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Bob
Sat, Jan 16, 2021, 6:02am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

@Peter G. I think we're coming at the concept of property from philosophically different perspectives. See, I can understand the idea of people being concerned with comparing their wealth, the amount and quality of their possessions, to others but it's not something I care about myself. I still value personal property though, because my possessions have functions. I own books that I may read them, I own guitars that I may play them, I own a fairly expensive PC to use it for work, hobbies and recreation. I care about the things I own because they grant me the freedom to do things I enjoy.

As for the question of "What do you do (for a living)?" I disagree with the notion that it's 9nly about money and wealth. It can be that too but when I personally ask that question it's usually because I think one's choice of profession speaks of character. I, for instance, am a teacher and telling that to people I expect them to draw some conclusions as to who I am. Likewise, I have friends who works construction, who program computers, who are self employed comission artists. I think it's entirely reasonable to draw conclusions or at least hypothesize about who a person might be from their selected career. This applies to Star Trek crews as well, we have certain expectations from a science officer or a medical officer or a chief of engineering. The career one chooses to be devoted to is a major piece of their person.
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RedD
Sat, Jan 16, 2021, 5:58am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@grey cat. Totally agree. Jammer's been overly generous towards Discovery this season. Personally I would not give any episode over 2 stars this season.
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The River Temarc
Sat, Jan 16, 2021, 1:58am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part I

"Indeed, if I may speculate a little outside the four corners of the story, I think that Riker would have to be something of a celebrity in Starfleet due to his defeating the Borg. Knowing what I know about Jellico, his disdain for Riker could be driven by a degree of professional jealosy, which would be made worse by Riker's loose obeisance to Starfleet protocal and his personal charisma."

That's always been *exactly* my read, or at least half of it, on the Jellico-Riker relationship. (Remember how Captain Maxwell greeted Riker in season 4 -- "we all owe you for that one.")

But the other half? There's a further layer of complexity here: Jellico is an expert on the Cardassians. Riker isn't. Riker may well think he's entitled to succeed Picard based on his Borg mission, and perhaps based on his defeat of the Romulans in "Unification," but Romulan strategy isn't Cardassian strategy, and Romuland tactics aren't Cardassian tactics. Riker thinks his strengths are transferrable to any fill-in-the-blank adversary, and they're not.

So while Jellico is envious of Riker, the reciprocal point is also true.

I've often thought that the final episode of ENT should have taken place during "Chain of Command," rather than "The Pegasus," for precisely this reason. It would have given Riker the chance to consider that Jellico had domain expertise that he, Riker, lacks. Archer learned that the paternalistic Vulcans may have sometimes had a point and that T'Pol's counsel was wise, not patrionizing. This ultimately helped Riker to agree to pilot the shuttle laying the mines.
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Ripley Clarke
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 10:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Generations

Generations IMO was by far the best of the TNG films.

The main point of this film was summed up best by Picard at the end on the bridge as he was speaking to Riker. He reminds us about what Soran said "time is like a predator that stalks us all our lives..." and then says he would rather think of time as a companion which travels with you remind you to cherish every moment. With many plot elements reminding you that all things end, Picard's relatives dying in the fire, the loss of the Enterprise D, the loss of Kirk.

None of the other TNG films made me come nearly as close to crying as I did the two times you lose Kirk in Generations. First contact was yet another moby dick (which it competes with Wrath of Khan in that respect), Insurrection was yet another White guilt Native American analogy (again- tons and tons of episodes on this), and finally Nemesis was just flat out bad. To rate Generations on the same level is completely unfair in my opinion and im not sure why it seems to be the forgotten of the TNG films.
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Icarus32soar
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 8:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Second Chances

LOL. The number of reviewers who take ST literally and nit pick on things as if this was Wisteria Lane and its denizens.

Roddenberry had trouble initially selling ST cos so many in the industry at the time found it "too cerebral". And yet the best sci fi in any medium is cerebral and so is ST. It works best not with literal scenarios but one where metaphor and symbolism are the means of "telling the story".

And this episode succeeds because it does just that: of course we can laugh at the technological absurdity of a secondary transporter beam bouncing back to the ground and creating a second Riker in full. Geordie's technobabble explanation is laughable at best. But that's not the point of the episode.

The point is a psychological exploration of what constitutes self, identity, self-awareness, character traits, having to live with the consequences of our life decisions etc.

And the episode does this brilliantly. Dramatic tension is maintained, Sirtis' and Frakes' much maligned acting skills more than rise to the occassion here, and the narrative pace and character chemistry are top rate all the way.

