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Quote of the Week: "History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives." - Abba Eban, Israeli statesman (1915-2002)

Why UFP not us TOS techology stop Borg

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JasonB
PostPosted: 2011-05-03 09:19pm 

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Caption Kirk used weapon during Star Trek Obsession that could blow off half atmosphere of a planet. UFP had something So little over year waring why did UFP not us this kind weapon against the Borg. Borg know allow other people beam over to there starships. Can someone please explain to why or is UFP just being stumped and deserved Worf 359.
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Stofsk
PostPosted: 2011-05-03 09:30pm 

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QWho wrote:
Borg: 'We have analysed your defensive capabilities as being unable to withstand us.'

Says it all, really.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-05-03 09:53pm 

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JasonB wrote:
Caption Kirk used weapon during Star Trek Obsession that could blow off half atmosphere of a planet. UFP had something So little over year waring why did UFP not us this kind weapon against the Borg. Borg know allow other people beam over to there starships. Can someone please explain to why or is UFP just being stumped and deserved Worf 359.
Gleeby herkle. Juba wonky zappakoo. Fronxa. Bthbthbpt, ewonda tuggret loofah nah oslo, gruqazazzbot kerboing? Pottawumpa wicklebat zivvie rumpelstiltskin. Arrow time banana flies likelikelike. Ribbit. Ribbit. Halperja wiggler troopadoopameek yogwuck.

There. I think that answers the question in the spirit it was asked.

Now, if you were a person who speaks English, I might say other things in response.

Stofsk wrote:
QWho wrote:
Borg: 'We have analysed your defensive capabilities as being unable to withstand us.'

Says it all, really.
Yep. I wonder, would they let someone beam on board one of their ships with a huge bomb, the way they let people beam on board without a huge bomb?
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Baffalo
PostPosted: 2011-05-04 02:08am 

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JasonB wrote:
Caption Kirk used weapon during Star Trek Obsession that could blow off half atmosphere of a planet. UFP had something So little over year waring why did UFP not us this kind weapon against the Borg. Borg know allow other people beam over to there starships. Can someone please explain to why or is UFP just being stumped and deserved Worf 359.

Translation: Kirk had access to weapons capable of causing damage on a planetary scale. The United Federation of Planets had quite a bit of time due to Q showing Picard and the Enterprise the threat of the Borg, so why didn't they use technology from Kirk's era against the Borg. Could someone please explain this to me or is this a case of ignorance prior to the battle of Wolf 359?

First of all, two totally different shows. TNG was supposed to be the refined, elegant Enterprise that was impossible to achieve with the original, both due to public expectations and budget. The audience of TOS wanted drama, action, adventure! And it helped if they faced enemies with weapons that could destroy entire planets. Now, sure, Kirk had access to many pieces of technology that were very destructive, but the TNG Enterprise was supposed to overcome problems with peace and non-violence. Technologically, the Federation is further along than in Kirk's day, and they may have found a reason to avoid its use, or even banned it and hid it so deep in the archives that no one found it. There could be numerous reasons for this.
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DaveJB
PostPosted: 2011-05-04 07:33am 

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Curtis Saxton actually did an analysis of Kirk's "weapon" (read: tank full of antimatter) in Obsession, and found that at best case, it'd be equal to a high-yield thermonuclear bomb. Probably enough to blast the vampire cloud to kingdom come, but nowhere near enough to destroy a planet's atmosphere. Since we never actually saw the effects on the planet, we can only assume that either Kirk was either deliberately exaggerating the effects of the blast, or just didn't have a clue what he was talking about.
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Metahive
PostPosted: 2011-05-04 07:59am 

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DaveJB wrote:
Since we never actually saw the effects on the planet, we can only assume that either Kirk was either deliberately exaggerating the effects of the blast, or just didn't have a clue what he was talking about.

We actually do see the effect on the planet in the remastered episode, behold:

Image
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Captain Seafort
PostPosted: 2011-05-04 08:00am 

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DaveJB wrote:
Curtis Saxton actually did an analysis of Kirk's "weapon" (read: tank full of antimatter) in Obsession, and found that at best case, it'd be equal to a high-yield thermonuclear bomb.


About 1.2 Mt, based on the stated antimatter content and assuming there was an ounce of ordinary matter in there as well.

Quote:
Probably enough to blast the vampire cloud to kingdom come, but nowhere near enough to destroy a planet's atmosphere. Since we never actually saw the effects on the planet, we can only assume that either Kirk was either deliberately exaggerating the effects of the blast, or just didn't have a clue what he was talking about.


Two problems with that.

1) Something hit the Enterprise, in high orbit hard enough to shake her. See here
2) As Metahive says, the remastered episode does show the result of the blast on the planet.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-05-04 11:32am 

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Yeah. Something definitely hit Enterprise hard enough to notice.

