Tal

Alas, poor Tuvix.

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And what about Kirk in "The Enemy Within"? Were his two selves murdered too, when they were reunited eventually?
Except in this case it's heavily implied if not stated outright that neither Kirk could physically live without the other. Both halves exhibited slowly failing life signs and "good" Kirk's reasoning abilities took a massive hit. The argument that the Kirks had to be put back together regardless of the risk is pretty unassailable.
No such issues existed with Tuvix. Indeed, had they implied through a scene of him at work or through some exposition that Tuvix was somehow not up to par in the ability to do his duty when compared to Tuvok I could have bought that as a rationale to pull Tuvix apart. (i.e. she needs a Chief of Security that can be at 100% here in the Great Nothing)
But there was none of that at all.
On the face of what was shown on screen, there was no reason to kill a man in order to save two that were already dead.

Good points ... and yes, the episode could have been so much better, hadn't they wasted so many opportunities here again. Such a problem you describe would have made it more poignant, IMO, or they could have at least actually addressed the problem as we do it here now. Instead, they just made Janeway take a more than questionable decision without even presenting good arguments in favor of it ...

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Tuvok and Neelix were clearly happy to be alive.

So was Tuvix.

There wasn't an emotional scene in the way you suggest. Having just watched it, it's Kes who is all happy-happy-joy-joy and running to Neelix. There's no great, "Thank God for Kathy" moment to be had there from either of the two. If there had been, I also might have been able to buy the resolution of the episode.

In 'Thine Own Self' S7 E16, Troi tries to earn her promotion to Commander. In her exam, she was forced to order Holo-Geordi to fix some kind of radiation leak or something, which would certainly have killed him but saved the ship and other lives. Commanders are forced to make tough decisions in the Trek universe, they issue orders which can get groups of officers killed to save the lives of others. Those that heap scorn on Voyager as a series as a result of this episode I think are experiencing some selective memory about precedent in other series. Kobayashi Maru anyone?

Quite right. And thus you illustrate the problem with Janeway's logic here (and one of the more massive flaws in her characterization that help make her unpalatable to me as captain of an automated ore ship much less responsible for the lives of other people) In order to pass her exam Troi has to dismiss emotionalism. She tries every permutation and comes to the correct resolution that the only way to save the ship is to order Geordi to his death because he's the only one that can fix the problem.

Indeed, she failed repeatedly because her emotionalism wouldn't let her issue the order. It's the same reason that she kept from separating the ship in "Disaster" when she absolutely should have. It was literally blind luck that Riker and Data were alive, and made it to Engineering to fix the problem.

Janeway, however has, in "Tuvix," and throughout the show shown that she governs emotionally. Tuvok and Neelix are gone. Dead. They no longer exist. There is no overriding reason physically or from a ship's operational standpoint to actively act to end the life of Tuvix. Indeed, when Tuvix stands before her and argues for his life she seems genuinely moved and seems to side with him.

It was only after Tuvix makes the mistake of trusting Kes to plead his case, which brings Kes crying to Janeway that Janeway decides that Tuvix needs to die. Her friend came to her and said, "I don't care, I want my Neelix back." and that was enough for Janeway.. Troi in "Thine Own Self" and Janeway in this episode are complete opposites.

Again, in "Fair Haven," rather than end a real threat to three of her officers by deactivating the holodeck and purging the town whose inhabitants show no sign of self-awareness, Janeway refuses, literally citing the notion, "They're real if we believe they are." as a reason to allow her real life, flesh and blood officers to die as well as the Doctor who is unarguably self-aware. She couldn't bear to lose her boyfriend.

Facts carry little weight with her. Her writing is almost back-handedly misogynist.

Edited by prometheus59650

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Fair enough, I haven't seen the episode in a while and evidently my memory was a bit fuzzy on that scene. I was looking at it from the perspective of not letting her emotions for Tuvix influence her decision to bring Tuvok and Neelix back. I thought about this a different way, if a parent has two healthy kidneys, but both of his/her children are dying and need kidney transplant, would the parent sacrifice himself/herself for their offspring? Maybe, but it shouldn't be the doctor making that call. (not that it would be legal to kill the patient anyway) Should Tuvix have agreed to sacrificed himself to save two lives? Is he selfish for wanting what we all take for granted? I think that ending would have been a lot better, namely Tuvix desires to live as two separate entities again but Janeway is opposed because it's suicide. That would have been somewhat similar to the episode where the renegade Q wants to seek asylum for the purpose of committing suicide.

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Uhm ... why? How would splitting one distinct individual into two others equal "murder"? We all are different distinct individuals from one second to the next. You are not the same person anymore than you were one year ago, or one day. All that connects you with your past self is your memory (and that of others).

Of course this is becoming very philosophical at this point, but I don't think the situation is as clear cut as you seem to suggest. (But since that VOY episode didn't even address this problem, it was crap, I agree.)

And what about Kirk in "The Enemy Within"? Were his two selves murdered too, when they were reunited eventually?

Just playing devil's advocate here, obviously. ;)

It's murder because it kills Tuvix. He isn't alive anymore, regardless if he was split back into two distinct individuals.

In regards to me growing into another person and not being the same, you know as well as I do that is not the same thing at all. I was never "killed" to become the man I am today. I grew into it. Tuvix literally was killed. It was why he begged not to go through the procedure. It was why the EMH refused to go through with it.

There is a reason all the bridge officers looked down in shame when he begged for his life. He knew he wasn't going to "live" on. Saying he lived on is like me murdering a person and harvesting their organs. Then washing my hands of it by saying "That person now lives on in the new bodies through the organs. It wasn't really murder."

It's kind of playing with the definition of what it means to be alive. *shrugs*

I am unsure about Kirk. To be honest with you, I haven't seen much TOS.

Maybe they should have wrote in medical problems with Tuvix that could only be resolved by splitting them. At the end of the episode though, while there was no conversation where they discuss their recent memories, Tuvok and Neelix were clearly happy to be alive. If they had no memory of the events, wouldn't they treat it like any other beam up? Why the emotional scene? I think they remembered Tuvix and still were happy to be free of each other.

