The Cloud Minders & The Federation

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Methuselah Flint, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    ...and if she's heard this all of her life, considering her estimated age, the Troglyte problem was long-lived--already in existence when the Federation entered into a partnership with Ardana, hence they knew what was going on, but looked at the pretty flowers while shaking hands.
     
  2. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    Location:
    Back on the Shelf
    "Cracking" is a chemical process to extract key chemicals out of ore. It is not making little rocks out of big rocks. In the Lithium Cracking Station, since it is automated with visits once every twenty years, I propose this is a LOW grade dilithium source. Automated mining equipment collects and deposits large quantities of mixed ores into its automated ore cracking processors. The lithium ore has a very small percentage of dilithium in it. The cracking process extracts the lithium (with its small percentage of dilithium in it) out of the mixed ores and stores it in large silos/tanks. The ore transports pick up the lithium ore to be used in dilithium enrichment factories and latter in crystal sintering processes to make the paddle-type dilithium crystals we see later in Season One.
     
    ZapBrannigan likes this.
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Fascinating. I was wondering what "cracking" meant.
     
  4. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2017
    Location:
    Prax
    Or it suggests that the surface still has violence and crime, unlike the cloud city. It doesn't mean this revolt has been going on all her life.

    Here's the real question. Vanna and the Troglodytes were exposed to the zenite gas. What was Droxine's excuse?
     
  5. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Location:
    Marsden is very sad.
    Again, you are being judgmental and dismissive. By what standards is this society unjust, yours? Who are you to speak for the Federation council? Plasis can order an execution because he has every right under Ardana Law.
    The Federation's laws apply to how members interact with each other, it's not a tyranny that dictates how those members take care of their own business on their own world. The system your describing is the Klingons, they are a dictatorship, when they take over a world, that world's way of life is the first thing to go.

    So, having said that, let's be practical. I'm not saying The Federation likes or even condones Ardana's caste system, but they are very obviously scientifically advanced, although there's absolutely no indication of warp technology so stow the PD BS right off, and they most likely wanted to join The Federation, as in The Federation didn't conquer them and force them to join. What could Federation officials do? Admit them for the greater enrichment of the Federation as a whole while gently exerting it's influence on a new member to guide them away from the caste system, or just say, no can't join us because you aren't good enough and then they seek to join another empire and share their technology with them, or even found a competing alliance that may be a desirable alternative to an overbearing Federation dictating terms.

    KIRK: Gentlemen, my government has informed me that the Klingons are expected to move against your planet with the objective of making it a base of operation against the Federation. My mission, frankly, is to keep them from doing it.
    AYELBORNE: What you're saying, Captain, is that we seem to have a choice between dealing with you or your enemies.
    KIRK: No, sir. With the Federation, you have a choice. You have none with the Klingons. The Klingons are a military dictatorship. War is their way of life. Life under the Klingon rule would be very unpleasant. We offer you protection.
    CLAYMARE: We thank you for your altruistic offer, Captain, but we really do not need your protection.
    AYELBORNE: We are a simple people, Captain. We have nothing that anybody could want.
    KIRK: You have this planet and its strategic location. I assure you that if you don't take action to prevent it, the Klingons will move against you as surely as your sun rises. We will help you build defences, build facilities.
    AYELBORNE: We have no defences, Captain, nor are any needed.
    KIRK: Gentlemen, I have seen what the Klingons do to planets like yours. They are organised into vast slave labour camps. No freedoms whatsoever. Your goods will be confiscated. Hostages taken and killed, your leaders confined. You'd be far better off on a penal planet. Infinitely better off.
    AYELBORNE: Captain, we see that your concern is genuine. We are moved. But again we assure you we are in absolutely no danger. If anybody is in danger, you are, and that concerns us greatly. It would be better if you returned to your ship as soon as possible.
    KIRK: You keep insisting there's no danger. I keep assuring you there is. Would you mind telling me
    AYELBORNE: It is our way of life, Captain.
    KIRK: That's the first thing that would be lost! Excuse me, gentlemen. I'm a soldier, not a diplomat. I can only tell you the truth.
    AYELBORNE: If you will excuse us, Captain, we will discuss your kind offer.

    AYELBORNE: We have discussed your offer, Captain. Our opinion is unchanged. We are in no danger. We thank you for your kind offer of assistance, although we must decline it, and we strongly recommend that you leave Organia before you yourselves are endangered.
    KIRK: Gentlemen, I must get you to reconsider. We can be of immense help to you. In addition to military aid, we can send you specialists, technicians. We can show you how to feed a thousand people where one was fed before. We can help you build schools, educate the young in the latest technological and scientific skills. Your public facilities are almost non-existent. We can help you remake your world, end disease, hunger, hardship. All we ask in return is that you let us help you. Now.
     
    TREK_GOD_1 likes this.
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Whaaaaaa??? "The Cloud Minders" is such a blatant, unsubtle metaphor for classism that I'm astonished I need to point it out. But here's David Gerrold from The World of Star Trek coming right out and saying what he intended:

    https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/The_Cloud_Minders_(episode)#Story_and_production


    The Federation doesn't exist. This is a story told by writers as an allegory, and we know for a fact what it was meant as an allegory for, both because the writer explicitly told us and because it's bloody obvious.

