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galagazombie
Oct 31, 2011


SlothfulCobra posted:

Also to be back on topic, torture is a lovely way of getting information, so technology involving it is garbage.

To be fair, this is a major plot point in the episode itself. So it's supposed to be garbage.

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Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




SlothfulCobra posted:

The weird thing about Cardassian society is that later on the series fleshed it out as being the most extreme sort of police state that's deeply embedded into their society, but earlier on in TNG, they established that Cardassian society only was taken over by the military within living memory. I guess Gul David Warner is much older than Garak, so Garak just isn't old enough to know about pre-central command days?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ3EDTYZTOU

Also to be back on topic, torture is a lovely way of getting information, so technology involving it is garbage.

It doesn't necessarily take long to embed a security state into a society, as we're suddenly finding out. Consider that it's relative- Cardassia has occupied Bajor for half a century by the start of DS9. It's also not clear how long Cardassians live.

Insert a Name Here
Nov 1, 2020




All of both sides equipment in "Rouge Trooper."

It takes place on a toxic planet called "nu-earth" and everyone on the evil Nortz and evil Southers side wears a big bulky spacesuit. The Main Character doesnt really have any sci fi powers besides being able to breathe on the planet, and carries a backpack of grenades, a stock standard army rifle, and a helmet with "chips" of his old team living in it all.



His tactics consistently involve him letting the lovely hell planet theyre fighting over take em out by popping their suits.



Silver2195
Apr 4, 2012


Ghost Leviathan posted:

It doesn't necessarily take long to embed a security state into a society, as we're suddenly finding out. Consider that it's relative- Cardassia has occupied Bajor for half a century by the start of DS9. It's also not clear how long Cardassians live.

I was about to say, many (probably most) of the real-world totalitarian governments of the 20th-century fell within living memory of their founding; that doesn't mean they weren't deeply embedded in their societies!

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Also living memory is a lot longer in Trek.

Anonymous Zebra
Oct 21, 2005
Blending in like it ain't no thang

The Cardassian Union was likely a democratic society within the living memory of many of the older Cardassians that appear on the show. It suffered an economic collapse at some point 50 years before TNG starts and the police state, and occupation of their neighbors occurred then. There is plenty of support for this being true just within the information that is given within the shows.

Also don't forget that the Cardassian Union had a strong democratic dissident movement and actually became a democracy shortly before the Klingons hosed things up and attacked them. Gul Dukat even mentions the constitutional limitations of the Obsidian Order at one point, which only could exist if the Cardassians had a constitution at some point before they went full 1980.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




IIRC at the start of the show the Cardassian society has the Detapa Council, which is mostly a symbolic release valve for the people, Central Command that actually runs things, and the Obsidian Order as a secret police that's grown to the point of being practically its own branch of the military on par with the Tal Shiar. (Another very common thing with authoritarian regimes)

It's pretty dysfunctional, we see active dissidents and several regime changes over the course of the show, and some implications that it's not an infrequent thing.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



In Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers, there's a supercomputer at a jail called the Aequitas that has the main purpose of determining guilt, which is a weird thing, but it is a society of robots. What's lovely about it is that its password can by bypassed by a Transformer willingly dying to open it up, which both is inconvenient and not secure if you happen to run into particularly motivated attackers.

The decepticons took over the prison where it was and Overlord, their leader, tried to groom the inmates into giving their lives by forcing them to fight for the death because of the potential for propaganda that all the records of autobot warcrimes would be.

There was an autobot strikeforce sent to secure the supercomputer that had a guy who was terminally ill from having a brain-seeking bullet embedded in his skull, steadily making its way forward, but he never had the chance to give himself up because another guy quickly volunteered to die because his twin brother was getting tortured and they had one of those twin deals where they shared all sensation.

It's a real macabre contrivance to kill some characters.

Hodgepodge
Jan 29, 2006




Ghost Leviathan posted:

I forget if it's come up before, and I feel like it probably has, but hell with it, I feel like among all of Warhammer 40k's absurd technology both in-universe and out, Ordinatus (warning: chan speak, if relatively mild) absolutely fit the bill.

