A dragon confronts the Terasem movement

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Sizik
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Re: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement

Postby Sizik » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:38 pm UTC

Dr34m(4+(h3r wrote:
doogly wrote:Have you tried plugging it in?

Right, but then something is acting on it.......................................................................................................

Brains don't work unless they're plugged in either.
gmalivuk wrote:
King Author wrote:If space (rather, distance) is an illusion, it'd be possible for one meta-me to experience both body's sensory inputs.
Yes. And if wishes were horses, wishing wells would fill up very quickly with drowned horses.

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Xanthir
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Re: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement

Postby Xanthir » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:02 pm UTC

THREAD HIJACK

Copper Bezel wrote:
Which, to be fair, is because the transporters never made sense with the rest of the technology anyway and were shoved in for filming convenience in the original series with the explanation following. They and the replicators are both limited to doing the one job they're assigned, despite the fact that a realistic technology capable of doing either could store any object, living or otherwise, as data, and reproduce it freely.

They have done further hand-waving that makes it at least a little sensical. (I dived into some detailed SO answers about this after writing the comment...)

The big distinction they make is that teleporters are *exact* reproducers, while replicators are relatively *low-res* reproducers. Teleportation requires a massive amount of storage; by default they use a volatile energy-cloud storage thing (that can't be copied) that they can then beam down to where they need and reconstitute the body via ~magic~, but you could potentially store the body on traditional storage media, it would just be gigantic. (The DS9 episode where this happened had 5 people occupying roughly the entire station's free memory banks.) On the other hand, replicators are low-res, and can't reproduce things at sufficient detail to actually make a living thing; they're good enough to construct reasonable food and most solid objects, tho. (Presumably the food suffers in some way when trying to produce precise textures/etc, which is why cooking still exists as a thing - start with source material where the texture doesn't matter as much, then cook to get just the right volatile mix/etc.) But due to that, replicator templates are much more reasonable to store.

That doesn't alter the fact that you still *can* hold a single person in traditional storage, and thus can reproduce highly-skilled people, but at least it's a special-enough case that you can imagine it's reasonably restricted by the Federation's laws against clones and eugenics. *Other* empires, on the other hand, would probably still take advantage of it...
(defun fibs (n &optional (a 1) (b 1)) (take n (unfold '+ a b)))

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Copper Bezel
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Re: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:24 pm UTC

Yeah, that's fair. And I was aware of the stated limitations, enough that I'm aware of Scotty using a special cycled buffer to store himself and a crewmate and even that turning out to work only for him (IIRC?) while having considered the possibility that in a replicated bag of potato chips, all the individual chips might be precisely identical to the molecular level.

It still sounds and feels like magic but I really shouldn't be more skeptical of it than any other realistic limitation built into a sci-fi technology. Trek may be one of the few popular franchises that I think of as properly sci-fi rather than science fantasy, but it doesn't make any pretense of being a hard sci-fi and it's unfair of me to treat it like one.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

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Eebster the Great
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Re: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:05 am UTC

Also, given the potentially unconstrained growth of the Federation's resources, it seems like over the centuries the show spans, people should eventually have made plenty of memory storage. The size of a person doesn't increase, but the amount of stuff the Federation can have built over time could increase exponentially, and faster than even an exponential increase in population (thus, an exponential increase in per capita wealth). So it's not really an out.

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Re: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement

Postby SuicideJunkie » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:32 pm UTC

People-storage progress does appear to be a thing across the series. The population of holographic people keeps going up even if they're forgotten quickly in terms of plot, and their mobility and independence is on an upward trend, even if it is a surprisingly slow rate.

The biggest hindrance to people storage seems to be storing the mindless meatsack portions at the same resolution as the important bits. They're simple and robust, but inefficient BMP (Bodies Maintained Perfectly) storage during the incidents of the week when they have to quickly hack together a solution.

What they really need is to develop a good JPEG (Just Pretty & Edible Goo) standard for replicators, and a PNG (People, Not Goo) one for transporters.

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Zamfir
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Re: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement

Postby Zamfir » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:29 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Also, given the potentially unconstrained growth of the Federation's resources, it seems like over the centuries the show spans, people should eventually have made plenty of memory storage. The size of a person doesn't increase, but the amount of stuff the Federation can have built over time could increase exponentially, and faster than even an exponential increase in population (thus, an exponential increase in per capita wealth). So it's not really an out.


There could be reasonable physically limits to this. Moore's law is not a law of nature, after all. It's going to taper at some point. And that point might be far away from "practical device that can store the molecular-level details of kilos of stuff".

As an analogy: I was just recently talking to someone who was a radar operator in Ye Olden Days. A radar screen was the stereotypical image from the movies. A round CRT showing sweeps, coupled through analog circuits directly to the output of the radar. With some capacitor-based tricks to filter strong reflections from the noise, and relying on the CRT phosphors to make the signal "linger" on the screen until the next sweep.

At some point, they introduced computers that stored the output digitally. Suddenly you could do new tricks, like extrapolate the course of a moving reflection.

The transporter seems similar to those old radars. It can just about manage the required data flow, but it requires specialized, single-purpose hardware. General-purpose computation channels are not good enough. So you can't do much "tricks". And general computation might have a limit that falls short of transporter capability.

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Re: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:28 am UTC

Even with no technological progress at all, storage capacity should increase at least linearly with physical resources (and energy production), given the high degree of automation and near-instantaneous transport. Since the galaxy is very large, even if there are millions of civilizations in the sector, there should still be plenty of room for the Federation to expand into and plenty of progress to be made in the areas already colonized. Exponential growth seems the most plausible trajectory.

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Re: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement

Postby SuicideJunkie » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:03 pm UTC

Despite the automation, engineers are still required on starships.
From what we see, the maintenance requirements of a full person on non-specialized hardware is significantly more than the encoded people can provide (random engineer (or worse, generic crew member #42) stuck in the computer due to anomaly of the week can't save himself!).

By contrast, people native to the platform on which they're operating have insignificant maintenance costs, for example: Data, Spock, Dax, Moriarty.

From an efficiency standpoint, it makes sense to not upload people into giant computer cores, but to use those resources to improve and expand conventionally.

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Re: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:42 pm UTC

It's efficient except in the sense that everybody dies, which is arguably inefficient.

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Re: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement

Postby SuicideJunkie » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:42 pm UTC

Incidents of the week hint that the transporter can be used to refurbish most custom hardware, so that aging won't be an issue.
Political will and research budgets are likely to be the limiting factor for all the proposed solutions.

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Re: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:17 pm UTC

I get the sense that humanity's bad experience with genetic engineering gets generalized into an overall discomfort with anything much like transhumanism. And the transporters can already be used to de-age someone with the help of just a DNA sample of all things to solve an episode conflict, which brings some question to appealing to the idea that applying them that way would be natural if possible. X ]
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her


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