Klingon mind sifter

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by kythe, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. kythe

    kythe Commander Red Shirt

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    This is a bit of technology that isn't delved into much in the Star Trek universe. It seems to be used as a plot point more than anything else, but does anyone have any idea how such a device would actually work?

    What would it's effect be on telepaths? We see it used on Vulcans periodically, and because of their mental disciplines they appear more resistant to it's effects. But because they are also telepaths, wouldn't they be able to "call" for help with someone they are mentally linked to, or does the mind sifter mess with their telepathic abilities? I think this wouldn't have applied to Spock since he didn't have anyone near that he was telepathically close to. But a married couple would have some sort of mental connection, and what about other telepathic races, like Betazoids?

    I think this idea should have been explored more in the series. If they are going to do a show involving telepathy and mental attacks, they should have delved into the dark side of this as well.
     
  2. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I always figured it was more of torture device that worked directly on the brain, physically attacking it in very painful ways until the subject reveals exactly what the operator/interrogator wants to know.
     
  3. Paradon

    Paradon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I've seen Tuvok's blood boiled and then he recovered from it just find like nothing had happened. I don't see how you can torture a Vulcan with this device.
     
  4. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In “Errand of Mercy,” it’s made clear that the Klingon mind-sifter is more than a sophisticated torture device — it can actually read a person’s thoughts and memories. Of course Vulcans, with their strong mental discipline, can block a mind-sifter probe to some extent.

     
  5. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    Ooh, I read that in John Colicos' voice... I loved Kor!
     
  6. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Definitely should have delved into it. I'm reminded of the spin Rick Berman used to spout about there not being any stories left to tell in the Trek universe, and yet there are a dozen episodes here. Smaller personal ones, broad sweeping interstellar ones, quirky funny ones... The same could be said about genetic engineering and artificial intelligences - both subjects which will be very real this century.
     
  7. jayrath

    jayrath Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^ Or about torture. How different is the mind sifter from waterboarding?
     
  8. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ Considering that it extracts information directly from the victim’s brain, I’d say it’s a lot more reliable, for one thing.
     
  9. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    At lower power levels (force four?) it would be just as unpleasant and from Spock's experience just as harmless.

    The closest parallel would likely be Spock's forced mindmeld of Valeris in The Undiscovered Country.

    :)
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Considering that the one time it was used, it failed completely, I'd say the opposite!

    Indeed, didn't somebody once publish a story wherein it was revealed that the feared Mind Sifter was just a box with blinking lights, designed to evoke terror in the interrogation victim by sheer placebo effect?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Never read that story, but I love the idea.

    It kind of reminds me of the James Bond parody in which the villain had a huge, hulking henchman who could break inch-thick boards with a single karate chop. But when he and Bond got into a fight, it turned out that the big sonofabitch only knew how to break boards!
     
  12. Capt_Pickirk

    Capt_Pickirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Nah, the mind sifter was actually a sieve. But every other race had become so advanced they had never heard of this primitive device. Except for Chekov
     
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's possible that it only really works on the Klingons themselves.

    I remember a story once where Kirk was exposed to a mind sifter, escaped through the Guardian of Forever and ended up in a 1930's psychiatric hospital for a year.

    :)
     
  14. Paradon

    Paradon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    The mind sifter might work on the Vulcans, considering Klingons are supposed to be tougher...physiologically. Good point!

    Of course, the device may stimulate mental stress; that might be how it works. Like being crazy! Well, a better term would be psychotic...having a full blown Vulcan psychosis.....
     
  15. kythe

    kythe Commander Red Shirt

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    The weird thing is, the Klingons are not supposed to be telepathic. There is a certain irony in it being the Klingons who would develop a technology to overcome mental barriers, when they are the race one would least expect to understand how such things work. Most of their society seems based on physical strength and battle, not mental.

    I do like the idea that it is only a blinking box that works by placebo effect, but I would think that true telepaths with mental disciplines would be able to see through that. ;)
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...Which is why Spock defeated the device. ;)

    Perhaps all the preceding victims had been Romulans, who'd be sufficiently telepathic to realize the device was a sham, and would only pretend to divulge (false) information to their torturers as the result? :devil:

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    :confused:
    What's the difference from what I said? It's still described as a device that attacks the brain to get information out of someone. A "mind ripper" doesn't exactly sound like it's something enjoyable...
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The name "sifter" does suggest an analysis device analogous to a sieve, which does not carry the connotations of extraction-through-threat-or-damage that "ripper" would.

    OTOH, perhaps Kor actually said "shifter", as in a device that pulls the mind this side and that to inflict damage?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    That's your opinion, but when you're talking about a brain going through a sieve, there's nothing that suggests it will be a pleasant and enjoyable experience, especially if it's a Klingon invention.
     
  20. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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    I think the line "We can record every thought, every bit of knowledge in a man's mind" implies that it is meant to be some sort of "thought recorder."