"Too Smart" Holodeck? Edit

When the abducted party was in the holodeck speculating about the nature of the table in the alien laboratory, the holodeck makes a lot of unwarranted assumptions about the changes. When Worf instructs that the table be merely 20% smaller and inclined, the holodeck replaces the table with an entirely different model. When Troi tells it to make the table metal, it is replaced with yet another entirely different model. The holodeck seemed able to improvise. It seems unlikely, but perhaps this was done to contrast the subplot, where Data (an emotionless machine, like the holodeck) was unable to "improvise" enough to make his poetry expressive, while the holodeck has somehow achieved this level. I would guess that these "problems" are due to the need to use the props available to production, but surely TNG had a big enough budget to produce a few tables for a single episode. Mal7798 19:51, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, this left me a little confused too. Perhaps it was because the computer was limited to the 5000 odd tables it had on file and was actually choosing the closest match it had rather than creating an entirely new table. Aside from that, I guess we can assume the computer did improvise. It certainly was neccessary to accelerate the plot, as a lot of screen time was wasted on this scene already and they needed to do everything they could to speed it along. Federation 19:42, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Since the canonical implications of this can be washed away by (insert technobabble retcon #47), I must ask why bother worrying about it? This is one of those things where if you're "one of those people" nothing anyone could say to rationalize it will be okay, and if you're "one of *THOSE* people" you're equally imperturbable, because you just don't care. Its a loaded question that only leads to disagreement without possible consensus. If it helps, just tell yourself "A Wizard Did It". Hossrex 08:44, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Maybe the holodeck computer had picked up the signals from the other dimension thingy. Or maybe the aliens hacked into the computers. That would be kinda creepy. This is definitely a sinister episode, gave me nightmares for months when i was 11.-- 16:11, November 27, 2011 (UTC)

Maybe the modifications were made by Professor Moriarty --Jamie.duce.9 (talk) 18:33, April 27, 2014 (UTC)

Meaning of TitleEdit

Doesn't the word schism mean a theological split in the church? How is it relevant to this story? Federation 19:44, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

All it means is "split", that's the reason why it is used to describe the splitting of the church. There's no inherent meaning that has to do with churches. In this episode, space or subspace is creating splits or being split. SwishyGarak 20:40, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

I have never heard the term schism used outside of a religious context. Also where is subspace being split? Based on the dialogue it would seem that subspace domains are being combined. In any case I think this needs to be put in the article because its not obvious. Federation 23:43, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be any information on why the title was chosen in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion (which explains some of the unusual titles such as "Silicon Avatar"). Wiktionary defines schism as a split in an organisation, usually a church. Anyone with additional insight into this ep's title?– Cleanse 01:19, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Personally I'd like to see all the episode titles explained in the articles, but there seems to be little consensus to do so. Federation 07:39, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

To put it into a context Star Trek fans should understand... consider the phrase "canon". Its a word that has a specific meaning, usually within the context of religion. Although religious implication is the most common usage of the phrase, doesn't mean its improper to use in other contexts. Hossrex 09:06, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm not really sure what you mean by that comment Federation. I don't recall anyone saying that unusual episode titles shouldn't be explained. Nor do I understand why someone would object. Off the top of my head, I can think of many other episode titles explained in their background information: see "Treachery, Faith and the Great River", "Doctor Bashir, I Presume", all episodes with Latin titles and "Silicon Avatar". Furthermore, I don't see anyone saying that the meaning of "Schisms" can't be added.– Cleanse 09:31, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Found it! Schism used in this way is a reference to Hellraiser! Federation 12:34, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

What's the source for that statement? --Jörg 13:40, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Look up Hellraiser. Its the only other work of fiction that uses the word in a way remotely similar to the ep title. Gotta be it. Federation 14:12, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, but that's not enough. As has been mentioned before, schism has other meanings as well, it can also mean "breach" or "tear in a fabric", and that fits the subspace rifts seen in the episode much better. I'm removing the background note. --Jörg 14:20, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
  • The word Schism refers to a split in an organisation, usually a theological divide of a church. The use of the word for the title to the episode is a tribute to Hellraiser at Wikipedia where the portals opened to hell are referred to as a schism, which in the case of the movie is probably religious irony. The irony is of course loss here because no religious themes are presented.
--Jörg 14:21, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Well if you want to be like, give me a reference to the word schism being used outside of the social science domain. Other than Hellraiser, references to the word schism being used this way are not forthcoming. If its not a reference to hellraiser then WHAT IS IT? Federation 14:37, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

A random word of the english language? :) See: [1] -- Cid Highwind 14:42, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, yes. I've already looked it up on . I see nothing there to indicate it could be used as a tear in fabric. Also, the way it was used in Hellraiser is just to close to be coincidence. (I don't believe in coincidence.) If it were used this way in Star Wars rather than Hellraiser we wouldn't even be having this discussion. Federation 14:57, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

The "tear in fabric" reference is from my Webster's dictionary, sitting right next to me. It has nothing to do with Hellraiser, we would do the same if it would seem to be a reference from Star Wars. As long as it is unsourced, it's gotta go as it would only be speculation. --Jörg 15:06, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

