TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Warped9, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I'd rather argue that from Picard's reaction it directly follows that he was familiar with holodecks already.

    The heroes are always impressed by the quality of the simulation, over and over again. Not the concept, but the quality. They even enumerate the details that impress them each time. Whenever they say "this feels so real" they are establishing that they have already experienced less real-feeling versions of the same.

    And they are always left wanting - there's always room for improvement in the realism, always new tricks to impress them. The TV audiences cannot fathom this, because from their point of view, a holodeck scene is no different from a conference lounge scene. It's equally fake, as it's created by the very same methods of fakery: actors, sets, costumes, lights, the occasional but expensive visual effect. For the users, there apparently is a world of difference between a pre-TNG holosimulation and their real working environment, and also between an early TNG holosimulation and reality. Only in the late seasons can characters get fooled by Federation holodecks for any length of time.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  2. 1001001

    1001001 Let the Good Times Roll!! Moderator

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    GEORDI: "Your first visit to the Holodeck, Doctor?"
    PULASKI: "First time on one with this level of sophistication."
    - Elementary, Dear Data

    As an example...
     
  3. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Moriarty's creation is scientific bull. A simpler computer program cannot create another computer program that is more advanced, that is proven fact. Which means the Enterprise computer would have to be AT LEAST as complex as Moriarty, meaning self aware and sentient.
    And the whole idea that it's so simple to say "create a character that is a match for Data" is ridiculous as well.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Again, my problem isn't with the idea that holodecks existed before TNG; it's necessary to accept that for consistency with what VGR established about Janeway's childhood holoprograms. My problem is that if we're assuming a curve of progress like that, it suggests the technology is only a few decades old, not a century old. I suppose it's not impossible that a technology could stagnate at a certain level for decades before making a leap forward, but why would that happen here?

    Although, really, what's bothered me about holodecks for a long time is, why are they even necessary? Why not just use VR headsets/gloves or direct sensory induction, create an illusory environment completely in someone's mind? The holodeck just seems like an overcomplicated way of doing something that could be achieved far more simply. It's not an idea that really makes a lot of sense on any level.
     
  5. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Because, as you say yourself, it's only in your mind. If I had to choose between a holodeck and that, I would take the holodeck, any time. Could play holo games with my friends for real, instead of online.

    That's another point. Sports. VR won't make you lose fat and gain muscles because you don't move while everything is projected directly into your brain. Running around in a holodeck would.
     
  6. The Laughing Vulcan

    The Laughing Vulcan Admiral Admiral

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    Regarding Riker's thrill at being on the Ent-D holodeck, and being blown away by its novelty, and trying to retcon that with holographic technology of sorts existing and developing over the previous hundred and more years...

    Viewing it on television, we only get two of the cues that he would get, sight and sound. Maybe the sophistication of 24th Century holodecks is elsewhere, maybe it's in the smells, maybe it's in the weather effects, maybe it's in the quality of the light, maybe it's in the ability to screen out influences of the starship's systems. It could be that it's in some form of Faraday cage, and that it's screened from external EM and subspace radiation. Maybe it's got artificially generated background radiation akin to the natural on Earth. Maybe it mimics the Earth (or whatever planet's) magnetic field.

    It could be something as subtle as the gravity, so that the blood in the vessels of anyone using it is subject to a Coriolis force such as that you'd get on a planet spinning on its axis once every 24 hours. There's a lot more than just sight and sound to a simulation, and there are far more than just five senses that a human has access to.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    There are plenty of forms of fictional VR that involve the body moving around for real with just the sensory perceptions of the environment altered.
     
  8. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But you will only be able to swim and getting wet in water, for example. No amount of playing with your brain will change that.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    And, really, the holodeck is user-friendly, to the point of being unbearably arrogant about it. Wearable VR systems are not, by definition. You really will prefer walking into a facility that bends over backward for you to walking into a dressing room where you have to bend over backward to don the gear...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    And this can often be the ultimate arbiter on the use and acceptance of technology. Audio tapes were generally less hassle and more flexible than vinyl records. CDs were easier to use than audio cassettes and DVD better than VHS. Now digital recording and downloads are more convenient than physical media.

