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MMM
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

re: "I never noticed that the plot for the episodes outcome is essentially revealed in the first 10 minutes of the episode with Riker saying 'I think he's a plant to draw us into the Neutral Zone. Then we'll look like the aggressors.' "

I don't quite think that's accurate. The fakery was primarily to test Jarok's loyalty. The "drawing the Enterprise in" bit was a secondary effect. Although given the Romulans, it could have been a backup plan they had in mind all along. But even if Jarok is a plant, the key is that he himself didn't know he was a plant. What's that saying about how the best kind of secret agent is the one who doesn't even know that he is a secret agent?
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MMM
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 1:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Force of Nature

This episode didn't deserve more than a single star, if that. It's an instructional video: How Not To Do A 'Care For The Enivornment' Episode: Part 1 - Make Your Environmentalist A Moron.

First she's unreasonable as hell. She presents people who've never heard of her with one single scientific treatise and demand they instantly accept every part of it. Even though their response is to take her seriously and investigate the possibility, she gets upset and berates them for this.

Then she causes an environmental catastrophe. This would be like if, in 2010, someone realized the BP Deepwater Horizon Wellhead was deficient, and proved it by intentionally causing the oil spill themselves. On top of this, she offs herself for no reason at all. Why not set the ship to core breech with a delay, and use a transporter or shuttle to get out of their first?

It's almost like a Captain Planet ecosystem-hating card-carrying villain wrote this episode as a parody to try to make environmentalists look ridiculous.

re: "Desmogblog did a tally of how many peer-reviewed research papers denied GW vs how many did. Something like 3 to 2000. "

Although that leaves out the even-greater number who didn't come to a firm conclusion either way. The often-parroted "97% consensus" actually comes from this sort of data-massaging. It was from a study that was (something like, I'm pulling the exact numbers out of the air) 3 said "definitely not", 97 said "definitely so", and 200 said "inconclusive". So they reported "97% of those with a conclusion came to conclusion X" rather than "32% of the total came to conclusion X", and it naturally got interpreted as "97% of the total".
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MMM
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 1:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cause and Effect

I always figure the Bozeman didn't loop, it just got time-jumped 80ish years ahead, collided with Enterprise, and only then did it get reset the same way Enterprise did.

The episode was great, although the final time through the loop, the Bozeman must be imitating Sir Launcelot from Monty Python & the Holy Grail, because suddenly Data has like half a minute to figure out what the "3" means when he had only a few seconds before.
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MMM
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

re: "-even on initial viewing I did squirm at the idea that the aliens could communicate solely through metaphor. But that doesn't change how I feel about the episode."

Possibly it's more like "the language is so rooted in metaphor" than "it's 100% only metaphor". After all, to say "Shaka, when the walls fell", you have to have some component in the language for the object of a "wall", the action of "falling", and the time-indicator of "when". And it is believable, as well as a nice change, for alien civilizations and cultures to develop very differently from ours.

re: "I just can't see how it could work for scientific, technical or scholarly subjects that would require a different kind of precision and specificity"

I can see it somewhat. We have a little bit of that in our own scientific language. 12 Watts = 12 units of power named for James Watt. It's not the same as having a verb for scientific inquiry that translates literally as "James, building his steam engine", but it's at least vaguely in the neighborhood. If we on Earth did this like the Children of Tama, we'd have all our units that way. Instead of nautical miles, we'd have Leifs. Instead of horsepower, we'd have Eds or Pegasi or something.

And it's consistent that the Universal Translator can't always handle this. In The Defector, when Adm. Jarok wants water, he specifies something like "12 Anghiens" for the temperature. Presumably the UT can get that he wants 12 of some sort of temperature unit but doesn't know how to convert Anghiens to Degrees.
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MMM
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 12:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Tin Man

re: "Also, if "Tin Man" wanted to die, why didn't it just let the Romulans fire on it, instead of listening to Tam's warning and destroying the Romulan ship? Makes no sense." & "Why would Tin Man care about Tam’s warning if it wanted to die?"

Presumably being engulfed by the nova would be over in a few seconds at most. Being wounded by weapons and then scientifically dissected afterward would be excruciating.
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MMM
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 12:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

re: "Picard's speech has none of the staying power of his season 1 speeches, which (though couched in bright, dated and often poorly executed episodes) meant something profound and worthwhile"

Well, Picard is desperation, and he's wrong; kind of. If Rasmussen literally were from the future, his argument would have made more sense than Picard's: that from his point of view, all of this stuff *already happened* and he wants to see it, not alter it, and that "saving lives" means nothing to him because everyone there died hundreds of years before he was born.

The episode would have been a lot stronger had he been sent back to his own time rather than trapped out of time, which was a huge case of the punishment being far worse than the crime.
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MMM
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 12:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

re: "Then again there are plenty of other , more recent, examples of obtuse sexual unawareness outside Star Trek-Attack of the Clones being a prime case."

