Watched Star Trek into Darkness with the wife recently and while we both enjoyed the film for what it was we both reject it as science fiction as the rules of science are completely and utterly mutable and subject to whimsy of plot and story. Star Trek just isn't science fiction folks, It's science fantasy and always has been. The greatest and best evidence as to how Star Trek and it's ilk are science fantasy and not science fiction is the transporter. (SPOILER ALERT)
Here's the transporter functions:
Objects and beings are scanned and are broken down into a stream of subatomic particles. The particle stream is briefly stored in a pattern buffer while the transoorter system compensates for doppler shift to the destination. The matter stream is then transmitted to its destination through subspace. The transporter system maintains the integrity of the information contained in the particle stream. The initial process is reversed and the object or beings is reassembled at the destination.
Oh really? That's the explanation is it? Utter bullshit I'm afraid. How is the object or being reassembled at the destination, remotely by the transporter system? Wouldn't the data have to be manipulated remotely somehow, how's that done again, magic?
There's some implication, when convenient for plot, that successful trasmatter teleportation the distances have to be short and the location being trasmatted from and to are observable. Unless the story needs it to be otherwise. In the latest film the inability of Star Trek writers and filmmakers to understand such a simple concept as "the universe is big, really big" has them violate the pseduo-physics and "reality" of the trek universe yet again by having a man successfully teleported from earth to the Klingon home world seemingly by a man portable transmatter device. All of a sudden the Earth and Kronos are within transmat distance. The disruption this inflicts on any premise of science in the fiction of trek is severe indeed (ignoring the fact that "the universe is big, really big" is a frequent and unending issue with Star Trek over the decades).
Let's look at this again: A transporter records and destroys the item being transported by annihilating matter and changing energy into a form that may be transmitted through a subspace medium across a distance and at distance (separated by physical space and subspace) remotely reassemble anything into a lossless or virtually lossless facsimile. Somehow this data while beign temporarily stored can not be reliably recorded yet the system is reliable enough in it's data manipulation to resaemble an item remotely from a stream of energy. It's simply B.S. .
Data can be recorded. Data can of course be stored once recorded. If transporters are shuffling data there's no reason for the destruction of the original. Sure there are limits in data storage capacity but would anyone ever step on a transporter pad for an away mission knowing they are goign to be killed and recreated at the destination and have data that would allow them to be recreated if killed on the away mission be used to recreate them?
Let's not forget however that distance doesn't matter in the trek universe, distance can always be ignored in favor of the story. The storage capacity can be built to record every piece of equipment and every member of a starship crew assuming anyone would bother with starships at all if transporters could work across interstellar distances.
Effective and reliable long distance transporters undoes the Star Trek universe. Looking at the most cursory explanations for how transporters do and don't work undoes the Star Trek universe.
If you can scan matter, change it to energy, and remotely reassemble matter... all you need is energy and data after the initial scanning.
Why do photon torpedos travel through physical space? Why not transport them to the target? The answer is you can't transport through shielding and that's acceptable but why not simply transport them to just in front of the shields instead of giving away the location and improving targeting on your ship by launching a photo torpedo, every bit of data you send an opponent is a but of data they can use to destroy you. The explanation can't be the data can't be manipulated quickly enough as transporting already works on people and all the equipment they carry in a timely and effective fashion. It can't be the danger, phasers and photon grenades teleported with away teams don't explode. Transporters are B.S. .
Why can't transport technology be used to provide close tactical support in combat? An ever moving minefield that screens an assault team would be insanely useful.
Why not just send in the clones? People and equipment can be changed from data to matter, why not make duplicates with that data. Need 7 experts in warp field theory but only have one... transporters solve that for you. Only enough room on your ship for 30 redshirts but you need 40...transporters solve that for you. Sure lot's of other interesting questions are raised when you have to figure out what to do with surviving copies but that makes stories harder to tell.
The only reason transporter cloning wouldn't be effective would be that transporters don't work like they are supposed to work in the Star Trek universe. As presented transporters in Star Trek aren't science they are plot and story devices, they are science fantasy not science fiction.
Transporters are B.S., don't even get me started on starship combat and communicators.
Sure, whatever. But why does it matter? (Besides the "panties in a twist" reason)ReplyDelete
My nerd pants are all atwist they are. Let me point out...you felt the need to comment. Nerd rage and faux-apathy have no limit!Delete
I'm a rules sort of guy, sci-fi with no rules just isn't sci-fi.