    Seriously, this is the weirdest argument I've ever had about a Trek episode. It's like someone saying that "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" isn't about racism.
     
    cgervasi likes this.
  7. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Location:
    Marsden is very sad.
    You're always astonished when someone doesn't agree with you, and when someone posits a different opinion you retreat to "it's just a show"
     
    TREK_GOD_1 likes this.
  8. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Ardana is a Federation world.

    One subspace phone call and Kirk is demoted to janitor.

    As a Federation World, they have the Enterprise's command codes. They can turn the ship off, then wait an hour for the crew to choke and starve.

    Memory alpha says the trogs are a different social strata of Ardanans, but would it have been more permissible if they were a completely different species?
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I don't "retreat" to that; it's always my position. I'm a writer, accustomed to thinking about the process of creating fiction, so it's second nature to me to talk about a story in terms of the ideas and themes the storytellers intended to convey, the thinking behind their story choices, etc. I can't help it if some people misconstrue that as talking about the fictional universe as if it were objectively real. Understanding the in-story "reality" must be done within the context of understanding the real-world conceptual process and the themes and ideas behind the story.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Random hipshots, part 8472:

    - Polishing the floors of Starfleet Academy is likely to be punitive, that is, educational. Forcing people to do stuff for their own future good is how education still works in the 24th century, both in military and civilian schools. This is not closely related to the issue of employment.
    - A dilithium cracking plant need not crack dilithium. An equally likely purpose is cracking with dilithium, a powerful enabler, so that the ore coming in or the refined product going out contains none of the stuff; only the plant itself does. ITRW, cracking only applies to the processing of chainlike molecules, in practice petrochemicals which appear as long chains in nature but are more useful as short chains. Dilithium is never suggested to be chainlike or in need of chopping up: the bigger the crystal, apparently the better.
    - Minimizing the amount of dilithium on Delta Vega makes it less attractive to the surprisingly absent piracy, automation or not, and perhaps better jibes with Kirk's recurring shortages, too.
    - Mining colonies in general appear surprisingly self-sustaining in Trek, even if on utterly hostile planets: all you have to import is wives. Is Ardana like that, too, despite appearing just as "petty" as the other mines witnessed, with a single city of interest rather than a global dimension to it? Art and zenite are exports, but perhaps the place shuns imports, helping it keep its secrets both societal and industrial.
    - Guy again raises good points. Can the government or the Admiralty really control its Kirks on remote? We never see much control, but we do see the need for it. Is the inevitable result a culture of lying, a "what happens in the frontier stays in the frontier" mentality? Many episodes would suggest this, with the heroes bringing up a regulation or restriction and then immediately doubletalking themselves out of it, and with Kirk dictating deliberately misleading logs. The flip side would be convenient interstellar deals that poorly reflect UFP policy - but with a mechanism that stops the Kirks from blowing the whistle, because they will be caught for their lies, then.
    - Are the troglytes a different species? The episode says yes and no: Plasus refers to them as "a conglomerate of inferior species" and is not contested, but Spock later insists that they "all" are the same species, those below and those above. How to endorse both views? Quite possibly this is an interstellar colony world, the colonists being an assortment of mostly humanlike humanoids, but they have mingled to a degree resulting in a de facto "Ardanan species" whose similarities outweigh the differences on the issues Spock considers, such as intellectual capacity or resistance to local environmental challenges. Pretty much the same as with the distinct races of Earth, only without a preceding common history of biological origin.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  11. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    One cloud city.

    The planetary population might only be in the thousands.

    If the species is dying out...

    The Federation was only waiting to collect the planet as salvage.
     
    ZapBrannigan likes this.
  12. BK613

    BK613 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    West of the Moon, East of the Sun
    Spock also stated that they originated on the planet. Could be that that before the Federation showed up the need to actually mine Zenite was minimal or non-existent, and so the effects were exacerbated when they started disturbing the stuff.
     
    Prax likes this.
  13. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Clinton, OH
    Bzzzz! Normally I enjoy your comments, Guy. This one is totally nonsense. This is like saying each state in the United States has access codes for the US Navy ships. No state government can suddenly and legally hack a nuclear submarine and launch the missiles or anything else.

    Plasus was racist. The trglytes were no more a separate distinct species than are the so-called races of humanity. One species. One race.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  14. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    The episode does not say the revolt was recent, either. We should assume Zenite production--and its psychologically negative effects--have been going on for some time, as it is Ardana's big export. It would be rather unrealistic to think the Troglytes only recently began to resent their position at the bottom of society and staged revolts/terrorism, etc., when they speak as if they've dealt with a sense of anger and hopelessness for a long time.

    She has no excuse, other that parroting what she's known her entire life (passed down from her father and his generation): that the Troglytes are "born" as a "lower" race:

    I will note they never had cause to change it, as it was a system that's always worked for them, and again, the Federation could not have been ignorant of this when they first sent representatives to Ardana.

