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Robert - Wed, Nov 19, 2014, 6:51am (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

"...because, if one wished to go even further, we might begin contemplating SELECTIVE BREEDING ― just like we’ve done, and still do, in the real world with any livestock. Why do cows produce more milk today than a hundred years ago? Why do sows give more piglets? Improved nutrition, and selective breeding. This would mean, for example, intensive selective breeding of women with a history of producing twins. And selective breeding of women known to produce large, strong, healthy children. And selective breding of women known to stay fertile until say, in their 50s."

Would such a thing even be possible? I feel we may be in a beggars can't be choosers scenario. If 3% of women are fertile we would kind of have to use all of them, right? I don't know that'd we'd just lean more heavily on the "right" women.

Granted twin producers over some 20 or so births as you suggested would naturally spread their genetic material faster and possibly lead to a takeover, but I don't think we'd be able to only breed with the best women. When 97% are infertile, the 3% ARE the best women.

But that is besides the point, the likelihood of your scenario is not required to answer it's main point. Is freedom (the concept) different because of our individual scenarios? I think yes and no. In the Western world we think we are free yet most of us are indentured servants to whomever owns our debt. In the Middle Ages I assume hating your King meant you wanted a different one. Likely most of them felt they WERE free. The idea of truly being free from a King would have seemed preposterous. And although children often retort in America when someone tells them to stop doing something that it is "a free country" it most certainly is not.

That said, I do think that great philosophers understand Freedom is a "scenario-less" way, in which you can decouple it as a universal truth from whatever scenario you happen to be living.

But back to the conversation at hand. I think it is possible that the Federation have a standard of "freedom" that equates not to being truly free to do anything one wants but to self determination and equal rights. And I think that, Gene's Federation would require members to have reached that point.

I will also say that this conversation has opened to my eyes to why TNG/TOS fans sometimes consider DS9 to be too great a departure. In "The Void" Janeway disconnects needed equipment and sends alliance members away because they broke her rules and killed someone. In "In The Pale Moonlight" Sisko violates Federation rules to save the Alpha Quadrant. And that's not even touching on Section 31. I still love DS9, but after sitting here preaching to you that you don't seem to "get" the Federation, I realize that DS9 doesn't either.

As to the rest of the argument. What Elliott said, basically.
HolographicAndrew - Wed, Nov 19, 2014, 12:33am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: The Chase

I think this episode is almost too good to just be an episode. It's two-parter or movie worthy imo. And the reveal at the ending should be heard "half way across the galaxy" but it doesn't even get mentioned in the next episode.
Snitch - Wed, Nov 19, 2014, 12:19am (USA Central)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

If you like this episode I would recommend "The Enemy below"

It illustrates the hide and seek game against submarines, and respecting the enemy and their skill.
$G - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 11:33pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S1: Lonely Among Us

Terrible, but not completely without some interesting moments. The first 20 minutes or so aren't utterly unwatchable, and the bits with the senior staff discussing relieving Picard of command is interesting.

Other than that, the energy cloud, body snatching, and immature delegates are all elements that - on their own - would drive a terrible episode of Trek. Together, they ultimately have nothing going for them and even interfere with each other. What was the point of the two rival races? Comic relief? Good lord. It's not even the camp factor that sinks this one - it's the utter incompetence of the writing. There's no reason for this show to be THIS bad. 1-1/2 stars, and I'm probably being generous.

So, no, "Lonely" isn't utterly unwatchable. But that's only because it's surrounded by some absolute trash by comparison. "The Naked Now", "The Last Outpost", and "Code of Honor" come before it while "Justice" comes right after. All four are legit contenders for the worst episode of TNG and would rightfully be at the bottom of probably the whole franchise.
navamske - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 10:48pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: The Gift

@Yanks

I think your comment should have been directed to Stefan. You got that I was quoting his post, right?
navamske - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 10:37pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: The Gift

@Bob

"This is the point where Voyager became 'The Seven of Nine Show'."

