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Aaron
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 6:18am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Battle

@SkepticalMI it's 6 1/3 years since your comment but your point about Dr. Crusher really bothered me too on my most recent viewing.

I would have loved to hear Dr. Crusher mention Jack at least once, or have some emotional reaction to the Stargazer.

Even Picard's reaction to a ship that he commanded for 20 years and spoke in "Relics" about being his first true love is overly subdued and lacking - but then, he did have a headache :D

Also to @Jason R's point about the log not holding up for any length of time. That kind of bugged me on my most recent viewing, too. Why did Bok bother trying?

Still, the eerie quality of Picard's flashbacks kinda work for me. It might have something to do with me first seeing this episode when I was about 6 or 7. It was very spooky and it stuck with me!
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P'kard
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 4:42am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Facets

I assumed that because Odo can take on other forms, he could in theory, replicate humanoid physiology and become intoxicated on ethanol or ethanol-like beverages.

Also the concept of Trill love is fascinating to me. Sad we only get one scene really exploring this in depth. This was great
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 2:39am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Nolan

You've convinced me... partially.

I loved your analysis, which could be a strong starting point for a new Trek series.

But I'm still skeptical as to whether ST:P is really going to follow this route.

The blunt way the issues were handled so far, leaves me worried. Why even go to yet another 9-11 allegory, when the events of DS9 were already enough to serve as a starting point for such a story? The entire Mars attack background story leaves me cold.

Not to mention that everything here, with the exception of the always excellent Patrick Stewart, doesn't exactly scream sophistication. If this is what they chose to show us in episode 1, are they really up to telling this kind of complex story?

Seems doubtful.

But like Nolan said:

"Whether it does we will have to see."

Indeed.
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Booming
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 2:37am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Omicron
"Tribalism and fear of "the other" are hard-wired into the human brain."

It is Human instinct to form groups. That is it. That is were instinct ends and everything that comes after that has nothing to do, to speak in laymans terms, with our monkey brain. There are tribal societies who are very open to "the other" there are tribal societies who are not. The Persians, the Romans and so on were very open to other cultures and included many elements into their own. There are countless examples in human history were societies do not show any fear of the "other". So tribalism is a result of human instinct in the sense that we form groups but seeing "the other" as bad or good is a societal construct that a tribe can have or not have.

In your last two paragraphs you more or less make the conclusion yourself.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 2:05am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Quincy

You have this very ugly habit of distorting other people's words (like you did with Trent here) and turning them into strawmen. It's not the first time you've done that, and I'm not interested in this dishonest kind of discussion.

So I'm done talking to you.

@Booming
"Well, then using the term instinct makes even less sense. If you are racist towards people who dress differently or use a different language then that has nothing to do with instinct."

Of-course it does. Tribalism and fear of "the other" are hard-wired into the human brain. Just because the instinct itself existed before nations and languages and football teams, does not mean that it cannot manifest in those directions as well.

The question is: What do we do with this fact? Do we whine that humanity is doomed to a perpetual torturous existence because we're such flawed creatures? Or do we look for ways to manage these instincts and even focus them towards positive directions?

Reminds me of one of Kirk's famous speeches. To paraphrase: We are barabrians and killers, but we can decide that we are not going to kill today.

Gerontius was right on the mark, when he said that these instincts only pose a real danger when they're part of the system. That's one of the positive aspects of tribalism: If a person's "tribe" frowns upon these kinds of behaviors, they are far less likely to engage in them. Doubly so, if they've been taught from a very young age that curbing these instincts would make a better world for everyone (including themselves). After all, it's for the benefit of the tribe, isn't it?

And the reverse is also true. If people live in a society that believes humanity is sh*t and there's nothing we can do about it, this may turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is the reason that the current cynical trends scare me so much, and also the reason why - despite that fear - I'm not willing to abandon hope that the future will be better.
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Booming
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 1:39am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@ Quincy
Maybe you don't understand what instinct is. Instinct by definition means unlearned behavior. Saying that this group is me, creating a spectrum that means "my group" which then also defines "not my group" is obviously not an unlearned behavior. I'm just explaining why your believe that instinct is the driving force in racism is wrong.