Also, I'm reluctant to use the "the guy speaking didn't know what the hell he was talking about" excuse unless it's absolutely necessary. This man is a ship captain who is personally involved in handling a huge bomb; you'd think he'd have at least a rough sense of what the bomb was and was not capable of.

And sure, an antimatter bomb of the stated size wouldn't be big enough to show massive "blow off the atmosphere" effects. This doesn't mean the Federation lacks (or lacked) the ability to build bombs more effective than their weight in antimatter somehow- which sounds impossible, but which is a capability we routinely ascribe to Star Wars explosives for obvious reasons.

Maybe we're looking at an early, demolition-charge version of one of the technologies that went into the wonkier and more powerful torpedo warheads that began replacing photon torpedoes during the TNG and later period.
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Darth Hoth
PostPosted: 2011-05-04 12:55pm 

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Simon_Jester wrote:
Gleeby herkle. Juba wonky zappakoo. Fronxa. Bthbthbpt, ewonda tuggret loofah nah oslo, gruqazazzbot kerboing? Pottawumpa wicklebat zivvie rumpelstiltskin. Arrow time banana flies likelikelike. Ribbit. Ribbit. Halperja wiggler troopadoopameek yogwuck.

There. I think that answers the question in the spirit it was asked.


:lol:

Simon_Jester wrote:
And sure, an antimatter bomb of the stated size wouldn't be big enough to show massive "blow off the atmosphere" effects. This doesn't mean the Federation lacks (or lacked) the ability to build bombs more effective than their weight in antimatter somehow- which sounds impossible, but which is a capability we routinely ascribe to Star Wars explosives for obvious reasons.

Maybe we're looking at an early, demolition-charge version of one of the technologies that went into the wonkier and more powerful torpedo warheads that began replacing photon torpedoes during the TNG and later period.


For generic weapons effects, I would agree, you can certainly handwave an effect powerful enough to fit the visuals. It does bother me, though, when the charge is specifically said to be antimatter-powered and we are given the mass of antimatter used. In this case it becomes glaringly obvious that something is off, and the dialogue becomes inconsistent/ignorant regardless of whether the atmosphere is blown off or not. Either the yield is horribly off, or the antimatter as such contributes a puny fractional millionth (or whatever) of the energy that goes into it. In which case whatever other mechanism makes up the actual big boom ought to be mentioned.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-05-04 01:13pm 

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Put it this way.

When the first thermonuclear bombs were tested, they were called "hydrogen bombs." What does this actually tell you about how the weapon works? Practically nothing- it in some way uses hydrogen, that's it. No one who didn't have to know the details of how they worked, the full complexity of the Teller-Ulam process, was informed of this, because it was sensitive information.

Now, I haven't seen the episode, but I have to ask: under whatever circumstances the bomb was discussed, would it have been sensible for them to invoke the technical details of how it generated such a large explosion? Or would they just say "be careful, there's antimatter in there," while leaving out all the complex information about how you boost an antimatter charge into a planet-shaker.
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Stofsk
PostPosted: 2011-05-04 02:42pm 

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If you have to explain it, don't discount the possibility the exotic nature of the dikironium cloud creature contributed the most to the explosion, being as it is some kind of exotic entity that is warp-capable. And yes, I know this doesn't fully account for the dialogue the characters have, but so what? Kirk could easily be exaggerating for effect without being an idiot.
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Captain Seafort
PostPosted: 2011-05-04 07:21pm 

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Destructionator XIII wrote:
The Borg do some kind of weird bullshit to disarm bombs or something too - photon torpedoes do virtually nothing to them.


Bullshit. Beaming a PT into a Borg ship worked beautifully for Voyager in Dark Frontier. Too well, as it turned out, since it triggered the self-destruct and trashed the ship too badly to scavenge any decent technology.
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Ahriman238
PostPosted: 2011-05-04 08:41pm 

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Quote:
The Borg do some kind of weird bullshit to disarm bombs or something too - photon torpedoes do virtually nothing to them.





Explosives seem to work just fine. For that matter, I've never heard of the Borg having explosion suppression technology.

Are you sure you aren't thinking of the Asgard from Stargate? They're the only group that I can name off the top of head that has that capability. Well, presumably SG earth has it now too.
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Baffalo
PostPosted: 2011-05-04 08:50pm 

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Destructionator XIII wrote:
I'm thinking of Q-Who and Best of Both Worlds - the phasers did damage to them, but torpedoes never did anything to them that I recall. In BoBW part 2, they also couldn't beam over without taking a shuttle inside the cube's shields. Villain decay?

