Transporters in everyday life

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by neozeks, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    ^ No, it suggests that Academy cadets aren't allowed to leave campus willy-nilly. Sisko's story tells us nothing about civilian transporter use.
     
  2. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I prefer to think that transporter use is somewhat unrestricted, but Starfleet cadets are only entitled to use it for certain circumstances, hence the "trasporter credits." After all, how are you going to prepare a cadet for being on a deep space assignment if they can just visit mom and dad every evening?
     
  3. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Paris to London? Hell, you could transport from Anchorage, Alaska to Pretoria, South Africa in the blink of an eye (or, rather, the 6 seconds that a transporter cycle takes).

    Talk about jet lag!
     
  4. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't think there is anything irrational about thinking of transporters as riskier than other modes of transport, just like there isn't anything irrational about thinking of an airplane flight as riskier than a bus or train ride. It's not a matter of statistical probability of being in an accident, it's about how much control you have over your fate and what your chances are of doing something and saving yourself if you happen to find yourself in an accident. I'd be much more confident that I could get out of a bus or train that has crashed and stay alive, than I am about a chance to do something to save myself if I happen to be in a plane that is falling down from the height of 10000 m. And the transporter... if you happen to be one of those small percentage of people who have a transporter accident - well, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, it's something that is completely out of your control.

    It's only a phobia if you are panicking over the use of transporter every time you really need to use it, or if you refuse to use it even when you REALLY need it.

    And don't forget the issue of wasting energy on unnecessary use of transporters. Using a transporter all the time instead of any other means of transport would be at least as idiotic as getting into a car in order to drive to the shop at the corner, when you could just walk. If you are not in any kind of rush (and from what we've been told about the Federation society, they are hardly corporate businessmen types always in a hurry, what do they have to be in such a rush for?) and you don't have a huge distance to travel, why wouldn't you use another means of transportation? There is a pleasure in travelling, sightseeing, meeting people during your trip on the bus/train/plane/whatever they use in the 24th century, you can have an interesting conversation, or you can prefer to spend the time by reading... Walking can be more fun that taking a bus, and travelling by, say, a shuttlepod, or some "old-fashioned" mode of transport, can be a lot more fun than beaming to places all the time.
     
  5. SpyOne

    SpyOne Commander Red Shirt

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    Agreed, Academy Cadets will have a bunch of limitations imposed on them.
    I recall a non-Trek story where a cadet arrives at the Academy for the space-navy and gets dressed-down because he came in a private vehicle. "Your orders specifically said to arrive by public transport." So, yeah, I can imagine Starfleet Cadets have a bunch of rules imposed on them, and limited transporter use is an obvious one.

    The exact quote, if folks want it:
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Safety wise, the only time I can remember a transporter problem where the problem was the transporter itself was TMP, were not all the other time because of a outside influence? And if they were using some kind of wave guide "cables" instead of transmitting the matter stream, that could be safer still. As long as the injury and death rate is lower than we experiance with cars, the future public would use them.

    If the use of transporters was totally flagrant, there could be a information traffic volume problem.
     
  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I've always been of the opinion that while transporters are common on Federation starships, they are not the common mode of transport for the everyday person.

    I've always imagined that most people get around on airtrams, subways, and even cars and motorcycles that don't use internal combustion engines. I could see some people even getting around by suborbital shuttlecraft.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There might be, as LaForge says transporters are the safest way, and he generally doesn't lie (although he has a weird sense of humor).

    What I meant was that there is plenty of irrational fear of flying, in addition to the rational variety - and this irrational sort was the analogy they were milking in "Realm of Fear". Transporters are inherently rather scary, but probably they indeed very seldom kill or maim people, compared with antigrav buses or walking.

    In air travel, the good safety record comes partially from the fact that air travel spans longer distances than other travel modes, hence good figures for accidents-per-kilometer; that might well be true of transporter travel as well, because going from New Orleans to San Francisco and back would expose Ben Sisko to a far greater variety of dangers if he walked or took the antigrav bus... On shorter distances, this effect would be diminished.