Yeah, tune in every week at 8:53!
navamske - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 10:34pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: Mortal Coil

This episode could have had the shortest synopsis ever in TV Guide: "Neelix dies." A guaranteed ratings success!
navamske - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 10:03pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: The Raven

I noticed in this episode a nod to "getting things right" when Seven stated the Borg designation for Talaxians ("Species blah blah blah") and the designation for Vulcans. The Talaxian designation was a three-digit number and the Vulcan designation was a four-digit number -- since the Borg are native to the Delta Quadrant, it makes sense that they would assimilate the locals first, hence lower numbers for them. I did wonder, though: Do the Vulcans and the Romulans have different numbers in the Borg catalog?
Elliott - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 6:28pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Andy's Friend,

I am exceptionally close to being done with this conversation. I commend you on all the thought you've put into this, and I daresay, your talents would be put to better use co-writing your own fiction than analysing Trek, because your scenarios spin further and further away from what this show is trying to be about. And let me be clear, that in itself is fine, good even, that you should be so inspired as to keep the gears turning and churning. However, I don't feel that you are necessarily able to leave all that baggage behind and analyse what you see before you critically. "Independent thoughts," as you put it, can become so in-dependent as to become superfluous.

I am going to do the honourable thing and pedantically point out each little flaw that I see in your arguments above, but I want to be totally clear that I don't think those little flaws are particularly important in the scheme of this argument. In a sense we are having different conversations and with each subsequent alternate scenario you present, yours gets further and further away from this story. With that caveat out of the way, here we go:

1. The nature of the Vissians and the cogenitors:

You wrote : "I'm pretty sure that the minute we meet a truly alien species, we'll give up such childish, foolish thoughts."

That is not a logical argument, it is a belief. Your belief is predicated on, it seems, a style of science-ficiton/fantasy which you prefer to Trek's style.

That is completely fine, of course, for you to prefer other's (ie Lam's) style of fiction. But in analysing a work of Star Trek, you do have to take it on its own terms. Just as you adamantly put forth the arguments of historical and cultural relativism, *fictional* relativism is important. If it is your conclusions that Trek's myth/mirror approach is faulty, foolish or dangerous, you are free to make that argument, but it is tremendously self-defeating to impose your own preferences onto a Universe which has chosen another path. You decided for yourself that the Vissians were "a truly alien species," but in Trek, no alien species is actually alien; each is a mythological magnification of humanity, so that one may tell tales via proxy. The prejudices we face are after all the result of dismissing others as somehow *less* human than ourselves. By making the other human players "alien," the distinctions between actual human beings are revealed to be laughably minor in comparison. Thus the original premises for our prejudices are robbed of their power to hold us. That is the power of the Trek myth, and why it is next to pointless arguing that the Vissians or any other Trek race is truly alien from us. They are not, and cannot be because that is not the *reason* Trek has alien races, or is set in the future. It has always been about us.

Hence your statement, "these are alien beings. You [Robert] don't know what you are seing. You only think you do, because you choose to interpret it in human terms."

is utterly baseless. It isn't Robert or I who interpret the aliens in human terms, it's the writers who INVENTED them who do so. You are free to take that invention and roll with it, inventing and conjuring your own scenarios as you do, but that act doesn't give you the right to substitute your version of their creation inside their premise, and then criticise the rest of us for failing to see the genius of your arguments.

"I understand you, and unfortunately, gladly concede that you may have a point. This is because the TNG Federation has failed, abysmally, in depicting true alienness within its member planets. How are the Bolians different from humans? They're blue!...it is Star Trek's fault that we were never presented such true, cultural diversity."

As I've already said, if you want to be critical of Trek for being what it is, you are in large company (just take a look at this site!), but it seems pretty obvious that, for you, this was the episode which broke the mould and suddenly stopped being Trek in favour of a wholly different type of science fiction. There are episodes of Trek in nearly every series (some more than others) which really cross the line and become something else, but this is not one of them. This is so classically Trek it could easily be adapted into a TOS format and told forty years earlier. The subject matter (read: the human social dysfunction which the episode is criticising in moral terms) is more contemporary than the issues typically dealt with on TOS, but the spirit, as Robert put, is very blatantly there.

"There are two possibilities here:

1 ― The Cogenitor is oppressed. Yet, it is not Tucker’s, or Archer’s, place to judge these aliens. 'it's not OUR PLACE to judge these aliens'. And Archer tells Tucker that.

