I like The Burn..... But I was also wondering this.

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Cyanide Muffin, Aug 10, 2021.

  1. Cyanide Muffin

    Cyanide Muffin Admiral Premium Member

    May 31, 2015
    With Aloy in the Frozen Wilds
    Could the seeds of the collapse of the Federation have begun after the events of Nemesis?

    Picard said a line in the movie that made me wonder when he said they had various enemies trying to take bites at it so I wonder if the cracks were starting to form then after the events of that movie and into the future. So yes the Burn happens but the seeds were planted long before that.
  2. Agony_Boothb

    Agony_Boothb Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 3, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    You don't need to go that far back. The Federation's dilithium shortage in the 2900's in addition to it's size and the pressure of both those factors on it's member races, followed by the temporal war in the 3000's was what weakened the Federation
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  3. Haunted House of Qo'noS

    Haunted House of Qo'noS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Mar 15, 2017
    Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs
    I'm sure that there are at least a couple future historians that would say, 'The beginning of the downfall can be traced all the way back to the unrest during the Romulan Supernova, the subsequent fallout, as well as the politics surrounding it. Discontent within the member worlds over this particular mission, fueled by fear over the Mars Incident, set precedence for future councilors on the Federation Council.'
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  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Seven hundred years earlier? That's a stretch. How many 14th-century historical events would you consider direct causative factors to specific present-day events? I mean, sure, certainly events back then were contributing influences to the overall state of the world in various ways, but in more of a broad, global sense.

    Not that many nations in human history have even lasted 700 years. That's a really impressive run. I'd say if the events of a given century lead to a nation continuing to exist for another 700 years beyond that, those events can in no meaningful way be considered seeds of its collapse.
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  5. Sad Kelpian Child

    Sad Kelpian Child Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    The Federation's alive and well as late as Daniels' time.
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  6. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    The main issue that fractured UFP was the Burn. But more to the point, it was writers inability (or rather incompetence) to move the technological needle away from Warp drive, dilithium, M/AM (which realistically would have been binned in the early to mid 25th century entirely and a completely new method of FTL would have replaced that... such as say Slipstream v2 - 10 000 Ly's per minute... or by Coaxial Warp, or Transwarp).
    In fact, I think it would be 'realistic' within Trek to expect UFP to 'change' FTL drives and main power sources methods over time... and the time frame between these changes would in fact be reducing the further into the future you go.

    The first 200 years of UFP existence, fine, we've had Warp and dilithium with M/AM. This would have been replaced shortly after that (or more to the point, in the late 24th century with all the things we already came to know).

    The next generation of power sources would last maybe 100 years or so before they were switched for something better, with the upcoming generation being replaced after mere 50 years... then 25 years, then 12.5 years, then 6.25 years... etc. (due to exponential developments in science and technology).

    The power generation in 32nd century would have to be something far different and ridiculously more advanced (probably also tiny, while giving off massive amounts of power and being unprecedently efficient).

    I keep wondering whether the network execs are the ones behind this unrealistically stupid stagnation, or is it just writers being woefully inadequate creativity-wise?
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  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    I don't think it realistic at all that the Federation would have made progress in the millennium we skipped. Why would it, when no progress had been made in any of the millennia preceding it?

    Warp drive is millions if not billions of years old as an invention. Certain UFP members had been using it for at least a thousand years before meeting Earthlings and becoming involved in all the federating and uniting. They weren't being subjugated by cultures with warp drives fifty or five thousand times faster, or death rays twenty or twenty thousand times more deadly. Everybody was pretty much neck to neck in the rat race - just like here on Earth, with the most primitive upright apes and the most civilized philosophers wielding the exact same assault rifles and anti-ship missiles and ground attack aircraft. But additionally with the precedent of non-invention that Earth last enjoyed in the stone age...

    If the UFP truly invented something, it supposedly would cease to be a star empire of the familiar sort, and would become something unrecognizable, perhaps more akin to the Q Continuum. Which would be a fun concept to explore, but supposedly star empires in Trek aren't mayflies, and may remain stable for hundreds of centuries, like the Dominion, not evolving technologically save for minor cosmetic improvements.

    Timo Saloniemi
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  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Daniels was from the 31st Century. The Discovery and her crew have been transported into the 32nd.

    I don't recall anything in S3 to preclude the possibility that the Federation was using other FTL technologies. It's entirely plausible that a substance with such fantastic properties as dilithium might still be used in other advanced FTL drives besides matter/anti-matter warp drives.