In 'Thine Own Self' S7 E16, Troi tries to earn her promotion to Commander. In her exam, she was forced to order Holo-Geordi to fix some kind of radiation leak or something, which would certainly have killed him but saved the ship and other lives. Commanders are forced to make tough decisions in the Trek universe, they issue orders which can get groups of officers killed to save the lives of others. Those that heap scorn on Voyager as a series as a result of this episode I think are experiencing some selective memory about precedent in other series. Kobayashi Maru anyone?

This isn't selective outrage in regards to VOY. But this was a very important episode. If this had been the crew of the Equinox, without any question, most people would just say "Oh. Yet another crime of the Equinox crew." Yet since it is our intrepid heroes, we're supposed to heap understanding at their choice.

There is no doubt this was a complicated topic (and obviously meant to be). It was handled really well in terms of its execution. In fact, I wouldn't like the idea of Tuvix dying of a disease unless he was split because that would remove the dilemma. If he is about to die anyways, why not get back your old crew?

But he wasn't. He was a fully functioning and sentient being that did not want to die. Tuvok and Neelix had already "died" at that point. Getting them back was the scientific equivalent of "blood magic". I get that Starfleet Captains have to make horrible choices. Choices that are difficult and gut wrenching and may result in the deaths of crewmen under their command. This was not one of those cases. Janeway killed him simply because she wanted Tuvok back and she spoke to one other person: Kes. Who was biased and wanted Neelix back.

The EMH did not perform the procedure for a reason. He knew it was killing Tuvix. There wasn't really a "dilemma" here in the sense that by keeping Tuvix alive, she'd be harming the ship and crew. Say...Tuvix could not perform tactical or something. Which is a must in the Delta Quadrant. He could. She simply did it because she wanted her friend back. She was selfish. That is why it is particularly bad in this case. It isn't VOY bashing.

The example of Troi taking the test or the Kobayashi Maru, they do not really sync with this example because they are examples of emergencies occurring and having to make a choice quickly that will get someone killed. No such thing occurred with Tuvix.

The reason this episode is so awkward is because VOY was still pretty episodic at this point. So we jump from an idea that needed a follow up to just another day in the Delta Quadrant. If time went on and I say Janeway wreching from this choice, I'd feel more sympathy. As it stands, she was chipper in the next episode as if nothing occurred.

Edited by The Founder

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I was looking at it from the perspective of not letting her emotions for Tuvix influence her decision to bring Tuvok and Neelix back.

Her emotions for Kes mattered more. They mattered more than her attachment to Tuvix. They mattered more than the facts.

As for your alternate plot ideas? Maybe they would have worked better, but that's not what we ended up with.

We ended up with another example of rush to judgement based on my gut Janeway, which is arguably the same mindset that stranded them in the DQ in the first place.

Edited by prometheus59650

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Uhm ... why? How would splitting one distinct individual into two others equal "murder"? We all are different distinct individuals from one second to the next. You are not the same person anymore than you were one year ago, or one day. All that connects you with your past self is your memory (and that of others).

Of course this is becoming very philosophical at this point, but I don't think the situation is as clear cut as you seem to suggest. (But since that VOY episode didn't even address this problem, it was crap, I agree.)

And what about Kirk in "The Enemy Within"? Were his two selves murdered too, when they were reunited eventually?

Just playing devil's advocate here, obviously. ;)

It's murder because it kills Tuvix. He isn't alive anymore, regardless if he was split back into two distinct individuals.

In regards to me growing into another person and not being the same, you know as well as I do that is not the same thing at all. I was never "killed" to become the man I am today. I grew into it. Tuvix literally was killed. It was why he begged not to go through the procedure. It was why the EMH refused to go through with it.

There is a reason all the bridge officers looked down in shame when he begged for his life. He knew he wasn't going to "live" on. Saying he lived on is like me murdering a person and harvesting their organs. Then washing my hands of it by saying "That person now lives on in the new bodies through the organs. It wasn't really murder."

It's kind of playing with the definition of what it means to be alive. *shrugs*

I am unsure about Kirk. To be honest with you, I haven't seen much TOS.

Maybe they should have wrote in medical problems with Tuvix that could only be resolved by splitting them. At the end of the episode though, while there was no conversation where they discuss their recent memories, Tuvok and Neelix were clearly happy to be alive. If they had no memory of the events, wouldn't they treat it like any other beam up? Why the emotional scene? I think they remembered Tuvix and still were happy to be free of each other.

In 'Thine Own Self' S7 E16, Troi tries to earn her promotion to Commander. In her exam, she was forced to order Holo-Geordi to fix some kind of radiation leak or something, which would certainly have killed him but saved the ship and other lives. Commanders are forced to make tough decisions in the Trek universe, they issue orders which can get groups of officers killed to save the lives of others. Those that heap scorn on Voyager as a series as a result of this episode I think are experiencing some selective memory about precedent in other series. Kobayashi Maru anyone?

This isn't selective outrage in regards to VOY. But this was a very important episode. If this had been the crew of the Equinox, without any question, most people would just say "Oh. Yet another crime of the Equinox crew." Yet since it is our intrepid heroes, we're supposed to heap understanding at their choice.

There is no doubt this was a complicated topic (and obviously meant to be). It was handled really well in terms of its execution. In fact, I wouldn't like the idea of Tuvix dying of a disease unless he was split because that would remove the dilemma. If he is about to die anyways, why not get back your old crew?

But he wasn't. He was a fully functioning and sentient being that did not want to die. Tuvok and Neelix had already "died" at that point. Getting them back was the scientific equivalent of "blood magic". I get that Starfleet Captains have to make horrible choices. Choices that are difficult and gut wrenching and may result in the deaths of crewmen under their command. This was not one of those cases. Janeway killed him simply because she wanted Tuvok back and she spoke to one other person: Kes. Who was biased and wanted Neelix back.

The EMH did not perform the procedure for a reason. He knew it was killing Tuvix. There wasn't really a "dilemma" here in the sense that by keeping Tuvix alive, she'd be harming the ship and crew. Say...Tuvix could not perform tactical or something. Which is a must in the Delta Quadrant. He could. She simply did it because she wanted her friend back. She was selfish. That is why it is particularly bad in this case. It isn't VOY bashing.

