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112 votes

In Star Trek why is warp speed the ultimate litmus test on "galactic acceptance" of a civilisation?

I think you’re misinterpreting the Prime Directive. (It’s not actually written down in any official Star Trek work, so any discussion of it is necessarily going to be a bit vague.) The Prime Directive ...
Paul D. Waite's user avatar
84 votes
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In Star Trek why is warp speed the ultimate litmus test on "galactic acceptance" of a civilisation?

I think the answer is a lot simpler than the philosophical answers I've seen so far. So I am going to take a shot at a logical answer. For a moment, as you read this, imagine Spock is giving you this ...
Michael M's user avatar
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47 votes

In Star Trek why is warp speed the ultimate litmus test on "galactic acceptance" of a civilisation?

Kirk: Er, well, sir, volatile is all relative. Maybe our data was off.. Pike: Or maybe it didn't erupt because Mister Spock detonated a cold fusion device inside it right after a civilisation that's ...
user931's user avatar
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22 votes

First story to suggest some successor to steam power?

Possibly 1749 In 1749, Benjamin Franklin wrote about a future electrical party: A turkey is to be killed for dinner by the electric shock, and roasted by the electric jack, before a fire kindled by ...
Klaus Æ. Mogensen's user avatar
17 votes
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How does a sarlacc gain any energy if it keeps victims alive for a thousand years?

The very short answer is that the Sarlacc gains energy from digesting non-sentient creatures (womp rats, eopies and so forth) and then uses that energy to torture its sentient victims, gaining a ...
Valorum's user avatar
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16 votes

First story to suggest some successor to steam power?

Earlier than Verne is Jonathan Swift with the flying Island of Laputa in Gulliver's Travels (1726), which features some sort of magnetic levitation. Even without perusing the original text to see in ...
Eike Pierstorff's user avatar
16 votes

In Star Trek why is warp speed the ultimate litmus test on "galactic acceptance" of a civilisation?

A work of science fiction like Star Trek that supposes the galaxy to be densely populated with intelligent beings capable of interstellar travel needs to offer an answer to the question, "why didn't ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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12 votes

Why are the holodecks on Voyager in use if they have energy issues?

There actually is a very practical reason for the holodecks to have an independent power source, The EMH. It's true that the Doctor was originally an emergency program, but one would have to assume ...
Erica Cook's user avatar
12 votes
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Short (?) story about immortality and end of mankind

Stars, Won't You Hide Me? by Ben Bova Mankind invents immortality but the raw ingredients come from the Flower People. For each human made immortal a flower person must die, The Others decreed that ...
Winchell Chung's user avatar
10 votes

In Star Trek why is warp speed the ultimate litmus test on "galactic acceptance" of a civilisation?

The premise of your question isn't really true. If you watch the various series and movies, you'll see that the Federation has dealings with many, many, many starfaring races that are manipulative, ...
hobbs's user avatar
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10 votes
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In Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl, why are solar and wind power not utilized?

From an IO9 interview on 2/26/2010: Q. Can you give us more background about what happened to solar panels, wind energy, hydroelectric power, and nuclear reactors in the Windup Girl world? A. ...
FuzzyBoots's user avatar
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10 votes

In Star Trek why is warp speed the ultimate litmus test on "galactic acceptance" of a civilisation?

In the episode First Contact, Riker is on a planet that is finishing its warp drive. Eventually, Picard meets with the president, and explains that in spite of their other advances, the ability to ...
King of NES's user avatar
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10 votes

In Star Trek why is warp speed the ultimate litmus test on "galactic acceptance" of a civilisation?

Star Trek really was not utopia; it may have had the appearance on the surface but we saw beneath that surface to the ugly truth of human nature many times on all the series. The Prime Directive is ...
revenant's user avatar
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7 votes

Book Identification: Alternate dimension of energy enables FTL travel and colonization

Sounds like this may be the Soul Rider Series by Jack L. Chalker Spirits of Flux and Anchor, Tor Books, 1984 (ISBN 0-8125-3320-8) Empires of Flux and Anchor, Tor Books, 1984 (ISBN 0-8125-3329-1) ...
Azurite609's user avatar
6 votes

Nostalgia: City of Light?

