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  • rallytbk
    replied
    Originally posted by Rallytbk
    4. Control and maintain the Rift in local space = assuming it was only used in sector 14 and for B4. I suspect it was always used throughout time for observation and the by-product was the rift. Making it the defacto ôBermuda Triangleö in space, but of course if ships passing through the rift would not know when and where in time they went, they obviously would not know how they got there and how to get back to their own time.
    Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
    Except that the GM didn't create the rift. The rift is a natural phenomenon (this is stated several times in the series and in To Dream in the City of Sorrows. The GM is used to control and manipulate the rift, much as a dam is used to control and manipulate a river. But the dam is not the river, and does not create the river.
    But if what youÆre saying is that the Bermuda Triangle in space was a natural phenomenon isolated to just sector 14 then how long/better yet how much of a problem was this location a problem to the first ones or older races? We may never know who build the GM due to the fact that time is moot when it comes to time travel.

    So my intuition may remain true:
    Originally posted by Rallytbk
    the defacto ôBermuda Triangleö in space, but of course if ships passing through the rift would not know when and where in time they went, they obviously would not know how they got there and how to get back to their own time.
    It may have taken the GM and Zathras' stabilizers to take advantage of time travel for B4 and the B5 crewà for that one shot at time travel, but having the GM used as a portal for observation may have been it's original purpose to any of it's care takers and stability.
    The only question now is with out the GM controlling that part of space, how much havoc did it do to our galaxy and did it influenced or affect the human race before the GM. (using fact and fiction: the big bang theory?). Or is this all moot because of the Chicken and the egg theory?

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  • Macbeth
    replied
    Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
    Except that the GM didn't create the rift. The rift is a natural phenomenon (this is stated several times in the series and in To Dream in the City of Sorrows. The GM is used to control and manipulate the rift, much as a dam is used to control and manipulate a river. But the dam is not the river, and does not create the river.
    True as far as it goes, pretty picky point really and the discussion still holds if I change my quote to reflect your point.

    In fact it enhances it insofar as as it *diminishes* the implied capabilities of the Great Machine.
    Last edited by Macbeth; 01-05-2007, 06:55 AM.

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  • vacantlook
    replied
    Originally posted by Macbeth
    ...Mimbari - perhaps not past what the Mimbari....
    [nitpick]

    Minbari

    Mi N bari

    [/nitpick]

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  • Joseph DeMartino
    replied
    ...and that after the machine creates this one rift it will be greatly diminished
    Except that the GM didn't create the rift. The rift is a natural phenomenon (this is stated several times in the series and in To Dream in the City of Sorrows. The GM is used to control and manipulate the rift, much as a dam is used to control and manipulate a river. But the dam is not the river, and does not create the river.

    Regards,

    Joe

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  • Macbeth
    replied
    I always had the feeling that the builders of the great machine were not "First Ones" or use First one technology. They were definately advanced - even well(?) past the Minbari - perhaps not past what the Minbari could do in 1, 2 or 10 or 20 thousand years. We are not talking about the million years to achieve "firstoneness".

    From that standpoint I was of the opinion that the great machine could kick some younger race butt and protect itself from these newcomers, however the Shadows or Vorlon's et al could wipe out the machine if it bugged them too much. Bring a planet killer. Even when the shadow ships show up to surround B5 I was of the belief that the machine could not win. Or that it could send one big blast, eradicate some of the shadow ships + B5, but the remaining shadow ships and/or others would show up and ruin the machine's whole day.

    I agree that in WWE it would have been easy to throw in a line that the time rift is a one time shot (heightening the dramatic tension - otherwise Sheridan or Sinclair could leave a note having someone get sent back the next day and the next day all to the same point in the past until they get it right and save B4) and that after the machine creates this one time *controllable* rift it will be greatly diminished, burnt out, destroyed, in hibernation for 100/1000 years with only the automatic defenses working or some such. Would have tidied up thiis thread. This is what I imagined happened
    Last edited by Macbeth; 01-05-2007, 06:54 AM.

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  • moreorless
    replied
    Draal's original statement at the end of Voice In The Wilderness would provide a good explaination aswell. While he may trust certain individuals allowing the machine to be used to solve multiple problems is likely to lead to different races seeking to control it.

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  • I love Lyta
    replied
    I had the same thoughts about it. You summed them up pretty well. That would also explain why the former keeper was especially reaching out for Draal in the later stages of that episode.
    Last edited by I love Lyta; 01-04-2007, 02:40 AM.

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  • Mutai
    replied
    Originally posted by WorkerCaste
    I'll admit, the minimalist view gets rocky with following the pathways that connect all living things, and it's difficult to explain the intrusion of the Shadow Eye. Still, following the pathways could be following data pathways, through the data stores in some advanced neural-net-type implementation. They could be a visual interface representation of relationships between data. Some such would be needed in an interface that didn't rely on screens and keyboards. How do you sift visually. As for the intrusion, if we accept the real-time monitoring once a specific focus was found, we might theorize that the Eye uses the same basic method for monitoring distant space, and that the Eye had been tasked with watching for the return of the First ones, thus the monitoring systems interacted with each other.

