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Mike S.
Tue, May 26, 2020, 3:32am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

Well, I thought the episode was quite good.

I should probably admit that I’m not a DS9 fan, but I just happened to catch it on Hero’s and Icons channel one night. In fact, I usually jokingly refer to the series as ‘Truck Stop 9’ or ‘Deep Drop 9’, as I generally find it rather boring. I’m more of a TNG and Voyager person, myself, for what it’s worth.

Anyway, I’m willing to bet the people who find this episode more disagreeable probably lean more to the liberal side of the spectrum in their mindset. If true, I’d like to point out that the story goes out of its way to condemn fascist style thinking, and all the worst about cult of personality and war. It’s also an exciting episode.

I liked the ‘red squad’ chanting. Like ‘USA, USA!’, it helps build comraderie and team spirit, especially in this case, when the crew realizes the odds against them. Or a bit like the very annoying, “we’re all in this together”, we keep hearing at the moment.

Good stuff, and not nearly as boring as this series usually is. Just my two cents...
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Mike
Fri, May 22, 2020, 1:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Omicron
I don't much care about the format. I think the new series will fail if it changes the format but doesn't change anything else. I'd like to see some authenticity. Genuine wonder and curiosity at things, not just cynicism and unearned feels. And I do want to see aliens again - not just humans with pointy ears and androids who are essentially human. STP made everything feel so tiny, I miss the epic scale of the previous shows and movies. The universe is an enormous, mysterious place so use some imagination and show us that.

I think recycling plots is okay. A lot of the best episodes were recycled from older written sci-fi anyway. So I wouldn't mind if they took up an interesting sci-fi premise from somewhere else as a series concept or overarching arc. At least it would be better than doomsday roboctopus.
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Mike
Thu, May 21, 2020, 9:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

What's more, viewers remain silently assured that the only kind of exploring we will be getting in Trek is: "seek and do not find". The whole franchise depends on NOT getting answers to anything, otherwise it wouldn't be able to keep going. So while other series are able provide the answers to questions they are looking for (BSG, B5, Farscape), we know that's not going to happen here. So in a way, Kurtzman's "mystery box" approach is the perfect formula to sustain that. Unfortunately.
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Mike
Thu, May 21, 2020, 9:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

"
Here is where I see the difference with ST Picard versus what Trek is/was

Trek was about humanity having evolved past a lot of our historical problems (war, racism, environmental issues, discrimination, income equality, religious dogma, etc) . Humans were still plenty flawed but were all striving for a much different ideal that what we strive for currently (material things, power over overs, and so on).

THat was bent around during DS9 but that was a backdrop of WAR , but those core Trek ideals were still reached for by humans even if war forced a lot of compromise or outright perversion of ideals

It was all what Trek should be. "

I don't know if that's possible. I think around the time of DS9, they realized that classic TOS and TNG didn't have ideals which were very different from that of the naval explorers, scientists and knowledge seekers throughout history. That ideal was if we can just find out more about this, get more knowledge about that, explore the unknown and make progress then everything will be okay.

Meanwhile DS9 was showing us there was still war, suffering, and people were still people. All that "boldly going where no one had gone before" had got us nowhere. So VOY became about getting home, and ENT explored the transition phase (mostly unsuccessfully). DIS gave us lip service, where it pretended to be about exploration (hence the title) but it was clear had no interest in it.

I don't see where else show can go next. The innocence was gone long ago and is not coming back. I can understand why even acclaimed sci-fi writers can't get this trainwreck back on the rails.
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Mike
Thu, May 21, 2020, 3:27am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part I

@Booming
"I will certainly not waste it on rich people suffering from a lack of meaning in life."

I think this was the reason I gave up watching TV. At least movies only waste 2 or so hours if they happen to suck, and film grants etc mean they aren't entirely the domain of the rich and privileged.

Someone recommended me Bojack Horseman, and along with Rick & Morty I could not believe how anyone could watch and enjoy such loud, hyperactive and vapid entertainment. Though it does explain something about modern day attention spans.
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Mike
Wed, May 20, 2020, 1:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

@Cody B
He probably noticed that if Christians are so focused on sin and repenting, while their messiah and teacher spoke nothing of it and taught forgiveness instead, then they can't be a very clever bunch.
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Mike
Tue, May 19, 2020, 3:02am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

@Omicron
"It's not an either/or proposition.

