Holodeck mistakes! Post your favourites...

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Lucy of Nine, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, both of those are supposed to be tactile experiences. You want to splash yourself with water, you want to dig into that dirt and smell it. Replicating the real thing may be by far the easiest way to create the sensation the user desires!

    But everything suggests the energy is insignificant. Replication is literally dirt cheap - people use it not just for creating all of their food, but all of their utensils, glassware, earthenware and napkins, too! And then they put the dishes back in the replicator for dereplication, supposedly. There is no "expenditure" or "conservation" involved, just completely carefree use.

    How so? You might run a mile while standing still. Another user might be running a different mile just twenty centimeters from you. If a hundred others wanted to join, each running their miles on different planets, the holodeck could stack some of them above your head, often three or four high considering the witnessed set heights. (It definitely has the ability - simulations often feature staircases, hills and the like.)

    Of course not. If a single person can be made to think that he is in the middle of a vast desert alone (when he is in fact inside a smallish room), then a hundred people can be made to think the same with literally equal ease.

    And it would be too large to fit inside your desktop monitor, too, yet you can easily play a game where you roam such a village, and more. It's all virtual: the only difference with holodecks is that there has to be enough room for the body of the user or the users somewhere within the simulation space, and even the smallest holo-rooms (at Quark's) have been shown to easily accommodate a dozen people at least.

    ...And often ended up on other people's "holodecks" anyway!

    In the animated episodes, they had a simulation room of their own. Being larger than an airship hangar by the looks of it, this room probably had a default illusion replacing the "off" position - an illusion of being a big room!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  2. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

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    [​IMG]
     
  3. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    I agree with Apollo on the room-size thing. Take DS9's "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" - Two entire ball teams plus spectators in a 20-by-20-foot room and each person sees their surroundings as the size of a baseball field with appropriate space between people? No. If it was hypnotic illusions in their minds, sure, why not. But it's not going to work when you have so many people crammed in the room so close together that swinging a bat will kill somebody. It's not a TARDIS.
     
  4. HIjol

    HIjol Admiral and Consummate Peacemaker Premium Member

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    No Holodeck? :eek: Don't you Blaspheme...DON'T you Blaspheme!!!


    That's the Beauty Part!


    Suspend That Disbelief! :)

    And Then There Were Four... sigh

    The Biggest Holodeck Mistake is that I do not have one! :rofl:
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...Or split between Quark's at least three such rooms.

    Why should this be a problem? The whole point of the holodeck is to make people see things that are not there: a big open space ought to be no more difficult than a cramped one, and indeed an open space should pose fewer demands on the 'deck as it has fewer tactile stimuli to mind.

    They brought in their real team uniforms, but we never saw anybody carry in a real bat, or even Sisko bring his favorite desktop baseball with him for that matter. And neither of the two distinct bats they actually use in the game is the one we see Sisko handle outside the holodeck!

    Swinging an illusion won't kill, unless the safety settings are off.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    The Voyager episode Spirit Folk. At one point, Tom Paris and Harry Kim are working at a computer panel, within the program when they are lynch mobbed by the angry villagers. One of them fires a rifle which hits the computer panel, the panel shorts out and the computer voice announces "warning: holodeck safeties deactivated." So if the safeties were active, why did the bullet cause damage?

    Other times this has come up people suggest the safeties only prevent injuries to people, not damage to equipment. Which seems a terrible oversight, IMO. The device which insures the safety of participants within the simulation is itself capable of being damaged by the simulation?

    It was also done in First Contact. Although, I think the intent there was that the Enterprise E's holodecks were so advanced and state of the art that they could create holographic costumes for you, thereby cutting down on the need to walk around the ship in costume. TATV ignored or forgot this and thus the Enterprise D's holodecks suddenly create holographic costumes as well.
     
  7. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Drat, I was all set to point out the stupidity of holograms disabling the holodeck safeties in "Spirit Folk", only to be beaten to the punch in the most recent post! :(

    We could discuss the stupidity of the episode in general I suppose... The Doctor gets hypnotized by a hologram, which also seems like something the safeties should be able to block. Granted The Doctor is himself a hologram, but really...

    On a different note, there's La Forge's careless creation of Moriarty. Granted the computer did what he asked for, but this seems like a case where a confirmation or command override should have been required...and might have tipped La Forge off that he wasn't doing what he thought he was doing.