    Any alternative means of getting from New Orleans to San Francisco might use far more energy, to be sure. We've seen a transporter energized with the battery of a hand phaser ("The Hunted"), but we have seen that taking a shuttlecraft to a ballistic trajectory that might propel the passengers between those cities drains a great number of phasers ("The Galileo Seven")...

    That sounds likely. The "broadcast" variety of transporting seems to be strictly line-of-sight: in "Legacy", two kilometers of solid granite was enough to preclude transporting, and there's much more than two klicks of rock between San Francisco and New Orleans... Some sort of relaying would be necessary, and I could easily see Earth using land cables instead of satellites.

    OTOH, even though we never quite learn the maximum range of Federation transporters in an episode or a movie, backstage sources suggest a limit at a five-digit number of kilometers. So transporters won't take you to the Moon or to Mars, not unless there is a relay chain of satellites there. There might be one to the Moon, I guess, even though we never learn of such a thing. It's a bit unlikely there'd be one to Mars.

    FWIW, episodes featuring Earth or some other major UFP world seldom feature vehicles. People tend to walk a lot and drive or fly very little. But we don't get too many such episodes, to be sure.

    The novels feature a variety of vehicles: groundcars, flitters, skimmers, hoppers. Both civilians and Starfleeters seem to utilize those, but admittedly we get no statistics to indicate whether owning a flitter is akin to owning a family sedan or a floatplane - that is, whether it's common or an indication of an opulent or eccentric lifestyle.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sounds like most folks here in Los Angeles! What's really ironic is that people will pay for valet parking so they don't have to walk two blocks to the gym to work out.
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In Starfleet usual when someone is transporting there is a operator standing at a console who handles problems that spring up. Occasionally Starfleet uses pure computer control. With the volume of traffic we're talking about, there can't be a operator for each and every transporter move, but there is probably a room full of operators somewhere waiting like 911 operators to cross circuit to B.

    Must be a bitch when the server crashes.
     
  11. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There probably is some kind of public transporter system (haha, what a pun). Not everyone has a plane today, so I doubt everyone would have a tranporter pad in his living room.

    Beaming is dangerous, so I think everyone who wants to control the thing needs to have a licence. I mean what about the people who don't know what they are doing and beam themselves into a wall?

    The fun thing about Sisko's statement is: if he was able to be beamed into his own living room, then Starfleet (or whoever owns that transporter) has the equipment to scan every single building on Earth. Because they need to know where the furniture is, if a person is walking by, etc... to do a save transport. A scary thought. ;)
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That sort of equipment is probably quite common - and as the result, various jammers might also be common household items...

    However, just because Ben Sisko beamed into his family's living room doesn't mean Starfleet was able to scan that living room. Perhaps the Siskos simply gave coordinates for the one area in that room that's always free of obstacles and awaits transportees? Or perhaps the Siskos had a transporter receiver (less than a full pad, perhaps) in their living room.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. T'deD'Edkeid'Ende'Dejdid

    T'deD'Edkeid'Ende'Dejdid Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    With the ability to travel across the globe in the blink of an eye and with the planet more integrated than it is today, how does once deal with time zones. The UFP President summons a few admirals for a briefing at noon in Paris and asks them beam over. But it's 3am in San Francisco. It seems the UFP President will only be able to talk with the night shift at Starfleet HQ.
     
  14. Joshua Howard

    Joshua Howard Captain Captain

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    ^ Just as the Enterprise has its own special time zone, there may be some standard of universal time in the future as people cease to be constrained by planetary geography. In theory, it would be easier for people on the west coast of the U.S. to go to bed at 2000 hours and those on the east coast go to bed at 2400 hours than it would be for everyone to try to adjust the clock.

