Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Star Trek tech: Quantum Resolution is bullshit.

Well, what's a geeky blog without some crap about Star Trek eh?

So, here we go.

According to Trek (well, specifically, TNG era Trek, and beyond, but it got ret-conned to past Treks too), the transporter/replicators can't create life from scratch (or, revive the dead), because replicating is done at "molecular resolution", and lifeforms are beamed at "quantum resolution".


Let's break it down, just using episodes, no recourse to non-canon tech manuals.

In the episode "Our Man Bashir", Sisko, Kira, Worf, Dax, and O'Brien emergency beam over from an exploding ship, this somehow futzes with the transporter, and it has some kind of overload/burnout, so their complete patterns are quickly dumped into every scrap of computer memory of Deep Space Nine.

This shuts down the station, except for the holosuite, and causes the 5 crewmembers to re-materialize there via its replicator system.

Now, the holosuite turns the 5 crew members into computer characters within Bashir's secret agent program, because, unable to integrate their quantum neural patterns, it can only integrate their bodies, and with no accessible mind patterns, it slots in character personalities.

By episode's end, the crew members get re-integrated with the U.S.S Defiant's transporter, the DS9 computer core is un-deleted, and all is restored to normal.

All of this merely to justify having an episode of watching the crew play in the holosuite, but at the same time, genuinely put them in jeopardy.

But, it lets the whole cat out of the bag.

Where to start?

Okay, there are several episodes where the subject's pattern is held in the transporter without it being this huge deal of eating a DS9 worth of memory.

Why/how is this?

We're told in as many episodes, that the transporter has something called a pattern buffer, and this is what holds the pattern.

So, the pattern buffer is the mystery gizmo that normally holds the pattern in a normal amount of physical space, and the pattern buffer is accessed/controlled by the computer, so, the pattern buffer is the part of the computer that normally holds a pattern.

And indeed, it's the pattern buffer that fails, and is emptied into the DS9 computer in the aforementioned episode.

So, like a 16 gig MicroSD card equals 4 DVD-Roms, a pattern buffer equals a whole DS9.

Well, 5 buffers, it was 5 patterns.

And we know during the time of this station shut-down, the holosuite worked just fine.
BUT, if it had a pattern buffer, the crew would have come through as themselves, but they didn't, so the holosuite has no pattern buffer.

So, if the holosuite works fine, station malfunction or no, and has no pattern buffer, then its replicator capacity uses store-able patterns.

And the holosuite is essentially a big replicator, so, replicators and holosuites use store-able patterns.

So, molecular patterns, store-able in a reasonable amount of normal (for Trek) computer media, quantum pattern, obscene amount of computer media, OR, a pattern buffer.

Conversely, obscene amount of computer media, or a pattern buffer, quantum.
Normal computer memory, molecular.

Quantum alive, molecular dead.

Buffer alive, not-buffer dead.

Got it?


Now, let's take a quick stop off at the episode "realm of fear", where, we find out that a transporter subject is processed into a "matter stream", and that this matter stream is what's held in the pattern buffer.

So, the sequenced matter stream carries the pattern, and the pattern buffer is really some sort of tank that holds this matter stream.

So, empty buffer, pattern gone.

Matter beamed, empty buffer.

Got that?


Okay, now, let's stop off at "second chances".
In this one, we retro-actively discover that William Riker's transporter beam was split, creating two copies, and one copy got left behind on the planet below, and the two transporter twins lead different lives for the past 8 years.

Now, if the matter stream was split, it would have split the matter, and made two midgets, or two globs of incoherent mist, or...something.

But, there was enough matter to integrate both Rikers, so one of the copies had to have been made from recruited matter, probably from the atmosphere of the planet.

So, the pattern part of the beam must have been what was split.

So, a quantum pattern can trace onto recruited matter, and create life.

The other characters don't seem too interested in learning which Riker is made of the original matter, so to them at least, matter doesn't matter, pattern matters, and it's the same pattern, so both can lay claim to being William Riker.

This is re-enforced in the transporter operation that caused the copying.

The atmosphere of the planet split the pattern beam, creating the two pattern/matter beams, the transporter chief of Riker's old ship tried to beam up the second beam to fuse the two together into one Riker, but the atmosphere echoed the beam back down to the surface, leaving the second copy Riker down on the planet.

