Romulan Society - Totalitarianism?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Project Fear, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 26, 2010
    I have noticed that most of the non democratic civilizations in the Star Trek universe are authoritarian oligarchies, rather then a Totalitarian one man dictatorship, the Senate seems to run the Romulan Empire, the High Council runs the Klingon empire, Central Command runs the Cardassian Union, etc. For the most part power is in the hand of a cabal of powerful elite, rather then one man.

    The only exceptions may be the Borg (but they are so alien its hard to apply typical political analysis) and the Dominion (which seems more Totalitarian then most civilizations, but still all the Founders had equal power in that society, so there was a cult of personality around a group, rather then one individual).

    I don't think Star Trek has a society like the Galatic Empire from Star Wars, where all the power is in the hand of Emperor Palpatine.
  2. JRTStarlight

    JRTStarlight Captain Captain

    Jun 2, 2017
    Astral Plane
    What incentive? If Kirk finds out he lied, he's done. He's betraying his friend and comrades. The secret serves no useful purpose. But all that assumes he knows. I still don't know why you think it's a certainty he knows.

    What Vulcans? You mean the Romulans? I think humans are sophisticated enough not to condemn a whole race for the actions of a sub culture or now independent offshoot of that race that split off 2k years ago. Pon Farr is a highly personal matter - not a state secret. T'Pau probably would have had Spock arrested for bringing humans if it was a State secret. What are you thinking? Oh, these are my friends, so I'm entitled to tell them state secrets. It is my right? No way. It's just a personal matter. And yeah, they don't tend to talk about it with off worlders since it doesn't make them look too logical.

    I have described why I think it remains a secret (the Romulan secret) and how or why the Vulcans could remain clueless about Romulan origins. Perhaps if Vulcans (and the high command) had recently had first hand contact with them, they would have discerned this, but all the information they had was rumors and secondhand stuff obtained from other races, and their UT of whatever the Romulans were speaking didn't register as Vulcan, but just translated it for them. These people do seem to ignore the omnipresence of their UTs.

    Like the Botany Bay exodus, it may have been more secret than that (lest they be struck down at the last moment by the enemy), and I have no problem with records being lost in the war, or thinking that's likely. Any knowledge some colonizing faction left 2K years ago is vague, and their failure perhaps assumed. If they captured them or found their bodies in the last war, yeah, but if SOP is nuke yourself after failure (automatically or manually) then this is not surprising. NO QUARTER!

    How large a contingent of proto-Romulans do you imagine was necessary? This may have been a nucleus of just a few people, or a tight group of elites, with thousands of stored fertilized eggs and artificial incubators to kick start a new home, if they could find one.

    I simply disagree on this. UT's in abundance, no visual communications, talking only with people light years away with subspace radio - the façade of just another alien race is easily maintained.

    One might expect an irrational reaction of racism (like from Styles and similar racists), but the majority do not blame the son for the sins of the father, let alone a separation of 2k years with people who don't even use the same racial name for themselves (I assume). And hiding it would only likely suggest greater guilt when discovered, which most secrets almost inevitably are. Far more logical to admit it upfront if you know it, and deal with the facts, and stand up to the racists.

    They may have had Romulan spies on board, and now they might also know any Vulcan could be a Romulan spy passing himself off as a Vulcan, and consider Vulcan sources of knowledge less reliable. Styles was right, but since they only had one Vulcan on board and Kirk trusted him implicitly, it didn't amount to much, but you're saying Kirk was wrong to trust Spock since he was disloyal to him and deceitful? I don't know why you're fighting for this since it's far easier to believe even if Vulcan knew and wanted to keep it a secret, not every Vulcan knew, and Spock in particular may have been clueless without being guilty of being an ignoramus.

    Clamshells? It did not seem that way to me. That could be a new name the Vulcan offshoots adopted 2k years ago, or any time since. And T'Pol only knows that is what that alien race calls themselves (rumors and secondhand info), so Hoshi is pronouncing it badly or something, as proper names often don't translate well.

    Where do you have any evidence this group called themselves Romulans 2k years ago? Did I just miss this? For all you know, the most recent Emperor changed their name to his recently departed and dearly loved cat, Romulan, before declaring war on the newly encounters humans, etc., just 100 years ago (shortly before Archer's time). Maybe also in disgust any remaining similarities they held with Vulcans, he said: "We shall no longer call ourselves Vulcans, but henceforth we shall be known as . . . . Romulans.


    Or more likely, they named the planets when they found them and settled them, and took their name, for nothing about raptors under the wing suggests the name, Romulan. And a painted bird of prey is hardly proof of anything, unless it is easily identifiable as a particular species of bird only found on Vulcan. And I still laugh at Trek for the idea they have that good a look at ships so far away in the black of space, etc.

    As I said, that's the way the Vulcan database (comprised, in this case, for this species, of rumors and secondhand information) says it is to be pronounced, and Hoshi was just mispronouncing it, or saying it differently than what T'Pol had come to know that proper name was pronounced, by them and most other speices who had made contact with them. Lots of people "correct" other people's pronunciations if they feel they are saying something wrong or differently, even if it later turns out they're the ones who are wrong. You seem to be suggesting T'Pol knew this was historical information, knew it was a state secret, but stupidly told them anyway. Then she proceeded to lie her arse off to her captain. I just don't see the support for this less likely string of events.

    Clearly, you analysis proceeds from the belief the name "Romulans" was something that group already had 2K years ago. I see no evidence of this, and many reasons to believe otherwise. If you have it, WHERE did you see they had that name 2k years ago?

    By who they are, you mean that they are Vulcan offshoots, and that seems to follow only from the belief T'Pol and other vulcans knew, and that from the belief the name "Romulan" was used for that group 2k years ago. Show me that.