Might have come up that humanity in Warhammer 40,000 have had a pretty bad case of Butlerian Jihad (if not as bad as Dune itself, or even Battletech, overall, but significant) to the point where the technology-cult of the Adeptus Mechanicus considers innovation and blue-sky research in itself to be incredibly dangerous at best. This means, poo poo has to be ridiculously dire for them to actually do it, and the Ordinatus are a result of what precepts and organisations they have to actually accommodate it. What you end up with is basically a mad science superweapon mounted on absurdly large tank treads of an arbitrarily massive size, typically built around an extremely specific scenario that needs to be solved. This can range from a massive sonic cannon to a Death Star Jr superlaser to a massive drill tank, and is sometimes not even operable after its first use, which probably doesn't make the AdMech too sad because they're incredibly reluctant to use them for any reason other than something ridiculously similar to the scenario they were originally built for.

Perhaps fittingly among 40k's deliberately ridiculous treatment of technology, Ordinatus stand out, as they're oddly standardised for one-off mad science superweapons, yet a design that makes sense as 'break glass only in case of mad science emergency' button, being as said, basically a massive fuckoff superweapon mounted on ridiculously oversized treads made only for massive fuckoff superweapons. The ones who have playable stats even make sense for this; they tend to be glass cannons et large, mainly relying on very rare energy shields usually reserved for particularly large and rare Titans (the giant mecha which are often literally cathedrals) That said, their stats do in turn seem to be 'anything I'm pointed at is all kinds of hosed'.

And of course, a couple of these, mostly the city-sized sonic cannons, have been looted by the Orks. It aint the Imperium til it's been used against them because of their hubris!

The big titans aren't even cathedrals anymore, they're considered gods (or avatars the machine god) in their own right. This is also not inaccurate as the main job of the several humans that need to be wired into one for it to function to basically communicate with and direct their AIs, which are modeled after predatory beasts to provide the necessary instinct without defying the jihad as it were.

Its a pity that space marines dominate 40k so much,because unlike Star Wars with jedi stuff, I personally think 40k has a lot of other interesting stuff going on thats way cooler than yet another space marine chapter.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006



Rewatching some Doctor Who from 2005, the one with Simon Pegg on the giant Rupert Murdoch space station, and while it's intentionally lovely it bears mentioning-- the stupid little hole in a person's head that can be opened by custom audio key and routes light or some bullshit through it so it acts as a giant processor.

Some weird vid but it's the best footage I've got:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQsjMNkAUV4

I do like that the show intentionally makes the corpus callosum view look like an asscrack and that the dude who gets it ends up getting chumped, but drat is that some poo poo technology.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




CainFortea posted:

Also transporter buffers are literally bigger than the brig cells.

Also also, being constrained by gravity is not the only reason to build ships compact. If you build them with big open space you still need more ship to wrap around that space and inertia exists.

I'm suddenly reminded of how the My Teacher Is An Alien books apparently have city-sized spaceships specifically because their FTL method only works on ships above a certain size.

CainFortea
Oct 15, 2004





Ghost Leviathan posted:

I'm suddenly reminded of how the My Teacher Is An Alien books apparently have city-sized spaceships specifically because their FTL method only works on ships above a certain size.

I did also like in the Foundation series that the Empire forgot how to make ships small and so even a "cruiser" is like, 2 miles long, and the Foundation re-learning miniaturization is a game changer cause they've gone 20 thousand years without it.

Yvonmukluk
Oct 10, 2012

Everything is Sinister



We we're talking about ship scale, I think that would have been a cool detail in Star Trek Discovery if the Enterprise was actually the same size as in TOS, it's just the technology had advanced so much it can punch above its weight compared to the larger ships we see in Discovery.

Of course then it couldn't poo poo out 1000 shuttles in the finale of season 2, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

Verviticus
Mar 13, 2006

Security? Please escort the fan in section 106, row 16, seat 1 out of the building right now and bar him from coming here again!




CainFortea posted:

It's easier to be accurate with a rifle. 3 points of contact is better than 2.

Also according to the Technical Manual, the type 2 hand phaser has settings 1 to 16. The type 3 phaser rifle has similar power settings but 50% additional power reserve.

