First Impressions

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Damian, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    My primary issues with the spore drive have to do with it's incredible ability to instantaneously transport you anywhere in the galaxy (or even universe maybe?) and that it was a central crux of the entire show.

    In story, with the drive that can do what it does I don't think Starfleet would so easily abandon it. It damages the multi-verse, yes. But I would think they would have teams of scientists finding ways to make it a safe technology. It might take years but eventually, knowing how Starfleet is generally depicted, they would find workarounds that make it safe.

    Now, Star Trek is indeed littered with the remnants of technologies that are here today and gone tomorrow. But that's my second point. It's a little easier to ignore something that was only used once in a single episode or movie (levitating boots anyone) that never show up again. If spore drive was just a one episode thing then it might just be the next in a long list of technologies in Star Trek that goes bye bye. They compounded it by continuing to use it in 2 seasons (maybe more if it's still used in season 3). And it even became a crux of the show. Eventually you'd think some smart spy would get hold of it and sell it to the highest bidder, possibly to a power that holds different ethical standards that might not care the damage it does if it means they could defeat the hated Federation.

    Now all that being said, Discovery did add in another in-story reason for it's disappearance and the fact that we know it is never mentioned again with classifying it. I still think it's a bit clumsy, a secret that large involving such an incredible technology would be extremely hard to keep under wraps. But I'll give them points for at least trying to address why spore drive is never heard from again and why Starfleet never tried to work on fixing what was wrong with it.
     
  2. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If the article is supposed to be serious, then I would kindly suggest that the author may be somewhat out of touch with reality due to being caught up in the ivory tower of the academic world for so long. How odd and dreary to declare with such certainty that the show is "finished" because he is personally displeased with some scientific minutiae that 99% of the viewing audience couldn't give a Rattus norvegicus's hindquarters about, on a space opera franchise that has always been barely more scientific than "Conan the Barbarian" when it comes right down to it.

    Kor
     
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  3. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In story it is quite simple-it required abusing a living being and then doing genetic modifications. Neither of which are OK by Federation rules. It was going to disappear, one way or the other.
     
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  4. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, I agree, as is it wasn't usable. But without the 'it's been classified' plot device it'd be hard to believe some smart Federation scientists would work day and night to find a way to make it safe. It was an incredible technology that allowed instantaneous transport to anywhere in the galaxy. And as Gul Dukat said, never underestimate the Federation's ability to adapt. I have no doubt they'd find away around the problems someday (and as I noted, it could potentially fall into the hands of a government that doesn't share the Federations ethics).

    Imagine, for instance, the Borg finding out about the spore drive while assimilating some planet that happened to have the information. I doubt the Borg would be hampered by using living beings or any of the other ethical issues with the device---they'd probably use one of their own drones in fact.

    Which is probably why the writers add the 'classified' clause to explain why none of that happened and why it seems to have not only stopped being used, but forgotten as well.
     
  5. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe it will end up being one of those things that Starfleet suppresses in draconian fashion whenever they encounter it, much like the Omega Particle. Next time on Staaaaar Trek: Picard, the crew of La Sirena is on the run from Starfleet after accidentally discovering a cluster of subspace mushrooms, thereby running afoul of the Spore Directive!

    Kor
     
  6. XmasCV330

    XmasCV330 Premium Member

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    It was holding up a mirror to reality. Giant suction cup sasquatches were a plague in the mid sixties. One stabbed that guy at the Altamont. Atica Riot..cause by ESP overloaded super criminals that couldn't even remembe their warden's middle name.
     
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  7. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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  8. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Since the spores don't like people being in their realm I would imagine they could do a simple explanation that they block access.

    Again, it doesn't require much.
     
  9. ScottJ85

    ScottJ85 Captain Captain

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    Harold White's experiments in that field didn't really turn anything up. Of course, that didn't stop the media from running with it to the point where NASA had to issue a press release stating that they weren't engaged in any form of FTL research.