    Actually, given that Moriarty was able to override what they referred to as the Mortality Fail-Safe at the time, you'd think he would have been required to authorize that. IIRC that's later an issue in "Descent".
     
  8. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Hell, I was annoyed the holographic villagers were made essentially aware of their status as holograms, even if through the intelligence and perspective of 19th century villagers. As one points out "one day it was raining, Tommy Paris looked up to the sky and said 'Computer, delete rain' and it was suddenly sunny!" Why are the characters aware of the changes being done to the program as they are happening? That guy should have no knowledge of it raining and from his perspective it was already sunny anyway.
     
  9. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Kind of like their timeline is being overwritten. Yes.

    Though it would be hilarious if Janeway's flame remembered that she altered him.
     
  10. Apollo-13

    Apollo-13 Ensign Newbie

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    As far as I can tell, all things feel real in the holodecks.

    Well, that makes the earlier mention about things disappearing when thrown off the holodeck only more relevant. You can't explain the same phenomenon with 2 opposites. Not to mention the fact that the sentient Moriarty would have known this from the computer logs.

    This makes even less sense. Let's just assume Worf is searching for his brother, sees him accross a mile wide river, and calls him, shouting as loud as he can to be heard on the other side, but his brother is really only 20 cms from him, and yet, he can barely hear Worf...

    That's Matrix. The holodeck doesn't work that way.

    Again, Matrix. As for your comparison with computer games: If I play - for instance - Skyrim against a friend, he has a different monitor. The holodeck is nothing like that. If 2 persons are standing face to face in Skyrim, they see eachother, no matter the distance between them. If 2 persons are standing face to face (your 20 cm?) on the holodeck, they are standing face to face on the holodeck. To make both believe they were a mile apart, the holodeck would have to change their perception instead of their surroundings.

    And that's the crucial point: The holodeck doesn't change perception.

    something very similar, I give you that.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But quite possibly only because some of them are real, that is, replicated. After all, if we accept that holodeck food needs to be real in order to be edible, we could just as well accept that dirt needs to be real in order to have the right feel and smell.

    I mean, according to our heroes, something about the holodeck got immensely and obviously better when the Bynars tinkered with it - even though the audience could not tell that anything would have changed. The holodeck already has the visuals down pat, so any improvement must be in other fields.

    What do you mean? When a replicated chair gets thrown out of the holodeck, obviously it is the duty of the computer to make sure it doesn't remain there littering everything - or hit somebody on its way out (a lesser concern with snowballs!). So it dereplicates the chair if need be.

    Although chairs can be forcefield constructs, whereas snowballs are tactile as hell, and might better be replicated.

    Significantly, remember that the holodeck is not interested in being consistent. It is interested in bending over backwards to make the user happy. If the user wants a perfect illusion, that's what he gets. But if the user wants the holodeck to show imperfection, for a dramatic purpose, for giggles, or because that will help save the Federation, then that's what the holodeck also readily provides.

    Moriarty had apparently very little access to the computer logs: in "Elementary", he only slowly came to any sort of a realization about the nature of the Enterprise, and only made (often false) deductions about the nature of the holodeck, too. In "Ship in a Bottle", his command of the holodeck was slightly more refined than in "Elementary", but clearly not enough to actually allow him to get what he wanted. This would be in keeping with LaForge's original request of creating an opponent that could defeat Data: such an opponent would need an edge, but only a slight one, or the entertainment value would be gone. "Elementary" and "Ship" both meet LaForge's original criteria.

    That should be bread and butter for the holodeck. All sounds, sights and apparently also smells there are artificial. This absolutely requires the ability to cancel out undesired sounds and sights and smells, be they artificial or real (if there's a difference there). And it already establishes the means, too: just produce a countersignal.

    What the holodeck must be doing in all cases is immersing the user in an environment of forcefields and associated illusions - not something projected on the far walls, but something that often comes close enough to touch the skin. There's no reason why this could not be done for fifty users at the same time, so that each is surrounded in an illusion of his own.

    But it does. In all cases. We can see that!

