The Battle of Britain

Re:  "Federation starship power generation capabilities"   


Amanda: "It's hard to imagine how much energy is being harnessed in there."
Data : "Imagination is not necessary; the scale is readily quantifiable. We are presently generating 12.75 billion gigawatts per . . . "

"if the ship was only generating 12.75 billion gigawatts per day (as I suggested), that's "only" 147,000 gigajoules per second ..."
 [Editor's note: no, that's not a misprint. 

It is, however, a misquote.  Creationists commonly use partial quotes and other forms of misquotation in their attacks on science.  Little wonder that Wong would employ the same techniques in his attack on logic.

As I say right off the bat on my page, ""Gigawatts per" anything is a very peculiar phrasing".  However, unlike Warsies who tried for years to ignore the quote in its entirety in favor of the "Dauphin" terawatt quote . . . at least until we got a definite five billion gigawatt reference from a single power conduit in Star Trek: Voyager . . . I chose to try to see what could be done with the old "True Q" quote, while fully acknowledging the peculiarity of the quote I was working with.

RSA actually wrote that on his page, thus demonstrating that he doesn't understand the units of power and energy that are taught in every high school science class 

Though I have every right to verbally beat Wong like a 2-cent whore over this comment, yet another in his long string of dishonest personal attacks, I won't . . . such stupidity is expected of him.  In spite of the fact that I acknowledge the peculiarity of Data's quote (i.e. the source material I had to work with), and in spite of the fact that I make it readily apparent all throughout the page that I do indeed understand watts, joules, and their proper applications (defining them for those who are unaware, relating their conversions, and so on . . . not to mention the simple fact that I found the quote peculiar, which in and of itself demonstrates the understanding), et cetera, Wong said the above.

As I said, it's expected . . . he doesn't have any fact or reason on his side, and he's thus left flinging obviously dishonest personal attacks.  Usually, he dresses them up sufficiently well so that someone who didn't know better might get suckered in by them, but the one he wrote above is so blatantly stupid it only warrants pity for its author. 

Of course, Anderson contends that Data must have been about to say a unit of time.

Actually, I analyzed each of the various possibilities . . . power by unit volume, power by reactants consumed, and that he was suggesting an accelerating power increase.  

However, since Amanda's "in there" could only refer to the warp core, power by unit volume would be somewhat silly.  Power by reactants consumed would be rather obvious, since matter and antimatter liberate a set amount of energy when brought together.  And finally, though it is possible that the warp core was rapidly increasing its power production at that point, there is nothing to suggest that such a thing was occurring, and to make that assumption would require a very high-end conclusion.

In short, I picked the lowest-end-possible concept, and I expressly say that on the page.

And do they give me any credit?   Of course not.  I try to be nice, and they use it in an effort to attack my credibility.   Stupid Warsies.  :-)

He uses days, and generates a truly bizarre figure.

Er . . . why would 147,000 gigawatts be a bizarre figure for the Enterprise-D warp core?  Sure, it's a lot less than the 5,000,000,000 gigawatts going through a mere conduit on Voyager, but it's hardly bizarre. 

It is probable that Data was about to measure the efficiency of the warp reactor, for instance by saying that the Enterprise generates a certain number of watts per unit of anti-matter that is used.

And, as I pointed out on the page, I considered that idea, as well. Ossus, naturally, ignored it (or, more precisely, ignored my use of it and then included it in the "rebuttal" as if it were his own idea).  Amanda commented on the energy harnessed in the reactor core . . . that is the energy contained in the core, not the efficiency of what's extracted.  Further, so long as a deuterium and anti-deuterium are meeting in the core, the reaction efficiency is pretty much set in stone, thanks to that whole e=mc˛ thing that Ossus seems to be ignorant of.

"... although "watts per" anything is a peculiar phrasing, it is not unheard of. A quick search through Yahoo provides numerous examples of this use where "anything" is a time unit

Ossus failed to give the link I gave to the numerous examples, so I am including it here.  

, in a manner similar to the "kilowatt-hours" on most people's power bills. It does not imply an accelerating increase in energy."

In order to justify his bizarre assertion, Anderson resorts to lies and distortions.

When Ossus makes such an accusation, you can be sure he's simply engaging in it himself.

He claims that "kilowatt-hours" is a measure of "joules/unit time/unit time." This is, of course, not true.

Fortunately, in this case, Ossus lets us know that his comments are not true, though such an inadvertent confession hardly helps him.  ;-) 

You see, "in a manner similar to" does not mean ""kilowatt-hours" is a measure of "joules/unit time/unit time"", and as anyone can see, I made no such claim.  What I did say is that it was "in a manner similar to" . . . i.e. the power unit watt, which has a time unit included, is getting an extra one.  (I seriously wonder why he bothered to quote me, since his lie was so transparent (but, given his expected audience of fellow flunkies, I suppose he figured he could get away with anything).)

