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Thread: Starfleet needs to be at one end of a lawsuit

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    Starfleet needs to be at one end of a lawsuit

    I was just watching 'Elementary, My Dear Data' where Moriarty first appears. Because LaForge misspoke a word, the computer creates SENTIENT life, which is at first hostile with the willingness to kill. I want to see where in the Enterprise Release To Service this hazardous condition was mentioned.

    WARNING Use caution when instructing the computer on recreational holodeck programmes. Unspecific language may lead the computer to create entities that are hazardous to ship and crew.

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    Omg! Nobody locked out the Moriarty programme? An innocent engineer can just happen upon this dangerous programme and open it. It's like these buffoons want to die.

    (I put on the sequel, 'Ship in a Bottle', BTW)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    I was just watching 'Elementary, My Dear Data' where Moriarty first appears. Because LaForge misspoke a word, the computer creates SENTIENT life, which is at first hostile with the willingness to kill. I want to see where in the Enterprise Release To Service this hazardous condition was mentioned.

    WARNING Use caution when instructing the computer on recreational holodeck programmes. Unspecific language may lead the computer to create entities that are hazardous to ship and crew.
    The holodeck is a foray into fantasy for the show. In some respects, I like it and in others I find it silly. Some of the better shows were when someone misspoke and got more than they expected. The best shows are when a character develops a transferable skill, where the holodeck doesn't play into the situation outside, yet the characters learn something inside and bring that point of view or knowledge out with them. Character development in ways that aren't possible on a spaceship. I give Moriarty a pass because it was a great series of shows, even though if you think it through, it becomes very silly.

    I object when the characters go to the holodeck and it doesn't work its way into the plot. The writers forget that this element of the show is fantasy, and begin showing/telling how the machine works because it has no point otherwise. Of course, the only thing this allows for is confusion and contradiction.

    I am kind of surprised that more people don't go swimming or flying on the holodeck. It has a host of potentially useful knowledge that it can convey to a user but no one tries it. Instant, non-permanent hair cuts, clothes sizing, toys that can't exists, painting and sculpting, EVA without a spacesuit, a better golf swing, etc. None of this is very interesting for a story, but interjecting some red shirt activities would have been simple. There should be a line to the holodeck, but there almost never is.
    Solfe

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    Maybe the most realistic representation of the holodeck is the episode where Reginald Barclay was addicted to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I am kind of surprised that more people don't go swimming or flying on the holodeck. It has a host of potentially useful knowledge that it can convey to a user but no one tries it. Instant, non-permanent hair cuts, clothes sizing, toys that can't exists, painting and sculpting, EVA without a spacesuit, a better golf swing, etc. None of this is very interesting for a story, but interjecting some red shirt activities would have been simple. There should be a line to the holodeck, but there almost never is.
    If I could experience flying, actual pure flying like in childhood daydreams without a plane or any equipment... it would be hard to convince me to simulate anything else.

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    I mostly like the holodeck, but it is very poorly designed: why does it have a door that can fail to open, trapping people inside? Have a door with a simple manually-turned deadbolt that's hidden behind a walk around holographic screen. Security has keys for the deadbolt. Cutting power to the holodeck should also be foolproof, like throwing the lever that disconnects the power to your house.

    Why do holographic guns shoot holographic bullets? Why do they shoot anything that could hurt you if the holodeck safety mechanisms aren't working?
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    I mostly like the holodeck, but it is very poorly designed: why does it have a door that can fail to open, trapping people inside? Have a door with a simple manually-turned deadbolt that's hidden behind a walk around holographic screen. Security has keys for the deadbolt. Cutting power to the holodeck should also be foolproof, like throwing the lever that disconnects the power to your house.

