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Caz
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 5:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Blink of an Eye

I loved this episode and it's why I watch sci-fi. It's both inspiring and poetic in the tragedy of never getting to really make first contact with a species you have watched since its infancy. You would have had to tear me away from that planet to get me to stop watching and cataloguing everything as it happened. It reminds me of the "history of the entire world i guess" on Youtube, watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuCn8ux2gbs&t=2s

That said, it's way too much fun to pick holes in it, so I'm joining the club. I don't care about the old man writing in English, but there is no shortage of nits.

The main one is that I think everyone is off on their time conversion. One second = one day comes to a 1440 multiple, so one day on Voyager would be only 3.9 years and change planetside. The Doctor would have had to have been down there almost a full day, Voyager time. Given what they witnessed and assuming that the planet went 3600 years of development over the course of the show, Voyager would have had to have been hanging out for nearly 100 days, not two weeks, as I saw someone else post. Not terrible, but it really becomes distracting when you get into the attack with the antimatter weapons.

Those weapons just mess up everything; I think they should have used a beam weapon instead of missiles, where you would be stepping down the speed of light, which is fast enough that they may not notice things slowing down once they break the 'time barrier' at a certain altitude. I find it impossible to believe that no one on the surface would have tracked their rounds, visually or with radar, and visibly seen their devices slow to a crawl. Also, the timing of the testing is, as mentioned, weird (6 weeks later?), and the strike interval is hokey as well. Of course, the astronaut sequence is weird for the same reason: they get a sped-up radio transmission on their little capsule craft after their first stage ends, but then they stay sped up themselves until they have been on the ship for a while. This doesn't really go with the premise of the planet's time issue as a tachyon field phenomenon with a barrier. It's more like the writers intended on a tachyon field to imbed itself in everything that spent time on the planet. That would make more sense... in fact, I'm just going to pretend like that's exactly what was intended if I watch this again.

As for the rotation of the planet and the seasons: we never hear them talk about how long their seasons are, so maybe they do just go through 900 year seasons, and those seasons are mild. On day being almost 4 years long is a stretch for plants to get sunlight, but not impossible. Plants are hardy and people can deal with the dark for long periods, just ask Alaskans.

All in all, really fun stuff.
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Caz
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 9:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Workforce

Jammer sez: (My only question, best ignored, is how economically viable it would be to hire or bribe the crews of armed starships so they can round up 100 or so people to work in your plant.)

You assume they only do this once. They could theoretically do this once a month or more.

And it DOES make sense (looking at you, Gooz). Let's say labor in America surged from an average of $40k a year for semi-skilled labor to $80k. An employer pays a crew $10k per head to give them fresh people who will do the work for $40k. That's a million per load, and the employer only needs to get 3 good months of work per person for that to pay for itself. Assume you need a crew of 20 on a ship to make this work, as pulling people from pods, knocking them out, and doing their surgical procedure are not really manpower intensive (one man was running the entire show, medically). That's $50k per month per person. Assume half goes to expenses. Still a good haul. More if you assume that there are packs of these crews, operating like pirates, stealing the ships too. The Doc is all that kept that from happening.

They're actually a combination of space pirates and space coyotes. Kind of fun.
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Caz
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 3:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

I've been saying that Star Trek is a much more conservative frnchise than it's usually given credit for, and in that light, there are two things to note here:

First, this works as a fun way to show how works of fiction - and for that matter, dramatized true stories - are often embellished like mad to become more provocative and successful. You can take it as a cautionary tale to not believe everything you read, particularly when you're paying attention to the tone.

Second, the "courtroom" proceeding has continued the trend of muddying the waters when it comes to what constitutes life, and that shows how difficult of an issue it is. There's real ambiguity, because while we know the Doctor as a character and have known other artificial life forms in the past, they didn't behave the same way as most other holographic life or adaptable computer programs. When you get too ridiculous saying that anything which looks like a life is one, you end up with Fair Haven. That's ridiculous: where is the line between building a tool and programming a life? More to the point, when did the Doctor become distinct from something like a sophisticated logistical algorithm? The writers knew this was a loaded question, so they didn't give the Doctor, and holograms by category, the same personhood they gave DATA in Measure of a Man. That's exactly right.

Good show.
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Caz
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

tanstaafl, congrats on figuring out Trek idealism. The reason the show's followers consider the Federation to be a legitimate government (and often find government in the real world to be hopelessly compromised in comparison) is because the idealists are in charge.