Not all forms of spirituality negate the self. Mine certainly doesn't. I don't see a contradiction between "being me" and being part of something bigger. The two things are not mutually exclusive.

And from my personal perspective, at least, it certainly looks like the universe is looking after me. It also seems like it has a really bizarre sense of humor :-)"

I'll put it a slightly different way: The universe wants to kill you. I don't know what exactly you mean by the universe is looking after you, but you can't overlook the fact that even if you escape the ravages of disease, hunger, poverty and all the demands the universe places on you, your living body still only has a couple of decades of what we call "life". Life in the universe means certain death. Is that what you would call benevolence?
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Mike
Mon, May 18, 2020, 8:12am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

@Omicron
"It has been my experience that people get what they expect on this front.

Spiritual people often report seeing constant evidence that the universe is constantly looking after them, with things like synchronicities and personally-tailored life lessons. Nonspiritual people, on the other hand, don't understand what all the fuss is all about.

As a person with over a decade of experience on both sides, I can tell you that both are correct. Apparently, whether the universe appears "personal" or "impersonal" is largely a matter of individual perspective. "

Yes, that's been my experience too. I was talking more from the perspective of the personal self most of us identify with, equated with an individual body, rather than an overarching non-dual Self. For that Self there is no "you" or "me", no death or loss, but when there is belief in duality then there is conflict.

So I think no matter our expectations, the universe will never lift the human forms of Mike or Omicron into its caring arms and caress them lovingly forever - the best we can expect is to be led out of all we thought we were and knew, and into freedom from it, AS that freedom. But I'm not complaining, freedom sounds like a pretty good deal to me :)
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Mike
Sun, May 17, 2020, 9:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Rocks and Shoals

Is this maybe the darkest Trek episode? That hanging scene was shocking. Grey ep!
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Mike
Sun, May 17, 2020, 9:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

@Booming
"I'm a little douchy when it comes to the field's future, That is just my inner asshole talking. Plato's cave allegory is a very apt observation. In more scientific ways it is still a question pondered:"How can we study society when we are part of society." To apply it here. If you tell people there is god then they will believe it. If your parents tell you or people of respect in your community then you will believe them because not to would be disrespectful. So the cave could be the religious community one lives in."

It could be, yes. It could also be the scientific community, when its limitations are ignored. Scientists with enough humility and understanding of their field will always acknowledge that it (and science as a whole) has limitations - among its great and many functions which have served us well over the centuries.

And I would like to emphasize that saying this doesn't mean I believe climate change is a hoax, or that vaccines don't work. Climatology is a perfectly suitable means for the study of climates, and immunology for vaccination.

Yesterday I was watching an ant crawl across the book I was reading, then onto my arm. I thought, is this tiny thing aware of me? Is it even capable of being aware of me? Could the human body, its senses and functioning, be unaware of something right in front of it, just as an ant is completely oblivious to my existence?

Coming back to Star Trek, that's why I don't think a few hundred years of scientific advances or higher IQs will produce any development here. The best we can hope for is the "great being in the sky" idea of religion will die out and we turn our attention elsewhere. And considering the harm religion has done over the years, almost anywhere is better.
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Mike
Sat, May 16, 2020, 11:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

@Omicron

"Saying "there's no God in the show" is not the same thing as "there are no religious people/believers in the show". So I don't think the way you phrased that question is entirely fair.

The second half of your question is both fair and interesting: If you had to depict God in a sci fi setting, how would you do it? Would He be just another power-hungry alien like Apollo or Ardra? Or will He be something more... interesting."

You're right, it's not the same thing. I'm more interested in the relationship between scientific progress and belief in God, then Booming posted the meta-study which turned this into a discussion on how religious people in the future will be. I'm not sure what they have to do with each other.

How would I depict God? I think any attempt is bound to fail, by putting God within space and time, turning God into a deity, a limited thing with form and substance. Which is what pretty much all religions have done.

How do you depict infinity? We have a symbol for it, but like the word "God" it isn't it.

@Booming
"Believing that something doesn't exist that cannot be measured or perceived in any provable way is not another faith. That is seeing things for what they are. It is always on the side who claims that something exists to provide proof. If that side cannot provide that proof then that is belief. Not accepting that belief as true is not another belief."

I agree that it makes no sense to believe something you can't measure or perceive. But if I say "well, I haven't experienced it so it must not exist", that rules out that I might be able to experience or perceive it, no?