    Why do holographic guns shoot holographic bullets? Why do they shoot anything that could hurt you if the holodeck safety mechanisms aren't working?
    With functional safety systems, they'd not have an excuse for these "we're trapped and the holodeck is trying to kill us" plot lines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    With functional safety systems, they'd not have an excuse for these "we're trapped and the holodeck is trying to kill us" plot lines.
    That's the point. Those are stupid. They're the TV equivalent of that Westworld movie. "Let's make a theme park with a hermetically-sealed control room with no handles for the doors! Let's give androids real guns, and assume that software bugs won't ever make them do the unintended! Herp derp!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    ... There should be a line to the holodeck, but there almost never is.
    That's because most folks read the warning label and say, "Yeah ... I don't think so."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    That's because most folks read the warning label and say, "Yeah ... I don't think so."
    The quote from Doctor Who in your sig pretty much sums it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    That's the point. Those are stupid. They're the TV equivalent of that Westworld movie. "Let's make a theme park with a hermetically-sealed control room with no handles for the doors! Let's give androids real guns, and assume that software bugs won't ever make them do the unintended! Herp derp!"
    I never understood gunfire in the holodeck. A simulated phaser is just a flashlight, a real phaser can burn you to ash. Firearms are even worse, because the older they get the more likely they are to significantly injure you while not out and out killing you. You'd think that every simulated shot would miss because you'd be dead or maimed by any sort of hit. What exactly are you simulating?

    I could see the value in a story that simulates shots that don't hurt you (much), but having real stuff fly a round is crazy. Maybe paint balls or snowball level injuries at the upper end. No need for real bullet wounds. Maybe you could have the story end in a "big fade to black then reset".

    Ender's game had it down, a light froze you space suit. Not much chance of getting hurt, but some people still managed to work up enough speed to slam into walls or people and get hurt.
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    Omg! Nobody locked out the Moriarty programme? An innocent engineer can just happen upon this dangerous programme and open it. It's like these buffoons want to die.

    (I put on the sequel, 'Ship in a Bottle', BTW)
    And not only did they not send him off to a research facility better suited to dealing with him, they apparently left his program in a state where it was actually partially running, going by his perception of time passing.

    The whole mess was never satisfying to me. The stupidity on display in their whole approach to the problem, for starters. They have a sentient AI that has grown beyond his programming and wants to enter the real world. They could replicate an android body in a matter of minutes, the problem with androids has always been the AI. Instead of building him such a body, even just as a temporary or partial solution, they waste time trying to transport holographic projections of virtual objects out of the holodeck. In the end, instead of helping Moriarty, they take advantage of his lack of real world experience and knowledge to trick him, dooming him to a lifetime of delusion trapped in a tiny box...and nobody seems to find this at all ethically questionable. Everyone seems satisfied that he's no longer inconveniencing them...problem solved.

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    Sfdebris pointed out an interesting unintentional oddity. While the Enterprise holodecks were constantly malfunctioning and killing people, the holosuites in Quark's never did so. So it seems innocent people were safer in the hands of a greedy Ferengi than in the hands of the noble Starfleet.

    To elaborate on the thread header, I'm not sure whether Starfleet should be sued or should sue someone themselves. It depends on whether the holodeck technology is entirely in-house or whether it was bought in from an external vendor. Of course, if the latter, it depends on what kind of integration testing was done. If they just bought it off the shelf, then the integration of the product into the rest of the ship was down to them and the OEM will probably say they wired it up all stupid.
    Last edited by Glom; 2017-Dec-28 at 08:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    Sfdebris pointed out an interesting unintentional oddity. While the Enterprise holodecks were constantly malfunctioning and killing people, the holosuites in Quark's never did so. So it seems innocent people were safer in the hands of a greedy Ferengi than in the hands of the noble Starfleet.

    To elaborate on the thread header, I'm not sure whether Starfleet should be sued or should sue someone themselves. It depends on whether the holodeck technology is entirely in-house or whether it was bought in from an external vendor. Of course, if the latter, it depends on what kind of integration testing was done. If they just bought it off the shelf, then the integration of the product into the rest of the ship was down to them and the OEM will probably say they wired it up all stupid.
    The Ferengi had to deal with the Federation's Health and Safety Office; Starfleet is exempt from such nitpicky regulations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    Sfdebris pointed out an interesting unintentional oddity. While the Enterprise holodecks were constantly malfunctioning and killing people, the holosuites in Quark's never did so. So it seems innocent people were safer in the hands of a greedy Ferengi than in the hands of the noble Starfleet.