The example of Troi taking the test or the Kobayashi Maru, they do not really sync with this example because they are examples of emergencies occurring and having to make a choice quickly that will get someone killed. No such thing occurred with Tuvix.

The reason this episode is so awkward is because VOY was still pretty episodic at this point. So we jump from an idea that needed a follow up to just another day in the Delta Quadrant. If time went on and I say Janeway wreching from this choice, I'd feel more sympathy. As it stands, she was chipper in the next episode as if nothing occurred.

I agree it's not Voyager bashing to dislike this episode. I don't particularly like the ending either, I was playing devil's advocate. I've read that some people cite this episode as the reason they turned off from Voyager, it was a general comment.

Tom Riker was created by a transporter accident, so it's a bit strange that they didn't at least try to replicate the conditions that led to that. But again, that removes tension and you still need to write off the guest star.

Officers would die on TNG, and it was almost immediately forgotten too. That is just how it goes with a non-serialized show.

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I've read that some people cite this episode as the reason they turned off from Voyager, it was a general comment.

I was never very into the show before this episode, but it solidified my hatred of Janeway and general disdain for the crew.

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Uhm ... why? How would splitting one distinct individual into two others equal "murder"? We all are different distinct individuals from one second to the next. You are not the same person anymore than you were one year ago, or one day. All that connects you with your past self is your memory (and that of others).

Of course this is becoming very philosophical at this point, but I don't think the situation is as clear cut as you seem to suggest. (But since that VOY episode didn't even address this problem, it was crap, I agree.)

And what about Kirk in "The Enemy Within"? Were his two selves murdered too, when they were reunited eventually?

Just playing devil's advocate here, obviously. ;)

It's murder because it kills Tuvix. He isn't alive anymore, regardless if he was split back into two distinct individuals.

In regards to me growing into another person and not being the same, you know as well as I do that is not the same thing at all. I was never "killed" to become the man I am today. I grew into it. Tuvix literally was killed. It was why he begged not to go through the procedure. It was why the EMH refused to go through with it.

There is a reason all the bridge officers looked down in shame when he begged for his life. He knew he wasn't going to "live" on. Saying he lived on is like me murdering a person and harvesting their organs. Then washing my hands of it by saying "That person now lives on in the new bodies through the organs. It wasn't really murder."

It's kind of playing with the definition of what it means to be alive. *shrugs*

I am unsure about Kirk. To be honest with you, I haven't seen much TOS.

I tend to agree with you, but just for the sake of an interesting debate, I want to try arguing the other side. ;)

(But I don't want to salvage this VOY episode; I agree the way the problem was presented there and dealt with is crap.)

So, it boils down to the question what makes an individual an individual. I'd say it's not as obvious as we instinctively assume it is.

Imagine you transfer your mind -- all your memories, all your self-awareness -- into another body (or, say, an android body). Is it still you then? From you perspective, nothing will change, you just open the eyes one day and all your memory is still there, all what makes you feel you are you is there. Just that your body has changed.

Now imagine two individuals share a body at some point. Both of them maintain their original memories, and the new self-awareness will be an equal mix of both "ancestors". Are they truly dead then? Their responses to the people around them would be just the same as they had been in case of the "ancestors" -- you'd still remember you love your mother, just that you now have these feelings for two mothers. And you'd react accordingly.

Now of course the attributes, mindsets of the new fused individual would be different -- a mix of both "ancestors". When having to take a choice, the new fused individual would take a different decision than either "ancestor".

But then, such a change of attributes and mindset even happens in every individual -- with every new information we gather, with every new thought we have, and with every brain pattern that changes due to biological reasons, we change the way we'd potentially behave or decide -- individuals are never constant, but "growing" as you say, they are in a constant flux and outgrow themselves with every new synapse in their brains. The only thing that keeps the idea (illusion?) of identity as an individual intact, is your memory. And Tuvix has the memory -- of both "ancestors".

I.e. when people start spending a lot of time together, like a couple that starts dating and soon lives together -- they'll influence each other a lot, many of their opinions and ideas change in this "fusion". The only difference to Tuvix being that he was fused much more directly, rather than by the low-bitrate stream of verbal communication. ;)

What do you think?

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I used to wonder; When a person gets transported and re-materializes, is that person that re-materializes really the same person who left the planet or an atom-by-atom clone? What if you die every time you get transported, but since the copy is down to the atom, your memory pathways remain intact. Starfleet might be killing people all the time with the transporter without ever realizing it... Not that it excuses this garbage ending to the episode, just a point to ponder.

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I used to wonder; When a person gets transported and re-materializes, is that person that re-materializes really the same person who left the planet or an atom-by-atom clone? What if you die every time you get transported, but since the copy is down to the atom, your memory pathways remain intact. Starfleet might be killing people all the time with the transporter without ever realizing it... Not that it excuses this garbage ending to the episode, just a point to ponder.

They aren't, imo. You're scanned, disassembled, then copied at the beam-in site

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What if the universe is not constant, but recreated from one moment to the next (the smallest physically possible time units) all anew? Much like your tv screen shows an entirely new image 29 times per second?

IIRC, some Muslim scholars had this theory to support the possibility of miracles and the omnipotence of God: God recreates the universe every moment anew. Usually, He just decides to let it follow certain laws (the laws of physics). But if God wanted, He could change the world from one moment to the next, simply by creating a successor world that does not logically follow its predecessor according to these laws. ;)

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I agree it's not Voyager bashing to dislike this episode. I don't particularly like the ending either, I was playing devil's advocate. I've read that some people cite this episode as the reason they turned off from Voyager, it was a general comment.

Tom Riker was created by a transporter accident, so it's a bit strange that they didn't at least try to replicate the conditions that led to that. But again, that removes tension and you still need to write off the guest star.

Officers would die on TNG, and it was almost immediately forgotten too. That is just how it goes with a non-serialized show.

