So the EMH Never Heard of the Dominion

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Photon, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Photon

    Photon Commodore Commodore

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    EMH: "Is the Federation at war with the Romunlans?"
    EMH Mark II: "No, the Romunlans haven't gotten involved with our fight with the Dominion."
    EMH: "The who?"
    EMH Mark II: "Long Story."

    Good Lord

    The Jem Hadar
    The Search happened before Voyager even made it to DS9.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^The EMH was created to be an emergency medical supplement, not a fully aware member of the crew. He was only programmed with medical knowledge, not a complete Starfleet database. Anything he learned beyond that was through his own efforts. And why would he have bothered to brush up on the political situation back home?
     
  3. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Given how dangerous the Jem'Hadar weapons were (contained an anti-clotting agent), I might have thought the EMH would be programmed with enough medical knowledge to be able to treat wounds caused by them. Not a big deal, just throwing it out there.
     
  4. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    This came up a few weeks ago. If you look at the dates, "Cartaker" happened only a few weeks after "The Search," so it's not clear if Voyager's crew would know about the Dominion. Someone like Janeway might know that the Odyssey was lost in the Gamma Quadrant, but there's no guarantee she'd know that the Dominion was to blame. Federation space is huge. That Voyager was at DS9 before looking for Chakotay tells us nothing of where Janeway and her then-senior officers were before their mission began.

    --Sran
     
  5. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    True, but I'm not sure if Starfleet understood exactly how dangerous the plasma rifles were until 2373. "The Ship" establishes that Jem'Hadar weapons leave an anticoagulant behind at the wound site, an incident that happened after Voyager was lost in the DQ.

    --Sran
     
  6. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The EMH was last activated prior to Voyager leaving, there's no reason to think his program is periodically updated with current events while he's inactivated.

    Janeway and others were probably aware *of* the Dominion threat but it was strictly a cold war at that point, and for those four years the crew were focused on their own situation, so the Dominion was probably not a hot topic of conversation around sickbay.
     
  7. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    So, you expect all characters to know everything all the time. Does that really seem reasonable or realistic to you?
     
  8. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    I agree. People forget that the Federation takes something like eight weeks to travel across using warp speed. If something happens on side of the Federation, it's not a given that everyone knows about it merely because it happened. The Doctor was a specially designed program and wouldn't necessarily know everything about Starfleet's first-contact missions or military engagements.

    The Federation didn't start to compile medical information about Jem'Hadar until Bashir worked with the Jem'Hadar adolescent in "The Abandoned." That doesn't leave much time before Voyager goes missing.

    --Sran
     
  9. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    By rights, the Doctor shouldn't know anything about anything outside of medicine, and what he does know should be concentrated in emergency medicine at that.
     
  10. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    I don't know. I think the term emergency is something of a misnomer because it doesn't necessarily refer to the type of physician he is but to his being available in an emergency situation where the ship's doctor is absent or has been injured or killed.

    --Sran
     
  11. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    The Doctor referred to himself as a "supplement" to the medical staff. In an emergency situation expertise and manpower would be at a premium. The TNG Tech Manual claims most Starfleet personnel are cross-trained in medical treatment for emergency situations. Certainly Worf was capable of delivering a baby in an emergency situation, so it may be true. But in a real crunch, an expert program would be superior to a cross-trained security guard. Any abilities outside of emergency medicine are unnecessary in an EMH. It only exists for "crunch time" situations. And if the primary physician is dead, that's a real emergency.

    Dr. Zimmerman may have had a long-term medical holographic program in mind during the development of the EMH. If he did, any extra learning and growth potential in the EMH may have been included so that the LMH would be easier to develop - an upgrade of the EMH rather than a completely new project from scratch.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'd say the fact that Janeway visited DS9 and then embarked on a mission specific to that area of space would almost certainly involve her discussing local matters with Sisko, or at least reading his reports on those. And the Dominion issue would definitely arise, as it was a very clear and very present danger at the time. Indeed, the threat was probably at its highest at that time, because Starfleet had every reason to overestimate it!

