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← Professor Stephen Hawking in Star Trek TNG

Professor Stephen Hawking in Star Trek TNG - Comments

ThomasBombay's Avatar Comment 1 by ThomasBombay

One of the greatest scenes from Star Trek TNG. I hate how I have to struggle to find Star Treks on now that Spie doesn't show them anymore

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:18:00 UTC | #351052

Jeff (HandyGeek) Handy's Avatar Comment 2 by Jeff (HandyGeek) Handy

Cute. I don't remember this episode.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:27:00 UTC | #351060

happyfinesad's Avatar Comment 3 by happyfinesad

That's awesome. I wonder if Sir Newton was that brisk in reality.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:30:00 UTC | #351062

aflacgirl84's Avatar Comment 4 by aflacgirl84

That was pretty cute. Thanks for sharing.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:33:00 UTC | #351065

Big Gus's Avatar Comment 5 by Big Gus

"Not the apple story again" LOL

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:35:00 UTC | #351068

helen sotiriadis's Avatar Comment 6 by helen sotiriadis

can't see this scene too many times.
:D

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:42:00 UTC | #351072

Frankus1122's Avatar Comment 7 by Frankus1122

I posted this Youtube link on the 'Stephen Hawking Hospitalized' thread yesterday. I thought it was a good way to remember him: funny and in the company of the greats of physics.

Edited because I am distracted and can't read.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:44:00 UTC | #351074

hideki's Avatar Comment 8 by hideki

Hihi

The clip is from descent, a two part episode comprising the last episode in season 6 and the first episode in season 7

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:47:00 UTC | #351076

Robert Maynard's Avatar Comment 9 by Robert Maynard

...right, so how exactly did the Holodeck have insight into their minds, let alone simulate an interaction that had not taken place in their memory? Clearly their brains and personalities are not stored on a disk, meaning that these are AI's, and much like the apple story, are apocryphal constructions, caricatures at best. This doesn't even enter into how their differential skill at poker is being simulated. With Data surely aware of these limitations why would he think it insightful? And, and... GODS I hate Star Trek.

Best wishes to Professor Hawking, in any case. :(

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:58:00 UTC | #351081

AdamMil's Avatar Comment 10 by AdamMil

That's awesome. I wonder if Sir Newton was that brisk in reality.
I don't know, but he's reputed to have been a very unpleasant man.

...right, so how exactly did the Holodeck have insight into their minds, let alone simulate an interaction that had not taken place in their memory? Clearly their brains and personalities are not stored on a disk, meaning that these are AI's, and much like the apple story, are apocryphal constructions, caricatures at best. This doesn't even enter into how their differential skill at poker is being simulated. With Data surely aware of these limitations why would he think it insightful? And, and...
Because of the neutrino displacement grid! Q did it! Data had a positronic brain! And, and...!

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:17:00 UTC | #351094

Muetze's Avatar Comment 11 by Muetze

Robert Maynard, you're missing the point. It's magic, the holodeck is a plot device, not something that has to be plausible. You might as well complain that it's a stupid show because they travel faster than light or because everybody looks like humans.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:28:00 UTC | #351098

locutus7's Avatar Comment 12 by locutus7

Fabulous post. ST:TNG remains an excellent show.

For those overly concerned with inconsistencies, I humbly suggest viewing it as a story-telling device to stimulate the imagination, to evoke a sense of wonder. In this scene it most certainty succeeded.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:29:00 UTC | #351099

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 13 by Steve Zara

I don't feel that comfortable with this positioning of Hawking as equivalent to Newton or Einstein in popular science culture. Hawking is one of the greatest physicists in his generation, but I would rate others active in the past century or so higher. What about Dirac, or Feynman? (Feynman would be a far cooler character to meet on a holodeck!) Much of what Hawking is identified with is not actually a result of his lone efforts, or wasn't his idea in the first place. For example, the basis of the idea of the evaporation of black holes came from the physicist Jacob Bekenstein, whose ideas Hawking initially rejected. Much of black hole theory comes not from Hawking, but from Roger Penrose. Hawking has an amazing ability to pick up on an idea, and develop it, but is he one of the true pioneers? I don't think so. For an example of a true genius at work in physics right now, I would suggest Ed Witten.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:31:00 UTC | #351101

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 14 by Stafford Gordon

3 happyfinesad: Newton although a genius was not by all accounts a very pleasant fellow.

Stephen Hawking is however a bloody good actor!