I never said that there isn't for example in group favoritism and out group bias. That is a well established concept which can correlate with the concept racism but doesn't have to. Only because you define yourself as a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers doesn't mean that you want to exterminate the fans of the Dallas Mavericks.

I will now stop participating in this particular debate.

@Nolan
Your analysis is logical but is still in line with my argument because everything you describe happened after Gene Roddenberry died. It is just writer hammering Star Trek into something they can use for whatever story they want to tell. And while I really like DS9 I must admit that with that show the darkening of Star Trek began which more and more became the norm. I think DS9 worked so well because the vision of Roddenberry was still a very strong influence. John Harmon also has a point when he mentions that a Federation of 150 species becoming xenophobic is very odd.

As an aside. Making the Federation such an obvious mirror of the USA makes it less relevant for everybody else. It all boils down to American navel gazing. In Europe we don't have something like Fox News and 9/11 wasn't such an earth shattering thing over here. I think that they focused it so much on the USA because of CBS all access but it makes it less approachable for non Americans.
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Quincy
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 12:57am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Gerontius

No. Racism in its basic form is simply one person hating or dehumanizing another person based on race. What you're talking about is institutionalized racism. In order for racism to become institutionalized, it has to already be present in some critical number of individuals. Then those individuals begin working together to spread their beliefs. Only then does institutionalized racism form. Institutional racism doesn't just magically appear one day.

As I posted above, there are biological components to prejudice. One component is the tendency of people to position themselves into ingroups and outgroups. Threat perception of outgroups is a primary contributor in dehumanization, which is a necessary component for many evils such as war, violence, hostility towards outgroups, etc. Prejudice is a primary component of racism. Individual racism is a primary component of institutionalized racism. There is a pathway of progression from the former to the latter. You don't just wake up one day in Apartheid. It has to come from somewhere and individuals with stupid beliefs are the ones making it happen.

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
"No Trek series ever could be called "rainbows and butterflies".

The optimistic vision of Star Trek slowly evolved and matured over 40 years, from the first baby steps of TOS to the impressive-yet-somewhat-naive view of TNG to the coming-of-age inspection of DS9 to the "let's show an intermediate step between present day and our vision" of ENT. It was a wonderful and complicated process, and it most certainly had room for varying degrees of "grittiness" (as long as this was in a proper context). People who confuse Trek's general optimism and idealism with "rainbows and butterflies" simply don't understand what Trek used to be about."

Certainly, not, which makes statements like Trent, where he champions the notion that the Federation is supposed to be incorruptible, quite strange.

You may or may not suffer from his delusion, but you don't seem to recognize that "rainbows and butterflies" refers to fans' idealistic views on what Trek is or isn't, not to Trek itself.

Trek managed its idealism; it was more often reasonable than not. People like you and Trent don't seem to be managing yours very well. Hence your problems with Discovery and now Picard.
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Quincy
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 12:30am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Booming
"I know that you think social science is witch craft but saying that racism comes from instincts is so far off it is basically wrong. For example. Most of European history dark skinned people weren't considered less valuable Humans. The Romans didn't consider black skinned people less and used them in almost all ranks. One of the holy wise men in the bible was described as black (Balthazar). Racism towards black people developed during the last 400 years which has certain reasons but it has nothing to do with instincts."


Since we're making assertions about each other, I know you think that social science is the be-all and end-all of reality, but neuroscience and genetic research, which some might mistake for witchcraft, might just have something to say about this topic. Environment, including socio-economic environment, is only one component of ANY type of prejudice, despite your claims. Genetics and the way our brains actually work form another component, whether you acknowledge it or not.