    That's utter nonsense. Perception is what you are being fed to perceive. If you need to believe you are driving your '37 Oldsdillac in hot pursuit of Sonny the Scar through the streets of San Falsisco and firing your trusted Timmy Gun, smelling the cordite, you must be surrounded by perception-changing illusions on all sides. This already suffices for completely isolating you from the other user that thinks she's sitting right next to you - the space between you two can easily be made opaque to sight and sound and replaced by yet another projection. And that projection can make it look to her as if Sonny the Scar blows your head off with his bazooka, even when you are unharmed and merely politely told by the holodeck that your game is over and you should take the exit.

    This is all not merely doable with TNG tech, but absolutely vital for even the simplest holodeck illusions to work.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    How does the holodeck determine what to replicate and what to keep as a hologram or use force fields or whatever to simulate tangibility? Let's use the Picard lipstick on the cheek example.

    1. Picard was kissed by a holographic character. He had to feel the kiss. Tangibility of holographic characters is key in numerous holodeck programs. Obviously the holodeck did not replicate a flesh and blood, tangible, solid person. That was the whole point of the Moriarty episodes - holodeck characters cannot exist off the holodeck.

    2. The lipstick stayed on Picard's cheek after he left the holodeck. So, the lipstick was replicated, but not the lips the lipstick was on? Why or how did the holodeck determine that the lipstick should be replicated? Was it replicated from the start? Stating that the lipstick needed to be replicated for tangibility just doesn't wash. If that's the case, then everything a living holodeck user can come in contact with should be replicated - clothes, plants, rocks, papers on a desk, etc...

    3. Keeping with this theme of replicated vs not - how or why does the holodeck replicate something so fast and without the glowing materialization we see in standard replicators?

    4. If the safeties are on and a character gets shot on the holodeck by bullets, then are they holographic? Yet, if the safeties get turned off, then they are replicated? Does that make sense to anyone? Wouldn't that have to be the case? Does the holodeck make these changes on the fly?
     
  13. Chronos

    Chronos Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It's one of those things that's explained both ways at some point. So the writers sort of used both explanations when each worked out better for them.

    The inconsistencies (and its use as filler) are two of the reasons why the holodeck episodes should have been limited to maybe one per season at most. Definitely not used as a crutch like it was.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think this is a decidedly 20th century question, just like "how do those magical doors know exactly when to open?". It's a rather trivial matter of sensing and computing, and something a starship computer ought to be capable of doing at its leisure.

    But it may well have replicated the lips. That's the whole point of it: even when it's real, it's only there to create an illusion of reality. That's how theater and comparable make-believe works. There's the stage, and then there's the backstage, and the audience only sees the stage.

    It's unlikely that Cyrus Redblock had any backbone, say. But it's also unlikely that Cyrus Redblock had a backside! That is, when it wasn't facing the users (of whom the audience is one, in this peeping tom version of Starfleet adventures we get). Partial reality would be the way to go, and that means ever-changing: "frontsides" and "backsides" come and go, partial things are replicated and then dereplicated as needed, and cheats are used wherever applicable.

    ...Possibly only when it became obvious Picard was going to walk out of the holodeck wearing it, at which point the holodeck replaced the projection with actual chemicals. After all, it correctly guessed that Picard would wish to wear this trophy to his everyday environment!

    Only on demand, only on the surface, and then only on the part of it doing the touching. But certain surfaces are easier to simulate than others. Cold smooth steel could easily be a forcefield combined with whatever thermal regulation magic they use. Warm textured wood, likewise. A plush velvety pillow would be slightly more demanding, but the tickling sensation could probably be "cheated in" using static charges or whatever. Replicating the texture of a melting snowball might simply be too expensive in terms of computing and projecting resources, though, when the alternative is to replicate snow.

    In "Devil's Due", Picard and pals completely dismissed the tricks of "Ardra" as cheap parlor stuff, including all of those involving the sudden appearance or disappearance of objects or people without associated transporting/replicating light and sound. Apparently, it doesn't take much to make transporting (and replicating) completely unnoticeable - it's just something Starfleet sees no point in doing. Or rather, it may insist on replication normally being noticeable.

    I doubt this would be the distinction. Holographic bullets would be just as lethal as leaden ones, supposedly. And if the holodeck can do instantaneous dereplication, leaden bullets would conversely be as harmless as holographic ones.

    It must be doing everything on the fly. It's complexly interactive, after all.

