The Perfect Mate (would you choose this?)

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by GentlemanBob, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. bbjegglebells

    bbjegglebells Admiral Admiral

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    In 'Elementary, Dear Data', they created Moriarty by creating an adversary "capable of defeating Data", similar to what Makarov wanted.
     
  2. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Oh, got it.

    I was too busy concentrating on the first paragraph. This part was Geordi/Leah: "Plus if you're thinking about dating a real person, you can have the computer whip up a hologram based on their records, and test-run the dating process with only like 10% margin of error. Just don't let them walk in on you, otherwise they might be OUTRAGED! by this."
     
  3. bbjegglebells

    bbjegglebells Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, I might be enamored if I walked in on someone fooling around with a hologram of me. ;)
     
  4. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I don't know about anyone else around here, but I could never keep a slave. I don't believe in "souls" in the religious/supernatural sense, but just as mathematicians use imaginary numbers to come up with mathematical truths, I don't see how one can be any kind of moral human without using some concept of a soul as a means to understanding moral truths. So even if a sentient organic being were brainwashed since birth to want to be a mate-slave, and even if said brainwashing were successful and the individual did genuinely want to be a mate-slate, no, of course I couldn't have anything to do with that.

    The only way I see this "perfect mate" scenario being in any way moral is if said mate were some sort of organism built of cloned biological parts for which a brain was never grown, and is run by a nervous system-controlling computer - an AI software in a hard drive encased in an organic body, in other words. (And since I'm a straight guy, and the OP asked us to answer the question for ourselves, I'm assuming this thing is female-formed.) So basically, Summer Glau's Cameron in T:SCC, only with the metal bits limited to its head.

    So, if you showed up on my doorstep with a pre-made Cameron, programmed to be a perfect companion (let's just please assume said cyborg is incapable of sexual human reproduction, mmkay?) to whomever it's assigned, would I turn it away? Uh, maybe this shows me to be a bad guy, but I wouldn't, would I? I could totally use a cyborg around the house to prepare delicious, low-cost, environmentally friendly meals, and to clean up afterwards. I could definitely use a personal fitness trainer and motivator, someone to make getting and staying in great shape fun. I'd love to have a cyborg that could pass as human for a dog, so I could get a dog who'd get walked as often as it wanted and would never feel alone, that I could come home to after work. Or I could be charitable, and have my Cameron go around town doing volunteer teaching and other social work all day until I got home. Would I have any moral qualms about owning a soulless electronic-brained cyborg? Uh... no, right? I think that'd be morally fine. And pretty fun, to boot.

    The interesting question, of course, would be to what extent should I let others know about this cyborg sidekick of mine. Do I bring it along to social stuff and introduce it to friends as a platonic friend of mine, or cousin, even? Do I mind if strangers (and possibly people who know me) see me and my cyborg going on morning runs together, or see it walking my dog? Obviously, one wouldn't want to deter a potential real romantic partner because they'd get the wrong idea from seeing you with your fake one, right? The key would be to still meet real romantic partners, and, in time, to introduce them to your cyborg buddy and hope they're more aroused than freaked out or outraged, no? :p
     
  5. bbjegglebells

    bbjegglebells Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think of it as slavery. Kamala's species evolved that way, imprinting a mates wants and desires. It wasn't like she was doing anything against her will, that's just their custom. Now if Famke's character was randomly picked up and biologically altered to empathically become the perfect mate, that would be slavery, but I take it her species have been practicing that custom (or at least something similar to it) for millions of years. Otherwise, they wouldn't have evolved like that.
     
  6. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ According to Memory Alpha, "such females were... forcibly adopted by the state from age four and put through a rigorous educational program to further increase their value as mates." So part biology, but there's more than a whiff of enslavement also.
     
  7. bbjegglebells

    bbjegglebells Admiral Admiral

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    Are you sure you're not mixing that Enterprise episode of the Kriosian with TNG's? I haven't seen the episode in awhile but I don't remember anyone saying she was forcibly taken. The episode's Memory Alpha entry doesn't mention that bit.
     
  8. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    I don't think it's a mixup since the article he linked is called "Empathic Metamorph," directly cites "The Perfect Mate," and has a picture of Famke Janssen's "Kamala."