    Faster than light travel being impossible certainly doesn't rule out interstellar travel or colonisation, but it massively changes how and why.

    Also, the way the Federation abandons the spore drive technology reminds me of something from the Revelation Space books. In those books, all interstellar travel takes place at relativistic speeds, which isn't as big a problem as it would otherwise be as human life spans have been greatly extended. In the core systems, ships come and go all the time but out in the distant colonies, a visit from a trading ship would be a once in a lifetime event.

    In the distant past of the Revelation Space universe, even alien races that possessed the knowledge to travel faster than light banned the technology and kept all interstellar travel to sublight speeds, because of one huge risk the technology possesses: the ability to retroactively alter time. A drive failure could damage causality to the point where the ship, the crew, or even the entire race could be retroactively erased from history.

    The spore drive seems like it carries similar risks. It could be misused or fail in such a way that it causes irreparable damage to the mycelial network which would, at best, make it unavailable for travel or at worst severely harm all life across all universes. There are any number of perfectly good reasons for Starfleet to bury the technology for good.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
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  10. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Precisely.

    Now, I will grant that the writers could have done a better job than just "CLASSIFIED" but several reasons could pop up, from Q, to the spores themselves prohibiting access, extinction of giant tardigrades, etc.
     
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  11. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive
    Humanoid aliens (next to blobs, rocks, clouds, reptiles, etc.) and translator technology are much more plausible than fungal mycelia or spores connecting to such a different subspace plane.
     
  12. ScottJ85

    ScottJ85 Captain Captain

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  13. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't see how...?

    It all strains believability. Transporter tech is perhaps the biggest one that requires incredibly advance tech. I was just reading about Nightcrawler and his powers. The science and math involved, never mind the transporter itself of moving matter is an incredible technology that is just taken for granted.
     
  14. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Any yet, none of that is impossible, violates any laws, and only relies on advanced technology. Spores, tardigrades, and the mycelial plane interacting they way they do however is far less plausible.
     
  15. Alan Roi

    Alan Roi Commodore Commodore

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    Yet none of this is strange to Star Trek in general. Numerous beings have been previously encounter with abilities to do what accessing the spores provided, so it's not like the franchise hasn't opened the door to this kind of capability to be worked out.
     
  16. ScottJ85

    ScottJ85 Captain Captain

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    It’s no more or less plausible than any proposed method of faster than light travel, and yes, that includes the Alcubierre drive.
     
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  17. Agony_Boothb

    Agony_Boothb Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No they really aren't. Subspace itself isn't plausible. Neither is travelling at FTL speeds without relativistic effects or the fact that all m-class planets seem to have a similar orbital rotation to Earth. The chances of alien life developing so similarly to life on earth is infinitesimal. They all require the suspension of disbelief. Star Trek is science-fantasy. Always has been. The fanbase just chooses not to think of it this way out of a sense of intellectual snobbery/superiority and gatekeeping. The only time Star Trek needs to provide a sense of realism for me is when it comes to the relationships between the characters and the characters response to situations. Otherwise please give me weird and fantastical. That is when Star Trek is fun.
     
  18. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which previous lifeforms could do similar things?

    Do you not understand the difference between biology and technology?
     
  19. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Ah, so since it is less plausible we should not explore it in a speculative fiction/science fantasy show?
    Exactly.
     
  20. Agony_Boothb

    Agony_Boothb Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Q snapped the Enterprise 7000 light years to meet the Borg. The Caretaker dragged Voyager 70,000 light years. The Vaadwaur manipulated a vast network of 'naturally occurring subspace tunnels'. Species 8472 actually lived in some form of biological matter. Not sure how any of these are any more realistic or believable than the mycelial network.

    Again, I'll use Species 8472 as an example who used biological technology. Who is to say that the Mycelial network isn't the construction of some ancient alien race who had learned to use biology as technology?