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Gerontius
Wed, Feb 19, 2020, 4:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

That's not always the case in Star Trek though, Booming. Remember, Picard gave Wesley Crusher the rank without his having any training, after deciding the kid was smart. And of course because he liked his mother from way back. Mind, that never was one of his best command decisions.
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Gerontius
Wed, Feb 19, 2020, 2:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

I quite like the alternative visions of how this series could have been structured. I'd definitely have watched them.

But what we've got is what we've got. I think it's better to concentrate on suggesting tweaks rather than radical reshaping. I agree Rizzo is a waste of space, and could be discarded without loss.

I think it's a mistake to get irritated at Star Trek being a long way from scientifically grounded hard science fiction. I agree the technobabble in the more recent versions has been dafter - Red Matter that produces Black Holes, and mushroom powered space travel - but it's always wise to remember what Arthur C Clarke wrote about how it is pretty impossible to distinguish between magic and sufficiently advanced technology that you can't understand.. What we expect in Star Trek is a hint that there is a technology behind the magic of holographic chambers and people getting beamed around the place, and that is what the technobabble is for.
Straight fantasy tends to dispense with trying to do that, and just says "it's a spell" (though there are examples where a kid of rationale is suggested , for example the Lord Darcy stories of Randall Garrett.

But basically Star Trek, especially this version, is closer to Tolkien than to Arthur C Clarke, and I can take that. (If they need a rationale for swords incidentally there's a off the peg one that's often been used, you have enemies with shield devices that block anything fast, so energy devices and bullets are out, and swords and knives are back in vogue.)

Maybe the powers that be should come here, not to shut things down as , Dougie suggested but to learn how they could do things better. (And foronce there, I'm not being ironic.)
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Gerontius
Mon, Feb 17, 2020, 6:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

I liked this episode best of those so far. It's been fun reading through this mass of comments. Full of points where I wanted to respond, but I've forgotten most ofthem along the way.

I'm was surprised to read post after disparaging post - but then it's generally easier to write an interesting knocking review than one expressing enjoyment, especially if it's muted enjoyment rather than outright ecstasy. And in the spirit of Picard's comments about it being a mistake to make the perfect the enemy of the good, this episode was good without being perfect, and deserves to be appreciated. Or rather, it's not a question of deserving to be appreciated, but for me at any rare, achieving that.

Obviously it's to be expected that the science in Star Trek is going to be absurd most of the time, so it strikes me that going on about stellar physics and which sort of stars are liable to explode is a bit irrelevant. You have to suspend your disbelief every bit as you do in Harry Potter, and you do that willingly and consciously. What replaces consistency with the real world is consistency within the artificially constructed world - and that is surely the basis of of the worries expressed about whether or not things "are Star Trek".

I findit strange that so many people seem to get het up about the fact that the show decided to allow some actors to speak in their own native accents rather than adopt a generic American accent. After all they've accepted that for Picard for all these years. I'm sure Patrick Stewart is perfectly capable of assuming an American, or a French accent, if required - but why should he, and what would be gained if he did? And the same goes for actors from Ireland or Australia or Chile. If this provides a gentle reminder that people do have different ways of speaking, no harm in that.

I'm enjoying this series for what it is, as I enjoyed the previous series. Eery now and then an episode has reached the heights, but most of them coasted along in the lowlands enjoyably enough. I'm confident that the same will be the case with Picard, and I look forward to every episode, and I expect in time there will be some classics.

And I'm afraid I haven't even noticed most of the unseemly language that appears to get some people hot under the collar. That may reflect the fact that I generally confine my viewing of TV to the BBC.
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Gerontius
Wed, Feb 5, 2020, 4:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

Maybe when this comes back after the next episode is out we might talk a bit more about things in terms of Star Trek.

That needn't rule out the real world, but there's a lot to be said in using Star Trek as a key to that. The fact that it can be used is a main reason Star Trek is interesting for many people - and when it forgets about that is when it gets less interesting.
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Gerontius
Tue, Feb 4, 2020, 3:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

Freedom for me very much includes collective services, which give me the freedom to live my life as I want to live it. TheBritish National Health Service is a classical example, the British Broadcasting Corporation is another. I would dearly love to see quite a number of analogous services organised on similar rather than through private firms who see the benefit of users and employees as very much less of a priority than the benefit of the people controlling the firms.