It's incredible fun having two Rikers on screen, double the screen presence, Frakes is an incredibly sexy man on the screen, no matter how we assess his acting chops, the red and yellow uniforms playing visual and character counterpoints, and the sibling rivalry ( or is it "Brutus with himself at war"?) resolved so beautifully at the end with Will giving Tom his trombone, and the future of the romantic relationship at the centre of it all also remaining open ended.

This episode is brilliant and an exception to most of TNG because it does the opposite of what usually happens: instead of starting with a brilliant premise and butchering it in the execution, it takes a fairly silly one and elevates it to superb television viewing through great execution. Pity that the TNG iteration hasn't managed to do this more consistently.

And yes, what's with the dodgy apples in Troi's fruit bowl? Or is it the digital enhancement that makes such physical details fully noticeable?
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grey cat
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 7:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@RedD It's all subjective of course but Jammer has given them all around a star more than I would for pretty much every episode and I think is far too lenient on this series in general.

I'd rather watch Threshold 13 times than this season again.
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SlackerInc
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 6:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Correct, that is, about the maximum time a president can possibly serve (and only if they started as vice president, taking over from a president who dies, resigns, or is incapacitated). I *don't* believe he is correct that Harris is plotting to use the 25th Amendment. I think she intends to do it the standard way, running in the Democratic primaries in 2024 (assuming Biden announces he won't seek reelection, which I think is likely).
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SlackerInc
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 6:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Dave is correct.
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Dave in MN
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 5:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@ Booming

She can't be President for 11 years.

The maximum time a President is allowed to serve is 9 years and 364 days (and that's only if a VP takes over with less than 2 years to go into the end of the term and then wins two more times).
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EventualZen
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 5:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

@Bob
>... why wasn't the first and immediate action to run the thawed out people through a crash course in history from the 20th century to the 24th?

I would have thought the first thing to do would be to explain where the bathrooms are and how to use them. They would have never seen the 3 seashells.
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SeanD
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 5:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

I just came to say, Jammer, I'm so happy you are doing Mandelorian reviews. You're my favorite Trek reviewer out there. Whenever I am doing Trek rewatches, which is embarrassingly often, I always read your reviews as I go.

Thanks for all you do buddy. 😃
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Frake's Nightmare
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 4:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Strange New World

'To stupidly blunder where no idiot has blundered before'.
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RedD
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 4:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

The fact that Voyager's Threshold got ZERO stars and this steaming pile of sh*te has got 1.5 stars tells me Jammer has really mellowed over the years LOL. Personally I think this episode is Threshold-level bad.
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J-Dogg
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 3:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Some people definitely do act like that in real life.

You wouldn't to serve with them on a military vessel in life of death situations though.
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Steve
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 3:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

Love your reviews, and visit the site often. On this one I must disagree. Not perfect, but with some terrific low-key humour and a few touching moments. Three stars.
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DLPB
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 2:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

Shock horror. An episode with Nerys that I like. Decent acting too, for a change.

Perhaps it's the director and writing staff to blame for the usual nonsense. This episode is good and has a nice twist to it also. Perhaps a bit shoe horned in that Dukat was with her mother but I'll let it pass.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 2:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

@Mostly it's about the money. "What do you do?" is a first question asked most of the time, and it's more or less interchangeable with "how much money do you make".

That is an oversimplification. The "importance" or status of a job may be correlated strongly to remuneration but in my experience there is a distinction.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 2:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

@ Jason R,

I agree about the supposed dystopian places. Like is Yar's home planet even part of the Federation at all? And there is another issue of colony vs member world. A human-colonized world would, I imagine, be privy to all advantages of a Federation world in terms of sharing resources, although perhaps with a small population they would only merit a single industrial replicator or something (which would affect 'build time', not resource availability). But many worlds that opt into the Federation no doubt still have a large leeway to govern their world however they want, and we don't really know anything about how much latitude that includes. Could a planet join the Federation but still prefer to operate their own local capitalistic society? I have no idea. Could a member world have a dictator, but because they're 'unified' they are eligible to join? I don't know what kind of humanitarian or moral standards the Federation has for membership, but I am guessing they have to be somewhat open-minded about that because after all many races would never join in they thought it meant being thought-policed into accepting human values.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 1:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

@Peter I am only noting that even today there are pockets of relative "paradise" here on Earth where things like hunger and deprivation are largely eliminated. They may not be post scarcity societies but they are pretty good overall. Yet we don't say that *humanity* is evolved by arbitrarily ignoring the large parts of the world that are not so lucky.

