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Old 21st September 2017, 03:27 AM   #161
Argumemnon
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Basically here's the short version of the problem with proposing extreme systems: caring for the safety and wellbeing of your subjects should be about ALL subjects. INCLUDING those who end up victimized by the STATE, and including those who are victimized in the name of protecting others.

And frankly that's why we have so many safeguards and separations of powers and whatnot. Because the state can do the most harm. Now I'm not saying get rid of the state, but just that those safeguards are there for a reason. There are good reason why we require a jury of his/her peers, and evidence, and have an assumption innocence until proven guilty, and so on.

And to hammer some point some more, it's not even a new concept. The Magna Carta, early 13'th century, had this sentence, "No Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land." My emphasis, because this is what this is about: justice can destroy someone's life. And it was clear that far back in time.

Looking at just how many victims you prevent from having their life destroyed, is missing the concern for how many lives does your state destroy in the process.
That's a beautiful illustration of how extremely you're over-analysing this. This has nothing to do with the conversation.
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Old 21st September 2017, 03:54 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
You appear to be applying the 0.01% error rate to the entire population. But that's not what an (in)accuracy rate is. It's 0.01% of all predictions.

Your accuracy at a gun/archery range is hits on target divided by shots you took, not divided by the number of bullets/arrows in the city.
But if you have to predict who in the total population will commit a crime, and who won't, you have to essentially predict both that some will and that some won't.

Homicide and (non-negligent) manslaughter rate in the USA (as of 2014) is 4.9 per 100,000 population. To stop even one, you have to have some criterion to predict that in a town of 20,000 people not only this guy will, but that the other 19,999 guys won't. The moment you claim any criterion can tell you which of the 20,000 will commit a crime, or even narrow it down to a smaller sample to look at, you ARE applying the criterion to all 20,000 and making a prediction.
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Old 21st September 2017, 03:55 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
That's a beautiful illustration of how extremely you're over-analysing this. This has nothing to do with the conversation.
But I think it does. I think that is the problem that people have with that scenario: that it allows some organization to ruin some people's lives for stuff they may or may not actually do. Which is not the nirvana fallacy.
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Old 21st September 2017, 04:17 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But I think it does. I think that is the problem that people have with that scenario: that it allows some organization to ruin some people's lives for stuff they may or may not actually do. Which is not the nirvana fallacy.
How does that relate to my original point? I really don't see it.
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Old 21st September 2017, 04:33 AM   #165
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It relates because you assume that the problem is "It's not 100% perfect at preventing crime, therefore it's crap." While actually the issue is more like HOW does it prevent crime: by ruining the lives of a LOT of innocents. THAT is the problem.
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Old 21st September 2017, 04:36 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
It relates because you assume that the problem is "It's not 100% perfect at preventing crime, therefore it's crap."
I don't assume it, I conclude it. That's the implication from the movie.

Quote:
While actually the issue is more like HOW does it prevent crime: by ruining the lives of a LOT of innocents. THAT is the problem.
It doesn't prevent crime by ruining lives. It intercepts murderers before they act, SAVING lives. I've already told you this before, so I'll bolden it this time: The issue is that the police then send you away for murder without further proceedings. Farrel's character makes a good point about that early in the movie but it's hand-waved away.
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Old 21st September 2017, 05:49 AM   #167
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Thereby ruining YOUR life.
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Old 21st September 2017, 05:53 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Thereby ruining YOUR life.
What?

Did you even read my post? You know, the bolded part?
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Old 21st September 2017, 06:07 AM   #169
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Well, if they brand you a murderer and send you away, they did just ruin your life, didn't they?
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Old 21st September 2017, 06:22 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, if they brand you a murderer and send you away, they did just ruin your life, didn't they?
Hence the bolded part of my post, which you obviously didn't read, so I will make it bigger: You could have further legal proceedings after the arrest to make sure you're not sending an innocent to jail. The tech could still be very useful.
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Old 21st September 2017, 07:06 AM   #171
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Proceedings based on WHAT evidence? If you still require enough evidence to prove an attempted murder or conspiracy to commit murder or such, you're essentially back to today's system. And if it's based on just trusting someone or some system to be omniscient and know the future, then you're back to square one: sending a lot of innocents to jail anyway.