    At any rate, I didn't see in the story any evidence that you could feed the Great Machine some random, galaxy-spanning question and get an answer.
    After reading the techmogage trilogy, the intrusion of the Eye while Ivanova is using the great machine makes perfect sense. The technology in both is very similar, they are massive machines constructed throughout a planet using a living being as a CPU, that are able to communicate an observe over massive distances. The only difference I can see is that the programming in the great machine appears to extert a lesser degree of control over the being operating it.

    Even this cannot be said for certain, because it contains first one level technology, the likely builders of the machine would be the vorlon. its construction would have to have been instructed by Valen, and the only first ones valen is presumed to have had contact with was the vorlons. (delenn once said the last time the first ones walked openly among us was 10,000 years ago suggesting no other first ones besides the vorlon and shadow were present in valen's shadow war).

    this would leave the vorlons building the machine according to Valen's knowledge of the future. The machine was designed to do exactly what Valen instructed it to do. Valen's instructions would be consistent with the last events Sinclair had knowledge of. He knew the machine would be needed to control the time rift and move Babylon 4 through time. In "To Dream in the City of Sorrows", Sinclair expresses his reservations about President Clark and Earthgov, and it is entirely possible he influenced the programming of the machine to keep an eye on him, in addition to supporting Sheridan and Delenn. It's a very Sinclair thing to do I think, even though he had to leave his time, his concern for the well being of Earth remained.

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  • Ulkosh
    replied
    Originally posted by Shr'eshhhhhh
    At the risk of hurtling off subject for two seconds RTD isn't the best Doctor Who writer in the current show. He is good at small character study moments but hs very little grasp of how the mechanics of imagined worlds work.

    Putting a button on a desk console that renders the room lethal to the occupant and tucking away the on switch to a vital heat sheild behind giant spinning blades is...shall we say, a tad on the very wrong side. (both from "The End Of The World")
    And yet RTD is hailed as a 'genius'. Which is utterly mind boggling.

    I'd disagree that Season 2 was any better, particlarly the last 4 episodes. Though i do agree that other writers, Jones, Moffat, Gatiss, Shearman, Cornell etc have produced substantially superior work.

    Anyway thats just where the somewhat scathing 'Deus ex Magica' comment comes from.


    I still feel also that the Great Machine was a misstep, and would have been happier if a way hd been fond to achieve the reuired plot developments without it.

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  • rallytbk
    replied
    Originally posted by WorkerCaste
    Look at everything we know it can do:
    1 Defend itself = No problem there.

    2 Restore youth and extend the life of the person in the heart = No problem there.

    3 Project a holographic image in local space = interesting, I wonder if the Shadows was using a ôGreat Machineö device when Ivanova was Surfing the Galaxy. Draal did communicate and interacted (transplanted his essence) with characters on Babylon 5à Do you think in this state Draal could have moved objects and affected space in the station?

    4 Control and maintain the Rift in local space = assuming it was only used in sector 14 and for B4. I suspect it was always used throughout time for observation and the by-product was the rift. Making it the defacto ôBermuda Triangleö in space, but of course if ships passing through the rift would not know when and where it time they went, they obviously would not know how they got there and how to get back to their own time.

    5 Generate and direct tremendous power = enough for the planet? Or just for the machine?

    6 Provide information to the person in the heart = for what other purpose other than to observe or to communicate?
    Originally posted by WorkerCaste
    They could be a visual interface representation of relationships between data. Some such would be needed in an interface that didn't rely on screens and keyboards.
    Great stuffà Just so you know I am being opened minded when it come to guessing or figuring out other possible possibilities that may or may not have been the intended solution for. We all could be wrong, but at least it was fun to discuss our thoughts and feelings about a show we really love.

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  • WorkerCaste
    replied
    Originally posted by Shr'eshhhhhh
    With it's ability to scan the Galaxy for information it would have been interesting to see the Excaliber crew get some leads from Draal for the cure and help in evading the Earth Force black ops guys after the cure was found.
    I still think this is assuming a lot. Look at everything we know it can do:

    1 Defend itself
    2 Restore youth and extend the life of the person in the heart
    3 Project a holographic image in local space
    4 Control and maintain the Rift in local space
    5 Generate and direct tremendous power
    6 Provide information to the person in the heart

    Number 6 is the issue, but, breaking it down to the things we got in the story: it could monitor local space, it had a store of information that could help locate the remaining First Ones, and it intercepted a communication from Clark. The first is no big deal since it's local. The second he described as a store of data with notations that needed to be sifted through. It wasn't full, active monitoring, otherwise they could have directly looked for First One activity. Obviously there was some kind of real-time monitoring component because they discovered that the First Ones were returning, but they had to pick a fairly specific target using the data store before the monitoring could be invoked. Again, from the story, the machine was built primarily to control the rift which was an important part of the war with the Shadows. Keeping track of where other First Ones might be found is consistent with that mission. Finally, there's Ivanova's intercept. That's the one that's really treading on dangerous ground with regard to making the Great Machine too great. Even so, we find out that a "normal" mind shouldn't have been able to do that. Therefore you can legitimately ask whether it was the machine or the mind that was truly responsible. Was it the result of Ivanova's mind and the fantastic power of the machine rather than a planned function of the machine? Was Ivanova so hung up on the death of Santiago that her mind provided the specific focus beyond what was possible through conscious effort? So far as we know, Draal had a normal mind, so was that type of interaction beyond him?