2 ― The Cogenitor may or may not be oppressed. We don’t know. We know next to nothing about it. And knowing so little, we have no means of really interpreting it. Yes, it may very well look opressed to us, but that may be our interpretation tricking us. Knowing so little about it and Vissian society, 'we CANNOT judge these aliens'. And Archer tells Tucker that."

First of all, "The cogenitor is oppressed" and "the cogenitor may be oppressed" are not mutually exclusive possibilities are they? Logically, there are two possibilities, the cogenitor is or is not oppressed.

It may not be our place to judge, I'm basically with you there, but what happens in the episode? The cogenitor is exposed to the rights and privileges of male and female Vissians (and exhibits the exceptional proficiency that most of the species seems to possess) by Tucker, and in having its consciousness expanded, chooses to leave its society. But politics do not allow for this possibility and, given the option of living with an expanded consciousness in a world which has made no room for that expansion, chooses to end its life, which the Vissians all agree is a tragedy. We may not know *everything* about Vissian biology or culture, but we know what happened to this one individual. This one individual demonstrated the classic symptoms of oppression as defined in human terms, which are, I might reïterate, the only terms with which we are capable at all of defining things. It is possible to determine, knowing full well that the Vissians are Trekkian stand-ins for certain subsets of humanity, and given only the information in this episode that the congenitor is oppressed.

Allow me to take a small but relevant tangent. I once had a conversation with a Lebanese man who found the West's treatment of women morally appalling. We "let them" expose their bodies in public, allow them to be mistreated by men who don't even have the decency to marry them, and it seems (to him) we don't really care about them enough to protect them from the difficulties of the world with which only men are biologically capable of dealing. From a traditional Muslim perspective, his views are not strange. From a culturally relative perspective, his attitudes about women are natural and normal, and in his world, a woman who would actively choose to rebel against those ideals or, say, end her own life because she was exposed to different life which she may never get to live, would be considered mentally unbalanced. And what do we say to that? Do we say, "To each his own! In the West, our women are to be treated equally to men, but your women must be different. So, we shall be sure not to pass judgement on your society and consider women who are de-sexed, privilege-less, and purposefully kept ignorant of the larger world to simply be too alien for us high-minded Westerners to understand? If that is your view, I pity you, sir, but not nearly so much as millions of souls here on earth who continue to lead lives mired in oppression because such perspectives as yours and my Lebanese friend.

2. The Federation :

"Robert,

On a different note, you have of course a point regarding admission to the Federation, that 'once you have HUNDREDS of worlds you can be pickier'.

But I gave you an actual, historical example of how such proceedings actually work in a real-world scenario, in a case where all the involved parties are actual human beings. "

I am rather perplexed by your choice to judge a fictional, idealistic political body by the actions of a contemporary and woefully flawed one. An integral part of the Trek message is that humans--all humans--eventually outgrow most of the very natures which make the EU, as an example, so tenuous an organisation. It's just as preposterous as assuming that the Federation would operate like the Roman Empire, annexing and subduing different peoples into its sphere of influence. Whatever clever parallels headline-grabbers like to draw between contemporary powers and the Romans, surely you as an historian know how ridiculous a comparison of actual Roman political policy and contemporary models is!

Robert's citations of TNG's "The Hunted" and VOY's "The Void" are perfect examples of how the Federation is UNlike contemporary political organisations. Just like with the Vissians, you don't have to like what Trek is, but you cannot pretend it simply isn't in order to suit your own arguments.

3. Gender equity :

The ironic thing about all of your spun out examples of hypothetical human breeding is that they are totally unnecessary for proving the point here. Humans have managed to treat legions of of other human beings unfairly to the point of slavery and genocide within the parameters of our current biology. If you (and you in particular should be a rich font of knowledge on this point) consider the historical justifications for the treatment of women, other races, gays, the elderly, the poor, the unbred, etc. you can easily see that (just like my Lebanese friend from before), from a certain cultural perspective, there is a kind of relativistic justice in those crimes. We humans haven't changed our biologies, have we? Our species procreates the same way it always has and the numbers of genders and genders hasn't changed in proportion very much, has it? So why is it that now, those same attitudes are considered immoral? Because we evolved. We discovered new worlds, as it were, and we changed our beliefs accordingly. The excuse "this is simply the way we are" is no longer sufficient.

