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Mike
Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Change of Heart

I have never bought the Worf/Dax match, zero chemistry!

Why didn’t he just pick her up and carry her the rest of the way? They had just 3 kilometers to go?

Was shocked that he left her, even if he did change his mind!
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Mike
Sat, Aug 1, 2020, 8:39am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Seventh Season Recap

I gave it a go Dave, but if I had to name one of DS9's flaws, the first that comes to mind would be that it had a tendency to be overly talky. That might perhaps make it completely suitable for a radio play, for some. For others like me who often tuned out during some of the less... shall we say... enthralling dialogues of the show, it's a pass.
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Mike
Thu, Jul 30, 2020, 1:20am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: One Little Ship

Great episode!
Loved tiny Miles and Bashir in the computer chip, what an awesome set. So cool!
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Mike
Wed, Jul 29, 2020, 7:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

Wow, one of the best!
Loved the high level theme and story. Loved the costumes, music, sets. Loved seeing Shimerman, Oberjonois, Dorn out of makeup. Loved the acting, Brooks was awesome!
Gave me goosebumps!
Bravo!!
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Mike
Sun, Jul 26, 2020, 10:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Waltz

Solid ep . Dukat is a great character. Good acting by Brooks. Tough gritty fight scene.
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Mike
Sun, Jul 26, 2020, 8:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: The Magnificent Ferengi

I was thinking, “Man that’s a really bad Vorta.” Then I find out he’s Iggy Pop? WTH?
And shouldn’t they have had 7 Ferengi to make the whole magnificent seven thing work? They were one short. Budget crunch?
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Mike
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 8:33am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

There were things I didn't like about the Orville, and I'm no fanboy, but what endeared me to it and perhaps the only thing which kept me watching, was its authenticity. The characters had flaws but they genuinely wanted to improve, and wore their hearts on their sleeve. This is a big contrast to Picard where the flaws were there but no attempt or desire to change. So we have Raffi as a drug addict and others talking about their pasts, but no sense of moving on or honest owning up to these deficiencies. The flaws just seemed to be there to prove that the characters were flawed, and nothing more. I think Discovery possibly did better in this area, but not by much. I had the impression that the characters couldn't change too much because both series were intended to be "dark" and unburdening them would have gone too much against that aesthetic.
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Mike
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 8:01am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

That's the thing, I don't think the writers were aware of what the Romulans and the androids symbolized. I don't think they were intended to come across the way they did, the "Romulans only" scene on the desert planet was more about Picard's burden, the android genocide was about something else. Most of the time I don't even know what the intention was, the whole thing was very confused. That's not to pardon or vindicate them. I just thought 'woke' meant being awake to social and political issues, and you can't say that about the Picard writers - 'asleep' would be a better adjective.
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Mike
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 7:22am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Writing about wokeness would be far more interesting than what Discovery and Picard have actually done. DS9 did far more with wokeness, writing about genuine social and racial issues. Instead, DIC and PIC are about absolutely nothing, neither wanting to say anything or offend anyone.
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Mike
Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 6:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Holy shit, people are rewatching this? I don't mean to put anyone down, but there are better ways to spend your time. Go for a walk in nature. Call a friend you haven't spoken to for a while. Learn a new subject. Hell, sleeping for 10 hours would be a vastly improved use of time.

Then again, the human psychology is fascinating, and maybe torturing ourselves is the goal for many of us.
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Mike
Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 8:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@James White
People have been protesting, putting their voices out there and volunteering as long as there has been civilization. If it was the answer, we'd be in a fine situation by now.
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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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