That was an amusing read. Personally, I've always seen Star Trek as social sci-fi with the occasional sprinkling of theoretical hard sci-fi bits when the writers bothered to do research. The greatest thing about Star Trek in 2014 is the number of modern day technologies that may not exist today if their inventors hadn't been inspired by Star Trek in the first place. MRI machines, voice recognition, cell phones, and everything that's come from NASA in the last 40 plus years all owe something to the original series, even if it was BS at the time. Into Darkness is just continuing the tradition of putting plot before accurate science.ReplyDelete
But yes, if we ever figure out how to instantly transport matter, it's not going to work like anything ever described in Star Trek.
I know people say it all the time but we would have had cell phones without Star Trek. In Star Trek personal communicators are an extrapolation of Walkie-talkies a technology we had and used at that point in reality, almsot hate to say it but we would have had cell phones without Trek.ReplyDelete
While I appreciate the argument, you are mainly railing about Abrams!Trek, which isn't really Star Trek in the first place. Ignore those two movies, and there are still problems, but not nearly as pervasive or anti-SF as you are portraying here. For myself, I ignore pretty much anything after the original series and some of the animated series. Even the original cast movies are at best secondary canon in my view. Main exception: I like the later Klingon changes more than the original series Klingons.ReplyDelete
Adams Trek tipped me over the edge but Trek of alll flavors has been having trouble with confining it's stories to the fact the universe is big, really big. Itks almost enough to make me want to become a light saber swinging nerf herder.... nah itks not that bad.... yet. ;-)Delete
yet in next gen they murder ready to awaken clones...ReplyDelete
just made a 75 pg compilation of your tables for use in my game
glad to hear it, the tables part not the clone murder.Delete
Two common reasons for saying that things like torpedoes have to travel through real space are: One, that there are materials which can't be transported and two, that you can't transport through your own shields.ReplyDelete
Your own transporters do work through your own shields (at least they do when it's handy) and photon torepdos are transporter-able according to trekdom.Delete
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
first, i don't remember anyone being transported from earth to kronos via transporter. i'll have to watch that again. personally, i would not use a transporter for the reason i think you stated. basically, it's making a copy of you. even if you take the approach that your matter is converted into energy, stored, transmitted, received, stored, re-assembled - i don't believe that would really be me at the other end. i would be dead. the guy at the other end would, in a best-case scenario, be a perfect copy of me. i don't bet my life on best-case scenarios.ReplyDelete
I can't imagine anyone would think being disintegrated,Delete
shot through time and space through another universe (subspace) as a stream of particles and remotely reassembled somewhere else in this universe would be a great idea.
Here's how it would look safer and make a little sense (in a very B.S. sort of way):
You are scanned. But what is being scanned is the relative positions and interaction of your particles. These mapped positions are wrapped in quanta-scale subspace envelopes. A communication channel is opened through a subsoace medium between two locations in normal-space.The destination is coaxed by this stream to have a similar (if not outright identical) quantum state with all the pieces of you wrapped by subspace bubbles in normal space. When conditions are right the bubbles are unwrapped at the destination, in effect transporting you.
You are technically sliced up into particles but as those particles are theoretically not separated in normal-space, those particles are not annihilated or transformed in any fashion.
Barring a bizzarity of quantum fluctuation there can't be a duplicate of you and any recording of you in the process is of the locations and relations of particles not the composition/material/energy of the particles.
Still B.S. as I can't do more then pretend to understand what is actually going or predict the absurdly insane amount of energy all of this would require but... it is self consistent with what happens in the fiction of the trek-o-verse.
Ah, but you are forgetting two basic scientific laws:ReplyDelete
1) Smith's Theory of Space Curvature: A relativistic speeds, the laws of physics are more or less flexible depending on the requirements of the plot, and
2) Jagger's Law: It's only Rock 'n' Roll, but we like it. The truth is, on a scientific basis, TOS, TNG, DS9, STV, or any of the movies do not bear scrutiny. Don't overthink it. Sit back and enjoy. ST:ID was hard to like because the story was bad; which made the obvious elfin physics more noticeable.
The science was just as implausible in Wrath of Khan, but that is much less noticable because it was a good story about strong characters in conflict.