Otherwise benign technology

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Laura Cynthia Chambers, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Suppose a Starfleet ship did a routine (supposedly undetectable by residents, and likely long-range) scan of a planet, and the waves from that scan, normally harmless, killed or injured people/animals, or destroyed natural features/infrastructure on a planet?

    How can Starfleet be sure that even the most benign, passive actions won't destroy beings with weird biology/different physical makeup?
     
  2. ALF

    ALF Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes. Not bad. That should have been an episode.

    It reminds me a *bit* of how Enterprise's Shockwave started - albeit it's not a scan but an accident with the engine plasma igniting and killing 3,600 colonists. But the vibe of the first couple of acts plays out in a way that makes me think it could be that - benign tech causes unexpected and deadly results for some unlucky and unusual planet.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They can't, but why should they? Somebody is likely to scan the place anyway, and exterminate those too weak to live.

    The galaxy is billions of years old. Most of it is compatible with humans or humanlike humanoids, those having ruled the place for most of that time. Surprises like that are likely to be few and far between.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's like that whole "fast warp rips space" thing. Something they take for granted as necessary, routine, and harmless totally messes up everything. (at least as long as the plot requires.)

    Frankly, they should have just said that the unique nature of that area of space, or its frequent use as a travel corridor, caused the issue. Let that route lay fallow and recover for a while and chart others that can be used in the interim.

    What if their subspace communicator frequencies messed with a species' brainwaves or something? Like how some people are sensitive to wifi.
     
  5. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Technically if there are waves FROM the scan, then it's not a passive scan. Passive involves only listening, not emitting anything. But I see your point and that would be interesting. If we humans could see in the infrared spectrum the world would be very disturbing.

    We have had warp drive being damaging to subspace in TNG.
     
  6. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, I mentioned that in my previous post.
     
  7. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

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    Warp drive doesn't normally damage subspace, only in that particular space corridor where there is high space traffic at high warp speeds. It was repetitive damage over a hundred or more years. This bring up the theory by several BBS posters that there are corridors or super highways where warp speed is much faster or multiplied. Over use of these corridors may damage those areas too given enough traffic volume and high speeds. Like pot holes forming on highway surfaces due to age, weather and high use. If so, then the closest highway/corridor nearest Earth may also be seeing the subspace stress and strain.
     
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  8. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually the end of the episode, and a couple of times in other episodes, it's made clear that high warp is damaging to subspace regardless of location, as Picard has to get authorization to use high warp after "Force of Nature".
     
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  9. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Though, apparently, it only takes a couple years for Starfleet to switch all the ships to unleaded antimatter so it's not an issue anymore.
     
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  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or then to decide that since unlimited warping for four billion years hasn't hurt the galaxy yet, a thousand years more won't, either - so a remedy will be sought by the 29th century at the latest. Or the 33rd, if there are more pressing issues first.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  11. Delta Geminorum

    Delta Geminorum Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    How would you repair the pot holes?
     
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  12. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

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    The TNG method is to just drive slower over them. ;)
     
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  13. MetroKid

    MetroKid Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    This is also the method we use in Michigan.
     
  14. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe we should apply that attitude to climate change?
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...Which currently happens on a timescale of mere decades?

    I'd be all for it if the average human lifespan were 0.00000047 seconds.

    (It's not an "attitude" - the episode itself stands proof that there is no issue. If there were, there would be consequences, but there demonstrably are none. The galaxy is intact despite all the hundreds of thousands of Federations that have been wiping their warp engines on its underlying carpet. And the UFP we follow is mere centuries old, while most of the predecessors or competitors claim far longer histories, so there's no need to even start planning on inviting a committee to consider arranging a preliminary meeting sometime in the next few thousand years.

    Would hurrying provide benefits? Perhaps a bit less wear and tear on the galaxy overall. But the timescales established mean the Milky Way will cease to exist for assorted natural reasons long before the first pothole appears. On the other hand, those who worry will have Q powers long before. Which may be the reason there are no potholes, come to think of it. So should we start worrying about Q disappearing? I rather think not.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Or Our Heroes could end up in a situation where their own measurements don't fully capture the extent of the damage they're causing (like how they didn't even realize they were causing damage to begin with), or more ironically, where if they'd taken deterrents earlier it would be (more/more easily) fixable than it is at whatever point they decide to address it.

    Problems deferred tend to grow worse, not better.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Generally not, though: ignorant humans messing with things they have less understanding of than they think they do tend to make problems worse instead. Such as pretty much anything and everything having to do with medicine.

    That our heroes would even be factors in this subspace scratching issue may well be the height of hubris. Humans on Earth are gods, presiding over a small rock with overwhelming might and numbers, and with all the wisdom, kindness and consideration typically assigned an inhabitant of Olympos. Humans in the Milky Way aren't worthy of being considered mites. Whatever we do, we do four billion years late - somebody has already tested this for us. And the Q issue still stands: it's just not plausible for us to do any such harm that those infinitely more powerful than us couldn't and wouldn't undo.

    Sure, let the heroes play these safe and endearing games where they think it is their task to tackle the Space Amoebae or worry about the fabric of the universe. It's no doubt educational, too. But let's not make too much of it. If the universe were a fragile place, it would be long gone - and in the Trek setup of an easily accessed multitude of multiverses, we (and the heroes) can get actual statistics on that.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. darrenjl

    darrenjl Ensign Red Shirt

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    This could be an interesting plot moment in the third season of Discovery, a standard scan from a ship in the future overloads their primitive systems causing all manner of communication problems.
     
  19. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Didn't they kind of already do that in "The Big Goodbye" when the scan from the aliens disrupts the Holodeck?
     
  20. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The corridor was used so heavily because there were two patches of radiation/debris/whatever to either side.

    Now one could make the argument that the zone was clear of said obstacles because the area of space was somehow disturbed to start with. But folks who might make such a suggestion could be called denialists, etc.

    Now, If I recall correctly, an alternate route was suggested that the Romulans did not respect. A good long term gain would be for increase Romulan traffic through the short-cut allowed a logistical advantage over the Feds, and that they were somehow behind all this as a hoax.

    Or there is something else that can be looked at. The old SPACEFLIGHT CHRONOLOGY suggested "fault lines" of some type in the galaxy. This makes some sense--there was a NOVA episode about origami type patterns in the universe:

    Pleats in the sheet, called filaments, poke out from each galaxy, aligning its rotation with neighboring galaxies in a pattern similar to an origami twist fold.

    https://aptv.pbslearningmedia.org/r...igami-revolution-cosmic-folding/#.XVKtc3IdyUk

    This might link the corridor with both the Phi Puma and the Hobus supernovae...