Why do the Klingons have equal technology to the Federation

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by The Overlord, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 26, 2010
    It seems like the Klingon Empire has technology that is equal to the Federation, but how does that make sense when Klingon society is obsessed with a culture that only seems to glorify warriors and no other occupation and seems to treat scientists with disrespect and contempt (as seen with the TNG episode "Suspicions").

    Did the Hur'q leave behind some advanced technology that the Klingons reversed engineered for their own purposes?
  2. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 24, 2012
    I would assume that since it is a warrior culture, they have plenty of respect for any scientist / engineer on their side who research technology for military applications.

    Look at the old USSR. So much of their society was dedicated to researching military applications for most everything. I'm sure Klingon society would do whatever it takes to improve their military capabilities.

    The Klingons are barabaric in many aspects, but they are far from idiots. They do realize that they need scientists / engineers / etc., if they plan on continuing to play the part of the conquering warrior race.
  3. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 20, 2007
    inside teacake
    It's all about building a better bat'leth.
  4. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2009
    The Klingons would seem to have possessed a technological head start over the Humans, having been a warp culture longer. They may have kept this advantage, as the Humans and the Federation advanced so did the Klingons. Maintaining a comfortable lead through the centuries.

    During the Dominion War, in the Second Battle of Chin'toka, one of the Klingon ships had previously made a adjustment to the ships power system that (unknown at the time) rendered the ship invulnerable to a Breen weapon. The Klingons quickly figured out the reason they survived and changed the power systems on all their ships. An engineering fix, to a combat problem.

    It can't be simply using the technology left to them by the Hur'q, with no innovations of their parts. Otherwise the Klingons would be stuck with the same technology we first saw them with in the 22nd century.

    The Klingon culture may venerate it's warriors, but it's the Klingon aristocracy (and not the warriors) that runs the Empire.

  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    There is also the possibility of plateauing. While the UFP might look like a veritable think tank in combining the innovation resources of 150-something cultures, it might be that each of those cultures had already reached the same peak level when joining (else how did they survive the Klingons before joining?), and there's no major synergy advantage from 150 plateaued cultures knocking their heads together.

    Timo Saloniemi
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    The Klingons were in space well before humanity was, as evidenced by the age of the monastery on Boreth. In Enterprise, we saw that they surpassed Earth's technology in the 22nd century, having shields, tractor beams, and photon torpedoes before Starfleet did, and having an established empire while Earth had only a smattering of colonies and trade routes.

    So indications are that the Klingons had a headstart technologically, but didn't advance as quickly as humanity did.
  7. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

    Oct 27, 2005
    the Frozen Wastes
    You're right it doesn't make any sense.
  8. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    That's what it looks like to me. Other than a minor tweak to something or other which accidentally made them immune to Breen weapons, the energy dampening weapon from "More Tribbles, More Troubles" and the cloak you can shoot through in STVI, nothing has changed between Enterprise in the 2150's and DS9 in the 2370's. They even use the same D7 battlecruisers and Birds of Prey. Their ships are all old rustbuckets, even the "new flagship" Neg'Var from "Way of the Warrior" had the same rusted worn out interior.

    I'm all for Ishmael's backstory, that the Karsid Empire enslaved the tribal Klingons thousands of years ago, and then vanished 600 years ago, leaving the Klingons all their ships and technology.
  9. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 5, 2005
    I'll also add that Klingons go about conquering others. I'm sure they came across some planets and civilizations with advanced engine designs or computers or deflector technology or transporters, and whatnot.

    Klingons conquered these planets and pillaged the technology, perhaps making greater advances than they could on their own.

    Also, depending on what tech they came across and stole, they could have varied and inconsistent history. Maybe a huge leap in deflector systems after they stole some tech from a conquered world, but no matching advance in weapons for years. Or engine tech stagnates for decades, but weapons improve greatly. Not all Klingon tech progresses equally from within, it would vary as they went out conquering and taking tech from their subject worlds.
  10. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    The Klingons stole all of their technology from the Hur'q, didn't they?
  11. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

    Apr 26, 2001
    How could they have stolen all of it from the Hur'q? They must have lost thousands upon thousands of ships over the centuries. They'd be a second-rate power by the 24th century if they were using someone else's technology and were unable to develop their own.