There is nothing magical about requiring a judge. Mao's had one too. Stalin's NKVD troikas had THREE judges who had to agree that yeah, that guy is too rich to be a peasant, he deserves to be shot. So what?

The real safeguards are due process, demanding evidece, the assumption of innocence, habeas corpus, etc. Once you remove evidence in favour of just trusting that someone or something is right about something that hasn't even happened yet -- INCLUDING a system that has a judge or whatever -- then you're back to the problem: ANY margin of error means ruining more lives than you prevent.
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Old 21st September 2017, 07:07 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Proceedings based on WHAT evidence?
Same evidence you normally gather, but with the added benefit of actually having prevented the crime when one was about to happen.

Unless you don't care about murderers RUINING people lives before they can be caught.
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Old 21st September 2017, 07:17 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But if you have to predict who in the total population will commit a crime, and who won't, you have to essentially predict both that some will and that some won't.
Have you seen the movie though? That's not how it works. They aren't making predictions for everyone, they are having visions of specific *events*. At a fairly low rate. There isn't a constant stream of visions coming out for the whole population. Your predicted false positive rate is significantly higher than the prediction rate seen in the movie, and therefore impossible.
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Old 21st September 2017, 08:54 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But if you have to predict who in the total population will commit a crime, and who won't, you have to essentially predict both that some will and that some won't.

Homicide and (non-negligent) manslaughter rate in the USA (as of 2014) is 4.9 per 100,000 population. To stop even one, you have to have some criterion to predict that in a town of 20,000 people not only this guy will, but that the other 19,999 guys won't. The moment you claim any criterion can tell you which of the 20,000 will commit a crime, or even narrow it down to a smaller sample to look at, you ARE applying the criterion to all 20,000 and making a prediction.
I have some system that predicts homicides and their perpetrators. It makes a prediction: Alice will kill Bob tomorrow at 9am.

I wait and see.

It turns out it's right.

It makes another prediction: Charlie will kill Doris tomorrow at 1:30pm.

I wait and see.

It turns out it's right.

I let this run until I get enough data to make a statistically valid assessment of it's accuracy and find that it's 99.95% accurate in that the event it predicts actually takes place and the perpetrator is the person predicted.

The rate of false positives will be 5 innocents predicted to commit murder for every 9995 guilty people.

This how the predictions are presented in the film.
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Old 21st September 2017, 10:37 AM   #175
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So, the plan is to arrest the person prior to the murder as they have been prophesied to, at some point in the future, commit the murder.

Then, as the system is not perfect, there is then a trial?

How does one prove that they were gonna have done it? I suspect that's rather more tricky than the current situation where one has to prove that they did do it.
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Old 21st September 2017, 10:43 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
So, the plan is to arrest the person prior to the murder as they have been prophesied to, at some point in the future, commit the murder.

Then, as the system is not perfect, there is then a trial?

How does one prove that they were gonna have done it? I suspect that's rather more tricky than the current situation where one has to prove that they did do it.
Oh absolutely, but at least you stopped 9995 murders for each 10000 interventions. That's pretty good, either way.
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Old 21st September 2017, 10:46 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Oh absolutely, but at least you stopped 9995 murders for each 10000 interventions. That's pretty good, either way.

You still have to have 9995 trials.

In any of those trials that were for murders committed on the spur of the moment, rather than those that are intricately planned, there will be literally no evidence for the prosecution to present other than 'the precogs said they'd do it'
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Old 21st September 2017, 10:46 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
You still have to have 9995 trials.
Sounds better than 9995 funerals.
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Old 21st September 2017, 10:47 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Oh absolutely, but at least you stopped 9995 murders for each 10000 interventions. That's pretty good, either way.
Or you could, and I know this is a crazy idea here, but bear with me, you could just use it as a source of intel, and position people to watch the suspected victim, and stop the predicted perpetrator in the act.

