TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Oct 21, 2012.

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Rate The Persistence of Memory.

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  1. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    Re: Data resurrection subject

    I am firmly of the subject that copying a person's memories does not make a person the subject. The best analogy I can make is the Voyager episode "Living Witness." The Doctor's backup is, basically, a clone of the Doctor. He has an idential personality, obviously, but he's in two separate places and they will gradually become different people. The equivalent of Thomas and Will Riker, for example.

    I don't consider this "resurrection" in the same way as Q snapping his fingers and bringing someone back from the dead or Spock on Genesis. However, since Data is an electronic being, I think we tend to assume he's restored to life the way Soleta said holograms could be in "Blind Man's Bluff." The new Soong entity isn't Data but he's pretty damn close, enough that I can easily see him filling the role in fan's hearts, but I like how it's not really just Data returned. Sort of like someone recreating Captain Kirk from a pattern in the transporter, some existential angst is to be expected.

    Re: Choudhury's death

    I was actually really upset by her death, almost as much as Tasha Yar's own from way back when I was a wee little tot. I am of the school that the novels are a place where original characters can become as important and plot centric as the main universe character. Much to everyone's horror, I'm sure, I'm a fan of Star Wars' EU as well with original characters marrying Skywalkers and getting their own books.

    While I haven't read much of her, I really enjoyed her in Destiny and was actually rather saddened Worf didn't want his relationship with Choudhury to get too serious. Seeing her causally killed by the Breen made me want to have the whole lot of them blown to atoms. What a tragedy.
     
  2. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    Odd thought, it's actually symbolically similar to Spock's katra in Bones' head.
     
  3. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    Actually, I think its exactly the same as Spock. But I don't think post-Genesis Spock is the same being as the one who died saving the Enterprise. He made a copy of his katra/soul and uploaded it to McCoy's brain (he obviously didn't do a live transfer as he was still functional after the meld. The original katra died in the Enterprise's Engine Room. The copy was transferred to a cloned body. And even then the copy couldn't have been that good because Spock 2.0 was missing knowledge and had to have his mind "retrained" on Vulcan. Sure, all of his friends viewed him as the same person (as did I when I first saw TSFS), but I now have doubts.
     
  4. Sakrysta

    Sakrysta Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    I get where Charles Phipps is coming from. In fact, he gave voice to a basic uneasiness that I had about Vaslovik, especially his relationship with the Julianna Soong android. That plot turn just rubbed me wrong for some reason.

    I'm really looking forward to any and all future stories about Lal's development. In a way, she could become our surrogate "Data," now that he is Soong-amalgam-super-droid. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  5. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    I would love to see more Lal.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    My take on it is that what defines continous existence/personhood is quantum entanglement. When you think about it, our own brains are just ensembles of subatomic particles; what makes them constitute a single continuous unit in the first place is their mutual interaction, which in quantum terms creates a correlation or entanglement among them. So if you transfer a person's consciousness in a way that involves a quantum entanglement between the original and the recreation, e.g. quantum teleportation, then it can be argued that there's just as much continuity of self through that transfer as there is between one side of your brain and the other side. This is why I'm able to accept that a person is still the same continuous individual after going through a transporter -- assuming, as I have done in my Trek fiction, that transporters use quantum entanglement the same way theoretical quantum teleportation does.

    So if, as I've also assumed in my fiction, telepathy is also a form of quantum entanglement between minds, then a telepathic transfer of consciousness from one mind to another could indeed constitute a transfer of the same original being rather than the creation of a copy. The problem with applying this to Spock's katra, though, is that such a quantum transfer would require destroying the original information (or effectively "moving" it to a new location) and wouldn't allow a copy to exist. As we know, Spock continued to retain his consciousness within his own brain and body for several minutes after he melded with McCoy. Although there is the hypothesis that his meld simply created an "open channel" with McCoy's mind and that the actual transfer didn't occur until the moment of death.

    In Data's case, however, it was pretty explicit that what Data downloaded into B-4 was just a copy of his knowledge and memories, not a working simulation of his entire mind. The new Data is an amalgam of those knowledge and memories with the "operating system" of the Soong android, making him a composite being, a hybrid of Data and Soong. He has Data's memories and mostly his personality, but also has aspects of Soong's personality -- including emotion and a greater ease with contractions and informal speech, but maybe including other tendencies as well.
     