It seems to me inconsistent with Picard's claims that any human colony could be a dystopian nightmare. If that's true, then how is future human better than the one of today other than having fancier gadgets?
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Peter G.
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 12:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

@ Bob,

I think it's made pretty clear over a few Treks that materialism is not only alleviated but is outright obsolete. Maybe Picard oversells the idea that all humans are evolved to the point he is, but I think it's almost self-evident that if you eliminate wealth you will eliminate along with it people trying to own everything they see, and also that feeling of measuring yourself based on how much stuff you have. There is nothing to brag about if you are at the same 'economic level' as your neighbor and literally cannot do anything to rise above him financially. Right now, especially in America, people define themselves by the social strata of their work and how much money it makes. Mostly it's about the money. "What do you do?" is a first question asked most of the time, and it's more or less interchangeable with "how much money do you make". The idea is that in the Federation self-worth isn't defined in these terms. I think there is a psychological truth to this: take away the mechanism and you take away the idea. Even if you didn't magically develop all kinds of virtue, if you found yourself in a place where there was simply no such thing as making more money than someone else and having a fancy house and car, you would quickly divest yourself of the idea of trying to be better than him on these grounds.

True, people might end up being competitive in other ways, and especially narcissists might try to look better than others in some way or another. Maybe you created more art than the next guy, or invented something that gave you fame. I would imagine that prestige would replace wealth as a commodity to fight for, so that respected positions (e.g. within the Federation) would be the object of desire rather than wealth accumulation for people not satisfied with a humble life. That is 'economics' in the loose sense (i.e. the study of what people want) but not in the sense of it being about physical resources.
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Bob
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 12:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

Did I actually write "surfaces" instead of "services"? lmao

@Jeffrey Jakucyk see, I don't know that I buy that the federation actually is post scarcity. Maybe a few planets are there but the simple fact that goods are transported sort of pokes holes in that. I brought up ship fuel because fuel is a resource needed to operate the space vessels. Maybe there's unlimited fuel produced at star bases and federation planets but I have a lot of trouble wrapping my head around that idea as well. There's a lot I don't understand about replicators and transporters either. Can they create literally anything with enough battery charge? Do you need to mine dilithium crystals or can you just replicate them? Could a space ship refuel itself just by sitting in sunlight and converting radiation energy to fuel?

Maybe I took Picard's statement to be too broad because I didn't think he was talking about materialism nescessarily, he made it sound like no one has a desire for possessions and that's why I bring up things like mama Troi's luggage and the crew's personal effects. Clearly, people want to have things, they're still people. Perhaps the desire for possessions has become more about emotional or sentimental value than anything else but there is still a desire to own things. We humans of the 21st century still have a lot of behaviors developed over many generations of evolution that are arguably obsolete, I think the desire to have would take many thousands of years to truly be gone from the human psyche, if ever. Which is also why I can't understand why someone would run a café in France, or anywhere, without demanding some manner of compensation for services. I love my job but it's often hard and I wouldn't want to go through the effort for nothing in return.

I mean, yes. A lot of things can happen in a hundred years. There's also a real possibility of hardly anything happening for a hundred years though this is admittadley less likely in a society where technology is continuously being improved. Nothing has tubocharged cultural change here on Earth quite like the march of technological progression. I don't know, maybe it's just me having trouble adapting to this new world of TNG. Maybe I'm DeForest Kelley in heavy age makeup in the first episode of TNG.

@Jason R. Funny you should mention Sweden! I'm born, raised and currently living in Sweden! And you know, while the idea of most everyone living decent lives is a lot less true today than it was in the 80's, the idea of blocking off the rest of the world is something I'm sure several Swedes would like. There's most definitely people who take great issue with immigrants, maybe they see them the same way the Enterprise D crew sees the frozen people? Regardless, Sweden today is just another reason why I'm having trouble accepting the rapid cultural change in the federation. You have Swedes today dreaming of the days of the Swedish Empire, of the days when we fought the Dane tooth and nail out of our country, of the days of exploring the world's oceans and pillaging, raping and murdering whatever we found. Culture is made by people and people are flawed, I don't think there's such a thing as humanity growing out of its infancy. Oh well, I guess I'll just keep watching the funny robot man trying to figure out how comedy works.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 12:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

I am reading a few lukewarm responses to "Lessons," and I have to disagree.

I also think this episode deserves another half-star, simple in the light of it being possibly the most heart-felt and believable romance story I have ever seen in a single episode of a television series.

Shows can cheat with time; there is the time frame that the episode gives you, and the time frame the episode can *appear* to entail. I think that the time frame over which these events happen (in this episode) is kept deliberately vague. That's an extremely smart writing choice, for a single-episode romance story; hey, what if they were dating for some several months, and this episode just 'forgot' to say so? The story still functions as well as it would have, if it were only over the course of 3 days. This kind of writing in Star Trek is *chef kiss* bravissimo.