    Do you really think a network executive, whose job it is to oversee the production of numerous different television programs in order to generate enough income to meet the corporation's revenue goals, cares about details like which plot device the writers use in the background of their show? The network exec doesn't care if the plot device that explodes is called "dilithium," "trilithium," "pentalithium," "octalithium," or "Bob's kidney stones." They care about things like, how much will this episode cost, are they keeping in budget, are the VFX vendor delivering footage on time, how many sets do we need to build, do we have to do a location shoot, etc etc etc.
  9. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    Alive and well in the way that it was annihilated twice that we saw and restored using timey-wimey magic.

    And we know the Federation has temporal officers operating from portals in NYC... but do we know how well the Federation as a whole is doing in thise future timelines we saw? Nope.
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Matter-antimatter annihilation is 100 percent conversion of mass to energy. There is no superior energy source, despite the periodic efforts of various Trek writers to try to invent fanciful new ones. The only better option would be vacuum energy, if it's even possible to harness that.

    Not at all. It's a myth that all technologies become obsolete. We still use fire. We still use string. We still use wheels. New technologies coexist with old ones rather than replacing them. Sometimes a technology is dictated by fundamental physical laws and can't be meaningfully improved upon. A modern boat has much the same shape as an ancient one, because the same physical principles dictate its design. The specifics evolve, but some fundamentals remain.

    Stability is not stagnation. Over the grand sweep of world history, the kind of rapid progress we perceive in our lifetimes has been the exception, not the norm. Technology, like evolution, follows punctuated equilibrium -- it remains largely stable except in times when rapid change is demanded by new conditions. Any period of swift innovation will eventually trickle off once a new equilibrium state is reached, and then things can remain largely the same for hundreds or thousands of years, with only gradual innovation.

    So it's not unrealistic at all to posit that future technology will eventually reach a plateau or a stable phase. It's happened before, many times in history. It's just not happening in the narrow slice of history that we inhabit.

    Uhh, yes, and the Burn was a century before that, around 3069. Very close to Daniels's time, in fact.

    In the season opener, Book mentioned slipstream drive and "Explorers"-style tachyon/solar sail travel. We saw a transwarp conduit in use in the finale arc.
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Excellent point!

    Yes. I thought JirinPanthosa was trying to imply that Daniels was from an era "uptime" (as you put it in your DTI books) of DIS's new setting.
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    As I read it, they were just saying that the Federation was still thriving not long before the Burn, so there's no reason to believe its decline began 700 years earlier.

    Then again, I've never believed that Daniels's future was quite the same one as the Prime timeline, since he didn't recognize certain events in Enterprise that were altered by the Suliban and the Sphere Builders, and those changed events were what led to the Prime timeline we know (since ENT was always meant to show the origin of that timeline, not to branch away from it). He's from a similar future, but probably not the same one Discovery jumped to.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2021
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  13. Wednesday Addams

    Wednesday Addams Princess of the Dark Arts Premium Member

    Jul 22, 2021
    A Hell-adjacent suburb

    ::ducking and running::
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  14. Cyanide Muffin

    Cyanide Muffin Admiral Premium Member

    May 31, 2015
    With Aloy in the Frozen Wilds
    There you go a pile of kidney stones can power a ship to warp by combining them with strips of tinfoil and set in a warm bath of Ferengi poo
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  15. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    And yet, you are NOT the all knowing figure who would know whether there's something even BETTER than M/AM and vacuum energy (especially in Trek).

    As such, making a statement as bold as that is a bit preposterous, even though we've SEEN on VOY for example that other more advanced species DO in fact use different methods of power generation.
    The Nacene Caretaker's array was powered by a Tetryon reactor example... and it had the power to pull ships from across the galaxy in a proverbial instant. - Voyager had detailed scans of the Array from the outside and also from taking tricorder readings on the inside.
    Finally, in their encounter with mr. Tash (with the Catapult), the crew helped him repair a tetryon reactor... presumably, that would entail some knowledge of how the technology works, and most likely the crew would have taken detailed scans of that reactor up close so that Starfleet could make its own in the next few years.

    The Borg might be a potential candidate for a power generation that surpasses M/AM and dilithium (because we just don't KNOW what powers a Borg cube, but it was suggested in TNG that a Cube's power generation vastly surpasses that of UFP).
    The Romulans use a forced quantum singularity for a power source.

    And I do recall this instance where the Voyager crew (with help of 7 of 9) DID in fact harness the OMEGA molecule to the point where it was completely SAFE to use (sure, the molecule stabilized on its own unexpectedly, but it was evidently stable enough for the crew to run a lengthy procedure on it to neutralize the molecules - in essence, its no longer a dangerous substance).

