The Pegasus

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Komack, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I would say the biggest hole in that theory is that the Romulans would likely notice the torpedo detonations. And with reasonable sensors, there's no way they wouldn't "see" the E emerge.
     
  2. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    I think technically speaking, that would have put Picard in violation of the treaty as well.
     
  3. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Captain Captain

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    Of course the Romulans would argue for as broad an interpretion of the treaty as possible. That doesn't mean their interpretation is controlling or, to the Federation, paramount. Your argument that a secondary effect is defining is not reasonable. I've given two very good examples of tech that might have that effect and that no sane person would consider a cloaking device. To advance the notion about warp 10+ tech or better ship materials would be disingenuous at best.

    And here's another: the Iconian doors. Because you can get from point A to pojnt B without the Romulans knowing a thing about it. You've been effectively cloaked.

    Does that really make sense to you? That if the Federation could master the tech of the Iconian doors, they would deny themselves that tech because the Romulans would object? Come, this is not reasonable.




    So? And the downside here is? The Treaty isn't a weapons ban or weapons development ban. It is specifically a cloaking ban. The Feds should be developing new weapons. The Borg are out there, the Dominion is out there, they better damn well be building some serious weaponry. Like maybe that soliton wave from New Ground. Whose primary purpose, by the way, was not weapon.

    Impuise-only ships would be sitting ducks for warp-driven ships. But who would argue that warp drive's primary purpose is to be a weapon?

    I would suggest that, at this point, the Romulans put their big boy pants on and develop better sensors.


    Yep. Look where the wheel got us.


    And Genesis can kiss my antimatter ass. :p No, seriously, I'll sling some warp cores at worlds and you can keep Genesis.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
  4. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have a feeling you're not going to be getting any calls asking for your expertise as a treaty negotiator.
     
  5. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Captain Captain

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    Yeah, I give in so easily. :rofl:

    On the other hand, the Romulans would love you.

    Ah! Rommie spy! Damn Rommies!
     
  6. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Federation has a vested interest in peace, as has been made clear through the course of multiple series. By that standard it's in their own best interests to interpret the treaty liberally rather than aggravate the Romulans with some bullshit line (even if it were honest), that cloaking is just a "secondary effect".
     
  7. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Captain Captain

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    What you're calling bullshit is what most of us name consensus reality. I notice that, not even once, have you dealt with the examples of technology I provided that are clearly not, first and foremost, cloaking tech, that may have a cloaking effect as an unintended secondary effect (yes, that is a reasonable phrase; an instance such as this one is exactly why we have such words in the English language as "primary" and "secondary")--except to say, somewhat hilariously, that yes, they would be considered cloaks. Warp 10+ drive that happens to have a cloaking effect is a cloaking device. Hoo boy.

    This is because you can't deal with these examples--your inflexible position that the exact letter of a law (and a treaty is a kind of law) is open to no interpretation at all under peculiar circumstances is at odds with both the reality of court systems the world over and with international treaty arbitration.

    It is clearly not in the Federation's best interests, however peace loving they may be (and it's worth pointing out that the Romulans are a party to the treaty as well, so, by your lights, they must be "peace loving" as well) to give the Romulans a ludicrous veto over any tech development that just might happen to produce something invisible to them. It doesn't even make sense in the context of a treaty designed, as you say, to preserve peace. That wouldn't be "peace"--it'd be surrender.

    I see no evidence that either the Federation or Starfleet is ruled at its highest echelons by Pollyannas and fools. Only one or the either would bind themselves to an interpretation of a treaty so laughably broad it takes no actual note of the treaty's original purpose, and has it serve instead as some sort of combination one-sided disarmament and catchall technological repression agreement.
     
  8. PhoenixClass

    PhoenixClass Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Vandervecken, you still haven't explained why the gun/flashlight argument is specious. I would like to hear your reasoning for rejecting that defense.
     
