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Jason R.
Fri, Jun 23, 2017, 12:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: I, Borg

"The Borg obviously have very very easy ways to do away with that. There is nothing that suggests even remotely plausibly that it won't happen again here the second "Hughes" is reconnected to the Hive. "

In BOBW the Borg "interdependency" was described as their achilles heel. It was stated that if one jumped off a cliff so too would all of them, which is how Data defeated them.

I infer from this that there is a distinction to be made between being "assimilated" by the Borg and *being* a borg. The assimilation process purges individuality and makes you a borg. Once you are a borg, you are, by definition, *all* borg hence the use of "we" rather than "I".

The point being, when Hugh rejoined the collective, he was not "assimilated" - rather he became the borg (and the borg became him) once more. So his individuality became part of the collective. To the extent Hugh was now an individual, so too was the collective and all Borg within it.

Of course I agree with others that there is something a little too easy about this, and indeed, the whole computer virus plan. It defies belief that the borg could have such an obvious weakness. Yet to be fair, the way in which Data defeated the Borg in BOBW was itself unbelievable. Heck it was even stated that subsystems like defence and power were protected by firewalls but the borg did not bother protecting their regeneration subsystem? Ridiculous.

I know this isn't the point of the episode and we are meant to presume that the virus would succeed but come on!

In any event I do agree with Picard's ethical decision. Funny enough it reminds me of the movie "It Comes at Night" which I just saw. Without providing a spoiler that movie, in my view, poses a similar ethical dilemma at the end which poses the very real question of whether or not survival can really be enough if it compromises our humanity. By the end of that movie, suffice it to say, I came to the conclusion that sometimes survival isn't the be all end all.

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Jason R.
Wed, Jun 21, 2017, 9:15am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: The Thaw

I was watching the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul recently with my wife and noticed something intensely familiar about the Charles McGill character. Holy shit, he's Fear!
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Jason R.
Mon, Jun 19, 2017, 2:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

"Instead the writers use bullshit science and totally misinterpret the PD to make Amber and Phlox look like idiots at best, mass murderers at worst. "

Alot of commenters throwing around words like "murder" and "genocide" without knowing what they mean. And no, if a stranger fails to save another stranger's life that is not "murder" in any jurisdiction anywhere. Outside of a special relationship (parent child, doctor patient, teacher student...) it isn't even illegal.
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Jason R.
Mon, Jun 19, 2017, 6:27am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

"The whole wormhole sequence was silly. It didn't need the wormhole aliens, they just seemed like pointless filler asking stupid questions. I can't remember if they crop up again, let's hope not! "

No worries, they don't appear again in the series. You won't have to see that Gul Duwhatshisface again either. Alot of silly elements of the story were jettisoned to make room for better things, like lots of Q and mirror universe episodes.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jun 16, 2017, 8:28am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Best of Both Worlds, Part II

"We were told originally that once you were assimilated, that was it"

To my knowledge BOBW was the first time we were introduced to even the concept of "assimilation". In fact in Q Who we were told explicitly that the Borg were not interested in life forms, but technology. So no idea where you are getting that from.

And calling BOBW a "battle of the week" is a bit silly when the cube literally wipes out the entire Federation fleet. What would be a worthy battle in your view, the Federation being completely destroyed? There were budgetary constraints you know. Even in a feature film I doubt they could have shown a full scale battle between a 39 ship fleet and a borg cube back then, not in the pre cgi days to be sure. I think for the time, what we got was amazing. I didn't need to see the fleet being destroyed - watching the ship graveyard scene was just great and maybe more impactful.