Oh I see what you mean. It is a shame people gave up on VOY just off this episode. But I can understand if some fans were put off by it. Imagine the legions of fans that were put off by the "behavior" of Sisko and the DS9 crew and their morally grey solutions. So seeing a Starfleet captain kill a being that was begging for his life must have been a slap to the face of Kirk/Picard fans.

Good point about Tom Riker. Trek has a lot of times when a screw up in technology or actual use of technology led to something that would have been a great advantage to Starfleet officers, but is often "conveniently" forgotten. But even in the Tom Riker example, you'd "clone" Tuvix and then kill the clone (who no doubt wants to live as well)? So that would still be an awkward choice. Although, in TNG, didn't Riker and Pulaski coldly murder their clones in an episode?

You're right about the non-serialization aspect. That is why we laugh at the idea of red shirts dying and not mourn them like we would Jadzia or Spock or Data dying.

I tend to agree with you, but just for the sake of an interesting debate, I want to try arguing the other side. ;)

(But I don't want to salvage this VOY episode; I agree the way the problem was presented there and dealt with is crap.)

So, it boils down to the question what makes an individual an individual. I'd say it's not as obvious as we instinctively assume it is.

Imagine you transfer your mind -- all your memories, all your self-awareness -- into another body (or, say, an android body). Is it still you then? From you perspective, nothing will change, you just open the eyes one day and all your memory is still there, all what makes you feel you are you is there. Just that your body has changed.

Now imagine two individuals share a body at some point. Both of them maintain their original memories, and the new self-awareness will be an equal mix of both "ancestors". Are they truly dead then? Their responses to the people around them would be just the same as they had been in case of the "ancestors" -- you'd still remember you love your mother, just that you now have these feelings for two mothers. And you'd react accordingly.

Now of course the attributes, mindsets of the new fused individual would be different -- a mix of both "ancestors". When having to take a choice, the new fused individual would take a different decision than either "ancestor".

But then, such a change of attributes and mindset even happens in every individual -- with every new information we gather, with every new thought we have, and with every brain pattern that changes due to biological reasons, we change the way we'd potentially behave or decide -- individuals are never constant, but "growing" as you say, they are in a constant flux and outgrow themselves with every new synapse in their brains. The only thing that keeps the idea (illusion?) of identity as an individual intact, is your memory. And Tuvix has the memory -- of both "ancestors".

I.e. when people start spending a lot of time together, like a couple that starts dating and soon lives together -- they'll influence each other a lot, many of their opinions and ideas change in this "fusion". The only difference to Tuvix being that he was fused much more directly, rather than by the low-bitrate stream of verbal communication. ;)

What do you think?

Oh I understand you're arguing the other side. I'm just arguing against your Devil. :P :P :P

The only issue with your premise is that a lot of your arguments start off with a single individual and then splitting. Tuvix came after. It was sad that Tuvok and Neelix "died" but what happened, happened. This is exactly why I hate Janeway's actions in the finale when she ruined the time line (I don't care what Abrams' says). She erased a time line where people built families, created careers, lived their lives. She did it so she could get Chakotay and Seven back. Absolutely selfish. Imagine if...say...a character goes back in time and erases all of TNG/DS9 to save their loved one. I'm sure a lot of us would be pretty angry.

If only Janeway had been around Annorax to see that erasing time lines to save your loved ones doesn't work out for the better.

In regards to the idea of what makes an individual an individual? It is hard to argue. I'll concede that. We are still trying to understand our place and what we are. But all of that is something for people to debate under the best of conditions. When a person's life hangs in the balance... you should go with the avenue that is not killing.

Finally, in regards to Neelix and Tuvok carry Tuvix inside of them. Thus, he still lives. Tuvix made the exact opposite argument saying that Neelix and Tuvok live within him. So they are not really dead. Why can that argument be used in defense of them, but not Tuvix?

I used to wonder; When a person gets transported and re-materializes, is that person that re-materializes really the same person who left the planet or an atom-by-atom clone? What if you die every time you get transported, but since the copy is down to the atom, your memory pathways remain intact. Starfleet might be killing people all the time with the transporter without ever realizing it... Not that it excuses this garbage ending to the episode, just a point to ponder.

Haha! I thought I was the only one that wondered if the transporter kills people.

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Since transporters wouldn't work in real-world physics anyway? I say that the person re-materializing at the other end IS the same person; the beam that is transmitted to point B doesn't just contain that person's genetic information, it's also a matter stream. Thus, matter itself is transmitted; not just information (as in a fax machine... anyone remember those?). So I believe that the actual person(s) are transported; not just their quantum data.

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(as in a fax machine... anyone remember those?).

tumblr_m7diezIBu51rys4czo1_500.gif

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What if the universe is not constant, but recreated from one moment to the next (the smallest physically possible time units) all anew? Much like your tv screen shows an entirely new image 29 times per second?

IIRC, some Muslim scholars had this theory to support the possibility of miracles and the omnipotence of God: God recreates the universe every moment anew. Usually, He just decides to let it follow certain laws (the laws of physics). But if God wanted, He could change the world from one moment to the next, simply by creating a successor world that does not logically follow its predecessor according to these laws. ;)

Well this new universe would have to be created every Planck length of time, which seems rather labour intensive even for god. Perhaps he just sets the universal constants like the gravitational constant and lets the big bang do the rest. If you look at the universe on the smallest scales, the physics we know break down.

I agree it's not Voyager bashing to dislike this episode. I don't particularly like the ending either, I was playing devil's advocate. I've read that some people cite this episode as the reason they turned off from Voyager, it was a general comment.

Tom Riker was created by a transporter accident, so it's a bit strange that they didn't at least try to replicate the conditions that led to that. But again, that removes tension and you still need to write off the guest star.

Officers would die on TNG, and it was almost immediately forgotten too. That is just how it goes with a non-serialized show.

Oh I see what you mean. It is a shame people gave up on VOY just off this episode. But I can understand if some fans were put off by it. Imagine the legions of fans that were put off by the "behavior" of Sisko and the DS9 crew and their morally grey solutions. So seeing a Starfleet captain kill a being that was begging for his life must have been a slap to the face of Kirk/Picard fans.

