life-extension technology in Star Trek (or lack thereof)

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by ixfd64, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
    Their population problem is apparently bad enough that the bodies of their population are pressed up against the sides of their Enterprise facsimile as well; that they were able to construct something of that size and complexity but couldn't keep half a million pedestrians from sitting on it tells you all you need to know about the nature of their population problem: the people of Gideon are as numerous as cockroaches and probably just as prolific.

    That, plus the fact that their best option is to introduce a pandemic among that seething population, tells us this is no ordinary "overpopulation" issue. It just reinforces that when Hodin says his planet is encased in a "living mass who can find no rest, no peace, no joy" he is not exaggerating much.

    Except you're perfectly aware that conditions such as these did not exist in the overwhelming majority of American and European cities and do not exist there now; nor have they been common to nations and regions that were NOT heavily urbanized, nor do they persist OUTSIDE of urban population centers.

    You know all of that. You're just being contrarian.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    ...But a project of such importance would be in a populated area anyway - not to mention it would have to be close enough to the government building that the discrepancy in beamdown coordinates would not be blatantly obvious. Probably buried right beneath the building, actually.

    OTOH, Gideonites would have quite an interest in the project, and spectators would be a natural phenomenon! Having a one-way mirror briefly fail isn't all that unexpected, either. Note that all the people behind that mirror were spectating, rather than just wandering around like in the government building.

    http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/3x16/The_Mark_of_Gideon_124.JPG

    Incorrect. Twenty people per room was fairly standard for the early age of industrialization in the major cities of Europe, and remains so in many places where migrant workers are a prominent phenomenon (examples can even be found in my own extremely sparsely inhabited Finland today, although these tend to involve illegal or "grey area" activities and a degree of secrecy).

    In rural areas of all but the warmest climes, a typical dwelling consisted of but one winterproof room, and having a family of three or four generations stuffed in there for months at an end (and occasionally having sex, because there was no reason not to) was a very common phenomenon.

    I can't fathom why you would think otherwise.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
    Right. Of course it would.:vulcan:

    For major cities, in factory housing, where the workers voluntarily moved as a requisite for their jobs (work houses, dormatories, etc). That is by no means standard accommodation for all or even most Europeans; there simply weren't that many people LIVING in Europe for that to be the case. Nor is it the case today, as even you conceded in Finland that one can find EXAMPLES here and there, in specific cases, some of which are illegal.

    And "huddling together in the one warm room in the house" is exactly what the Gideonites were NOT doing.

    You're creating false equivalencies fifty times a minutes just to be argumentative. That's kind of annoying.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    What are you talking about? You were babbling about it being impossible for sex to take place in a crowded room, and then trying to claim that such rooms categorically didn't exist. Obviously they did and do exist, and there's no requirement for them to cover the entire globe in order to defeat your argument.

    If people with a basically empty planet available to them (us Earthlings) have sex in crowded rooms as a matter of routine, there's no particular reason to think the Gideonites who don't even have a choice would find the practice in any way inconvenient or abhorrent.

    A lifestyle encompassing the busy streets and jam-packed dormitories of a big Southeast Asian city along with the penthouses and golf courses, and just omitting anything but the confines of the city, would be both plausible and interesting in human terms already, without throwing in any alien psychology or physiology. What would stretch the limits of plausibility would be the logistics of such a Trantor- or Coruscant-like world, especially if it categorically refused interstellar interaction.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
    No, I'm saying it's asinine that a sentient species packed in like sardines, in a planet "encased in a living biomass" would be having sex and giving birth to children in the writhing human rainforest that is the planet Gideon. Not because it's impossible -- by story logic, it clearly is -- but because a society that allows this to happen is just BEGGING for the evolutionary weedwhacker.

    We don't, as a matter of routine, nor was there a time when it was. Even YOU conceded that it was something that sometimes occurred under unusual circumstances -- bitterly cold winters, overcrowded communities, etc -- but is not and has never been the norm.

    That IS the norm on Gideon. That is the whole premise of the story. And it's gotten so bad that they've been forced to abduct an amorous foreigner in the hope he'll give the boss' daughter the clap.

    That's kinda my point. Most of them are obviously perfectly happy living in a society so overpopulated you can't even take a shit without hitting somebody's shoes.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Bitterly cold winters and cramped, isolated settlement are the norm rather than the deviation for the classic western lifestyle in the past thousand years. That's where we all came from. Having sex in the same room (or the same bed!) where your kids, parents and grandparents slept was indeed quite standard, and not regarded as anything else, either.

    The idea that Gideon would face an even more extreme situation only makes it more natural for sex to occur in conditions of limited privacy. General logic would establish the sex and the procreation; story logic would then establish the lack of Malthusian mass death that would normally inevitably result from the diseases of closely packed conditions. And ultimately the civilization would start hitting the much wider and less well understood limits relating to food production and general sustainability - perhaps indeed rather humorously leading to space as such being the limiting factor.

    I guess my point is that I praise the consistency between general logic and story logic: take ordinary humans and make them immune to the usual epidemics, and this is what you do get. And governments, religions and technology will be impotent in the face of the phenomenon, and irrelevant.