    Proper names, UT perversion, just a difference from common consensus of how it's pronounced by most who have met them. Maybe Rumalin is the "correct" native way to say it, and we humans and Vulcans and Federation types have just bastardized the hell out of it, as we tend to do. And Rumalin may not be in their native language, but what their UT spit at us since they figured that language might have been the best bet, or any number of other things. Recall, our UT didn't recognize it and couldn't translate it, which is unbelievable if it's just a Vulcan dialect, so this lends weight to the notion the Romulans changed their name, changed their language, and changed many other things to distance themselves from their Vulcan pacifist ancestors, whom they hated so much the world wasn't big enough for the two of them. While it's likely they used their native tongue, things get twisted in 2k years, or just deliberately changed, and T'Pol and the UT didn't recognize it at all, so it's not Vulcan nor likely any direct or similar language, but a new one. And that was the first direct contact of a vulcan with the Romulan Star Empire since their separation (apart from covert ones with certain corrupt high command officials who are thrown down, discredited, and bounced out, likely having taken that secret with them rather than reveal they were traitors to the Vulcan people). I see no reason not to bleive T'Pol came away from that encounter with no clue those "Romulans" were in any way possibly related to Vulcans.

    How does the native just hear their own language just because you have UT implant? Do you mentally decided what you want to say, and the implanted UT mentally tells you, and then you try your best to mimic those sounds without really understanding them, all in next to no time? Sounds wrong to me. I see no realistic way Archer could pretend to be a native and still so easily talk to the natives without showing he was using tech.

    Ah, so you say the warp engines are always running even if you aren't using them. I still wouldn't assume they only had one type since the possibility they have them totally off is there, and they have probably done as much themselves, but I'd worry less since if they are off then they can't be fired up in less than, let's say, oh, completely arbitrarily you understand . . . 30 minutes? It just sounds right.

    Who do you have in mind that did that pre BoT in TOS? Apart from maybe some God-like being, but if we're dealing with Gods, we're screwed anyway or at least at their mercy. Oh, you mean something from ENT, don't you? Like the Suliban. You know, a lot of that may have been wiped out after Archer corrected time. But if ENT did something that made something done in TOS wrong, I'd blame ENT for violating canon before I'd tie myself up in knots to figure out how they could have forgotten that.

    At any rate, Spock was likely talking of Federation knowledge on the matter, which couldn't solve it, and what they knew of the Romulans from before. The best fix I can think of is this: Those early things (from ENT) were stealth tech or far more primitive cloaking tech, and 100 years of advancements in sensor tech so far outstrips those, they are all clear as day now to our instruments. So "invisibility" now means not just the visible, but all other EM, subspace, and dozens of other possible signatures have to be masked to hide from our sensors. Why, the power cost alone to do that would be enormous! We haven't cracked that problem yet. And last we looked, neither did the Romulans (whom we know about, but we still have no reason to believe are Vulcan offshoots).

    Finest and proudest. Possibly luck, but I'd say the commander was 1 in a million.

    You think there is more than one praetor? Why is that assumption required? He can have multiple ships. Flagship, though? Hmmm. Just best scout for that honor. Highest success rate. Reed no more into that.

    Asteroids, natural, outside a stellar system? They were in one or passed through one stellar system (so the comet had a tail), but along the RNZ? They are either far apart and there is more than one star, or I'd think they had to be towed there (possibly from the nearby uninhabited stellar system). And Hanson knew and reported some other outposts were gone.

    HANSEN [OC]: Outposts two, three, and eight are gone. Unknown weapon. Completely destroyed, even though we were alerted. Had our deflector shield on maximum. Hit by enormous power. First attack blew our deflector shield. If they hit us again with our deflector shield gone. Do you read me, Enterprise?

    They didn't think it unusual it took that amount of time to contact Starfleet command. But it seems the speed is affected by how many subspace beacon/boosters we have laid between here and there. I'd think we'd have more up to the neutral zone, but maybe by treaty we don't (no spying, now! O.K? ok. Pinky swear?)

    HA HA HA! That's one I hadn't thought of. The old style impulse engines. But then, why assume he was just using impulse engines if he had warp?

    Yeah, but he wasn't asking are we in or out of the galaxy, but in or out of the barrier they could only see when up close.

    I assume humans built it, but any Federation member may have. And that the "barrier" wasn't seen until the Valiant saw it, and then next the Enterprise.

    The place was a mine and processing station for lithium crystals and other valuable resources. A lithium cracking station. I assume we must go farther out to get to the barrier, and no one has done that until the Valiant (accidentally), and then the Enterprise (purposefully) 200 years later.

    Tide goes out, tide comes in. Spock is mentioning what the tapes say, so if they didn't bother recording it, why would Spock report it?

    Seems sources say the Valiant was on a galactic survey mission (about 780 light years from Earth) and since this is 2 years after Cochrane's warp drive, they probably had warp engines to get that far out. Still, far less than warp 5, so warp 2, maybe even warp 1. I guess a magnetic storm swept them into the barrier – they didn't try to breach it deliberately – and the impulse engines weren't strong enough to overcome the storm (not the barrier). Why they didn't use warp escapes me, but lots of things take warp drive offline, so who knows?

    Timing and no mention of warp. But upon checking, it is two years after Cochrane's first warp flight, and it seems a long way out, so they probably did have some warp capability.

    When they don't make scheduled contact, and a reasonable amount of time passes, and then again when if they survived, they'd be dead of old age anyway.

    Impossible? I think he just meant the highly improbable of finding a ship lost 2 centuries ago in the vastness of space.

    Seems clear space travel without FTL is stupid, unless you expect to use multigenerational colonization, or sleeper ships for colonization. But war? Seems daft. So FTL, and ENT gives it to them, but not necessarily the scout ships. Though yes, it's possible they had FTL, but had to shut it off since a) the cloak wouldn't hide it if it remained on, and b) they didn't have the energy to use it with the cloak, anyway. And the fact they didn't use it might be because they have to shut off the cloak and heat up the warp drive for at least 30 minutes before they can. If they had enough fuel left for warp, or why they didn't mention it, who can say? Or maybe they didn't have it since this tactic only requires STL and the FTL mother ship.