Well, the attempt to merge the pattern seems to suggest doubt of which Riker was which.
If you had two patterns, and you didn't know which had the "magic identity", in it, merging the two would remove all doubt, wouldn't it?
Whomever had the original "soul", would be living in that final body.

But, allowing the other beam to echo back, and being perfectly happy with the Riker they did get, would seem to indicate the attitiude was "meh, screw it, we just won't tell him".

What if the second beam had the original Riker's matter, and it didn't re-assemble, but just sprayed apart on the planet below?
Pretty callous way to treat the death of a crewmember.

But...not if pattern matters, and not matter.

So, the attempt to merge must have been for some other reason.

And Geordi tells us, for it's his narration where we learn of the splitting process.

He says essentially "but he didn't NEED the second beam, the one he had on the pad had enough integrity to materialize".

The PATTERN had integrity.

To Trek folk, at least, it's the pattern that matters.

Got that?


Let's recap.

1. Quantum alive, molecular dead.
Buffer alive, not-buffer dead.

2. Empty buffer, pattern gone.
Matter beamed, empty buffer.

3. Pattern matters, not matter.

Now, going back to "our man Bashir", we have one little end-run around rule 1.

The crew members's quantum and molecular patterns were split, and then re-integrated.

Well, cut out the pit-stop inside DS9's main computer, they could do that directly.

Combine a buffer-stored pattern with a computer-stored pattern, and come out with someone with a past version of their body, and thus healed of medical conditions before the procedure.

And this was done.

In the episode "unnatural selection".

More on this later, though.

But for now, let's add this end-run around rule 1 as two new rules.

1. Quantum alive, molecular dead.
Buffer alive, not-buffer dead.

2. Empty buffer, pattern gone.
Matter beamed, empty buffer.

3. Pattern matters, not matter.

4. Not-buffer can filter buffer.

5. 4 bypasses 1.

But, we also forgot rule 0, what started all this.

0. Quantum mind, molecular body.

After all, this was the core of "our man Bashir", which started this whole thing off, right?


0. Quantum mind, molecular body

1. Quantum alive, molecular dead.
Buffer alive, not-buffer dead.

2. Empty buffer, pattern gone.
Matter beamed, empty buffer.

3. Pattern matters, not matter.

4. Not-buffer can filter buffer.

5. 4 bypasses 1.

Got it?


Well, now we bring it all together.

The episode "lonely among us".

In this one, an energy lifeform infects itself into the Enterprise-D computer, then finally into Captain Picard, who beams himself off of the ship as pure energy into a nebula where the energy creature originated.

Picard's mind comes back onto the ship as an energy pattern via the ship's computer, and Data runs his energy pattern through his body pattern, and re-integrates him.

Picard only has memories up to the moment he beamed out, and absent the energy creature, barely any of that.

Well, if the pattern restored Picard's previous mental pattern, that must mean, according to rule 0, it was quantum, right?

Nope, cuz of rule 2.

Picard beamed out, his matter, and thus quantum pattern, was gone.

No more body.

Fizzle. Poof. Gone.

Now, according to rule 3, it's acceptable to recruit matter, which they no doubt did.
His original body was thrown away, had to replicate a new one.

But...where did his mind come from?

The energy pattern?

Maybe that was quantum?

But, a quantum pattern gobbles up a whole DS9, and the U.S.S. Enterprise-D is smaller than Ds9, indeed can dock at it.

Okay, 5 patterns ate up a Ds9, let's say the ENT-D can hold 1 pattern.

Well, that'd shut down the ENT-D the way 5 patterns shut down Ds9.

But, Picard's energy/mental pattern didn't do that, the ENT-D functioned just fine.

So, nope, not quantum.

So, where did his mind come from, if the energy/mental pattern wasn't quantum?

Well, if his body pattern was storable, and restored his previous psychological state, and there was no quantum pattern involved, then his store-able, and thus molecular, body pattern had everything it needed to restore his mental pattern,

But, that means his mental pattern that came back to the ship was superfluous.

They could have just goddamned replicated him.

But this scratches off some of the rules.

Rule 0? Gone.

Rule 1? Gone.

Rule 2? Superfluous if 0 and 1 are gone.