But it's been a while since I've seen it, and I've never seen half of Voyager. I might be mixing it up with Asgard - I did watch that specific episode just a month or so ago so who knows what's going in my jumbled brain.


Well don't forget, BOBW was the first ever encounter with the Borg. The Enterprise didn't have Starfleet's best and brightest examining every bit of data for over a year desperately trying to find a solution. Also, according to an interview with the producers, the Borg scene was supposed to be much longer, with the fleet taking the Borg's shields down and then trying to hammer them down. It was only the limited budget that kept them from making the scene longer than it was.
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Batman
PostPosted: 2011-05-04 09:03pm 

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Actually, yes it had, you're thinking 'Q Who'. It was explicitly stated in BoBW that Starfleet's best and brightest had been hard at work to find means to counter the Borg, they just hadn't made sufficient headway yet.
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Connor MacLeod
PostPosted: 2011-05-04 10:53pm 

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Simon_Jester wrote:
Yeah. Something definitely hit Enterprise hard enough to notice.


supposedly shockwaves or something, but that alone should tell us it wasn't a typical occurance.

Quote:
Also, I'm reluctant to use the "the guy speaking didn't know what the hell he was talking about" excuse unless it's absolutely necessary. This man is a ship captain who is personally involved in handling a huge bomb; you'd think he'd have at least a rough sense of what the bomb was and was not capable of.


Hyperbole is out too, since Spock at that time was not known for exaggeration or sense of humor. If we had no choice, we'd HAVE to go with the stupidity argument, but doing so would be a kludge.

On the other hand, to explain the event pretty much demands we don't take it literally, so in a sense we are saying "they don't know what they're talking about."

The "super antimatter" argument is part of an annoying Brain Bug regarding trek, where people consciously believe TOS was somehow "special" or inherently vastly more powerful than the succeeding generations (Even though that there exists ample evidence to the contrary.) Ususually it's based on interpretations derived from shit like that sonic weapon that hit the enterrpirse, or this scene. Of course, ST had other cases that were significantly less impressive (like a 100 megaton explosion of the warp engines totally obliterating the ship in question.)

Quote:
And sure, an antimatter bomb of the stated size wouldn't be big enough to show massive "blow off the atmosphere" effects. This doesn't mean the Federation lacks (or lacked) the ability to build bombs more effective than their weight in antimatter somehow- which sounds impossible, but which is a capability we routinely ascribe to Star Wars explosives for obvious reasons.


One thing about the event that occurs to me is that people typically assume "ounce" is being spoken of as a unit of mass. It could be a unit of volume and antimatter might have some hefty density to it (At least in TOS ships it might.)

Also, if we're perfectly honest it's probably hard to blow off precisely half the atmosphere. I suppose it could also be argued "blow off" doesn't mean that the atmosphere reaches escape velocity, just that it reaches orbit.

Also, to be honest, it's quite possible to argue that Trek's usage of the word "antimatter" does not always refer to antimatter as we know it. TOS and the other series (Voyager especially) tend to ascribe some very bizarre properties to "antimatter" of various kinds (Ranging from things like it being able to exist without violently reacting with nearby matter, to triggering all sorts of spatial distortions and or Time Travel as I recall.) Basically, the latter means that ST "antimatter" is treated in the same way that we approach mentions of "black holes/singularities", "neutronium" and in Warhammer 40,000, plasma.

Quote:
Maybe we're looking at an early, demolition-charge version of one of the technologies that went into the wonkier and more powerful torpedo warheads that began replacing photon torpedoes during the TNG and later period.


We could think of lots of reasons why the "supah antimatter" charge wasn't used as a conventional weapon against the Borg. We know from DS9 "For the Uniform" (I believe that's the episode) that 200 kg of Tritium resin can significantly impact photorp manuverability - I doubt that you could inject tons and tons worth of energy into a photorp by that method. Which means that you would have to deploy it as a mine, and lure the Borg into range, and hence limiting its usefulness.

There's also no idea whether such pods would survive the sorts of accelerations and general forces that one might expect in space combat. for all we know the containment was relatively fragile.
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Connor MacLeod
PostPosted: 2011-05-04 10:55pm 

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Destructionator XIII wrote:
I'm thinking of Q-Who and Best of Both Worlds - the phasers did damage to them, but torpedoes never did anything to them that I recall. In BoBW part 2, they also couldn't beam over without taking a shuttle inside the cube's shields. Villain decay?


They used a focused rather than omnidirectional detonation? They used some other kind of warhead? For all we know they used them as freaking cannonballs the way they did in TUC, or they used the "god killer" setting like STV torpedoes (I'd have thought that nukes designed to destroy incorporeal life would be more 40K, myself, but eh.)
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