"Every culture names the “us” and the “not-us.” It appears to be human nature, and many studies have shown how easy it is to provoke this kind of psychological distinction between our “in-groups” and “out-groups.”"
https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/look_twice

https://psmag.com/social-justice/theres-a-distinct-brain-function-behind-prejudice

Effects of intergroup threat on mind, brain, and behavior, "...recent discoveries extend existing models, which mainly emphasize effects of intergroup threat on attitudes. Critically, these shifts in empathy, perceptual judgments, and representations interact with INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN SENSITIVITY to threat and fuel discrimination and hostility toward threatening outgroups"
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54238bf2e4b068090a9b54bb/t/576d4de459cc68764643c784/1466781156390/Chang+et+al.%2C+2016+-+COPSY.pdf

https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/cambridge-handbook-of-the-psychology-of-prejudice/is-prejudice-heritable-evidence-from-twin-studies/08EA6E647AF4E74A51EB37D5C70F231B

"The Great Debate: XENOPHOBIA - Why do we fear others?"
"Is our instinct to form in-groups and out-groups, such an important part of our evolutionary history, now maladaptive as we face a future increasingly dependent upon cooperation and shared responsibilities toward limited resources?"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZLlvc9rviM
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John Harmon
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 12:25am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

I really hope it’s not Picard inspiring the Federation back into being “good.” That sounds so hamfisted and terrible. And is what they already did with Discovery season 1, having Michael Burnham make Starfleet see the error of its ways.

Having the random admiral be corrupt is far different from an entire civilization being corrupt. It’s beyond absurdity to think a culture made up of 150 different planets could be isolationist and xenophobic.
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P'kard
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 12:13am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Unnatural Selection

Awful episode. Mulder was an awful actor. Head shaking like a bobblehead is NOT a good way to "act emphatic" and the WRITING was even worse. it's like the writers never watched any of the movies and had never heard the phrase "eugenics wars" in trek canon!
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Dom
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 9:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Nolan, well said. I hope you type that up on a blog so people can share. I agree with your point. I would have been more disturbed if the Federation losing its way had come across as an excuse to throw in sex and gore (which I think did happen in Discovery Season 1). I'm much more interested in a show that actually tries to grapple with how a society like the Federation can reclaim its values.

I too hope for a return to episodic, theatrical Trek. Picard doesn't "feel" like Star Trek to me and probably never will. But at least it seems like the writers have a vision for the story.
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Fenn
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 8:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Take Me Out to the Holosuite

Glad I had my partner around to translate for me on this one -- I grew up in two countries where baseball barely exists, but him? Born and raised on it. (He didn't know what a Fancy Dan was, though. Now he does! Star Trek is Educational.)

But hey, barely knowing baseball works out alright for this one, cos barely any of the characters know anything about it either. Just as confused as they are. Meanwhile, partner was rapt from the moment it became clear this was gonna be A Baseball Episode. Definitely got the impression that gave him the edge on enjoying it -- it's the hardest I've ever heard him laugh at Trek (some of my hardest too, for what it's worth).

We joked about one particular shot of Sisko's baseball enshrined in white light, same style as when Sisko's meeting the Prophets. Baseball, the new Emissary (the *true* Emissary). Honestly, from my partner's reactions, the whole ep was a religious experience for him. Fitting, then...!

There's a lot to love here. Everything Worf says in the game, for instance. And Odo is adorable. Years of meting out justice during the Cardassian occupation have prepared him for this, and this alone! It's also good for our crew to get in a victory during the Dominion War -- manufactured or otherwise, battle or baseball.

Visuals-wise, I loved the individuality of the signatures on the baseball (ah yes, "WORF"). And that design on their caps, integrating the space station and a baseball? Perfect little detail. Clearly a lot of love here.
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Gerontius
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 7:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Spot on, Nolan.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 7:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: The 37's

I like to "fix" episodes in my mind that show a lot of promise -- give them a mental rewrite that preserves the basic premise but makes more sense.

And honestly, at the end of the day and way too much thought, I can't come up with a single plausible story that has a frozen Amelia Earhart AND her descendants in the same show. Anything I thought of had too many plot holes.

But many of us did like the part of the episode that dealt with the decision to stay on the '37s planet or forge on.