And the reason I wish that is because I see them as adding to my freedom, as well as that of fellows.

In Star Trek terms, I want the Ferengi way of doing things to be relegated to the very margins of society.
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Gerontius
Tue, Feb 4, 2020, 7:10am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

Political labels don't have simple meanings which can be looked via google.The term "liberal" can mean just about anything, depending where and when you are. The same goes for just about any of the others.

In Australia the governing party called "Liberal" is basically Conservative. In Russia there is a party with the same name which is pretty straightforwardly fascist.
There is no defined meaning of the term. Nineteenth Century Liberals - which is what a term like "Classical Liberal" would generally be taken to mean, could never agree amog themselves as to what they agreed.

The term libertarian can have just as widespread a range of meanings. Much of the time it's traditionally been a term for anarchists way to the left of Karl Marx. I suspect Cenotaph may be using it in a different sense.
........
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Gerontius
Tue, Feb 4, 2020, 2:27am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

The only message I have ever seen in Star Trek is that racism is both absurd and that its an evil that needs to be opposed. I believe that is not a view that is restricted to those who would describe themselves as "liberals".
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Gerontius
Mon, Feb 3, 2020, 4:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

Remember, the "refugees" in Sanctuary weren't aliens who couldn't breathe the atmosphere of Bajor. They weren't even refugees properly speaing, they were returning exiles.

They were presented as being descendants of the original inhabitants of Bajor who had been exiled generations before, and had been looking for their home planet ever since. The episode in its way was attempting to parallel the dilemmas of the Israel /Palestine situation with both parties being presented as a version of both sides.

But I think we should not go too far into analysing long gone episodes, except insofar as they cast light on the Picard series. I don't think Sanctuary really does. I quite agree with those who point out that our existing societies would be highly unlikely to do more than the barest minimum to respond to the needs of large numbers of exiles.

I don't know why decided to call the star explosion that destroyed Romulus a "supernova". A nova would have been quite sufficient to wipe out the planet. A supernova would have much more widespread effects on many planetary systems, over a much longer timescale. I suspect they thought sticking "super" in made it sound more exciting. Very clumsy.

I think they have done better to dump the whole notion of the explosion, along with the rest of the Kelvin reboot. Or deal directly with at, and build a series actually about it. Maybe with Earth being the planet involved.
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Gerontius
Sun, Feb 2, 2020, 12:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

I see Jammer's review is up. I noted where he referred to the Team working on the Borg Artifact as "freeing" the turned off drones they are working with. I rather think that was rather a sanitized way of putting it when Soji used the term. What they appeared to to to be engaged in was salvaging useful technological implants, and discarding the remains. A rather ghoulish operation in tune with Narekks comment about the Cube boing a graveyard.

As for the stuff people are writing about how the Trek has to echo the zeitgeist of the age, I think too much can be made of that. The cultural flavour of the media is largely independent of that, I believe. It's more a question of those involved copying each other and adopting a fashionable way of doing things. Hopeful stuff can come out of very depressing times, and the reverse.

I¡m glad we still have The Orville around to remind us there's another way of doing it.
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Gerontius
Sat, Feb 1, 2020, 12:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

No doubt Narek is a super-Duper secret mole, but at this point there is no way of knowing which side or whatever sides are involved, or where his ultimate loyalties lie, if indeed that is a meaningful question in his case.

I'm afraid the Romulans are probably not going to be the only conspirators in the game - or indeed that there will be only one set of Romulans all on the same side as each other. Irritating.
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Gerontius
Sat, Feb 1, 2020, 10:13am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

Agreed with Boomer about that irrelevant knocking campaign against Keiko. Conceivably it isn't racist, but it certainly feels that way.
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Gerontius
Sat, Feb 1, 2020, 10:08am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

"how do you explain Admiral Jarok saying in "The Defector" that there a couple of Romulan cyberneticists who would love to get their hands on Data?"

Easy enough. She could have been speaking ironically about relishing the thought of what they might do to him in the course of destroying him. In that case "cyberneticists" would mean something rather different from what it might normally be meant to connote.