Jammer continues to be a true Trekkie, because in his review, he understands that the narrative goal here is not survival or pragmatism but the proliferation of human idealism. He says "Seven does not understand her humanity yet", and in the show's terms, this is obviously true.

Ironically, there are too many pragmatists on this message board to appreciate it, people who believe that humanity being itself is also humanity doing the rational thing. Further up, Amagnonx made the right pragmatic points. Human sensibilities are a particular characteristic of species with social development which sees its empathy as a general good, not just a useful tool for in-group bonding and cooperation. Strategically, this is insane, and it's probably why history has so irrevocably favored "morally compromised" power structures. Seven was clearly right: you don't suicide yourself and your people because your emotional programming flinches.

Of course, I just watched Tuvix a few days ago. Janeway can be brutally pragmatic... when her friends are on the line and the lifeform whose existence is keeping them away is ungallantly trying to avoid summary execution. You might call this inconsistent writing, but while I still like Janeway, it really is just a human doing what humans do, complete with biases, selective empathy, and a tremendous sense of unearned intellectual superiority. Janeway is a person, which means she's a mess. I wish the writers had been aware of what a wonderfully flawed character they had created.
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Caz
Sun, Apr 7, 2019, 10:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

I avoided this episode for years because the idea of a transporter combining the two characters sounded like the worst kind of high concept hokum Star Trek has been responsible for over the decades. And of all the characters I didn't want to watch as part of a fusion, Neelix would have been at the top of the list. I changed my mind and watched it precisely because of this message board.

It was impressive, particularly the ending. They didn't pull any punches as to what was going on: they gave Tuvix his due argument, a passionate argument, and they killed him anyway. Bravo.

The situation has no modern analogue. From a technical perspective, there are a million holes, as there often are, but they aren't the point. The closest we can come to describing what happened in a sense of personhood, philosophically, is that a situation took two people, "put them on ice", created a third person, and made the revival of the first two dependent on the purposeful killing of the third. It is a miracle of storytelling that the writers didn't create some convenient accident or circumstance that made the re-separation necessary. Instead, we get that decision Janeway made, in all of its gravity. I don't know where Voyager found the balls.

I don't have strong opinions on the decision itself, although I probably would have made the same one in Janeways' place. It's a zero sum game. Making decisions like that comes with the territory when you're in a position of authority and in isolated circumstances.

I also respect Tuvix for arguing for his life, and the people on this message board who consider it unvaliant or ignoble to want to live are utterly ridiculous. He is not less, morally, than Tuvok or Neelix, for not plopping his own neck into a guillotine. That's selective empathy at its worst, turning ethics into a catch 22 farce where your right to pursue your own life is considered right and beautiful, only with the judgment that doing so at any cost to others - even others who at the moment are effectively dead - is ugly and unacceptable.

Compare this to the Vidiians. After killing Durst: "but his organs will go on to save over a dozen lives". I never had a problem understanding their position, even if so many commenters thought them plain evil. Maybe the writers room just had an argument about the Trolley Problem twice a year and it came out in the episodes, I don't know, but it's very good television.

Dramatically, I think Jennifer Lien had some problems with this episode but Tom Wright's Tuvix was excellent, almost brilliant. I disagree with Jammer in that the last act was too rushed: making it fast and dramatic and avoiding answering all the questions for the audience, was probably intentional and a good decision. It doesn't teach so much as legitimately question, which needs to happen every once in a while, even in a show as comfortable as Voyager. Good episode, and good discussion in here.
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Caz
Sun, Apr 7, 2019, 7:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Meld

One of my favorite episodes. On every rewatch, it holds my attention completely and gets my mind working in ways most television cannot. I love it.

Now, I disagree with its positions on what violence is, on how violence is irrational and consuming. Sometimes it's rational, sometimes it's not; some people can practice it daily and not get "addicted" to it, some people can't. It's still just television. Nothing in this episode connects violence to power in any meaningful way, or questions the role of instinct, utility, or dominance in social order. The philosophy at work here is radically oversimplified and gives too many people an unjustified superiority complex for looking at an entire dimension of human experience and saying no to it.