Rule 3? That still works, actually.

Rule 4? Superfluous if 0, 1, and 2 are gone.

Rule 5? Ditto 4.

So, let's make rule 3 the new rule 1, and add a new rule 2 that follows from it.

1. Pattern matters, not matter.

2. You can replicate anyone you goddamned want.

BUT, new rule 2 follows from old rules 0, 1, 3,4, and 5 in combination anyway.

And old rule 0, 1, 3 4, and 5 in combination made old rule 2 superfluous anyway.

But really, old rule 3 by itself made old rule 2 superfluous.

So, so much for quantum resolution.

And so much for "our man Bashir".

Okay, I can sense someone maybe saying "wait, what if the energy lifeform in "lonely among us", had some funky quantum energy property that carried along Picard's consciousness"?

Okay, this would be an appeal to some "magic lifeforce", some "soul".

Well, if a conscousness can be quantum copied, ala "second chances", then it's not so magical, is it?

And if it can be stored ala "our man Bashir", then it can be digitally copied.

And if one could digitally run off "souls", then what is their value?

And if a soul is supposedly a vehicle for identity, and a run off neural pattern conveys the same thing, what is a soul FOR?

If it's not for anything, or worth anything, what's the point of it?

And if there's no point to it, what's the point of invoking alien quantum mumbo-jumbo to rescue it?

Okay, one more function of alleged "lifeforce" to beat it to death.

How many fantasy/sf stories have we seen, where someone is drained of "lifeforce", and this causes in them, rapid aging?

Well, this is where we finally get back to "unnatural selection".

Polaski suffers from rapid aging (from a retro-virus, not loss of "lifeforce", but bear with me) and then is restored to youth in the transporter.

Is there any doubt the result of the transporter procedure would be any different if she HAD been drained of "lifeforce"?

If (as I suspect) it wouldn't have been any different, then the transporter can create "lifeforce", and therefore, there is no "lifeforce", because the transporter is just a digital downloader.

If it restored her youth, and she immediately aged back to her previous state of deterioration, for lack of "lifeforce", then this would have a lot of consequences.

One of them being, well, some extra-dimensional connection to some realm where the "lifeforce", is doled out.
And who's doling it out?
And would they dole it out to Riker's transporter twin?
Or, are they slurping off the same well?
If so, shouldn't accelerated age be showing on Riker by the time of Star Trek:Nemesis?

He's not, so he's not lifeforce deficient, and there is no lifeforce.

There was no mumbo-jumbo, no magic, no "lifeforce", Picard was replicated, the transporter can restore life, and this has consequences.

This would immediately put most doctors out of business.

No more Crusher, Pulaski, Bashir, Mcoy, they're all kaput.

Unless they want to take up transporter operation.

But it gets hinkier than that.

In "unnatural selection", they don't in fact use a complete molecular body pattern.

Pulaski is filtered through a healthier version of her DNA.

The healthy version of her that comes out the other end of this no doubt left it's own pattern trace, so, DNA can be extrapolated into a full body pattern.

So, combine this with recruited matter, and that we just killed off quantum, and the transporter can turn DNA into an instant clone!

So, not only can they run off copies, but they can do it with a quadrillionth (or less) of the storage!

Oh, okay, you need a mental pattern too, but since that doesn't need to be quantum, that won't take so much.

We see Spock get a pretty detailed neural scan in sickbay in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture".

And in TOS's "the changeling", Scotty is killed by Nomad, and resurrected by it.

It does so by accessing all computer records on anatomy, biology, chemistry, Scotty's medical records, and his brainwave pattern.

Well, whatever this "brainwave pattern", is, it must be something more sophisticated than what we know of as an EEG, because it restores Scotty's total psychology, so, effectively, it's the same as a full neural pattern, even if the effects representation wasn't as pretty as in TMP.

And, a neural pattern was directly downloaded, and put into a hologram, in Voyager's "lifesigns", and there was no quantum mumbo-jumbo, or storage problems there.

So, all you need to reboot someone back to life, is their DNA and brain patterns, and a medical tricorder reads those lickity-split.

So, people in The Federation should be immortal.

And immortality would have its consequences.

Think of what that would do to war, and thus politics.

Long voyages that would normally be generational would be possible with the original crew.