I doubt very much if that was what was intended by the screenwriter in the first place, but the revised meaning fits OK. Though again I'd doubt if today's writers go through every past episode to ensure consistency. There are fans who do seem to have that kind of encyclopaedic recall - I suppose if the powers that be really cared they could employ a few of them to ride shotgun.

But I agree with those who indicated unhappiness with this whole notion of the undying hostility and repulsion Romulans Feel towards artificial life - as I remarked, it certainly doesn't seem to trouble Narek, seeing he knows Soji's nature.
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Gerontius
Fri, Jan 31, 2020, 9:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

Something completely different.

When Raffi walked on my first impression is that she was supposed to be a recast 7 of 9, or possibly her daughter. Did anyone else share that impression? (And I'm not actually suggesting anything like that will turn out to be the case.)
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Gerontius
Fri, Jan 31, 2020, 8:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

You're right about generations and swearing, Andy's friend. People tend not to change their speaking too much after they've grown up, and in my experience there has been a considerable change in this respect over the last few generations. My father, fought in three wars and worked on the factory floor for twenty years, and I cannot recall at any time using any kind of swear word. And that certainly wasn't a matter of being inarticulate, because he certainly wasn't that!

These things change over generations. I don't find it the least improbable to imagine that by the 25th century senior military officers might quite naturally use language even today's generation would find excessive. Or for that matter it's quite as likely that it might completely the reverse. But what would be unlikely is that they would switch from one mode to another in the course of a few years.

But I don't think this is a matter of great import in this series. The matter of trust as a key Starfleet value is far more important. It struck me that Picard's approach to the Admiral in which he laid everything out directly to her, the stuff that had happened, his suspicions and his request for a ship, was very much in the Star Trek tradition - no beating about the bush or buttering her up. And she didn't like it - for the Admiral honesty came across as hubris on Picard's part.

I hope that this aspect might be explored in the series. Maybe we might have Picard shaping a crew from a younger generation to value and practice this habit of openness and trust to each other. Have to sort out Narek though...
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Gerontius
Fri, Jan 31, 2020, 6:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

A confusing episode - they are still setting things up so an awful lot of it was just feeding us information about stuff that we hadn't seen happen. ( Apart from the opening section which was about showing us stuff happen about which we had already been told.) That weird narrative section cutting from one place and time to another and back again didn't help.

I agree with those whose heart sunk at the indication that this series is evidently going to be all about secret secret conspirators infiltrating each other. "Trust no one" is apparently the watchword of the day. Whereas one of the key elements of Star Trek at its best had been about how the trust and openness the protagonists have enables them to sort out seemingly impossible problems. And now there are indications that one of the members of Picards crew is going to be Zarek who appears to be being set up as some kind of double agent, and the reverse of trustworthy or open or honourale. Shades of Discovery. (And if he's part of this Romulans ultra secret operation that loathes synthetics he's acting that out in a very peculiar way.)

I'm afraid the bad language that a lot of people jibbed at passed me by. I suspect a lot of those reactions probably came from Americans, who seem to worry a lot more about that kind of stuff when it comes up on screen than we generally do the other side of the Atlantic.

A few comments about there being something implausible about the speed with which the Federation culture seems to have turned nasty. I'm afraid I don't find that the least bit implausible. There have been plenty of examples of how that can happen in the last hundred years, sometimes remarkably quickly. There were a number of indications in Star Trek that the ethical culture of Starfleet wasn't necessarily exactly matched in the planetbound world.

Best thing about the series so far is Patrick Stewart. It's up to him to save the Federation, that's taken for granted. Saving the series might be an even bigger task - but I trust he's up to it.
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Gerontius
Thu, Jan 30, 2020, 7:59am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

"Sir Stewart" - no such person. He's Sir Patrick, or Sir Patrick Stewart. And he is in no way "deteriorated", though his physical condition presumably has in some ways. I'm sure he wasn't acting when he got puffed going up the stairs.

I was glad they left it in, rather than faking it the way they do with a lot of much younger actors racing around in chases as they are made to do. Swallowing the impossible in a scifi story is all very well, but in other things a touch of realism helps.
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Gerontius
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 4:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

We've had some interesting discussions on this thread, and I look forward to more after later episodes.

