left doing figure-eights inside the "pattern buffer" in the form of a "phased matter stream". The trick was in separating Picard's "soul" from that stream (which Picard apparently managed because he had the knowledge of the alien who possessed him, although perhaps UFP science already knew how this could be done, too), and later reintegrating it with the bulk of the phased matter in the buffer (for which Picard probably got some help from the aliens). We have seen bits and pieces of people being taken out of the general phased matter stream, or added - say, parasites or diseases may be removed, or the charge in one's sidearm, or the actual discharge of that sidearm. Separating the "soul" bit is in no way inconsistent with all that. And indeed we see a sort of a repeat performance in DS9 "Our Man Bashir".

    "Unnatural Selection" also features mere tinkering with existing matter, with the help of some stored information (in hair follicles rather than computer memory this time), although it handles the actual process rather clumsily. Such episodes merely tell us that the transporter is a powerful tool for future surgeons, rather than a xeroxing machine.

    It's "The Enemy Within" and "Second Chances", with their creation of two individuals in place of one, that pose a real problem. Where did the matter come from? Well, <technobabble> is a sufficient answer - but it means that a repeat performance would allow xeroxing. Sure, both episodes have this <technobabble> involve an extremely rare phenomenon that Federation science would probably be at loss to reproduce artificially, or even re-utilize at the original, natural source. But the incidents should at least inspire Federation science to solve the related problems, eventually.

    Then again, we already have replicators which are perfectly capable of creating living tissue (say, in TNG "Ethics" or VOY "Emanations"). The only reason people don't use those to Frankenstein a complete living body into existence seems to be that there's no real motivation for that. Oh, no doubt some mad scientist in some isolated lab will try, and for all we know the experiment has already been made by the time of TNG and has been a splendid success. But it's a clumsy way to give birth to people, and probably just isn't worth the hassle.

    Clones seem to be generally frowned upon in the 24th century Federation - or at least humans hate them with passion. But that's clones that usurp lives from living people. A clone that competes with Will Riker for existence is an abomination, as in "Up the Long Ladder" or "Second Chances". But a clone that continues the life of Will Riker where the previous incarnation left it, such as in this putative kill-and-copy version of the transporter, need not be objectionable at all.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    I feel like Rascals is probably somewhat problematic, too.
     
  5. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    "Second Chances." ;)

    Indeed. Unless those children are very overweight, that excess matter had to go somewhere, but where? And how did they replace it when the crew were returned to their original configurations?
     
  6. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    Insects combining with people? Nonsense!
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed - only arachnids mix with people!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    Dear Jebus, I hate Hate HATE that episode more than any other episode in the entire Star Trek franchise. :lol:
     
  9. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is actually one of my favorite TNG episodes. Therefore, I try not to think about the science/pseudo-science involved.:devil:

    David Birkin was one of those actors who played two very different characters in TNG. He played "Uncle" Renee in "Family" (season 4) then returned as Young Captain Picard in "Rascals" two seasons later.
     
  10. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    Any episode where an alteration to DNA results in already-existing tissue magically transforming itself is ridiculous.

    If you turned all of a person's DNA into blue whale DNA, that person would not transform into a blue whale. He would die.
     
  11. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I do not disagree with you. However, I still love that episode. :techman:
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Episodes like "Realm of Fear" where people are shown being active and interactive while within the transporting process are a clear-cut indication that you don't die in that machine. Or at least your death won't cause any sort of a discontinuity you should be worried about - unless you are a seriously sick person (like those who think elevators or mirrors or people named Jessup will be their inevitable undoing) and therefore are seriously incapacitated by your existential fears in the everyday environment.

    Funnily enough, we can retroactively establish that the transporter was always like that, in (and especially in) TOS already. After all, a key element of the transporting process is that a person dematerializing in spot A will always rematerialize in a different pose in spot B. This is because of the method of trick photography used, which involves the actor walking to set B and taking a pose that closely but not exactly approximates the one he held on set A. So clearly, the person inside a transporter beam is "in existence" the whole time, and acts and interacts so that his body can assume new poses.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But he would die with a bunch of blue-whale specific protein in his body.
     
  14. If Chief O'Brien were beamed down into the same space as a fly, would he turn into another Baxter Stockman?
     
  15. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not sure why the transporter is so difficult to accept within the context of established Treknology.

    Trek has told us more than once that in the 23rd/24th century, matter and energy are interchangeable. They can be converted back and forth at will. Therefore, when you are transported, nothing is destroyed. You are simply converted from matter to energy, the energy is sent to the destination, and then you are converted from energy back into matter.

    Now, that may not make much sense for us today based on our scientific knowledge and level of technology. But it is apparently true within Trek.
     
  16. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is the way I have understood it, as well. As you said, while our science today cannot make it happen, who says they cannot do it by the time of Star Trek? :vulcan:
     
  17. Lee Enfield

    Lee Enfield Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The extra matter probably comes from the measurement the transporter crew took, to reestablish the quantum-state matrix of Riker.
    While the planets conditions were the reason there were two energy-matrices at two destination(most likely with 50% content each), the transporter crew probably boosted the recieved signal (to compensate for the lost energy of the matrix)over the point to were each matrices had enough coherence(because there would either be two stable matrices or none) and filled in the lost information (reconstructing algorythms). They now created two intact patterns at two destinations.
     

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