  9. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Captain Captain

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    I could just as easily repeat--again--that no one has explained how warp 10+ drive that results in a cloaking effect, or ship materials that result in a sturdier ship and healthier crew that result in a cloaking effect, are classifiable first as cloaks. I'm also waiting for someone to write, yes, it is consistent with the intelligently fleshed-out Federation we know in Trek for it to deny itself such advancements because they produce a cloaking effect as a side effect. Well, someone other than DonIago.

    It's not a defense. It's an absurdity. You might as well say that a car is a lamp because it has headlights. Sometimes--in fact most of the time--objects do have an obvious first purpose, and a gun is one of them. Do you really think there is anything like a significant fraction of sensible adults--let alone a majority--who think a gun with a flashlight built into it is a flashlight as much as it is a gun? Do you think that?

    Treaties, as all laws, must exist in a real world of real consensus viewpoints and tangible facts. They don't exist in some theoretical vacuum where we get to propose anything at all to shore up a weak argument.

    Phasing here isn't even close to being the gun with a flashlight attached, where in that metaphor phasing is the flashlight and cloaking is the gun. Phasing, insubstantiality, is something wholly different from invisibility to eyes and sensors, and carries with it a completely different range of possible applications. The first thing that occurred to me is exploration of the interiors of worlds. In the real world, for example, we know a TONLOAD more about our near galactic vicinity than we really know about the distant interior of our own world.

    I would be disingenuous myself if I didn't write, at least once in this wrangle, that it's pretty obvious to me that some people posting to this thread want the Federation to be weakened or to weaken itself, or see some nobility in a political unit needlessly straitjacketing itself into a Luddism that isn't even required by the Treaty with the Romulans. I'm fairly sure that some folks see the Federation as a stand-in for the real-world nationalities that they would like to see castrate themselves technologically (and certainly militarily), or imagine are obliged to do so.

    I just don't see how many times we can restate this. It is PAINFULLY obvious that simply limiting all technological development that might happen to produce a cloaking effect was NOT what the Feds had in mind when they entered into the treaty, and they'd have to be Pakleds to so restrict themselves. I doubt that the Romulans would ever have seriously approached the Federation to demand adherence to the treaty in such circumstances; they'd know that the idea is laughable. Starfleet should simply have done its phasing experimentation as out in the open as they could without giving away secrets, because as far as I'm concerned, they had nothing to hide.
     
  10. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Please cite supporting evidence for the claims you make about what the treaty does or doesn't specify and what the Federation's intentions were when they signed it.
     
  11. PhoenixClass

    PhoenixClass Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    But what is your authority for the proposition that the treaty talks about secondary/primary effects? The episode didn't say anything about that. The only authority we have is the interpretation by the characters and there was no mention that the phase was permissible because cloaking is secondary (which, again, begs the question of which effect is primary and which is secondary). If there was such a legal basis for the phase, the admiral in charge of the project would have relied on it, instead of conceding the prohibition.

    Remember, Pressman's justification wasn't a loophole or an exception in the treaty; his justification was that it the treaty was a disadvantage to the Federation.

    In the interest of keeping an open mind, can you elaborate on how these technologies relate to the cloaking effect? For example, is the ship cloaked only when at warp 10+? Can the warp drive be used to cloak without providing such propulsion? Do the ship materials render the ship permanently cloaked? etc.

    Of course it's absurd. But, then again, I'm just applying your logic to a different situation.

    If you concede that

    Forbidden tech A (gun) + permissible tech B (flashlight) = still forbidden,

    you can't argue that

    Forbidden tech A (cloaking device) + permissible tech B (sturdier spaceframe) = permissible.


    I don't see how you can argue that phasing is wholly different from invisibility when phasing renders the ship using it invisible.

    Furthermore, a flashlight is wholly different from a gun and has completely different applications, yet you concede that it does not make a gun permissible.
     
  12. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    There is an image of the 'Treaty of Algernon' on page 89 of 'Federation: The First 150 Years' by David A. Goodman, which supposedly just uses info from Memory Alpha. I don't know how this book is regarded in terms of canon. Ironically it doesn't say anything about cloaking devices, but maybe that's covered on page two and this is only a 'picture' of the first page.