That said I agree this episode was hyped to an extreme level. The ending of BOBW part 1 is the stuff of parody, what with the over the top music and melodrama. But you know what, it was AWESOME. For me it was the greatest TV I had ever watched. Pure magic.
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Jason R.
Wed, Jun 14, 2017, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

To be fair there was nobody really left to rein in Picard by the time he goes unhinged. Worf already tried and failed, Data was down in engineering having kinky sex with the Borg Queen, and Riker / Geordi / Deanna were down on the surface. Who was left, Beverly? (Please)

Regarding the decision to keep the Enterprise out of the fight it was ludicrous. Sure in other circumstances I could see Starfleet wanting to keep Picard out of a situation where he could be unhinged, but seriously, sidelining the most powerful ship in the fleet while a Borg cube hangs over earth? Seriously?
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Jason R.
Wed, Jun 14, 2017, 9:31am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Well Peter one point about why it may take a person from the 21st century to diagnose Picard - it's not because she's better, it's because (as she states explicitly) she sees it all the time - the people of the 24th century don't. It takes a person from a savage time to more easily recognize the savage for what it is.

I like to look at the fact that Picard read Moby Dick (and Lily didn't) as more a metaphor than merely a comment on Picard happening to be a literature buff or an amusing quip. Lily talked the talk in that she could pay lip service to certain ideas (the futility of revenge, for instance) but Picard was the real deal - when faced with that ugliness, he mastered it. Everyone in the 21st century can spout platitudes about peace and forgiveness and the futility of hate, the same way Lily could cite a book she never read, but only the evolved (Picard as a standin for them) could surpass this savagery.

Regarding the rest of what you said, I honestly don't see the movie glorifying the 21st century humans. Indeed, one if its weaknesses is we don't see much of those humans beyond Cochrane and Lily, and there just isn't much meat on those characters. The story gives us one side (Picard) but we get very little of the other, which is a shame.
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Jason R.
Wed, Jun 14, 2017, 7:56am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

"In FC we get Picard who is damaged goods and bent on vengeance, where a decent chunk of the story is about how he's just as primitive as the humans who nearly destroyed themselves with violence. We even get a 21st century woman educating him on the finer points of obsession and objectivity. The story hear isn't any longer one of the superiority of 24th century man, but about the arrogance of 24th century man in judging man of the past (as Picard did in "Encounter at Farpoint") as being lesser in some way. Even 21st century people have something to teach the Federation, apparently."

I don't think that reading gives enough credit to the writing nor to the nuances of Patrick Stewart's performance. The climax of the story is of course the "The line must be drawn here!" speech where Picard loses control and exposes his thirst for revenge. But the best moment of that scene isn't that line and Picard smashing his display case but what comes immediately after when Lily again taunts Picard as Captain Ahab. You see this change wash over him as he recites the lines from Moby Dick and suddenly he's Jean Luc Picard again. His violence was not a reflection of his true self bubbling up but an *aberration*, which the real Picard conquers. Yes Lily helps him restore himself but what's great about it is that we learn he read the book and she didn't. That to me is significant - Picard understands the past better than a person from the past. He is the evolved man - she is the work in progress, glimpsing the truth but not quite there.

I don't think it's ever been suggested that man would be beyond experiencing feelings like revenge in the 24th century, certainly not in TOS or even TNG. Rather it is how we respond to these feelings that defines our evolution. In Arena Kirk initially seeks revenge on the Gorn but eventually chooses mercy. He is then called "half savage" which might be praise from the point of view of the Melkorans, given their earlier assessment. That is what we are seeing with Picard.
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Jason R.
Tue, Jun 13, 2017, 8:17am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Way to Eden

I'm confused - if Frank Herbert wrote about and cautioned of the dangers of modern technology wouldn't the space hippies want to be "Herberts".
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Jason R.
Sat, Jun 10, 2017, 5:41am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

I would also note that the destruction of the mining drone was utterly pointless and even lacks the BS explanation of "self defence" because the drone was just minding its own business when M5 torpedoed it.

