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. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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

    Not disagreeing with you whatsoever, but possibly "Beta"? As in beta testing?
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    But beta testing comes after alpha testing -- that's why it's called that. It's when software that's been through the full development process and had all its features locked is released to the public for usability testing and bug detection. The beta testing for Data would've been after he was built and was having his early interactions with the colonists. You wouldn't have used "Beta" in that sense to refer to an earlier, separate piece of software, let alone hardware.
     
  3. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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

    Possibly, but maybe the "alpha" testing was testing the software and cognitive programs in a virtual or computer-based environment, and the beta testing was testing it in conjunction with actual hardware, with the intention for it to be the finished product before deciding to go back to the drawing board with Lore and Data. Not saying that's what I think it stands for, but I believe the question was along the lines of what might it stand for. Just postulating.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    ^That's just not what the words mean. Alpha and beta are stages in the testing of the same piece of software. Each different program or device would have its own separate alpha and beta testing stages.
     
  5. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Commodore Commodore

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

    Wouldn't it be the same piece of software whether it's in the computer environment or after having then been transferred into the B-4 body? But fair enough. Just throwing out ideas here. :)
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    B-4's brain is clearly a radically different piece of software -- and hardware -- from Lore's or Data's. It's more like version 1.0 versus version 5.0 and 6.0. (Personally I believe B-4 was the first, crudest prototype, and the three unnamed ones came subsequently.)
     
  7. 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 got the pun, but for there to be three earlier prototypes... it just fits so well. Maybe B-4 being the first working proof-of-concept was a happy coincidence.

    Perhaps the A's were a positronic brains which never functioned at all, Soong went back to the drawing board and came up with the B-series.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    I still think there's far too huge a gap in function and sophistication between B-4 and Lore for B-4 to be the immediately preceding prototype.

    Also, there's the timeline question. Julianna was with Soong from the prototypes through Lore through Data... but she only knew about three prototypes, not four. If B-4 wasn't one of those three prototypes, then the only logical conclusion is that he came before them, before Juliana joined Soong.
     
  9. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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

    I think the "A" and "B" series make sense, since from the different is odes that talk about Soong I always got the feeling that Soong had made some androids that had failed and he was "laughed at" by his other colleagues into hiding, because his earlier prototypes failed completely, after building up a big expectation for it. So B-4, Lore and Data could all be part of his redesigned series. Plus I believe that in a few episodes it was mentioned that Data had an R type positron if brain (I think it was mentioned in "Time's Arrow"), so who knows if Soong created a body for each type of brain. There could've been brains made but no bodies.

    But with the large leap from B-4 to Lore, look at the large leap from Data to Juliana (and I don't just mean Soong created a female android), but after Data Soong added the ability for Juliana to scan as human, and operate as a full human.
     
  10. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    It depends if you are looking at it as being steady progress between models or correcting a fault with an otherwise viable design. Incremental change vs a big jump to full functionality...
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    ^Lore was viable with a "fault" -- he was a fully functional sentient, learning, even emotional being, but he was a psychopath. B-4 had the equivalent of a severe learning disability.

    Julianna said the other three prototypes were "lost." She made it sound like they died. I've always assumed that meant they suffered cascade failure just like Lal (and Rayna Kapec, most likely), that they couldn't cope with emotional conflicts without collapse. The fix Soong attempted to solve the emotional-conflict issue with Lore resulted in his psychopathy, his lack of empathy for others; there's no emotional conflict if he never cares about anyone but himself. So Soong just deferred the whole emotion question and built Data with that capacity suppressed until he could achieve a viable fix.

    B-4's limitations are on a very different level, a lack of cognitive ability. He wasn't "lost," he didn't collapse; he just plain didn't work. So he seems like an earlier model to me.

    And as I said, I think the only way B-4's existence can be reconciled with Julianna's account is if he was made before the three prototypes she knew about.
     
  12. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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

    Perhaps after the painful experinces she had with the three protptypes, Soong built B-4 without her knowledge (after all, he certainly wasn't on Omicron Theta in "Datalore"), then with B-4 as a working/sentient and stable proof-of-concept, he came back and created Lore.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    ^That feels labored. The only advantage of that is that it justifies the "4" as a literal number, but as I've said, the movie clearly presents "B-4" as a pun, so I see no advantage in taking it literally.
     
  14. 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'd say it wasPicard's opinion in Nemesis that B-4 is a whimsical name, not necessarily proof that Soong intended it to be that way.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    ^Perhaps, but the point is that we're not required to assume that B-4 was the fourth prototype, that there's reason to at least be open to the possibility that the name is not literal. I've explained my reasons why I think it makes more sense for him to be the first one, and the single detail that there happens to be a "4" in his name is not enough to outweigh all those considerations in my mind.
     
  16. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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

    Fair enough.
     
  17. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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

    Then I'm sure it will dismay you to learn that the scenario posited by King Daniel is, in fact, how I depicted the sequence of events (and their motivations) in The Persistence of Memory. So, regardless of whether you would have done it that way, in terms of Treklit continuity, you are now stuck with it. ;) :p
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    ^Oh, that's right. You had him go away for a while, make B-4, and then come back, didn't you? I guess that's more plausible that what I was assuming.
     
  19. Stoek

    Stoek Commander Red Shirt

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

    Well personally I'm glad you did. It helped to redeem what I feel is one of the stupidest ideas and characters in the history of Trek. Frankly for me pretty much everything that came from Nem was a turd falling into the Trek punchbowl with the noteable exception of bringing Worf back to Starfleet and getting Riker married to Troi and in command of his own ship.

    Overall I despise the movie for a lot of reasons and have frankly been amazed at how much decent material the TLit writers have been able to get out of that shit sandwich.

    Data's death was one of the most egregious outcomes and one of the most stupid and pointless deaths ever, so seeing it undone has thrilled me no end.
     
  20. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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

    I'm reading it now; almost finishing.

    But an amusing note:

    When I reached page 300 or so with the Breen ship named Mlotek (Młotek - Hammer), with Pazur (Claw) and Zadlo (Żądło - Sting) on board, I wondered if that's just a hilarious coincidence, or someone was playing with a Polish dictionary ;)

    But once I reached cruisers Gwiazda (Star), Zemsta (Revenge) and Obranca (Obrońca? - Defender) I feel like quoting Garak: "I believe in coincidences, coincidences happen all the time, but I don't trust coincidences".
    :D
     

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