    I find this odd, because I'm pretty sure we're all right remembering something about the illegality of Federation cloaking devices being a condition of the treaty being said on screen several times.
     
  13. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As a book it's non-canon by default.
     
  14. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    Isn't Memory Alpha info regarded as canon? I just noticed prevalence in posts here claiming that we can't read the wording of the treaty, so that presents difficulty in discussing it. I'll do more research later and see if MA backs up this representation.
     
  15. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Unless TPTB have revised their policies, it's only canon if it's been depicted on screen, and sometimes not even then (TAS, for instance).
     
  16. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  17. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Captain Captain

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    You do the same.

    Are you actually suggesting that, yes, the Federation Council DID have in mind giving the Romulans a veto over Federation technological development? Rather than a simple ban on cloaking tech for the Feds? (which is the only way it is discussed by Picard, Pressman, Riker, or any others).
     
  18. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Captain Captain

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    I can't believe I have to explain this, but:

    When I discuss primary and secondary effects, I am applying the kinds of words that practitioners of jurisprudence might apply when attempting to interpret a treaty under circumstances that could not reasonably be categorized as the circumstances that the treaty was intended for, or are at least not obviously automatically within the confines of those circumstances. Interpretation of a law requires going beyond its exact wording--that is what judges and arbitrators do. They design their own nomenclature, legal tests, etc.

    How can I argue that phasing is completely different? You mean, how is the ability to pass through matter different from invisibility? Is a warp drive different from a replicator? Is an apple different from an orange?

    I don't see why this makes a difference, but let's say in my plus 10 warp drive scenario, the ship is always invisible to anyone. That STILL does not make warp 10+ tech a cloak. It is warp 10+ tech. It may have other secondary effects, such as throwing off a particular kind of radiation--but that would not make it a radiation-creation device.

    Do you think chemotherapy is therapy for destroying cancers, or is it a torture designed for inflicting horrible effects on people, like myelosuppression and neuropathy (both are common side effects of chemo)? Because by your reasoning, it's just as much the second as it is the first. You're not going to find too many people who embrace that definition.

    My point was that your analogy is wrong. The situation is thus:

    Important new technological advance that has nothing to do with cloaking has cloaking as an inescapable side effect=permitted.

    YOUR analogy would be thus:

    Important new technological advance has cloak added to it for no reason whatsoever. (And that would be banned, because it would be a cloak, but no more than all alone and thus immediately understandable as banned by the Treaty.)

    You want the tail to wag the dog in your analogy, and most people consider the tail wagging the dog to be wrong, a circumstance to be avoided.


    ----

    And I do recall Pressman's justification. I'm not arguing about that. As I wrote, MY opinion is that the Feds shouldn't have worried about the Treaty from the get-go. It is NOT applicable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  19. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, even if it counts as cloaking ... there could be a way around that one. It depends on the exact wording of the treaty. Everything onscreen refers to the prohibition of the Federation developing cloaking technology. But we never hear whether there's a specific ban on Federation ships using the technology, particularly if someone else developed it. If there isn't, using the Iconian technology wouldn't violate the treaty.

    If the ban is specifically on development, then perhaps even Picard's use of the phasing cloak wouldn't constitute a specific violation. (Even though the original development still constitutes one.)

    That might even explain why DS9 got away with using a Romulan cloak for years without a Romulan operator onboard.

    It's more likely that treaty does cover the point. Or at least it's likely that the Romulan lawyers and negotiators would scream bloody murder when they heard ... and the treaty would be amended in a hurry.

    I'm just sayin'.
     
  20. PhoenixClass

    PhoenixClass Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Since this came up in the thread about the Dominion War, I thought I'd beat this dead horse one more time.

    I rewatched the episode, and I don't think you can dismiss the characters' interpretation so easily. You were talking about primary and secondary effects. Riker describes the device as a"protoype for a Federation cloaking device." Pressman describes it as the "greatest breakthrough in the weapons research in the last 50 years."

    Based on that language, the intent was to develop a cloaking device. Therefore, it's primary purpose was to be a cloaking device, rather than cloaking simply being a side-effect of a device intended to phase.