    Probably the introduction of a potent disease was but the first, minor but painful deviation from the local ethical norms; had this not worked, the next step would have been farther away from the path, until eventually the government would have been lobbing nukes in hopes of killing off a sizeable chunk of the population.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
    1) That's where EUROPEANS all came from. You may or may not have noticed that Earth isn't Europe.

    2) I am pretty sure that seasonal climates other than "bitterly cold winters" existed in Europe 1000 years ago.

    3) Isolated communities and OVERCROWDED communities are two very different things.

    I'm sure it was in Timoland (Finland?) but even you know that was by no means "standard" as a global norm.

    Which is few and far between in TOS. Gideon makes about as much sense from a "general logic" standpoint as the yangs and the cohms, the inexplicable duplicate Miri Earth, and the idea that an entire planet populated mostly by gangsters could /should be unified under the regime of some random guy that Captain Kirk just met six hours ago.

    I like to explore the more real-world implications of what's going on there, which on some level is the whole point of the episode anyway.

    Who wants a Gideonburger?
     
  8. chrinFinity

    chrinFinity Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Scmocation
    Forget it, Timo,

    If he's not even willing to stop judging all humans by his subjective cultural standards and accept diversity in our own species, how are you ever going to get him to tolerate that a culture of biologically distinct aliens on a different planet with vastly altered conditions might have different values...

    Obviously the Gideonites deserve to die, because they don't share his prudish class privileged American Christian values when it comes to sex.
     
  9. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
    Begging your pardon, but I'm not the one arguing with a straight face that a few hundred years ago every human being in on planet Earth enjoyed the exact same living conditions and the exact same seasonal climate conditions in sufficient uniformity to make this a global norm.

    The Gideonites deserve to die because they refuse to take any responsibility whatsoever for the condition of their species, even when the condition is impossible to ignore. They refuse to expand into space, they refuse to exercise birth control, and in the end they even refuse to exercise personal restraint of any kind by simply abstaining from sex. Just keep poppin em out until your planet is covered in a sea of people who can't even spit without hitting two other people.

    IOW, they deserve to die because they don't seem overly interested in staying alive. Meanwhile, there are planets in the galaxy that occasionally suffer food and resource shortages, and if the Gideonites are THAT prolific, we might as well put them to good use.
     
  10. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Like Easter Island.

    Had the natives used a handful of trees for ships, they could have gone to the mainlaind, harvested trees from there for the erection of those giant heads, and kept their own island (read "planet") pristine.

    I wouldn't say they deserved to die. To keep in-universe, you might remember the Kelvin species having the ability to turn people into small cube-like forms. Power-free stasis! In Spocks Brain you see a weapon that can also stop mobs even not when line of sight.

    This might be the key to overpopulation. Immobilize some to keep them from starving. Procreation may be limited, and the cubes thawed out as it were on an as need basis--and to reduce the size of ships for space exploration.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    [qujote]Begging your pardon, but I'm not the one arguing with a straight face that a few hundred years ago every human being in on planet Earth enjoyed the exact same living conditions and the exact same seasonal climate conditions in sufficient uniformity to make this a global norm.[/quote]

    You most definitely are. And in the same breath you then argue against yourself in a weird masturbatory cycle, not noticing that nobody else is participating.

    I simply point out that your insistence that a special case is impossible is false because the special case is a verified (and fairly commonly known and applied) fact. And the special case already covers all the required bases in debunking your ideas about where and how sex between humans can take place. You do demonstrate a remarkable lack of historical perspective there.

    Isolated = crowded is basically always true, too. You need infrastructure to get room.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
    Really? Because I look up thread and see this:

    And further upthread I see this:
    And what was my reply? That those conditions were NOT the general norm in Europe and are not the general norm at the present time, and that's just accounting for Europe. Note that I have not questioned whether those conditions existed AT ALL, nor have I questioned whether they could be found in some parts of modern cities or rural areas. YOU made the claim that everyone, everywhere, lived like that at some point. I called you on your bullshit, and now you're complaining.

    Is a strawman. Thanks for playing, though.

    Except, of course, for the thousands of cases historically where it ISN'T. The specific cultural scenario you're projecting from early-industrial Europe doesn't accurately describe concurrent conditions in Africa, the Americas, or the Indian subcontinent. In the case of the latter two, it's the metropolitan areas that are massively overcrowded and rural areas are less densely populated than any time in their history.

    And even trying to project that onto Gideon isn't going to work, because again, their population problem is no longer voluntary: they're not huddling together for warmth, they're huddling together because they have nowhere else to go.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Which is false - obviously, they were, at the time specified. That's what industrialization was all about. Just go have a look at the standard British or French "suburb" from the era.

    Which is doubly irrelevant, because the present day does not enter the picture, but such a form of habitation does remain the norm on many locations outside Europe.

    This is exactly what you have been questioning all the time.

    I say crowded conditions existed -> you say "bullshit". I say two people having sex in a crowded room is a likely scenario, as per well-known historical fact -> you say I'm imagining things. All in feeble attempts to sidestep the fact that the existence of the conditions and the scenario voids your original claim that Gideonite-like folks procreating would somehow be unlikely. That's simply ignorance of the history of sex speaking.