    What obstacles? The odds they'd have to maneuver around a space buoy is too low to expect results. Unless these obstacles are somehow quite wide and have sensor reach, I'm not sure what you mean, and I'm not sure Kirk had this option, anyway.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  3. JRTStarlight

    JRTStarlight Captain Captain

    Jun 2, 2017
    Astral Plane
    Yes, they must be using FTL sensors, like subspace radio or similar, and super computers, and FTL weapons (torpedoes and not phasers), and all the rest of it. Some of that just doesn't make sense though when you see it, and they give actual distances. In Elaan of Troyius, for example, the pre mastered stuff was actually better since you never saw both ships in the same space at the same time (just what sensors could see and put on the screen via magnification of objects light minutes or more away). But in the remastered stuff, they are seen together and close enough to "see" each other not via screens, so they are too close to be together as long as they were at the reported speeds they were going. Besides, pivoting at warp 2 looked real cool compared to the sluggish turns they were doing, but when remastered, they took that shot out in favor of the Klingon ship closing with them and firing again. Bah! One of the few times I prefer the original effects. One of my favorite Trek moments, too.

    So shields work like artificial gravity, and they always work and for free? They buckle, so I assume that's because whatever power supply they have is depleted from staving off and redirecting the energy and stuff that hits them. But they don't mention what it cost just running through empty space. Picard seemed to think tractor beams cost something, so he shut those off. Shields and Grav platting must cost something. It just must be small compared to other systems, like warp or even impulse, or they'd likely mention it more.

    IMO, yeah. You seem convinced they're duplicitous bastards, but I never got that impression.

    Sorry for two in a row, but I actually hit a length limit, proving these are too long, and why I prefer posting more, smaller posts, but multiple posts beyond two in BBS is really frowned upon, too.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  4. thewanderingjack

    thewanderingjack Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 18, 2017
    His... idk commitment/obligation to his race... any oaths he might've made to the Vulcans regarding keeping all their secrets (they are super secretive). He (as all Vulcans) told people (Captain Kirk, other SF personnel) he didn't/can't lie, then lied (as many other Vulcans have been shown to clearly be able and inclined to do).
  5. JRTStarlight

    JRTStarlight Captain Captain

    Jun 2, 2017
    Astral Plane
    So he lies about some stuff. It's not important stuff. I bet they still lie less than most humans. And his oath to Starfleet? Did he lie about that, too? Did he take an oath to Vulcan and do you have some basis for this, or just the ability to make up whatever ad hoc element you need to make whatever strange theory you have possible, however implausible?
  6. thewanderingjack

    thewanderingjack Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 18, 2017
    LOL you seem to be getting sensitive :-D.

    How important the lies are is a matter o opinion. I "don't/can't" lie would be a biggie to me, especially from my 1st officer... I mean, once I find out he does/can... well, then he might've about anything.

    I think the only evidence from TOS regarding his commitment to the Vulcans (in whatever form) is that he seems not reveal anything about Vulcans (that we assume isn't already public record) unless he absolutely has too. Seems a lot of Vulcan life is based on that, esp when it comes to other species. So obviously it's a very strong cultural taboo at least.

    I believe in ENT there's a discussion somewhere when she chooses to resign her Vulcan commission/join SF (or somewhere between) regarding her not discussing certain Vulcan affairs.

    And I do have the ability to in fact make up anything I want, wherever, whenever, about whatever... I call it, imagination.

    Since nothing proves this theory NOT being the case, I find it plausible (maybe not possible or likely), and I can certainly cite general evidence to support it (like whatever's already been mentioned in this discussion (TLDR) regarding how he may be hiding things). Barring "canonical" evidence in stuff like this, I can only rely on general ideas... what IS possible, then what ISlikely, and so on until I find a satisfactory rationalization (which is all these kinds of discussions are).

    I like floating such theories because then, if there is evidence against it (and any related ideas) BAM, case closed, otherwise... it's one more possible (if not likely) explanation for whoever like's it.
  7. JRTStarlight

    JRTStarlight Captain Captain

    Jun 2, 2017
    Astral Plane
    No, I just prefer a basis in fact (something canon) to sheer speculation about possibilities, however improbable.

    Unless Kirk is more discerning than you and already knew Spock could lie, or assumed as much (or it's even in his starfleet record). He just doesn't do it without good reason. And he's more loyal than honest, too, from most assessments. Kirk knew Spock would have to lie his arse off in The Enterprise Incident. Not only didn't that bother him, he relied on it. And if opinion really matters, then one's premises aren't always clearly true or not, and again what may seem illogical to you may be perfectly logical from their POV and beliefs and opinions.

    I don't volunteer a lot of personal information to anybody and everybody either, but that doesn't make it a worldwide secret shared by all humans. But if you want, I'll ask them all at the next meeting.

    Yes, but she was military and police and other things her last 66 years or so, and she actually has secrets and some prior oaths she's required to keep. But many of those are from a culture that is more duplicitous and secretive than after Surak/Archer and the time of Spock, who is in his twenties with Pike and thirties with Kirk and has held no prior commitment with the Vulcan government or other organizations.

    I imagine you win most of your debates that way. Ha ha. But fine, go ahead. It just makes trying to find common consensus about what is likely true based on canon and such harder.

    Sure. At this point I'm not even sure "which" theory you're talking about anymore. That Vulcans lie? That they have emotions? That they don't like talking about their sex life and reproductive urges? Or they take solemn oaths and likely have no integrity, or any real intention keeping them or need to be honest about anything at all, so it's more probable a Vulcan is lying to you when his lips are moving than any other possibility?

