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Robert - Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 11:24am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

And I REALLY hope Elliott is right! :)
Robert - Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 11:23am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

Interesting arguments you both make! And Andy's Friend, I wasn't so much concerned with your salary, but merely worried for a world in which all human lives (including those in developing countries making all this stuff) are treated with the dignity that people where you live are treated. I've been to Scandinavia, those people are well served by their governments... at least that is my perception.

I live in NYC, and I assure you I paid more for my crappier house than my grandparents paid for theirs, even factoring in inflation. And it took me 2 salaries to do it instead of 1... as such I also pay obscene amounts for childcare.

Over here there are people that overdo on the luxuries, but from where I sit even cutting out on luxuries would not make day to day costs any better. It's my perception that this is generally true in large US cities, though it may only be where I sit!

As to going back to Trek, I will end with... I hope you're right, because Gene's vision is a place I'd like to live someday.
Elliott - Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 10:57am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

@Joshua : When you're ready to come out of the closet, the Jammer community will be here for you.
Elliott - Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 10:55am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

@Robert :

Your "false reality" argument is not to be ignored, but you missed something crucial here; the actual cost of producing an iphone or similar gadget is much lower than the retail price would suggest. Thus, while we certainly have to stop taking advantage of cheap (and especially slave) labour, if we both paid those workers a decent salary *and* stopped paying the cats at the top of the food chain exorbitant and undeserved salaries, the net result would be a society which most closely resembles what AndysFriend is describing goes on in Scandinavia. Here in America (and especially here in San Francisco where nearby Silicon Valley is the Ur of most said gadgets), the tech-folk and business elite live very much like the average Northern European middle class family because the US' economic model is so outdated, purchasing power depends on extreme economic disparity. But like in most things, this is no longer the 20th century and the US is no longer the trend-setter. I just hope we catch up soon.
Andy's Friend - Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 10:46am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

@Robert: I didn't read your last comment, as I was answering you. So here's my reply to that :)

The truth is that the main reason for the depth of the economic crisis in Southern Europe these days (apart from absolute inepcy by their various governments for decades) is exactly because hundreds of millions in developing countries have begun to close in our Western living standards. Of course this has its price; however, it won't be Scandinavia who will pay it, as these countries have the most educated and flexible workforces and labour systems in the world; there will always be room for investments here.

Nay, the ones paying the price are essentially, and very severely so, the Southern Europeans, who are stuck in the middle: their workforce isn't qualified enough, but is too expensive compared to many others around the developing world. So we're witnessing, and will continue to do so for several decades, a gradual levelling in the world. Nothing odd about that; and because it's gradual, systems will eventually adapt. In Northern Europe, we're witnessing a gradual but fundamental change to a wholly tertiary sector- oriented economy: the highly skilled Northern European worker loses his job to two Southern or Eastern Europeans, and then one of these loses his job to five Chinese - and then these get a salary raise and motivate further investment in Northern Europe (and elsewhere). Recently, Chinese Suzlon placed their wind energy laboratories in Scandinavia - quite simply because this is where the cutting edge knowledge in the field is. And this is how Europe and North America must compete in the future; we can't compete on salaries.

It's a gradual process, but eventually things will level. I'm not worried at all for my salary; it's more the unskilled Southern Europeans or Americans with four kids I feel sorry for. But then again, if their not being able to afford shiny fancy gadgets means more chinese families can have a decent standard of living, I can't say I truly feel sorry for them either. But this is a rather difficult debate, because there is of course a difference between not being able to buy shiny gadgets to your kids and not being able to buy them food at the end of the month. I suggest we go back to discussing Trek :)
Andy's Friend - Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 10:01am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

@Robert: Sorry, Robert, but that is simply not true. Our grandparents spent far larger sums on the very necessities of life than we do today. Please investigate relative costs compared to income. This can actually still be seen today: Southern Europeans for instance spend a *far* larger amount of their income on fixed expenditure - rent, mortgages, utilities, food, etc. - than Northern Europeans, who have a far higher real income; that's why many in Northern Europe can afford say, holidays overseas three times a year, which very few in Southern Europe can. But as a whole, the Western middle class has a *much higher* purchasing power today than it had a hundred years ago. Although I agree with your "quality of food" argument: there's no denying that a hundred years ago, foodstuffs were of a higher quality than today's mass-produced, semi-synthetic swill. They contained higher levels of natural toxins, but that's nothing a proper handling of the ingredients won't take care of. Today, you have to go to the countryside, or pay premium prices in specialist stores in the urban centres, to buy the real thing. But I have a feeling that that is about to change as well. Again, here in Scandinavia people have begun spending less on gadgets and appliances and more on premium foodstuffs as a percentage of income, simply to get a richer experience in life - while in Southern Europe people still have to spend ridiculous percentages of their income on everyday, low-quality supermarket food products. Some places are just closer to the post-scarcity world of Trek than others. May I ask where you live, by the way? It's always nice to talk to people around the world; I actually think people should mention where they're from, because sometimes it helps to explain our very different outlooks. Living in Scandinavia, I see nothing outlandish at all in the "Utopian" TNG universe, for instance: it's the natural evolution of what's happening here.
E - Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 9:42am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

This episode surely doesn't deserve the hate.