Good point about Tom Riker. Trek has a lot of times when a screw up in technology or actual use of technology led to something that would have been a great advantage to Starfleet officers, but is often "conveniently" forgotten. But even in the Tom Riker example, you'd "clone" Tuvix and then kill the clone (who no doubt wants to live as well)? So that would still be an awkward choice. Although, in TNG, didn't Riker and Pulaski coldly murder their clones in an episode?

You're right about the non-serialization aspect. That is why we laugh at the idea of red shirts dying and not mourn them like we would Jadzia or Spock or Data dying.

I tend to agree with you, but just for the sake of an interesting debate, I want to try arguing the other side. ;)

(But I don't want to salvage this VOY episode; I agree the way the problem was presented there and dealt with is crap.)

So, it boils down to the question what makes an individual an individual. I'd say it's not as obvious as we instinctively assume it is.

Imagine you transfer your mind -- all your memories, all your self-awareness -- into another body (or, say, an android body). Is it still you then? From you perspective, nothing will change, you just open the eyes one day and all your memory is still there, all what makes you feel you are you is there. Just that your body has changed.

Now imagine two individuals share a body at some point. Both of them maintain their original memories, and the new self-awareness will be an equal mix of both "ancestors". Are they truly dead then? Their responses to the people around them would be just the same as they had been in case of the "ancestors" -- you'd still remember you love your mother, just that you now have these feelings for two mothers. And you'd react accordingly.

Now of course the attributes, mindsets of the new fused individual would be different -- a mix of both "ancestors". When having to take a choice, the new fused individual would take a different decision than either "ancestor".

But then, such a change of attributes and mindset even happens in every individual -- with every new information we gather, with every new thought we have, and with every brain pattern that changes due to biological reasons, we change the way we'd potentially behave or decide -- individuals are never constant, but "growing" as you say, they are in a constant flux and outgrow themselves with every new synapse in their brains. The only thing that keeps the idea (illusion?) of identity as an individual intact, is your memory. And Tuvix has the memory -- of both "ancestors".

I.e. when people start spending a lot of time together, like a couple that starts dating and soon lives together -- they'll influence each other a lot, many of their opinions and ideas change in this "fusion". The only difference to Tuvix being that he was fused much more directly, rather than by the low-bitrate stream of verbal communication. ;)

What do you think?

Oh I understand you're arguing the other side. I'm just arguing against your Devil. :P :P :P

The only issue with your premise is that a lot of your arguments start off with a single individual and then splitting. Tuvix came after. It was sad that Tuvok and Neelix "died" but what happened, happened. This is exactly why I hate Janeway's actions in the finale when she ruined the time line (I don't care what Abrams' says). She erased a time line where people built families, created careers, lived their lives. She did it so she could get Chakotay and Seven back. Absolutely selfish. Imagine if...say...a character goes back in time and erases all of TNG/DS9 to save their loved one. I'm sure a lot of us would be pretty angry.

If only Janeway had been around Annorax to see that erasing time lines to save your loved ones doesn't work out for the better.

In regards to the idea of what makes an individual an individual? It is hard to argue. I'll concede that. We are still trying to understand our place and what we are. But all of that is something for people to debate under the best of conditions. When a person's life hangs in the balance... you should go with the avenue that is not killing.

Finally, in regards to Neelix and Tuvok carry Tuvix inside of them. Thus, he still lives. Tuvix made the exact opposite argument saying that Neelix and Tuvok live within him. So they are not really dead. Why can that argument be used in defense of them, but not Tuvix?

I used to wonder; When a person gets transported and re-materializes, is that person that re-materializes really the same person who left the planet or an atom-by-atom clone? What if you die every time you get transported, but since the copy is down to the atom, your memory pathways remain intact. Starfleet might be killing people all the time with the transporter without ever realizing it... Not that it excuses this garbage ending to the episode, just a point to ponder.

Haha! I thought I was the only one that wondered if the transporter kills people.

Somehow the transporter beam double's Riker's mass and causes a clone. You'd beam Tuvix back from a similar planet and a clone would bounce back. Do it twice, throw in some mumbo-jumbo about transporter filters and angular containment beams and eventually you have Neelix and Tuvok back. Then you would still be stuck writing off the co-star, so maybe you just leave him on the planet like Tom and carry on your way. Seems about par for the course since they didn't mind leaving human-lizard babies behind... :giggle:

Since transporters wouldn't work in real-world physics anyway? I say that the person re-materializing at the other end IS the same person; the beam that is transmitted to point B doesn't just contain that person's genetic information, it's also a matter stream. Thus, matter itself is transmitted; not just information (as in a fax machine... anyone remember those?). So I believe that the actual person(s) are transported; not just their quantum data.

Yes, but you are dissolved atom by atom into the matter stream. I don't know how someone goes through that without dying. Are we merely the sum of our matter though, living and breathing but no more of a soul than a rock? Is it the same matter though? Where does the extra mass come from then to put Tom back together? I think Dr McCoy was on to something about not wanting his atoms scrambled.

From a story telling perspective, it might have been better if the transporter was limited to inanimate objects, but TOS had already established it. The last second beam-out started to become an overused dramatic tension builder.

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I tend to agree with you, but just for the sake of an interesting debate, I want to try arguing the other side. ;)

(But I don't want to salvage this VOY episode; I agree the way the problem was presented there and dealt with is crap.)

So, it boils down to the question what makes an individual an individual. I'd say it's not as obvious as we instinctively assume it is.

Imagine you transfer your mind -- all your memories, all your self-awareness -- into another body (or, say, an android body). Is it still you then? From you perspective, nothing will change, you just open the eyes one day and all your memory is still there, all what makes you feel you are you is there. Just that your body has changed.

Now imagine two individuals share a body at some point. Both of them maintain their original memories, and the new self-awareness will be an equal mix of both "ancestors". Are they truly dead then? Their responses to the people around them would be just the same as they had been in case of the "ancestors" -- you'd still remember you love your mother, just that you now have these feelings for two mothers. And you'd react accordingly.

Now of course the attributes, mindsets of the new fused individual would be different -- a mix of both "ancestors". When having to take a choice, the new fused individual would take a different decision than either "ancestor".

