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Jason R.
Fri, Aug 21, 2020, 11:30am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

@Elliott so what you are saying is that for some reason your EAF scores, what I will call the "meta" score, is actually dragging down your ratings. So I'll bite - any insight into why?
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Jason R.
Fri, Aug 21, 2020, 9:10am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

@Elliott thanks that makes sense. By the way I do enjoy your reviews and your tireless defence of Voyager (and corresponding antipathy toward DS9) even though I disagree 100%.

The whole thing about Voyager's lesbian appeal (or was it just gay generally?) took me completely by surprise but is very cool anyway. It never occurred to me that there were subcultures out there seeing things in that show completely invisible to me. Voyager of all shows was the last thing I would have expected to have any kind of subtext. I always presumed that what we saw with that show was (depressingly) it. But I will have to keep your comments in mind the next time I watch it. Maybe it,'s even time for a complete rewatch rather than my usual cherry picking of 3-4 favourite episodes.
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Jason R.
Fri, Aug 21, 2020, 5:40am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

@ Smokey given that the Enterprise did not recognize the reproduction of the Husnack ship and Picard had to be told the attackers were Husnack and explained who the Husnack were, it is safe to infer they were simply unknown to the Federation.
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Jason R.
Fri, Aug 21, 2020, 5:38am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

Elliott I have been reading your reviews for 5 years and I still don't understand your scoring system. I also still don't what "functionary" means in this context.

But I would have given an extra half star. I kind of like the macroscopic virus concept.
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Jason R.
Thu, Aug 20, 2020, 5:55am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Through the Looking Glass

"The mirror universe episodes require assuming that the exact same sperm-egg combinations happen in both universes, creating the same people, even though entirely different lives are being led.

It's just a bridge way, way, way, way, way too far..."

Well the explanation is that given an infinite number of universes there has to be one where all the same sperm / egg combos were the same as well, despite wildly differing circumstances.

There was a cool Ted Chiang short story about parallel universes where two realities could contact one another through devices like interdimentional modems transmitting data and even permitting parallel versions to converse and engage in financial transactions with one another through brokers. The catch was as soon as one reality made contact with another, they would immediately begin to diverge wildly - even weather systems would be effected.

In this case, the existence of mirror Kirk and Mirror Spock etc.... is plausible assuming that was the first contact between these two universes and we assume that this was the 1/1,000,000,000,0000 universe where those particular sperm and eggs got together. But as soon as a single molecule crossed over, the universes should have forever diverged, so no one in the DS9 time frame should have been the same.

Of course this assumes that the universe contacted in DS9 was actually the same one contacted by Kirk et al. in Mirror Mirror. Maybe this was the 1/1,000,000,000,000,000,000 alternate version where the same sperm fertilized the same eggs anyway haha :)
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Jason R.
Wed, Aug 19, 2020, 6:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: In the Hands of the Prophets

@Elliott I say this as a fellow atheist but I always found your criticism of DS9 on the religion front is less about whether what is portrayed on screen is true to life and more that it fails to meet you on your own atheist terms.

Which is another way of saying that you'd probably raise the same objections and call ridiculous the beliefs of any real life religions.

Which doesn't make you wrong, but does render your criticism slightly disingenuous because what you are really after is for the show to just dismiss religion as stupid full stop, which of course it doesn't do.

Personally, I find nothing ridiculous about how the Bajorans are portrayed.
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Jason R.
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 4:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

Trent have any of your proposals been tried in any advanced nations?

And interestingly, the original topic was racism, yet your proposals do not mention race. Do your proposed reforms have nothing to do with that?
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Jason R.
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 12:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

"A past barring from these "rights" influences contemporary issues of race and poverty, and these rights are incapable of meaningfully addressing poverty, racism and inequality anyway."

So what's your solution? Please be specific.
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Jason R.
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 5:29am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Mortal Coil

Neelix, like most of Voyager, was such a colossal wasted premise. Consider his backstory developed through really solid outings like Jetrel and Fair Trade. The character whose overexubrance (to the point of annoyance) is a mask for someone who has lived a life of tragedy and misery. Who clings to his jailbate girlfriend like he clings to his new shiny Starfleet crew, desperately aware that he'll never be worthy of them, that one day he'll become the scrap peddling hobo again he always knew he deserved to be.

Mortal Coil could have been something of a turning point for this character, a midpoint to his arc. But while a decent outing, nothing ever coalesces and Neelix just spins his wheels in his Kookie the Klown persona for another three seasons.

And Ethan Phillips had the talent to pull ot off too. What a waste.
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Jason R.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 9:50am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

@Wolfstar an additional point is that while Booming's claim that current radicals are unlikely to murder anyone is true, it would also apply equally to virtually any movement in history. Back in 1918 it would have been equally laughable to suggest that the Nazi movement was going to engulf the world in war.