But as an episode, it's fantastic. Brad Dourif is one of the top five guest stars in Voyager history, and Tim Russ gives a fantastic performance, no surprise given Russ' quality as an actor. Killing Neelix? Kind of satisfying to me, but evidently much more so for other people. I'm glad to see everyone enjoyed it so much. Pretty good for a TV quality social philosophy episode.
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Caz
Sun, Apr 7, 2019, 12:33am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Faces

I like the Vidiians. The purpose of the species is clear thought experiment on how, in extreme circumstances, a group of people might drive down a very different moral road. Someone mentioned in a different board that the Vidiian way is basically an opposing answer to the Trolley Problem, and I agree.

None of this makes sense technologically: if you can do half of what these people can do medically, then certainly you can clone, and you don't need kidnapping and organ theivery. You just need the facility from Michael Bay's The Island. Still, cool idea. And I can sympathize with them. I've spent enough time thinking realistically about life under extremes, and I don't think they're all that far-fetched morally. Humans under wartime conditions play this game in a way, particularly in a war of attrition. They're the best new race Voyager created, far better than the Hirogen, or the woefully underdeveloped Species 8472.
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Caz
Sat, Apr 6, 2019, 3:36am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

I know a lot of people think Star Trek is incredibly left wing. It isn't. The gender and racial aspects of the show have been progressive throughout its history, and its economics are murky-left, but otherwise, the Trek franchise is about how to operate in a command hierarchy and the values on display are conventional to Western civilization, at least when they are consistent.

They are also somewhat masculine. The Carey and Torres issue here is an example of it. Of course the optics of people beating each other up in engineering look terrible, and when you swap the genders, they make this entire episode horrifying by modern tastes. But look at it like a locker room brawl amongst a bunch of guys, and a fairly normal response would be to put them in different corners, have them cool off, and then try to keep things off the books unless future problems look inevitable. That's a masculine ethos, and in the 90's, when gender equality didn't necessarily mean completely subverting anything that resembled stereotypical masculinity (and could occasionally mean embracing it like Kirk seductively embracing a hot alien of the week), it was an acceptable response. The writers of this show might have considered a woman getting slugged in a fistfight to be crude and ugly to watch, but also might have considered it a side effect of gender equality.

This show is not "woke", in that it does not see all masculine traits as traumatizing and oppressive. It sees people as more resilient than that. For both the left and right wing people commenting here, remember that this show is a product of its time. It's effectively a foreign culture. Try to respect it.
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Caz
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 9:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Ensigns of Command

There's a part of me that wonders if the idiot colonists here were the inspiration for the Maquis later on in some way. The Maquis were obviously better and I could respect their position at times, especially their antipathy for the Federation, but these colonists were so simplistically dumb and completely without imagination that I find that impossible. It wasn't their territory, and I would not have been particularly sad to see them get blasted out of the way by the Sheliak.

But that scene with Picard on the bridge, mining the technicalities for leverage, is just fun. Totally saves the episode.
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Caz
Wed, Mar 6, 2019, 8:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Before and After

The name of this episode should have been "After and Before". Really, a little bit of clever can help a show, and they didn't have much of it on Voyager.
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Caz
Sat, Mar 2, 2019, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Accession

Judging from some of the reactions on here to religious ideas, it is harrowing to know just how little the serious fans of scence fiction programming understand or care about adherence to organized religion. Could any of you even imagine being a Christian (ie Catholic) prior to the Protestant Reformation? Do you know what it's like to actually respect authority, or at least see the demands of an authority as being equivalent to your own desires?

The episode is okay, but I could write a thesis on the reaction to it on this page, how it reflects the individualism, the post-Enlightenment self-interested rationalism, and the consumerist effect of the Reformation on religion that has led to modern secularism. Then I could write another thesis - this time a purely philosophical one - on the contradictions of believing in self-actualization as a high value at the same time you believe in sacrifice for the group. It would be entertaining if it weren't so clearly inchoate as a moral perspective, and therefore slightly alarming on a cultural level.
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Caz
Wed, Feb 27, 2019, 11:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Progress

A lot of you are getting this twisted up. The title of the episode is "Progress" and that's the theme. The nitpicking over the necessity of tapping the moon is a device, executed somewhat poorly (of course they should have a found a way to heat 200,000 homes without destroying a livable moon's atmosphere) but in a way, it's one of the least hot-button but most relatable ways to get across the idea of leaving people who don't want to change behind.