    However, by the same tokens, the discussion between the COs would no doubt remain top secret. And while the information would gradually be leaked to the crew of the Voyager, the EMH would be at the very bottom of the list of recipients. Far enough down not to hear anything until "Message in a Bottle", though? A bit unlikely, considering how curious and chatty he later became...

    As for programming the EMH to deal with Jem'Hadar weaponry, I don't think Starfleet would know anything about such things yet. Nobody had been hit by Jem'Hadar light arms in "Jem'Hadar", and none of their weapons had been captured. In contrast, their ships had been in combat with Starfleet assets that had survived, so it's not unexpected that Paris in "Parturition" would have access to a crude simulation of Dominion ships.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I disagree. As long as there's sufficient memory capacity (and there is), the EMH should have as much knowledge as they can possibly give him. The more he knows about Starfleet and its operations, the better he can treat patients who may have been hurt during those operations.

    It's impossible to know TOO much.
     
  14. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    It's impossible for a biological physician to know too much. Clearly expert programs suffer degradation when they fill themselves up with non-relevant information. We saw the Doctor develop problems more than once because he got too ambitious about loading data into his matrix.
     
  15. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    What's known for sure is that the idea of Jem'Hadar weapons leaving an anticoagulant behind wasn't discussed until the fifth season, so that definitely wouldn't have made it into Voyager's database unless Starfleet provided Voyager with new information in their care package sent after "Message in a Bottle."

    --Sran
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    And initially he didn't. But he had seven years to expand his horizons. The difference between him and other Mark I EMHs is that he was active continuously instead of rarely, and thus was able to develop his mind far beyond the basic level of the others. By analogy, if an EMH were only activated on, say, an average of four emergency situations a year and left on for an average of six hours per emergency, then at the end of seven years of service that EMH would only be the equivalent of seven days old. Well, keeping in mind that humans sleep for about 1/3 of our lives, make it the equivalent of ten and a half days old. So most EMHs would still be effectively "infants," never having enough time to develop beyond their basic programming, even if they were in service for years. The Doctor was active every day and thus did have the opportunity to grow and learn.
     
  17. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Clearly the Doctor had lots of learning potential, since he exercised it regularly. But was the learning capacity in the EMH intended for the program to develop an interest in opera or starship command? I don't think so. At first the Voyager EMH had little interest in anything outside of medicine and preferred to be shut down when idle rather than indulge in recreational activities. Was the change in his attitude a side effect of running longer than intended? Or was Zimmerman working on a long-term hologram and included the capabilities in the EMH for later use? I wonder.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The learning capacity would be useful simply because the EMH could then deal more swiftly with the specific patients under its care. Being able to cope with complex personalities so that you can ignore the human interaction and cut right to the actual medical emergency takes a lot of skill, specifically skill in adaptation...

    Possibly an Emergency Engineering Hologram would never have developed that way, there existing no design need to have it interact with personalities! But even an EEH might still be given a degree of curiosity, not for dealing with Starfleet equipment (no need for flexibility there) or even malfunctions in such (even those would be a limited set), but for dealing with alien technology, a major part of Starfleet engineering operations.

    Ultimately, these holograms seem to be programs run by the main computer, rather than independent units. Allocation of resources as needed is a likely way for such things to operate, then, and the engineers might simply have neglected to install proper safeguards there.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It is likely that most of the Federation knew about he Dominion. There is subspace communication that can travel all the way across Federation space much faster than warp travel, and you know that it would have made the front page on the 'Federation news service'.

    But, at this point in Voyager nobody had had any communication with home since they left, and at the point they left they were afraid of war but were not at war. It would not have been a hot topic of conversation among the crew and that's the only way the Doctor would have learned a lot about them.
     
  20. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    I can't stop thinking that an expert program designed to focus on medicine has to be considered corrupted when it starts to focus on learning operas.