The Star Trek Version of Ohio Revised Code 3345.14, Again

Sometimes it helps to transform a problem to see how it stacks up in a familiar notation.  This is done frequently in physics, for instance, where one might find a particle development advantageous over a wave-based notation for some calculations. Douglas Hofstadter in Goedel, Escher, Bach looks at these sorts of transformations as they apply to logic systems.

Given how technical all the innovation stuff gets, perhaps reposting a translation of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) into Star Trek makes it all simpler. The ORC disrupts opportunities, and then creates a liability for folks who would consider doing something it forbids, even if it would otherwise seem reasonable–the authority of the law is as important as the import of the law, and even if unreasonable, it still demands respect.

It is this respect card that administrators play to rationalize their mistakes and push back on those faculty folks, who of all the people in the world are hired to be the outspoken evaluators of what is reasonable and substantive and holds up to scrutiny–except, apparently, when it comes to university invention policies, where they are supposed to be docile, dutiful workers delighting in the superior capability and vision of management.  WTF, with that? 

Anyway, here goes the repost, with minor changes.  Translated into original Star Trek, Ohio Revised Code 3345.14 (the University of California and University of Washington present assignment scams) becomes:

Spock: Alien companionship appears to be showing up on ship sensors now, Captain.
Ohura: We are being hailed, sir.
Kirk: Patch through the audio.
Alien: [Static] Captain Kirk, bring us your ideas, and we will make you rich [more static, pause] and provide you with lasting pleasure.
Kirk: Analysis, Mr. Spock.
Spock: It appears whoever it is that is hailing us is making you a business proposition.
Kirk: And more! I’m ready to beam down to the planet surface. Ohura, get me Starfleet.
Ohura: I’m trying, sir, but the signal is jammed by the ORC.
Kirk: Damn! Bridge to Engineering. Scotty, I need more power, now!
Scotty: I na can do’t, Captain. We wud ‘ave to be refitted by the auld Trustees and they be many a light years away and we dunna ha’ th’ money to buy them off anyway.
Sulu: I have lost the helm, sir. We are veering off course.
Kirk: Spock, what is happening?
Spock: It appears the ORC has us in its Paranoidinal tractor beam. The ship, and all its crew, and your good ideas, are being sucked toward a huge black hole of bureaucratic legal negative energy that has appeared behind us.
Kirk: Chekov, give me full power ahead. Get us out of here, Scotty! I have to beam down to that planet!  I need power!  I want alien company!
Scotty: She may blow, Cap’n, but I’ve connected the warp drives to one of your old consulting contracts and rotated the controls 90 degrees to see if we can somehow go sideways and break the tractor beam o’ legal blackness.
Alien: You are fading. Your ideas,… so lovely… Going… [static]
Uhura: We have lost the signal. The opportunity has passed, sir.
Sulu: Helm restored, Captain.
Spock: All systems appear to be once again nominal. Most interesting.
Scotty: [Sirens] Cap’n, we have [garbled, explosion]. Tha bureaucratic black hole has beamed itself aboard and is scanning your consulting contracts. I tried disconnecting the transporter controls but now our energy reserves are headin’ doon ta nil.
Kirk: What are you saying, Scotty?
Scotty: I’m tellin’ ya, Jim, I’m afeard that we are aboot to be decommissioned, put in desk jobs, working as clarks for Starfleet on some murky planet in the Banality star system.
Kirk: Get me Sick Bay. McCoy, you have another patient! I’ll need a strong shot of something [winks at Spock, who raises an eyebrow].

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