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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jan 22, 2020, 11:29am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Seventh Season Recap

Seems that way. :-)

I gotta say, though, that saying stuff like that in people's faces would hardly be a good way to "avoid conflict" even if your statements were true.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jan 22, 2020, 10:35am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Seventh Season Recap

@Booming

"That is pretty clear."

Yes, it is clear that they aren't using money as we know it. But this doesn't tell us what they *are* using. Gene Roddenberry notwithstanding, you cannot base an economy on absolutely nothing.

We'll probably never know for sure how Trek economics really work.

But we *do* know that it does not resemble any present day system. Calling the Federation "communist" is just a ridiculous as calling it "capitalistic". Federation citizens clearly own their houses and their stuff. The government can't just stroll into Picard's vineyard and pick his grapes. Just because the raw resources are unlimited, doesn't mean that the concept of personal ownership ceases to apply.

The interesting question is: What happens in those few cases where resources *are* limited? Who decides which person gets that house with the perfect view of the Eiffel Tower? Does the government decide? If so, on what basis? Can people barter for this position, or otherwise influence their chances?

The answer, of-course, is that we don't know these details. And it is in these details, that the Federation might show a somewhat communist or capitalist bent. But either way, it won't be a direct correspondence to any system that exists to day. That's about the only thing we can be certain about.

"I get it Omicron it is maybe an emotional conflict for you? ..."

Oh, gimme a break.

For one thing, I'm neither a Boomer nor an American nor a person who swallows all the hate mongering cr*p that politicians and the media tries to sell us.

For another thing, I don't see how these 20th century issues (which are already on their way to becoming obsolete in 2020) have any relevance to discussing the world of Star Trek.

So let's stay focused on the actual discussion, alright?
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jan 22, 2020, 2:49am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Seventh Season Recap

The entire point of a post-scarcity society, is that it makes these distinctions irrelevant. Let's recap the basics of such a society:

(1) Energy is dirt cheap (in terms of resources)
(2) Replicators are also dirt cheap, and they can use this energy to create anything you want
(3) Individual freedom and protecting individual rights are both a social norm and the law

Given the above, what would be the difference between a capitalistic post-scarcity society and a communist one?

Not much, I gather.

By the way, it was never actually established that there is "no monetary system" in the Federation. We only know that if some form of Federation currency exists, it plays a minor role in the everyday lives of the average citizen. We know that people are no longer obsessed with wealth... and why would they be? If you can do 99.9% of the things you want to do for free, and if society in general frowns at people stabbing each other in the back in order to gain the other 0.1%, there is no incentive to be greedy.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 11:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Seventh Season Recap

The above post was by me, of-course.
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OmicronThetaDelta
Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 11:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Seventh Season Recap

The alleged socialism isn't even "talk". It's just a skewed interpretation of the general utopian idea of a post-scarcity society.

It is quite clear that the Federation is a society where every person does pretty much whatever they want with their lives. You can open a restaurant like Sisko Sr., or spend your entire life doing mostly nothing like Bashir Sr.

The problem is that people take certain aspects of this vision out of context ("no money", "some sort of central planning") and misunderstand it as an example of socialism. This claim doesn't make any more sense then saying that Trek's general message of compassion and diversity is "leftist".

If you want Trek that actually spouts political propaganda, you have Discovery ("Make the Empire Great Again!"). And from the recent things that Patrick Stewart said about Trump and Brexit, it looks like ST:Picard is going that route as well.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 2:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

@William B

I said TREK series. ;-)
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 12:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

@Abby
"Season 7 of Enterprise?"

Well, Enterprise is the only post-TOS Trek series with zero negative reviews for its 7th season. ;-)
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 12:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

@Jamie Mann
"It is mildly worrying, how easy it is to get sucked into writing about this stuff ;) "

Neah, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

The problem begins when the person cares more about alleviating his boredom then about making sense or having an honest discussion. When things reach *that* level, I begin to worry.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 7:13am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

I see that Booming is bored and frustrated again.