I think something like this might have worked. A two-parter with the first part to end Season 1:

We open with a scene in the mess hall with some of the crew talking about how far they are from the Federation, feeling lost and lonely.

Then, Voyager encounters a widely disbursed debris field, but the crew can't ID what it is. It's too small and they are too far away. They go in for a closer look after figuring out none of the debris is consistent with space craft. And there it is -- a 1930s Earth plane floating in space!

+++

They beam it aboard. (And by the way, it doesn't work! It's nonfunctional wreckage) They are naturally agog and wonder how it got there -- and if what brought it to the DQ can take them back.

After some Tom Paris speculation and group detective work and historical research, they figure out it's the plane of Amelia Earhart. The mystery deepens!

+++

Janeway gives an enthusiastic debriefing of what Amelia E meant to her and Earth aviation. They decide to press on through the scattered debris field to see what else they find.

The next discovery is a Japanese war plane. And then they find an aquatic Earth vessel of unknown origin. But all three date to late 1930s.

The next piece of debris deepens the mystery yet again -- it's not of Earth origin at all. After more analysis, the Maquis members of the crew figure out it's an atmospheric craft of Cardassian design.

+++

Crew speculation starts to get out of hand and Janeway has to provide a cautionary reminder they have lots more questions than answers about what's going on.

As they search the debris field, they find a couple of more Earth or Cardassian aircraft or ocean-going vessels. Then they find another aircraft of unknown origin -- Tuvok figures out this one is Andorian design.

All the debris is roughly from Earth year 1937 give or take a few years.

Before they can speculate for long on the Andorian discovery, Kim announces he's detected the derelict remains of a large spacegoing vessel of alien design.

Voyager moves in. It's clearly been attacked and has large blast gaps that open to space. Voyager begins its scans. They discover from their scans that it was something of a transport vessel of sophisticated design and had numerous cargo holds. There are also scans of other Earth, Cardassian and Andorian vessels inside cargo holds that weren't exposed to space.

Without warning, three small ships whip around from the other side of the large derelict and open fire on Voyager, with her shields down. KAZON!

+++

Voyager is heavily damaged but able to destroy one of the three attack ships. It heads off for the nearest solar system, hoping for a place to hide.

Things are getting worse, but they manage to destroy a second Kazon ship en route and they approach a planet with one remaining Kazon ship in pursuit. They can't get a reading on sensors because of atmospheric interference, but it appears Class M. They have no time to confirm.

Janeway orders an emergency landing as the Kazon ship won't be able to safely follow them in.

They score one last hit on the last Kazon ship. It's damaged but not destroyed. They must go in before the Kazon have a chance to return fire.

Just as they are about to go in, a ship that is Kazon-like approaches from the planet. It fires -- but at the remaining Kazon ship from the sneak attack! It's blown up.

The Kazon-like ship (it looks a little different and seems like it's a bit bigger and better) comes about as if to now fire on Voyager, which is defenseless. Voyager is hailed. A human woman appears on screen with a Kazon man behind her:

"This is Captain Amelia Earhart of the League of Nations spaceship Goven. Surrender or you will be destroyed!"

END OF SEASON ONE

+++
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Nolan
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 6:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

So far I've avoided diving into this debate about the State of the Federation because I think it's far to early to make any judgement calls. This episode was about where Picard is now, with only a crash course in interstellar politics to give background on the main character and mere set up for the story being laid before us. I'm sure as time goes on things'll get more fleshed out and we'll get a sense of the Federation on a wider scale.

As for the implications of what we've seen, I will say that since it seems the story is *about* the Federation and Starfleet slipping in their ideals, I don't mind near enough as I would if that slippage was just background to allow for more ruthless storytelling with none of the breadth the situation call for.