    Just as the internet transformed literature, so transporters could transform travel. Twenty years ago, a community such as this one would have probably involved people meeting in person, or simply not existed. Today, the internet makes it possible for the entire world to share information instantly. Brick and Mortar libraries serve a secondary purpose, and even things like television news struggle to keep up with the broad array of information available online. Of course, the internet cannot and will not make books a thing of the past. Likewise, transporters certainly don't make all other forms of transportation disappear entirely.

    It is important to remember that the ability to hop from place to place with transporters would mean that people's orientation to their planet in the 24th century is more akin to people's orientation to their metropolitan region today. Travel to other fairly nearby planets in that context would be the 24th century version of our idea of travelling around the country or the world.

    If you can walk down to the transporter depot in New York at noon and be in London instantly, that means that global economics changes a great deal from the present model. There would be no reason why someone couldn't live on one side of the world and work on the other side, as the commute wouldn't really be a problem (though that would be darn like working the night shift).

    I think we can be certain that transporters are very much a part of earth transportation. The more interesting question is how that changes the way people live. Just as the internet makes many people tune in to specific interests instead of reading whole books (i.e., instead of buying a cookbook, you google "how to make soup") so likewise a global transporter network would make people less aware of their immediate regions, kind of like the way interstate freeways make drivers pay less attention to the things that lie between their starting point and destination.
     
  15. Mary Ann

    Mary Ann Knitting is logical Premium Member

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    The one downside I can see with the public transporter stations is that there must be one helluva queue. People going to the same destination can be beamed together but most people will want to go to different places, so these stations must be huge, like international airports today, or it's not worth the wait and people take alternate forms of transport.

    Depite what Geordi may say about transporter safety I would only travel this way if there was no alternative. The thought of being taken apart at the molecular level makes my head spin.
     
  16. neozeks

    neozeks Captain Captain

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    Given the power of transporters as a means to do bad things, extensive security measures are a given. That's why I think it's likely publicly available transporters would be restricted (by hardware or software - though hacking would be a threat in the latter case) just to pad-to-pad transporting.
     
  17. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You could beam a dozen people at once to a dozen different locations. Just enter different destinations to each pad. Then it'll be like riding a bus.

    Public transport would not beam people anywhere they like. People could only beam from one station to another station. That's something that can be coordinated very easily.
     
  18. Mary Ann

    Mary Ann Knitting is logical Premium Member

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    This is true. Still I can see some backlogs occurring during the 24thC equivalent of rush hour, but I suppose that would be unavoidable using any method of transportation. Come to think of it, many people in the 24thC would probably work from home, so I may be making a mountain out of a molehill. It's been a long day. Ignore me. ;)
     
  19. Joshua Howard

    Joshua Howard Captain Captain

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    ^ Another thing to remember is that machines do a great deal of work for people. For example, all of the work that involves running computers and doing paperwork could be done by a computer without any human operator, at least not in the 21st century sense.

    Replication technology decreases the demand for industrial labor and advance computer technology decreases the demand for clerical labor. Since most modern vocations would nolonger be something that most people engaged in, it seems probable that work traffic would constitute a much smaller percentage of total volume than is true today.

    In theory, most of the population has so little to do that it has the free time to pursue the level of technical knowledge necessary to make Starships and space stations a normal part of the economic product. It seems quite probable that beyond scientific institutions on earth, universities, and some cultural amenities, most working people nolonger perform their work on Earth, and are instead assigned to Starbases, outposts, colonies, ships, or other off-earth endeavors. What this amounts to is that people on Earth in the 24th century may use the entire planet for little more than recreation.

    Of course, I am drifting from the original topic, and I don't want to do that too much. The question of domestic spacecraft does enter into the equation at this point however, and more especially, (A) where commuter spacecraft are docked and (B) the convenience with which earth people are able to transport to them.
     
  20. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or people who don't want strangers beaming into their private homes? In a world where transporters exist, how can privacy be protected?