What is the edition of the dictionary? Can you find a reference online? Federation 15:43, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

It's from Webster's Third New International Dictionary, unabridged. ISBN 3-8290-5292-8. --Jörg 15:56, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Does anyone else have this edition who can confirm this? Also, you say this Hellraiser connection has come up before? Has it? I didn't see any discussion on this episode's title until a few days ago, do you? Federation 16:32, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Hellraiser hasn't been mentioned as the source of the title before. Schism is just a name they chose for the episode. As "schism" is a synonym of rift or split, it fits the episode perfectly, with all those subspace rifts in there. --Jörg 17:20, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Amen, brother. SwishyGarak 19:53, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Come on, Federation! Do you think Jörg is making it up? Fine, if you are not willing to take his word for it, why don't you ask your own self why you included the word "usually" in your (now removed) Background Note? Why don't you ask the same question over at Wikipedia, which has basically identical definition? If it's not always, but merely usually, used in the context of organizations, religious and otherwise, then what context suits the remainder beyond "usually"? Get this: Unless you reject the "usually" qualifier, you must gather that sometimes "schism" is used in the context of something else besides an organization that has split or rifted apart. Why? Because it's a generic word, though today its use beyond churches has become fairly uncommon, now that the most famous "Schism" in the history of the world has substantially defined Western and Near-Eastern culture for nearly 1000 years. Still, you can do 30 seconds' worth of creative Googling with terms like "geology" or "ideology" to find "schism" used in contexts not remotely related to churches or any other kind of Human social organizational structures. You asked a question and got some answers. If you have to argue with people about it, to the point of expressing doubt over their integrity, then I question whether you're actually here to satisfy curiosity. For whatever my own opinion is worth, I think the episode title is so self-evident that to explain it under "Background" would be like explaining the title of "Encounter at Farpoint": "Someone, in this case the Enterprise's crew, went to Farpoint, which is a place described in the article above, and while they were there, at Farpoint, they had an encounter, which is a way of saying that they... encountered. Something. Or, mebbe someone. At Farpoint. The encounter was not at Earth nor at Vulcan. What happened at FarPoint was not a cricket match, but actually an encounter. But not a "hot date" either. Oh, my goodness, this Background explanation is not doing the trick... HELP!" SwishyGarak 20:52, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Where there is potential for an episode title to be unclear, as I submit there is in this case, a short note cannot hurt. Heck, I didn't even think of why the episode was called "Schisms" until this topic came up. While we should never explain what "Encounter at Farpoint" or "The Enemy" means, "Schisms" in a non-religious sense could cause confusion, especially considering that dictionary definitions provided only note the organisation-split meaning. Federation looked up the dictionary before posting this page. He wasn't some lazy person who couldn't be bothered to look it up. In all honesty, reading the definitions linked to, a person could be forgiven for not seeing the connection to the episode. Having a brief note would have helped Federation and other people.– Cleanse 01:42, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the support dude. I was sweating it there. I think the only obvious outcome of this dicussion is that nobody knows for sure at the moment what the name means. Personally, unless I take Jorge's word for it, I see little to point to schism indicating a subspace rift unless we extend the definition to include its usage in Hellraiser, but it seems that memory alpha would rather redefine the word than make any logical duductions about its connection thereto. Federation 03:12, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Is this my cue to pop in? Yes, I think it is. Jorg is one of the single most trusted administrators and contributers to this site. How dare you accuse him and MA of "redefining" a word! Who the hell do you think you are? You asked for help, you've given it, and instead of receiving it, you are whining and throwing baseless, false accusations. Even better, you are trying to insert baseless claims of reference to Hellraiser. We don't insert claims of homage and no source. --OuroborosCobra talk 03:19, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
[[Edit Conflict]] "Unless I take Jörg's word for it"? My God, man, what unmitigated gall. SwishyGarak 03:28, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
I think we certainly can "take Jörg's word for it", so I think its time for you to drop the issue Federation. No one was trying to redefine the word; they were answering your question. The title was clearly referring to the split in subspace. We cannot speculate that it was a homage to Hellraiser without some kind of proof. In any case, I've put a brief note explaining the title into the article.– Cleanse 04:03, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Can the meaning of "schisms" (which is plural, mind you) be made any more clear, you ask, well certainly:
  • MERRIAM WEBSTER'S COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY: "schism [ME scisme, fr. MF cisme, fr. LL schismat-, schisma, fr Gk, cleft division, fr. schizein to split – more at SHED] (14c) 1 : DIVISION, SEPARATION; also : DISCHORD, DISHARMONY 2 a : a formal division in or separation from a church or religious body b : the offense of promoting schism"
  • THE AMERICAN CENTURY THESAURUS: "split, rift, break, breach, division, rupture, separation, disunion"
While my MW dictionary does not refer to what Jorg's does, per se, it still uses all the words mentioned above by everyone else here (who owns a dictionary) has described. Oh, and note that the religious connotation is the second definition to this term...not the primary usage. --Alan 05:15, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Thought I should add that Jorg's is the third edition, Alan's is the tenth edition. --OuroborosCobra talk 05:19, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually, Jorg's is the "Websters Third New International Dictionary Unabridged", which is also 4 years newer than my edition. --Alan 05:30, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Here are two pics of the relevant schism article in my edition of Webster's.
[2] and [3]. --Jörg 06:21, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
For what it's worth, my fourth edition of The American Heritage Dictionary (ISBN 0-440-23701-7), published back in 2001, says a schism is "A separation or division into factions, esp. within a religious body." Notice that is says "esp." (aka "especially") rather than "only;" it's most commonly used in the religious context but not always. For example, there was a schism in the rugby football union which led to the creation of the rugby league back in the late 19th century (it was called -- wait for it -- The Schism!) By the way, for other uses of the term "schism," see Schism. --From Andoria with Love 06:23, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Title reduxEdit