    ..and "Toil" as in "that's for the inferior group" and "leisure" as in the "superior" race/class. That's Droxine's conditioned excuse.

    Finally--

    She is a perfect representative of generational social and economic conditioning; she has ready answers for the 1701 duo because its all she's ever known to be "true" in her society. That's a long term process of thought about all things Troglyte.


    ...and up to the time of this episode, that also meant they were free to carry out their laws (like those on Capella IV) sans any interference from an opportunistic Federation. Just "sign the contract" and its mutual benefit time.


    Interesting comparison.
     
  15. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    What hacking?

    You ask for it.

    Some one on earth says "Well that Jim Kirk is a bit of a cowboy, this is perfectly understandable."

    Or you go to the Local Starfleet branch office, and yell at the menials until they hand over the codes.

    Why would Enterprise, a training ship, have Reliants codes, unless they all had each others codes. Especially if there was another Space Seed or Ultimate Computer situation. You need to be able to shut down pirates and rouge AI, as quickly and easily as Star Fleet Captains with God complexes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Agreed that the codes are accessible to Starfleet. That the local governments would have even indirect access to those is less likely, though: they may file their complaints, but Starfleet is likely to ask for a hearing after the five-year mission is out of the way, and even then it is unlikely to be a particularly unbiased one.

    An no doubt one gender as well?

    It's braindead nonsense like this that makes folks reach for their KKK hoods. Of course mankind is (more or less) sharply divided into dozens upon dozens of these things traditionally called races. All it takes to realize this is not to squeeze one's eyes shut.

    "Racism" comes in if one counterfactually insists on qualitative differences beyond that which is easily seen, and then creates an ordering system of some sort out of that. Thankfully enough, so far all such systems are indeed counterfactual, as no significant differences between races have been spotted in important things such as intelligence or penis length...

    Were such differences to be spotted in the future, things would become more complex, as this putative ordering system might then gain credibility as well, through a perverse negation of the above definition of racism. But again fortunately enough, mankind already has had to create mechanisms to deal with differences between folks unrelated to race (such as age, strength, smarts, assorted ailments and funny personal or collective ideas), and it's more or less impossible that a difference greater in magnitude than those could ever be found between the races - it's not for the lack of rather desperate trying that no such findings have been made!

    Plasus being racist is a no-brainer. But is his statement counterfactual? "Inferior" is a judgement call best left to those willing to generate the required hot air; in contrast, "conglomerate of species" is something that would be of utmost significance to the supposedly neutral McCoy's efforts to discover what's going on with the troglytes. And since he finds out the problem is unrelated to species, we fail to get evidence for lack of the diversity Plasus referred to...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    You made that up.
     
    Prax likes this.
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    I thought everybody knew that evil AI interfaces are always rouge?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Prax likes this.
  19. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    Location:
    Back on the Shelf
    I made a poor attempt to apply the concept from the oil industry to the technobabble of lithium cracking.

    This is Work in Progress: Perhaps the Lithium Cracking Station (LCS) RECIEVES lithium ore (that contains trace amounts of dilithium) from those ore freighters, and the freighters return with a refined product, namely some sort of fuel that is stored in the fuel bins. (Or the fuel bins are only stored fuel for use in the cracking process, and station's product is something else, but I'm not supporting this option at this time.) It could be like an oil refinery in Texas where it is close to large oil fields and oil is transported via pipelines to the plant, plus it receives more oil from tankers from other oil supplies from other countries. Delta Vega is "rich in crystal and minerals". Automated mining, harvest and extraction equipment transport the raw ore to the LCS, where it is either chemically, atomically or maybe subatomically "cracked" into its smaller constituents which would be their "product". The product could be the crystals and minerals, and maybe this "fuel" that is repetitively brought up in the episode.

    The automated Lithium Cracking Station is located on a distance and uninhabitable world probably due to the environment insult and pollution that the station generates. Apparently, the "fuel bins" associated with process/product are also very explosive. Press a button and the whole valley goes up!
    I'm thinking the fuel is antimatter. The Lithium Cracking Station uses lithium crystals in a M/AM reactor to power the plant and produce antimatter fuel (just like the power system of a Starship, hence the concept to rob the plant of its "power packs" (are these lithium crystal assemblies?) to "regenerate the main engines, save the ship".) Kelso mentions "fission chamber" which could mean, with the M/AM heart of the plant removed, the plant was put on its back-up power system, namely its fission reactor to provide power until a repair team can return to bring its M/AM reactor back on-line. YMMV. :)
     
    Timo likes this.
  20. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2016
    This would imply that the original mannies were not indigenous to the world, if they evolved there then the air pressure (whatever it was) would be normal for them.
    From his position as leader of Downton Abbey in the sky, everyone outside of his economic-social group (including Kirk and Spock) were inferior.

    The Trogs were the Irish and the Welsh.
    Or the Ardanans were shipping zenite to thousands of star systems for multiple centuries before the Federation was even a gleam in Jonathon Archer's eye.
    The lithium cracking stations are where the Federation manufactures the vast amounts of lithium antidepressants which are secretly mixed into the drinking water of the Federation populace.
     
    Timo and Henoch like this.