I hope people can keep the arguments focussed on the things we are discussing, and the issues they give rise to, and avoid getting into personal arguments. That can spiral in a most unpleasant way. Disagreeing about ideas needn't mean getting annoyed or slighted or becoming disagreeable. Jean-Luc Picard is a excellent role model in such matters. However angry that interviewer made him the most cutting comment he made about her was that she had no idea what Dunkirk meant.
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Gerontius
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 7:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Spot on, Nolan.
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Gerontius
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 6:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

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

The thing we call racism is such a system which has been artificially constructed over the past few hundred years and often enforced by law underpinned by a financial engine of a vastly profitable slave trade and of slave dependant enterprises, annd also of colonial empires. Nothing natural about that. As those things fade Into history it can be seen for what it was - a kind of madness.
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Gerontius
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 8:54am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

You can't abolish having headaches. But you can stop giving yourself a headache by banging your head on the wall.

There's nothing inevitable about stuff like racism. It gets drummed into people by the society in which they live.
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Gerontius
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 3:09am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

There is no inconsistency between hoping , or even believing, that if we could change the way things run in ways that drive us to act worse than we really are, we might escape some of the terrible ways we can behave towards each other would be less likely to emerge, and accepting that we won't be flawless.

Out ancestors died in their thousands from smallpox. The idea of a world in which it was no more would have seemed crazy, it would have been called "utopian" in the sense that it was impossible. And yet that's the world we live in. And of course that doesn't mean that there won't be other diseases to deal with, and fresh diseases.

The idea of a society where medical treatment is available to everybody for free would have been seen as cloud cuckoo land by my ancestors, and it still is in many places - but I live in a society where we have that. And of course that doesn't mean things are perfect - we have delays sometimes and people, make mistakes and so forth. When I needed a quadruple heart bypass a few years ago the one thing my family didn't need to worry about was finding the money to pay for it to be done.
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Gerontius
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 7:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

I don't understand that this notion that the Federation or Starfleet has ever been seen as perfect, which is what is evidently meant when people use the term "utopian" here.

Actually "utopian" has never meant perfect, just better. Compared to previous times the way we live today could be seen as "utopian", but we all know they are a long way short of anything like perfect ( and in some ways worse rather than better). But we have got rid of a lot of really nasty stuff that must have seemed would be there for ever. And yet, as this Star Trek reminds us that can't be taken for granted.
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Gerontius
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 4:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Defensive, Boomer? Hardly, that surely implies feeling under attack. I was merely commenting on the tendency we can sometimes have to think that gaps in what we have been told have to indicate something, when at most they leave room for speculation. It's a tendency that reading detective stories can encourage in us, and it's one of the key ways detective story writers set out to mislead us.

I liked Drea's point about how, in some ways, what we see as the fall from grace of the Federation and Starfleet in regard to the Romulan refugees still leaves them far ahead of our societies in ethical terms.

Cynicism about the possibilities of making things better may be a fashion, but in no way is it a necessary response to a recognition that in someways things might be getting worse. I'd like to hope that Picard might help in redeeming the time.
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Gerontius
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 8:28am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

It's a minor point, but I'm puzzled by why anyone should see the fact that Dhaj never mentioned she had a twin sister as significant. Do people generally always tell people they are talking to about what siblings they have or don't have? It's quite as normal for her not to mention the twin as it would be to mention her.

We don't get told everything at once, and we don't know more than we have been told - that's as true of Star Trek as it is in the real world. If we are told there were 900 million Romulans to be saved, that needn't mean there were only 900 million Romulans in the first place. The same kind of things are true about quite a few of the inconsistencies that have been picked on, it'd be perfectly possible to come up with unmentioned things that would remove the inconsistency, and generally it just wouldn't be worth doing that. So if those kind of things don't mess up the story, forget about it, get a life.
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Gerontius
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 1:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

The term"canon" in this sense gets a wider use than in the context of religion. It gets used of the writings of authors and poets as well - and not merely about whether or not a piece was written by the person, but often restricted to the work they felt of value. So a writer might wish to exclude juveilia, or hackwork.

WithStar Trek its morecoplicate, basecause of all the different writers involved, in a range of media. It wouldn't be righttojust seeit as a matter of who happens townthe franchise at anytime , which could change overnight, after all. It has to be seen as meaning a kind of consensus between the creators and the fans. But consensus isn't just a matter of individual preferance.
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