You could have yourself stored as mind/DNA, the ship runs itself, and boots you back up centuries later.

Or, you could pilot the ship as a simulation within computer memory.

Or, take on a solid hologram body if systems needed repairing.

The Federation could gobble up the galaxy in no time.

Unless of course the Klingons and Romulans found out.

And that gets back into how it all would effect war and politics.

Yeah, in the end, the Trek writers just haven't wanted to let that genie out of the bottle.

Well, the genie is already there by having stupid fuggin' transporters.

And the bottle is gonna break someday.

What are they waiting for?

It's right there waiting to be played with.

Do it.

What else are they writing?
More Dominion War rehashes with new villain races?

Uncork the transporter genie, you pussies!

Dooo eeet!!

I'm bored!!!

Read More......

Today's mood.

Boredom....everlasting boredom...

Read More......

"Spirit of bipartisanship".

Can we as a culture please tell this phrase to go fuck off?

That and its zitty little teen sidekick "bipartisan compromise".

The reason we even fucking have elections in the first place, is because there are jarringly different ideas of how to do things.

You want real "bipartisanship", let's abolish elections.

I mean, if everyone agreed, if everyone were "willing to compromise", what was all that fucking campaigning and debating for?

This is muddling murky capitulationist crap that needs to fucking go.

And it's always the left that pulls it.
Hey, hippies, I know you're working towards "koombayah", but we're not there yet as a species.
Get your head in the fucking game.
Wake up. Read More......

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Okay, rant time, finally.

This has been driving me up a wall....

First watch this for as long as you can.
Not the whole thing, this shit ain't the point...
Get a couple minutes in, tops, then stop...

Yeah, yeah, enough. Now, right off the bat, I had a feeling it was some conservative rant when I heard the guy's voice. I didn't even need to make it to "leftists", to know. He uses that "blub blub blub", speech pattern that Rush and Anne Coulter use. Y'know, where they artificially deepen their voice in the back of their throats, and clip their syllables as quickly as possible to sound timed like a military march, so it's these chopped out little "blub, blub, blub"s. What's up with that? Where do they fucking learn that? Is there a class they go to where they learn "blub blub"? Or, do a lot of conservative parents speak "blub blub", and it rubs off on the kids? Or, do they hear their favorite radio assholes, and think that sounds good, and copy? Where are all these fucking "blub blub", people coming from? Maybe it's Dale Carnegie, is Dale Carnegie teaching people that "blub blub", is good elocution? This has been bugging me for a long time. That, and that phony way people talk in commercials, and some therapists and guidance counselors do it, where they talk with a fake smile, and it alters their syllables so it's like "eeyyeeaah eeeyyeehhh :D". "Eeeyyeaha, chyyeaack yeeeuurseeellf for brryyeeast cyyeaaancerrr :D". (If you heard my audio clips, it's a cross between my "office asshole", and my "asshole DJ") I don't know which is worse "eeuuyaahh :D", people, or "blub blub", people. I mean, "blub blub", people are gonna say something painfully stupid, and they announce it right out of the gate. least it's sincerely held bullshit. "Eeeyyeeaahh :D", people, they're gonna say something that...the words are nice, but the insincerity makes it creepy and snakey, and gives me gooseflesh on my neck. Ugh, people are just awful. Just fucking awful. I can't take 'em.
Read More......

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dr. Suess at Copenhagen.

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Here's one on alternative energy...., the future, and anti-AGW fear.

Found this in the link at the end of the last one.

Read More......

Good video on the anti-science lobby.

Nothing I didn't already generally know, but this pulls it all together.

Read More......

Saturday, February 20, 2010

And here's yet another from Potholer.

Man, I can barely keep up. :P

Previous parts. Read More......

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Potholer keeps making 'em....

...I'll keep posting 'em. :)

Previous parts. Read More......

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Last Words.

Waited to have this read before adding it to the reading list.

Plowed through it all in one go tonight.
It's this morning now.

I think this one will be as important to me in its way as "Back In Town", was in '96.

Thanks, again George.

Still miss you. Read More......

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The cultural antidote to all the Twilight crap.

A little film by George Romero called "Martin".

Inflict it on someone you love today.

"There is no magic. There never was."
-Martin. Read More......

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