    Sure. I like discussing possibilities, too, but a string of improbabilities compounded by more unlikelihoods isn't worth much in my book, however much one must always admit, it's possible. I just prefer probable.
  8. thewanderingjack

    thewanderingjack Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 18, 2017
    HAHA def touchy.

    TOS:TheMenagerie, Pt1 : "MCCOY: Jim, forgetting how well we both know Spock, the simple fact that he's a Vulcan means he's incapable of telling a lie." Sure, Kirk questions that based on Spock's human half... but that means that this is "a fact" known by SF.

    Think about that. [Your] premises aren't always clearly true or not, and again what may seem [logical] to you may be perfectly [illogical] from their POV and beliefs and opinions.

    Probably the one we're talking about right now, in this thread... you think, maybe? ;-).

    TOS:Dagger of the Mind (regarding mind melds): SPOCK: It's a hidden, personal thing to the Vulcan people, part of our private lives. (And obviously unknown to SF, though it is totally acceptable within Vulcan society by then)

    So Vulcans other than Spock have not shown an "aversion" to sharing many cultural "secrets"? I could swear there's specific mention by other Vulcans (even in TOS) about their secrecy regarding certain matters. It seems you're the one ignoring canon ;-).
  9. JRTStarlight

    JRTStarlight Captain Captain

    Jun 2, 2017
    Astral Plane
    Well, maybe that's just your opinion likely based upon improbabilities you'll accept because you feel it's possible, I guess, however unlikely, since that's apparently your standard for acceptance. However, it is true I dislike it when people claim they know what I think or feel better than I know, and tell others as if they know that for a fact that is how I feel or what I actually think. Your theories about Trek haven't bothered me in the least along those lines, or most any other matter. Your suggestion I'm sensitive or some such is annoying, however, but that came only after your conclusion, which I assert it is simply wrong.

    No, it doesn't. Unless you assume everything McCoy (or any character) says or thinks is always 100% right and universal fact on par with other intrinsic properties of that universe. All you know for a fact is McCoy said that. I say he was wrong, mistaken, not completely getting the whole picture, or simply more colloquially suggesting Spock "probably" wasn't lying based on what he knew. But he was wrong, and Spock was lying.

    So? Something can be logically valid without being sound. If it's valid, it is logical. Premises are often debatable. They are not always clearly true or clearly false. If you feel something is A, but they feel it is B, and they arrive logically at an conclusion you don't agree with or that can logically be concluded after assuming the truth of A, it doesn't make it illogical. It just means opinions vary. And A may be wrong - but B could be right.

    So thread drift is an unfamiliar concept to you? Interesting. And you seem intent on discussing their honesty - not their governmental structure or whether they are a Totalitarian state. So I'm not always sure which "theory" you imagine you're working on at the moment, no.

    And much they said there was to show it wasn't hypnotism, so audience members couldn't say they were hypnotized by Spock. But so what if it's deeply personal? VOY suggests it's also normally only done with family or VERY close friends. But I'm not sure Spock doing it there or a few other places means in the last 100 years everybody on Vulcan is over the social stigma of doing it, let alone openly will do it, let alone does it in private, or even can. It's possible only a small % of Vulcans can even perform a mind meld. So we don't know how acceptable what Spock is doing there would be on Vulcan (but notice he's not doing it on Vulcan, or in front of a vulcan, or that it will likely be reported to Vulcan).

    How am I ignoring canon? I agree Vulcans, in general, do not tend to volunteer personal, private matters. I do not think that means this elevates mind melds, Ponn Farr, or some other matters to the level of a State Secret, or feel should they choose to share with some that they are committing treason against the Vulcan race. Nor do I believe there is evidence the Vulcan people, in general, are aware of the Romulan connection before BoT. So how am I ignoring canon?
  10. thewanderingjack

    thewanderingjack Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 18, 2017
    General consensus (I know you like that, I'm happy to be an individual when that's how the chips fall) is that when people get snarky they're being touchy or defensive.

    Was, imo, snarky enough to SEEM like you may be getting emotional.
    And you hadn't stated how you were feeling, so I wasn't knowing better, just guessing at... now the second time I was ;-), more so.

    I feel like you keep assuming the best of Spock (and Vulcans)... meanwhile here you are apparently assuming an incompetent or ignorant McCoy. I assume the writers used that (as they often use dialogue) to inform us of a fact in-universe.

    What suggested to you that I was drifting?

    You seem to be making wild speculations... We know that the Syrrakans were all for mind-melds, wild about them even... we know they took over... you have assumed that this new Vulcan way has been all the rage and Vulcans are very different from the High Council V'Las days (thread drift)... I'll give you the minority thing... but what's the pop of Vulcan? What does a "minority" consist of (ecnically, less than 50%)?

    And personal is a vague term... I mean marriage status, if you have kids etc... is personal, ok. The Pon far, in intself is not personal as a concept, it is cultural. It's details are personal. There is a very high incidence of Vulcans hidding CULTURAL SECRETS (not State, though who knows, maybe it's both... it's be a state secret if it were) about themselves from other races. T'Pol didn't want them at P'Jem even before anything was wrong... Many other examples. I thin you are ignoring canon when you ignore such things. If anything, even in general, I would think it's reasonable to think that a culture which likes to keep personal secret also likes to keep cultural ones (especially when they're the same... the Pon farr and mind-melds for example), enough to make State secret? Prob not... but maybe ;-).