I realize this is an old discussion, but for future reference, one should note that the word "Webster's" does not refer to a particular canonical organization of dictionary-makers. The term "Webster's" has no copyright, and can be used by any publisher with regard to their dictionary. As such, it's just a marketing term. 04:50, September 22, 2011 (UTC)

That's why ISBMs were given. And the fact that "webster's" isn't copyright is irrelevant to everything at hand here. -- sulfur 16:31, November 27, 2011 (UTC)
This is ridiculous! I had always thought that "Schisms" was a reference to the "time gaps" when the people were abducted. Jimw338 (talk) 22:17, July 8, 2016 (UTC)

Removed nitpick Edit

The following nitpick was removed and has been archived here. I don't think it's correct, anyway; most likely the anon missed something or s/he watched an edited version of the episode on Spike TV or the Sci-Fi Channel. --From Andoria with Love 01:27, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Geordi claims that the aliens were attracted to the modified sensor array but Riker was having trouble sleeping before the array went online

Also removed; both are nitpicks and one explains itself.

  • The empty holodeck seen in this episode is relatively small in comparisons to other holodecks seen in episodes like "The Defector" or "Where Silence Has Lease". In those episodes, the holodeck was a model, in this episode it is a physical set constructed on the studio lot. The Enterprise did, however, have two different sizes of holodecks, as the ships blueprints reveal.
  • On a display without overscanning it is possible to discern the top of the holodeck set.--31dot 08:11, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Also removed as speculation unless cited as a deliberate reference:

  • A possible in-joke: Lt. Hagler, one of the abducted crew memebers has a crew quarters door with the number 1947, referencing the year of the Roswell UFO Incident.--31dot 16:50, February 8, 2010 (UTC)
I'm watching this episode now, and that(the first nitpick above) seems to be exactly what happened. I don't know why an edited version would add information to the episode anyway, but I agree it's a nitpick. -- 05:01, October 18, 2012 (UTC)

Summary Edit

I came to read the episode summary, because the episode is referenced in the DS9 novel Avatar. I've never seen the episode, but the summary is horrendously written. Could someone with knowledge of the episode please rewrite it in clear, correct language? -Randy 18:49, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Planned continuation Edit

With something like an alien probe escaping at the end, have any of the production staff or writers commented on how they envisioned this was all followed up? The preceding unsigned comment was added by BocaJ (talk • contribs).

I added what I could find on this point to the page. I doubt they planned anything specific at the time of shooting the episode, and just wanted to leave the possibility of a sequel open.– Cleanse 12:12, November 2, 2009 (UTC)

Different Tables Edit

Now there already is a discussion about the holodeck table but this is not about the shifting table designs of the holodeck but about the final design that appeared in the holodeck. As one would expect the hologram recreation of the alien table wasn't 100% correct but all in all it came very close with one exception. All the crew members that collaborated in the design on the holodeck agreed that the table was inclined, but the alien exam table had no inclination at all. Tripodssj6 (talk) 12:02, November 4, 2016 (UTC)

Screws visible Edit

I'm not sure if it should go in the article or not, but when Riker is at Conn and reaches out to touch the top of it, there's several Phillips-head screws clearly visible along the top. I think this is one of the only times where you see some kind of contemporary fastener rather than the magic-pop-off panels. --GaidinBDJ (talk) 12:42, November 3, 2017 (UTC)

More Removed Notes Edit

I have removed the following, which are all nitpicks and/or commentary:

  • In a continuity error, the captain's final log entry for this mission (46191.2) states "All Enterprise crew members are safe and accounted for..." yet in the final scene Riker states "Ensign Rager and I were lucky to have escaped. Lieutenant Hagler's dead."
  • In another continuity error, Riker's phaser is dropped onto the floor of the alien medical chamber while carrying Rager and making his escape, yet when he is shown in the cargo bay immediately after, his phaser is still in its holster.
  • La Forge's hypothesis that the aliens located them because of his sensor modifications would seem to be incorrect. Riker had been experiencing symptoms of abduction (specifically fatigue and nights seemingly passing by extraordinarily fast) for days before the sensor modifications were completed.
  • Picard is informed by Worf that Lt. Hagler has returned to the ship, and is in his quarters, "Deck 9, Section 17", when they arrive moments later, Dr. Crusher is already there, but calls for a plasma infusion unit to "Deck 9, Section 19".

Cleanse (talk) 09:09, July 10, 2020 (UTC)

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