Any time millions of people get slaughtered by fanatics, it's almost invariably a "lightning in a bottle" scenario. Like with flu pandemics, any one given movement or "virus" is unlikely to go on a global rampage but we can certainly look at certain kinds of movements with certain characteristics and say whoa, this is dangerous stuff, maybe we should pay it some attention.
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Jason R.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 5:41am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

"Damn, you're right... property laws are wonderful. Where would we be if some bastard who finds an apple tree and puts a fence around it, saying "this is mine, the rest of you f*ckers can all go hungry" couldn't get the backup of powerful laws and forces. Where would we be if we were obliged to share instead of keeping things we deem "ours" for ourselves?"

Ask Chairman Mao, Pol Pot, Jo Stalin and the ghosts of about 65M people.

@Trent

I've already said that looting and rioting is understandable in the MLK sense of being a predictable consequence of injustice, like a force of nature. But understandable or not, when peoples' livelihoods get destroyed, that's a pretty big deal to them.

I understand regretting that a riot had to happen like a brush fire or a hurricane; I don't understand claiming that laws against burning down someone's business are "silly and trivial".

Did you really mean to say that in your original post? Cause that is what you said. Maybe you misworded it??
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Jason R.
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 2:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

"There's nothing special or sacrosanct about laws. It's all just made up stuff, usually to benefit a narrow view. Segments of BLM have torn down some statues, burnt some businesses, wrecked some property and maybe spat on some cops. Is this what's upsetting you? Because the laws allowing those statues, businesses, and properties, and the cops which defend them, are largely silly, arbitrary, and have a bevy of socially harmful knock-on effects."

So why should I care if George Floyd got killed by a cop? What do I care about laws against police brutality? For that matter, if someone, say burns down your house - should I care about that more than you care about someone burning down a business?
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Jason R.
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 6:42am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

I am just going to say it again and keep saying it - what precisely is the policy endgame here? If the police are broken how do we fix them so that we are not back in the same place in another six years?
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Jason R.
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 6:39am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

"And again I would advice you to meet these people in person.
Get first hand information."

You study right wing extremism in the USA don't you? I'm curious, do you personally interview US white supremacists?

If an intellectual like yourself has 0 idea how to reform the police you expect a random protester I pull off the street to have the answers?

That's ironic coming from you.
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Jason R.
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 5:50am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

@Booming I am going to try to focus on the important point and stop permitting myself to be distracted by side issues. Here is how I see things. Feel free to disagree with any point in partiular:

1. George Floyd is murdered (or at least man slaughtered or whatnot) by a police officer;

2. Something is wrong with police and policing in North America;

3. While police brutality is not confined to black people it does appear to hit black people harder;

4. We agree that racist predilections or attitudes among the police likely contribute to black people being hit harder by the problem;

5. Black Lives Matter wants to do *something* to solve this problem.

Here is where I lose the plot because I honestly can't go any further. And apparently no one on this board can either because no one can provide an answer to the question: "how do we make the police less brutal?"

These are by and large Democrat run cities some with black mayors so blaming Trump is a cop-out as he has nothing to do with policing at a local level. We went through this 6 years ago with Michael Brown and Ferguson and apparently nothing changed.

Why did nothing change? And what policy do you think will change things? Be specific. You are the sociologist. I implore you - tell us what needs to be done to eliminate George Floyd style policing *without* rolling back to the bad old days of Bernard Goetz era NYC.

Out of curiosity, how are the police in Germany? Are they better? If not, which country do you think has the best police and why?
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Jason R.
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 4:26am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

By the way on the side issue of statues you guys are deaf, blind and stupid if you think this sort of thing is limited to lost cause era confederate monuments. This kind of thing has been going on for years and it's involved people from Lord Cornwalis to Abe Lincoln to Winston Churchill.

I know I know who cares if someone wants to tear down a statue - just petty "vandalism". How come dastardly racist conservatives care more about statues than human lives?

That's the playbook - shriek and yell and tell us the statues must come down because they being there is an intolerable act of "violence" against whoever and simultaneously tell us how we are making such a drama over just a few statues and who cares so much about them? Hardee har they're just some little ol' statues why get so worked up?
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Jason R.
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 4:17am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

@Trent I think I made it clear earlier that some rioting and looting is to be expected, particularly in the aftermath of an event like the Floyd murder. I don't consider that a big deal.

The violence in this case, particularly aimed at Federal buildings, appears to be coordinated, not spontaneous.

In any event, no answer on the police reform question I see. More racism original sin finger wagging.

Get back to me in 5 years and let me know what BLM did to reform the police and end police brutality.
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Jason R.
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 10:57am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

"Have you ever had an actual calm conversation with a BLM supporter?"