Yes, it is an obvious throw-away episode. As such, it's a pretty big waste of time that steers too far from the sci-fi genera, but it's not -terrible-.
Robert - Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 9:34am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

Think about it like this, if we paid the Chinese workers who built your gadgets what the minimum wage in Scandinavia is your historian salary would be lucky to be able to buy a calculator, let alone a smart phone. The cheap luxury goods thing you site is a false reality and the floor can come crashing down from under us at any time.
Robert - Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 9:31am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

@Andy's Friend - "Today, every middle-class and lower middle-class family in the Western world spends money on things that 60-80 years ago would be considered excessive if not extreme self-indulgence ― and quite often considerable sums at that."

To offer a counterpoint. Luxury has gotten cheaper but necessity has gotten more expensive. Lower middle class people can often afford luxury items but a 3 bedroom house in a decent area and healthy foods on a regular basis are unaffordable. But that smart phone and flat screen are cheaper than ever. ::shrug::

We can't truly be approaching TNG levels of post scarcity when we can't afford the luxurious retirements, size of houses and quality of food that our grandparents had (whilst feeding 3x the number of children).

And our cheap gadgets, coats and shoes will run out when China decides that sweat shops are bad.
E - Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 9:31am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Profit and Lace

I remember very distinctly not finding it funny, whatsoever, when Elmer Fudd fell for Bugs Bunny in drag. It actually made me angry.

Skip ahead a few decades, and this was a whole new level of awful. I'm embarrassed for everyone even remotely associated with that episode.

Zero stars indeed.
Andy's Friend - Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 8:49am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

@M.O.: Thank you very much for your reply. Your comment deserves further explanation, I think. So here we go:

First of all, I think it important to bear in mind our own cultural context. I’m a Southern European, today living in Scandinavia. However, I have also lived in India. Furthermore, I am a historian, and particularly interested in “longue durée” issues ― analyses across decades and centuries. All this of course colours my perception of the world. And because of all this, I have a very good grasp, for instance, of the various speeds at which our societies and mentalities are developing in various different parts of the world.

Now, please read the full paragraph, and read it in context. I was describing how Western mentalities have developed in the course of the past 350 years, and extrapolating to another 350 years in the future. I described social issues such as crime and punishment, gender issues, race, sexuality, and so on. The trend is undeniable.

I then touched upon the issue of money.

Here’s the paragraph again, this time with asterisks to emphasise what you should consider:

“Today we *more and more often* see people giving up perfectly good ― and well-paid ― ”respectable” jobs to embark on quests of ”self-realization”, usually involving some sort of artistic expression or spiritual journey. Money, *for an ever-increasing* part of the population *in the most advanced countries in the world*, isn’t really important anymore. Improving oneself is. *The seeds of TNG are already here: it’s already happening.*”

I fail to see how you can dispute any of this.

I am not saying that people in the Western world don’t care about money anymore. I am saying that *more and more people* in the most socially advanced societies on Earth ― places like Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, & Switzerland, the social avantgarde of the world, or the future of tomorrow, if you will ― are realizing that money isn’t all that important.

As little as 60-80 years ago, to give another “longue durée” case, your average, European middle class familiy would seriously consider any significant expenditure before spending their hard-earned money. And what might such significant expenditures be? A new suit, or a new dress, or a new pair of shoes. The very fundamental things, which were of a higher quality then than they are today, and much more expensive, in relative terms. This is not no mention serious expenditure such as say, a new dining set of table and chairs for the dining room.

Today, every middle-class and lower middle-class family in the Western world spends money on things that 60-80 years ago would be considered excessive if not extreme self-indulgence ― and quite often considerable sums at that.

60-80 years ago, the question was thus *whether* and *when* to buy a new pair of shoes, and whether buying a new surcoat for the winter was really necessary. Today, the question is *which* and *how many* gadgets to buy.

What I am thus trying to illustrate is that money isn’t really that important anymore: many more people than ever previously take it for granted, and many more people than ever before spend it without thinking twice. We haven’t come to a replicator society yet, but we’re definitely closer than we were at the beginning of the 20th century.

