My Replies: A Holodeck Response

January 22nd, 2013 12 Comments

holodeckThis post is in response to Wyrd Smythe’s post: “Why I Hate The Holodeck!”

It’s a great post that delves into some very good points as to why the Holodeck, on the Star Trek series/movies, has some major reality flaws. Check it out!

The following is my answer to this post and how some of these questions could be answered. I am not claiming to be right, or capable of building a working holodeck like those in ST. These are just my theories on the matters he raised. 🙂 Enjoy!

You have brought up some very good points. Admittedly, some of them I have contemplated.

As to the instant appearance of objects, yeah that’s kind of a big one, but they usually started the program before going in. Also, if it’s a program that’s been run often maybe the computer has a cache that allows it to load things quickly.

When it comes to the perspective/distance hiccup this was my thought on it. If you take a spyglass and look through it one way a far off object is closer. Flip it around and a close object is far away. I kind of figured that the computer could do something similar with both sight and sound, by putting a “spyglass” between the two people. This would give the appearance of distance while still being within the confines of the deck itself.

The momentum of movement, well that’s a bit trickier. Especially if you have more than one real person in the same program. At least with how I thought it could work, but if you combine my “perspective holo theory” with this one, it might work.

Anyway, the way I imagined it was like a half manual, half powered treadmill. The computer would sense where your steps were but would rely on you to help “move” the scene beneath your feet, the computer would do some of the work, but you would have a physical feeling of walking. The reason I say the computer would help move the scene is because if you were the only one working the “treadmill” you would get a sense of pushing the floor rather than walking along it.


As to running into a wall, if the Enterprise computer is this advanced, it really wouldn’t take much for it to “twist” the scene a little at a time. So that you may not notice the change, but would keep you from hitting the room’s limits. Instead you would be guided in a circle, so to speak.

As to the whole bullet/nail thing, yes you could. I think it was Voyager that first touched on this (please correct me if I’m wrong on this) that it’s a picture/program that is surrounded by an adaptive force field. Now we already know that a force field can be “hard” (at 100%) or start to loose it’s “solidity” (say shields down to 60% in a battle). I wouldn’t think it would take much to manually create this change. This would allow the difference in safety practicals.

With the nail thing I would think it would be more of a cause and effect rather than actual action. The computer recognizes what you are doing and simply “places” the nail in the wood once you hit the nail gun trigger, rather than it actually forcing the nail into the wood.

As to the whole lipstick saliva thing, I think it does simulate them. Why wouldn’t it? It would use the same data base on human body functions like it would for the recipe to the food it replicates. You wouldn’t eat a replicated dish of spaghetti if it only looked like spaghetti without tasting like it. Same thing in my mind. You can’t have one without the other.


I do agree with the desk and chairs thing. It would be illogical (thank you Spock) to bring in real items if your in a room that can create them. Plus it would add a bit of humour if they fell on their ass when something like that happened. (makes me laugh just thinking about it actually)

I also agree that turning off the safety protocols should not be so easy. It should be reserved to senor staff only, at the very least.

It also seems strange that it tends to “break down” a lot. I guess I chalk this one up to what my grandpa use to say about tech in cars. The more things you have in a system, the more things can go wrong with it. *shrugs*

Ah Moriarty. I have to admit I loved these episodes, mainly because I am a HUGE fan of Dole’s work (not just the Sherlock series, though they are my faves). My only thought on this is that yes she (the computer) can be a self-thinking machine, but it is not in her programing 98% of the time. So does that make her a “Data” in ship form because it is capable of it sometimes? I don’t know. It’s one that I still think over a lot.

All of the “If Only…”s I wholeheartedly agree with. That would have been awesome, even if it was in addition to the normal holodeck functions.

Okay, I think that’s all I have to say on the matter, at least for now. 😉


About the author

I’m a Goth/Hippie who loves to try new things and dabbles in anything and everything that I find enjoyment in. That can include but is not limited to, cooking, art, digital design, jewellery making, photography, gardening, nature, animals and whatever else strikes my fancy. I’m an optimistic (occasionally) perfectionist (constantly), who can be very sarcastic (incessantly), but all in good humour. :)

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Fascinating. (I think lightsabers were actually explained in a similar fashion to the force-field idea. Otherwise you have a beam of light that just heads off and off for infinity or until something blocks or absorbs it…)


    You know I thought of that too, lol. I’m a geek and I know, but proud of it. 😉


Psssst…. Don’t look… I said don’t look… but I think clotildajamcracker is stalking us! Maybe we can entice her out to play if we’re really quiet and don’t move too much….


    OMG, really? I’ve only ever heard rumors and seen fuzzy photos of her……wait does this mean I shouldn’t eat my potato chips & dip right now?




        Damn, I hate being denied my chips and dip. This woman better be worth it. 😉


          Well, I guess she’s shy. Deny thyself no longer!


            Oh thank god. They were so tempting, it was killing me.


Brava! I replied to your comment in comment form. If you like, I can copy the comment here as well. (If you do want that, I’d just as soon wait until your readers have a chance to chime in, though.)


    No need to copy it here. I’d like to see what peeps have to say too, if anything, lol.