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The Prime Directive: Vital law or fig leaf for moral cowardice?

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  • gulberatgulberat Member Posts: 5,505 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    worffan101 wrote: »
    Perhaps.

    I can't comment on transhumanism and don't particularly want to do so. I will say, however, that at the pre-industrial and even industrial level, sentients are VERY much a part of nature rather than apart from nature.

    I think this is the first time I have ever been associated with transhumanism, since I do not believe it is within our moral rights to do all things that we are theoretically capable of. ;) That said, I think we go out of step with nature as soon as we start planning to do things to counteract or avoid things it does, and that only increases as we advance further. So to me, it started the first time we got together and planned through sophisticated communication to avoid, circumvent, or counteract the effects of nature in a manner that mere instinct or solo observation would not allow us to do.

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  • marcusdkanemarcusdkane Member Posts: 7,439 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    worffan101 wrote: »
    It's still an awful violation, and if the writers hadn't said "oh, TRIBBLE biology!" Trip would've died in agony from that ectopic. I could not maintain my suspension of disbelief because on a legal level, what that woman did was very much a criminal crime, rather than a matter of civil cases.
    As someone pointed out the other day re the extinction thing with Phlox: Internal consistency. and science fiction. As I said the other day, Trip's body was clearly adapting to the pregnancy (developing additional nipples, rather than simply activating his own already existing nipples...) so other unseen changes were likely also taking place which meant his body was capable of surviving the pregnancy (and as mentioned, Phlox never said that it had to be dealt with or it would kill him, so we have to accept the null option that the changes his body was undergoing would have also prevented it from killing him...) Applying real-world science not only discounts the internal canon, but also misses the point of viewing/reading something as entertainment. And by extension, if you feel that Archer should have pursued it as a criminal act, then by extension, Picard should have asked Data why he was chatting to a minor over subspace, and then tried to befriend another (even Artim's father gave him a 'get the f*ck away from my son...' look when they were hiking to the lake...) Sometimes a plot just has to be enjoyed (or not) for what it is, not picked apart to be reassembled in one's own design...
    worffan101 wrote: »
    Frankly, what is offensive is a function of society. It's different from what's legal or morally right. Saying "I know sixty people who find X offensive and 3 who don't, therefore given the evidence I think it's offensive" is as objective as you can make such a subject.
    As I said, the number of adherents does not make an opinion true...
    worffan101 wrote: »
    Sentiment seconded.
    I was being sarcastic... As I said the other day, I cannot watch the scene without choking up, but actually mourning a fictional character would be a psychologically unsound position... Equally, getting so outraged by a fictional interraction which you choose to be offended by, IMHO is also not healthy... :(
    worffan101 wrote: »
    Bad comparison. The Zulu Empire was a refined, highly trained war machine, and (unfamiliar with modern technology as they may have been) its soldiers were competent and lethally efficient, and its commanders dangerously intelligent. Just ask Lord Chelmsford.

    The Kazon, by comparison, consider ZERG RUSH to be high strategy and were unable to safely plug in a replicator despite having it (and presumably an instruction manual) literally given to them by Seska.

    The Zulu Empire was a dangerously powerful, highly organized war machine. The Kazon sects are a bunch of barely-sentient thugs squabbling over peanuts.
    Accepted, it might be a bad comparison, but the point itself still stands... A 'less developed culture' may not understand technology, but that does not stop them being dangerous, or mean that diminishing them is a valid tactic to equally reduce the competnce of the Talaxian pilots. I agree, the majority of Talaxian appearances are not good, but that a) doesn't mean they are all a bunch of incompetent stoners, and b) their portrayal in STO is to necessitate/facilitate the player's interraction. How boring would it have been if all they do is follow aneelix on a tour of his base, say "Good job, buddy, keep it up!" and then beam back to The Ship for the next adventure? ;) Sometimes Plot Necessity does need to be accepted for the sake of the story :D
  • valoreahvaloreah Member Posts: 11,159 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    worffan101 wrote: »
    Oh, sure...he almost destroyed a starship with cheese, complained about bugs in his salad instead of actually removing them, refused to do his job of feeding the crew, terrorized children with ghost stories despite being explicitly told not to, got two people killed directly through his own incompetence in a field he professed competence in, refused to stop serving food that he KNEW was causing food poisoning, and got choked to death by Tuvok as a hologram.

    He did a lot. It was just a counterproductive lot.

    Come on man. You'd give Shatner a run for the money in the over melodramatics. :rolleyes:
    jonsills wrote: »
    This covers a point I wanted to make. Valoreah, you made repeated references earlier to "what nature intended".

    Nature doesn't intend anything.

    When that asteroid made the Chicxulub crater, "nature" didn't intend to cause the extinction of every large ground-dwelling life form on Earth. It just happened.

    Call it what you like, it's still a natural event and part of the circle of life. The Prime Directive is very specific in these circumstances.
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  • worffan101worffan101 Member Posts: 9,518 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    gulberat wrote: »
    I think this is the first time I have ever been associated with transhumanism, since I do not believe it is within our moral rights to do all things that we are theoretically capable of. ;) That said, I think we go out of step with nature as soon as we start planning to do things to counteract or avoid things it does, and that only increases as we advance further. So to me, it started the first time we got together and planned through sophisticated communication to avoid, circumvent, or counteract the effects of nature in a manner that mere instinct or solo observation would not allow us to do.

    ...

    In that case, orcas are above nature. So are a lot of pack-hunting animals.