No and I never will because if I said the wrong thing, I could be harrassed doxxed or fired from my job. But I do read plenty of newspapers where I get exposure to these viewpoints pretty regularly. There are no shortage of newspapers in Canada willing to give BLM a megaphone for its views.
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Jason R.
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 7:26am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

"Maybe that means the protests aren't violent enough. "

Bingo. I salute your honesty.
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Jason R.
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 7:15am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

"I don't see silence is violence as a threat. In Germany that is not that an unusual statement because of the Holocaust where many Germans just were silent when their Jewish neighbors started to disappear."

I went to parochial Jewish school where the holocaust was basically its own module in almost every class. We might have learned more holocaust than math (ok maybe that is an exaggeration...)

Yes we learned the parable of the man who failed to speak up when they came for x, then y etc... So I understand where the sentiment comes from that a person who fails to speak up is morally culpable on some level in evil deeds.

Yet I can recall not one lesson, not one instance, where a teacher told us that a German who did nothing to help Jews was committing "violence" on them.

Enough is enough with this Orwellian language butchering BS.

You want to know why it's a threat? Because if saying nothing is "violent" then that means by saying nothing I am literally *attacking* someone.

And what is the one universally accepted response to an attack? A counter-attack. Self-defence.

Forgive me for seeing the obvious threat behind that statement. It is a message that says you can't be a bystander, you are either on our side or you're our enemy and will get what is coming to you. It's basically Anakin's Sith logic in a social justice slogan. It's a barely veiled threat against any person who reads the poster and hasn't declared himself in agreement with whatever it is the poster wants.

And what exactly am I supposed to be in agreement with? We again get back to the 800 lbs gorilla in the room - what *policy* are these people actually pursuing? You say that taking down statues isn't a big deal and it's akin to mere "vandalism". Well it sure seems like it means something more than petty vandalism to them. If I break my "violent" silence and say "YES" what precisely am I saying yes to?

Please be exceedingly specific.
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Jason R.
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 4:29am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

"Does any of this concern you?"

Does it concern you that the protests, peaceful or violent, seem to be accomplishing exactly 0 as far as reforming the police? We have been here before with Ferguson.

I am serious here - you and others talk about how toppling statues is some strike against "violence" but I see no rational connection here. Especially when we are rapidly losing the plot going after statues that don't even connect with the subject matter and sinking in the muck of social justice warrior sloganeering.

We seem to have two different things going on here. We have a legitimate problem of police brutality. And yes we have some riots and looting- which I get by the way - in response.

But I hear nothing resembling a solution being proposed by BLM et al. "Defund the police" is not a solution it's a slogan. At best it's some kind of rhetorical trick, like saying oh we will get rid of those nasty racist police and replace them with... something, or nothing? I have heard no credible ideas in this regard from BLM. They interviewed the nice black supremacist I mentioned earlier and her ideas for police reform was literally abolition of the police - I kid you not.

Meanwhile mixed into all this we have this radical left social justice witch hunt stuff which crowds out any reference to police brutality and takes over everything. So instead of talking about rational ways to reform policing we are into the swamp of "systemic" racism which is apparently like the Force or some mystical original sin that needs to be exorcised with statue toppling and Twitter mobbing random people who say the wrong thing.

I realize you think this sort of thing is trivial because it's "punching up" or whatever grievance studies lingo you choose to use, but do you not at least see how this loses the plot and provokes the opposite reaction needed?

I mean if you want to talk to me about reforming policing I will happily have that conversation. I agree 100% policing is broken on many levels. But that hasn't even been mentioned once, not once, on this thread. That is consistent with the overall narrative I have experienced.

And yeah "your silence is violence" - the poster I see all over my town? That doesn't sound like a rational call for dialogue to reform policing. That sounds like a threat.
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Jason R.
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 7:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

"Anyway, you guys carry on with your reactionary laments, they are as ridiculous as the idea of citing The Drumhead to claim victimhood from cancel culture."

Fair enough comrade. Let us know in 5 years what you and your BLM friends have achieved. I look forward to a progress report. That'll be the best revenge for us reactionaries. We won't win but I'm betting you will lose.
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Jason R.
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 5:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

"I see and what about BLM's guiding principles?"

What about them? Most organizations from the Republican Party to the Chinese Communist Party to BLM have great sounding principles on paper.

I am sure BLM has some good people and good policies it pursues like any organization.
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Jason R.
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 4:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

"It is still only 7% of the population of that area. Why mention that number?"

I thought it was relevant in establishing that this wasn't a backwater but a significant BLM outpost.
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Jason R.
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 3:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

Booming just as an aside the population figure I mentioned was regarding the greater Toronto area. 442k total.
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