Day: December 12, 2014

Recurrent Themes – Computer Technicians

Recurrent Themes – Computer Technicians

Computer technicians are part of the future.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Sheilagh Bernstein's file photo at the Temporal Integrity Commission | Computer Technicians

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Sheilagh Bernstein’s file photo at the Temporal Integrity Commission

In time travel in particular, someone will have to be able to deal with computers. They are such a pervasive part of our lives. A time travel contingent can’t go to any time past about 1985 without seeing computers.

Further, Star Trek has always had a somewhat ambivalent relationship with computers. Truly, it’s with all forms of technology. The Original Series (TOS) often shows a dichotomy. This is between over reliance on computers versus good old fashioned human know-how. In The Next Generation (TNG), Data is so human-like. Should he have the same rights as a member of a naturally evolving sentient species?

Background

Amusingly enough (and highly reflective of the mores of the time), Original Series actors are shown really only using computers for work. Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Computer Technicians The same seems to be true for the Next Generation, except when it comes to the use of the fantasy-fulfilling holodeck. Then, it’s no holds-barred.

You need to get to Star Trek: Enterprise (ENT) before you start to see people using computers for leisure pursuits. In the Catwalk episode, a crewman does a crossword puzzle on hers. Jonathan Archer even seems to use his for reading (although Malcolm Reed appears to prefer paper books).

Appearances

Hoshi Sato

As in canon, Hoshi (with the help of T’Pol) often has a task of not only handling the ship’s database, but also in interpreting aliens’ databases.

Charlotte Reed-Hayes Archer

In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, it is Charlotte, a descendant of Jonathan, Lili, Ebrona, Jay, Malcolm, and others, who sends the first kick-back’s full database to Hoshi. This changes the second kick back in time’s experience rather dramatically, as people already know who they ended up with.  Then the second kick back in time meets the prime timeline version. But there isn’t enough time to load the entire database. And so the prime timeline is left with only knowing what we learned in canon. They never know that there were two involuntary trips back in time.

Sheilagh Bernstein

The specialist in ancient computers is a mid-level Temporal Agent working with Richard Daniels. In Another Piece of the Action, she ends up inadvertently insulting Spock a little, when she refers to his beloved computer system as being primitive.

Upshot

We move closer to real-life Star Trek types of experiences. So I fully believe we will use computers more and more. They will converge, probably. So smart phones and tablets will likely become more or less the same devices. Through it all, computer technicians will need to handle them. I will undoubtedly write about more people just like this.

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Posted by jespah in Themes, 1 comment