Settings are:

Light Stun
Medium Stun
Heavy Stun
Thermal Effects
Thermal Effects (But more)
Disruption Effects
Disruption Effects (Harder)
Disruption Effects (Harder Better) (This is basically the Kill setting)
Disruption Effects (Harder Better Faster)
Disruption Effects (Harder Better Faster Stronger)
Explosive/Disruption Effects
Explosive/Disruption Effects (Harder)
Explosive/Disruption Effects (Harder Better)
Explosive/Disruption Effects (Harder Better Faster)
Explosive/Disruption Effects (Harder Better Faster Stronger)
Explosive/Disruption Effects (Heavy Geological Displacement; 650m3 of rock/ore of 6.0 g/cm3 density explosively uncoupled per discharge)

phaser rifles have also been shown being used to basically spray an entire area with lower levels of energy in ds9 to catch changelings. i assume they also have better cooling, probably easier to aim

GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

427 TOTALLY LEGITIMATE, DEFENSIBLE NATIONAL TITLES AND COUNTING


SlothfulCobra posted:

In Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers, there's a supercomputer at a jail called the Aequitas that has the main purpose of determining guilt, which is a weird thing, but it is a society of robots. What's lovely about it is that its password can by bypassed by a Transformer willingly dying to open it up, which both is inconvenient and not secure if you happen to run into particularly motivated attackers.

The decepticons took over the prison where it was and Overlord, their leader, tried to groom the inmates into giving their lives by forcing them to fight for the death because of the potential for propaganda that all the records of autobot warcrimes would be.

There was an autobot strikeforce sent to secure the supercomputer that had a guy who was terminally ill from having a brain-seeking bullet embedded in his skull, steadily making its way forward, but he never had the chance to give himself up because another guy quickly volunteered to die because his twin brother was getting tortured and they had one of those twin deals where they shared all sensation.

It's a real macabre contrivance to kill some characters.

Ehhh....some of that isn't how I took it. Overlord set up all the Autobot deathmatches both as a sadistic way to gently caress with the former captors/prison guards, and as a way to pass time until Megatron took notice and came running. The password thing wasn't something inherently designed into Aequitas; Overlord basically used the jail's former warden as a way to solve the problem and to torture him.

The dumbest contrivance in the whole TF series has to be Vector Sigma. The one thing that can create new life (apart from all the other times in other episodes they did :rolleyes: )is buried at the center of their planet, mostly forgotten, and requires a MacGuffin key to use.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



A mysterious ancient computer at the center of the robot planet that can grant life to robots seems like a pretty straightforward concept to me. Especially since the robots Wheeljack built from scratch were too stupid to live. Of course in I think literally the next episode after that arc, the combaticons show up and there's no explanation for where they came from.

And then the key to Vector Sigma can turn Earth into metal for some reason, that's the weird thing. Maybe it implies that Cybertron was terraformed into what it became later? At least it's not robot murder porn.

mind the walrus posted:

Rewatching some Doctor Who from 2005, the one with Simon Pegg on the giant Rupert Murdoch space station, and while it's intentionally lovely it bears mentioning-- the stupid little hole in a person's head that can be opened by custom audio key and routes light or some bullshit through it so it acts as a giant processor.

Some weird vid but it's the best footage I've got:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQsjMNkAUV4

I do like that the show intentionally makes the corpus callosum view look like an asscrack and that the dude who gets it ends up getting chumped, but drat is that some poo poo technology.

There are so drat many Doctor Who stories where they live in a horrible corporate dystopias where nothing works. I think one of the top ones was a space station where you were charged for all the oxygen you breathed, and company wound up trying to kill and replace all the workers to save on costs somehow.

There was also Paradise Towers, a massive future apartment complex that was used as a shelter when war broke out. They couldn't leave because the computer that designed the place decided to lock the whole thing down and later tried getting the janitorial staff to kill people in the hopes that it could transfer itself to a body.

There was also a whole race of squid-faced cyborg butlers, who at first were just extremely susceptible to satanic possession en masse, but it turned out that was probably because they were lobotomized and life was suffering to them.

GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

427 TOTALLY LEGITIMATE, DEFENSIBLE NATIONAL TITLES AND COUNTING


SlothfulCobra posted:

Of course in I think literally the next episode after that arc, the combaticons show up and there's no explanation for where they came from.

That one actually made a smattering of sense; they were prisoners on Cybertron that literally had been removed from their bodies and just cold stored as hardware. Starscream snuck in and stole them, then (sigh, this is where it gets back to being dumb) put them into the rusted remnants of some WWII era military hardware he found on Guadalcanal.