That one felt far worse to me. Geordi mostly was guilty of cluenessless. He was creepy, but he wasn't trying to be creepy - and Leah doesn't fall for it or get charmed by it in the least. Anakin was intentionally being creepy and continued with it immediately after being told to stop - and Padme falls in love with him. Bleecgh.
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MMM
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Wounded

re: "One thing that struck me about this episode was how in the end they sort of justified Maxwell's "shoot first, ask questions later" attitude as you said Jammer, although I understand why they did it so they could start building up the Cardassians as the future enemy but the conclusion seemed to be 'Maxwell was right, we may quarrel with how he went about it but he did what had to be done' "

Think it made him more understandable, not correct. The whole Secret Cardassian Buildup thing is a lot like the Cuban Missile Crisis. Imagine if some US submarine captain had unilaterally launched torpedoes at a Soviet supply ship and sunk it. Would he have been right to do so? That's Maxwell.
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MMM
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 11:49am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Elementary, Dear Data

You've never had admin privileges but yet still had a computer tell you that you can't do something?
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MMM
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 11:39am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Outrageous Okona

The droid/'noyed joke wasn't supposed be hilarious, the point is that Data doesn't even get how puns work in the first place.
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MMM
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 11:31am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Where Silence Has Lease

re: "Also, Picard's explanation of death was fine to me, Death is hard to explain, and being questioned about death out of the blue of course is going to get you a rather wonky explanation"

For sure. This is a show where there are many ways to cheat death, to live as "energy beings", to have one's neural content/mind-will-emotions live separately from the body. It's a show where species exist with nigh-godlike powers who are probably capable of setting up entire dimensions and new paradigms of existence. Vulcans are mostly based on rational scientific thinking and they consider themselves to have souls. Given all that, Picard's answer made perfect sense: he finds evidence for some sort of metaphysics that leaves him unconvinced in the total annihilation of what could be defined as existing, but he doesn't believe in any sort of fluffy-cloud heaven or a particular religious entity bringing people into his chosen afterlife.

re: "And then Troi helpfully points out: 'We must not let ourselves die Jean-Luc.' What an insightful comment."

That wasn't actually Troi, it was an illusion of Troi.

re: "They keep mentioning cool-sounding planets, and never go to them.
Parliament--a whole planet set aside for government conferences
Pacifica--the ocean planet"

Glad they didn't. Single-purpose-planets are more in the realm of Star Wars than Trek.
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MMM
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 11:06am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Contagion

There is a difference, though, between doing that to one computer and doing it to the entire systems of a spaceship all at once, while in a danger zone.
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MMM
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 10:49am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: If the Stars Should Appear

"Oh no. No, no, no: The Orville has jumped the shark by ripping off an entire TOS episode this week"

Every Orville episode was a copy of an existing Trek episode up to this point, which was where I gave up.
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MMM
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 10:39am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek (2009)

re: "We still have Starfleet and starships and captains, we still have Vulcans and Romulans, and we still have the core characters upon which the original series was based on"

We still have Starfleet and starships and captains, yes. We have new alien species that happen to still be called Vulcans and Romulans for some rea$on. We have new characters that happen to share the same names, for some rea$on....
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MMM
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 10:36am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

"I don't mind it, I guess" is about where I have been with all three reboot movies.

re: Ravenna: good point on bromances vs sismances, although the latter doesn't flow over the tongue too well. I don't see anything wrong with the former term except overuse - the issue is the lack of the latter, not the existence of the former. even in 2018, i can't think of a single really good story where the two leads are women who become fire-forged friends and have a close, non-romantic sisterhood out of that. I'm sure there's a few out there somewhere, but nothing comes to mind.
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MMM
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 10:17am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

"Data's story was more hollow (did anybody really think he was going to join the Borg?) and Cochrane's was a bit 2 dimensional with a decent speech or two."

Agree on Data, but Cochrane was a nice touch, the way we find out he's been given a "Historical Hero Upgrade" and everyone looks on him almost like a myth, and at first they're a bit disillusioned by him being an ordinary, and rather ornery, guy.
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MMM
Fri, Jul 27, 2018, 4:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Peak Performance

The stuff about "not being military" is probably a little bit of hopeful thinking - they have military capabilities but would rather not have to use them. They prefer to focus on science and diplomacy and always want to think of themselves in this capacity first.

