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Topic: TNG Holosuites: Heaven or Hol? Post Reply | Post New Topic
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Eric Sofer
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 31 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 1648
Posted: 24 September 2017 at 10:24am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

A discussion for Holographic technology...

I have so many thoughts on this, but here are only a couple...

Why did Voyager allow the use of the Holodeck? They had minimal resources, the possibility of losing this-or-that system at any time... but they had sufficient ability to continue the most complicated form of entertainment etc (and see below) ever created. Constitution class starships got along without holo-technology... I didn't get why Captain Janeway kept it running.

The nature of the holodeck was that it depended on the inhabitants perspectives... but how good would that work? As I understood it, if there were three characters in the holodeck and they moved, they'd effectively be on a treadmill and their personal perspective would change. How many people does that work for? A dozen? Thirty? How good WAS that system?

Why was the crew ever on the bridge? Why not create a virtual bridge in a holodeck environment, and use the physical bridge as an emergency expedient? And actually... if the computers are down, it wouldn't make much difference where the bridge crew was, save for when power was restored... if ever. Interface with the computer in the holodeck, interface with the computer on the bridge... computer activity and function is still the key to the interface.

Okay, enough from me. Who the hol else has something to contribute?
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108926
Posted: 24 September 2017 at 10:29am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Why did Voyager allow the use of the Holodeck? They had minimal resources, the possibility of losing this-or-that system at any time... but they had sufficient ability to continue the most complicated form of entertainment etc (and see below) ever created. Constitution class starships got along without holo-technology... I didn't get why Captain Janeway kept it running.

•••

They cheated on this one by establishing that the holodeck ran on "different power" from the rest of the ship. But, in the end, it all comes down to holodeck technology not having been properly thought thru.

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Byron Graham
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Joined: 19 September 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 749
Posted: 24 September 2017 at 10:39am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

> They had minimal resources...

I didn't understand how they had "minimal resources." How much energy is released by a matter/anti-matter reaction? Enough to power the replicators, I'm sure, which allows them to replicate anything else they'd ever need.
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 24 September 2017 at 10:41am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Watching VOYAGER, and remembering the TNG episode in which "Moriarty" strolled off the holodeck, I found myself wondering if anyone, good or bad, had ever used the technology to convince Janeway and the crew that they had somehow made it home!

(I've debated bringing a holodeck onto the TOS Enterprise, since Roddenberry said he wanted to do it on the original series but "couldn't afford it". Not that I really believe that....)

And as long as I'm rambling, I often wondered why the holodeck was so BIG. Given the stated technology, it really didn't need to be larger than a standard cabin, if that.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 24 September 2017 at 11:02am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

debated bringing a holodeck onto the TOS Enterprise, since Roddenberry said he wanted to do it on the original series but "couldn't afford it". Not that I really believe that....)

++++++++

The first proto-holodeck did appear in TAS, so one could pretty easily say that the Enterprise had it during TOS, too, and that it just wasn't seen onscreen.
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John Byrne

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Posted: 24 September 2017 at 11:42am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

…and that it just wasn't seen onscreen.

••

And certainly I have not been shy, in STNV, when it comes to showing sets we did not see on TOS.

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Robbie Parry
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Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 8619
Posted: 24 September 2017 at 12:13pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

And as long as I'm rambling, I often wondered why the holodeck was so BIG. Given the stated technology, it really didn't need to be larger than a standard cabin, if that.

***

This reminds me, I still don't understand Holodeck technology. People have tried to explain it to me. Patiently. There's a lot I don't understand. Nor will I ever.

Oh, and although I enjoyed "Elementary, Dear Data" and "Ship In A Bottle" (I revisit them), they don't stand up to scrutiny. Not really.

How can a holodeck character override the Enterprise's computer (due to careless worlds by La Forge)? It makes no sense even on a "Robbie always believes in suspension of disbelief" manner. Not at all. I can accept holodeck problems within the confines of the worlds they've created. I can accept a holodeck character causing issues, but I can't accept a holodeck character, in this case "Moriarty", taking control and overriding the Enterprise's systems.

That would feel like my toaster developing self-awareness - and somehow taking over the electricity grid in the apartment block I live in. My toaster does not have that ability. A sci-fi story about a toaster doing that would seem unbelievable. So although I enjoy the aforementioned tales in an entertainment sense, and they try to be profound, a holographic character taking control of a starship's computer/systems makes no sense.