    I think Spock and T'Pol have been the most forthcoming (dominant culture) Vulcans in the series, as to what they share with other species about themselves or their people, and still it's like pulling teeth most times.
  11. thewanderingjack

    thewanderingjack Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 18, 2017
    Not true, IIRC, there were several times when where was some untranslatable alien idiom... most notably perhaps Klingon's Qapla, translated as "Success" but used for success, victory, goodbye, good luck and I think a few other occasions. It was very rare though (I think the "not translating words that should be translatable for no reason except the speaker meant to say it in that language" inconsistency happens way more often than alien idioms for ex.)
  12. thewanderingjack

    thewanderingjack Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 18, 2017
    Totalitarian: relating to a system of government that is centralized and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state. It has nothing to do with how the power is organized (dictator, senate, etc)... I go a step further and say there is cultural totalitarianism, where the dominant culture (which obviously controls the state) seeks to make everyone adhere to their definition of culture. In that sense the Vulcans, Romulans and Klingon are totalitarian. Even as a government The Romulans certainly are, the other two just seem that way to me (it seems like the Vulcan and Klingon govt always have a hand in the doings of their people, whether those people are gov employees or not).
  13. The Old House Mixer

    The Old House Mixer Mortally challenged mod Moderator

    Feb 4, 2002
    Enough. You're new here, but the golden rule in these parts has always been "the post, not the poster". If you want to go on a tangent about your assessment of another poster's character, take it to PM (the Conversations option in the upper right).

    Also, posting more than twice in a row in a thread is frowned upon.

    Recommended reading.
  14. thewanderingjack

    thewanderingjack Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 18, 2017
    I apologize, but as I was not the only guilty party in terms of "post, not poster" I hope that's being addressed as well.

    and I do apologize for posting in succession... I'd love to know when I can start editing my posts, so if I miss something, have to correct something, or (and this was one or two of these) I somehow wind up doing it accidentally (I wasn't aware I was on the same thread, my bad) I can delete it or edit (add it to) my previous post.
  15. The Old House Mixer

    The Old House Mixer Mortally challenged mod Moderator

    Feb 4, 2002
    I think the threshold is 14 days and 14 posts.

    If you think that somebody is violating the rules, please use the Report function.

  16. thewanderingjack

    thewanderingjack Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 18, 2017
    Ok thanks :)... I was afraid of that... Might I suggest that be reviewed? I'm sure there's good reasons for that particular restriction, but in my case (for example) it was part of the problem.

    I am most willing to report when it comes to it. I have a pretty good tolerance for light ribbing and even snark, so it usually takes actual/serious violations. I wouldn't have brought it up now except well, here we are, and nothing I said was worse (imo) than he (which I was fine with). I pretty much don't take things in a forum of this nature personally or seriously. Now that I am aware of the threshold I'll be more aware, both in myself an others.
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    But the risk of that is a flat zero - in the episode, Kirk did find out the thing Spock presumably lied about, and nothing happened.

    So? He did that in "The Menagerie", too. Kirk does it all the time. It's no great sin as long as authorities don't get involved.

    Vulcans must know. For Spock not to know, we'd have to assume Vulcans keep this secret from those citizens of theirs who are expected to join the Vulcan Science Academy. And of course this is a possibility, but the secret to be kept is a whopper. There was a war with Romulans. Vulcan history tells who the Romulans were. Has the government burned all history books?

    I doubt Spock would agree, even in the best of days.

    It is a secret kept by the state. Vulcan officials at all levels must be actively lying in order to hide the biological reality, and UFP officials must be aiding them. A conspiracy that vast is quite comparable to one needed to hide the fact that Romulans were a faction on Vulcan two millennia ago.


    Thankfully, he can just tell the Surgeon General and Commander, Starfleet to censor the logs and swear McCoy and Kirk to silence. After all, that's what she must have been doing until then, too.

    And my angle is that it's not a matter of remaining clueless when Vulcans already know who the Romulans are from Day One (that is, the Exodus Day, the day of "Minefield", the day the Romulan War was launched, the day the peace treaty was signed, no need to take a pick even). It's a matter of keeping a secret, a matter that emerges when it turns out Romulans want to have war and grows all the more severe as the war grinds on.

    And a direct witness statement from T'Pol. Or if she didn't want to give one, then one would have been plied out of her with very big tweezers once the Vulcans read Archer's report on "Minefield".

    A distinct possibility, especially if starflight were routine back then, rather than unthinkable as with Khan. It's just that I can't accept the Romulans were not named Romulans already before their departure, or at least at their departure, as T'Pol got the name from somewhere.

    Q speaks of a Vulcan-Romulan war that may have taken place either before the exodus or soon after it. Both could easily have been forgotten, and subsequent extinction of Romulans assumed. But T'Pol now tells the Romulans are back. The records of this fact are not kept merely by the traitorous Vulcan leadership but by the tattletale humans as well. A multifaceted conspiracy now has to suppress the newly awakened awareness of the lost colony.

    And apparently one does. That is, the utter lack of reaction after "Balance of Terror" can be attributed to any of three factors: censorship of Kirk's logs; human disinterest in the issue; or the fact that the camera never visits the burning embassies on Earth while Kirk moves on to other adventures. But it is around this time that Romulans cease to be "thugs" and become an "empire", as Admiral Dougherty puts it. Is it actually helpful that Starfleet finds out (or is forced to admit) that their old foes are people after all, and people humans "know how to handle" to boot?

    [/quote]If they captured them or found their bodies in the last war, yeah, but if SOP is nuke yourself after failure (automatically or manually) then this is not surprising. NO QUARTER![/quote]

    In the model where the name "Romulan" is well known from history books, it is tempting to think that "No quarter!" was a rule of engagement from high on, issued on UESF forces to ensure the anonymity of the enemy, and camouflaged as techno-doctrinal shortcomings...

    We know colonies of just a few hundred people can be more or less viable, so if the Romulans just wanted to leave and live a counterculture life in tents on some Class M rock, perhaps that was it? But my two preferred models, more likely to result in a Star Empire in two millennia, are a large scale exodus of millions and/or an exodus boosted by the fact that Romulans already were colonists who had major off-Vulcan real estate under their control.

    Then again, Romulans were silent for two millennia. A small colony of fanatics gradually building up to Empire size? Or simply a mirror of what happened on Vulcan, with post-sundering recriminations tearing a society short on technological means and resources?