E.g. from back in original Star Trek in Whom Gods Destroy (paraphrasing):

Garth: Kirk, you are the second greatest military commander there ever was, myself being the greatest.
Kirk: Well, I'm more of an explorer nowadays.
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MMM
Fri, Jul 27, 2018, 4:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

re: JanielM:
"I guess what I'm feeling is that if the writers meant to suggest that Meru was in fact traumatized and was just playing along in order to survive and help her family, and that she did miss her husband and was doing what she could to survive a horrific situation, then they needed to make this more clear and show Kira realizing it, instead of having the episode end with Kira feeling that her mother was weak and a collaborator. I left the episode not sure what the heck the writers were trying to say with it, and I don't think it did any favors for women who truly have been put into the position of being abused like that"

Good point, they could have done a better job with Kira getting some clarity at the end and starting to realize it wasn't right to see her mother as weak for not turning into an assassin.
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MMM
Fri, Jul 27, 2018, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

"Kira seems to really hate all the women who are taken to be sex slaves to the Cardassians. She and another member of the Bajoran Resistance even call them "collaborators." That's just offensive to me"

Can certainly understand that. I had a hard time taking Kira's convictions seriously in this episode at least up to a point. It is consistent with Kira's portrayal throughout DS9 that she often looks down to a degree upon other Bajorans who didn't fight back the way she did. She's proud of having been very skilled at using force and violence against the Cardassian oppressors, at the risk of her own life, and often doesn't seem to understand why not everyone did that.

I think the episode was portraying her view of these women as the wrong view. It would be consistent with real life - e.g. Cardassian occupation is often a Nazi allegory, and a lot of the French underground did look down on other French citizens who didn't keep the fight going as partisans. Some of them consider them all as collaborators and some considered any French women who had children with German soldiers as traitors.

Kira's reaction is basically coming from a place of denial + shock, and using anger to mask said shock. From her point of view (not thinking clearly as she can barely even believe the truth), anything short of "attempt to kill the guy in his bedroom" is tantamount to accepting the occupation, because that's how she would have handled it. It's a believable way for her to be thinking, even though it's not correct.
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MMM
Fri, Jul 27, 2018, 4:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Code of Honor

@MMM I don't understand why you think it wouldn't hold up to cast a group of people from mixed racial backgrounds as the alien species. That appears to be an easy fix. }}

any particular alien species, sure.

every single one of them having an earthlike mix of skin tones, no.

plus then we wouldn't have, say, Orions or Bolians or Children of Tama (for the longest time I had no idea what race the actor playing Dathan was - turns out it's Captain Terrell from ST2).

does that clarify what I was trying to say better?
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MMM
Sat, Jul 15, 2017, 3:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

So if you dislike this movie it must mean you are immature. That's it! The Motionless Picture wasn't a crown. If it belongs on a throne, it is only one made of porcelain.
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MMM
Sat, Jul 15, 2017, 11:24am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Conundrum

I didn't think the episode was calling Riker out as morally wrong, just as being in a really awkward situation.

"The shot of the Enterprise engaging the sentry fighters is a classic."

YES! That was beautiful.

And I always use that for Star Wars vs Star Trek argument. If the USS Enterprise faced a swarm of TIE fighters then this shot shows what would happen to the fighters.
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MMM
Sat, Jul 15, 2017, 11:14am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Masterpiece Society

"These people would all have been dead had the Enterprise not intervened, and yet at the end Picard is still wringing his hands over bringing in an imbalance that could destroy what this place originally stood for."

And why not? He regrets that the only way to save them was to irreversibly change them. It's a good look at basically the Heisenberg Effect - it's difficult to passively observe, even more difficult to passively assist - inevitably you alter that which you observe or rescue. He wish there were a way to save them without foisting a change upon them. Picard is pretty forward-thinking here because even though he/they/we personally may think it was a good change, he recognizes that it should have been (in an ideal world) their choice and not his.
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MMM
Sat, Jul 15, 2017, 11:08am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: His Way

This bit from Jammer said it best: Another hesitation I have is the way the dialog is almost too "human." I know, I know; Trek is really about looking at human issues through different story devices—but the way it happens here (even knowing that Vic was specifically intended as a 1960s persona), I still couldn't help but get the feeling I was grounded in 20th-century romance, rather than 24th.

Exactly. Kira appears to have feelings for Odo too, but she's helpless to do anything about them. Because she's female and therefore it's culturally her job to sit there and wait for him to do it. Because a 24th century Bajoran female (even one with the initiative and independence of Kira) and a blob of gel with no biological sex who happens to be in male form both have to follow the rules of 1990 America?

And yes, after Children of Time and Behind the Lines, there should be some real trouble for them that takes actual work to get through. Not just a magic kiss makes everything magically fine. At least they have a little more chemistry than Worf and Dax do, although this is saying very little.

Odo was the best character on the show until Behind the Lines. This one made him a little more interesting, but his presence on the show still isn't the same.
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MMM
Sat, Jul 8, 2017, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Twisted

"Actually, it's not gibberish. She says, "It's talking to me -- do nothing!" (This is right after Tuvok says they should give up -- i.e., do nothing -- and Chakotay and Torres are disagreeing.)"

They failed completely to convey that to the viewers, because it sounds like she says "Eee talking to bee too gonnding."
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