  7. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    I don't try and hard science Trek too much. For me, Trek is about the "soft science" of examining social issues as well as morality. I may be in the minority there, however.

    For me, Spock is a psychic being who transferred his katra before his death. Part of his soul, which is a literal thing in Star Trek. His soul was returned to his body, which has been physically rejuvenated. So I think there's a definite difference between the two situations.

    But yes, you could make an argument Data 2.0 is also kind of Tuvix-ey. He's less Data than a Composite Entity.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    When has this been stated? Yes, there's such a thing as a disembodied consciousness maintained in the form of an energy matrix of one sort or another, but even theologians wouldn't agree on whether a sentient consciousness was the same thing as a soul. We've heard characters expressing their belief in a soul, but that doesn't constitute proof that it's treated as something that literally exists. ST has always been far more agnostic on theological questions.
     
  9. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    This would just be semantics on my part, but my view is it's less semantics than dealing with theological issues in a secular and humanist manner. Apollo is a god from ancient Greek myth, alien or not, but the Enterprise crew doesn't need him because they've outgrown Greek-style divinities. The katra isn't a soul in the Christian manner but one could certainly argue it's a soul in the "Ka" and "Ba" manner of Ancient Egypt.

    One could certainly be an atheist in Star Trek (and many characters are confirmably so--it's also how Roddenberry envisioned future humans) but I think something approximating a soul exists in Vulcans (not necessarily humans).

    Still, you're right, my statement was premature and misleading. "Spock's psychic presence" was transferred to "Young Spock" and that "rebooted his harddrive" so to speak if that sounds better.

    :)
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    I don't know/remember enough about Egyptian religion to understand what you're referring to here. Could you elaborate?
     
  11. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    The Egyptians had the idea the soul was made of multiple parts as opposed to a singular entity which was "you." You weren't your soul, you were a composite entity of your body, your body's spirit, your higher spirit, and probably some other parts I'm missing. So the idea of Spock passing on "part" of his soul would seem insane to us Westerners but would seem perfectly natural to Ancient Egyptians.

    It's relevant to Data because he's not just Data, he's Data, Soon's body, and the "higher selves" of Lal, Lore, and others.

    So, yeah, I have no problem with Data is a "new man."
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  12. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    My review after reading the book a second time and letting it all sink in. I hope you guys enjoy.

    http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/2013/06/star-trek-cold-equations-persistance-of.html

     
  13. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    Christopher - Thank you for the well thought out response. I have to admit, I'm not sure I understand all of it, but it sounds fascinating. I'll give myself a change to reread the link to your blog-post you provided and let it all sink in before I respond in full or just agree with you.

    Thanks for giving me a lot to think about.
     
  14. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    Just starting to read this book. Seems like the timeline's been pushed forward to 2389 or 2390 in this book, since since page 8 mentions that its been nearly 25 years since "Measure Of A Man" in 2365.

    I'm trying to remember, aside from B-4, Lore, Data, Juliana Tanner and Lal, when did we ever meet three other Soong androids, since there's a scene where there are six holders, but I only recall those five androids, and with Data dead and Juliana Tanner elsewhere, why did the Daystrom Institute need three additional containers?
     
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    No, Cold Equations takes place in 2384. That's just an erroneous statement.
     
  16. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile


    Seems like there are quite a few "erroneous statements" within the first four chapters of the book that place its date anywhere within 2385-2390.
     
  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    And it's just awful when characters make errors like that. Real people never get their dates wrong and always speak with mathematical precision! ;)

    Cold Equations is set in 2384.
     
  18. Guest12

    Guest12 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    I don't know if this has been mentioned or not, so I apologize if I'm repeating someone else. But I saw that all three of the Cold Equations books are on sale right now for .99 each for Kindle.

    I was going to post this in its own thread but wasn't sure if there might be a rule against threads that could conceivably be seen as advertising for one website, etc. Just thought anyone who was interested in the series might wanna take advantage of the discounted price.
     
  19. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    I think they're from Immortal Coil, possibly based on something Julianna said in her TNG episode. Three unfinished prototypes, without humanoid features and which never achieved sentience. In my brain, they're B-1 through B-3.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: TNG: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack Review Thread (Spoile

    I think that's missing the point of the line in NEM about Soong's whimsical sense of names. "B-4" is supposed to be a pun on "before," because he's a prototype.

    Besides, what would the "B" stand for if it were just a dry classification number with no pun involved?