Can it go too far? Absolutely--that's where I think we agree, the Prime Directive comes in. In the specific case of this episode, the wisdom which eventually becomes the PD is what drives Archer to make is decision. Even though the Vissians are oppressing their cogenitors, the solution is not to impose our moral standards upon them, but to invite them to catch up. Eventually, with a UFP and history behind us, that invitation becomes all the more appealing.
Andy's Friend - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 5:03pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Elliott, and Robert,

ROBERT ― ”Interesting arguments all around though, specifically what would happen if only 3% of men were fertile (if 3% of women were fertile I think we'd all be screwed for obvious reasons unless we were able to have litters of children).”

Robert, I’ll deviate from our nice chat to examine this, and ask you to indulge me in some “Statistical Probabilities” of my own. Because you're actually right, in a way, I think. Consider the following:

I’m guessing that in a 3% alternate Earth society, with my suggested specialized breeding farms, medical discoveries such as the benefits of personal hygiene, and sterilisation of instruments with fire or alcohol, would be made much quicker than actually happened in the real world.

Women in my suggested breeding farms, being well-fed and well taken care of, might thus expect to survive their pregancies and births, and have perhaps up to 20 children while 15-40 years old. It is not unrealistic.

Of these, again with said basic medical improvements, some 17-19 might perhaps be expected to live into adulthood. So while not exactly having litters as you suggested, for practical purposes the effect is roughly identical.

Contrary to popular belief, women and men in the real world often only married as late as in their mid-20s in the days of yore. Miscarriages were frequent, and infant mortality, as is well-known, was sky-high, often around 50%. Historical birth rates in the world suggest that on average, very roughly, only about 2-3 children survived into adulthood, out of twice that amount of births, and even more pregnancies. This is why population growth in the world was so moderate for most of human history.

So our 3% fertile women could perhaps produce a number of babies corresponding to some 25% of the real-world women. Add to that some 10% of women in convents in medieval Europe, and our 3% correspond to about a third of the actual women ― some ten times more than their actual number.

This is the very advantage of regulated and planned breeding that I have suggested, and why it would undoubtedly be practised. While population growth would certainly be slower than in the real world, it is absolutely feasible that 3% of the women, if well bred on, could sustain thriving civilizations.

...because, if one wished to go even further, we might begin contemplating SELECTIVE BREEDING ― just like we’ve done, and still do, in the real world with any livestock. Why do cows produce more milk today than a hundred years ago? Why do sows give more piglets? Improved nutrition, and selective breeding. This would mean, for example, intensive selective breeding of women with a history of producing twins. And selective breeding of women known to produce large, strong, healthy children. And selective breding of women known to stay fertile until say, in their 50s.

How long would it take before a subspecies of women with a very high probability of producing twins had been bred?

How long would it take before a subspecies of exceptionally strong, athletic women who gave strong, athletic children had been bred?

Would such women not be reserved for the upper classes of society?

Would such differentiation not further divide human society into biologically differentiated castes? From the menial workers who only were granted access to inferior-grade females, to various upper castes with access to the more formidable females?

ELLIOTT ― "[Now take our hypothetical 3% scenario].
[...]
While, of course, such a scenario would totally change the way human cultures look and feel, the *concepts* of class, race [yes it's a concept], freedom, etc. would not be any different.”

This is utterly absurd. Do you seriously, really believe that? This is merely a scenario, but a highly plausible one. I could give you others. Admittedly, it's all "Statistical Probabilities". But have you ever considered the ramifications of scenarios, Elliott?
Andy's Friend - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 4:56pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Elliott,

ELLIOTT ― “To echo Robert, in addition to the numerous, gaping logical flaws in your admittedly prolific arguments, you have consigned your analysis of the Federation to a comparison with the EU, because it is the only example you care to use from extant history.”

Thank you very much for alerting me to logical flaws in my argumentation. As you yourself mention, I am somewhat of a prolific writer; and unlike certain dilettantes, who essentially have but one argument, which they repeat ad nauseam, and certain other intellectually vain types, who prefer to point out faults in other people’s ideas rather than advance some ideas of their own, I do try to develop, as you know, some independent thoughts in every other message or so.