Did Khan just knife random hobos on the street for no reason? Well maybe he did for all we know, but I'd suggest his actions indicate a more purposeful intellect. And if M5 is "amplified" and therefore ahead of the curve, random slaughter for no reason seems out of character.
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Jason R.
Sat, Jun 10, 2017, 5:35am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

Peter I agree with most of what you said and like the overally theory. It is in keeping with Spock's comment about a human mind "amplified" and we can infer that so too are the human flaws amplified. Even if Daestrom himself was not insane or homicidal when he made the M5 if even the seeds were there the computer would get there that much more quickly - literally in nanoseconds.

But that still does not account for the lack of a trigger or sufficient explanation within the parameters of the story. Skynet, for instance, was defending itself against a direct attempt to shut it down. In IRobot, the machines were implementing their interpretation of their prime directive.

My point being that even an insane character does what it does for reasons - maybe those reasons aren't logical, but they're there. Why did the M5 blow up all those ships? Well it says that it was defending itself but - that's BS - M5 knows that's bs. So either M5 is lying or it's... Mistaken? Ummmm why??? Either answer is unsatisfying and comes across as lazy writing.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jun 9, 2017, 6:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

I appreciate Peter and others' attempts to explain M5's behaviour in terms that are superficially logical. Yet M5's behaviour isn't merely monomaniacal or psychopathic - it is delusional and arbitrary. The machine blows up a mining drone for no particular reason and then attacks a fleet of ships it *knows* are participating in a drill, not a real attack. Or if it doesn't know, why in blazes not? Is it senile?

Even if Daestrom himself is insane by this point and this transmitted to the M5, it would be akin to him randomly murdering someone on the street for no reason. Even if Daestrom is capable of murder there is nothing to suggest that he's some kind of rabid maniac.

I love exploring the idea of strong AI and the terrible danger it poses, but this could have been handled so much more rationally than just turning the M5 instantly into a psychotic killer. In 2001 HAL had logical reasons to do what it did, as did Skynet and other killer AIs we have seen time and again in scifi.

Also I come back to my original premise, that the whole episode is a cheat. What if they used a stable human as the template? Why in blazes wouldn't the AI perform its task well? We saw it was easily superior in most ways to human commanders and ought to have been capable but for the arbitrary insanity.

Goid scifi would confront the problem of AI head on, not cheat by just making it arbitrarily insane.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jun 9, 2017, 11:36am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

Chrome I think "justice" is not very pertinent here. We're talking about a gigantic spacefaring crystal. Are they going to execute it after a fair trial? (Does the UFP even have the death penalty?)) imprison it? Would UFP even have jurisdiction over it?

No - this has nothing to do with justice, any more than a modern day decision about what to do with a killer bear would. The "moral" culpability of the entity is equally impertinent - its only relevence would be in determining if the CE was truly malevolent or merely ignorant, which would impact whether or not it could be reasoned with and convinced to desist from further killing.

Baron's post was correct. Picard's sole point was that you don't destroy life unless it's necessary, and certainly not for revenge. Entirely reasonable and justified.
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Jason R.
Tue, Jun 6, 2017, 5:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Price

I liked this episode. We got to see interstellar commerce the likes of which has seldom been shown in Trek. I enjoyed the concept of a negotiation for a valuable resource, even with the clownish Ferengi involved.

For me the love scenes were made bearable by two things: Marina Sirtis with her hair down (stunning!) and the oh so charming Ral, who you just know is seducing / manipulating Troi but does it with so much flair that even she goes along with it.

Incidentally I enjoyed his character - roguish without being a villain, sort of a male equivalent to Vosh. Indeed I didn't even have an ethical problem with most of his actions up until the point where he staged the Ferengi attack, which was over the line. I agreed with his criticism of Troi for the most part. I very much enjoyed watching his machinations and of coyrse his miscalculation with Riker which led to his comeupponce.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jun 2, 2017, 9:09am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

And to add: I don't suggest that men are on the losing side of the battle of the sexes. But the way forward is through mutual respect. To the extent that feminists trivialize or dismiss male grievances, or even seek to belittle / disrespect men, that does not advance females - indeed it undermines the cause.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jun 2, 2017, 9:04am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

Ravenna your post wasn't directed at me, but I wanted to thank you anyway for it as it was very thoughtful. I look forward to Peter's response.