Then you get proof and save lives.
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Old 21st September 2017, 10:48 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Or you could, and I know this is a crazy idea here, but bear with me, you could just use it as a source of intel, and position people to watch the suspected victim, and stop the predicted perpetrator in the act.
Isn't that exactly what I said? That the tech allows you to stop the crime before it happens? That the issue is that the movie has the police throw you in jail immediately thereafter (ETA: without a trial) ?
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Old 21st September 2017, 10:50 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Isn't that exactly what I said? That the tech allows you to stop the crime before it happens? That the issue is that the movie has the police throw you in jail immediately thereafter?
I dunno. Sorry, I was responding more generally, just chose your post to respond to. But if you've meant that, it hasn't come across clearly.

Thought I'd spell that bit out for everyone on here .
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Old 21st September 2017, 10:52 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
You still have to have 9995 trials.

In any of those trials that were for murders committed on the spur of the moment, rather than those that are intricately planned, there will be literally no evidence for the prosecution to present other than 'the precogs said they'd do it'
It's not just their word, the system produces video of the visions they have.
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Old 21st September 2017, 11:10 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by phunk View Post
It's not just their word, the system produces video of the visions they have.

I don't think that should be admissible evidence when what you're trying to discover is if that prediction is accurate. Otherwise it's just circular.
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Old 21st September 2017, 11:12 AM   #184
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I think it bears repeating that the only one failure of the system was one of its instigators using his intricate knowledge of the technology to fool the psychics into thinking that it was not a real murder. In other words if the villain had succeeded it would've resulted in no innocents in prison but rather a murderer at large, nullifying Hans' argument.
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Old 21st September 2017, 12:23 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by phunk View Post
Quote:
In any of those trials that were for murders committed on the spur of the moment, rather than those that are intricately planned, there will be literally no evidence for the prosecution to present other than 'the precogs said they'd do it'
It's not just their word, the system produces video of the visions they have.
That would only be useful if it can be demonstrated that the visions the precog had were actually accurate.

If the visions were ever the result of either imagination, or by misinterpreting what was seen, then the visions are not much more valuable that verbal (or similar) statements. (If the precogs manage to tune in to a showing of Silence of the Lambs, are they going to send Anthony Hopkins to jail, just because "They have recorded visions of him killing"?
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Old 21st September 2017, 03:21 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
I can only imagine a couple of WWI fighter pilots looking at F-22 and wondering where its propellers are. Or a B-52 pilot in 1960 looking at a picture of B-2 and declaring that such an airframe could never fly combat missions. I mean they already tried the flying wing design twice a decade earlier and they could barely stay in the air for a test flight.

Even in realistic sci-fi I think it's an error if stuff looks like we expect it is going to because that make the core mistake of assuming there aren't major design/technologies leaps still to be made.
Two problems with the analogy: air flight is more complex than space flight (so unexpected inventions are more to be expected), and not knowing what principles are at work is different from knowing what principles are supposed to be at work & seeing that what we're being shown doesn't fit.
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Old 21st September 2017, 03:35 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I have some system that predicts homicides and their perpetrators. It makes a prediction: Alice will kill Bob tomorrow at 9am.

I wait and see.

It turns out it's right.

It makes another prediction: Charlie will kill Doris tomorrow at 1:30pm.

I wait and see.

It turns out it's right.

I let this run until I get enough data to make a statistically valid assessment of it's accuracy and find that it's 99.95% accurate in that the event it predicts actually takes place and the perpetrator is the person predicted.

The rate of false positives will be 5 innocents predicted to commit murder for every 9995 guilty people.

This how the predictions are presented in the film.
The problem is that it's akin to arguments for an enlightened dictatorship. And sure, you can test that the guy is enlightened before you elect/revolt/coup/whatever to put him in charge. The question though is the same: will the same apply for the NEXT guy? Will it even still appy next year?