    But it's not as if the Romulans are even trying. They paint their starbirds just as they used to. No matter what language they use (and it's not simple Vulcan, or Sato would have jumped twenty centimeters from her seat, glanced quickly at T'Pol, then deliberately calmed down, excused herself and fetched a phase pistol from her quarters), they call themselves the Rumalin, a word T'Pol immediately recognizes.

    ...Here we have the Vulcan starship VSS Denial, stardate 42nd century, with the mostly human science officer Tpolonsky in attendance, as a ship painted blue with a yellow round area decorated by a six-armed green swastika appears and announces something in thick almost-Austrian. The Vulcan linguist says they hail from the "Nossy Sternenray". Tpolonsky pales a bit and corrects the linguist: "Nazi. That's pronounced Nazi." The linguist says "No, they said Nossy Sternenray." The issue is dropped?

    Again, I doubt Spock would have much reason to agree, especially when cohabiting the ship with Styles. But there may have been times when the throwing out of Vulcans from the Federation (and Vulcan Ambassadors from the embassy windows) was a more likely prospect (say, at the height of the Klingon crisis, perhaps with other treason already evident - ST:DIS?), and the McCarthyism may have become outdated since. Doesn't mean it would have been abandoned...

    So better hide it well. As with most such secrets.

    Only if you have good prospects of winning.

    Right and wrong - who cares? Spock would have been correct in predicting that the outcome was not affected one iota. I'm not telling Kirk, so he'll never know. (Unless there's exposure later of said greater conspiracy. And if we missed that one, we also could have missed the moment where Kirk expressed his deep disappointment in the green-bloodied traitor of a best friend.)

    Exonerating Spock just moves the battlefront one notch: Starfleet is lying to Kirk, or Vulcan is lying to Starfleet, or Vulcan bigwigs are lying to Vulcan. And every time the victim becomes a sucker of the worst kind, considering how easy it should be to find out. Spock at least could have kept it local, knowing there would be no practical consequences either way (Kirk wouldn't find out even if he did find out).

    T'Pol, when interviewed, says they're "rumored to be aggressive" and "High Command has never made direct contact with them". Typical Vulcan lies again, both claims no doubt being literally true after a fashion.

    Why would Sato pronounce it badly? Her professional pride would be insulted in that case, and she would play the records directly for T'Pol to hear, challenging the issue and making things much worse.

    If Sato mishears, then how come everybody else is hearing Romulan and reporting this to the sources of T'Pol?

    No alternate source is credible, considering T'Pol's unyielding certainty in face of direct facts to the contrary.

    Let's reiterate these so-called alternate sources:

    1) Other Archers out there have heard "Romulan" instead of "Rumalin".

    - Why should T'Pol trust them over Sato? (Not by the force of statistics, as if everybody is mishearing, everybody would mishear differently, and if somebody is going to mishear, Sato is the least likely candidate of the lot, coming from a species that doesn't trust UTs yet and employs top-notch linguists instead.)
    - Why would Sato agree to being insulted about mishearing?
    - And, of course, why does T'Pol turn the name issue into a dramatic moment?

    2) ???

    Nothing about swastikas suggests Nazi, either. (For all we know, Romulan/Rumalin means "Peaceful Masters of Heavenly Calm" in one of 'em early Vulcan languages...)

    That's a bit like saying that all those neo-Nazi red-white-black flags are hardly proof of anything because there's a triangle or an exclamation mark in the middle, rather than a swastika.

    Again, it's not a matter of proof. It's a matter of finding something, anything, to disprove the obvious conclusion that these Rumalin are Romulan.

    "So far"? The Trek custom is to bump the opponent's cowcatcher to attract his attention, and that's when one can appreciate the propagandist pennant art. The rendezvous then generally devolves into the expected fight, which thus understandably doesn't involve immense distances at first, and any attempt at regaining the distance just results in a chase.

    Umm, no. There would be no reason to keep this a secret before the Romulan War.

    The "Minefield" incident is merely the reason why the absence of knowledge after the Romulan War cannot be innocent ignorance and must be secrecy instead.

    This is what Vulcans always do. Again, no downside to telling the Vulcan Lie of outrageous omission.

    ...After having been activated, in Sato's absence, by T'Pol. (Cue ominous music.)

    Why not? That's exactly how speech works. There's an area of brain deciding on a message, another area turning it into words, and then a mechanism of turning the words into sounds. Intervene anywhere and you change the language. And there's no reason why there should be a delay.

    (At most, it might take some getting used to hearing with your ears that your lips speak French when you think in English, but that happens with conventional speaking in foreign languages, too - again without a reason for a delay.)

    He never has much success in that, though. From Kirk on, it should be a breeze, given implanted translators.

    [quiote]Ah, so you say the warp engines are always running even if you aren't using them.[/quote]

    At least the warp core is. We never heard of a shutdown of a core except in "Skin of Evil", and never heard of a shutdown of the comparable component of unknown designation in TOS except in ST2:TWoK.

    The blue glow in nacelles with "windows" also never goes down for impulse, standstill, silent running or the like.

    Let's take a more modern sub analogy. Your sonar gal hears diesels from the enemy sub, and diesels only. Does she assume the sub has a nuclear reactor shut down and waiting to provide the sub with unlimited endurance to outmaneuver you with? No, because she knows nuclear reactors cannot be shut down.

    Considering how much hassle the shutdown was in "Skin of Evil", I'd feel safe extending the analogy. The Romulans just happen to have a warp powerplant that either can be shut down or then doesn't sound like a warp core at all. And the AQS powerplant from TNG era would nicely fit the latter bill (while being explicitly incapable of being shut down).