    Instinct and sentient thought frankly are very difficult to tell apart and bleed into each other...just ask my animal behavior professor. I can't explain this in a way that satisfies me, but...as long as natural forces can affect us, we're part of nature.
  • marcusdkanemarcusdkane Member Posts: 7,439 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    worffan101 wrote: »
    ...

    In that case, orcas are above nature. So are a lot of pack-hunting animals.

    Instinct and sentient thought frankly are very difficult to tell apart and bleed into each other...just ask my animal behavior professor. I can't explain this in a way that satisfies me, but...as long as natural forces can affect us, we're part of nature.

    Here's a thought/question for you... Are birds psychic? I wonder if they may be due to the way they change course in murmurarions? Obviously they have vocal abilities, but I doubt that works well while in flight, so I wonder if they may use telepathy to communicate their 'course corrections' (and why when kids run at birds, they always fly away, as if the noise of the kid's thoughts has been like a warning to them...) I'm really not into birds at all, it's just something which has always vaguely occured to me...:D
  • gulberatgulberat Member Posts: 5,505 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    worffan101 wrote: »
    ...

    In that case, orcas are above nature. So are a lot of pack-hunting animals.

    Instinct and sentient thought frankly are very difficult to tell apart and bleed into each other...just ask my animal behavior professor. I can't explain this in a way that satisfies me, but...as long as natural forces can affect us, we're part of nature.

    Certain other species may be pushing the boundary and yes, one or two may even be across it and we have failed to recognize it; I wouldn't deny that possibility.

    IMO it behooves us on such grounds to be cautious in light of the wars we could eventually start in a distant day, the potential we could kill in present day, or the sins that we might teach. I would especially be fearful of the malign influence we might exert on our fellow great apes in light of their proximity to us, similarity in body plan and thus increased likelihood of direct mirroring of our actions, and the fact that we have observed chimps--our closest cousins--in protracted gang warfare already...a sign that humanity's sins are not far from taking root as soon as they make the leap to accountability.

    IRL I am not sure if our species will survive long enough or even our entire ecosystem, but I do realize the potential implications of my position and believe we must at least be mindful of our actions before we have the proof that another species does fully meet the sentience criteria.

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  • worffan101worffan101 Member Posts: 9,518 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    As someone pointed out the other day re the extinction thing with Phlox: Internal consistency. and science fiction. As I said the other day, Trip's body was clearly adapting to the pregnancy (developing additional nipples, rather than simply activating his own already existing nipples...) so other unseen changes were likely also taking place which meant his body was capable of surviving the pregnancy. Applying real-world science not only discounts the internal canon, but also misses the point of viewing/reading something as entertainment. And by extension, if you feel that Archer should have pursued it as a criminal act, then by extension, Picard should have asked Data why he was chatting to a minor over subspace, and then tried to befriend another (even Artim's father gave him a 'get the f*ck away from my son...' look when they were hiking to the lake...) Sometimes a plot just has to be enjoyed (or not) for what it is, not picked apart to me reassembled in one's own design...
    You know me. I take a nigh-fiendish glee in picking things apart. And Bad Biology is one of my biggest pet peeves.

    BTW, I do think that Picard should've at the very least interrogated Data about those incidents (though jfc Insurrection was a terrible movie).
    As I said, the number of adherents does not make an opinion true...
    True...BUT, being offended is a very personal thing. If someone says they're offended...that's a data point. It's...it's still TECHNICALLY subjective, but it's also got objective value in that offensiveness is inherently a product of societal reaction.
    I was being sarcastic... As I said the other day, I cannot watch the scene without choking up, but actually mourning a fictional character would be a psychologically unsound position... Equally, getting so outraged by a fictional interraction which you choose to be offended by, IMHO is also not healthy... :(
    1. I don't choose to be offended. When something sickens me to the point of physical illness...look, I didn't CHOOSE to throw up because of those fifty shades things. I didn't CHOOSE to sit for thirty minutes in stunned silence after the credits rolled on "Tattoo". These were instinctive reactions to incredibly offensive material.

    2. TEHO, but I've seen fiction affect reality an uncomfortable number of times--too many, in fact, to be comfortable with sharing your position on this matter.
    Accepted, it might be a bad comparison, but the point itself still stands... A 'less developed culture' may not understand technology, but that does not stop them being dangerous, or mean that diminishing them is a valid tactic to equally reduce the competnce of the Talaxian pilots. I agree, the majority of Talaxian appearances are not good, but that a) doesn't mean they are all a bunch of incompetent stoners, and b) their portrayal in STO is to necessitate/facilitate the player's interraction. How boring would it have been if all they do is follow aneelix on a tour of his base, say "Good job, buddy, keep it up!" and then beam back to The Ship for the next adventure? ;) Sometimes Plot Necessity does need to be accepted for the sake of the story :D

    The Talaxian civilians should've been programmed to do something like what the SF officers at ESD do; walk around on patrol, look busy...and the interactables shouldn't have needed Admiral Awesomename to do things like fix their labor shortage or find the spices that the cook lost for the feast.

    On the Kazon: I'm not calling them idiots for being unsophisticated. I'm saying that this is a species that was only able to perform the most basic of tactical maneuvers with considerable advising assistance from a Cardassian agent. This is a species that considered water, one of the most common compounds in the universe, to be an expensive commodity...despite possessing FTL travel, which makes the next planet/system, likely with its own lakes and rivers, just a short hop away.