Kilowatt-hours is not a unit used in SI or other formal systems of measure, but those who deal with (or charge for) electricity commonly use it.  It is a unit of energy, equivalent to 3.6 million joules.  It is the amount of energy used when one kilowatt of power is expended for one hour.   I suppose that one could very loosely and incorrectly translate that into a kilowatt per hour, and I must assume that is what Ossus was assuming I must have been thinking.  Unfortunately, he assumed wrong, and thus made an ass of himself again with another unfounded accusation of "lies and distortions".

"I am not assuming it is a unit of time. It is the only continuation of the sentence that makes sense (or, more correctly, "comes close to making sense") in the context. It is also (note well) the continuation that offers the smallest possible interpretation of the power figure given. Further, it also happens to correspond with the script (which, alas, is non-canon), where Data says "per second.""

It is not the only continuation of the sentence that makes sense. In fact, it makes little sense. A measure of acceleration makes perfect sense.

No, the Data quote itself makes little sense.  I simply tried to find the one that came closest to making sense, and which did not involve the Enterprise-D being able to increase her power production by 12.75 billion gigawatts per some time unit, over and above however many gigawatts were already afoot.

Screw me for trying to be nice to the Rabid Warsies.  :-)

Moreover, the script is non-canon, as Anderson himself notes here. That does not and should not factor into a site that prides itself on using "exclusively canon material."

And obviously, it didn't "factor into" my reasoning, so why the stupid attack?

Moreover, in order for Anderson's page to make sense, he must first dismiss "The Dauphin," in which the Enterprise is stated to be able to produce less than one terawatt of power. As Anderson reports the exchange,

"DATA: Sir, sensors indicate the communication originated from a terawatt source on the planet.
RIKER: That's more power than our entire ship can generate.
DATA: It is what is needed to penetrate the atmosphere."

The meaning of this statement is clear. The ship cannot generate more than a terawatt of power.

So, wait, lemme get this straight . . . Ossus thinks the ship can generate an accelerating increase of power in the billions of gigawatts (i.e. the millions of terawatts), but simultaneously does not believe that the ship can generate a single terawatt?   

I have to wonder just what the hell he's smoking, and hope I'm not downwind, lest I become as confused as he.

Anderson attempts to dismiss this incident as follows: "take a look at the context . . . they're talking about communications." This is incorrect.

Funny . . . they promptly beam someone down right through that same atmosphere.  Obviously, the Enterprise generates sufficient power to penetrate the atmosphere with something.   Idiot.

Data is speaking of a communication from a terawatt power source, and not a communication that involves a terawatt of power.

Now that's just ridiculous.   A communication originating from "a terawatt source" suddenly becomes, in Ossus's mind, "a terawatt power source".   Praytell, how did this reactor, battery, or what-have-you transmit a message to the ship?

"We know from ST:TMP, et cetera, that starships carry not only subspace communications equipment, but also devices capable of transmitting via "primitive" radio frequencies, so one could argue that by "entire ship" Riker was employing a synecdoche. This can be reasonably well established, given that we know from "Who Watches the Watchers"[TNG] that a 4.2 gigawatt reactor can power a subspace relay station."

If a subspace relay station, which transmits messages [for the Federation communications network backbone, no less- Ed], only has a 4.2 gigawatt reactor, it would be astonishing if the Enterprise required a terawatt of power for its communications equipment

PRECISELY!   Ugh . . . and they wonder why I laugh at them.  They type it, but don't bother understanding what they type.

In "Booby Trap" [TNG], we learn something else about ST impulse engines.

Since, of course, we were talking about impulse eng . . . . . waaaait.

The plasma exhaust of the Enterprise is clearly only briefly visible, despite its well-documented appearance as the ship moves at impulse.

Yep . . . a microsecond burst of everything they had gave us ten frames of visible engine glow (which I presume is what he's referring to, unless he means the thruster gas seen in Picard's maneuverings).

This indicates that very little power is required to move the ship quickly forward, because plasma is generally very visible and advertises its presence. This indicates that the ship is ejecting very little plasma.

The hell?   Neither in Star Trek nor Star Wars is the drive plasma commonly visible, but for the glowing of the sublight engines themselves.

In "Booby Trap," however, we learn that just three hours will completely deplete the energy reserves of the ship, even with the engines merely idling. This represents very small energy reserves, and demonstrates that the ship's engines require a considerable amount of power.