    On a separate note, what Moriarty thinks, what our heroes tell Moriarty, what Redblock thinks, and what our heroes tell Redblock should all be treated as separate things, probably also safely separated from the reality of holodeck technology. These are villains-vs-heroes situations where truth is an unlikely participant.

    OTOH, the holodeck obeys the commands of the user, be he or she or it hero or villain. So when Redblock wants to see the world outside, the holodeck desperately tries to make that happen, using every trick up its sleeve valves. When its projectors fail to reach sufficiently far beyond the doorway, it may resort to projecting matter onto Redblock to keep him going - and only when that finally fails does it withdraw the matter, so as not to litter the corridors.

    Again, that's the core of all things holodeck: consistency is not a requirement and not even a particularly welcome element, as it stands in the way of user satisfaction. Phasers need to behave consistently (and they mostly do). Transporters need to behave consistently (and they sometimes do, which amounts to an epic fail, but anyway). Holodecks aren't supposed to.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Apollo-13

    Apollo-13 Ensign Newbie

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    Timo, all you do is counter comments about inconsistencies with more inconsistensies. And to top it off, you state that
    And that
    behave consistently. That makes even less sense... Creating an inconsistent environment would be extremely unsafe, no matter what safety protocols are set.

    I wouldn't start fencing with a holographic opponent behaving inconsistently...
     
  16. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    We all just exist to give Timo things to think up counterpoints to. :lol:

    (I say that with love).
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Smooches all over!

    The thing isn't that the holodeck would behave inconsistently. Its behavior is consistent, merely versatile - and you are just trying to claim that it is impossible (which it of course isn't because we see it happen, doh!) based on your perception on how the holodeck is "supposed" to work, as if a certain type of behavior precluded certain other types. That's a bit like arguing that a movie must be "all CGI" or "all physical props and live actors" and finding fault in what is seen based on that misguided conviction.

    Inside the holodeck, everything is possible, and consistent, but that doesn't mean it would come to be through simplistic mechanisms with predictable limitations. That the holodeck can cope with specific user desires to show or hide its limitations in literal "borderline" cases, at holodeck doorways and walls, just shows that it is a versatile device with many options available to it. So it can choose to

    - show where the wall is, through visual and acoustic distortion, when the user throws a holographic rock at the wall for demonstration purposes ("Encounter at Farpoint"), but not do that when people throw holographic baseballs and want to seen them arch beautifully to the back field
    - show a a chair spectacularly disappear when the user wants to demonstrate that this is what happens to objects thrown through the doorway ("Ship in a Bottle"), but allow a piece of paper to leave when the user wants to carry that to a friend and potential user to see ("Elementary, Dear Data")
    - keep a holographic character as sentient as the needs of the story dictate, up to and including lending it self-awareness and the ability to modify program parameters
    - second-guess the user or then humbly await for input, depending on the mood it senses
    - selectively obey commands such as "freeze simulation" or "delete program", either second-guessing the user or then operating on previously set preferences

    and lots of other user-friendly things that greatly add to the experience (and supposedly make Riker impressed by the E-D system even when he grew up with holosimulations just like Janeway, and possibly Kirk, did).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    I aspire to the level of mental gymnastics I see some members use.
     
  19. Apollo-13

    Apollo-13 Ensign Newbie

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    Your description of the holodeck makes seem like something Q would come up with... an omnipotent holodeck.

    But "you can't change the laws of physics," Admiral. I noticed you didn't bring up the spacial parameters anymore. Probably because there is no way you can counter the fact that, no matter how far away a fellow holodeck addict appears to be, if he's right in front of you and you swing your arm holding a replicated-or-not-replicated bat like a baseball player intending to hit the ball out of the Alpha Quadrant, you're gonna knock your fellow out, even if the bat is not replicated.

    And since I mentioned our age-old nemesis with a severe personality problem...

    Data: "Captain!"
    Picard: "Yes, Data?"
    Data: "I see Q!"
    Picard: "ICQ? Which version?"
    Data: "Captain???"
    ;-)
     
  20. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not necessarily. There's a scene in "Voyager" where the Doctor slaps Paris, then tells Paris to slap him back and the return slap goes right through the Doc. I may not be remembering it with total accuracy, but that's the gist.

    In other words, the part of the bat you're holding could be substantial while the part you're not holding is simply holographic.