But then, such a change of attributes and mindset even happens in every individual -- with every new information we gather, with every new thought we have, and with every brain pattern that changes due to biological reasons, we change the way we'd potentially behave or decide -- individuals are never constant, but "growing" as you say, they are in a constant flux and outgrow themselves with every new synapse in their brains. The only thing that keeps the idea (illusion?) of identity as an individual intact, is your memory. And Tuvix has the memory -- of both "ancestors".

I.e. when people start spending a lot of time together, like a couple that starts dating and soon lives together -- they'll influence each other a lot, many of their opinions and ideas change in this "fusion". The only difference to Tuvix being that he was fused much more directly, rather than by the low-bitrate stream of verbal communication. ;)

What do you think?

Oh I understand you're arguing the other side. I'm just arguing against your Devil. :P :P :P

The only issue with your premise is that a lot of your arguments start off with a single individual and then splitting. Tuvix came after. It was sad that Tuvok and Neelix "died" but what happened, happened. This is exactly why I hate Janeway's actions in the finale when she ruined the time line (I don't care what Abrams' says). She erased a time line where people built families, created careers, lived their lives. She did it so she could get Chakotay and Seven back. Absolutely selfish. Imagine if...say...a character goes back in time and erases all of TNG/DS9 to save their loved one. I'm sure a lot of us would be pretty angry.

If only Janeway had been around Annorax to see that erasing time lines to save your loved ones doesn't work out for the better.

In regards to the idea of what makes an individual an individual? It is hard to argue. I'll concede that. We are still trying to understand our place and what we are. But all of that is something for people to debate under the best of conditions. When a person's life hangs in the balance... you should go with the avenue that is not killing.

Finally, in regards to Neelix and Tuvok carry Tuvix inside of them. Thus, he still lives. Tuvix made the exact opposite argument saying that Neelix and Tuvok live within him. So they are not really dead. Why can that argument be used in defense of them, but not Tuvix?

Okay, agreed on all points. Janeway is a terrible Captain, that's obvious. And yes, this reasoning works in defense of Tuvix as much as in defense of splitting him. And rather than taking a risk on the basis of not more than a philosophical thought experiment on identity, it would be the obvious choice not to screw with the situation any further.

It's said that this episode turned out to be so bad. It could have been a great episode with this basic idea. But it just didn't explore the different arguments well enough on screen, and instead just went with "Janeway feels sorry for Kes/herself missing the two "originals".

Haha! I thought I was the only one that wondered if the transporter kills people.

IIRC, Spock and Bones had this very argument in the 70s Bantam novel "Spock Must Die!" by James Blish. Naturally, Bones felt the transporter kills off the original, while Spock says that logic dictates that "a difference that makes no difference is no difference".

It's been 25 years since I read it, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the story was about Spock being split into two versions by the transporter... mostly a remake of "The Enemy Within", just with a "good" and an "evil" Spock.

Edited by Sim

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Yes, but you are dissolved atom by atom into the matter stream. I don't know how someone goes through that without dying. Are we merely the sum of our matter though, living and breathing but no more of a soul than a rock? Is it the same matter though? Where does the extra mass come from then to put Tom back together? I think Dr McCoy was on to something about not wanting his atoms scrambled.

Oh, I'm sure the subject being beamed 'dies' for a nanosecond as they're transported; the same way someone having heart surgery might 'die' during the operation. But that death is without permanence. It's a momentary death, and (in fantasy ST technology) all of your life signs and vitals are restored to the exact millisecond before your 'death' (even your brain wave patterns, etc).

But your actual matter 'stream' is sent from one point to another, so you (and not just a facsimile of you) are really 'transported', and not just your quantum data.

(as in a fax machine... anyone remember those?).

tumblr_m7diezIBu51rys4czo1_500.gif

I dedicate this one to you, Founder... :P:laugh:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgG7CklISfc

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Wow.  Am I really the only person on this forum who thought that Janeway made the right decision?  That's ... mind-boggling.

I think this is a situation where there are no good decisions; Janeway's choices are to do something horrible or to do something terrible.  All of you who are judging her so harshly ... I hope for your own sakes that you're never put into the position of having to make a decision as difficult as this one.

Why do I think Janeway made the right decision?  I've seen several people say that Tuvok and Neelix are already dead, and I don't buy that argument.  Tuvok and Neelix are temporarily unavailable, but with the appropriate medical treatment, they would be just as alive as anybody else.  I see them as being rather like coma patients:  they're temporarily submerged, so they can't speak for themselves, but with the right treatment, they could come out of it.

Tuvix's situation is a terrible one, and I sympathize with him.  But he does not have the right to deny two other men their lives.  I think of Tuvix as being like a whale who has swallowed Tuvok and Neelix whole, but they're still alive inside the belly of the whale.  It would be great if they could be removed from the whale's belly without killing the whale, but sadly, it doesn't work like that.  "But I've already swallowed them" is not enough justification for devouring two men and consuming their lives.

I don't think the fact that some people like Tuvix better should have any bearing on the matter; we don't have the right to execute people just because we find them annoying (Neelix) or arrogant (Tuvok). 

I didn't see the crew's looking down or looking away as their being too cowardly to tell Janeway she was making the wrong choice.  I saw it as their thinking she made the right choice but being uncomfortable watching it be carried out.  And it was uncomfortable, because this was a terrible choice to have to make, one where there is no good answer.  Janeway's face at the very end of the episode showed us that it cost her terribly to have to make this decision; she wasn't happy and cheerful at the end -- she looked like someone had just ripped her heart out.

I'm a vegetarian in real life, because I don't believe that I have the right to end an animal's consciousness just to feed myself.  I do eat eggs and dairy products -- provided that the animals that provide them are raised humanely -- because those things don't require that an animal be killed.  I am using a very similar moral judgement to make the choice here.

Tuvix was willing to end two other lives to save his own, and I don't think he had the right to make that choice.  Neelix and Tuvok were temporarily unreachable, but just because they couldn't speak at the moment didn't mean that their lives didn't matter or that their consciousness should be ended.

Obviously, this is a question about which reasonable people can differ, and I hope you don't all hate me now.  But this is one of the things I love about Star Trek:  at its best, it makes us think.