    They consistently fail at any basic signs of intelligence. That's why beating them is no great achievement.
  • worffan101worffan101 Member Posts: 9,518 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    Here's a thought/question for you... Are birds psychic? I wonder if they may be due to the way they change course in murmurarions? Obviously they have vocal abilities, but I doubt that works well while in flight, so I wonder if they may use telepathy to communicate their 'course corrections' (and why when kids run at birds, they always fly away, as if the noise of the kid's thoughts has been like a warning to them...) I'm really not into birds at all, it's just something which has always vaguely occured to me...:D
    No, it's just (a) REALLY good vision and (b) pattern recognition.

    Not that different from humans; they recognize and react to the movements of others, and recognize the difference between indifferent and predatory behavior in potential predators.
    gulberat wrote: »
    Certain other species may be pushing the boundary and yes, one or two may even be across it and we have failed to recognize it; I wouldn't deny that possibility.

    IMO it behooves us on such grounds to be cautious in light of the wars we could eventually start in a distant day, the potential we could kill in present day, or the sins that we might teach. I would especially be fearful of the malign influence we might exert on our fellow great apes in light of their proximity to us, similarity in body plan and thus increased likelihood of direct mirroring of our actions, and the fact that we have observed them in protracted gang warfare already...a sign that humanity's sins are not far from taking root as soon as they make the leap to accountability.

    IRL I am not sure if our species will survive long enough or even our entire ecosystem, but I do realize the potential implications of my position and believe we must at least be mindful of our actions before we have the proof that another species does fully meet the sentience criteria.

    Oh, you mean Humans becoming morally greater than animals?

    Frankly...Humans are nasty, brutish, and violent. But so are many animals.

    Dolphins regularly hunt and murder other species of dolphins. Chimpanzees fight wars. Ducks r*pe each other (yes, really). Violent sexual assault and r*** in orangutans is surprisingly well-documented.

    At the present time, at least, we aren't that much better.
  • rambowdoubledashrambowdoubledash Member Posts: 298 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    worffan101 wrote: »
    1. I don't choose to be offended. When something sickens me to the point of physical illness...look, I didn't CHOOSE to throw up because of those fifty shades things. I didn't CHOOSE to sit for thirty minutes in stunned silence after the credits rolled on "Tattoo". These were instinctive reactions to incredibly offensive material.

    In fairness, assuming that I've got your reference right, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was intended to be offensive. Also it gave us a bitchin' cover of "The Immigrant Song" and had one of the best trailers I have ever seen (which used the song) which thereafter gave us the official Muppet parody version, thereby proving that there is nothing in Hollywood or associated media that is so awful that it is completely without merit.
  • gulberatgulberat Member Posts: 5,505 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    worffan101 wrote: »
    Oh, you mean Humans becoming morally greater than animals?

    We currently have greater potential than the animals due to our ability to think through our actions and recognize evil but we are guilty of not exercising this potential, and of abusing it in more large-scale, flagrant ways, made even worse by the fact that we are accountable for our actions.

    I think we are at risk of corrupting any species that rises to or eventually makes us aware they have already risen to full sentience. We have gone before them and learned many great things but we have also learned far more horrific ways to hate and kill en masse. I believe that should we become aware that we are not alone on our own planet, we will be one incident away from a war.

    We have the potential to force our violent instincts aside, and so will our sister species should that happen or be proven to have happened already. But considering what we do when we consider our own brothers and sisters to be less than human, I am not optimistic about our behavior when confronted with sentience that is confirmed nonhuman, especially when we have been used to thinking of it as "animal" and "subsentient." For that matter I would not expect pure conduct to be likely out of the other species, which will likely come into sentience considering us to have a rap sheet against them miles long. (Given that, we had better be mindful even when we think we aren't being watched and comprehended, that we do not continue adding to our list of offenses.)

    Barring a miracle and powerful peacemakers on both sides, of course.

    (I actually loved Dawn of the Planet of the Apes for that reason: it was not because they were "animal" or alien that the apes were terrifying. It was that they were intimately familiar with our sins regardless of whether they admitted it to themselves, and had the advantage in strength, reflexes, and numbers. They had all of our sins AND came into being as a society already knowing all of our ways to terrorize and kill.)
    Frankly...Humans are nasty, brutish, and violent. But so are many animals.

    Dolphins regularly hunt and murder other species of dolphins. Chimpanzees fight wars. Ducks r*pe each other (yes, really). Violent sexual assault and r*** in orangutans is surprisingly well-documented.

    At the present time, at least, we aren't that much better.

    Again, I think you misinterpreted.

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  • oldravenman3025oldravenman3025 Member Posts: 1,892 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    What people seem to forget is that General Order One, as originally portrayed, related to cultural development. Not natural evolution.



    In other words, it's okay to contact primitive cultures after careful investigation and consideration. Just don't let them see you use, or give them, advanced technology. Nor do you interfere in their internal affairs.


    Preserving a bunch of cave men from extinction isn't a violation as long as it's done correctly. If that fails, it's on the one in charge's head if things go to TRIBBLE.


    Individual starship captains and expedition leaders operating under government sanction, has room to interfere if it was called for.


    Also, General Order One didn't apply to private citizens not operating under government sanction, since the Prime Directive is a Starfleet regulation.



    The Next Generation took it to the extreme with a total hands-off policy. But even then, Picard would bend the rules if he needed to. No big deal, since such a reading of the Prime Directive is there for good drama, considering that ST:TNG wasn't an action driven show in the beginning. However, it's still silly in the extreme.
  • valoreahvaloreah Member Posts: 11,159 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    Preserving a bunch of cave men from extinction isn't a violation as long as it's done correctly.