    We've seen Klingon scientists, engineers, and lawyers. Surely they're not all jock-like warriors.
  12. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Nov 22, 2001
    Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
    Warriors may be the dominant group in the Klingon Empire, but they aren't the only ones. In fact, the warriors probably got that way by standing on the shoulders of the scientists, engineers, etc., who develop and build their technology. It doesn't matter if the warriors scoff at them or whatever because the Empire probably wouldn't have gotten anywhere without them too.
  13. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 22, 2001
    Even if the Klingons reverse engineered the technology of another culture, that would still require a decent theoretical understanding of the principles involved.
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    It's worth mentioning that in human history, warfare has often been a driver of technological innovation, from the stirrup to the nuclear bomb. So it doesn't really follow that a warrior culture would be incompatible with technological growth. Presumably Klingons would constantly be trying to think up better ways to kill each other.

    However, their class system could get in the way of innovation, if the dominant warrior class did treat scientists and engineers with disdain. There have certainly been cases of that in human history -- for instance, in slave-owning ancient Greece, they made great intellectual progress, but because physical labor was disdained as a low-class activity, they didn't apply that intellect to technological innovation and thus missed the chance to have an industrial revolution millennia ahead of the one we got. We know from ENT: "Judgment" that as recently as the late 21st or early 22nd century -- during Advocate Kolos's lifetime -- Klingon society was more balanced between social classes, but then the warrior class took over and marginalized other classes such as scholars, engineers, jurists, etc. And we've seen abundant evidence that the warrior class has an often excessive devotion to tradition, e.g. using swords in combat against foes armed with energy weapons. (Haven't they ever heard that you're not supposed to bring a knife to a ray-gun fight?) So it's certainly possible that they could've marginalized scientists and engineers out of their ideological narrow-mindedness, and thereby slowed the rate of technological progress in the Empire.
  15. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

    Apr 26, 2001
    Klingons certainly don't highly regard their financiers, that's for sure. Engineers and scientists at least produce things that can be used in battle, but apparently even the Chancellor can't get through a simple financial report without getting frustrated! But the Klingons definitely have some financiers in their society; I can only imagine how they're treated. But those financiers make combat possible, too.
  16. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

    Jul 28, 2008
    Clinton, OH

    They don't have to reverse engineer it, though. Conquered civilizations aren't always destroyed. "You will now teach us about this technology. You will build this technology for us." etc...

    By the 24th Century the Klingons are also allies of the Federation. I'm sure trade agreements exist. Heck, the United States sends ships and planes to all kinds of other countries, even ones that aren't as favorable allies as others.
  17. AggieJohn

    AggieJohn Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Dec 6, 2010
    Lake Jackson Tx
    Well we assume that Klingons have always been "all" about the warrior code. If you consider Medieval Europe and Feudal Japan embarrassed strict codes late in the period one might consider that now that the Klingons are well established they are more embracing of their traditions. They seemed much more pragmatic in the 23 century. Upon entering into a space building empire mode they may have strongly embraced a scientist class and even warriors were well educated preferring technology instead of focusing on hand to hand combat but with peace with the Federation you see a cultural shift to "get back" to their roots.

    This may have even been in waves, there is a concept even in the US of the cultural pendulum wherein we embrace liberal and conservative views.
  18. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

    Feb 7, 2009
    Whether their warriror class respects other classes is not part of the equation. Others have to do what they can to make a living.
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Indeed, that's the whole point of empires as sociopolitical entities. An empire is what you get when one powerful state takes over multiple other societies and funnels their resources, wealth, personnel, etc. to the service of its own prosperity and efforts.

    How are we assuming that? As I just said, we know for a canonical fact, thanks to ENT: "Judgment," that the dominance of the warrior caste began only in the early 22nd or late 21st century. In other words, if Qo'noS existed and we went there today, in 2012, we'd most likely find what Kolos described as "a great society... [where] honor was earned through integrity and acts of true courage, not senseless bloodshed." Probably still an aggressive society by our standards, but not so dominated by its military class and their values as it would be a century or two later.

    That could certainly be the case. Although the 2150s society Kolos condemns in "Judgment," where victory by any means is valued over integrity, does seem pretty similar to the treacherous Klingon mentality we glimpsed in the TOS era.
  20. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

    Apr 26, 2001
    I think it does matter. If Klingons believe being warriors is the only worthwhile endeavor, then how many Klingons will follow that path despite it not being where their talents lie? How many Klingons died in battle with supposedly inferior forces because those warrirors were really better suited to careers in science, engineering, law, or finance?