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hkmaly

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Story Wednesday Jan 25 2017

70 posts in this topic

On 1/28/2017 at 2:19 AM, The Old Hack said:

Oh absolutely. It was a great episode. My friend mostly made his remarks because it annoyed him past endurance to think of any military unit equipped with weapons that unreliable. And unfortunately it is not even unrealistic -- for example, during WW1, the French managed to design an early submachinegun that functioned so badly that it would often jam after firing just a handful of rounds or less.

One of the more common problems with early machine guns was the heat buidup simply from using ammo propelled by combustion.  I've read that gun barrels melting was a common issue.  While I have no knowledge of the French machine gun of which you speak, I wouldn't be surprised to find it jammed from heat-related distortion of its internal components.  Let it cool down, it might be fine again...for a few rounds more.

On that note, the Enterprise was putting its phasers through exceptionally heavy use.  It's arguable that few if any space battles take hours of constant weapons use, but "hours of constant use" was exactly what the Enterprise was doing with its phasers.  When you're pushing a weapons system that far past what it was designed for, failures are inevitable. 

The performance of the Enterprise's phasers was actually a tour de force in reliability, probably due as much to Scotty's engineering staff and his maintenance practices as how the phasers were built.   One expects that Scotty's standards for his staff were probably above and beyond normal StarFleet procedure.

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18 minutes ago, Vorlonagent said:

One of the more common problems with early machine guns was the heat buidup simply from using ammo propelled by combustion.  I've read that gun barrels melting was a common issue.  While I have no knowledge of the French machine gun of which you speak, I wouldn't be surprised to find it jammed from heat-related distortion of its internal components.  Let it cool down, it might be fine again...for a few rounds more.

It was called the Chauchat and suffered from several problems. As you correctly surmise, heat was part of the problem; another part was open-sided magazines that all too easily allowed mud, dirt, grit and dust to get inside the firing mechanism -- not ideal for muddy trenches.

As to the performance of the Enterprise's weapon systems, I agree with you. As I also pointed out earlier, the weapons might have been early models and thus vulnerable to design flaws of a similar kind to that of early machine guns and submachine guns. Very few weapons designers get it right in the first try, after all.

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2 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

It was called the Chauchat and suffered from several problems. As you correctly surmise, heat was part of the problem; another part was open-sided magazines that all too easily allowed mud, dirt, grit and dust to get inside the firing mechanism -- not ideal for muddy trenches.

As to the performance of the Enterprise's weapon systems, I agree with you. As I also pointed out earlier, the weapons might have been early models and thus vulnerable to design flaws of a similar kind to that of early machine guns and submachine guns. Very few weapons designers get it right in the first try, after all.

Making mistakes is how we learn...  I call it "tuition in the School of Life"

My last post suggested that the Enterprise's phasers actually performed exceptionally well by any objective standard.  You just have to remember that there's a lot of phaser firings going on in the background that we aren't being shown.  The typical space battle we see in Classic Trek phasers fire at most 4 or 5 times, often less.  The Federation's design spec might even call for 10 or even 20 firings.  The Enterprise put its phasers through at least 100 firings if not several hundred, over the course of the episode.  It was back-to-back, constant repeated use with little if any time for proper maintenance.  Pardon the pun but that's stellar performance.

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2 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:

The performance of the Enterprise's phasers was actually a tour de force in reliability, probably due as much to Scotty's engineering staff and his maintenance practices as how the phasers were built.   One expects that Scotty's standards for his staff were probably above and beyond normal StarFleet procedure.

I once saw James Doohan in an interview proudly state that there was never a problem with the Enterprise engines, unless the writers put it in the script.

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36 minutes ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

I once saw James Doohan in an interview proudly state that there was never a problem with the Enterprise engines, unless the writers put it in the script.

The solution to reliability issues: get rid of the scriptwriters.

And on the software side, you'd be amazed what percentage of code is dedicated to preventing the users from screwing things up. Software would be much easier without users.

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3 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:

One expects that Scotty's standards for his staff were probably above and beyond normal StarFleet procedure.

Not really. He WROTE several of the StarFleet engineering procedures.

Quote

Scotty: Shunt the deuterium from the main cryo-pump to the auxiliary tank.

Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: Er, the tank can't withstand that kind of pressure.

Scotty: [laughs] Where'd you... where'd you get that idea?

Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: What do you mean, where did I get that idea? It's in the impulse engine specifications.

Scotty: Regulation 42/15 - Pressure Variances on the IRC Tank Storage?

Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: Yeah.

Scotty: Forget it. I wrote it. A good engineer is always a wee bit conservative, at least on paper. Just bypass the secondary cut-off valve and boost the flow. It'll work.

(from TNG Relics)

Although, it's possible he wrote it AFTER that five year mission.

 

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7 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Not really. He WROTE several of the StarFleet engineering procedures.

(from TNG Relics)

Although, it's possible he wrote it AFTER that five year mission.

I wouldn't expect starfleet to follow Scotty's rules verbatim.  They'd cut a few corners here and there at least. 

And before Scotty there was the reports from the manufacturer and military testing before putting the phaser banks into mass production.