    Incorrect per canon. Source;
    Helping a society escape a natural disaster known to the society, even if inaction would result in a society's extinction.
    Individual starship captains and expedition leaders operating under government sanction, has room to interfere if it was called for.

    There are some very narrow circumstances when a Captain can interfere and "legally" violate the Prime Directive. Read the source linked above.
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  • rambowdoubledashrambowdoubledash Member Posts: 298 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    Honestly, what exactly the Prime Directive means could have simply changed over time. We are talking about a Federation that's around 200 years old by Picard's time, after all, so what "noninterference" means by the time of Picard could have shifted just as much as what "right to bear arms" meant to America's founding fathers verses what it means to us today. Or what constitutes a "person", for that matter.
  • jonsillsjonsills Member Posts: 9,865 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    valoreah wrote: »
    Incorrect per canon. Source;





    There are some very narrow circumstances when a Captain can interfere and "legally" violate the Prime Directive. Read the source linked above.
    So, you're holding with the "fig leaf for moral cowardice" position, then?
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  • worffan101worffan101 Member Posts: 9,518 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    gulberat wrote: »
    We currently have greater potential than the animals due to our ability to think through our actions and recognize evil but we are guilty of not exercising this potential, and of abusing it in more large-scale, flagrant ways, made even worse by the fact that we are accountable for our actions.

    I think we are at risk of corrupting any species that rises to or eventually makes us aware they have already risen to full sentience. We have gone before them and learned many great things but we have also learned far more horrific ways to hate and kill en masse. I believe that should we become aware that we are not alone on our own planet, we will be one incident away from a war.

    We have the potential to force our violent instincts aside, and so will our sister species should that happen or be proven to have happened already. But considering what we do when we consider our own brothers and sisters to be less than human, I am not optimistic about our behavior when confronted with sentience that is confirmed nonhuman, especially when we have been used to thinking of it as "animal" and "subsentient." For that matter I would not expect pure conduct to be likely out of the other species, which will likely come into sentience considering us to have a rap sheet against them miles long. (Given that, we had better be mindful even when we think we aren't being watched and comprehended, that we do not continue adding to our list of offenses.)

    Barring a miracle and powerful peacemakers on both sides, of course.
    Again, there are some nonhumans that probably qualify as sentient. Most cetaceans probably are, for example.

    I'm...well, I'm normally more optimistic about human nature, but I've had a stupendously bad day, so...I've gotta say that humans are, like everything we consider beneath us, nasty, brutish, and violent.
    gulberat wrote: »
    (I actually loved Dawn of the Planet of the Apes for that reason: it was not because they were "animal" or alien that the apes were terrifying. It was that they were intimately familiar with our sins regardless of whether they admitted it to themselves, and had the advantage in strength, reflexes, and numbers. They had all of our sins AND came into being as a society already knowing all of our ways to terrorize and kill.)
    Agreed, and for the same reasons.
    gulberat wrote: »
    Again, I think you misinterpreted.

    Ehhhh. I dunno. We certainly BEHAVE like those things we look down on a lot.

    CF every war ever, every war crime ever, the Crusades in particular, and every autocratic state ever.
  • oldravenman3025oldravenman3025 Member Posts: 1,892 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    valoreah wrote: »
    Incorrect per canon. Source;





    I'm aware of this. And it's a clear cut case of canon contradicting itself. See: Into Darkness, The Paradise Syndrome.








    There are some very narrow circumstances when a Captain can interfere and "legally" violate the Prime Directive. Read the source linked above.



    Like I said, contradictory. It's a case where canonical information can be extremely blurry based on the writers and show in question.


    And it's clear that captains in Kirk's era had more leeway than they did in Picard's era
  • rambowdoubledashrambowdoubledash Member Posts: 298 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    And it's clear that captains in Kirk's era had more leeway than they did in Picard's era

    Which makes sense. Ships in Picard's era were around twice as fast as ships in Kirk's time (TOS Warp 9 is ~729c whereas TNG Warp 9 is ~1516c; TOS Warp 4 is ~64c while TNG Warp 4 is ~101c), and by Picard's time Starfleet appears to have worked out all the kinks in subspace communication. Picard might by physically further from Federation borders than Kirk ever got, but Picard also is in much more constant contact with the Federation.
  • gulberatgulberat Member Posts: 5,505 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    worffan101 wrote: »
    Again, there are some nonhumans that probably qualify as sentient. Most cetaceans probably are, for example.

    I'm...well, I'm normally more optimistic about human nature, but I've had a stupendously bad day, so...I've gotta say that humans are, like everything we consider beneath us, nasty, brutish, and violent.

    With cetaceans, at least, I am less concerned about humanity being destroyed by them in any dirct means.

    Worst and likely outcome for them: Genocide. We are on the edge of destroying thee species anyway...we are disturbingly likely to finish the job.

    Worst outcome for humanity: If we are driven from the oceans, the resulting hit to our food and fuel supplies renders current population levels unsustainable. Starvation takes hold and "diseases of the Third World" return with a vengeance to the First World which is unable to cope with this especially if power becomes unreliable though not nonexistent. The question here is whether infrastructure collapse is severe enough and rapid enough to kill our ability to field armies against each other before we destroy ourselves. If it is, we are probably looking at a situation equivalent to Europe after the Black Death in terms of the population and infrastructure damage relative to current levels. Recoverable as a species but we will never be able to sustain current population levels without offworld colonization. If we are able to go to global war with each other before the collapse sets in...they don't kill us. We kill ourselves.