Jeez...
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Jan 20, 2020, 2:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Seventh Season Recap

The 24th century Federation is a post-scarcity society. It isn't "socialist" any more than it is "capitalist". It's a society when both "-isms" are equally obsolete.

And I've never understood why some people insist on equating messages of cooperation and compassion and tolerance with a certain political view. These core values should be beyond the petty bickering of politicians.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Jan 19, 2020, 1:03am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Stigma

The two situations are nothing alike, though.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Jan 18, 2020, 12:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

@Fenn

"There's definitely a lot to consider in a situation like this. Odo definitely acted as a tempering influence to an extent, and I don't doubt that Mora had much nastier changeling-changer machines."

He did.

In this very episode (I just rewatched it) Odo mentions that Mora used a vacuum chamber and a protein decompiler. Yikes! It's like he had an entire torture chamber or something.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Jan 17, 2020, 7:37am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

To be fair, we don't know how bad this treatment is from a changeling's perspective. All the talk of electric shocks gives us a visceral reaction of "this is horrible physical abuse", but that's a humanoid point-of-view. Perhaps a changeling would see it differently, if those methods were used with proper moderation and tempered with a genuine show of affection.

It is interesting to note that the baby-ling wasn't adversely affected by what Odo did. He (it?) didn't seem to harbor any kind of resentment, nor was there any psychological damage. So it does seem like Odo did strike the right balance here.

I'm also quite sure that Mora did *not* strike any kind of balance when using these methods on Odo. He probably went to higher and higher voltages whenever poor Odo refused to cooperate. That's Classic Mora, right there.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Jan 17, 2020, 3:35am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

I wouldn't say that Odo capitulated to Mora's methods.

Superficially, maybe, it might seem like it. But Odo's approach his quite different than Mora's. Odo showed genuine care for the baby. Even as he was forced to use coercion he never stopped showing that genuine care. They even point to this fact directly in dialogue:

"MORA: The changeling is developing far faster than you did. I didn't mean that as a criticism. If anything, it's a compliment. I mean, I was wrong. Your approach to communicating to the changeling was sound. I mean, don't you see? It's reaching out to you. It's curious about you."

Mora originally treated Odo as a specimen to experiment with. A favorite experiment, perhaps, but an experiment nevertheless. Odo treated the baby changeling as his child, and that makes a huge difference.

The only thing that irks me, is how quickly Odo managed to forgive Mora. After all the nice subtleties and mature dialogue, that ending *does* seem to endorse the notion that Odo realized Mora's approach to be right. It's a shame, really, because that vibe goes completely against the rest of the episode.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jan 15, 2020, 11:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Force of Nature

Come on... the cat thing is the best part of this episode (though this doesn't say much). I particularly loved how Data, the super-advanced logical android, was not immune to the spell that cats cast on their owners. I thought it was funny and cute.

That's more then we can say about the disastrous A-plot, isn't it? So that's something, at least.
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OmicromThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Jan 10, 2020, 7:12am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Acquisition

Actually, there are a few DS9 episodes where the Ferengi value gold. "Little Green Men" comes to mind.

If there's a contradiction here, it came to be well before the Enterprise episode.

Moral of the story: Don't blame this episode for having the Ferengi value gold. Blame this episode for using them in the first place in a setting where they don't belong.

(though I also kinda agree with Mike, that continuity issues are not that important anyway in a comedy episode like this one)
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Jan 9, 2020, 3:40am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Past Prologue

@Fenn
"I was using the phrase as shorthand for 'character is stated as being queer retroactively, without any author or performer having had to display actual queerness in the work itself' ".

I was talking about that general point too.

The specific case of Dumbledore isn't the point here. My question was: Why should we expect a queer character to behave any differently than a straight one in circumstance that have nothing to do with sexual attraction?

I agree that if an author or actor starts talking about this only 20 years after the fact, it looks really suspicious. But if he says so immediately, should we disbelieve his statement just because said character didn't follow the usual gay stereotypes?