My favorite dumb gadget in Transformers was the Solar Needle, which takes solar energy directly from the sun, and also somehow needs a part from the grumpiest Autobot there is, Gears. If you use it for two hours, it blows up the sun.

Forgall
Oct 16, 2012

What're you lookin' at?


How about alien civilisation from Amnesia games, whose entire society runs on adrenochrome vitae, which they extract by torturing kidnapped humans 24/7 on industrial scale?

David D. Davidson
Nov 17, 2012

Orca lady?

I've been watching the old Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series and man I forgot how much stupid garbage tech is in this universe. Robots programmed to be manically depressed, a button on The Heart of Gold that just lights up a sign that says "don not press this button again." It's fantastic.

Hodgepodge
Jan 29, 2006




Forgall posted:

How about alien civilisation from Amnesia games, whose entire society runs on adrenochrome vitae, which they extract by torturing kidnapped humans 24/7 on industrial scale?

That one civilization from the Torchwood special which surgically grafts kids to their bodies to get high and will never know how lucky they were to be in the spinoff.

Hunter Noventa
Apr 21, 2010


David D. Davidson posted:

I've been watching the old Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series and man I forgot how much stupid garbage tech is in this universe. Robots programmed to be manically depressed, a button on The Heart of Gold that just lights up a sign that says "don not press this button again." It's fantastic.

Don't forget the black starship with the black button with black text that lights up a black light to let you know it's done something.

W.T. Fits
Apr 21, 2010

Dream Super Combo


Hunter Noventa posted:

Don't forget the black starship with the black button with black text that lights up a black light to let you know it's done something.

Also, let's not forget Deep Thought, the computer that was advanced enough to be able to calculate the ultimate answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything... but when prompted for the question, couldn't give it because it didn't know what the question was and didn't have enough computing power to figure it out.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011



It built another machine to generate the question though, and it was worse. The machine was Earth.

If you read the books, then humans are the reason why the machine failed, because humans are all descended from a society that sent all their useless people on a ship, which accidentally wiped out the original dominant species of Earth. Deep Thought tried to cover it up by engineering a society to wipe out all life in the universe.

Bootcha
Nov 13, 2012

Truly, the pinnacle of goaltending


Grimey Drawer

When I think of garbage tech, I go to the source...





Bootcha fucked around with this message at 04:13 on Jan 4, 2021

W.T. Fits
Apr 21, 2010

Dream Super Combo


Bootcha posted:

When I think of garbage tech, I go to the source...







To be fair, that second one works exactly as advertised.

habituallyred
Feb 6, 2015


Ghost Leviathan posted:

I'm suddenly reminded of how the My Teacher Is An Alien books apparently have city-sized spaceships specifically because their FTL method only works on ships above a certain size.

The Cities in Flight series had a similar thing going on, where adding more engines to a ship made it almost exponentially faster. So while they could build a ship with just one drive it would be slow and inefficient. Instead they just built engines around the cities of earth and took off for the stars. Hotrodding a planet gets into "too many points of failure" territory.

Polaron
Oct 13, 2010

The Oncoming Storm


habituallyred posted:

The Cities in Flight series had a similar thing going on, where adding more engines to a ship made it almost exponentially faster. So while they could build a ship with just one drive it would be slow and inefficient. Instead they just built engines around the cities of earth and took off for the stars. Hotrodding a planet gets into "too many points of failure" territory.

For some reason this made me think of the Culture starship Sleeper Service, from Excession, which spent a couple hundred years pretending to be a weirdo loner and instead was just filling all of its available internal volume with engine. When it finally puts the pedal down, an onlooker disbelievingly wonders if it's planning on going to the Andromeda galaxy with all that excess power.

muscles like this!
Jan 17, 2005




There was a short story (I believe by Harry Turtledove) about aliens invading Earth and while they had FTL drives all the rest of the their tech was kind of lovely. Their spaceships were made of wood and they used muskets. After they're easily defeated by humanity it is discovered that the rest of the galaxy also has crap tech because the science behind FTL is so weird that it doesn't apply to anything else so if a civilization develops it they stagnate everywhere else.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




The Road Not Taken, yeah. Antigravity and FTL derive from the same technology that you can theoretically discover easily, but it's so unintuitive to do so that you could never do it with the scientific method no matter how advanced the rest of your stuff was.