    I'll admit, the minimalist view gets rocky with following the pathways that connect all living things, and it's difficult to explain the intrusion of the Shadow Eye. Still, following the pathways could be following data pathways, through the data stores in some advanced neural-net-type implementation. They could be a visual interface representation of relationships between data. Some such would be needed in an interface that didn't rely on screens and keyboards. How do you sift visually. As for the intrusion, if we accept the real-time monitoring once a specific focus was found, we might theorize that the Eye uses the same basic method for monitoring distant space, and that the Eye had been tasked with watching for the return of the First ones, thus the monitoring systems interacted with each other.

    At any rate, I didn't see in the story any evidence that you could feed the Great Machine some random, galaxy-spanning question and get an answer.

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  • Garibaldi's Hair
    replied
    Not really, since we only got 13 episodes of Crusade and only know some of what may have happened down the road in broad strokes.

    I think it unlikely that the Great Machine would have appeared (back to the "too much power" thing), but we just don't know.

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  • Harrdy
    replied
    Exactly, why wouldn't Ivanova or Garibaldi or someone else who knew of the Machine not try to get Information about a cure? One of the little holes left (IMHO).

    PeAcE

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  • Shr'eshhhhhh
    replied
    At the risk of hurtling off subject for two seconds RTD isn't the best Doctor Who writer in the current show. He is good at small character study moments but hs very little grasp of how the mechanics of imagined worlds work.

    Putting a button on a desk console that renders the room lethal to the occupant and tucking away the on switch to a vital heat sheild behind giant spinning blades is...shall we say, a tad on the very wrong side. (both from "The End Of The World")

    However other writers on the team have pulled of very good stories like "Dalek" and "The Unquiet Dead"

    Season Two is alot better (even RTD pulls out a few good stories). "The Satan Pit" has oodles of Lovecraftian charm (which most JMS fans will appreciate).

    Back to the machine, I would have loved to have seen it being put to use during Crusade.

    With it's ability to scan the Galaxy for information it would have been interesting to see the Excaliber crew get some leads from Draal for the cure and help in evading the Earth Force black ops guys after the cure was found.

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  • rallytbk
    replied
    Originally posted by WorkerCaste
    As for the life transfer machine, yup, that one was dangerous, too.
    Actually, I enjoyed that version of the deus ex machina, because since it is a TV show and characters do get in to troubleà (Nothing is real on these shows anyway), this device could in a way keep things interesting by having main characters come back from near death, and used to punish bad guys at the same time. Too bad it did get used to heal Dr. Franklin ôWalkaboutö or used to punish more criminals and save their victims during the series.

    Originally posted by WorkerCaste
    But, if Jeffrey Sinclair becomes Valen, and Valen Lived 1000 years before Jeffrey Sinclair, how can this be done without time travel? Sebastian was placed in suspended animation so his progression is consistent within the framework of time. Jeffrey Sinclair was what JMS wanted him to be -- the human that became Valen. His future was in every one else's past.
    I was being opened minded when I stated JMS could have gone in any direction. Did Jeffery Sinclair have to be Valen? I donÆt know, but since he became Valen then that was the direction JMS went withà

    Originally posted by SLerman
    I don't think the show ever actually says who built the Great Machine. It obviously wasn't Draal and/or the Minbari. It wasn't Zathras' race either. I seem to remember that Varn's people were also just caretakers. Since the primary purpose of the Great Machine was to pull Babylon 4 back in time, I certainly wouldn't rule out the Vorlons as being the ones to have built it.
    I donÆt think anybody really knew the primary purpose of the Great Machine. Was it built and used a million years in the past for the purpose of observation? Was time traveling a by-product of the machine? Did the creators go beyond the Rim, because they knew too much about themselves and the Galaxy? Only JMS can clear these questionsà So I hope he can produce something soon and give us more from the Babylon 5 Universe.

    Originally posted by Ulkosh
    Meanwhile the fact that Russell T Davies is hailed as a 'genius' and receives BAFTA awards makes me fear for the intelligence of both the British Film Academy and the viewing public.
    The dumbing down of the viewing public will never stop until the viewing public rebels against it by canceling their source of revenue. (Movies Theaters, TV, Cable, Sat are those services) Vote with your money!!!
    Last edited by rallytbk; 07-10-2006, 12:58 PM.

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