    That's actually probably right in the "Skin of Evil" ballpark... But first Spock is saying the enemy sleeve of dirty tricks is a power hog, and next Scotty is thinking "Ah, they must be keeping their main power source on back burner when they fire this superweapon and activate their super-duper invisibility shield"?

    What we saw happen to Kirk specifically was the arrival of the Thasians. They may have been powerful, but what they weren't is theoretical.

    It happens to Kirk often enough later on, say, in "Errand of Mercy". Another example of cloaking, perhaps? This time rightly warranting no special mention, and certainly again not theoretical, and not even particularly divine (it's the Klingon ship that pounces Kirk in the teaser, not any Organian stuff).

    Ah, if we take that tack, we don't have to worry about "Minefield", either, and that's that.

    But I wouldn't sweat Archer. I'd wonder why Captains Shumar, Robau and Dunsel never encountered invisibility when it's demonstrably fairly common in the Trek universe, and when "novel" is a dangerous word in a universe where there has been humanoid sapience for four billion years.

    Even then, calling it theoretical is like saying "gravity is a theory" while approaching a cliff...

    Apart from the fact that Kirk should regularly deal with people who have mastered stealth tech when humans were wondering which end of a flintstone made fire, the big problem is that the heroes are surprised by the nonvisibility of Romulans. Completely regardless of the quality of that nonvisibility, it's what they should in fact expect from Romulans, and from Romulans specifically, as they are the ones famed for not being visible when waging war. Why does Styles talk about bird art when he should be reminding Kirk that Romulan ships are invisible?

    It's the other way around. Rome had multiple Praetors. Those waged expeditionary wars for political gain. To hear a Romulan character addressed as Praetor carries the assumption that he's a Praetor, rather than, say, a President or a King using the title Praetor. Why go against the assumption?

    Inside, under the small-scale assumption. That's why the chase involves a comet, and speeds that mean going through the tail takes at least several seconds. All the action takes place inside the single star system that comprises the Romulan Star Empire in its entirety. Just as stated by Spock ("the RNZ separates the planets Romulus and Remus from the rest of the galaxy").

    Outside, under the large-scale assumption, the outposts would be lightyears from each other. This is the strongly preferred interpretation in light of all later Romulan evidence. But in that case, it would be fairly simple to find sufficiently many natural rock formations in "deep space" (that is, if need be, in suitable star systems) and decide that those locations would from now on be Outposts.

    And Kirk didn't know that. Two possibilities: Hanson was privileged to receive directed communications that Kirk had no access to (and those either told of destruction, or failed to arrive at scheduled times for the first time in a hundred years), or Hanson had better sensors better tuned to the destruction and was better positioned.

    On the positioning, we see the relative distances on the map well enough. Quite regardless of the scale of the map, then, Hansen is closer to one of the outposts than Kirk is - Outpost Eight whose loss Kirk had no prior knowledge of. Assuming Eight is beyond Seven, just off the map. And making us wonder why the Romulan Commander skipped 5, 6 and 7.

    Or then relay buoys on both sides "mysteriously" keep disappearing. And neither side bothers to go to war over that, because letting the other side keep his buoys would be no fun.

    Timo Saloniemi
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  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Wow, a first even for me: blocked from replying because message length must not exceed 25000 characters. :eek:

    So here goes...

    Because magnetic storms cannot be escaped at warp, as a thing?

    Ionic storms, OTOH... Kirk deliberately flew into one at warp, and then accelerated, in "Court Martial". But so far, we haven't been told that magnetic storms would be the same thing as ionic ones.

    Exactly. So the edge has basically nothing to do with the galaxy - it's the purple thing and nothing more or less.

    Where it is situated is a separate question. At the diffuse and indistinct rim of the disk is a poor idea in light of "By Any Other Name" where the Kelvans encounter the barrier despite coming from the direction of Andromeda which does not lie beyond the disk rim (hey, we probably wouldn't have seen it for an extra century if it hid behind the Milky Way on the sky, so she'd be named something like Small Weasel or Screwdriver rather than the daughter of Cassiopeia...).

    Or then used lithium crystals for processing something. Ambiguity abounds.

    Since you can't crack lithium but can crack with lithium (in 20th century parlance), perhaps Kirk stole components rather than products?

    But not really far, because Kirk was already inside the Delta Vega system (or "a few light days" from the planet with the station, which is pretty much the same thing) when coming out of the warp run that allowed him to escape the barrier.

    Then again, the barrier apparently cannot be seen until one's ship is almost touching it.

    Kirk believes this much. The circumstances that would lead to this are open to speculation. The "Race to the South Pole" thing is one possibility, the "Surprise Discovery of Purple Thing When Kirk Scouts Out Delta Vega Environs" is another. Since the only "reaction" we get from our heroes at the sight and nature of the barrier is Spock's emotionless litany of sensor readings, we don't know if there's anything novel about this save for the fact that humans for the first (second!) time are involved.

    We know the timetable of the speed records pretty well: warp 2 and then warp 3 only with ENT "First Flight" around 2143, warp 4 with the Franklin between 2143 and 2151, and warp 5 apparently only with NX-01, we don't know exactly when but presumably not before her 2151 launch (but the possibility of a warp 5 testbed preceding the warp 5 starship theoretically exists).

    Whether 780 ly or 7.8 ly out, the "conventional" voyage of the Valiant wouldn't much contribute to her amazing voyage to the barrier if it lies at one of 'em astronomical highlights (even the "upper" or "lower" disk surfaces would be multi-thousand ly away from Earth). But the writers wanted Kirk to disbelieve in the possibility of anybody from Earth having been to the barrier before, so we must insist it would be a challenge even to 2240s ships, too. So we can let the Valiant have modest warp drive in the 1+, 2- range, but we must then insist that this translates to such poor lightyearage that even warp 7 doesn't get ships there.

    The writing makes it sound like the ship was already almost there and then the storm came. But that would defeat the writer intent that it's impossible for anybody to have been there. So the more the storm did, the better.