Add into that that Wendy Hughes *sells* the performance. Famke Jannsen has gone on to movie stardom in retrospect, but I find Ms. Hughes to be far more believable as an officer and as a person, and as a musician (I am also one and she is delightful, I'd love to play a jam session with Lt.Cmdr. Darren).

To go further on that point, the scene in Picard's quarters where she teaches him that he can improvise is, by far, the single most realistic depiction of music performance that I have seen committed to celluloid, bar none, for the rest of eternity. Shows tend to fake this and this one is no exception, but the dialogue about music that intersperses their actual playing is top-shelf. Whoever wrote this has a background in improvisational playing, and that is super cool to me.

I do think the reset-button-antics of the episode tend to hurt the overall story, but they were also unavoidable as anyone familiar with television production knows. But this balancing act is difficult even for a show that doesn't have to whip up firestorms to get the episode out of the way. ST:TNG managed to make me sad that Picard and Darren's relationship had to be sidelined, and I mean honestly sad. She seems like a good fit for Picard. I hope she's still around and would consider doing some episodes of Picard Season 2, to be honest. I want Nella Darren back. This was a moment where Star Trek seemed like it was really doing stories, just for the sake of doing the story, and it's something that I feel like the franchise has let lay fallow for too long.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 12:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

@ Jason R.,

I think part of the deal of the Federation post-scarcity society would have to be rationing. They did hint from time to time of 'replicator rations', and in TOS they did refer to receiving pay (which in later Treks was specified to be Federation credits). The credits are certainly a type of currency, but unlike our modern currencies are undoubtedly only to be used to withdraw from the common resource pool and for no other purpose. There would be no 'investing' your credits to accumulate more or anything like that. They never said this directly but I also imagine that being in Starfleet for instance gets you more credit than just being some civilian on Earth. No doubt that you have to save up your credits or pool them to get a big thing like a shuttle or small starship on a private basis.

So the only way Canada's economy would resemble this would be if everyone was not only on a UBI (which would be a starting point), but additionally if private investment and wealth generation was removed from the picture. So the UBI (or its later equivalent) would not only be a safety net but in fact would be someone's entire ration to use each pay period - I don't think there could be any other source of income for such a system to work. Nor could there be any other source of income if all credits are electronically distributed by the Federation; no one would be able to start a for-profit business, for example, to try to charge other people for their credits and have them exchange hands. If they could do that then you'd be right back to square one in a regular 2020 economy with people accumulating vast amounts of credits, being rich, etc etc. Other than they would still get their UBI, but the wealth disparity would certainly still exist. So I don't think it could work like that, and therefore even if Canada currently has done away with starvation in particular, I still don't think it resembles what a Federation economy would have to look like.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 11:55am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

"I think you misunderstand. This is a post-scarcity society with replicators and nearly unlimited energy. That's why there's (nominally) no money in the Federation. With no scarcity there's no reason for a medium to allocate scarce resources. Yes people have possessions, but there's no longer a materialistic drive for accumulating said possessions. If anyone can have them, there's no exclusivity or pretension, no keeping up with the Jones'. Instead that drive is turned towards self-improvement and fulfillment through other means. Generally when they do bring up money it's when exchanging with cultures outside the Federation, such as the Ferengi or the Bandi (Farpoint)."


Hmmm... what culture was Turkana IV again? Ferengi?

I always thought Tasha's home world was an odd anachronism. I mean ya, not every human world is creepy sewer rape gangland - but these are *humans* no? Same species as Picard. Where does Picard get off with his mankind has evolved BS? Maybe he should talk to Tasha.

I mean today we have states like Sweden where most everyone lives pretty well while states like Somalia are not so enlightened. Can the Swedes just wall themselves off from the rest of the world and declare *mankind* evolved because Sweden is a paradise? What about the first world generally? If nobody starves in Canada does that mean Canada is as good as the Federation?
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 10:30am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: The Chase

"I've never been convinced that Picard, the archaeology professor's star student took a sudden turn to a Starfleet career. Why didn't THAT figure in Tapestry? The lack of any rudimentary arc development in TNG is a real pain."

Good point about Tapestry, but Picard's criticism of his blue-shirt self is that he is a man "bereft of passion and imagination". So perhaps he just lost interest in his archaeology.

In general though, it's perfectly understandable that someone could be really really good at something, but still be better at (or prefer) something else. It's not that Picard was on a track to become an archaeologist, it was probably the equivalent of a minor or secondary degree, he just happened to be really good at it, but still preferred the command track.
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