Healing Vina

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Falconer, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. Falconer

    Falconer Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2019
    There’s a saying in The Final Reflection which really clicked for me, “All but the kuve have five fingers.” Suggesting that all races worth a damn are humanoid. (Sorry, Tellarites need not apply!)
     
    ChallengerHK likes this.
  2. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Maybe they didn't and her body reformed in that image after the Talosian medical procedure? When you realise the strangeness of the many creatures captured by the Talosians over the centuries it is plausible that they weren't totally sure of what Vina actually was, especially if you think of what condition her body was in after the crash!!! :crazy:
    JB
     
    Methuselah Flint likes this.
  3. ChallengerHK

    ChallengerHK Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Admittedly this is taking your post literally, but crabs themselves are asymmetric. One foreclaw is larger.
     
    Methuselah Flint likes this.
  4. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    That's really awful logic. You're basically saying that she was better off with the Talosians because she had already been kidnapped and enslaved and suffered 18 years of trauma, so why bother rescuing her? Even if she remained deformed, it's still better to be restored to your liberty in the culture you come from than to stay with your kidnappers and torturers.

    TL;DR: The idea that a woman is better off with the people who kidnapped her, enslaved her, and tortured her because she has a disability is at best ableist, and at worst misogynistic too.
     
  5. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Location:
    Noname Given
    You're reading too much into that - the question posed was "Would Federation medical tech have been able to heal Vina better than what the Talosians did." Then we got into aspects of the actual episode and why she decided to stay; and why Pike agreed with her reasons. I'm not at all saying she's better off with the Talosians; I was talking about why (even if they had the medical tech) - they wouldn't see a reason to do any more to her physical body than they did - even after they knew what a human looked like and had a better understanding of human anatomy. In the end she decided to stay, and Pike didn't really try to change her mind <--- That is what it is.
     
  6. Falconer

    Falconer Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2019
    There is a trope in the western, too, of the white woman who is captured by Indians and ultimately refuses rescue.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    And is reviled for it, because women should behave.

    Just let Vina do what she wants, instead of accusing her of all the isms from a to m. It's her life. If it ever were the properly of her native culture, that part hopefully ended when she died the first time, and she's free now.

    ...Thankfully, it was Pike who met her, and not Kirk.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Clinton, OH
    Were you intentionally ignoring I was comparing Pike with Hawking?

    Pike and Hawking are very comparable despite the fact how they arrived at their condition was different. In the end both were confined to a chair with a computer interface and movable eyes. In the case of Pike and 23rd century medicine, all he could do is indicate yes or no. Poor man couldn't even send out Morse code even though that should have been within his ability from what was said on screen.

    In contrast, Hawking benefitted from 20th century technology well enough to write books, lecture classes, carry on complex conversations, and lead a full life while confined to a chair with a computer interface.

    Reality is our technology surpassed what Star Trek envisioned in 1966. In universe, Pike's limitation do not jive with the state of Federation technology.

    As for Vina, we've rebuilt dinosaur skeletons without ever having a guide. The Talosians had an entire menagerie at their disposal to study and research as a guide on addition to Vina's memories of human anatomy.

    Of course, as you pointed out in another conversation, Timo, how do we know Vina was ever telling the truth? How do we know that was her true form? Everything might have been an illusion.
     
    Methuselah Flint likes this.
  9. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Location:
    Noname Given
    To be fair Star Trek (TOS) did have a technology that should have allowed Pike to communicate fine. When you see how the universal translator worked in the second season episode "Metamorphosis" in that it could link and translate the electrical impulses of a sentient gas cloud; You're going to tell me they couldn't adapt that technology to allow Christopher Pike to communicate?

    But again had they done that; Spock wouldn't have a reason to return Pike to Talos IV. ;)
     
    Methuselah Flint likes this.
  10. Mister Spock

    Mister Spock Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2013
    Location:
    North London, England
    Well, Bones can perform convincing enough plastic surgery to turn Captain Kirk into a Romulan and back in The Enterprise Incident.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Creating a mask or a puppet to cover the fact that the person is gone is always doable. It generally doesn't help the person any, though, in those cases where he or she isn't all gone yet. Giving Vina a pretty exterior and a nice dress wouldn't have healed her.

    Could Pike have been healed? Depends on how far he was from being a mere shell. Hawking had language, he just didn't have a larynx. Pike might have lost language, at which point the UT would be of little help: if the brain isn't formulating language, output is the least of the issues.

    Would it be possible to bypass the language centers of the brain altogether and let the UT do the work? Perhaps; our strong counterindication here is that it wasn't done. If it were doable, though, it would not merely unlock the minds of those who had no language: it might unlock the minds of those who have no minds. The cool cloud creatures apparently had both minds and language, but how about translating wind? Surely it would have stories to tell, and turning the howling into "I blew over Macho Grande and my relative humidity now is 87%" would be a minor feat compared to extracting language from a mind that has none.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2001
    Location:
    55 years ago
    If Pike had no language, how did he understand what Spock was telling him?
     
  13. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    One ferry ride from Starfleet HQ
    If you look at early attempts to reconstruct dinosaur skeletons they were often really different than what we look at now. The paleontologists of the time made some incorrect assumptions about the anatomy based on the idea that they thought these things were lizards, etc.