The problem is: ok, so you've tested and proven that in the year X, guys Y and Z are prescient. Fine. I'll grant you that, for the sake of this exercise.

But then you stop testing it altogether, when you start stopping the predicted events from happening. And you don't really know any more if the event is actually stopped by precognition or it wouldn't have happened in the first place anyway.

What if some of your precogs go schizophrenic and start having visions that have noting to do with the future? What about the NEXT batch of precogs? Etc.

At some point you stopped having any confirmation that the system even works at all any more.

The thing is, we have safeguards against the police lying or being schizophrenic or just have a batch of incompetent cops. Because they're required to present evidence that someone else, hopefully less invested in having another solved case on their resume, can independently verify and confirm that yeah, it adds up to that guy being guilty.

You DON'T have the same safeguards when essentially your standard of evidence is literaly something from Family Guy: "I call to the stand the ghost who can never lie. But only I can hear him." Except in this case you don't even know if the case you're judging is imaginary or not, so it actually one-ups Family Guy for absurdity.

Hell, even with video, what about cases of mistaken identity? They happen IRL all the time. But IRL you have safeguards like having to show that the guy you arrested was actually there, or if someone else saw him in another place alltogether. But when you deal with stuff that only one guy saw in the future, how do you prevent that?
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Old 21st September 2017, 04:11 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I see what you're saying. You are making the assumption that the same number of crew are required per cubic yard of wessel which I'm not really sure holds. The more advance the technology the more one person can deal with.
No, not as such. What I am saying is that if the 'population density' is roughly the same as it is now, then these ships should have truly gigantic crews... which they don't. Which means that the population density should be absurdly low... which is also not what we ever see.

If you want to depict a miles-long ship with a crew of a few thousand because it's all automated, that's fine - but be realistic about it. Depict a situation in which vast chunks of the ship never have anybody at all in them. In which walking around the ship would be like walking around a city that only had a few dozen people scattered around it. And so on.

What we get is the worst of all worlds. Absurdly large ships, with absurdly small crews, and yet which are shown to be as crowded - or within an order of magnitude or so as crowded - as any present day ship.

Quote:
Any pretense at realism (which there isn't, I realise) would mean that about 9/10 of a SSD would be fuel or empty fuel tanks.
Well that leads to other issues I have with such things, which primarily happen in Star Trek (just because it's probably the show that depicts ship interiors more than any other), which is that the ship is built to a massive scale yet the internal components are built to scale to the sets. Look at the Enterprise-D, 2,000 feet long and yet powered by a warp core that's less than ten feet across. If their energy generation is that compact, why not put fifty warp cores in there and have that much more power?

It's one reason I kind of like the "beer factory engineering" in the Abrams movies. Yes, there are silly aspects of it, especially if you know what a beer factory looks like. But dammit, it's probably the first time we've seen engineering built to the sort of scale that befits a ship of that size. Gigantic tanks of liquid storage, devices that are five or six stories tall, the whole thing spreading over thousands of square feet. That's the sort of scale these things should be built on, but very rarely are for cost reasons.
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Old 21st September 2017, 05:50 PM   #189
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Next year I'm going to take a shot at a science fiction novel set in space on a big ship. I've put off for a few years for all of the reasons listed in this thread.

While the story is not an adventure but a detective piece, I want to get the plausibility factor to at least 40%.

The big problem I have to solve/address/fake is FTL Travel. Right now FTL is a no-go. This means I have to set the story at least 400 years in the future. I base this time-lapse on human history where this amount of time represents night and day when technologies are compared. I figure Light Speed and FTL won't be possible until we figure out how to neutralize gravity, and then reverse it, and artificially create our own at will.

My assumption is that once we can manipulate gravity we will devise new forms of propulsion that do not involve rockets outside of maneuvering thrusters.