    It isn't always the better technology but the more convenient that can win out.
     
  11. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Is it possible that holodecks are still a relatively advanced technology, and is not in wide use by the general public-- like early television? Perhaps the holodecks are primarily used in military or government capacities and technological research. The civilians might be using something on the scale of CGA graphics (32 years ago) to what we have today.
     
  12. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, it could be something like that. For starships on voyages of extended duration (like the 5-year missions or something of the like) a holo-center could be seen as a desirable facility to help maintain crew morale and well-being. Although we saw little of it it's fair to imagine all sorts of facilities and activities available aboard ship to maintain psychological, emotional and physical health of the crew.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Again, though, is it really plausible that the tech would remain military-only for a whole century?

    Personally I'm happy to ignore "The Practical Joker." It's a really, really stupid episode.
     
  14. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Can't argue with that. Definitely not one of my preferred episodes. Like a lot of TAS it's something I accept very loosely. TAS is very much a stylized version of "real" events as far as I'm concerned.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I tend to think that both TAS and the Foster adaptations represent different approximations of those events and that the "reality" is some mix of the two. Although there are some episodes that I just ignore because of the absurdities -- TPJ, "The Terratin Incident," "How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth," "The Counter-Clock Incident," and a few others. But then, there are episodes of other series that I also ignore, like "The Alternative Factor" and "Threshold."
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    It might be argued that holodeck technology would first hit the civilian world, and the military would scorn it for half a century before accepting that it's actually pretty nifty and useful. Much like VCRs in the real world: up until the first Gulf War, the military would have considered the idea of a ruggerized VCR player the next worst thing to Hello Kitty -themed camouflage, but the early nineties forced field commanders to accept that videotaping of material was a powerful way to conduct briefings and debriefings.

    Riker might be such a military man that he hasn't been to the civilized world for the past decade, or at least not since dumping Deanna. And his previous assignments would have been "proper" military vessels in the most classic sense, without concessions to civilian niceties such as sensible and comfortable interfaces, edible food and good quality holodecks.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Something to keep in mind is that in "The Big Goodbye", the characters are all wow-ed by the sophistication of the Dixon Hill simulation because it's said to be the result of an upgrade to the holodeck prior to the episode. Prior to that episode, the only person we'd seen created by the holodeck was the practice fighter that Tasha conjured up in "Code of Honor", and it behaved in a very awkwardly artificial manner. "11001001" (Will I ever not have to look that title up?) is just a few episodes later, so it's very possible that Riker had never interacted with such sophisticated holographic people before.
     
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's difficult to know just how realistic the "holodeck" in Practical Joker was, McCoy, Uhura and Sulu might have been seeing the same thing we were, cartoon trees and bushes. Three dimentional and better than nothing, but still not quite believable.

    On Riker's previous ship, the holodeck would have been better than one from decades before, but the brand new Enterprise Dee, with state of the art holo emitters, exceeded the older equipment Riker was used too.

    Next generation indeed.

    :)
     
  19. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not opposed to the idea of a cruder holodeck having been in use in the TOS era. It might have been limited to landscapes, and those landscapes might have looked as fake to the characters as the soundstage landscapes in the series look to us. It's the difference between "There's the wall." and "This is incredible, I can't tell where the wall is!"

    Characters might have existed by the time of Janeway's youth, but they may have looked and acted much more artificial, a la Tasha's practice fighter.
     
  20. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    A lot depends on whether you can accept the TAS version as depicted at face value. The initial TOS idea was you could receive a message and a hologram of the person sending you the message could appear in front of you, but only in that holosuite (for lack of a better term). You could also watch a film or form of entertainment in an advanced form of 3D, but you can't interact with it. Mind you if communications were faster or if you were close enough for real time communications then theoretically you could talk with the holographic image that is being transmitted and the sender could talk to your holograph that they're seeing on the other end. That would be the extent of interaction in the TOS era. Otherwise they rely on straightforward visual transmission/reception by viewscreen.

    In STC it seemed as if Kirk was actually talking with the Paladin hologram, but perhaps it had a limited program and wasn't nearly as adaptive as the TNG model. And note, too, that Scotty walked right through the holographic projection as it wasn't solid as it would have been in the TNG era.
     

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