If you want to go hot-button with today's issues, imagine something more like the debate over gender roles. You can still be charmed by people who believe that the old male-female gender role split is ultimately good, but the times change. You don't want those people raising their children to believe such things, and the public school system will not be supporting those views, thus leading to conflict between a view held by a minority and a view held by a majority. Hell, in the case of gender roles, both sides would have a case for being in a position of persecution, and which you sympathize with would probably say much about the culture you were brought up in. Who the actual individualist is in such a case is not clear; what is clear is that inertia favors one side and authority, more and more, is backing it. This is why Sisko's words to Kira matter here: siding with the underdog makes it hard to win but is practically a cheat code for an easy conscience. Being compassionate and an authority figure at the same time is a nasty business; you always have to be the one to resolve the zero sum games, which means you're always screwing someone. It's a good rebuttal to the usual Trekkian optimism, which assumes a just society would pull the needs of the individual and the needs of the group into harmony through reason. It just doesn't always work that way; it may seem like that's because some people are irrational, but how much of your own desires, identity, and agency SHOULD you have to sacrifice to the altar of rationality, anyway?

This episode certainly isn't about individual land ownership, capitalism, or anything of the sort (although the inclusion of the B plot and leveraging of land that was eventually sold back to the Bajoran government gave me pause). I've never even seen firm confirmation that the modern concept of individual property rights exists in Bajoran society. It is clear enough that the old man would not have a problem getting a new home on Bajor, so there may be socialized distribution of housing or other goods, and the economics are clearly not the point. We do know that dignity and respect for people exist on Bajor, which is why they needed permission from the 4th owners (Jake and Nog) to build a new reclamation facility, but respecting people's expectation to be able to stay in a domicile is not specifically a matter of property rights so much as a broader moral matter. There are too many other ways to interpret it.
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Caz
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 10:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Conundrum

Fun episode. If you had any fun to begin with, then all the plot hole crap can be easily explained away in a number of ways. The tech disparity, for example, is one of those things where you could imagine a society emphasizing neurology and computer technology at the expense of weaponry for a very long time, then suddenly war were declared, you get the Sutterans.

The only exception to this would be Troi becoming a chess savant, but they clearly did this because it put Data and Troi in ten forward and they needed to give them something mildly competitive to do, something which resulted in Data making a drink and becoming a bartender.

I'll allow it, even though it's preposterous. Maybe I just have a huge tolerance for plot holes, but I just don't care to deconstruct an episode I'm watching to look for them. I agree with the rating.
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Caz
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 5:02am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Radically underrated film, and I'd say it's probably my personal favorite, even though I know Wrath of Khan and First Contact were better movies from a standpoint of cinematic common sense.

The beginning is probably why. Several minutes of just looking at the damn ship with awe as Goldsmith's gorgeous score plays with incredible dignity, I can watch that any time. And the ideas of the plot work well as representative for what science fiction should be, no matter how much reach exceeds grasp. The slowness is an asset in my opinion. Four stars.
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Caz
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 4:47am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I was never offended by STID because I've never really seen the Abrams Treks as Trek. Still like having a starship in the shiny-cool future with a good crew, which the Abrams Treks do, but otherwise they're just action movies with a touch of moral messaging and some parody callbacks.

A lot can be made up for with good performances, and STID has those. The most difficult to mix in with the group is Cumberbatch, who is so powerful in his role that no one could possibly match him in this cast. The rest of the cast is good and I was pleased to see Peter Weller in particular, but even with an uneven role from this script, Cumberbatch is on a completely different level of gravitas.

I'm okay with 3 stars. Decent popcorn flick.
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Caz
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 5:02am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

Am I the only one that was bothered by the guest doctor holding the tricorder upside down in the caves? The shot was from the side, but clearly upside down.

This kind of little goof significantly messes up the suspension of disbelief for me.
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Caz
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 4:26am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

Okay episode, not great, the production and characterization and believability criticisms here are valid. My interest usually boils down to the principles at play, so:

Courtroom dramas that play out social overreaction to possible subversion - recalling HUAC and the Red Scare, most obviously - thrive on showing the impact to individual rights. Not often mentioned is how such screwups malign something that is probably more important: social trust. I would like to have seen, in some narrative way, an attitude of suspicion break down crew morale, harm the crew's ability to trust its officers (Worf, for example, could have started having problems with performance from crew members who thought they might be investigated), and ultimately break down the interdependency upon which every group relies upon. You do this enough, and you won't have a crew anymore. You will have a collection of alienated individuals terrified of having every little questionable detail of their actions viewed in the worst possible light. This is how good faith dies.

