Artificial gravity of 1g is possible inside a 1st generation Enterprise by using a magnetically suspended wheel rotating at 2.0 RPM.
May 18th, 2013
I’ve seen a lot of web traffic coming to the BTE site over the past few days. I think this is in part due to the excitement about the new movie, Star Trek: Into Darkness, that was released yesterday. I look forward to seeing it. (If you’ve seen it, no spoilers please.)
So let’s talk about one theme that has been in Star Trek from the beginning. Specifically, Star Trek carries a certain optimism about the future, and this characteristic about Star Trek I find appealing. This optimism is talked about in the 1975 book Star Trek Lives! A reviewer wrote of the book:
The “Optimism Effect” is the view of the future which Star Trek provides. It is a “vision of a brighter future of man, and of a world characterized by hope, achievement and understanding.” Star Trek’s presentation of such a future provides an image of success which can encourage someone seeking success for himself.
The Optimism Effect is not only a statement about the future, it is a statement about the nature of reality. In facing difficulties, discovering their nature and sources, and overcoming them, the Star Trek characters show “that the mind can understand reality and be a useful tool of survival.” This philosophical optimism puts Star Trekin contrast with the view, which is prevalent today, that reality is malevolent and incomprehensible.
Closely related to the Optimism Effect is the “Goal Effect.” This is the presentation of the idea “that important goals are worthwhile, worth striving for and – attainable.” Every episode of Star Trek deals with the seeking and attaining of important goals – the saving of a life, a planet, or even a galaxy, the correction of an injustice, the attainment of co-operation between civilizations.
And the reviewer pulls this quote from the book:
“Man is shown as he could and should be, strong, intelligent, beautiful, confident, solving his problems, heroic – thus furnishing us the fuel to become that way, to reach for the stars.”
Thirty eight years later this all still rings true. And I can think of just the spaceship to build to help remind us daily of this optimistic view of the future!