It is thus hardly surprising that, among all my lines, a few ― nay, perhaps even numerous, and gaping ― logical flaws may appear in my argumentation, and I thank you for alerting me to them.

Unfortunately you only mention them en passant, instead op pointing them out. I would normally say that merely alluding to a man’s mistakes without stating them smacks of slander; call me old-fashioned, but I just wasn’t brought up that way. But I am sure you must have very good reason to not actually mention them. You were very busy, perhaps?

I myself would of course never point out a man’s mistakes in public without explicitly referring them, thus giving him a chance to defend himself. It’s just the sporting thing to do, don’t you think? I have for instance called a couple of your thoughts ridiculous, but made quite clear which. It’s just the sporting thing to do.

Anyway, I would like to ask you to be so kind as to point out the logical flaws that you allude to, that I may attempt to avoid them in the future. It goes without saying that I have no idea of what you are referring to, or I would have corrected them myself; but being so numerous and gaping, I’m sure you can remember a handful of them.

Will you please be so kind to show them to me, Elliott?


As to the second part of your sentence that I quote, well, what can I say? I’ll be direct, as I always am, and quote von Pauli, in what is a remarkably adequate use of the famous quote: “es ist nicht einmal falsch!“
Paul M. - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 4:53pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Well, then it's up to you to prove that this is "the underlying premise" of Star Trek universe. For example, Vulcans, especially as depicted in TOS era, are most certainly nowhere near such value system. As far as I can remember, Andorians were also pretty suspect in that regard. Odo's people, by the very nature of their dual individual/communal existence could never accept the same value system as humans. Individuality, freedom of choice, civil liberties, hardly anything could be mapped to the traditional tenets of enlightenment.

Why the need to insist on such utterly anthropomorphic perspective. Software needs hardware, right? The idea that everyone can subscribe to the same underlying value system is impossible even on the level of DNA. We can't impose human societal norms on dolphins, elephants, or chimpanzees if for no other reason than because of our "hardware", our DNA, our physical needs. Every society is built upon such a material basis. Hypothetical alien life would be hardly different. Their perspectives, value systems, moral coordinates, or whatever you'd like to call it, would always be superstructures that grow on the foundation of their underlying hardwired physical selves.
Elliott - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 2:58pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

@Paul M.

I am not offering this as a theory of my own design, but as the underlying premise of the Star Trek universe. You getting your knickers in a bind about it is like complaining that Luke Skywalker can move things with his mind.
Robert - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 2:30pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

I'll quote Elliott too!

"The mirror/myth of this premise is that contemporary humans, just like every other species, are evolving in this direction and we should embrace/encourage that evolution."

If we are evolving towards that ideal now, we cannot currently be there. I'm not saying you can't disagree with Elliott, merely that your use of "present-day humans from the Western civilization" is a misrepresentation.
Paul M. - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 2:24pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Robert: No, that's exactly what Elliott said.

I will quote him once again:

The premise of the Federation is not that other worlds would simply embrace human ideals, it is that *all* races/species inexorably evolve these ideals.
Jack Bauer - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 2:19pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Profit and Lace

"Lesson of the week: When a viewer starts waiting impatiently for all the story's main characters to get blowed up real good, that's probably a telling sign that the story isn't working."

Huh, so does 7 years of Voyager count in all this?

I thought this episode should have been Negative 5 stars. The 6 minute rape scene near the end was atrocious.
Robert - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 2:11pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

"Ah, there are no terms strong enough with which I could express my disagreement. You seem to contend that every single society in the vastness of universe will inevitably (unless some shit, like extinction or whatever else) come to the same conclusions as present-day humans from the Western civilization. "

I won't weigh in on either side of the argument, but that is not what Elliott said. At best he said the EU is the beginning of an eventual evolution of better ideals.