I could be wrong.


Edited by Robbie Parry on 24 September 2017 at 12:14pm
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 25 September 2017 at 6:15am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Science Fiction has a long standing love affair with the idea of AI creations "becoming human". Personally, I love a good story about a robot who mimics human characteristics so closely it is nearly impossible to tell the difference. All the way back to Adam Link and Robby the Robot.

But, hard hearted bastard that I am, I cannot accept the idea of robots actually becoming human. It's really just the ultimate expression of anthropomorphism. If we can do it with our cars, we can certainly do it with machines that actually have human shape.

Recently I rewatched BICENTENNIAL MAN, which is really one of the worst of these kinds of stories. A mechanical fluke causes a robot to become "self aware" -- altho no one is allowed to dissect his positronic brain, so there's really no way we can know this has actually happened, and it's not just a case of his programmed imitation of human actions being stepped up a few notches. In the end (SPOILER ALERT) "he" wins recognition as human from the World Court -- yet based on all we see and are told, he is really nothing more than a sophisticated android. An artificial human, who still has a positronic brain. So, still a robot.

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Robbie Parry
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Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
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Posted: 25 September 2017 at 7:12am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Robby is certainly an excellent name for a robot!

On the topic of BICENTENNIAL MAN, I enjoyed my first viewing (the big screen probably helped), but when I rented the video, my thoughts became akin to yours, Mr Byrne. It doesn't stand up to even a cursory scrutiny.
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Greg Kirkman
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Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
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Posted: 25 September 2017 at 10:22am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

But, hard hearted bastard that I am, I cannot accept the idea of robots actually becoming human. It's really just the ultimate expression of anthropomorphism. If we can do it with our cars, we can certainly do it with machines that actually have human shape.

++++++++

In my rewatch of TNG (and research into its background), it seems that Roddneberry never wanted Data to actually become human. The whole point was the character's journey, the never-ending desire for something more, as a metaphor (using an "outsider" character for commentary, as with Spock) for humanity striving to better itself without a clear end point.
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Michael Hogan
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 25 September 2017 at 10:42am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Saw BICENTENNIAL MAN for the first time a few weeks ago. Amusing fare, if you don't scrutinize it, but I can't see revisiting it.
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108926
Posted: 25 September 2017 at 10:59am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

In my rewatch of TNG (and research into its background), it seems that Roddneberry never wanted Data to actually become human. The whole point was the character's journey, the never-ending desire for something more, as a metaphor (using an "outsider" character for commentary, as with Spock) for humanity striving to better itself without a clear end point.

•••

Increasingly, it is difficult to set up an unresolved premise. All questions must be answered. Many even see it as a MISTAKE if they are not.

(When Sue Richards took her off-camera revenge on the Psycho-Man, I received a flurry of complaints that I had not shown what she'd done to him. I replied that they, the readers, could probably imagine something far worse than anything I could show in a code approved book. But, no, I was just being "lazy".)

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Eric Sofer
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 31 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 1648
Posted: 25 September 2017 at 2:47pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

COROLLARY: Mr. Byrne, your discussion of the Invisible Woman and Psycho-Man echoes a theory I have long espoused; WE can think of things more horrible than anything a TV or movie can show us... or even a comic artist.

We all know what scares us, and we are all different. Some might find vivisection the worst; some might find claustrophobia the worst; perhaps attacked by animals or forced to consume something horrid would be the worst.

In any case, we can scare ourselves, individually, far worse than anyone presenting a single fate or image. One of the recent examples that I greatly appreciated, and enjoyed, is in "Deadpool", when he catches up with Mr. Smith. He's about to get answers out of Smith (even though Smith already volunteered to tell all), but in splendid fourth wall shattering effect, he reaches over and pushes the camera away from the scene. But the reaction of the bypassers is MORE than sufficient to express that somethin' nasty happened.

I will also cite one of your great scenes, Mr. Byrne; that of the Dark Scarlet Witch's torture of Wonder Man in Avengers West Coast. We have no idea what happened; but the reaction of the Avengers (especially US Agent) tells us MORE than we need to know!

Sometimes enough is too much. And to hell with the lazy, unimaginative dotards who criticize any other way.
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108926
Posted: 25 September 2017 at 5:25pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

We have no idea what happened…

••

And thank you for THAT!!

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