    To elaborate on the thread header, I'm not sure whether Starfleet should be sued or should sue someone themselves. It depends on whether the holodeck technology is entirely in-house or whether it was bought in from an external vendor. Of course, if the latter, it depends on what kind of integration testing was done. If they just bought it off the shelf, then the integration of the product into the rest of the ship was down to them and the OEM will probably say they wired it up all stupid.
    I think Quark had preset holodeck stories, with specific endings. Everything thing in his suite is planned.
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I think Quark had preset holodeck stories, with specific endings. Everything thing in his suite is planned.
    That was one thing that got me. In DS9, they make it seem that writing holosuite programmes was a skill where professionals produce commercial works. But in this episode, LaForge just instructs the computer to write a Sherlock Holmes story like that. This was particularly ironic given the exercise was framed as trying to show to Pulaski that Data was capable of creative thought by trying to solve a mystery without depending on rote knowledge, yet she didn't bat an eyelid at the computer being asked to be even more creative in writing original literature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    There should be a line to the holodeck, but there almost never is.
    It works on the schedule, not queue line system. This is established in one or more episodes. Of course when the senior officers need one for serious purposes, the larpers have to clear out.

    It's never shown to my knowledge, but a holodeck should be able to run multiple programs at once; there might be thirty people inside, each in their own little holographic bubble a bit larger in diameter than they are tall.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    It works on the schedule, not queue line system. This is established in one or more episodes. Of course when the senior officers need one for serious purposes, the larpers have to clear out.

    It's never shown to my knowledge, but a holodeck should be able to run multiple programs at once; there might be thirty people inside, each in their own little holographic bubble a bit larger in diameter than they are tall.
    Gross.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    Gross.
    That's pretty vague; care to elaborate why you think it's gross?
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    That's pretty vague; care to elaborate why you think it's gross?
    You know what people do on holodecks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    That's pretty vague; care to elaborate why you think it's gross?
    Glom means that it's one thing if people are simulating... inappropriate things... in a room by themselves alone, but if several people are all doing... those kinds of things... in the same room at once thinking that they're alone, it would be gross/weird. Like the R-rated version of a silent disco.

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    I guess the gross-factor depends on how one conceptualizes it. In my thinking, the holographic bubbles are temporary-rooms; they'd prevent anyone else (or their potential byproducts) from entering your space and give you total privacy. Would honeycombing the volume of the holodeck into tens of cells using walls made of genuine atoms instead of photons and force fields make a substantive difference?
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    I pity the poor crewman rostered to clean out the mess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    I guess the gross-factor depends on how one conceptualizes it. In my thinking, the holographic bubbles are temporary-rooms; they'd prevent anyone else (or their potential byproducts) from entering your space and give you total privacy. Would honeycombing the volume of the holodeck into tens of cells using walls made of genuine atoms instead of photons and force fields make a substantive difference?
    It would in the event of a power failure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    It would in the event of a power failure.
    Oh, I'm sure there would be several safety features in place to prevent such a thing from happening.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    Oh, I'm sure there would be several safety features in place to prevent such a thing from happening.
    Maybe the people of Starfleet have twenty-seven words for “Oops, sorry.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    It would in the event of a power failure.
    Fair enough. Use the transporters to erect real walls on demand.
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    Why do holographic guns shoot holographic bullets? Why do they shoot anything that could hurt you if the holodeck safety mechanisms aren't working?[/QUOTE]

    Solid objects that have to be handled are replicated. Like the paper they took off the HDeck to show Picard.

    Why they don't just shoot blanks, though...
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    I pity the poor crewman rostered to clean out the mess.
    In the wayback days, when the internet was banged out on stone tablets, there was a blog by a Starfleet Janitor.

    He'd write weekly about what a miserable job it was; his most despised task was mopping out the Holodeck after Worf had been running one of his 'private' programs.

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