    Great apes would be the worst--warfare would be direct competition for resources and frankly our only advantage would be numbers and...well, "zerging" them as it was put earlier. Physical strength, reflexes, and senses would be their advantage. As with fighting human enemies, any technology we lose control of is immediately subject to their use or rapid modding to make it compatible with their physiology, and IMO we would likely not become fully aware of their sentience until they DID take tech and territory from us. Knowing that they ARE like us means that if less violent ways of getting our attention don't work, a bloody, large-scale, and violent maneuver is the likely choice to stick their point to us. Not a guaranteed win for either party and easily the ugliest possible war involving us and another species. Their key to win would be to cut our numbers as fast as possible (meaning they'll be quick to either whip out WMD's or make us very aware they have their finger on the button...oh, look, missing some missile silos? NOW you are going to agree to terms.)

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  • worffan101worffan101 Member Posts: 9,518 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    Well, in both cases humans have the advantage of numbers (VAST numbers--cetaceans as a whole can't be more than a few tens of millions, and great apes...MAYBE a few million. MAYBE. In a good light, rounded up). Also, cetacean bodies are unsuited to the use of advanced tools (simple tools they can and do use, but computers? Not with current interfaces).

    I think it'd be a curb-stomp for humanity by sheer numbers either way.

    On a related note...I suspect that a primary reason why we see so many Humans in Starfleet is because we breed like rats.
  • gulberatgulberat Member Posts: 5,505 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    worffan101 wrote: »
    Well, in both cases humans have the advantage of numbers (VAST numbers--cetaceans as a whole can't be more than a few tens of millions, and great apes...MAYBE a few million. MAYBE. In a good light, rounded up). Also, cetacean bodies are unsuited to the use of advanced tools (simple tools they can and do use, but computers? Not with current interfaces).

    I think it'd be a curb-stomp for humanity by sheer numbers either way.

    On a related note...I suspect that a primary reason why we see so many Humans in Starfleet is because we breed like rats.

    Cetaceans most likely agreed though if we are driven back from the ocean, we will feel the impact to at least some degree on food and fuel supplies and I don't think our population remains at its current level. Sentient apes...still think it depends on their generals. Direct warfare, even asymmetric warfare without WMD's probably won't go well for them. Their objective must be to avoid too much conflict and to get control of WMD's too quickly for us to react. Like I said, "We have nukes" tends to be a good negotiating tactic if it's a credible threat, even for small territories.

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  • worffan101worffan101 Member Posts: 9,518 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    gulberat wrote: »
    Cetaceans most likely agreed though if we are driven back from the ocean, we will feel the impact to at least some degree on food and fuel supplies and I don't think our population remains at its current level. Sentient apes...still think it depends on their generals. Direct warfare, even asymmetric warfare without WMD's probably won't go well for them. Their objective must be to avoid too much conflict and to get control of WMD's too quickly for us to react. Like I said, "We have nukes" tends to be a good negotiating tactic if it's a credible threat, even for small territories.

    ...you know, you just gave me a damn good idea.

    I'm totally making a (slightly) uplifted ape and some sort of cetacean character for one of my stories. I already have a redshirt/Mauve Shirt who's a parrot, this oughta be great.

    Thank you. :)

    As to your actual post...point, but they'd HAVE to get the nukes, FAST.
  • marcusdkanemarcusdkane Member Posts: 7,439 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    worffan101 wrote: »
    You know me. I take a nigh-fiendish glee in picking things apart. And Bad Biology is one of my biggest pet peeves.
    That doesn't necessarily mean that others need or want to hear about it... ;)
    worffan101 wrote: »
    BTW, I do think that Picard should've at the very least interrogated Data about those incidents (though jfc Insurrection was a terrible movie).
    Totally agree with you there...
    worffan101 wrote: »
    True...BUT, being offended is a very personal thing. If someone says they're offended...that's a data point. It's...it's still TECHNICALLY subjective, but it's also got objective value in that offensiveness is inherently a product of societal reaction.
    I'm not a big fan of Stephen Fry (In fact, I think he's a boorishly egotistical snob, and have read several unsavory things about him) but, as they say about the broken clock that's right twice a day, when he's right, he's right, and I think this quote from him ultimately sums up what I'm trying to say...
    worffan101 wrote: »
    1. I don't choose to be offended. When something sickens me to the point of physical illness...look, I didn't CHOOSE to throw up because of those fifty shades things. I didn't CHOOSE to sit for thirty minutes in stunned silence after the credits rolled on "Tattoo". These were instinctive reactions to incredibly offensive material. .
    Knowing a bit about CBT, I'd argue that one can choose, through conscious decision, to not be angered/offended/upset by something... I forget where I saw it first, but I've seen 'The Rule of Threes' mentioned: Will it matter in:

    - 3 Days?
    - 3 Weeks?
    - 3 Years?

