On the dotted line

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by mike hill, May 20, 2021.

  1. mike hill

    mike hill Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Assuming that TOS Starfleet is at least somewhat modeled on the USN, then I am asking for insight from any Navy (ex or current) out there, please.
    When a Yeoman (I assume senior officer's administrators) brings a checkboard/laptop to Kirk on the Bridge, and he glances at it and signs it - what is he signing and why?
    I presume that for Kirk to sign it off, it must be pretty important, but his brief glance says to me that it is some sort of summary and not any fine detail?
    All relevant advice welcome.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, in-universe it's pretty clear: in "Deadly Years", Kirk signs a fuel consumption report. In light of "Doomsday Machine" where impulse combat is burning fuel at an alarming rate, it's understandable why the CO would need to be aware of the rate of consumption, and verify this for the record.

    All the PADDs Kirk signs could be about similar things: the current state of resources and their rate of consumption. It's Kirk's call whether to cruise around at economy speed or engage in dashes and adventures. He needs to know whether he can afford the latter, and if he ends up stranding the ship in the northwest corner of nowhere, the signatures tell Starfleet it was his own damn fault.

    Generally, such things would boil down to a single figure, perhaps a percentage, or a "hours remaining at current rate". Easily checked at a glance.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  3. mike hill

    mike hill Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Timo I like your in-universe explanation, but I would expect Scotty to be verbally providing Kirk with such information as a matter of course.
    And I do not see why Kirk would need to sign it in order to show his responsibility when the buck always stops with him, anyway.
     
  4. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What I don’t understand is, why does the report look like messy scribbles as far as I can tell? Kirk is particularly old-school and likes the engineer in charge to show their work in handwriting? He can’t even query the chatterhumming computer? “Given the current rate of fuel consumption…”
     
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  5. Scott Kellogg

    Scott Kellogg Commander Red Shirt

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    What sort of things would you expect a commanding officer is expected to sign off on during long duration missions?
    Stores and repair parts consumption
    Food consumption
    Medical supplies
    Urgent requests for (fill in the blank)
    Intelligence reports
    Space 'Weather' reports
    Manpower reports
    Complaints
    Disciplinary problems
    Galley Menu of the day
    Ship's morale report
    Morale boosting events
    Scuttlebutt

    In short, everything that a commanding officer needs to be apprised of that his subordinates think he should know about.
     
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  6. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But what happened to facial recognition? Fingerprint sensors? Voice analysis? Handwriting interpretation if an engineer had to write the report?
     
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  7. PCz911

    PCz911 Captain Captain

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    I just sold my house, and a notary had to come with stacks of paper to review and sign. Stacks and stacks of paper. In this current world with electronic signing capabilities we still use paper. And blue ink. Perhaps star fleet is the same way
     
  8. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

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    He was signing for the chicken sandwich he ordered but never got.
     
  9. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    From a show business standpoint, it was cool to create an atmosphere in which realistic-looking activities (bits of "business") are going on. It was a touch of naturalism in a show that was built mostly as Romantic art.
     
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  10. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Every supply report will have three main components to it: how much they started with, how much they've used, how much is left (allowing for spoilage). This goes for fuel, food, medical supplies, entertainment, what have you. Somewhere in the report, probably at the end, is a request to order more. Each time Kirk signs off, he's authorizing the requisition.
     
  11. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Cartoon Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  12. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It was 1966, those things had barely been thought of, let alone intergrated into a TV series.

    We didn't get retinal scans in Trek until Wrath of Khan and facial recognition.... TNG, I'd guess?
     
  13. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Or more importantly, what his superiors think he should know about.
     
  14. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    You forgot the coffee he didn't get either.:nyah:
     
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  15. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    The Cage (paper print outs) must be very close to the Great Computer Virus Crash, and TOS just starting to move to less paper systems, again. Shame that the M5 failure re-confirmed the status quo that you still can't trust computers without the human in the loop...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  16. BK613

    BK613 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We refinanced our house in April and it was the same thing. Mobile notary, stacks of paper and blue ink.

    As for Kirk's signing, it is a paper trail of accountability.
     
  17. Scott Kellogg

    Scott Kellogg Commander Red Shirt

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    From a directing/filming point of view, it's not good to have a bunch of people
    just sitting at their desks. Dramatically, the bridge of a starship would look
    like a cubical farm.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I realize it's probably just a trick of the light, but is the backrest of Pike's chair...Brown?