Paranoia is a response to one's social environment, what happens when you sense that trust is collapsing. And while the case in favor of individual liberties has the biggest gut punch to it, individuals die regularly in Star Trek and it is not at all like what we see here. Individual welfare or utility are really not the point. Simon Tarsus could have been killed by the Borg, and it is not the same kind of failure, not unsettling in the same way. An internal breakdown is far worse, far more debilitating, and takes far longer to recover from than any direct enemy action. It has been said that no society is conquered from outside until it first fails from within.

My views are quite right wing and from the usual Trekkian perspective, I prioritize security, in-group "prejudice", and competition enough that you might call it gleeful assholery, especially if you didn't know me personally. But if caught between upholding security and enabling trust, I would support trust in the vast majority of situations. Picard should have, somewhere, showed some concern that Satee was breaking down his ship from the inside more than sabotage ever had, and appealed to his crew, especially his senior officers, to find a way to get those hearings off the schedule. I think this would have been a better resolution than a noble speech on freedom and an unjustified mental breakdown from someone who had been built up to be a legend for her rationality.
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Caz
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 3:03am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Mind's Eye

Great episode, just rewatched. And thanks to SkepticalMI, I can now put a more cynical face on Bochra from "The Enemy".

@Tempeh:
"Some of the camera shots where a little over the top, like when they show Geordi walking down the corridor at the end."

I noticed this immediately and even though I know you aren't supposed to notice it consciously for it to be fully effective, I still love it, probably because I've been messing around with indy film how-to's for the last few months. Wide angle lens, close-up, dolly back. One of those great shots that communicates a bit of mentally unhinged. In unconventional films or when playing with the subjective effects of certain drugs, they really ratchet this up by getting a variable width lens, and widen it as they zoom in fast for an extreme close up on the face. This episode had great music and cinematography.
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Caz
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 7:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

@Peter G,

We have the exact opposite perspective. The idea of a a perfect intersection between individual and group success is precisely what I thought was incoherent. Believing in a social order which is non-zero-sum is a matter of faith, descended from Judeo-Christian moral belief in good and evil. It has never been proven to exist. That's the mirage.

If you note that success is relative (and trying to make success a 'personal' value and not a social one causes distinct alienation in people), and attention and influence over your society's value system is recognized as fundamentally scarce, this becomes very obvious. Power seeking is not a character flaw, it's completely rational when you take that into account. The reasons societies have worked in the face of this is because inequalities force adaptation from individuals that, once the adjustment has been made, come to be a source of stability and even comfort and trust, once solid expectations are established. But the tension between individual agency and big-picture control is permanent and there simply is no moral or distributive system which resolves it without inequalities.

A paradox of Star Trek is in the expression of respect for other cultures, but also a deep faith in perfectibility. It does not believe in non-interference because it sees "less advanced" societies as equally legitimate, it does it because it sees them as developing toward being more like them, and skipping steps is a process problem. See "Samaritan Snare". I find it telling that the culture which produced it has always believed in its own moral excellence but also rips on its execution, alternatively for interfering too much with other cultures and not interfering enough, issues which are reflected in the series. We do the same thing when it comes to the moral decisions made by individuals within. There is an awful lot of confusion here, and we can't seem to tell the difference between a resolution and political victory. People change the system, people are changed by the system, and none of this has changed the dynamics.

There are no foxes, Peter. We are alive and will remain so, moral self-righteousness notwithstanding.
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Caz
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Deja Q

@1701-Z Yeah, they did this round. I think this was the funniest episode of Trek, or at least I can't think of anything which beats it at the moment.
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Caz
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 4:03am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

sigh...

I hate reading a bunch of people who don't know anything about economic ideology trying to talk about economic ideology. I studied it for too long: I have degrees in economics and history, historical emphasis on the economic history of the Soviet Union. I've read about state communism, industrial democracy, the New Economic Policy, and newer pro-socialist economists like Andrew Glyn; there are practically infinite ways to categorize the various proposals. It was an obsession, and still strikes nerves.

To save myself the trouble of going into detail, I'm just going to say that capitalism is about decentralizing agency, and all the dynamics that come with it are going to continue to come if you do not have centralized economic decision-making. That said, pure capitalism has never existed. It's all a continuum, and capitalism is cultural shorthand for any system which places higher priority on agency than on collective interests. It works fine for groups interests if the people or groups are unified by some other ideology and capitalism is a secondary cultural characteristic; when they aren't, it's a strategic game, just like politics.