    If not, it's not worth getting upset about... Easier said than done, I acknowledge (well, unless you're a Vulcan) but it's certainly possible, and makes for an easier/happier life when consciously deciding not to let things get one down...
    worffan101 wrote: »
    The Talaxian civilians should've been programmed to do something like what the SF officers at ESD do; walk around on patrol, look busy...and the interactables shouldn't have needed Admiral Awesomename to do things like fix their labor shortage or find the spices that the cook lost for the feast.
    By that logic, GTA V shouldn't automatically go to a 'mission fail ' because Michael/Trevor dies, because at the end of the game, you have to choose to kill one of them (or not) (I chose to kill Michael, because he was a manipulative deceiver who brought s**t on himself. Trevor might be a psycho, but he doesn't pretend to be anything different, and is the kind of badass that makes Worf and Ronan Dex look like a pair of pussies...) Point I'm making, is that the plot dictates certain things, such as Talaxian incompetence, simply because that's what it requires to let Admiral Awesomename do what needs to be done... No incompetence = no necessity to participate = no plot... I may have discalculia, but even I can do that math that sometimes, things need to be taken with a pinch of salt... :D

    worffan101 wrote: »
    On the Kazon: I'm not calling them idiots for being unsophisticated. I'm saying that this is a species that was only able to perform the most basic of tactical maneuvers with considerable advising assistance from a Cardassian agent. This is a species that considered water, one of the most common compounds in the universe, to be an expensive commodity...despite possessing FTL travel, which makes the next planet/system, likely with its own lakes and rivers, just a short hop away.
    Because that's what the plot required... I agree, it's a stupid situation and a glaring plot hole, but that doesn't change the fact that as engaged viewers, we have to accept the reality as presented in context, because if not, there's just no point in watching...

    worffan101 wrote: »
    They consistently fail at any basic signs of intelligence. That's why beating them is no great achievement.
    From the perspective of an omniscient viewer, not by the perspectives of the characters involved.

    As I said a while ago, I equate the Kazon with Somali pirates. Against a Nimitz-class, they'd get blown out of the water. To the guy taking the yacht out for a little cruise, they're a very serious danger...

    worffan101 wrote: »
    No, it's just (a) REALLY good vision and (b) pattern recognition.

    Not that different from humans; they recognize and react to the movements of others, and recognize the difference between indifferent and predatory behavior in potential predators.
    Ahh, and I guess to use a computing comparison, they have 'faster processors' than us, so they're able to react more quickly to those things than a Human would... That makes sense...

    The idea of them being psychic is much more fun though ;)
  • jer5488jer5488 Member Posts: 506 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    gulberat wrote: »

    Sneaking one past people in 1 AD is one thing. Sneaking one past the people of the Industrial Revolution gets harder, and trying to avoid the people of the Nuclear/Orbital age is even harder.

    The other question captains might have to watch out for is if a species' communications and surveillance tech greatly outstrips its travel capabilities for some reason. What would you do about such a species that somehow succeeded in getting FTL comms well ahead of a warp engine and started picking up signals or flat out CALLED the Federation? "We know you're out there because we can hear you. Now will you pick up the phone already???"

    Well, in the case of communications and surveillance - if they've built a communcations device capable of FTL - and reach out - that's one of those cases where a Starship with a proper first contact crew is dispatched. They have knowledge of faster then light technology, they've developed the building blocks to find their way out.

    As to sneaking one past a culture like today - we know shields can negate radar and most of our current sensors (Voyager shows this - without the eyeball mark one, you don't see her) - so any major extinction level event could be neutralized.

    "Sir, the culture has launched weapons to attempt to stop the asteroid"

    "Excellent, time their weapon impact with a volley of quantum torpedoes from our side. Make sure there's enough rubble left to give a good light show in the atmosphere and to mask our presence - but nothing big enough to harm the planet's population in any real way."


    This could extend to coming in with a cloaked ship to reseed and atmosphere or deal with a super volcano, as well.

    If a non-interference directive like the Prime Directive exists, it either needs to be flexible and allow a civilization to protect others and help them grow - or it needs to be absolute. To the case of - not interfering with Cardassians on Bajor. Not helping Bajor rebuild. Not helping the Andorians with their sterilization issues. Not stopping the Borg.

    It can't work both ways. You either intervene - or you don't.
  • mimey2mimey2 Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    I want to go back to the 'officer exchange' thing from earlier in the thread.

    TNG showed us exactly that, and showed us quite well.

    Twice.

    Neither admittedly involved the PD really, but I think it was a good way of showing that: "If you go onto another person's ship, you follow THEIR rules over ours."

    First was Riker who was on that Bird-of-Prey, and had even gone there willingly, dare I say, even excited about it. While despite still being somewhat of a shock and not being entirely ready for it even with preparations, he still acted as any other officer might, which ended up with him as CAPTAIN of said BoP, yet none of the Klingons onboard reacted with anything but obedience, and I would imagine, respect as well. I mean, at one point, Riker even beats the **** out of one of em, and nobody questions it.

    In the reverse, when Kurn came onto the Enterprise, he had also been reading up on Starfleet regulations, and outright stated that he would be following them to the strictest letter. He might've ran a 'tight ship' as it were, but never actually broke the rules, and was acting as any Starfleet officer could be. Even Picard pretty much dismisses complaints, as Kurn had done nothing wrong. People were just gripin cuz they had to work harder.

    Though in fairness, it's easy for Picard to dismiss their complaints when HE'S the captain, and thus still in full command and outranking Kurn.



    Both are excellent examples of how an officer exchange would really be: You follow the rules of whoever's ship you are on at the time.



    And if NONE of that was enough, then how about this:

    Why does Phlox get a 'free pass' over T'pol? Last I checked, she was technically not a member of the United Earth Starfleet, but was given a commission on their ship, same as Phlox was. She loved to flaunt her superior Vulcan ethics around quite a bit, but while never called out in terms of the show either much like how Phlox never got called out on it. She might never have possibly caused genocide, but she was JUST as subject to UES regulations as Phlox should've been.
    I remain empathetic to the concerns of my community, but do me a favor and lay off the god damn name calling and petty remarks. It will get you nowhere.
    I must admit, respect points to Trendy for laying down the law like that.
  • hfmuddhfmudd Member Posts: 881 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    jonsills wrote: »
    Jon's post, supplemental: Don't bother trying to argue with Worffan about the Talaxians. His opinion, so far as he is concerned, is Objective Fact, and failure to agree utterly with him can only indicate either mental or moral failure. He intends to be a scientist one day; I hope he grows beyond this attitude first, or it will hamper his career dramatically.