Okay, we know Ossus is a liar, and we know he is stupid, but here he asserts that he is a stupid liar.  The entire plot of "Booby Trap" revolves around energy assimilators which collect the ship's energy and, unless some is used to prevent the ship from moving if it is trying to, beamed against the ship as deadly radiation.  Therefore, the ship was producing and emitting as little energy as possible, but trying to keep enough available to run maximum shields, which were steadily being drained.

To try to use that example to claim that the ship has small energy reserves or that the engines themselves require a considerable amount of the power they generate is utterly absurd.

Additionally, in "Final Mission" [TNG], we further learn that mere back-up fusion reactors can make a significant difference to the ship, while it is towing another vessel. Since there are some significant restrictions on the size of fusion reactors, and since there are thus limitations on the output of the fusion reactors, this places an upper limit on the power generation abilities of the entire GCS.

I wonder just what he thinks the upper limit will be, given the five billion gigawatt conduit, his assertion of 12.75 billion gigawatt power increases, and so on.   And let's not forget that this is the same tractor beam system which, when boosted 300%, was capable of altering the course of a neutron star core . . . dumping a little more power into the system to help drag a highly radioactive freighter securely through an asteroid field at high impulse doesn't exactly make for a solid argument about upper limit power generation.

And so Ossus, having brought up random minutiae from two other episodes which he feels somehow strengthen his case, returns to "True Q":

Anderson then goes on to explain away the most telling criticism of his work (that Data could have been measuring the efficiency of the warp core) by assuming that Data knew what he was talking about when he said "watt," and that by "watt" he meant a unit of power.

Ossus is truly a student of Wong.   Rabid Warsies like Wong always maintain the default position that Federation starships are crewed by incompetent morons, while everyone in Star Wars is a genius.  In this case, Ossus demands that we assume Data is incompetent, despite seven seasons and four films which show the contrary.

 If Data were, as Mr. Anderson claims, referring to joules when he incorrectly used the term watt, we find that a measure of the efficiency of the warp core is readily measurable.

Ah, I see . . . so if we disregard canon in reference to Data's competence and this particular quote, we have the option of measuring the efficiency of something whose efficiency is determined by e=mc˛!   Well, of course that's a better plan!   

Stupid Ossus.


Wong then decides that insufficient whining about "The Dauphin" has occurred, and seeks to add more, in the stupidest fashion possible:

RSA defends his bizarre translation [. . .] false dilemma fallacy [. . .] absurd word substitution [. . .]

Why can't we simply reconcile these figures by saying (as I did on my page several years before he wrote his) that most of the ship's power goes to propulsion, and cannot be directly harnessed for any other powered system?

What, like (gasp!) the comm system?  Oh, but wait, that's what I said (minus the silly notion that a ship in orbit requires all the ship's power for propulsion).  How bizarre, fallacious, and absurd of Wong.

And I'm amazed at the wool he's trying to pull over people's eyes with that "on my page" crap.  On his page ("Conflict Resolution":  /Empire/Tech/Power/Power1a.html at stardestroyer.net), he argues that the ship loses several orders of magnitude of energy to its environment by imagining five stages of power loss between the warp core (which he puts at 1e19W) and the ship's systems, for which he suggests a Dauphin-inspired total of 1e12W (one terawatt).  In other words, he thinks the power systems lose 9,999,999,000,000,000,000 watts (almost ten million terawatts) to their environment before the power is used.  He tries to hide all this energy by claiming that some of it goes into subspace via the warp engines (even at sublight), but the first three of his silly imagined stages would still require a vast majority of it being released within the ship!  And his last stages demand that a ship can only have lowest-power systems at the farthest distances from the core (hence his comments about the Enterprise's saucer phasers).

The fact that Ten Forward was lit by anything more than oil lamps must astonish him, as must the scenes of personnel near open power conduits.   Darn those containment systems, anyway.   And let's not forget that the engineering crews are not instantly incinerated by even venturing near the core.  

So, clearly, human beings in Star Trek are impervious to ridiculous temperatures . . . or maybe Wong's an idiot with hare-brained ideas.   I'll let you decide.

One of the most common Trekkie tricks (which RSA is by no means the only perpetrator of) is to pretend that various competing pieces of evidence are totally irreconcilable, and then try to make you seem unreasonable for trying to incorporate them all]

Oh, good grief.   One of the oldest Rabid Warsie tricks is to accuse your opponent of your own misbehavior and hope no one notices.   Mike Wong's website is a testament to refusal to incorporate all the evidence.  (Indeed, he tries to make fun of those who try to, as seen in his recent attacks on Bernd Schneider.)


(Thanks to E. Alcantara for prior discussions regarding "Booby Trap", and to M. Dicenso for confirmation of the engine glow duration.)


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