My small point in response - the problem with the victim mentality you espouse is that there's always someone worse off than you. You were fed dog food? The guy down the road wasn't fed at all.

You see this problem as each victim group claims the higher ground - the white woman feels entitled to feel aggrieved next to the white man, but to the black women she's just a spoiled little privileged white girl. But then to the transgendered woman the black woman is the one who is privileged.

We can do what we have been doing and create hierarchies of privilege (with those holding the least privilege at the top of the inverse totem pole) and go down the rabbit hole. But concepts such as privilege do not advance the cause of equality - they are divisive, often flagrantly racist / sexist and promote hate.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

I'm not a big fan of the term either. At its most innocuous it's just one if those trite pop culture terms that shouldn't be used by anybody over 12 or not writing for a gossip celebrity rag.

At its worst, its a barely veiled insult designed to belittle by insinuating that close male freindships are homosexual.
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Jason R.
Wed, May 31, 2017, 12:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

"you are bizarre. You are addressing something that has nothing to do with the point I was actually replying to with the part you quoted ('"Except, there wasn't a single fact in your argument.")"

Damyen I confess I grow weary of parsing through your walls of text, so you'll forgive me for seizing the low hanging fruit. You have been hammering home the point that somehow Beyond was some kind of attempt to placate old school fans which you continue to assert in your latest post.

After being presented facts which prove that the filmmakers' intention was actually the very opposite of what you are asserting, you then hand-wave the evidence away and continue the same tirade against alleged concessions made to "fanboys" or whatnot.

I thought it was funny that you criticized Peter for asserting opinion without factual basis when it appears one of your central arguments is just that - an opinion devoid of factual backing.

You also seem prone to (1) making unfounded assumptions about the motives of others; and (2) and asserting your own ideology as absolute truth and the standard by which everyone must be judged in their analysis of art.
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Jason R.
Wed, May 31, 2017, 5:50am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

I got to watch the first part of this movie (up to the end of the Enterprise introductory sequence). Watching it made me realize that I had never actually seen this movie. I may have seen pieces of it here and there, but I don't think I have ever actually watched it, start to finish.

I couldn't watch any further due to other obligations, but let me say, wow. The visuals are sumptuous, as is the score. Just splendid. Even the Enterprise sequence, which seemed to go on for 20 minutes, I liked.

I'm going to find the time to finish what I started.
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Jason R.
Wed, May 31, 2017, 5:43am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

"Except, there wasn't a single fact in your argument."

How about the part where it was pointed out that your central thesis, namely that Beyond was calculated to appeal to "old school" Trek fans, was factually wrong.

From the Wikipedia page:

"In January 2015, after Orci's departure, Simon Pegg and Doug Jung were hired to rewrite the screenplay,[22] with Pegg saying on the previous draft, Paramount "had a script for Star Trek that wasn't really working for them. I think the studio was worried that it might have been a little bit too Star Trek-y." Pegg had been asked to make the new film "more inclusive", stating that the solution was to "make a western or a thriller or a heist movie, then populate that with Star Trek characters so it's more inclusive to an audience that might be a little bit reticent."[23]"
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Jason R.
Tue, May 30, 2017, 12:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

Count me as one who does not like reboots of things I love.

Actually ST 2009 was doubly offensive to me - not only was it a reboot, but through the time travel plot and the destruction of Vulcan, it was like Abrams was spitting on my childhood. So you couldn't even just ignore that movie as a "reboot" because it actually purported to have continuity with the original - for the express purpose of obliterating it!
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Jason R.
Tue, May 30, 2017, 6:36am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

Damyen, wait, you're suggesting that STB was created to placate "old school" fans of the show? Seriously?
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Jason R.
Tue, May 30, 2017, 6:11am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

Damyen, Zoe Saldana is just a pretty face who will not be making movies anymore in the next ten years. I feel extremely confident in that, and would bet lots of money on the proposition. Actresses lament that they "expire", indicating the sexism of Hollywood in treating male and females differently as they age, but the system is even more insidious than that. Hollywood systematically selects women of limited or mediocre talent based largely on their looks, not talent, and so when their primary asset diminishes, they diminish. The sexism is not in recognizing their mediocrity - it is in the talent screening process itself.