Communism has never existed and can't exist without completely dissolving either all agency or the entirety of self-interest, which is what Marx' hypothetical future was predicated on: dictatorship of the proletariat and socialization of everything, leading to eventual disintegration of the individual as a self-interested being. Similar, but less radical, ideas permeate the political left in Western countries; they all feature moral authority or consensus over individual agency to some degree, at least if you recognize that the difference between education and propaganda is fuzzy at best.

I question the coherence of these ideas; you would have to assume a latent, perfectly systematic morality in people, one that all other forms of human group management have failed to come anywhere near, to think it can happen without severely compromising individual agency. Barring that, for socialism or communism to come about, people would have to have changed enough to be defined as automatons, and since most people don't like that idea, I'm pretty damn sure it never will. This is not a value judgment; if it comes, it comes. I know from experience that I can survive as a soldier, an entrepreneur, or a bureaucrat.

Star Trek doesn't get explicitly into its economic structure because, for once, the writers seem to know that their reach would exceed their grasp. There is at least one good discussion of post-scarcity economics that someone else on this site linked elsewhere, so happy hunting.

Oh, and if Riker were a woman, then yes, that would have been rape. But he's not, so it isn't. Cultural sex differences still exist here.
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Caz
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 2:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Suddenly Human

Good Lord, this argument.

The regulars around this site will pontificate over the prime directive forever but when an actually difficult decision comes up which requires choosing between respecting a culture or damning it by your own standards, an awful lot of you damn it with self-righteous impunity.

The boy wasn't abused. Whether the boy should even be considered human after most of his formative years were spent in another culture is highly questionable at best. And yet, ultimately, the reason the boy's genetic humanity is emphasized by any of you is because it is the one link the might justify taking him from what has clearly become his culture. If this were a Tellarian boy whom the Enterprise comes across by accident and discovers 'abuse', it would be a clear prime directive matter and they would not have the slightest prerogative to take the kid.

Elliot is right. What constitutes abuse and what doesn't is a consensus matter, a standard element of culture. Imagine a socialist arguing that, because this is a capitalist patriarchy which subjects its people to intense and possibly traumatic competition for their welfare, we should not be allowed to raise children in this country. By their view, and *by the views of some political radicals here*, they are right. Is it right for them to take your children?

Please. It was a bad episode because it was poorly produced and written, but it was not a bad episode because the message was immoral.
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Caz
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 11:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

This is such a popular episode, I think, for showing the process of coming to understand unfamiliar people, thematic Trek at its finest.

But this is also exactly why I've always thought the universal translator has always been an absurd technology. Isaiah Berlin was wrong; words and their ideas are not always translatable, especially for radically different societies immediately upon making each other's acquaintance. Teleportation is nothing but a technical problem. Translation is a cultural one, and far, far more complex.
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Caz
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Peak Performance

Watched this episode then came here to post about the several great lines, like Picard saying "I'm an hour away from this battle simulation and I have to handhold an android." to which Polaski says gives that perfectly sardonic, "The burdens of command..." No shortage here.

But then I saw the, how many, 94 COMMENTS most of which revolve around stratigema - a completely fictional game - and what constitutes a stalemate.

Also in this episode, Troi says to Data, "Wait, wait, you're overanalyzing."

Uh huh.
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Caz
Fri, Oct 20, 2017, 4:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

I really liked the peril and historical enthusiasm of the battlecruiser storyline, but the Geordi/Brahms things is very cringe to me, unwatchably so. Lots of that is my issue, I'm sure, but because of it, the episode works very unevenly.

Geordi's character is the most undeveloped of the TNG senior crew by a wide margin, and I'm not saying that because he's an unrealistic character. Technology gave him sight, so his career choice makes perfect sense. And I know people a lot like him, dedicated to the tech and their work. But still, it's a dramatic series. His problems with relationships were more extreme than we might think, because of his function on a ship that desperately needs his competence, but it is also telling that his closest personal friendship is with Data.

I would like to have seen an episode where he did find a non-simulated girlfriend and there was tension due to his workaholism, his inability to compartmentalize the job. He's just a good guy throughout the series, and I think they could have done a lot more to expand on that.

And no, Picard would not have destroyed that ship. He probably would have notified Starfleet to keep everyone else out as he took apart the booby trap from outside the rock field, then towed the battlecruiser to a museum, where it belonged.
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