    This appears to be true of any and all of his opinions, actually, and is the primary reason why my participation in this sub-forum has dropped precipitously over this past year or so - and why I will not be participating otherwise in this thread, even though I do have things to say on the subject.
    Join Date: January 2011
  • marcusdkanemarcusdkane Member Posts: 7,439 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    jer5488 wrote: »
    If a non-interference directive like the Prime Directive exists, it either needs to be flexible and allow a civilization to protect others and help them grow - or it needs to be absolute. To the case of - not interfering with Cardassians on Bajor. Not helping Bajor rebuild. Not helping the Andorians with their sterilization issues. Not stopping the Borg.

    It can't work both ways. You either intervene - or you don't.
    The impression I've got from the novels (which I've incorporated into the headcanon of my own writing) is that Starfleet used intelligence operatives to 'monitor' the situation on Bajor, and possibly set up some of the refugee camps in close systems (because if they were Bajoran camps, they would simply be new settlements, not 'refugee' camps semantics I know, but it kind of makes sense) but they (Starfleet) wouldn't get directly visibly involved or actually take a stance against the Cardassians (as having 'just' come out of a war with them on one front, why continue to be antagonists on someone else's behalf?) This would certainly explain the hostility which some Bajorans (certainly Ro Laren) displayed toward the Federation, a kind of "You wouldn't do anything to help us when we needed it, and now you expect me to play by your rules? Go f*ck yourself..."
    I always loved that Ro had Big Cojones, and took s**t from no one, and I can understand why Federation/Starfleet policies would have put that chip on her shoulder...

    But as above, I feel the Prime Directive, as you say, has to be either you intervene, or you don't, and I fall more into the non-interference camp, simply because that makes it easier to say "We don't intervene when it suits us, it doesn't suit us today, sorry..." rather than picking which situations to interfere with and which ones to allow to occur (as on Bajor)
  • rambowdoubledashrambowdoubledash Member Posts: 298 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    mimey2 wrote: »
    Why does Phlox get a 'free pass' over T'pol? Last I checked, she was technically not a member of the United Earth Starfleet, but was given a commission on their ship, same as Phlox was. She loved to flaunt her superior Vulcan ethics around quite a bit, but while never called out in terms of the show either much like how Phlox never got called out on it. She might never have possibly caused genocide, but she was JUST as subject to UES regulations as Phlox should've been.

    T'Pol was never required to violate her morality as thoroughly as Archer was asking Phlox to do it.

    If you want to get technical, what happened was Phlox developed a cure but would not administrate it, as he found it morally reprehensible to do so. He left the choice in Archer's hands but made it clear that Archer choosing to help the Valakians would mean Phlox leaving the ship while also making his stance clear: that helping the Valakians and, by extension, suppressing the Menk, was reprehensible and playing God.

    So in other words, pass the blame onto Archer rather than Phlox. "The blame" being that Archer actually followed the Prime Directive to the letter before it even existed. Someone had to or, like I said, it would be entirely pointless - just like Jadzia's Blood Oath Adventure was entirely pointless and a waste of my time and everyone else's from a characterization standpoint, since the episode starts with the audience unsure if she'd be willing to kill the Albino and ends with the audience unsure if she'd be willing to kill the Albino.

    Christ, Babylon 5 is a better show than Deep Space 9...an equivalent episode in B5 wouldn't leave the matter unclear. Jadzia would make a damn choice and she would live with the damn consequences and those consequences would actually advance her character in a meaningful way. In DS9 Jadzia just gets stared at a little at the end of the episode but then everything is hunky-dory next episode...ugh...

    Anyway. If you want to get more technical, Phlox did develop a serum that would ease the symptoms of the genetic deformation in the Valakians for at least a decade, and had earlier estimated that the Valakians had about two centuries of vitality left to them, which is a long time to develop a cure on their own - keep in mind that these people had already made contact with two space fairing races and were bending their entire society to finding a cure for their condition, something that Phlox was able to do in just a few days. I doubt any actual "genocide" took place.
  • jer5488jer5488 Member Posts: 506 Arc User
    edited April 2015

    But as above, I feel the Prime Directive, as you say, has to be either you intervene, or you don't, and I fall more into the non-interference camp, simply because that makes it easier to say "We don't intervene when it suits us, it doesn't suit us today, sorry..." rather than picking which situations to interfere with and which ones to allow to occur (as on Bajor)

    Which is the problem with the Prime Directive in the series. It isn't enforced in either case except for 'drama moments'. Any culture with a true non-interference directive is going to stay in their own system, they're going to blockade the holy hell and beyond out of it - and they're going to ignore the Galaxy.

    You can't be a member of a community and not interfere. A Starship patrolling a merchant spacelane against pirates is interfering. A Federation trade agreement keeping the Ferengi from cheating someone is interfering. Allowing Nog into Starfleet has completely ignored Ferengi culture and ideals. Stopping the Romulans from aiding their faction in the Klingon civil war was interfering.

    Lets take the civil war example - the blockade that stopped Sela from reinforcing her faction in the war changed billions of lives. It kept power where Starfleet wanted it, it stopped Romulan expansion, and it was a blatant violation of the Prime Directive.