And in the most developed societies on Earth, people have begun to realize that earning more money is less important than spending your time with your family and friends and doing the things you enjoy in life. More and more people I know decline a promotion, for instance, because the salary increase quite simply isn’t worth the extra time you’ll have to deduct from the activities that truly matter to you. These people don’t strive to earn more money to buy bigger cars and TVs, they strive to spend more time doing what they enjoy.

Similarly, more and more people agree to less hours of work and a salary decrease in order to be able to spend more time doing just that ― what they enjoy in life besides their work.

All this would be unimaginable as recently as 60-80 years ago, when money was a more important driving factor in society than it is today.

Hence my final phrase in that quote: “The seeds of TNG are already here: it’s already happening.”

This is an undeniable trend. I fail to see how you can deny this.
Robert - Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 8:35am (USA Central)
Re: ENT S4: Home

@bhbor - It WAS on his mind.

"ARCHER: You want to know why I'm out here? I figured this is the last place I'd run into anyone who'd want to shake my hand or take my picture or tell me I'm an inspiration to their children. If they knew what I'd done.
ERIKA: You did what any captain would have done.
ARCHER: Does that include torture? Or marooning a ship full of innocent people? Because I don't remember reading those chapters in the handbook."

The question is just if it was worth it to go back for them. I mean, we get the feeling Enterprise has been at Earth awhile and we aren't sure what direction they went. By the time we sent one of the only 2 Earth ships after them, it could take months to find them and their journey home was only 3 years. Not to mention they likely found the journey easier once the expanse was blown away.

I do agree that Archer would want to, I'm just not sure it makes sense for Starfleet to do it. Of course you never know when the people you pissed off might come after you.
Robert - Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 8:28am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

::Hangs up the "Don't Feed The Trollz" sign::

::Walks away quietly::
Joshua - Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 7:48am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

Homosexuals don't exist in the 24th Century because it's finally acknowledged by everyone that the choice to be a fag is disgusting and reprehensible.
Steven Schwarz - Mon, Sep 15, 2014, 11:40pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Azati Prime

I do not have a lot to say about this particular episode, but I would like to agree with the statement mentioned above about Reed. The character, and therefore the actor portraying him, is extremely irritating. He comes off as prissy, whiny, boorish, stuck in his ways. Not a pleasant experience to watch him. Major Hayes is a well trained military officer, I think if he wasn't, Reed would have been stripped of rank and demoted to crewman if Reed would have been in Hayes squad. I have no qualm with Mr Keating, but he is not really at his best when written as such a pompous person, and he is irksome to watch. Also please remember on these message boards, to keep colloquialisms out of our prose. A previous poster used the term 'jacked off'. This is an extremely offensive term in my English speaking country. It amounts to meaning more than the 'n' word, more like the 'k' word, or the 'c' word when describing women. How would you like it if while reading these posts, you suddenly saw a f*** c*** on the b***. (asterisks mine). Now, do you see my point?
Steven Schwarz - Mon, Sep 15, 2014, 11:37pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Azati Prime

I do not have a lot to say about this particular episode, but I would like to agree with the statement mentioned above about Reed. The character, and therefore the actor portraying him, is extremely irritating. He comes off as prissy, whiny, boorish, stuck in his ways. Not a pleasant experience to watch him. Major Hayes is a well trained military officer, I think if he wasn't, Reed would have been stripped of rank and demoted to crewman if Reed would have been in Hayes squad. I have no qualm with Mr Keating, but he is not really at his best when written as such a pompous person, and he is irksome to watch. Also please remember on these message boards, to keep colloquialisms out of our prose. A previous poster used the term 'jacked off'. This is an extremely offensive term in my English speaking country. It amounts to meaning more than the 'n' word, more like the 'k' word, or the 'c' word when describing women. How would you like it if while reading these posts, you suddenly saw a f*** c*** on the b***. (asterisks mine). Now, do you see my point?
M.P. - Mon, Sep 15, 2014, 8:49pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

@Andy's Friend:

You made very interesting points. While I don't necessarily agree with all of them; they were still well made and thought-provoking.

However, there is one thing you said which is completely incorrect.

"Money, for an ever-increasing part of the population in the most advanced countries in the world, isn’t really important anymore."

Yeah, about that. Unless you are talking about the extremely-small percentage that is "super-rich;" money is still the most important thing concerning modern life. The huge percentage that is poor are quite obviously heavily concerned with it. The dying middle class is either concerned to not become poor or hastening their own demise with reckless spending. Even the upper-class rich still obsess over money because they know they can lose it easily; not to mention creating an inheritance.

I don't know one person that has given up a well-paying job for "self-improvement" and not regretted it to their core. Money is still the core of our society and will continue to be until we overcome our limitation of resources.

