Is there a need for a Helm Department?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by USS Excelsior, May 10, 2013.

  1. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    If you really think about it, is there a good in-universe reason for the Enterprise-D to have over 1,000 crewmembers? I'm sure there a lot of jobs that humans do the computer could be doing instead.

    The out-of-universe reason is nobody wants to see a future in which humans are obsolete.
     
  2. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

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    Doesn't the thousand include all the families, civies, etc on board?
     
  3. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    ^Yes, but most of them seem to have jobs too, from what we've seen. I mean, aside from the children. What exactly would a stay-at-home spouse do in the 24th century? Putting plates back in the replicator only eats up so many minutes.
     
  4. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    More people equals more plot possibilities. Also, its more interesting for the Captain to interact with people than a computer.
     
  5. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

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    I'd think most of the civies on Enterprise were scientists of various sorts. Keiko sure fits that role. You'd also have your odd historian, linguist, and the like. They are supposed to be the tip of Starfleet's exploration arm, after all.
     
  6. USS Excelsior

    USS Excelsior Commodore Commodore

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    What we saw in the ENT episode dead stop with the repair station is more likely how repairs will really be conducted and at high speed with those robotic worker arms and stuff.
     
  7. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

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    But that was an alien station, wasn't it? What Starfleet facilities we have seen seem to use manned worker bees and the like.

    But still, that's not day-to-day stuff. It would make more sense to have a bunch of advanced Roombas doing the cleaning, rather than some non-coms/Bajorans.
     
  8. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I tend to think a Galaxy-class starship is as much a mobile starbase as it is a deep-space exploration vessel. In that capacity, it carries out the additional roles of a Federation embassy and township, IMO.
     
  9. Lee Enfield

    Lee Enfield Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Schools, Arboretum, Lounges, and places like that would probably make use of civilians ( or is it the other way around...?...). A ship like a Galaxy Class is much like a little town. And people want to be active in its commune. Some might not like working in a Cafe, but they might be in a book club...
     
  10. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Captain: "Computer, Set course two-one-three Mark seven."

    Computer: ""Unable to comply, the automatic pilot system is offline."

    Automation is all very well and good, but like any system it can fail. Today a plane could take off, fly to it's destination and land all by itself." But would you fly on it without a pilot?

    As for having a dedicated department, sure everyone might receive basic training in piloting a starship, but their is a difference between basic and advanced training.
     
  11. WillsBabe

    WillsBabe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I hear what you're saying, but for me it was a case of not having really watched TNG for years, and getting a sense in the intervening years that tech has moved on here IRL and so feeling the ship should be able to fly itself. I still think it could. As for wanting to get onto a plane that could fly itself? No way! :lol:
     
  12. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Yes but tech had moved on, in TOS you needed a Navigator and Helmsman, by the time of TNG you where just down to the CONN officer, a combination of both positions.

    And the ship can pilot itself, in TNG's "Remember Me" we see Beverly ordering the computer to lay in a course.
     
  13. Lee Enfield

    Lee Enfield Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I don't think this is so much about the a ship being engineered to fly on itself, but the question wether humankind wants to step away from using technology and instead getting fed by it.
     
  14. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Most of us here can drive.

    But how many of us can drive a car with such precision that they would be qualified to be race car driver quality, stunt driver quality, or even defensive driving level quality.

    Just because everybody can drive, doesn't mean you can handle a vehicle or vessel to it's maximum potential.

    There are lots of layers to driving, most people only know the surface layers of it.

    The same can be applied to the helmsman.

    A dedicated helmsman should be able to fly the shuttle or starship in ways that no average pilot could do.
     
  15. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Even as far back as TOS, it's been demonstrated that a starship can fly itself once a course has been set ("The Menagerie" comes to mind right now). The same kind of automation is likely true for the majority of the ship's systems, but it's still good to have a dedicated specialist to monitor & maintain those systems and intervene in the event of a malfunction or in a sudden situation change.
     
  16. Lee Enfield

    Lee Enfield Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    In the end, wasn't it the point of the TNG episode Booby Trap? The computer is no surrogate for creativity asf ?
     
  17. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Would there be a role for the traditional "housewife" in the 24th century? Probably not. Heck, our technology TODAY has rendered the need for that, from a practical house maintenance standpoint, largely non-existent.

    OTOH, I would imagine there would still be plenty of people who choose to be stay-at-home parents because there is a lot more to raising children than just being the housekeeper. And in the 24th century, people apparently don't have to worry about their material needs, so there would be more opportunity for someone who wanted to stay home with their children to do so, as opposed to today when you hear so many people say things like "I'd love to stay home with my children, but we need the two incomes to survive."
     
  18. erastus25

    erastus25 Commodore Commodore

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    Similarly, I've always wondered if they ever need a transporter operator and a transport room as well. I mean, if Worf or someone on the bridge can beam directly from planet surface to sick bay, why bother with the actual room and extra personnel?
     
  19. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Because a computer even one as advanced as the ones in Star Trek can only do what it's programming tells it to do.
     
  20. Lee Enfield

    Lee Enfield Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Perhaps it's about the risk being taken. It might not be as risky using a room where you can access the devices to counter problems.