Regarding the situation itself and the in-universe time passage that has occured. Is it realistic the Federation would have fallen so far in just 18 years? I would ask that one consider our own 18 year history. 19 years ago America was hit with a terrorist attack and the world is *stiil* dealing with the rammifications of that. Tighter airport security, distrust of "the other", the sacrifice of personal freedoms and privacy in the name of security. A war that dragged on. In the last 6 years polarization, divisivness, distrust and disinformation has grown and been allowed to shape society and discourse, to lead people down a path others would strongly disagree with. Also consider that in the last 30 years the strides taken in the west for recognition of LGBTQ groups. Much has changed in the course of a rather short period of time. Would not the Federation be just as suseptible to such changes in the course of a similar timespan?

"Ahh, but," I hear you say, "the Federation has grown and developed over 200 years to rise above and overcome these behaviours, surely they'd be able to ride out such tumultuous timespans with nary a change of heart." And were they faced with the scale of problems we have, then perhaps, yes.

But consider the ground work laid. In a very short time the Federation has faced *several* calamitous galactic events, TWO Borg attacks (adding to distrust of the synthetic), a war with a tenuous ally, the Klingons (are our alliances as strong as we hope?) A full on war with the Dominion that spanned 3/4s of the Galaxy and reached back to Earth (are we as safe as we thought?) The paranoia of Changling infiltation and the distrust and paranoia that lead to (who can we trust, is what I'm hearing true?), the creation and destruction of the Maquis (will our leaders protect us, or will we have to fend for ourselves in order to appease recent enemies?) What toll would these events extract on the soul of the Federation? Would it not be strained?

Consider "Insurrection" were an Admiral, backed by the Federation Council works with a violent, hostile race in order to uproot another, all for the sake of revitalizing the Federation. Per Ruafo "Federation support. Federation procedures. Federation rules! Look in the mirror, Admiral. The Federation is old! In the past twenty-four months they have been challenged by every major power in the quadrant: The Borg, the Cardassians, the Dominion. They all smell the scent of death of the Federation. That's why you've embraced our offer. Because it will give your dear Federation new life. Well, how badly do you want it, Admiral? Because there are hard choices to be made, NOW!" The Federation has been struggling. That's where we left it 18 years ago. Trying to claw it's way back to idealism, struggling against the dark. Then Romulus exploded. And here was a chance. A chance for the Federation to be what it was... and it ended in disaster, and all the pent up worries and fears were exposed, and it seems the Federation broke after all the strain it was under. It didn't die. It just became something else. And this show Picard seems to about trying to set it right.

Optimistically, I don't see this show as disrespecting what Trek should be, but shining a light on what it had become. Whether it does we will have to see.

Is this the fun, weekly, semi-serialized/episodic Trek that I miss and think works best? Does it feel Trekkian in it's cinematography? No, not really. I would like some of that back. But for what Picard seems to be, I'm on board and intrigued with what it seems to want to say. Guess I'll have to wait for the end of the season. But if this show can present this scenario, reflecting our own and show a way back, a way to transcend it and thus our own similar current day plight, than what could be more Trekkian? If any captain could, it'd be Picard.
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Gerontius
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 6:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Suspicion of strangers is indeed a pretty basic part of our human nature, and it can turn pretty ugly. But most of the time we learn to rub along, it's pretty superficial if it doesn't get reinforced and turned into a system.

The thing we call racism is such a system which has been artificially constructed over the past few hundred years and often enforced by law underpinned by a financial engine of a vastly profitable slave trade and of slave dependant enterprises, annd also of colonial empires. Nothing natural about that. As those things fade Into history it can be seen for what it was - a kind of madness.
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Buck Bartolik
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 6:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Fascination

"Commander, you throw one hell of a party!"
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Buck Bartolik
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 5:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

And was I the only person who let out a "YES!" when that banner reappeared in the debut of Picard?!?!
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Booming
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 5:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Well, then using the term instinct makes even less sense. If you are racist towards people who dress differently or use a different language then that has nothing to do with instinct. Isn't that obvious? Let's not get bogged down, shall we?

@Cletus
" and perhaps he'll re-inspire the Fed by end of season."
I guess that will be the theme.

