Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Unimatrix Q, Jul 22, 2021.
Then it's purely Psychological.
Besides veggie burgers, another data point for real vs artificial flavors in the real world is sugar vs artificial sweeteners. In both cases, people can taste the difference.
Again, if the Federation would indeed opt for healthy substitutes as per what @UssGlenn posited, and I agree that based on the attitudes displayed, especially in TNG, they would, then the idea that replicated food would taste the same is pure fantasy.
What it boils down to is, the show is more interesting if replicated food isn't quite the same as the real deal. And a lot of the writers agree with that. So really it's just rule of drama.
No, because if that were the case, someone would write a line of dialogue mentioning one of those substitutes, like we do in real life and like they do with synthehol, but instead the writers like to keep the debate going, so viewers are left believing they probably couldn’t taste a difference if they lived in that world, and even if they tried to ascribe one to a replicator, it would not be something that could be confirmed in two minutes by asking the computer, “Please explain the substantial difference between all those Sisko’s oysters I asked to be scanned in over a period of two weeks in order to ensure the right amount of variation… and these that were just replicated.” The expected result would be the computer saying, “No substantial difference detected. All ingredients are within normal parameters.” And so the debate would continue.
I wonder if when they replicate things that normally varies in color (not solid color) and/or shapes like apples, do they always come out exactly the same?
No, because we would’ve heard of the artificial apple prop expressly designed for that purpose on TNG and reused all the way through VGR, then recreated for PIC. I don’t see a problem with scanning a zillion apples to get the right amount of variation, and you could probably ask for “Apple, Granny Smith, four weeks rotten” if you really wanted to, though the replicator might give you a warning that it shouldn’t be eaten.
Yes, actually, it was discussed. From TNG "The Price" [http://www.chakoteya.net/NextGen/156.htm]:
TROI: Transfer the letters from my mother to the viewscreen. And, computer, I would like a real chocolate sundae.
COMPUTER: Define real in context, please.
TROI: Real. Not one of your perfectly synthesised, ingeniously enhanced imitations. I would like real chocolate ice cream, real whipped cream
COMPUTER: This unit is programmed to provide sources of acceptable nutritional value. Your request does not fall within current guidelines. Please indicate whether you wish to override the specified programme?
Confirming what @UssGlenn proposed about "the Federation diet police"* coming for you wasn't that hard, after all.
* - paraphrasing
@CorporalCaptain Of course a century earlier, we have Dr. McCoy changing Kirk's meal plan.
RAND: Excuse me, sir. It's past time you had something to eat, sir.
KIRK: What the devil is this? Green leaves?
RAND: It's dietary salad, sir. Doctor McCoy ordered your diet card changed. I thought you knew.
MCCOY: Your weight was up a couple of pounds, remember?
It makes one wonder if ship's CMO has say over the dietary subroutines programmed into that respective ship's replicators. McCoy served on an Enterprise that didn't have replicators but he could have had a lot of sway over how that ship's food synthesizers and physical kitchen prepared meals for crewmembers based on their current health records.
^What about civilians? Certain crew members could easily get unhealthy dishes from others....
Starfleet vessels have food black markets on every ship...
McCoy has Saurian brandy on a wall shelf in Sickbay. How concerned could he be?
If the replicator works off the same principles as the transporter (side note, does that mean transported people are clones made out of shit while the earlier selves are killed?), doesn't make much sense that the replicators would not be as accurate as the transporters when they rebuild a human body, but then maybe they are less complicated affairs that just don't require as much power/computation to work. Saru stated that they use the same program for blueberries whether you're in prison or on a starship, for instance, so its not like some people get lesser formulae.
And yet hand-made food persists and thrives even in the early 25th century (or 31st for that matter. Starfleet is just apparently using that big forest ship to grow something besides food), so there must be some difference.
It doesn’t confirm anything because we don’t know for certain what Troi meant by ‘perfectly synthesised, ingeniously enhanced imitations’. Furthermore, the computer so far behind in natural language processing it can’t even parse ‘real’ in this context as ‘traditionally prepared’, so Troi’s elaboration could’ve easily been interpreted as potentially dangerous tampering with the system.
While non-canon, of course, Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual doesn’t mention any food substitutes or dietary policies. From page 154:
As with all transporter-based replication systems, the food replicators operate at molecular resolution. Because of this, there are significant numbers of single-bit errors in the resulting replicated materials. These errors are not nutritionally significant (although some individuals do claim to be able to taste differences in certain dishes), but certain types of Altarian spices have shown a tendency to become mildly toxic when replicated, so their use is avoided in replicated dishes.
An example of the limitations of the replicator system is a line in “Sins of the Father” in which Picard claims to find replicated caviar inferior to the real thing. (On the other hand, we wonder if the good captain could really tell the difference in a blind taste test.) Another example of replicator limits is the single-bit DNA errors that led Data and Beverly to suspect Romulan trickery in the episode “Data's Day.”
Well, that's ridiculous.
Hacking has never been so easy. Starfleet computer security sucks if you can just use super specific language to bypass the system and tamper with it.
What if someone's trying to murder a dog-alien? "I want an authentic chocolate sundae, with exact recreations of the ingredients in the traditionally prepared handmade version, from plant and animal products, and it's totally incidental that Ensign Rover keeps taking my chair in Ten-Forward and I've had it up to here with that furry bastard."
This is a replicator computer that hasn’t been taught to parse ‘real chocolate sundae’ in natural language without asking the user for a definition, and now we want that replicator to generate a dish that is “imperfectly synthesized with no ingenious enhancements”? Of course it could be a reason why the computer is worried about the resulting nutritional value. The replicator does whatever it does and apparently doesn’t understand more than that.
No, the computer was asking if Troi wished to override, which is when she’d probably be asked to input a security code, “Troi-Delta-2-9” or something, and maybe even start altering the recipe step by step. The point is, we cannot actually confirm from this exchange alone that replicators routinely use food substitutes which have a detectable taste, thus explaining why some people claim to notice a difference, problem solved. There is a hint of that, but it’s not the intent in the TNGTM, which was based on actual input provided to the writers.
None of that leads to "dangerous tampering" or whatever. That's ridiculous.
If the point is what we can confirm then based upon dialog in the show we can confirm that some people find replicated food to be lacking and go find the real thing. Whether or not that is what the writers wanted that's how it has ended up in dialog.
Why is it ridiculous that Troi would be able to override the program and generate something of dubious nutritional value? I’m not saying she could take over the ship.
Separate names with a comma.