    Well, in Europe, yes. In North America, yes. In Asia, yes. In Africa, yes. In Oceania, I sort of doubt it.

    As said, crowding is a natural result of lack of infrastructure, so isolation results in crowded accommodations. A nomadic lifestyle, even more so. You just don't build separate rooms for having sex unless you live in luxury to start with. What do you imagine ancient habitats really looked like? Again, just go have a look - the nearest library can't be that far away.

    People went outside to pee. They stayed inside to fuck. That was civilized behavior, the opposite was, well, the opposite.

    Which in no way leads to spacious accommodations. Quite to the contrary, smaller housing arrangements will have to make do. Just go and have a look.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Jerikka Dawn

    Jerikka Dawn Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Maybe you didn't mean it to come across as such, but the way I read it, it seemed you were claiming that those conditions exist everywhere on Earth -- today.
     
  15. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
    Why? Because everyone in Europe lived in French and British suburbs during the dawn of industrialization?

    Yes, because what you ACTUALLY said was that crowded conditions were "fairly standard" or that personal privacy was an "incredibly rare luxury" for most people in the world. Basically you made a sweeping generalization that in hindsight turned out to be absurd and now you're reduced to "You don't believe me that crowds exist!"

    Yes, because what you actually said is that it is a COMMON scenario that would be more the rule than the exception.

    It's not their existence we're debating, it's their UBIQUITY. This in a context of a discussion of the planet Gideon, where those conditions ARE depicted as being ubiquitous, primarily because of the population's long life and irrational aversion to birth control or self restraint of any kind. And lest we drift too far from the point: it wasn't about prudishness or the morality of public fornication. It was about the fact that the GIDEONITES seem to find their living conditions unbearable, and both their leader and his Typhoid Mary daughter make statements implying how miserable they all are due to the overcrowding.

    To be clear: they're not overcrowded because it's cold outside.
    They're not overcrowded because all the jobs are in the city.
    They're not overcrowded because their houses are small.
    They're not overcrowded because the governor's mansion uses up way too much land (it obviously does, but that's not the reason). They're overcrowded because there are so many people on their world that their population density approaches that of insects and you literally can't find a spot on the entire planet that doesn't have at least ten people standing on it.

    And I claimed this is because the Gideonites THEMSELVES find those conditions uncomfortable. I could only imagine they find sex equally uncomfortable to be still doing it under those conditions. Which means they either don't care for sex all that much and have it for other reasons ("love of life," or maybe some sort of Mote-In-God's-Eye reproductive drive) or they're a bunch of incredibly short-sighted hedonists who are perfectly content to fuck themselves into extinction.

    You're 0 for 5 on that one, unless you backtrack again and amend that with "in a few places in special cases." Otherwise, I maintain a writ of "Bullshit."

    And is in no way equivalent to what we're talking about. If the people of Gideon were crowded because of their accommodations, then anyone who wanted more room would be to simply move the hell away from each other or build bigger houses. Introducing a virulent alien plague among their population makes no sense at all unless it is the ONLY way to thin out their population (i.e. there is no "elsewhere" for them to move).
     
  16. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    Which may have been the case, I remember a line from the movie Soylent Green, that the farm areas were protected like fortresses. People stayed in the cities, because they literally couldn't get out. They weren't permitted out.

    Consider, currently urban and suburban areas account for three percent of the land area on Earth, agricultural crop land is around eleven percent of Earth's surface, and pasture range land is another approximately twenty-five percent. Now multiple the Human population by twenty (or a hundred) times. Even if you make us all vegetarians, and increase crop yields, you can't have the bulk of the population spreading out into the agricultural lands. The same would apply to living on top of the majority of the water surface, you're pulling food out of the water, you have to leave it alone. The food has to come from somewhere.

    Most of the Human species would likely still be in the same three percent of the land area.





    :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  17. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
    ^ Well it would still have to spread out a bit, but that makes perfect sense. Starvation doesn't seem to be a huge problem on Gideon, so voluntary overcrowding just to prevent starvation is another possibility.

    OTOH, the Soylent Green line is pretty apt, considering how THEY decided to solve their population problem :D. Suffice to say, a planet whose population is so massively saturated would have HUGE downward population pressure even without the introduction of a plague. I sort of thing that without the introduction of Kirkitis, nature would eventually run its course and the Gideonites would start murdering each other like a NORMAL dystopian society.
     
  18. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    I think the notion of most of Gideon being given over to agricultural space (thus crowding the rest of the populace into futuristic domed cities) is a great one and solves one of the chief nits of the episode - the issue of feeding the sea of people.

    It also explains how the Gideons managed to find the space to build their starship replica, which if their entire planet is shoulder to shoulder ought to be have been impossible - however, giving up a little of their farmspace for such a vital project is well within the realms of possibility.

    How they got hold of the exact plans of the Enterprise in the first place? Erm......
     
  19. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    newtype_alpha's making more sense than Timo here.

    Beyond which, there was certainly nothing in that episode that disposed me to be sympathetic to the Gideonites. Let them die.