I don't want to bring up philosophy since I know you're not a fan, but Plato's cave allegory is pretty useful here. Believing that all we see is all there is can be demonstrated as false quite easily.

The problem is not proof but proof dictating its own terms. Discussion of proof of God is, in most cases, comparable to someone locked in a cave for life demanding proof of the sun. The sun isn't in the cave, so therefore it doesn't exist. The cave-dweller might say that is seeing things as they are, but it isn't the truth.

"What is god or gods? That is an interesting question. We think, because we are more intelligent, that we can tell animals how to live and they accept it because we provide them with shelter and food (and force them to behave if necessary). Are we gods pets? Many people seem to believe that."

Yes, unfortunately. God telling us how to live, is more intelligent and forces us to do things - no wonder society is less religious than ever. It's encouraging we're turning away from such beliefs.

"One could, as some have argued, go the pantheistic way, which treats the universe like an almost intelligent or evolving thing. To me that all sounds like emotional safety blankets:"Don't worry, every thing is gonna be alright. There is some form of plan to all of this." That is naturally more comforting then what we know so far:" absolute randomness."

Couldn't agree more. I think it's pretty evident the universe doesn't care about what happens to you or me. For the pantheists I know (quite a few) there's quite the internal battle going on, no matter how much they try to cover up the dark parts.

"So yeah, I don't think considering that something like Q exists that there is even room for god or gods in Star Trek anymore. The Q's are like gods, so why are they not gods, then? Could one not say that gods only exist for beings who don't know enough and when they reach a certain point all godlike beings would transition to superhuman like beings. "

Well, I think I've said enough on the point that the Q bears absolutely no resemblance to anything I would think of as God. They could do to primitive religious types (which are still around today). So I don't see belief in Q as much of an evolution from belief in "godlike beings" (whatever that might be).
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Mike C
Sat, May 16, 2020, 7:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Fair enough, Cody B, although you need to realize no one here (not even Jammer) has creative control over the Star Trek properties. If you’re that interested in the show’s future why not email or tweet some of the people involved in making it. Complaining here might temporarily make you feel better, but realistically it won’t change anything.
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Mike C
Sat, May 16, 2020, 6:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

“At this point if anyone is actually getting excited and expecting a great show you should consider the ‘fool me once’ saying”

Many of us liked the other shows, so there’s plenty of reasons to get excited. But I agree, if you didn’t like the other shows, you should just move on. There’s plenty of other Treks and sci-fi in general out there to talk about.
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Mike
Thu, May 14, 2020, 9:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

@Peter G
"Incidentally, "atheist" is a word that gets tossed around a lot in pop culture, but to actually be an atheist is an incredibly forward and positive statement about reality. It requires far more faith to be a true atheist and declare with certainty there is no God than to say you're not sure or think there might be. What data could that be based on? And if we're using TOS and TNG as guides, there can actually be no basis for it, because while the issue of God is undetermined there are clearly gods running around left and right. I think the most secular-minded society based on science would default to something like "we don't know and can't say", which is possibly what many 'atheists' think anyhow. But it's easy to confuse this with the Hitchens version, which outright attacks the idea. "

Logically speaking, the atheist position as I understand it is that if God existed, we could and would all be able to observe the evidence confirming it, and I assume that means through the senses and not just top-down reasoning. I don't think it requires faith at all, although some versions of it might.

What's interesting is, if that were the reasoning, then Q would come as close as I think is possible to qualifying as "God" - he's seemingly omnipotent, with nearly nothing he can't do. He could probably exist in all times and spaces if he wanted. But no one in their right mind would say that Q is God (and Picard says so). Roddenberry obviously had no qualms including Q in the show. There are also other beings like the "wormhole aliens". So if atheists watching Trek say there's no God in the show, but it would be possible to show God, I have to ask - what would God look like to them?

As a former atheist, I can say pretty confidently my position came from faithlessness and the belief that If I can't see it then it doesn't exist (which is really just another form of faith, in a way), along with a misunderstanding of what God meant. An all-powerful Q-like being wasn't even close.
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Mike
Wed, May 13, 2020, 12:49am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

Booming,
I'd like to have a constructive discussion with you on this, but it's difficult if you do not respect those you are having the discussion with.