" The synth ban is hardly a surprise"
Is it? It appeared to me that Synth are no longer allowed to exist. What happened with the existing ones? Were they allowed to continue to exist and if they wanted to make new ones were they not allowed. Isn't that the synth equivalent of sterilization? And if all the remaining synth were shut down Blade runner style then wouldn't that basically be a genocide because some synth committed an act of terror?

But at this point I guess I have made my doubts more than clear. I'll await the next episode were we finally will see the one thing they didn't give us in episode one.

Maybe the most important scene in Trek
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw7VVg94cAI
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Buck Bartolik
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 5:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

Can't believe after all these great comments, I'm the first to dive into "Captain Picard Day."

How appropriate that the last season offers a tribute behind the 4th wall to the man who made it all worth watching. Seriously, with out Patrick Stewart, this show would have either been very different or maybe never have made it past one season. He deserves a celebration. Especially after all he's been through for us.

Riker's exploration of the art projects and his Picard imitation behind a doll is only beat for comic value by this exchange --
Adm. Blackwell: [curiously] "Captain Picard Day?"
Picard: [modestly] Oh, it's uh ... uh, for the children. I'm uh ... I'm a role model.
Adm. Blackwell: [deadpan] I'm sure you are. Starfleet out.
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Jason R.
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 5:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

"My point was that racism has barely anything to do with instincts. Believing that we are instinctively primed to hate people who look different has no real basis. That is just pub talk or layman logic, gut truth. I'm really not sure what the proper term is."

I think, to be fair, he was using "racism" as a proxy for pretty much any bigotry or prejudice against outsiders based on whatever criteria (ethnicity, language, dress, religion, etc...) and was not confining himself to whatever narrow term of art you may use in your field.
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Buck Bartolik
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 5:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Fascination

Well, whatever the circumstances, I'm always happy when the original Number One shows up. MBR's occasional presence helps tie everything back to Gene and his Wagon Train to the stars.
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Booming
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 5:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@ Jason
"And if his claim was that *anti black* racism specifically was inherent to human nature you'd come close to having a point."
My point was that racism has barely anything to do with instincts. Believing that we are instinctively primed to hate people who look different has no real basis. That is just pub talk or layman logic, gut truth. I'm really not sure what the proper term is.
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Silly
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 5:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S1: You Can't Go Home Again

Figuring out how to fly the raider didn't bother me... The cyclons had raiders with pilots before and it's not surprising that as they evolved/developed, the ship retained the same basic mechanisms. Also, I don't see why stuffing the hole with the jacket wouldn't work. It quite likely would be a bit leaky, but that's no big deal.

However, how in the world would she find Galactica without any instruments? Apparently just looking out the "window"? Space is big. It's over 200,000 miles from the Earth to the Moon. She wouldn't even know which way to start.
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Cletus
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 4:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

"One of them being that the Federation is a humanist utopia."

And yet we have many examples of Federation officers, leaders and orgs not living up to that ideal, off top of head
TNG: Drumhead, Measure of a Man, Offspring, I Borg/Descent, First Duty, Pegasus, Insurrection
TOS: Undiscovered Country
VOY: The hologram eps, Equinox
ENT: quite a few but ignoring since it's pre-Fed so is often dismissed
DS9: Too many to list, but ignoring since this is often dismissed as non-trek as well.

With now every story being season-long, I view Picard 1st ep as the first 10 minutes of a traditional Trek episode. In start of those eps we usually got the bad admiral or fed directive, by end of ep we got the optimistic/cautionary message. I imagine same will hold true for PIC by end of 10th ep.

And even with this episode in isolation, it is not some dystopian "non-trek". The synth ban is hardly a surprise given trek's low view of AI in previous series. The Fed did not ignore the Romulans, but tried to help evacuate them, got blindsided by the attack, then had to re-prioritize with the new lack of resources and vulnerability. Yes Picard wanted the evac to continue, his idealism remains true to the character, and perhaps he'll re-inspire the Fed by end of season. The xenophobia and racism expressed by a sensationalist reporter does not necessarily speak for the entire Fed, any more than Kirk did in TUC - more info needs to be given on state of current society.
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