Bloody Pom
Jun 5, 2011


Polaron posted:

For some reason this made me think of the Culture starship Sleeper Service, from Excession, which spent a couple hundred years pretending to be a weirdo loner and instead was just filling all of its available internal volume with engine. When it finally puts the pedal down, an onlooker disbelievingly wonders if it's planning on going to the Andromeda galaxy with all that excess power.

I really need to back into reading the Culture novels. Probably in text this time, trying to follow Use of Weapons' chapter layout in audiobook format broke my brain.

TheGreatEvilKing
Mar 28, 2016



I nominate the stupid nuclear plant meltdown button in 24 which existed so terrorists could steal it and blow up nuclear power plants.

On the topic of mechs, I don't know if anyone has played Earthsiege: 2, but I remember the optimal strategy for the game - which the manual encouraged - was to blow off mechs' feet to disable them and salvage all their stuff. No, neither the humans nor the advanced evil AI ever built tanks in that game.

dracula vladdy AF
May 6, 2011


Ghost Leviathan posted:

The Road Not Taken, yeah. Antigravity and FTL derive from the same technology that you can theoretically discover easily, but it's so unintuitive to do so that you could never do it with the scientific method no matter how advanced the rest of your stuff was.

Pretty great short story if anyone out there hasn't read it

Polaron
Oct 13, 2010

The Oncoming Storm


dracula vladdy AF posted:

Pretty great short story if anyone out there hasn't read it

It's available online, though I've no idea if that's considered :filez: or not since it was originally published in an issue of Analog magazine in 1985.

Lawman 0
Aug 17, 2010





Tulip posted:

one of the big divides in SciFi is "space on ship is plentiful" (because space is big and you aren't constrained by gravity) vs "space on ship is constrained" (because all current spaceships are very constrained on account of having to be built on earth and then launched out of gravity).

In any event the transporter buffer is a far more limited resource than physical room.


Spacing anybody who gets snitched on, immediately, is a very Cardassian solution.

I mean basically my view on that is that if you don't bother to give your crews enough room you are not serious about space travel in the first place or you are probably relying on something else to keep quality of life needs down like suspended animation so you can run it with mostly a skeleton crew.
You need the biggest, most luxurious starships if you don't want people to hate traveling in space.

Lawman 0
Aug 17, 2010





Now that said I didn't say that all that space has to nice and could very easily be filled with literal trash tech.

Gravitas Shortfall
Jul 17, 2007

Utility is seven-eighths Proximity.




Lawman 0 posted:

You need the biggest, most luxurious starships if you don't want people to hate traveling in space.

Or you're a piece of poo poo corporation who's keeping costs down and absolutely doesn't give a poo poo that your cramped quarters lead to burn out because there's plenty more rubes where they came from, and what are they gonna do, not get a job?

Bootcha
Nov 13, 2012

Truly, the pinnacle of goaltending


Grimey Drawer

If nautical passenger carrying is anything to go by, there will be some combination of both. You want social media influencers showing off how wonderful it is to travel in space, plus all these neat science things that make second-class more livable if your audience can't afford the tippy top first class accommodations. Basically you want pre-launch Titanic hype, not Fyre Fest in medias res.

muscles like this!
Jan 17, 2005




In that vein there's the Avenue 5 from the TV show Avenue 5. It is a big fancy space cruise ship with a control room out of Star Trek, except all that stuff is just for show because outside of the passenger area the ship is dingy and utilitarian, including the actual control room. They even have a fake bridge crew and captain who are actors hired for their looks.

Bootcha
Nov 13, 2012

Truly, the pinnacle of goaltending


Grimey Drawer

Eh, while I chortle at the thought of an elaborate theatre to trick customers, I think the headache of keeping a literal conspiracy/con under wraps with so many moving parts would outweigh the benefits of a few hundred more sales.

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Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.




Bootcha posted:

Eh, while I chortle at the thought of an elaborate theatre to trick customers, I think the headache of keeping a literal conspiracy/con under wraps with so many moving parts would outweigh the benefits of a few hundred more sales.

They could be really big sales though.

Also a "fun" IRL precedent is that some guys set up an entire fake traffic court to scam people into paying fees to them instead of the government. They did get super caught.

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