Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Ultimatization of a Legend?

Not being a Star Trek fan, only having seen about ten episodes of TOS and the Khan movie, I can't even remotely bring myself to care that the franchise is no longer on air.

I am however familiar with the setting and like Chris Roberson here (him I know), I've always wondered why the hell the Federation isn't a lot more powerful than it's portrayed.

Consider the following:

The Federation is a post-scarcity economy, with FTL technology and the ability to create AIs.

Exactly. What I never considered though was applying the Singularity mindset to the Star Trek universe. As Roberson shows, the results would be devastating:

This should be approached as a post-Singularity culture, in the best Vingean tradition. Zipping across the cosmos at superluminal speeds, explorers able to instantiate at innumerable locations on a given world simultaneously, multiple iterations of each individual spawned by the ship's ability to break down organisms into replicatable patterns and then rebuild them from available matter. Whole research teams made up of multiple copies of one scientist, a kind of hivemind working in concert. Human-machine hybrids, augmented humans, and artificial intelligences rubbing shoulders on the bridge.

To which I add, vacuum-proof invincible holowarriors, infinite ammo, Khan-style enhancements for the entire human race. Let's not even get into the famous "technobabble" one-off devices.

Star Trek could - should - have been awesome. Here's to Moore (of Galactica fame) getting his hands on it in the next decade.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Hannibal Tabu said...

Because of Khan, a lot of that will never come to the Federation.

They are deathly afraid, as a culture, of personal modification. If you recall DS9, Dr. Bashir was found out to be a very mildly enhanced human and almost drummed out of the whole joint.

Khan scared them. Too much, too fast. Dr. Soong's kids did the same -- swiping a freaking Bird of Prey? Even as far forward as the 27th century, that sort of thing is looked on with horror.

As for holowarriors (an idea dear to my heart, as you know), the Doctor was a prototype that worried many. His powers too great, holodeck accidents too common (safety protocols? What safety protocols?) and again fear limited the technology, as much as Terra Prime almost scuttled the nascent Federation.

That said, the Federation is considerably sneakier than they'd imply (Insurrection) and often doing downright wrong things for reasons of imperialism. The only difference between them and the Romulans is a multiplicity of races and better PR.

8:15 PM  
Blogger razorsmile said...

As for holowarriors (an idea dear to my heart, as you know)

Exactly what I was thinking of when I wrote that. Heh.

They are deathly afraid, as a culture, of personal modification.

Hmm, really. Well, that would explain it.

Technoluddite fools.


Oh and, to all Star Trek fans, R.I.P. Scotty.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Hannibal Tabu said...

Technoluddite or not, it's an issue of control. The "controller" we so often discussed has the same concerns. He can't let things get beyond his comprehension, and while he is a genius in some areas, he's a fool in others. Therefore a clamp down on everything, because he can trust no one.

But you just wait until I get a good story to work in his "apprentice." >8^)

5:31 AM  
Blogger razorsmile said...

Technoluddite or not, it's an issue of control.

I ... see. The difference is that the "Controller" doesn't have to deal with politics or public opinion; total domination of the known universe will do that.

But what about the unknown universe? How long till the Federation (or even one interstellar mad genius) runs into a unsupervised civilization that doesn't self-restrict? Sitting ducks in a barrel, i tells ya.

But you just wait until I get a good story to work in his "apprentice".

*rubs hands together gleefully*

1:49 PM  

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