I personally know dozens of religious people - that is, believers in God or a higher order of reality. None believe in punishment via hell or wrathful gods. Those are seriously outdated beliefs.

Do some people believe in them today? Yes. But if you identify as a scientist, which I'm guessing you do based on previous posts, how would you like to be grouped in with alchemists or astrologers? I'm guessing not too much.

Science evolves, religion evolves. It's very possible religion in the 24th century will have little resemblance to what we see in operation now in the Vatican, etc. That's my hope anyhow.
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Mike
Tue, May 12, 2020, 3:38am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

"That is not what religion is about. Every religion believes that they are right and that if you follow their rules that you will be rewarded and if you don't will be punished, often for eternity."

And this takes us back to the necessity of understanding what religion actually is. The dictionary says it's belief in God or a higher reality - nothing to do with reward or punishment. If the authors of a scientific paper think it is about that, or includes it, how useful or accurate is it going to be?

It's kind of like asking whether scientists are more intelligent and then including alchemists and witches, because many would call themselves scientists.

I'd also point out that "every religion believes that they are right and that if you follow their rules you will be rewarded and if you don't you will be punished" could also describe the fields of biology, physics, medicine, biochemistry, immunology, etc...
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Mike
Sun, May 10, 2020, 7:11am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

If you think that scientific progress is concomitant with disproving God, or somehow makes 'outgrowing' God inevitable sometime in the future, then quite simply you have a misunderstanding of what science is, or of what God is. Probably both.
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Mike
Thu, May 7, 2020, 9:10am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Darkling

Very educational article - not so much with respect to Gandhi (who I knew was no saint) but in helping me understand why Hitchens is now a poster child of the far right. Using anything remotely un-Western about his culture against him, calling Gandhi a 'fakir' as if all eastern religions were the same, total rejection and ignorance of any form of spirituality as opposed to established (Western) religion, and throwing in surprisingly unsubtle praise of materialism and colonialism wherever possible. If I hadn't known it was written in 2011 I would not have been surprised to be told it was a 1950s piece.
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Mike
Thu, Apr 23, 2020, 7:15am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

What are the point of these "Short Treks", exactly? I just watched "Children of Mars", the latest one. It takes 4 people to write an 8 minute episode which doesn't even have a story, just sentimental fluff, shamelessly uses a pop song from the 80s and references the events of STP. It felt like an extended trailer or commercial for nuTrek.
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Mike
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 6:17am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Well, if my favorite show (B5) is garbage and you praise Lost (the one show the word "garbage" was made for) there's hope for the other shows you put in the trash. I guess the only way to find out is to watch instead of listening to conflicting opinions on the internet. I wasted 10 hours on Picard anyway and The Expanse can't be worse.
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Mike
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 3:58am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

"Most of what came out were uninspired convoluted Mystery box shows—vanished, surface, , helix, 12 monkeys, the event, manifest, daybreak, flash forward, fringe, sleepy hollow, the expanse, caprica, blindspot,"

Thank you - the last thing I want now is a mystery box show. I'll cross those off my watch list. (Caprica I've seen and it was pretty uninspiring)
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Mike
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 8:06am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Call to Arms

Awesome ep. Leeta’s wedding dress was terrible.
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Mike
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 12:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Daedalus

Enjoyed it. Hell with y'all
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Mike
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 10:09am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I'm bowing out, I can't take Star Trek seriously anymore. The reason Kurtzman gets a bad rap is because he's a marketing man, he's hired to get viewers on board by using previously loved characters along with a bunch of new ones to establish the potential for a new series. The goal was never to tell a great story, that much is obvious. One sliver of a good scene between Picard and Data out of 10 wasted hours isn't enough for me to stick around. The rest of it was an utter mess and absolutely pointless.
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Mike W
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I was more impressed with this part than part one for sure. Riker showing up was awesome. I would say that this one gets 3.5 stars.

Data finally getting to rest was a good move. Data had this to say in Time’s Arrow:

I have often wondered about my own mortality, as I have seen others around me age. Until now, it has been theoretically possible that I would live an unlimited period of time. And although some might find this attractive, to me it only reinforces the fact that I am... artificial.

Farewell Data.

Enjoyable season. I’m glad it’s here, unlike some here, TRENT for sure, who obviously need to go watch other shows. Let’s be grateful we have Patrick Stewart and company giving us a follow up to TNG after 26 years.

Take care guys!
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