I respect your opinions but this part reads more like a teenager's concept of the "adult world."
navamske - Mon, Sep 15, 2014, 7:28pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part II

@Robert

"But if the Enterprise [crew] wasn't exiled on Vulcan when the probe reached Earth it would have been really, really bad. In some ways, Khan saved Earth!"

Yes, that's an excellent point, and it applies to the Jar Jar Abramsverse too. I can't see that there was anything about Nero's incursion to the past, creating an alternate timeline, that would keep the whale probe from showing up on schedule. It was a unique set of circumstances -- including Spock's reeducation after having died -- that allowed the crew to give the probe what it wanted, circumstances that aren't likely to occur in the new timeline. Old Spock should be telling Fake Spock, "You guys had better haul ass back to the twentieth century and pick up a couple of whales if you know what's good for you."
tpel - Mon, Sep 15, 2014, 5:14pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: Hunters

I don't hate Neelix, but I do think he handled the situation with Tuvok's letter poorly. He's got to know that a letter from his family would prompt an emotional reaction, and that Tuvok would want to deal with that on his own time, and in private. By hovering, Neelix really was intruding. Now, if he had left him alone, but called him "Grandpa" at breakfast the next morning, that would have been funny :-)
bhbor - Mon, Sep 15, 2014, 5:04pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S4: Home

It bothers me that Archer never set out to rectify his decision to strand the alien vessel from "Damage" after Earth was safe. One would think, considering the unethical gravity of his decision to steal the alien warp-coil, that it would have been on the back of his mind (if he survived the Xindi arc) to make that one wrong, right.
Liam - Mon, Sep 15, 2014, 3:43pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S2: The Royale

I don't know, I've always had a soft spot for this episode. I like the mystery aspect and the idea that aliens used a trashy novel as the blueprint for creating a suitable environment for the astronaut. There's more going on here plot wise than the standard holodeck gone awry or time travel period piece episode.
Robert - Mon, Sep 15, 2014, 9:19am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: Redemption, Part II

"A big problem with both parts is that there's too little reason for why Picard, Worf and the viewers favor Gowron other than disliking Duras (and Toral coming off as ridiculous)."

Immediately after telling Gowron the Federation couldn't support him in a civil war Picard says this

"PICARD: The Duras family are preparing to move against Gowron.
RIKER: Backed by Romulans?
PICARD: I don't know. But there is too much history between the Duras and the Romulans to discount the possibility. "

Due to previous alliances' between the Duras family and the Romulans (see the following scene from the recent "Reunion"

"PICARD: How could the Romulans plant a bomb on board a Klingon attack cruiser?
WORF: It would be impossible.
K'EHLEYR: Not if the Romulans had help from one of the Klingons.
LAFORGE: Klingons and Romulans working together? They've been blood enemies for seventy five years.
PICARD: Perhaps Duras or Gowron wishes to improve that relationship.
RIKER: A new Klingon alliance with the Romulans?
DATA: If true, it would represent a fundamental shift of power in the quadrant. "

Picard is rightfully freaked out by the possibility of a Romulan backed Klingon faction winning the civil war. It was just a little more serious than not liking Duras and Toral coming off as ridiculous. They'd just spent 2 whole seasons painting the Duras family as traitors and Romulan sympathizers.
Robert - Mon, Sep 15, 2014, 8:56am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

@bhbor - I agree. Lofton may not be Tony Todd, but I think it's important to remember that he gets a lot of fluff/lighter comedy scenes too. When he gets heavy scenes (like here) I really DO think he can handle it.

I think when you look at episodes like "Shattered Mirror", "The Visitor", "Nor The Battle To The Strong" and "Rapture". Most of those deal with loss (the loss of his mother, father or potential loss of his father)... weighty topics and he handles it. I also think that as the star of "Nor The Battle" he really shines. I think they could have given him a lot more to do but considering their decision to not have him go to Starfleet it was probably hard sometimes.

And I'm not saying he can't pull off a light episode ("In the Cards" is a personal favorite), I'm just saying that it's easy to forget that he actually can pull off a weighty episode on the rare occasions they let him. Or at least I think he can. And his relationship with Ben Sisko was so dead on that it'd be impossible for me to believe they weren't close IRL.
Robert - Mon, Sep 15, 2014, 8:43am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S2: Peak Performance

@Andy's Friend

Well done sir, and rather ironic given your name!
zzybaloobah - Mon, Sep 15, 2014, 3:43am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Behind the Lines

Did anyone else have problems with putting Dax in command? AFAIK, she's never held a command. Now she's in command of one of the Federation's most powerful warships, on a critical high-priority mission? You don't give missions like that to brand new captains.....

Loved the interplay between Rom, Kira, and Odo....
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