    And how many people could accurately draw a skeleton or the arrangement of internal organs or how muscles attach? It’s completely believable that this was the best they could do with alien anatomy they’d never seen before, especially if parts of her body were beyond repair.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
    JonnyQuest037 and ChallengerHK like this.
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Comprehension of language, formulation of language, and abstract thinking are physiologically separate things, as far as modern science can tell. Hammer a nail into this part of the brain, and you can no longer speak, write or gesture in language, even though you can listen and comprehend in it, and then process - and even though you can perfectly well sing, draw, and dance. Hammer the nail to that area, and you can put out perfectly fluent nonsense because either your comprehension or processing ability is gone.

    Hospital shows back in the 1960s wouldn't have done a lot of that yet. Audiences of modern shows would generally be familiar with selective brain damage, though, and also with the concept that brain damage doesn't automatically mean your mind would be damaged. Losing language is like losing a leg: even if you can no longer walk, you are still you, and your body is fine, some prosthetics aside.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Neopeius and ChallengerHK like this.
  15. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    Location:
    Back On The Shelf
    I theorize that the Talosians can only read/affect a conscious mind, not an unconscious mind otherwise they would have known Vina's knowledge about her looks, etc. Vina's medical condition was so severe, she must have been in a coma or induced into a coma for a long time. That aside, we also know the Talosians let their technological knowledge decay, so, maybe their medical facilities and skills were limited. Once she woke up, it was easier to create an illusion that she looked beautiful (actually better than before the accident using her age as one data point) than actually performing more surgery just to make her "decent" again, which they may not be able to do anyway. Even with our modern day medical skills, we wouldn't be able to "fix" her to be "perfect" again. She would make a great episode of Botched, though. :ouch:
     
  16. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    I'm also going to hazard a guess that the Columbia's computer systems were destroyed in the crash - otherwise the Talosians could conceivably have accessed those computers to find out what a human was supposed to look like.

    In the end, though, I agree with the poster who suggested that it didn't matter anyway - even if the Talosians knew what a human looked like, carrying it out was a different matter, because they were just bad surgeons. Incompetent at physical labor.

    I mean, we all know what the Mona Lisa looks like, but none of us could actually paint it, amirite? Same story here.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
    Henoch and Timo like this.
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Of course, it's also possible there never was any Columbia. The existence of the ship was revealed in a "radio message" that no doubt was utterly fake - that is, it was an illusion of a radio message, because soon thereafter there is another, in direct response to the failure of our heroes to act on the first one, even though no such response could have been sent at lightspeed to address this issue.

    So the Talosians are projecting illusions at the heroes from the get-go, and "a survey ship Columbia existing in the records" could be one of those.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    Location:
    Back On The Shelf
    Sometime after the Talos event, Starfleet would have confirmed historic records back on Earth central. Would the Talosians keep up their deception over an extended time frame, dealing with many more minds and over the vast distances? It comes down to how powerful are the Talosians.
     
  19. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Clinton, OH
    Interesting. Source, please?
    In this case, that's apples and oranges. The Talosians can read minds. Providing that Vina had seen a couple of anatomy books, then those memories are buried in her head. I've seen enough anatomical drawings over the years that a Talosian should be able to read my thoughts and read all those diagrams. I'm not a biology professional, just a high school graduate. An adult Vina should be comparable to a 20th century Midwesterner with a high school education.

    This is a very good point.

    This removes the entire motivation for the Talosians. If Vina was an illusion, then why bother kidnapping Pike? At some point the alternate speculations unravel the entire plot. There had to be a Vina to motivate the Talosians to become a stud bull. Of course, this was before Dolly the sheep which was created without a male. But, again, we go back to the Talosians having lost technical skills and knowledge.

    If no SS Columbia, then how did Vina get there? If no Vina, then there is no plot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
    Henoch likes this.
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Let me get this straight: you think that because you have seen a couple of pictures, you could heal Vina? Or, better still, teach a stranger to heal Vina?

    I'll make a wager: you can't heal Vina. Indeed, nobody currently on this board can, including any single MD potentially present. I don't have a spacecraft crash victim to offer for settling the wager, or even a car crash victim, but I win anyway.

    Assuming that "crew member" Vina were a futuristic medical professional with greater skills than any living doctor today, and Talosian telepathy were pitch perfect, then perhaps she could provide the competence for turning a random bunch of amateurs into the required surgical team. I still wouldn't trust anybody's life on that team.

    As a side note, the model where the Talosians at least occasionally tell the truth will suffer mightily from the assumption that they could have gotten data out of VIna's head. Vina may have seen pretty pictures about livers. But she would definitely have seen pretty pictures about man's cruelty to man, and of this "unique hatred of captivity" we supposedly possess. If the Talosian reading of minds were really up to this sort of snuff, they would not have learned anything new from stealing the starship's data bank contents.

    To get the slave race they speak about? The plan appeared to be working smoothly enough: they had one male and two females (that we know of), and might well have been about to capture 200 more by preventing the starship from leaving.

    It's more like the default assumption: the Talosians do one thing only, and that is the telling of lies. Vina is a self-admitted lie. That there'd be a wreck of a human somewhere beneath all the layers of lies is not really mandatory.

    Inside Pike's head. After all, Pike's head is the plot.

    Timo Saloniemi