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:34:00 UTC | #351102

glenister_m's Avatar Comment 15 by glenister_m

Yes, I'll admit it, I've seen almost every Star Trek TNG/Voyager/DS9 episode. However, as commented about the limitations of Holodeck simulations, what I am almost always disappointed with is how limited the writer's imaginations are. Both Stargate and Outer Limits series both had episodes where people had implants that gave them access to the sum total of knowledge of the society (of course in both cases this was a bad thing). Surely in a few hundred years (or much less) we'll have ways of integrating with our technology so that we could for example surf the internet in our minds - "knowing" anything we need to "remember". Beyond that of course is genetically modifying our species, etc. If we continue to advance technologically until the 22nd and 24th centuries we should be physically and mentally quite different from they way we are now.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:37:00 UTC | #351104

Romaholic's Avatar Comment 16 by Romaholic

Steve, It's probably that Stephen Hawking is so recognisable probably. I mean the average person would know all three characters quite fast. I'm not sure the average viewer would recognise Dirac etc.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:44:00 UTC | #351107

theinquisitor's Avatar Comment 17 by theinquisitor

Robert Maynard: "so how exactly did the Holodeck have insight into their minds"

This is a question like "how does the transporter work?" Who knows what kind of ingenious psychological insights 400 years of exponentially accelerating research and computer simulation technology could extrapolate from scraps of historical material. At least it doesn't violate the uncertainty principle.

Muetze: "it's magic". No it's just a sufficiently advanced technology that is indistinguishable from magic.


When Professor Hawking was taking a tour of the Next Generation set, he stopped by the warp core and said, "I'm working on that." Maybe it's not all as absurd as it seems.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:47:00 UTC | #351110

InsipidTwaddle's Avatar Comment 19 by InsipidTwaddle

Robert Maynard, “With Data surely aware of these limitations why would he think it insightful? And, and... GODS I hate Star Trek.”

Lyrics to Mystery Science Theatre 3000 theme

If your wondering how he eats and breaths
And other science facts
You should think to yourself
It’s just a show; you should really just relax…..

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:53:00 UTC | #351117

Muetze's Avatar Comment 18 by Muetze

theinquisitor: Ba-zing! @ Clarke's 3rd law. ;-)

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:53:00 UTC | #351114

Frankus1122's Avatar Comment 20 by Frankus1122

Hawking is recognizable. The fact that he is physically limited but his mind is not, is what holds the great appeal.

In a similar manner Susan Boyle has over 36,000,000 views on Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

As a radio host explained this morning one does not expect that voice to come out of a "face that failed to launch a thousand ships".

We love the underdog.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 12:59:00 UTC | #351120

UmbrellaMan's Avatar Comment 21 by UmbrellaMan

**Trivia Alert**: According to imdb.com, this scene marks the only time during the entire run of ST:TNG that a person appeared on the show as himself.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:07:00 UTC | #351125

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 22 by Peacebeuponme

Frankus1122 - that clip has now gone over 37 million, and another upload has over 7 million. Must be one of the most watched ever?

(Off topic I know)

EDIT: Oh I see, something called "Charlie bit my finger" has 92 million. Seems that number of views is not an indication of quality.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:30:00 UTC | #351135

Robert Maynard's Avatar Comment 23 by Robert Maynard

"You might as well complain that it's a stupid show because they travel faster than light or because everybody looks like humans."

The FTL bothers me less than the "it turns out aliens are everywhere, and they look just like humans with extra features," but yes, those are other reasons it's a bad franchise. As for the advice of MST3K, I relax by not watching shows like Star Trek, because I can't watch it without getting picky like I just did. :P
The clip just reminded me of that, is all. The issues and ideas the writers wanted to explore always wielded priority over the believability of the technology, even in small gag scenes like this, so it's chock full of lame "it's future-science duh" cop-outs.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:31:00 UTC | #351136

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 24 by DamnDirtyApe

Classic :)

Glad old Hawk's ok!

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:34:00 UTC | #351139

Muetze's Avatar Comment 25 by Muetze

I love the irony of it being the actual science geeks that DON'T like Star Trek, and the people who say that characters and story matter more who defend it. :-)

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:35:00 UTC | #351140

SamKiddoGordon's Avatar Comment 26 by SamKiddoGordon

I found the complete ST TNG on VHS at a flea market. I will have to look it up.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:36:00 UTC | #351142

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 27 by Steve Zara

Comment #367688 by Muetze

I am certainly a science geek, and I love Star Trek, especially The Next Generation. It has episodes which are possibly the best science-fiction stories ever shown on mass media.

I just wish that Data has not been yet another "Tin Man" stereotype (as was Spock), and, as for Wesley Crusher...

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:46:00 UTC | #351148

TheLoneIguana's Avatar Comment 28 by TheLoneIguana

Yeah, Trek is way off. Not like the hard science of Battlestar Galactica where characters turned out to be... uh, angels...

Wait, what?

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:49:00 UTC | #351150

FSMTeapot's Avatar Comment 29 by FSMTeapot

Steve: They probably chose him for a number of reasons. Few people would recognise Dirac or many others, Hawking could play himself and likes doing it, as others have said he has a popular appeal for struggling against disabilities, and everyone loves his voice. They would also have recognised the comedy value he seems to generate playing poker.

But I agree. Reminds me of the recent channel 4 series called something like "Stephen Hawking; Master Genius of the Universe" or some other hyperbole. No-one else would get that attention.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:49:00 UTC | #351153

Muetze's Avatar Comment 30 by Muetze

Steve, you didn't like the premise of Data? I thought they pulled of some of their best stories around him: "The Offspring" and "Quality of Life". Both are also nice examples for why Brent Spiner is a superb actor.

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:54:00 UTC | #351155