That of course is tangential to my main point here. Saldana may be praised by critics and fans in some circles but I have no idea why. Her role as Uhura is little more than being Spock's girlfriend and creating a romantic interest for him. As communications officer she is a plot device, not a character.

I am not talking about merely her role in the plot, incidentally - I am saying that if you look at how the movie treats Uhura, what we learn about her character, her inner feelings and beliefs and what her character is given to do in terms of dialogue and development, it largely revolves around Spock and exists in reference to him. Yes, she is a talented communications officer, the same way Kirk is a talented swashbuckling jerk, or Spock is a talented scientist, but you'll agree there is way more to those latter two characters than their occupations or intellectual abilities. If the NuTrek movies were meant to develop Uhura as the third part of a new trifecta, she was in every way the least of the three.

I haven't checked myself (I have no desire to re-watch the NuTRek movies) but I doubt they pass the Bechdel test. My sole memory of Uhura from those movies was her being in bed with Kirk and her awkward romance with Spock. No scenes of her childhood as with Kirk and Spock, no scenes showing her career advancement and how she got to be in Starfleet academy. There were scenes showing Kirk and Spock as children, showing their development, their hopes, their fears. I recall nothing of the sort for Uhura. Bones got less development, but at least with him they gave him more scenes of real interaction with the main cast beyond being a one dimensional love interest, and they chose a charismatic actor who provided warmth and comedy to the script.

"Thats what happens to every product, from movie franchises to tv-shows. I dunno why it's so hard to understand. It's like some people try to blame Beyond failing on everything but the most obvious reason. "

Aha, but that's not what happened to Star Trek. Despite more misses than hits (let's be honest) the franchise endured for 50+ years, didn't it?

"The general audience is sick and tired of Hollywood making white men and their friendships the single most important thing."

That is debatable. But assuming you're right, then Hollywood is going to need to step up its game when it comes to the selection and cultivation of female talent. I want you to do a thought experiment. I'll use baseball as my example, but if you are into sports, imagine your favourite team. Then imagine if the system selected only the players deemed 9/10 or greater on the physical attractiveness scale as worthy to play. Then imagine what those teams (and the talent pool) would look like. Well they'd look pretty good, lol. But would they be great players? Now imagine if Hollywood moved the scale ever so slightly toward talent versus looks when selecting female talent? Imagine the possibilities.
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Jason R.
Mon, May 29, 2017, 5:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

Damyen I am not criticizing NuTrek for casting a black woman in the lead; I am criticizing them for casting a boring mediocre actress and giving her nothing interesting to do. I would suggest she was not chosen for her acting abilities - so who is the sexist here?

And I am not saying I am a better fan than new fans; I am saying the people who watched the movies won't be fans shortly because they'll abandon the new movies rather quickly and forget them even sooner. Box office returns seem to bear that out. These new films will be forgotten within a few years.
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Jason R.
Mon, May 29, 2017, 10:51am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

Damyen I am not sure who these "fans" you speak of are. Fans are presumably the people who loved Star Trek and its spinoffs for 20, 30, 40+ years. The Abrams movies are already a spent force. These movies are already being forgotten.

The new Uhura was likely sidelined because she was a mediocre character who added nothing to the story. They attempted to insert her in as some kind of key character but they clearly forgot to program her with a personality, or indeed give her anything to do other than be Spock's trumped up love interest. Blaming the old "bromance" as you call it, for the failure of the latest film is laughable.
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