How well would chief engineers be able to perform their duties in a different era?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by at Quark's, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. at Quark's

    at Quark's Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So let's suppose Q want to have a little fun, and randomly shifts the consciousness of one chief starship engineer into the body of another, from a different era. (So, for example, Scotty gets moved into the body of Trip, but since I'm not really interested in personality-based arguments like "Scotty was smarter than Trip so would have an easier time catching on", I'm just using "Scotty" as a shorthand for 'an average TOS-era starship engineer, and so on'). Suppose that it's made impossible for them to either tell anyone or resign their commission.

    How well (or badly) would these 'displaced in time' engineers be able to perform their duties, even if only very basic ones? Which combinations would go down relatively well, and which ones would prove disastrous?

    For example, would "Scotty" be worse off in the ENT-D engine room than "LaForge" would be in the TOS engine room? Or, would "La Forge" have at least a slightly easier time in the TOS engine room than in the NX-01 engine room, since he's removed one century less from that technology?
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Scotty got an ENT-era ship flying in Star Trek Beyond. But Scotty Prime was clueless in TNG engineering in "Relics"
     
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  3. at Quark's

    at Quark's Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^Well, generally I would expect that a 'displaced' person from the future would have a slight advantage when compared to a 'displaced' person from the past, so that would match. But not always. O'Brien seemed completely lost on Kirk's Enterprise ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
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  4. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Some people are lost when confronted by older technology. There are actually people who don't know how to use a rotary telephone or a manual typewriter (they're even baffled by an electric typewriter).
     
  5. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's like telling a DVD repairman to fix your VHS player. Or newest Blu-Ray player. They might be able to figure it out by looking through manuals and general skill, but a person of the era is always preferable over either a past man or future creature.

    Scotty and O'Brien weren't given enough time or leeway to adjust to their new era's wildly different systems. Scotty had trouble figuring out how to use a 1980s Macintosh for a second, before becoming some sort of '80s movie-level hacker genius.
     
  6. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    Given enough time, any engineer from the future should be able to understand the tech of the past. Basic principles are basic principles.

    A primitive engineer trying to figure out more advanced tech is going to be harder. Some of the principles may not have been discovered yet.

    A Romulan engineer well-versed in matter-antimatter engines may be lost when it comes to a quantum singularity drive, but the D'deridex engineer might have a better chance figuring out how a matter-antimatter propulsion system works.

    Given enough time. In an emergency situation things might be different. Of course, in such a situation O'Brien rose to the occasion and got a transporter operational even though he was not an engineer at that point.
     
  7. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Disavowed by the Secretary Moderator

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    Hell, I'm not sure I'd remember how to use a typewriter...it'd certainly take a bit of getting used to again! :lol:
     
  8. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    It would take more energy and it would be noisier. Corrections would be a pain, since you'd need to either use an eraser or white-out (I developed an allergy to that stuff, after many years of using it).

    You would need to remember the carriage return (no word wrap). And there's that fussy business of making sure the paper is straight and you've got your top and bottom margins figured right.

    Oh, and cleaning the type bars and not getting your fingers caught in them or in the keys... very painful to get hit by a type bar. Manual typewriters are why I cut my fingernails very short, 40 years ago.

    It's a shame, though... just a couple of repairs, a new ink cartridge, and my old Smith-Corona would be good as new, back when I got it in the early 1980s. Of course I'd only have myself to talk to, but that typewriter got me through many college papers and beyond, when I had a home typing business. It was only after it became impossible to repair that I broke down and got a computer.
     
  9. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Disavowed by the Secretary Moderator

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    Corrections! I remember having to retype entire pages when I was working on college papers!
     
  10. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Trying to figure out O'Brien's career could easily take up its own thread.
     
  11. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Both going forward and backward would be hard to get used to. It's like computers from the 80s versus modern computers. I suppose it would be a little bit easier to get used to modern conveniences than it would to be used to them and lose them, so I think the 24th century engineers would have a harder time going back.
     
  12. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    I'd love to see Geordi have to deal with Scotty's era as much as a WIndows 10 technician has to deal withWindows3.1 (plus its underlying DOS kernel). Both have the same steering wheel and gas pedal but how to configure them would make life harder for the engineer not trained in them.

    Scotty at least got to save the day (even with the Enterprise's shields up during beaming)
     
  13. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Didn't he pretty much have to in "Peak Performance"? The USS Hathaway was from Scotty's TOS movie era.
     
  14. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    We don't know how much the Hathaway was updated since she was commissioned.

    Picard commanded the Stargazer just a few years prior to the D
     
  15. Push The Button

    Push The Button Commodore Commodore

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    If you have the aptitude and know the basics, you can learn what you need to. Most present-day employers don't understand this, unfortunately, and reject or hire people based on how many boxes they can check off on a supposed list of requirements for a position, most of which are BS.

    Anyway yes, give Trip a week to look over the manuals, and he would be able to keep Enterprise-D flying just fine.
     
  16. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    The typewriter we had when I was little had a white-out strip on it. You had to go back and type the exact character that you previously typed.

    Kor
     
  17. Captain Rob

    Captain Rob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "Computer...Hello computer..."
    "A keyboard...How quaint."
    And in 5 seconds Scotty is typing 60 words a minute on a PC. And without even once pressing the 'Enter' key. The TOS Enterprise never had any keyboards of any type.
     
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  18. at Quark's

    at Quark's Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^At least he recognised the device. That's not bad, assuming it had been out of use for about 200-250 years in his time.

    The same is true btw for Janeway in Future's end. Starts with one finger but within minutes, she's typing with all ten. Perhaps people in the future just learn a bit quicker :)
     
  19. Tenacity

    Tenacity Commodore Commodore

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    Scotty (and team) were able to get a Klingon BOP into warp in only a few minutes. Scotty as a Starfleet engineer likely could figure out a foreign control system if it was possible to do so.
    But the movies did.

    Valaris had a recognizable keyboard in front of her at the helm in TUC, there as a close up shot of her using it. The same console (same set prop) was in front of Scotty when he took the helm in GEN and he knew how to use it.
     
  20. Captain Rob

    Captain Rob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^ And that's why I said TOS.