Examples of magic in the Star Trek universe?..

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by junkdata, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, we were supposed to think of Sylvia and Korob as magical for a bit. Happy Halloween peeps!

    Even Merlin speaking Latin and causing something to occur might simply be called advanced energy-matter manipulation. Who's to say words aren't a kind of super-high-tech key? (as some have seen with the Carrionites in Dr. Who's "The Shakespeare Code"). Clarke's third law makes as much sense in reverse as forward:

    Any magic is indistinguishable from sufficiently advanced technology. Meaning that since we're used to tech being omnipresent in Trek, it's the reverse interpretation that is more often in play.
     
  2. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But they were magical, through the power of their minds. Their technology amplified their natural abilities, but those abilities existed first.

    :)
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=2][/SIZE][/FONT]
     
  3. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Me, I'd call that psionics. But I guess we might as well call it magic.
     
  4. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Psionics = magic.



    :)
     
  5. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    There will be a pop quiz at the end of the thread.
     
  6. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So what you're saying is, fictional universe in which magic exists = childish, fictional universe in which all the science is made up = not childish?

    *scratches head*
     
  7. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think you'll be getting an answer from the OP, apparently he's on an indefinite absence.
     
  8. Drone

    Drone Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, it's all kind of a big crapshoot. Why, we saw Noel Bartley Vautrain doing tricks that even in a fanciful imagining of Frontier Days were interpreted as magic and then what, two months later, he turns up (personal styling a bit different granted) as a globally powerful icon whose abilities are grounded in the mundane realm of advanced manipulated genetics. Who's really to know!!!


    Seriously though, from early on in the ST historical account, there have been numerous publications by people in the show's creative orbit, as well as hardcore habitues, that have sought to painstakingly document so much of its wizardry in grounded explanations and schemata. Doesn't that imply an intent, official or not, that seems to have been to make everyone viewing this world think of its possibilities, at least as represented by what is seen in Starfleet, while perhaps fantastically telescoped, as being extensions of real scientific endeavor as opposed to generic spaceman hocus pocus?
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
  9. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    ^ It's too early in the morning (8:39am) for me to understand anything you said after "Well".
     
  10. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've always thought that telepathy seemed really out of place in Star Trek, like a kind of magic. Now, I realize that it's logically inconsistent for me to readily accept Q, the Prophets, Gomtuu, "Junior," and the like, but I suppose then that skepticism extends only to humanoids.

    Does Sto-vo-kor count as magic?
     
  11. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    It's as magical as Sha Ka Ree.
     
  12. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, we know that "God" is really just a powerful entity. I'm a bit more mystified that Sha Ka Ree has the cloud patterns of a bad combover. That's magic.
     
  13. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The fake Venus Drug. Or even the real one, for that matter.
     
  14. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Trek has firmly established that ghosts exist.

    Vampire muses are real.

    The Greek gods were real.
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And if you think about it, the entity wasn't really all that powerful.

    It was obviously trapped on the planet (I think someone tricked it into the trap), it apparently requires a starship to travel through space and get through the barrier. My impression is it didn't know initially that there was a starship in orbit.

    It could communicate to a degree with Sybok over a large distance, project different images (mentally?) or actually change shape, and it could shoot "lightning bolts." But that's about all we saw of it's abilities.

    So, not that powerful.

    :)
     
  16. Captain Kathryn

    Captain Kathryn Commodore Commodore

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    I would say Q. But they try to explain it with science by making them a sort of alien species.
     
  17. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So what isn't magic? Might be a question with a shorter answer. I mean, do we just automatically label the currently inexplicable as "magic"?

    Fans of Pratchett will remember Night Watch, where the History Monk Lu-tze is trying to explain to accidentally time-traveling Commander Vimes (who is also a Duke, with feelings of gilt) why they can't simply just send him back to his correct time. He says at one point, after many metaphors and at first tentative explanations are shared, "you're a bright man, Your Grace. I can't keep calling everything magic."

    So even in a pretty magical setting, a smart, knowing character, who I sure as hell think of as practicing "magic," with his order's "procrastinators" and other time-spooling devices, disdains the label as a nod in the direction of ignorance.

    I don't think of what the Q do/does as magic, for example. I think he, and the Thasians, and Gary Mitchell, etc, interact with the universe in special ways; not "magic," not technology, but some third or fourth or more ways of manipulating the universe. I don't know what those ways are, but I don't have to admit that they'll always be inexplicable, which I think is the sine qua non of magic.
     
  18. Drone

    Drone Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sorry, I was in pop icon flash recognition mode I guess and didn't stop to think. Well, the reference was to Ricardo Montalban and his original air time transformation from the Lord of Limbo on WWW to our enduring Eugenics War Fab Personality, Khan.
     
  19. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

  20. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I can definitely see where you're coming from. It stands out as an oddball beside the fantasy elements that are closer to the hard science fiction end of the fantasy scale, like warp drive and the transporter.

    I think the willingness to treat the paranormal in-universe as real phenomena, even if unexplained phenomena, indicates an attitude of the writers.

    Certainly, "The Cage" exemplified beings that Roddenberry considered more highly evolved than humanity, and telepathy was an integral element. In the second pilot WNMHGB, parapsychology and the paranormal are treated as something that even the characters in-universe don't fully understand, but nevertheless have statistical evidence for in their ESPer ratings (which become magnified by the barrier cloud).

    Fast forward to the series proper and ahead to the spin-offs, and ESP and telepathy are fully embraced in-universe, at least in the case of aliens. Under Roddenberry's leadership and example, on some level the writers must have felt that, in aggregate, viewers would accept the paranormal as something plausible. They're not wrong about that.

    I'm not aware of any episode in any series that offered a technobabbly explanation of telepathy. I'd be interested if anyone knows of one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014