In the end, though, it all boils down to the interpretation of the individual viewer. And when it comes to a guy like Garak, there's always something more to him than you think.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jan 8, 2020, 3:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Past Prologue

@Fenn

Dumbledore being gay was an actual plot point in the HP series, though. The story simply wouldn't have worked without Dumbledore's attraction to men (or more specifically: Dumbledore's attraction to one specific young man).

As for that notion coming out of the blue: How would you've expected Rowling to write a gay old wise wizard? Should a gay old wise wizard behave any differently than a straight one? Maybe I've gotten it all wrong, but I've always thought that gays are just ordinary human beings who happen to be attracted to people of their own gender. Shouldn't they behave exactly like straight people in non-romantic situations?

Back to Garak:

Unlike Dumbledore, whose romantic preferences turned out to be of importance to the ongoing story, speculations about Garak's sexual orientation have exactly zero relevance to the plot. I'm not saying that the character isn't gay, or that Robinson didn't sincerely play Garak with this intention in mind. I'm just saying that the entire question is irrelevant. If our heroes aren't part of a story in which their sexual orientation is relevant, who cares? Honestly, this kind of thing shouldn't be any of our business unless the story itself demands that we know.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jan 8, 2020, 1:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Flesh and Blood

The top of the house once fell on him.

Ever since then, he is afwaid of the big bad roof.

(I know, that was lame. Sowwy)
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Dec 23, 2019, 12:41am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: About a Girl

@Trent

You're not wrong about Cupid's Dagger.

Oh well... every show has to have its share of stinkers.

@Booming
"I think the difference is and it speaks to the on the nose quality of the show that in Saudi Arabia you will not find one man who will say: 'We think women are weak and inferior.'"

Do you understand that it is an ALLEGORY? Niether women rights nor transgender rights are at the center of this episode. You are completely missing the point here.

And we *did* hear the Moclan's point of view. We heard in all its chilling "glory": They outcast a minority, and then use their very own despicable behavior as "proof" that the minority in question is indeed inferior.

The issue, by the way, is something that's very close to me personally. As a guy who was born... different... I experienced first hand all the f**k-ed up rationalizations that we heard from the Moclans in this episode. The way a society ostracize certain groups of people just because they are different. The way society treats certain people as if they are subhuman, always feels pity for them as if they're inferior, raises artificial barriers to prevent them from integrating anywhere... and then use the resulting impossible situation that they've created to "prove" that their prejudice was justified.

This episode captured that situation perfectly. So perfectly, that there's no way it could be a coincidence. I'm quite sure that McFarlane had some personal experience with this kind of thing. Either he suffered from this kind of prejudice himself, or a family member/friend of his did.

Moreover, it's a topic that actual Star Trek never really covered. There's no Trek episode that really brings home what people like me have to suffer through every single day, yet the Orville managed to deal with the subject on f***-ing episode 3.

I don't know about you, but I find that to be quite impressive.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Dec 22, 2019, 3:35am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

Well, Booming...

if you are not enjoying it, why watch it at all? It's your decision. It ain't Trent's fault if you insist on torturing yourself.

Also, while the show does get infinitely better, I don't think you - personally - are going to like the rest of it. This show is not for everyone. And I gotta tell yea, that I haven't met a single person who ended up liking the show after outright hating the first few episodes.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Dec 22, 2019, 3:22am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: About a Girl

Whatever flaws the Orville may have, being "misogynistic" is not one of them. It is also a *very* different show from "Family Guy" (I HATE "Family Guy" with all my heart, yet I love the Orville).

To this day I'm not sure how a single person could have produced both shows. I mean, Family Guy is downright barbaric and hateful. The Orville, on the other hand, is progressive and humanistic and... well, Trekkish. Sure, it is also silly and juvenile at times, but its heart is (at least usually) at the right place.

@Booming
"While there is one sentence at the beginning that is pro trans the rest feels pretty transphobic. Society forcing sex changes on children. There are probably 50k reddit debates how leftwing people want to force sexchanges on children. That is what I mean in my second point. It does try to be tolerant but it feeds into certain narratives."

What?