 

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Corylea~
 

You're absolutely right; the episode certainly does spark debate.  And I sincerely doubt ANYONE here hates you for having a different opinion.  If ST fans were an intolerant bunch, we'd all have to turn in our IDICs, wouldn't we?  :laugh:

You're argument (though I essentially disagree with it) is very well thought out and you present a valid point; about Tuvok and Neelix's consciousnesses being 'out of reach', but IMO (which is only MO, by the way) both were represented in the new life form known as Tuvix.  But yes, I agree, a counterargument could be made for the other viewpoint, too.   

A shame that Vorik couldn't have mind melded with Tuvix to see if 'both' beings were present in Tuvix, and whether 'they' supported the will to live of their combined selves... 

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A shame that Vorik couldn't have mind melded with Tuvix to see if 'both' beings were present in Tuvix, and whether 'they' supported the will to live of their combined selves... 

They still have some of those orchids.  Now that Tuvix has been separated into his component selves again, Janeway could talk to Tuvok and Neelix and ask whether they're willing to give up their independent lives so that Tuvix could have his.  If they were both willing, another trip through the transporter with the orchid should produce Tuvix back again.

How weird would it be if they did a timeshare program?  Tuvok and Neelix get to live separately two-thirds of the time, and Tuvix lives his fused life one-third of the time.

I guess they're lucky *I* didn't write the episode, or we might have had a REALLY weird solution. :laugh:

 

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A shame that Vorik couldn't have mind melded with Tuvix to see if 'both' beings were present in Tuvix, and whether 'they' supported the will to live of their combined selves... 

They still have some of those orchids.  Now that Tuvix has been separated into his component selves again, Janeway could talk to Tuvok and Neelix and ask whether they're willing to give up their independent lives so that Tuvix could have his.  If they were both willing, another trip through the transporter with the orchid should produce Tuvix back again.

How weird would it be if they did a timeshare program?  Tuvok and Neelix get to live separately two-thirds of the time, and Tuvix lives his fused life one-third of the time.

I guess they're lucky *I* didn't write the episode, or we might have had a REALLY weird solution. :laugh:

 

My guess (and that's all this is) would be that the orchid accident would be too difficult to replicate; it was a crapshoot to begin with.  Their DNA might not be recombined in the exact same configuration as Tuvix.  Based on the wild variations in children that come from a single pairing of human beings?  Imagine the millions of differing ways a transporter malfunction could dice and splice two individual's DNA.

I would say that once Tuvix was split?  He was gone forever.  Yes, theoretically Tuvok and Neelix might be recombined again, but the odds of them exactly replicating Tuvix would be almost impossible I imagine....

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The primary problem with your argument is that you essentially presuppose that Tuvok/Neelix aren't gone but just in some type of coma ready to be awakened. They weren't in any coma.

I think this is a situation where there are no good decisions; Janeway's choices are to do something horrible or to do something terrible.

She was not in a situation where she had to something "horrible" or do something "terrible". She did not create Tuvix. He already existed as a sentient being. Her only choice was murder or to preserve life - she opted to murder for her crew's gain.

She killed an innocent person to bring back two men who, by all intents and purposes, were dead. They were not in a deep sleep nearby and she pulled some other person's life support for them. They were gone and brought back by the "miracle science" VOY was annoyingly infamous for.

Tuvix was a new life form. To seek out new life and new civilizations, not murder them.

Why do I think Janeway made the right decision?  I've seen several people say that Tuvok and Neelix are already dead, and I don't buy that argument.  Tuvok and Neelix are temporarily unavailable, but with the appropriate medical treatment, they would be just as alive as anybody else.  I see them as being rather like coma patients:  they're temporarily submerged, so they can't speak for themselves, but with the right treatment, they could come out of it.

They were not "temporarily unavailable".  They weren't technology suffering a minor outage. They were dead. They were not comatose patients. By that logic, Neelix did not really die in "Mortal Coil". Seven of Nine brought him back from the dead - the "right treatment". Nope - he was dead and brought back. Neither men were trapped and needed to "come out of it". They were gone.

VOY cheated and found a magical out to separate Tuvix, thus killing him in the process and also retaining the cast status quo. Sadly, we saw no real follow up on what Tuvok and Neelix thought of this choice. If they were trapped inside Tuvix's subconscious ala Picard trapped in Locutus.

As it stands, we only have Tuvix's testimony and he made no such claim that they were "submerged" within him or that they wanted to speak for themselves but could not. They were gone and turned into a new life form. Just like Decker merging with V'Ger. Just because it could theoretically be undone does not mean it should. That's the real issue. When Janeway learned of this "cure" - she should have better weighed out the pros and cons of following up with it. As it stood, she only consulted Kes - someone who would be biased in wanting Neelix back. The other crew just, in a cowardly fashion, went with whatever Janeway said. Janeway opted for a cold Zero Sum option that gave her back her tactical officer and her own friend. It was so painfully bias that I'm surprised Chakotay let her get away with that. She should have recused herself from making a choice like that. Tuvik was a dead man walking when Janeway decided to reason her options with the only other biased person on the crew - Kes.

Tuvix's situation is a terrible one, and I sympathize with him.  But he does not have the right to deny two other men their lives.

He didn't "deny" them anything. He simply existed - something he did not ask for. Him not wanting to die was not selfish - it was completely natural.

I think of Tuvix as being like a whale who has swallowed Tuvok and Neelix whole, but they're still alive inside the belly of the whale.  It would be great if they could be removed from the whale's belly without killing the whale, but sadly, it doesn't work like that.  "But I've already swallowed them" is not enough justification for devouring two men and consuming their lives.

You have no evidence they were "alive" in his belly or some equivalent to that.

Yes it is enough justification. He exists. Not be any fault of his own. He did not "swallow" them or consume them or any equivalent to that. He simply came into being in a freak accident and in doing so - it cost the lives of two crewmen. That's it.

Killing him for something he had no control over is murder. As soon as he came into existence, he had every right to exist as much as they did. She killed him. If she had left Tuvok/Neelix dead, it would not be murder because they were already gone through no fault of her own. It was the "fault" of a piece of technology. She could've left well enough alone, but instead opted to kill Tuvix for the sake of getting back her Vulcan buddy.

