The only reason to have a Starfleet Academy...

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Ain Jalut, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. Ain Jalut

    Ain Jalut Lieutenant

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    is bonding?

    Anything else could be simulated at home on a holodeck.

    Why would school be necessary in the Federation with all that technology?
     
  2. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I nitpick some sci-fi myself, so I am not innocent. However, a critic must be mindful that sci-fi is never a "prediction" of the future. The best sci-fi is an allegory of our own world. (Otherwise, what's the relevance to the audience?) Lots of excellent sci-fi from the early and even mid 20th century is now hopelessly outdated. I'm sure all of us can think up plenty of examples. Yet that does not invalidate the human aspects of those stories. Newer stories might take virtual worlds, augmented reality, and 24/7 mobile connectivity for granted because that is what today's audiences understand as normal and common.

    Starfleet Academy is a shorthand for the kind of training audiences understand intuitively. Just because a technology exists does not mean that it is most efficient—economically or otherwise. Episodes in the holodeck were one of the four or five basic story ideas making up all of TNG. (Other "types" include the Q stories, the Data plays with his emotion chip stories, time travel, etc.) Starfleet is supposed to be about exploring the frontier, boldly going and meeting new civilizations. Starfleet is not about glorified couch potatoes.
     
  3. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Does everyone in the galaxy have a holodeck in their living room?
    Will they be able to teach a course to students from 27 different planets across two quadrants simultaneously via subspace radio?

    Surely, even in the future, the best way will be to gather students together in one room, to learn together and share ideas.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Bonding is one aspect of being together. Simply being able to tolerate crowds of colleagues is another - a vital skill that many applicants might have to learn from scratch. Having to go where told is also educational for anybody wishing to follow the Starfleet lifestyle...

    Of course, it also helps to have all your officers-to-be behold the might of Earth at point-blank range.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. Halmirdax

    Halmirdax Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'd wager in that simulation is not equal to the lives they would lead in the Academy. Of course bonding would be a big part of it, they need to trust each other. However the way of life they would learn as part of that team within the Academy would be based around attending training, being observed, climbing up the ranks. I'd find it hard to see that working as a simulation.
     
  6. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Why explore at all. Send out robots and let folks sit in overstuffed loungers having the experiences pumped into their heads?
     
  7. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Good call..

    Fan have wondered for some time why from dialog there is apparently only "The Academy." It does make more sense to have multiple campuses spread throughout the federation. Why have just the one?

    Team building, espirt de corp, converting individuals into a "band of brothers." So you travel the cadets all to a central location, make them live, eat, sleep, learn together. Dress them the same, treat them the same.

    E pluribus unum.

    :)
     
  8. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Inherently, no one ever has to leave their house at all with replicators that can instantly deliver any food or item they want at their fingertips.

    I may be in the minority, but personally, I think not everything is so easily accessible in the Federation. Replicators may be common aboard starships, but they may not be in the average household just like how transporter systems may not be, IMO. Most people still have to go out and get stuff (including specialized training).

    Onscreen material seems to suggest that San Francisco is the location of the main campus, but that Starfleet cadets receive training from all over the Federation. It could be a case that cadets travel back and forth between Earth and other training centers over the course of their overall term. Some cadets may even earn Academy credits serving for awhile aboard active-duty starships and distant starbases as midshipmen.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Of interest here might be that in "The Maquis", the Cardassians "poisoned the wells" of the colonists by reprogramming their "public" food replicators.

    Now, this may be the far frontier, which we know is teeming with luddites. But that aside, the existence of public replicators may or may not indicate that private ones are rare. Or then it merely indicates that Cardassian saboteurs can access public systems more easily than private ones. Certainly it would seem odd that the colonists would have to spell out to each other that these replicators are "public" if there are no other kind.

    This would tend to undermine the colonists' insistence that only the core world people can be saints in paradise - the benefits of a replicator society would still seem to be available to the frontier settlements.

    Indeed - but there's no real evidence for the existence of another campus as such. Possible training facilities such as flight ranges, yes; possible dedicated entry exam facilities, yes (the one from "Coming of Age" seemed to be quite an investment in infrastructure, as it featured a somewhat extensive physical simulator, probably pre-holodeck era). But other clusters of lecture halls and dormitories? Not quite mentioned.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    I don't know if I agree. I don't watch fiction to be reminded of real life. I have real life for that.
     
  11. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    In short, not everyone may have a replicator.
    There were actually two listed briefly on monitors in TNG's "Eye of the Beholder," where two different officers graduated. One on Beta Ursae Minor II,
    http://images.wikia.com/memoryalpha/en/images/e/ee/Darien_Wallace_personnel_file.jpg

    and another on Beta Acquilae II.
    http://images.wikia.com/memoryalpha/en/images/8/8c/Lois_Eckridge_personnel_file.jpg
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Those images are somewhat hard to make out, so if my read is flawed, forgive me.

    Lois Eckridge apparently attended a "academy" on the same planet on which she was born, it not clear if she graduated from that particular academy, or even if this academy was Starfleet Academy.

    From the dates, the academy mention could have possible been her high school.

    :)
     
  13. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    The images on both do say Starfleet Academy, but they list different planets.
    Louis Eckridge's file says Starfleet Academy, Beta Acquilae II
    Darien Wallace's file says Starfleet Academy, Beta Ursae Minor II
     
  14. Gary Mitchell

    Gary Mitchell Admiral Admiral

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    The TNG episode "The Wounded" has a conversation between Keiko and Miles where she expressed surprise when Miles mentioned that his mother cooked real food instead of using a replicator. That always made me think that most people have a replicator in their house like microwave ovens today.
     
  15. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    ^^Plus in Family, it's implied Picard's brother is among the rare few on Earth that didn't have a replicator, and even he was considering getting one.

    On topic, one possible necessity of the Academy is to get cadets used to being away from home, which most of them will be for much of their careers in Starfleet.
     
  16. Captain Nebula

    Captain Nebula Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Why would you have to go anywhere if you could just have a holo-repeated avatar of yourself interacting with other people. Think about the movie "Surrogates" (if you've seen it) and apply that to holotechnology.

    How about a holo Away Team? Beam down a robot that has a holoprojector, tricorder, and transmitter and you'd never have to leave your starship unless the robot encountered something not in it's programming or the tricorder picked up something it couldn't recognize.

    Even now, we don't go to another planet without sending a robot/machine first to recon.
     
  17. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You can't have military training without camaraderie.

    I suppose you could have a network of holodecks all connected with each other so it feels like you're all in the same place. But it's not the same if you don't have to leave your comfort zone for the training, and holodecks are still a luxury in the 24th century. There isn't one on every block. They're only on top of the line starships and expensive luxury establishments.

    The best scifi is about human nature, but not necessarily about the real world. When they try to make a direct allegory to some current event is when they fail the hardest. Scifi allows writers to write about their opinion of humanity's true nature but removing humans from a recognizable modern context and real events. It puts humans in a totally novel situation completely unlike the real world and guesses how they might react.
     
  18. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    In many different universes, simultaneously.
    Yet the Bridge officers spend a lot of hours each week watching screens and punching buttons. :p
     
  19. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's the current limit of our technical and financial resources. Sending humans on similarly long missions would be prohibitively expensive. (Humans also like to be returned after the mission.)

    While robotic or projected avatars would be safer, the Federation also has diplomatic considerations. Would you trust a people who won't come down and shake your tentacle in person?
     
  20. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    The Federation is made up of multiple species from hundreds of different worlds, each with its own customs and culture. Simulation doesn't teach these people how to co-exist with one another, nor does it help to build the trust and mutual understanding that the Federation is based on.

    --Sran