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Geeking About Star Trek Technology - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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August 20th, 2011

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04:25 pm - Geeking About Star Trek Technology
After watching the intro for the 1970 Gerry Anderson show U.F.O., which I dearly loved as a child, I was talking with amberite about how impressively retro the tech (and especially the computers and electronics) in most 60s-80s SF shows looks now, and we got to talking about how to justify Star Trek. AJ suggested that the TOS tech interfaces were presumably both more complex than they looked and also that perhaps sometime a century or so before they'd discovered that heavily graphic interfaces disrupted circadian rhythms, increased distraction and delays in reaction time, or some other negative result that you don't want in what amounts of military & first responder tech (obviously, these problems were solved by TNG).

My thought was one advantage all Star Trek tech has over our is that they have utterly amazing batteries – you can fire a phaser on disrupt for something like an hour, meaning you could power a house for hours with a power cell the size of a grape. What you see on all versions of Star Trek is people turning the equivalent of cellphones and other personal electronics into lasers capable of cutting steel bars, force fields, and similar wackiness. So, what if this is deliberate – their tech includes components like laser diodes and presumably tech that generates tiny micro-power forcefields as speaker cones, but Star Fleet tech is specifically designed to be able to be drastically modified, so that 0.1 mW laser diode is designed to handle up to 5 kilowatts of power, and the force field generator that normally creates a force field a cm in diameter that can only move air a mm or so, can be overdriven to produce a short-term personal forcefield, although in both cases if used at or near the maximum capabilities, these components rapidly burn out. Given that these devices have vast amounts of power available to them, this seems reasonable. Of course, this also means that civilian Federation tech almost certainly lacks these capabilities (except perhaps for tech designed for use by colonists on remote and somewhat isolated colonies).
Current Mood: amusedamused

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Date:August 22nd, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
Making Federation tech massively over-engineered and overpowered could help explain some of the failure modes on Federation equipment. For example, bridge consoles might have integral high-powered batteries to facilitate jury-rigging. Of course when hit by an EMP they have a tendency to explode....

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