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  #11  
Old 11-02-2009, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Best illustration of meritocracy, aged oes not matter? If you are exceptionally gifted like Wesley or Chekov, you do everything a bit faster than the other folks.
Contemporary prodigies also attend university or play chess with grandmasters when they are kids or teenagers.
Sigh... You think if I was better at chess they would have recognised my sheer brilliance already? (17y/o)

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Originally Posted by kevin View Post
Indeed, and also seems to reaffirm the looser developmental structure that we could potentially deduce from 23rd Century Starfleet.

A greater reliance on individual ability, talent and that said talent is rewarded in the field without having to adhere to a too structured program.

Unlike the one that seems to have been adopted a little more by the TNG era.
I think that would be absolutely superb! I could have gone straight to Uni level physics several years ago! But then I would still be stuck with basic level arithmetic...

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Originally Posted by Zardoz View Post
I would assume the Academy accepts 16 year olds into it's 4 year structure?
Well, in Scotland, one is legally an adult at sixteen (although we cannot vote, smoke or drive at sixteen - probably for the best!), so I would suppose that United Earth could have come to that conclusion also at some point...
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  #12  
Old 11-02-2009, 07:23 PM
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You could assume that in Trek's future, even the new, supercharged one, society has changed a bit as far as its attitudes to age/capability.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:40 PM
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I wouldn't read much into it. It's probably a rare case anyway. Finding extremely young people with academic skills of people 10 years their senior is not unheard of. Certainly among the asian populations here in the states that's true, some of my relatives for example. What's probably exceptionally rare is to find people extremely young with not only the academic aptitude but also the emotional and social maturity to be able to function in such environments. Even science vessels are very demanding of people and I've been out to sea with people who are incredibly sharp and skilled, but it doesn't make up for their lack of maturity. In fact such individuals make getting work done harder because everyone else is having to pick up the slack and it creates a great deal of animosity not only from the science crew but also the crew of the ship and can lead to lapses in discipline and professionalism to varying degrees if not dealt with.

That being said, Chekov although extremely young does possess the necessary maturity to be able to function as part of the crew. Certainly more so than some of the individuals I've been to sea with that have been problematic despite their knowledge and skill. What makes Chekov invaluable is not so much his skills, although they are very impressive as well as an important aspect of him, but also his enthusiasm and eagerness to contribute to the mission. Without the enthusiasm and eagerness, his impressive skill set wouldn't bring him up to full potential as a member the crew. The lack of eagerness or even willingness among scientist on a ship to contribute to the mission as a whole rather than just their individual projects is often what can frustrate marine science officers on ships as they try to coordinate the work of various scientists with their PHDs and years of experience and publishing papers. This inevitably costs ship time and can detract from the overall success of a science cruise.
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  #14  
Old 11-03-2009, 03:06 AM
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To be a team player is rather a matter of attitude than of experience IMO.
In Chekov's case that was not really emphasized, we rather saw his excitement and how he takes the initative. In other terms, a little bit of Kirk and I think that these are more important skills than the ability to play by the book and get along with everyone (not intending to imply that there has to be a conflict between both).
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNA-1842 View Post
Well, in Scotland, one is legally an adult at sixteen (although we cannot vote, smoke or drive at sixteen - probably for the best!), so I would suppose that United Earth could have come to that conclusion also at some point...
Very possible!
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:37 AM
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I think that rules are simply more flexible. A prodigy like Chekov who finishes his education at young age and enters a job with a lot of responsibilities is fully responsible no matter what the standard age of maturity is on Earth.
If he does not want these responsibilities (yet), he has the freedom to not work on the flagship but to e.g. do some research on Earth (until he feels ready to work on a starship).
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  #17  
Old 11-03-2009, 05:00 AM
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Starfleet--by its very nature as a organization that accepts multiple species--has to be more flexible regarding age. Not every species matures at the same rate as Humans do, so I think that's why every applicant is thoroughly tested even before entering the service to determine not only their academic ability, but psychological ability as well. Chekov may be eager and excitable, but he never wavered at his post and always understood the seriousness of a tense situation, IMO...
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  #18  
Old 11-03-2009, 05:01 AM
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Well, what is considered as "adult" is very much a merely cultural definition.
In former times people already used to marry with 14.

From a physical point of view you are already adult with around 14. The common definitions of 18 or 21 years only refer to a mental maturity which therefore are based on very arbitrary decisions.

In the 23rd century the decision if you are mature enough presumably is reached less ideological. Every recrut has to pass psychological tests (Kobayashi Maru probably is only one of many) and when you pass them you are considered as mature enough to be able to work for Starfleet.
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  #19  
Old 11-03-2009, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
To be a team player is rather a matter of attitude than of experience IMO.
In Chekov's case that was not really emphasized, we rather saw his excitement and how he takes the initative. In other terms, a little bit of Kirk and I think that these are more important skills than the ability to play by the book and get along with everyone (not intending to imply that there has to be a conflict between both).
Well I suppose that kind of depends on where you draw the line and whether or not particular case of taking the initiative has self serving motivations or is motivated by accomplishing the mission. The latter IMO is still being a team player and can be done without having to get along with everyone, which is why professionalism is important. The former often times results in very poor officers because people are less motivated to work for them or even with them which can be a real and very noticeable impedance on an officer's performance and is a mistake that can be quite common among newly commissioned ensigns and second lieutenants and is a stereotype of many academy graduates.

However, I do grant that initiative is generally rare and it does allow Chekov to stand out. The apparent nature of Chekov's initiative allows him to stand out positively.
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  #20  
Old 11-03-2009, 06:15 AM
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Mature or not, I think the decision to leave an ensign in charge of the bridge on his first mission during a crisis seems like a bad command decision when there must other, senior, more experienced officers who would have been better suited, even if you had to leave Chekov in charge temporarily while a senior officer was summoned. It didn't inspire me to view Kirk as a competent commander at all. I wouldn't have been so concerned if Uhura had been left in charge - at least she had proven her command aptitude sufficiently to be promoted to Lieutenant even if she is only a year older than NuChekov!
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