I don't think the fact that some people like Tuvix better should have any bearing on the matter; we don't have the right to execute people just because we find them annoying (Neelix) or arrogant (Tuvok). 

I'm not sure who said that... I know I didn't. My reasoning for finding Janeway's action deplorable has nothing to do with Neelix's behavior or Tuvok's behavior.

I didn't see the crew's looking down or looking away as their being too cowardly to tell Janeway she was making the wrong choice.  I saw it as their thinking she made the right choice but being uncomfortable watching it be carried out.  And it was uncomfortable, because this was a terrible choice to have to make, one where there is no good answer.  Janeway's face at the very end of the episode showed us that it cost her terribly to have to make this decision; she wasn't happy and cheerful at the end -- she looked like someone had just ripped her heart out.

It was cowardly because a sentient being was beginning not to be killed and they looked down in shame. No one feels "shame" if someone is making the right choice - even if it is a difficult or uncomfortable one. And even if it was all of them thinking that she made the right choice - that really makes the VOY crew look scary.

Janeway looked happy and cheerful in the next episode as if nothing had happened. However, I blame that on Trek being too fearful of being arc-driven at that time. However, if a viewer watches these events as happening back to back, it does look like Janeway is a psychopath that brushes off killing within a month or week or however long between each episodes.

Tuvix was willing to end two other lives to save his own, and I don't think he had the right to make that choice.  Neelix and Tuvok were temporarily unreachable, but just because they couldn't speak at the moment didn't mean that their lives didn't matter or that their consciousness should be ended.

He wasn't "ending" two other lives. He was simply existing. One could argue that a person is being selfish by not giving away all his organs, even if it kills him, to save two other lives. It isn't selfish to want to live - it's the evolutionary imperative. 

Their conscientiousness had already ended. They were not trapped inside him screaming to get out. When they reformed, they looked calm but confused. Not like a victim trapped within a body screaming to break free.

Why does he not have the right to preserve his life, but Janeway has the right to end his? The fact that the EMH refused to go through that procedure proves that he knew it wasn't a procedure akin to waking up two coma patients, but more like ending a person's life - which is was.

Janeway murdered Tuvix. Now - there clearly was a net gain for her as she got back her tactical officer and Kes got back her b/f which she ended up breaking up with later on. So I don't begrudge that she made a choice that was a benefit for the crew, but it was still murder.

Edited by The Founder

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Some problems in this discussion emerge, because the ST tech is not clearly defined. What exactly is a transporter capable of doing and what not?

In theory, you can store a transporter pattern in some computer. So ... isn't it possible in theory to create dozens of duplicates of a person, which are all identical? How, and in which way does a transporter differ from replicator technology? And why don't you use transporters to become immortal, by transporting your mind into a fresh, new, youthful body every couple of years (a precedent set in TNG "Unnatural Selection")?

Just like holodecks ... is it possible to create a sentient intelligence just by giving a computer the correct order, or not? If yes, why wasn't this a huge debate in the Federation before the technology was introduced on a mass basis? If no, how comes the Holodoc on VOY is sentient -- or maybe he isn't, after all?

Makes you think that once such a technology is available, crews of starships wouldn't be the first to deal with the emerging ethical problems stemming from the capacities of such technology.

Edited by Sim

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Some problems in this discussion emerge, because the ST tech is not clearly defined. What exactly is a transporter capable of doing and what not?

In theory, you can store a transporter pattern in some computer. So ... isn't it possible in theory to create dozens of duplicates of a person, which are all identical? How, and in which way does a transporter differ from replicator technology? And why don't you use transporters to become immortal, by transporting your mind into a fresh, new, youthful body every couple of years (a precedent set in TNG "Unnatural Selection")?

If I remember correctly, at the end of the TAS episode "The Lorelei Signal," they used the transporter to de-age all the people who'd been prematurely aged, by restoring them to the transporter pattern that had previously been stored.  Wonder why they couldn't do that in "The Deadly Years"? 

Maybe because they had 51 minutes to play with in TOS, instead of only 24, so they didn't have to use hand-waving cop-outs but could actually solve problems. :P

 

Makes you think that once such a technology is available, crews of starships wouldn't be the first to deal with the emerging ethical problems stemming from the capacities of such technology.

Yes!  Starfleet personnel are generally good people, but they tend to be pretty pragmatic, and they're certainly not professional ethicists.  I'd think these sorts of questions would have to be decided at the highest levels and not by people in the field.

 

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You know, I'm almost thinking we could open a KM thread about this episode; if any episode of VGR merited one, it's this one.... :laugh:

But in the meantime, I appreciate that everyone is keeping it cool and limited to the discussion; this is passionate ST fandom at its best.   My own personal view is the same as Founder's, but since (as Sim says) we don't really know the limits of Trek tech, it's hard to say exactly where that line in the sand between life and death is drawn really; which would lend validation to Corylea's argument that Tuvok and Neelix were temporarily 'out of reach.' 

But I personally believe that once Tuvix had awareness as an individual, and expressed a desire for his own life?   He was a unique new life form.   You could list his 'birthdate' as the day he walked off the transporter pad, and that would also mark the date of Neelix and Tuvok's deaths.   Death in Star Trek isn't quite what it is in our world, that's for certain...

If I remember correctly, at the end of the TAS episode "The Lorelei Signal," they used the transporter to de-age all the people who'd been prematurely aged, by restoring them to the transporter pattern that had previously been stored.  Wonder why they couldn't do that in "The Deadly Years"? 

TAS was the first episode to suggest the idea of the transporter as a fix-all cure.  And if such a device existed, I could see it being used (or abused?) as a means of de-aging somebody (for vanity), or for weight loss (carefully reprogramming one's body-mass index).   

Maybe because they had 51 minutes to play with in TOS, instead of only 24, so they didn't have to use hand-waving cop-outs but could actually solve problems. :P

That's just because TAS was more clever, that's all... (sits quietly and waits for the backlash... :laugh: :P). 

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