    So, don't tell me that there aren't any other options, because we literally saw them in use.

    Oh and btw, the fake USS Dauntless (Arturis ship) didn't use Antimatter as a power source - and the VOY crew got familiar with that ship in DETAIL.

    Technically, fire is not a technology... its a chemical reaction. There are different WAYS to achieve such a reaction though.
    Also, Humans (in real life) are not even technically an 'emerging civilization' and use outdated garbage for extended periods of time because of the SYSTEM in which we live and are just at the cusp of seeing the results of exponential advancements and returns.

    In short, aren't the best example for comparison to a far more technologically advanced (and fictional) combination of civilizations such as the UFP which control over 8000 ly's worth of galaxy in the 24th century.

    Again, you mostly see 'stability' of certain technology for extended periods of time in relatively YOUNG civilizations.
    More advanced (and sensible) civilizations would basically reap the benefits of exponential developments and returns and move away from outdated methods which have been used for long periods of time (they would in fact harvest the old, decompose it and use the raw material to make new stuff).

    We are a STUPID example because despite the fact we have the ability to convert trash into base elements and then recombine them into new goods and services (as opposed to continue with idiotic extraction of resources from environment) we don't use it because we have a system based on 'cost efficiency' and profits.

    UFP was envisioned WITHOUT such socio-economic limitations - but the writers apparently don't understand what that means, so they INJECT (repeatedly) ridiculous and outdated trash from real life.

    Again, you are assuming this based on what's presently happening or what happened in the past whilst ignoring the fact that as a civilization, we are ridiculously immature and barely now starting to see ever increasing acceleration of acceleration.
    Writers who ignore this bore me to death... because they end up repeating the same things over and over... which is exactly what live action Trek came down to.

    Only for the purpose of handwawing those options as NOT being viable - despite the fact that VOY crew was able to synthesize their own Benamite crystals to make V2 of Slipstream to work and said it would take years to make more.
    This was in the 24th century.
    To think it was 'impossible' to solve the phase variance issue and make a benamite crystal synthesizer (or something that would prevent their decay) in the next 10 to 50 years since VOY returned from an organization that pools the resources ad knowledge from over 150 alien species (the UFP) is just absurd.

    Its a handwave... pure and simple. The writers wanted 'something' which would create a galaxy wide issue...
    They could have stuck to the Burn as a basic premise but make the cause of it being say a Type IV civilization which was half a universe away and perceived the UFP (a Type III civilization in the 31st century and well on its way to becoming Type IV even faster) as a threat would have worked much better that far into the future.

    Instead... what did we get?
    Not much has changed in 930 years.

    Its utterly stupid and it doesn't make for an interesting viewing.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
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  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Why in the world are you making this personal? Science is not a matter of personal opinion or belief, it's about what actually is. I didn't invent the laws of physics, and I didn't invent mathematics. 100 percent is 100 percent. What's better than that?

    I'm talking about what's credible in terms of real science. You have it backward. What's preposterous is when the writers of fiction misunderstand or ignore science and settle for nonsensical technobabble. Yes, writers can arbitrarily spout whatever fantasy nonsense they feel like, but that doesn't mean they should. Some of us like our fiction to make sense.

    Fire is a chemical reaction. Harnessing and using fire is technology. That's my point -- that technology is the control and application of fundamental physical processes, and physics are universal constants. Therefore, technology is not like a passing fad. Technology is based in universal laws, and thus some aspects of technology will be constant for all time. New technologies usually enhance or coexist with older ones rather than replacing them completely.

    There's a Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode where the 25th-century characters don't understand how to deal with a bad guy's power based in electricity because they don't use electricity anymore and don't know how it works. That's a really stupid episode. Electricity is a fundamental natural process, intimately intertwined with the very structure of matter itself. The idea that it would ever be replaced by some other imaginary power source that somehow works exactly the same way to power lights and TV screens and robots and such is gibberish. The way electricity is generated and harnessed might be improved, but electricity itself will always be there.

    That attitude is rooted in the ethnocentric assumption that our own civilization is automatically smarter and better than everyone else's. Western education conditions us with a lot of beliefs about society and technology that are rooted in such unexamined biases. I had to go back to college and major in world history to unlearn those prejudices.
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  17. Dr. San Guinary

    Dr. San Guinary Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen

    The Federation - like all governments, real or fictional - is not perfect (though some do demand it). It makes mistakes. And, generally, it learns from them. You can't really point to one specific thing and say "this is what damned the Federation" because things are rarely that simple. Hell, even the Burn wasn't the end of it all.