You can still disagree with Elliott, but the premise was that "Every single society in the vastness of universe will inevitably (unless some shit, like extinction or whatever else) come to the same conclusions as FUTURE ENLIGHTENED humans".
Paul M. - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 2:02pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Some strange word-eatage occurred. My last paragraph from the previous post should read as:

No wonder we have a history of slavery and genocide. Everyone who's not exactly like us *is* by default inferior, since the only explanation why they're not like us is that they haven't yet reached the "inexorable" point in their evolution. It is up to us then to help them along. Earthman's burden indeed.
Paul M. - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 1:57pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

@Elliott: "The premise of the Federation is not that other worlds would simply embrace human ideals, it is that *all* races/species inexorably evolve these ideals"

Ah, there are no terms strong enough with which I could express my disagreement. You seem to contend that every single society in the vastness of universe will inevitably (unless some shit, like extinction or whatever else) come to the same conclusions as present-day humans from the Western civilization. This is simply a preposterous train of thought. Not to mention that this reasoning supposes that our present socio-economic ideals are the *only* ideals worth having and that the future is hence unable to deliver anything new except means of attaining said ideals more easily. What you're proposing aren't ideals; it's religious dogma.

No wonder we have a history of slavery and genocide. Everyone who's not exactly like us *is* by default inferior, since the only explanation why they're not like is that they haven't yet reached the "inexorable" point in their evolution. It is up to then to help them along. Earthman's burden indeed.
Elliott - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 1:49pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

"What Trip goes through is the absolutely typical response of anyone not understanding and not liking what he is experiencing in a sufficiently alien culture. He then jumps to conclusions."

Maybe. But as Robert has pointed out a couple of times, the episode itself supports the idea that Trip's conclusion was correct. Maybe he stumbled onto this conclusion because the TV format doesn't allow for him to come to this conclusion in careful, considered ways (and the episode is mindful of the fact that this is true), but that does not discredit his, shall we say, "accidental" revelation.
Elliott - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 1:41pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

@ Andy's Friend ;

To echo Robert, in addition to the numerous, gaping logical flaws in your admittedly prolific arguments, you have consigned your analysis of the Federation to a comparison with the EU, because it is the only example you care to use from extant history.

To quote from TNG's "Attached" :

"Every member of the Federation entered as a unified world, and that unity said something about them, that they had resolved certain social and political differences, and they were now ready to become part of a larger community."

The premise of the Federation is not that other worlds would simply embrace human ideals, it is that *all* races/species inexorably evolve these ideals, and would naturally seek unity with other worlds once interstellar exploration became possible. The mirror/myth of this premise is that contemporary humans, just like every other species, are evolving in this direction and we should embrace/encourage that evolution. The EU may be seen as a kind of embryonic form of this--wherein those things which already hold the nations together in common are formalised politically and economically. But we shouldn't hold the futuristic Federation's admittance practices to the EU's standards. On the contrary, we should encourage the EU to be more Federation-like!
Robert - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 1:00pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

It would be fascinating to live in another country for a time though. I'm sure I'd get a whole new perspective on many things I take for granted. So perhaps neither of us is right and both of us see it through the lens of our own experiences. Death of the author that I was rejecting up top and all that.
Robert - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 12:59pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

"I get to have my cake and eat it. That is one of the reasons why this is the superior interpretation: it encompasses everything. As I said, this is the more complex interpretation. It takes more factors into consideration. That is also why it is the more realistic approach. This is what we're actually seeing, if we are to take this in any way seriously."

Taking MORE factors into discussion is better, but what if some factors don't hold up. I just don't personally find it to be as powerful a message to learn to not be the morality police because you misunderstood/didn't wait for the facts as opposed to "Trip got the facts right, the Congenitor is oppressed and he STILL shouldn't be the morality police." To ME that's a deeper, more interesting message.

"It seems to me that it is you who "WANT" this to be merely a simplistic story, and only want to see part of what's going on. My interpretation gives you everything. Why not take it?"

I may see the story as simple, but I don't see the morality beyond it as simple. I guess THAT'S why I like the episode. I think it's a hard lesson to learn that can't save everyone and it's even harder to learn that you shouldn't always try. I just think that lesson is more interesting than don't jump without all the facts.