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On 1/26/2017 at 9:44 AM, The Old Hack said:

My late friend Jens said much the same about the weapons designers who worked on the classic Enterprise. In one episode -- Balance of Terror, I think -- they fire the main armament three times. Every time they fire, the phaser banks overload and burn out, and they need to resort to desperate measures to get them to work again. Jens stated that any company that tried to sell military hardware that bad should itself be made the target of properly functioning main ship guns.

Balance of Terror was a ripoff of a 1957 Robert Mitchum/Curt Jurgens movies called The Enemy Below about a duel between an American destroyer escort and a German U-boat. It even has the same stratagem of ejecting a dead body to fool the other ship into thinking the hiding ship has been destroyed--and the same stratagem at the end of the other captain making his ship look more damaged than it is to lure the enemy to reveal himself and move into close range.

It also doesn't have photon torpedoes. If you look at the special effects, the "phasers" use the same stock shots that were used for photon torpedoes in later episodes. Further, they detonate like depth charges, something they don't do in any of the rest of Star Trek canon.

Sadly, this is the same episode that inspired that cult which committed suicide, attempting to catch an alien spaceship hiding in the tail of a comet.

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3 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

Sadly, this is the same episode that inspired that cult which committed suicide, attempting to catch an alien spaceship hiding in the tail of a comet.

Heaven's Gate? How exactly did it inspired them?

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1 hour ago, Vorlonagent said:
3 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Heaven's Gate? How exactly did it inspired them?

"Just one more...duty...to perform..."

They didn't expected to die, just to leave their bodies or something like that.

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4 hours ago, hkmaly said:

They didn't expected to die, just to leave their bodies or something like that.

*sigh* I can well believe it. Cultists do not generally suffer from encumbrances like undue amounts of intelligence.

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9 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Heaven's Gate? How exactly did it inspired them?

The Romulan cloaked Romulan spaceship uses the tail of a comet to better hide from the Enterprise. Somehow the nutball leader of the cult either thought this was real or just sold the idea to his followers to convince them to die along with him. Pretty much like what Jim Jones did in Guyana. 

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10 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

*sigh* I can well believe it. Cultists do not generally suffer from encumbrances like undue amounts of intelligence.

Aren't cultists usually tied to a cult emotionally?  Wouldn't that make intelligence an independent variable?

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1 hour ago, Vorlonagent said:

Aren't cultists usually tied to a cult emotionally?  Wouldn't that make intelligence an independent variable?

Being a cultist doesn't mean they can't be intelligent, but they do tend to lack what is often called common sense. Anyone insisting to question the leader or the "holy message" tends to disappear. No matter if they disappear by dying or being banished it will be flogged to the remaining believers as proof that their cause is just, and their leader divinely inspired.

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6 minutes ago, Cpt. Obvious said:

Being a cultist doesn't mean they can't be intelligent, but they do tend to lack what is often called common sense. Anyone insisting to question the leader or the "holy message" tends to disappear. No matter if they disappear by dying or being banished it will be flogged to the remaining believers as proof that their cause is just, and their leader divinely inspired.

Certainly lacking "common sense" as would be considered "common" to the majority of people in our culture.  Agh, people can get complex...

I look at losing touch with common sense as exiting under the umbrella of emotion. I make an emotionally-driven commitment and my intelligence labors overtime to rationalize and justify that commitment, including warping what I consider "normal" or "common sense."

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14 hours ago, The Old Hack said:
19 hours ago, hkmaly said:

They didn't expected to die, just to leave their bodies or something like that.

*sigh* I can well believe it. Cultists do not generally suffer from encumbrances like undue amounts of intelligence.

Well, technically, most people believe something like this, starting with Christians and Muslims and reincarnation would also count right? (which would cover both Hinduism and Buddhism if I understand correctly).

It's just that most people don't think they will miss something if they don't hurry.

2 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:
3 hours ago, Cpt. Obvious said:

Being a cultist doesn't mean they can't be intelligent, but they do tend to lack what is often called common sense. Anyone insisting to question the leader or the "holy message" tends to disappear. No matter if they disappear by dying or being banished it will be flogged to the remaining believers as proof that their cause is just, and their leader divinely inspired.

Certainly lacking "common sense" as would be considered "common" to the majority of people in our culture.  Agh, people can get complex...

I look at losing touch with common sense as exiting under the umbrella of emotion. I make an emotionally-driven commitment and my intelligence labors overtime to rationalize and justify that commitment, including warping what I consider "normal" or "common sense."

Yup. Intelligence is a tool. If someone decide to not use it or to not use it on specific question, it doesn't help how much he have of it.

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12 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Yup. Intelligence is a tool. If someone decide to not use it or to not use it on specific question, it doesn't help how much he have of it.

garbage in, garbage out, as the programmer's saying goes...

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29 minutes ago, Vorlonagent said:
42 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Yup. Intelligence is a tool. If someone decide to not use it or to not use it on specific question, it doesn't help how much he have of it.

garbage in, garbage out, as the programmer's saying goes...

Charles Babbage said:

On two occasions I have been asked, "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.

VERY old saying.

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