    ...and, SCENE. :guffaw:

    This is all I'm going to say about this little tangent down which we seem to be straying:

    Assuming that a given culture, government, person, etc. is always WRONG is just as damaging as assuming they're always RIGHT.
  18. Agony_Boothb

    Agony_Boothb Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 3, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    The Dominion were around for 2000 - 10,000 years depending on which Weyoun you ask and they still used warp drive. In fact I believe it was stated that Dominion warp drives were slower and less efficient than Federation and Klingon warp drives. Also the Klingons had warp drive for 1500 years before encountering humanity and the Vulcans were around the same. Why would the Federation which is far younger than any of these civilisations be any different?

    Also your confusing technological progression with plot progression. Trek tech exists when it needs to and ceases to exist when it doesn't. Quantum slipstream only exists so Voyager could attempt to get home and fail. We never heard about any attempts to fix it after Timeless. Why couldn't Seven with all her Borg know how build a recrystalisation chamber for benamite? It literally got handwaved by the show that created it.
  19. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    I have not made anything personal.
    Science is a method of investigation, I am well aware of that (belief, faith and truth are concepts that don't exist when it comes to science).

    I merely pointed out that you don't know everything when it comes to what's possible in terms of power generation within Star Trek, nor could you know what we will discover in the future in real life. So to say that there's nothing better than M/AM and say vacuum energy would be presumptuous. We simply don't know (as of yet) if there's anything better.

    Oh, and here I thought we were talking about Trek (in which the writers took it upon themselves to present us with multiple fictional options in the 24th century, and then just conveniently forgetting they exist and not expanding on them 800 odd years later - despite the fact they acknowledge their existence and events that took place).

    Also, since when do you need dilithium to stabilize M/AM reactions in real life?

    As far as I know, the connection between the two doesn't exist in real life... you want things to 'make sense' and yet UFP Trek has a fully functional FTL drive, M/AM power generation (which apparently requires dilithium to regulate the reactions), transporters, replicators... none of the technologies or methodologies that exist yet in real life... although we are getting closer with workable theories on Warp drive and and are conducting experiments on converting pure energy into matter.

    My point is the writers took a few liberties to make certain technologies work for the setting. That's fine.
    There's also nothing wrong EXPANDING on other technologies which were introduced to advance things.

    But hey, I was the one who was also disappointed that UFP had 0 Dyson Swarms since the very beginning or the 24th century, and what's worse, no Dyson Spheres by the 32nd (aka, fully harvested Milky Way and some nearby Dwarf galaxies - possibly even Andromeda).

    You wanted things to make sense and to be based more of what we understand?

    THAT would have made sense and created a more real-life connection when it comes to Trek - and nothing wrong in having different power generation by that time in place.

    Well, I was talking about different methods of power generation (at least within the confines of Trek).
    We know in Trek you don't need dilithium and M/AM to generate more than enough power for FTL or manipulation of subspace (in fact, dilithium and M/AM were presented as the relative 'bottom of the barrel').
    Other methods were demonstrated and SF had sensor data or actual hardware to work with.
    Older technologies don't coexist forever with new ones. They ARE replaced eventually or fade into oblivion... this would only become more accurate the further and faster we advance.

    The problem here might be use of terminology.
    From Arstechnica, someone posted the following:
    Electricity refers to the flow of charge, not to the electromagnetic force. It's just terminology, but we've never heard 'electricity' to mean anything other than current, usually flow of electrons.

    We know there are different ways to produce energy : fusion (which generates plasma), solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, wave and nuclear (to name a few).
    We can of course use these methods to produce electricity... but the thing is, what if we end up moving away from 'electricity' as such and into different kind of technology that doesn't need or use it?

    Trek has different power generation technologies and has the ability to convert energy from one state into another.
    Trek starships are mainly powered by plasma (which runs through the EPS grid).
    I don't think we can classify this under a crude term of 'electricity' though, and to my knowledge no Trek show actually used the term 'electricity' to describe dilithium and M/AM... just 'energy' and different means of generating it.

    Why should/would we assume that 'elictricity' would still be used in Buck Rogers or Trek?

    The baseline technology seems fundamentally different, so why couldn't we think that 'electricity' as such wouldn't be used?

    I made no claims that 'our civilization' is smarter and better than everyone else's.
    In fact, if you go by how western countries behave, the track record is BAD when we examine the ecological catastrophe that was created along with climate change, wars, famine, preventable diseases, homelessness, animal cruelty, etc. (a byproduct of the socio-economic system that's in place).