"Tucker simply cannot correctly assimilate what he is told in such a short period of time. That is why he jumps to conclusions. It is a paradox, but a very true and well-know one: too much information in too short time is also too little information. "

See now, I DO find this to be an interesting interpretation. And it's certainly a cool though, but I don't see the way the episode played out as being about this. I tend to think that Trip could spend 4 years with the Vissians and still make the same mistakes. Leading with his heart over his head is a character trait. I don't think Trip could ever get to a place where he accepts the subjugation of Congenitors. It's just not in his nature.

YOU (and perhps Q) might say that shows how limited we are, but Kirk and Gene would probably say that it's what makes humanity great.

"Being an expat myself, and having lived in various countries in Europe and Asia, this is perhaps why I tend to particularly like this episode. What Trip goes through is the absolutely typical response of anyone not understanding and not liking what he is experiencing in a sufficiently alien culture. He then jumps to conclusions. And he then gets carried away and plays morality police. "

I do really appreciate this point of view. And I can see it. I just don't think that's where the episode is coming from. These are little hour long drama pieces, right? We don't have more than 15-20 minutes to learn about the alien of the week because the episode doesn't allow it. I guess I just assume that what we learned in those 15-20 minutes was correct and that the conclusions we draw are those the writer meant us to draw. I think Trip's all to short crash course on the Congenitor is not the point at all, but besides the point and a limitation of the medium. We don't assume Lucy and Ricky were actually monochromatic, do we? ;)

I will concede that it's great and Star Trek worthy that this episode has caused you to think big thoughts about how alien is too alien, how we would be judged by aliens, how aliens would judge us, how we judge other cultures here on Earth and so forth. I STILL don't think it's what the episode is about, but ANYTHING that makes you think like that is great :)

I will definitely agree that Trips emotions get carried away. But I also know that if this was TNG and the Congenitor was attracted to Riker that Picard would have granted it asylum.
Andy's Friend - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 12:38pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Robert,

Very interesting. I missed your previous message, as I was writing to you. Perhaps you missed the folowing:

"Perhaps, but in your scenario Tucker learns not to jump to conclusions and in mine he learns not to play morality police."

Not really. In my scenario, Tucker learns NOT TO PLAY morality police because he learns NOT TO JUMP to conclusions.

I get to have my cake and eat it. That is one of the reasons why this is the superior interpretation: it encompasses everything. As I said, this is the more complex interpretation. It takes more factors into consideration. That is also why it is the more realistic approach. This is what we're actually seeing, if we are to take this in any way seriously.

It seems to me that it is you who "WANT" this to be merely a simplistic story, and only want to see part of what's going on. My interpretation gives you everything. Why not take it?

"If 2 is correct our failure to understand enough to judge the Congenitors is a lack of information, not a culture clash."

You are actually completely missing the point here: it is precisely because Trip receives TOO MUCH information that we see this culture clash.

Tucker simply cannot correctly assimilate what he is told in such a short period of time. That is why he jumps to conclusions. It is a paradox, but a very true and well-know one: too much information in too short time is also too little information.

Anything sufficiently "alien" to you will quite simply be misunderstood or not understood at all at first, in spite of the information amount, by any normal human being. It is an ages-old paradox, and one of the reasons why meeting and moving to sufficiently different cultures can be such a tricky business.

Being an expat myself, and having lived in various countries in Europe and Asia, this is perhaps why I tend to particularly like this episode. What Trip goes through is the absolutely typical response of anyone not understanding and not liking what he is experiencing in a sufficiently alien culture. He then jumps to conclusions. And he then gets carried away and plays morality police.

As I said, the cogenitor may or may not be oppressed. But the important thing is that Trip really doesn't know. Unlike what you claim, he's actually suffering from information overload which he cannot possibly assimilate in such a short period of time. i say again: it is possible that the cogenitor is opressed. But Trip can't know. And he wants to know. Because he's been told too much ― and not enough. He therefore loses emotional control, and starts acting clearly on his emotions.

Doesn't this seem a fair interpretation to you?
Robert - Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 12:02pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

To phrase the question in another way. Even if the Federation has done away with inherited aristocracy you'd probably, if you were the head of the Federation, allow Mrs. Troi to keep the holy rings of Betazed, right? Because it'd be worth getting the Betazoids into the Federation.

But is there something a race could do that would give you pause? That would be non negotiable? Anything at all?
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