    Kirk did, or he wouldn't have jumped to the conclusion. Probably magnetic storms always do that, then.

    But if no contact is feasible to begin with, then this sort of definition doesn't work well. Oh, well...

    Which is a question unto itself. Why's the marker exactly where Kirk is? If the place somehow drew in the Valiant, why doesn't Kirk notice it is drawing in the Enterprise? If it's just the local Ross Shelf, a good place to launch the South Pole Run, then should we think the skipper of the Valiant was deliberately attempting the very thing and nobody ever knew?

    The TOS birdie looks pretty much the same size and shape as the ENT one, so leaving warp ashore would be a surprise. But certainly a possibility, if the plasma belcher takes up a lot of room or other resources. Heck, even some scouting vehicles intended to remain out of sight in WWII may have had fake guns fitted so the enemy could not notice that they are of the variant carrying top officers and their radios rather than regular troopers and their weapons.

    But is the TOS ship a "scout"? Knocking down fortresses isn't traditional scout activity...

    Barrage fire from Kirk's ship, supposedly. If it worked in the episode, after Kirk gave the Romulans that much lead, it should have worked otherwise, too. Remember, Kirk wasn't maintaining contact by tailing the ship - he was flying straight and waiting for the Romulans to change course so that their most recent location would be revealed. So why not fly straight past them and force a turn, and then another and another and another, all of which would amount to victory?

    Kirk is taking a suspiciously passive role here, after Spock has insisted that an active one should be taken, and after Kirk has admitted that the Romulans mustn't be allowed to return, destruction or no destruction. But I'm not faulting him much - it's a delicate situation.

    Timo Saloniemi
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  19. JRTStarlight

    JRTStarlight Captain Captain

    Jun 2, 2017
    Astral Plane
    General consensus, when people assume they "KNOW" how another feels, they are often projecting their own feelings onto another and find it difficult to believe anyone else could feel differently than they would.

    Of course I didn't say I wasn't being snarky, but I was ridiculing your repeated assertions and tendency to accept possibilities as a standard over probabilities, and not you personally.

    I would not make such an assumption. I think we can see fairly early the "myth" that Vulcans have no feelings for us to know it is not a fact. They have McCoy suggesting that, but it his impression, and if anything, it's the writers reminding us of the myth (its existence, not its truth). So what is canon is this: it is often believed Vulcans never lie or never bluff. But WE know better. The fact they have Spock lying his arse off in that episode further demonstrates McCoy is wrong.

    Yeah. I get a post directed at me, I make a reply, and then I look at the title of the thread and often think, "Hmm, this is pretty far off topic. I wonder if we two are annoying the crap out of other people in this thread who came mostly for the stated topic." I mean, are we really discussing Romulan society here?

    The population was 6 billion (and Nero killed them). I don't think I'm making wild assumptions, but some assumptions, sure. Yes, Syrrannites were all for the mind-meld process, but they were a minority. They were the new head of government, but that doesn't make them in the majority, and the customs on Vulcan (the stigma against mind melds) has been long held, possibly for centuries or more. One does not change that overnight, or possibly even in a single century (like it's been over 100 years since our civil war, so racism is over now?) T'Pol became a Syrrannite, and I believe Spock did, too, and Sarek. But we don't know they are in the majority. Mind melding was rare, but now it is described as "more commonplace" which means more than before, but far from common, which leads me to believe many, maybe even most Vulcans still can't do it, won't do it, or shouldn't do it since their skill is so low they would likely cause harm to themselves or others.

    Well, yeah, technically less than 50% could be the minority. Depends on how many subdivisions. With just two, that is the cut off point, sure. With more, whoever has the highest % is in the majority, and every other group is a minority group member.

    Pon Farr isn't so much cultural as biological, without which it would likely no longer be practiced (not combat to the death, anyway). Cultural secrets? Well, that's personal inasmuch as you can pick your culture by leaving one and adopting another, but you can't pick your biology.

    T'Pol didn't want to go to P'Jem because she would be seen with humans by other Vulcans, and she felt it would reflect poorly on her. She was still getting used to the idea being with them herself, and had a talk with Dr. Phlox about it. It was not because she knew there was a spy post hidden there. So I'm not ignoring canon by ignoring your erroneous conclusion she didn't want to go because she was protecting a state secret. The spy listening post was a surprise to her as much as it was for Archer.

    The Syrrannites disliked the high command, the way most other Vulcans acted, for their corruption of Surak's ideas. Among the things they didn't like - dishonesty, martial philosophy, anger, spying, distrust. It is reasonable to assume once they took over, those things would tend to fade. It is further reasonable to assume T'Pol felt that way since she embraced the philosophy, and Sarek and Spock did, too, despite the fact, like so many others, they are not perfect in its practice. Most of the stuff I'm hearing here or in other posts are claims for Strong evidence Spock would still be following the corrupt teachings and practices that the high command was following 100 years before. I don't see it.

    I concur I think they are Syrrannites, followers of Surak, and probably more progressive than many other Vulcans. This is why I tend to favor the belief Spock wouldn't be hiding stupid useless secrets from captain Kirk about knowing the Romulans were Vulcan offshoots long before he saw his father (I mean, the commander) on the screen.

    I would think one would not be free to leave if they wished then, and I think one can leave Vulcan if they want to.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  20. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 26, 2010
    Except the OP had his own defintion of totalranism:

    "The leader cult, the redundancy in government departments with the same agendas competing with each other, the placing of an ideal above the state. Perhaps what we are seeing is a corrupt constitutional state instead?"

    I would argue only some of these aspects exist in Romulan society, we not see a cult of personality centered around a single leader, we don't know enough about Romulan society to know if the military and Tal Shiar have overlapping responsibilities, so according the OP premise, the Romulan Empire would not be a totalitarian society, so really at this point you would have to argue with the premise of the thread.