The ship is a mile and a half long with a crew of 3,500, but carries passengers and can accommodate 25,000 guests. All of that extra space is to devoted to growing food, storage of a host of chemicals and alloys needed for their versions of the 3-D printer, spare parts, water, sewage treatment, Oxygen system and scrubbers. The ship also has a couple of city parks, and lakes. It's a glorified cruise ship.

The plot involves the ship getting stuck where the fabric of space/time is so thin that nothing can move without propulsion...and the engines go down.

The rest I'm still figuring out. I'm loving this thread.
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Old 21st September 2017, 06:36 PM   #190
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Most of my peeves have already been posted by others.

The things that drive me nuts:

Any time a space ship makes a noise. Battlestar Galactica and Firefly were the only TV shows to get this right, and they had the same special effects team.

Radio-like communication with a party light years away that occurs in real-time. You need to 'splane this one.

Sending people outside the ship for repairs in a technological environment where they should have robots designed to do this instead.

Time Travel. I love "Interstellar", but it played with relativity too much to rig a convenient ending. The movie was based around the question of time, so I give it a pass. Star Trek and others get on my nerves because we always get a lecture on the dangers of time travel...and then they do it anyway. Honestly, "Rick & Morty" is the only show I've seen that seems to understand paradox, and parallel universes.
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Old 21st September 2017, 06:50 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
Next year I'm going to take a shot at a science fiction novel set in space on a big ship. I've put off for a few years for all of the reasons listed in this thread.

While the story is not an adventure but a detective piece, I want to get the plausibility factor to at least 40%.

The big problem I have to solve/address/fake is FTL Travel. Right now FTL is a no-go. This means I have to set the story at least 400 years in the future. I base this time-lapse on human history where this amount of time represents night and day when technologies are compared. I figure Light Speed and FTL won't be possible until we figure out how to neutralize gravity, and then reverse it, and artificially create our own at will.

My assumption is that once we can manipulate gravity we will devise new forms of propulsion that do not involve rockets outside of maneuvering thrusters.

The ship is a mile and a half long with a crew of 3,500, but carries passengers and can accommodate 25,000 guests. All of that extra space is to devoted to growing food, storage of a host of chemicals and alloys needed for their versions of the 3-D printer, spare parts, water, sewage treatment, Oxygen system and scrubbers. The ship also has a couple of city parks, and lakes. It's a glorified cruise ship.
And that's fine. Huge areas of the ship devoted to stores - remember those vast materials storage bays in the movie Passengers? Places like that. And giant fields where hardly anybody ever goes. Make a point of mentioning that 95%+ of the ship is deserted almost all of the time.
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Old 21st September 2017, 07:21 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Two problems with the analogy: air flight is more complex than space flight (so unexpected inventions are more to be expected), and not knowing what principles are at work is different from knowing what principles are supposed to be at work & seeing that what we're being shown doesn't fit.
Okay but my basic argument is that it is unrealistic to expect space travel to develop exactly as we expect it to.

Expecting consistency and realism are fine but when people can list off dozens of times fiction got it wrong and only begrudgingly admit to a couple of times that almost sorta got it right, we're inching into "Never gonna satisfy the fandom" level.

I'll give you a weird parallel. The Dilophosaurus in the Jurassic Park film franchise. There's nothing in the fossil record to suggest that the creature had venom, could spit venom, or had that large retractable frill. The Dilophosaur is common example of Jurassic Park "getting the science wrong."

But if we did clone a... dozen or so dinosaurs they aren't all going to turn out exactly as we imagine. Logically and statistically a couple of them are going to have weird biological flourishes that we have no idea bout.

Let's look at it this way. It's 65 million years in the future, all the current species have long gone extinct and are only known from their fossil records. And you want to make a movie where a scientist clones a bunch of common zoo animals from our time for a theme park in his time, a Holocene Park if you will.

In your movie you wouldn't have elephants with long prehensile noses and big flappy ears, striped tigers and spotted giraffes, color changing chameleons and transparent cave fish, and I'm even after seeing Peacocks in real life they don't seem real and if you dared do it all of the armchair Holocene animal experts would write think pieces about how unrealistic and unscientific the animals in your film are.