    The article even ends with "Kamala was a female Kriosian empathic metamorph that was given to Alrik to end the Valtese-Kriosian war."

    Also, in the episode link you posted, it says "From birth she has been reared for this event and is thus being presented as a gift to Alrik of Valt, to seal the peace agreement between Krios and Valt Minor."

    So she was groomed for this position, to be given away in order to ease political tensions between two warring factions, and she had no choice in the matter. I'm not sure it gets any clearer than that.
     
  9. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Arrrrr, Jim lad.
     
  10. JesterFace

    JesterFace Captain Captain

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    I expected a reply of this kind after reading what I wrote. :)
     
  11. TheAdmiralty

    TheAdmiralty Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    As other posters have pointed out, she had empathic powers and thus could always tell what a person subconsciously wanted and did it. It's not as simple as liking someone to be independent.

    But the difference is, every good thing someone like that did would just be because of their nature and not because of anything about you that inspires love or devotion. So I don't see how anyone could want it.
     
  12. Alexiad

    Alexiad Ensign Newbie

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    :alienblush:Thanks to your post (I was just too bloody curious) I skipped ahead and just watched it for the first time also!

    Impression: I couldn't help feel a bit stunned. Not only in my emotional reaction to the episode (it was touching, dramatic and surprisingly fortifying). I'm more and more curious now about Captain Piccard... the makings of such a man? And I'm still on TNG season ONE (I'm new to Star Trek)!

    As for your question about the perfect mate. With having an empathic person "bond" or "imprint" themselves with one's likes- in my opinion- yes it would be great. Much like being with someone you already know you like, because it's essentially yourself :guffaw:and we all love ourselves ;).

    On the other hand, the journey of love... the trials, the pains, the victory or defeat at overcoming is what makes "finding" that other half worth it no? Instead of having one made for you like Kamala. It tis better to have one grow with you... that way if things don't work out between the pair- in the end you grew as a person anyway...:)

    Alex
     
  13. RainKing

    RainKing Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I think most men would have sex with her at least once, before finding their ethics as they put their pants back on.

    I say this based on the historical demonstration of man's proclivity to leap upon strange when given the opportunity. People often have an amazing ability to partition their minds when it comes to taking something they want.

    I don't think I can really say what a woman would do, except maybe show him off to her friends and family... eventually setting him free in the woods; kind of like that scene in A.I. :p
     
  14. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    For me to do that I would have to be able to convince myself that this woman is capable of giving consent. I don't think she is.
     
  15. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Is it me or Kamala was very proactive? I mean, she didn't need to jump on Riker, he's not so hard to convince....she also started to doing grrr grrr to Worf in Ten Forward...of course Worf is interrested by women doing grrr grrr, but he's Mister ManofIce McSerious... So, I figure if she would have react to Geordi ShyGuy's presence she would have been directly started a seance of dirty technobabbling.
     
  16. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well then you turn it around and give your consent. She might not expect it (but being the "prefect mate" probably does). Then it is up to her if she wants to do something with you.
     
  17. Endgame

    Endgame Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Talking about consent. If somebody were able to design the "perfect mate" that/who could seduce me and then train me to fulfill all her wishes and be happy doing them, would that be something worse than rape? Is there a maximal pleasure issue here, or an optimal performance issue, or, just satisficing? Are there sacrifices involved with both partners? What happens when goals conflict? Are there issues of "foreclosure" or the loss of opportunity costs? Who benefits and who pays? Would a love servant have a conscience? Would this "person" end up being an empathic psychopath? Would the person who benefits lose his or her soul?
     
  18. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't think people in the TNG era would even be as desperate for relationships as nowadays, because you can just make your perfect holodeck family like the doctor did in Voyager. A wife, some kids, even friends. Just don't let it affect your duties like Barclay. Or maybe just quit your job at starfleet and live in the holodeck 24/7, what's wrong with that?

    I find it hard to believe that this alien would be better at morphing into the perfect mate, than the computer would if you programmed it to update the perfect mate simulation according to your changing personality.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
  19. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Say what?! Talking about consent... There could be something worse than rape?!
     
  20. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The question is not whether it's worse than rape, the question is whether it's a form of rape.

    Re-educate somebody to be capable of doing noting other than pleasing their mate and then send them off to be somebody's love slave. Does that not describe human trafficking?