The answer for this question was previously offered for an answer here Sci-fi novel: aliens ignore humans, put up giant structures all over Earth and here Old short story about energy beings. The ...
KenM's user avatar
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6 votes

In Star Trek why is warp speed the ultimate litmus test on "galactic acceptance" of a civilisation?

I'll look at this from two angles. The first is setting the bar. Obviously, you need some form of measurement for the prime Directive to work. Achieveing FTL travel is something that is not debatable....
Polygnome's user avatar
  • 1,327
6 votes

Energy globes flatten everything, turn out be be warp bubbles of starships from another dimension

Sounds like Slow Birds, by Ian Watson. They were called slow birds because they flew through the air - at a pace of three feet per minute. Slow birds always kept the same height above the ...
Dave Munger's user avatar
6 votes

Were they ever worried about running dry on resources in the Star Wars galaxy?

You kind of answered your own question: let's be very generous and suppose there are 100 million inhabited systems out of those 400 billion you mentioned. That's a 4000:1 ratio of uninhabited (read: ...
Kris's user avatar
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5 votes

Could it ever make sense to use megahertz as a unit of energy?

For electromagnetic (EM) quanta—that is, photons—the frequency and the energy are directly proportional, so that to specify the frequency is to specify the energy (and the wavelength) of each photon. ...
David Siegel's user avatar
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5 votes
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Why aren't wormholes used for energy generation?

Hamilton doesn't say anything that suggests that the wormholes don't conserve energy. If they do conserve energy, then one of two things have to happen when the two ends of the wormhole are at ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
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5 votes

In Star Trek why is warp speed the ultimate litmus test on "galactic acceptance" of a civilisation?

While other answers are right to point out the fact that once a species has warp capability, they're going to be meeting other species no matter what, there's also the idea that warp capability is ...
Scott Whitlock's user avatar
4 votes

In Star Trek why is warp speed the ultimate litmus test on "galactic acceptance" of a civilisation?

The Prime Directive, as it concerns first contact (there are other situations where a Prime Directive applies, such as time travel), is designed to prevent outside influence on a civilisation which ...
MauganRa's user avatar
  • 177
4 votes

Nostalgia: City of Light?

This is from memory as I do not have it any more. I searched the Galaxy Magazine page and finally found the October 1963 edition. Per Wikipedia: Of Men and Monsters by William Tenn (Philip Klass) Of ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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4 votes
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How does Destiny in Stargate Universe Store its Energy?

One of the possible methods that Destiny could use is a more advanced form of Subspace Capacitor. In The Daedalus Variations, the Daedalus utilized a subspace capacitor developed by Dr. Rodney McKay ...
gate_engineer's user avatar
3 votes
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Movie with an Alien race Which Absorbs Light as a Source of Nutrition

Might be The Sender (1998). I remember that there was an alien female who was disguised as a human and for some reason she defected and was running with a human trying to prevent an invasion. ...
dave_thompson_085's user avatar
3 votes

In Star Trek why is warp speed the ultimate litmus test on "galactic acceptance" of a civilisation?

A couple of things here: Some civilizations and species are capable to travel between star systems without warp drive, per se. For instance, Q. Some civilizations may develop communications systems - ...
Peter Corless's user avatar
3 votes

First story to suggest some successor to steam power?

"The Angel of the Revolution: A Tale of the Coming Terror" by George Griffith in 1893. It started with- and was to some extent constructed around- a penniless inventor who devised a novel ...
Mark Morgan Lloyd's user avatar
2 votes

Why aren't wormholes used for energy generation?

It's never explained. Hard to give proof of a negative, but I've read all of the books and this is never mentioned as a form of energy generation, nor is it mentioned why it isn't done. In universe ...
Cearon O'Flynn's user avatar
2 votes

In Star Trek why is warp speed the ultimate litmus test on "galactic acceptance" of a civilisation?

The point of once you achieve warp speed you're going to meet people anyway is perfectly valid, but I wish to add to that. It is a statement about your culture as a whole, to be ready for first ...
cybernard's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes

In Star Trek why is warp speed the ultimate litmus test on "galactic acceptance" of a civilisation?

Let's say that a species believes in the concept of FTL, however, like our own do not know how to achieve it. Meeting an advanced civilization may give them the clues on how to do it. That would be ...
David Boccabella's user avatar

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