So no I'm not saying that the Dilophosaur is realistic in the abstract sense, just that one of the dinosaurs not looking like we think it should sort of is realistic in a weird kind of way.

And a lot of this discussion is guilty of doing that in reverse to a degree. You can't agree that things in the future are going to be unexpected and different from what we expect but reject any and all specific examples of that unexpectedness and difference being put on display.
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Old 21st September 2017, 09:11 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
Time Travel.


I've said for many, many years now that Bill&Ted's Excellent Adventure is the best time travel movie ever made, because they actually figure out some of the cool **** you could do with time travel.


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I AGREE
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Old 22nd September 2017, 04:43 AM   #194
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
I've said for many, many years now that Bill&Ted's Excellent Adventure is the best time travel movie ever made, because they actually figure out some of the cool **** you could do with time travel.


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Old 22nd September 2017, 05:47 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by Seismosaurus View Post
Make a point of mentioning that 95%+ of the ship is deserted almost all of the time.
As a bonus, this leads to all sorts of conflicts and conundrums when trying to find a culprit (since it'll be a detective story, there has to be a culprit ). Heck, you could even get a long "wilderness at night" chase scene through the
onboard orchards, or your guy might have a whole "evil villain lair" in some unused corner where he (or she) has compromised security systems. All sorts of possibilities.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 06:18 AM   #196
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//Slight hijack// An airlock would make an amazing setting for a sci-fi pastiche of a classic "Locked Room Mystery."
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Old 23rd September 2017, 01:11 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But then you stop testing it altogether, when you start stopping the predicted events from happening. And you don't really know any more if the event is actually stopped by precognition or it wouldn't have happened in the first place anyway.
It's still easy enough to decide to test it periodically. Just stop intervening at random intervals. If the predictions still turn out to be true when you don't intervene, then you can have confidence in their accuracy.

This is assuming that you just arrest people based only the predictions, rather than setting things up so that they can get close to carrying out their crime before being arrested. There would then be other evidence that they were going to do it (the guy brought his sniper rifle to the clock tower, but was arrested while climbing the stairs, rather than after killing 11 people, etc.)

Quote:
What if some of your precogs go schizophrenic and start having visions that have noting to do with the future? What about the NEXT batch of precogs? Etc.
That's why you are right that you should continue to test their accuracy. Every potential crime should still be investigated in some way, and if your evidence starts to point toward unreliability, well, adjust your viewpoint.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 02:28 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by Seismosaurus View Post
...snip...

It's one reason I kind of like the "beer factory engineering" in the Abrams movies. Yes, there are silly aspects of it, especially if you know what a beer factory looks like. But dammit, it's probably the first time we've seen engineering built to the sort of scale that befits a ship of that size. Gigantic tanks of liquid storage, devices that are five or six stories tall, the whole thing spreading over thousands of square feet. That's the sort of scale these things should be built on, but very rarely are for cost reasons.
I really didn't understand the dislike of the Abram's engines - like you I thought they were a good attempt to give some idea of the complexity and scale of what the engine rooms would be like.

It's one area where TOS had a better attempt at creating some scale than the subsequent series - you have the sets of the control rooms for the engines for the character interactions with background paintings of engines receding for seemingly hundreds of yards into the distance behind the action.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 02:38 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
It's one area where TOS had a better attempt at creating some scale than the subsequent series - you have the sets of the control rooms for the engines for the character interactions with background paintings of engines receding for seemingly hundreds of yards into the distance behind the action.
I think they were a model. There's an episode where they light up a bit, I think.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 03:35 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
I think they were a model. There's an episode where they light up a bit, I think.
I wouldn't be surprised to see stokers shovelling dilithium crystals into furnaces, while Scotty urges them on by shouting down a speaking tube. Because the whole thing has something of the character of an early 20th century dreadnought.
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