    There are dozens of cases where a starship intervened in a 'natural disaster' - and it was okay because the people there knew enough to call for help. The Masterpiece Society, the episode where Q loses his powers and they have to return the moon to it's proper orbit. The episode with Rasmussen where they intervene and save that planet. The episode where the Enterprise blew up the Asteroid - and the ship gained sentience.

    All of these incidents are countered by examples like the Volcano in the latest Trek film. "They know about us, so helping is good!" to "They don't know about us, so helping is bad."

    In my book - not helping someone because thy don't know you is cowardice, and it's unforgivable. It's like a police officer or firefighter only willing to go help someone they personally know, or who has their cell phone number.
  • worffan101worffan101 Member Posts: 9,518 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    That doesn't necessarily mean that others need or want to hear about it... ;)
    Then why the heck are we debating things on the Internet?
    I'm not a big fan of Stephen Fry (In fact, I think he's a boorishly egotistical snob, and have read several unsavory things about him) but, as they say about the broken clock that's right twice a day, when he's right, he's right, and I think this quote from him ultimately sums up what I'm trying to say...
    He's being ridiculous. I'm a very insensitive person (just ask the genderless person who spent thirty minutes yelling at me for using a masculine pronoun around they/them), so when I am physically sickened by something, and I'm not the only who finds themselves stunned into silence by something's sheer awfulness, it's probably offensive.

    For example: "Tattoo". The sheer, abject racism in that left me unable to speak for thirty minutes straight after the credits rolled. One of my Lenape friends actually used it in a Native American student group meeting as the Ur-example of harmful Native stereotypes.

    Something that engenders that reaction is offensive.
    Knowing a bit about CBT, I'd argue that one can choose, through conscious decision, to not be angered/offended/upset by something... I forget where I saw it first, but I've seen 'The Rule of Threes' mentioned: Will it matter in:

    - 3 Days?
    - 3 Weeks?
    - 3 Years?

    If not, it's not worth getting upset about... Easier said than done, I acknowledge (well, unless you're a Vulcan) but it's certainly possible, and makes for an easier/happier life when consciously deciding not to let things get one down...
    ...no, you can't choose not to be offended.

    Being offended is that stark, semi-comprehending reaction you get when something f***s up so mightily that even conceding that it exists is painful to sentient life. It is a state usually diagnosed by stunned silence or frothing rage. Sometimes both.

    It's not something you can choose to be unless you're a talented actor.
    By that logic, GTA V shouldn't automatically go to a 'mission fail ' because Michael/Trevor dies, because at the end of the game, you have to choose to kill one of them (or not) (I chose to kill Michael, because he was a manipulative deceiver who brought s**t on himself. Trevor might be a psycho, but he doesn't pretend to be anything different, and is the kind of badass that makes Worf and Ronan Dex look like a pair of pussies...) Point I'm making, is that the plot dictates certain things, such as Talaxian incompetence, simply because that's what it requires to let Admiral Awesomename do what needs to be done... No incompetence = no necessity to participate = no plot... I may have discalculia, but even I can do that math that sometimes, things need to be taken with a pinch of salt... :D
    I know nothing about your example...but the Talaxians could've been MUCH better handled by not having every single interact and every single action not being about Talaxian incompetence. Better would be Neelix saying "We don't have enough people to keep our station repaired, will you help us?" and showing Talaxians fiddling with Trek tools near consoles and such.

    Not Talaxians sitting around and drinking, sitting around and hitting sensitive-looking objects repeatedly, and Talaxians just sitting around while stuff explodes around them.
    Because that's what the plot required... I agree, it's a stupid situation and a glaring plot hole, but that doesn't change the fact that as engaged viewers, we have to accept the reality as presented in context, because if not, there's just no point in watching...
    And I LOATHE writer fiat. I can't stand it. A justification for the plot should not make something unbelievably stupid.
    From the perspective of an omniscient viewer, not by the perspectives of the characters involved.

    As I said a while ago, I equate the Kazon with Somali pirates. Against a Nimitz-class, they'd get blown out of the water. To the guy taking the yacht out for a little cruise, they're a very serious danger...
    But Somali pirates use actual tactics without an ex-TRIBBLE (basically what Seska is) holding their hands.

    Dude, there's really no escaping the fact that the Kazon are objectively incapable of complex cognition.
    Ahh, and I guess to use a computing comparison, they have 'faster processors' than us, so they're able to react more quickly to those things than a Human would... That makes sense...

    The idea of them being psychic is much more fun though ;)

    Ehhh...not really. More...they have better senses and a simpler, more streamlined processor.
  • jonsillsjonsills Member Posts: 9,865 Arc User
    edited April 2015
    You were given an example of Talaxians working together, accomplishing a goal, and indicating absolutely no incompetence in the process. You dismissed it because you didn't feel their goal was sufficiently difficult.

    That's called "moving the goalposts" - previously, you weren't demanding they do something really hard, just that they show basic competence at a task. (For that matter, just above here you're making the same request.) The Talaxian group that helped Paris fits your criteria. Just because they were working against someone you have even stronger feelings about doesn't invalidate the example.

    Suppose someone were to ask you for a single bit of evidence that proves birds are dinosaurs. You point out the anatomical and apparent physiological resemblance to therapods, including some of the details of the skull structure indicating that T. rex's closest surviving cousin is G. gallus. They then say that doesn't count - now you have to show them a bird with fangs! Would you even bother to continue trying?
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