    Innovation has been happening with dizzying speeds and we had numerous ways to solve our problems on a global scale for DECADES, but we have never really DONE anything substantial to affect those changes... nor have we unleashed methods of science into the social system for example.

    Also, western education is usually industrialized and designed in a manner that it DOESN'T prompt critical thinking, problem solving, nor does it expose people to basic methods of science of how the real world works.
    In short, it creates 'specialists' who are only good in 1 subject, and even then, the so-called 'specialists' of a given subject would be capable of absorbing mere 0.000001% (or less) of all knowledge there is in just that field while requiring millions of years of uninterrupted studying just to catch up with all there is in that field to date, not including any new data (and this doesn't even include information from all other fields in existence).

    How many people in the world have even college education? Or have went to actual uni for that matter? Too few, and it doesn't help that some western countries and/or nations don't allow for 'free higher education' (which makes it that much more of a problem in getting an educated population).

    In fact, if you examine how western countries actions, they have a nasty tendency to repeat same mistakes and using outdated methods for far too long (mainly due to the socio-economic system that's in place).

    Trek however, was envisioned WITHOUT such a crutch... ergo, advancement and change wouldn't be inhibited to the same degree at all, because in the real world, outdated views, traditions, cost efficiency and profits are usually what stand in our way of making meaningful changes.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
  20. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    Lets compare:
    The Dominion is essentially an empire run by scared changelings who FORCE other species into submission and rule through fear. They don't promote equality, freedom (or seemingly creativity), etc.
    The 24th century UFP is an organization comprised of over 150 alien species who freely cooperate with each other, share resources, knowledge, technology (among other things), and are exploring the galaxy.

    The Dominion hasn't changed much in how it worksin 2000 years nor does it encourages innovation, exploration and discovery. In fact the dominion tries to prompt 'innovation' through 'fear'... which is not a good tool for getting the creative juices flowing because fear more frequently ends up paralyzing you rather than being able to make you think clearly.

    In that sense, I can see the Dominion's rate of technological progression to be much slower than the Federation by quite a bit... they merely had a bigger head start, and given how old the Changelings are, its possible the conquered planets weren't very technologically developed to begin with and wouldn't have encouraged said 'minor species' to advance... nor would the Dominion necessarily brought their planets up to par technologically... unless its in their interest, and to be fair, I don't see the Changelings doing that. They rely on the Vorta for the most part... 'minor species' aren't something they would delve too directly into.

    The UFP doesn't work like that.
    You're talking about cooperative alliance of over 150 alien species vs an empire which forces 'minor species' (which are generally not as advanced) into submission.
    The rate of developments between the Dominion and UFP would be different by about 150 to however many species the Dominion 'conquered' in 2000 years of its existence.. and Weyoun described the UFP as 'vast' .... which points to the possibility that the Dominion is not the same size as UFP, but much smaller.

    The UFP allows alien species to retain their independence, but does require they meet certain standards on a planetary scale prior to joining (which would presumably include bringing them up to par with other UFP member species planets after the species joins - bu before then, the species in question is urged to solve any planetary issues they may have to meet UFP criteria for joining).

    And, funny you should mention the Vulcans, because Humans were already established on Enterprise series as being much faster in terms of technological advancement and overall change (Soval himself mentioned this to admiral Forest)... and since UFP was kinda their idea, it stands to reason they would encourage similarly fast advancements throughout all UFP member worlds... I would kinda expect it to be a mandate of sorts (no reason to 'slack off and get complacent' because we don't know what we might encounter next - also, technological and scientific advancement doesn't 'just stop').

    The writers mentioned several methods of FTL in the 24th century faster than Warp (and also 32nd)... not my problem they decided not to use them.
    Point is they exist, and SHOULD have used them (especially in the 32nd century) to create a sense of progression/advancement.
    As is, things have remained mostly how they were and that makes for a rather boring storytelling.

    On VOY, we know the ship had limited resources and decided to bench QS technology until they returned to the AQ so that UFP as a whole could study it and come up with a better solution using vastly more resources because when they did use it in Timeless, it almost destroyed the ship (in fact, in one timeline it DID).
    For a ship lost in the DQ, benching QS v2 tech made sense, and its possible 7 (and the crew) couldn't devise a benamite recrystalization solution with what they had on Voyager.

    A better example of 'handwaving tech' away would have been the Coaxial Warp drive. Tom Paris made it work on a shuttle easily... but the tech was forgotten by the next episode (much like the Isokinetic canon - although there may have been good reasons for that due to what happened in that episode).
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021