No. I'm sorry, but the actual story that's depicted in the episode has absolutely nothing to do with that "narrative" you're talking about. And as a viewer, I would *not* want the trash spoken by transphobic assholes to dictate the kind of stories we are allowed to tell.

Besides, the episode directly speaks about the issue of choice. It's right the in the script. It's not just one sentence at the beginning (like you claim) but the entire point of the story!

That point, by the way, isn't even limited to transgender rights. The scope is much greater than that: It is about a person's right to be themselves, and about the evil of a society that insists on conforming everyone to some kind of "normal" standard. The sex-change thing is just an example of this larger issue.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Dec 19, 2019, 5:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

@Booming

I distinctly remember that a few months ago you wrote something to the effect of "Seth McFarlene and everything related to him should be destroyed".

So I have a feeling... call it a wild hunch.... that the Orville might not be the show for you. What on earth possessed you to give it a shot, anyway?

For the record, "Old Wounds" is actually one of the weakest episodes of the Orville. The show does get better (much better) and if you were anyone else I would have recommended that you give it another chance. But given your personal stance on McFarlene, I won't do that. My actual advice to you is to run as fast a you can in the opposite direction, because there's no way in hell that you're going to enjoy this show.

By the way, you are right that McFarlene doesn't act. Or more accurately: He is acting the role of himself. He is basically a trekkie pertending to be the captain of a starship. Some people think that's a problem, by others disagree. Personally, I find the simple sincerity of it to be refreshing.

Can't wait till season 3.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Dec 19, 2019, 3:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

@Yanks
"Would you please explain what in the trekverse made you come to that conclusion?"

Well, Zefram Cochrane built a warp capable ship in his backyard, in the midst of a post apocalyptic world.

Not a decade later, while still recovering from WWIII, Earth already had many major warp projects going on: Friendship 1, the Conestoga, the Valiant. So it can't be that difficult, once you get have the theoretical basis in place.

I mean, it's probably not trivially easy. I doubt an average Federation kid could build a warp engine from scratch (unless the parts can be replicated). Cochrane still had an entire team working on the project. He also managed to get the Phoenix into orbit using a regular rocket, whIch is already an impressive engineering feat for a private operation.

But still, it is clear that warp drive isn't as difficult as creating a relativistic spaceship using any of the currently known designs. It isn't as difficult as building a ramjet with a scoop the size of a small world. Or a photon rocket with an engine that can contain double the ship's own weight in antimatter while withstanding
multiple petawatts of heat and radiation for months on end. Or an Alcubierre "warp drive", for that matter.

Another piece of evidence, though less conclusive, is the way the Malcorian warp program was depicted in the episode "First Contact". I know it was government funded, but it still seemed like a relatively small project. Also, the Malcorians are in a stage of technological development similar to 20th century earth. That also limits the maximum possible technical difficulty level of building a warp engine.

"Further, I've always thought that "we" didn't want to expose a race to the interstellar community until they possessed the technology to participate in it. Warp drive in the trekverse is the means to that end. This is why, to me, in The Orville, when they made first contact with that species because they transmitted a signal asking if someone was out there was stupid. "

Why is it stupid?

One could argue that having both the capability and the motivation to send messages to the stars is the best criteria to dropping by and saying "hello".

Isn't that a form of participation? Do you really need to be *physically* out there, in order to participate in a community? And isn't the fact that I'm asking this on an internet forum, wonderfully ironic?

In short, don't think the Orville's way of doing this is any stupider than Star Trek. It's just different (though it was definitely stupid of them to just stroll onto that planet without any kind of research into the local cultural taboos).
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Dec 18, 2019, 11:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

@Peter
"But Trek also had warp drive being developed around 2063, which is reminiscent - but far more egregious - of Back to the Future's flying car system by 2019 or whatever."

To be fair, warp drive is clearly described (in the Trekverse) as something that came completely out of the blue. It's not a natural development from previous technologies, nor does it require a mammoth effort of engineering.

There's no way to predict such wildcard technologies. Such a breakthrough could happen tomorrow, or it could take a million years. You kinda hinted at this when you discussed the transporter, but the same - really - is true for warp drive as well.
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