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Nick
Fri, Jan 5, 2018, 2:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Parallels

@Vii
In regards to him not having a birthday party at the end I would guess that it is suppose to imply that his first shift actually took place when he first encountered the rift. Geordie just triggered subsequent shifts.
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Nick
Sun, Dec 24, 2017, 4:31am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

" Preventing oneself from being in the position of having conflicts of interest and abuse of power is the most important part of ethics. "

Well, no. The most important parts of ethics are 1) axiology - the study of values which ought to be the ultimate reason for all our actions and 2) normative ethics, which develop specific principles according to which we can evaluate our actions, that is, to determine if an action contributes to the maximization of intrinsic value or is detrimental to it. Only from here we can proceed to applied ethics, that is, the application of normative ethics to specific cases like abortion, gun rights, or interference with pre-Warp cultures. The Prime Directive belongs to the realm of applied ethics, but I struggle to see what kind of normative ethical theory is supposed to be behind it, and what value it is supposed to maximize.

In this discussion there does seem to be a weird Kantian implication involved from time to time. Kant's Categorical Imperative is "Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." Kant then famously proceeded to argue that if an axe-wielding murderer asks you if you have seen his fleeing victim, you are not allowed to lie, because lying as a universal principle would be bad. Seems like the Federation has adopted a similar approach.

I, on the contrary, think that such a situation requires one to use one's intelligence, attempt to predict the possible outcome to the best extent of one's abilities, and then act in one way or another. A general PD-like rule is useful to fall back on in unclear situations, but making exceptions where a situation clearly calls for it is also a moral responsibility.

Also, if Humanity in Star Trek are so afraid of unintended consequences of their actions, of being morally compromised by making a wrong decision, and or taking risks and taking responsibility in general, then maybe instead of interstellar exploration they should take up gardening.
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Nick
Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

This is an irrelevant technicality. If they are physically unable to help someone for one reason or another, then it's not a question of ethics at all. We are talking about the situations where they are fully capable of helping, but don't. There are episodes dealing with such a situation. "Dear Doctor (Mengele)" immediately comes to mind, even though it's pre-PD, but the principle is the same.
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Nick
Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 11:28am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

Even if they form a literal Starfleet-worshipping cult, how does it matter? Saving them from certain death still take precedence by far.

If they save this planet thay are obligated to save every planet in peril. If they don't save this planet if possible, they are still obligated to save every planet in peril if possible, they are simply failing to live up to that obligation to a greater degree than if they saved it.

And yes, everyone understands that they do not have the capability to save them all, just like you or me do not have the capability to save every suffering person on Earth. Being unable to do something is not an ethical failure. However when you or me or Starfleet have an opportunity to save someone at little or no cost to ourselves, it is our obligation to do so. Just like you are not morally required to travel to Africa and work to save Ebola victims (failing to do your best to maximize the total well-being is, strictly speaking, a moral failure, but since it's clearly beyond what most people are capable of, we accept that only exceptional people can fully live up to that standard), but you are morally required to help a person you happen to find having a heart attack on the street.
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Nick
Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 8:37am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

You cannot predict the consequences of your actions with absolute certainty in any situation. Equally, you cannot predict the consequences of your inaction. The difference between these two, and your bias towards inaction, is purely psychological, if we are talking about an abstract case without any specifics.

However in these particular examples (both the drowning child one and the dying planet one) we can actually use our intelligence to predict the outcome with some degree of certainty. There is pretty much nothing vague about them. If we refuse to act in such circumstances, then logically we should refuse to act at all, opting for a life of total inaction.

Nobody is disputing the value of having certain protocols for the first contact situations to prevent things like cultural contamination where it can reasonably be avoided. However, the application of Prime Directive as shown in the series makes me actually think that it was Humanity who were the most prominent victims of cultural contamination in Star Trek universe: their culture was contaminated with clearly inhuman (Vulkan) ideas, and now they are struggling to reconcile their natural Human drive to explore and to change the world for the better with alien Vulkan ideals of detachment and inaction/observation.
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Nick
Fri, Dec 22, 2017, 9:11am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

"Vile nonsense" is far too gently a term for this episode. It made me give up on Enterprise altogether, simply because of sheer moral disgust it made me feel towards the characters.

In fact, I think I'm done with Star Trek, at least for some considerable time. I like shows about aliens, but not shows seemingly written by aliens whose normative ethics are completely abhorrent by human standards.
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Nick
Wed, Dec 20, 2017, 4:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

This is a nice, touching episode, which also handily shows Prime Directive as the complete nonsense it is. The "playing God" argument is absurd. You would be equally "playing God" if you were passing by a lake and had to rescue a drowning child. But you don't know the consequences! What if the child grown up to become a mass murderer or a genocidal dictator? What if he grows up and takes a place at the university that would otherwise go to the poor talented kid, depriving him of the chance to become the greatest genius in the history of Mankind? Anyone who would seriously consider such arguments before jumping in to save the child is a psychopath, and so is anyone who would hesitate before saving a whole sentient species because of some "Prime Directive".
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Nick
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 7:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

@wolfstar

Personally, I don’t see it, but I do find it interesting that the writers at Forbes relate most to the character with Aspergers. There’s nothing wrong with an audience surrogate, though. I’m hard-pressed to think of series that doesn’t insert a neophyte to help explain to new fans long-running series elements.
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Nick
Sun, Oct 1, 2017, 2:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Latent Image

I think that this is an excellent episode (3.5 stars). Watching the doctor grapple with his conscience is heartbreaking. Feels like a lot of other comments are very nitpicky.
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Dominick
Fri, Jun 9, 2017, 7:25am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Pathfinder

Loved this episode, I can forgive the obvious plot hole (it being practically impossible to predict Voyager's current whereabouts) because the story was fun to watch and the emotional payoff in the end was great, had me in tears :')
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Nick
Sat, Jan 21, 2017, 4:55am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

Wow. This episode was a pile of puke. So is this review. A perfect pike of puke to end a pile of puke series.
This garbage constantly tried to rip off the magic of TNG. It was never legitimate on its own. "Hey let's put the Borg in half the episodes so the detestable Janeway can defeat them again and again by compromising humanity's, Starfleet's, the Federation's, and get own values, morals and rules."
At one time, the Borg were considered one of the greatest villains in TV history. Luckily no one watched Voyager or they certainly won't be remembered that way.
As for the finale, what a blatant attempt to rip off the essence of 'All Good Things.' Ever watch Deep Space Nine and notice it had its own characters, themes and plots? Poor Voyager. You never had a chance with Braga as the principle creative driver and Mulgrew cast in the lead.
One note on Jeri Ryan. Her beauty and blonde over biguns want enough to make the show decent, just bought it the three final seasons. She was a great actress though. Voyager didn't deserve her. This is evidenced by the last episode melodramaromance/ with Seven & Chakotay. What a disservice to both characters and actors.
💩
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Nick
Sun, Nov 6, 2016, 6:25am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Chute

Mikey, Zio had already betrayed Tom and Harry. He evicted them and threatened to kill Tom. Initially, he went up the chute with Harry, but that was the end of his cooperation. He wanted Harry to stay in the prison and be his disciple.
Leaving him behind wasn't a betrayal. Their agreement had come to an end.
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Nick
Sat, Nov 5, 2016, 1:33am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Tuvix

I agree with the first comment and the comment just prior to this one.

I disagree with Jammer, who shit the bed here. The last act of this episode was mastery, probably the best ten minutes of Star Trek television ever. I loathed all but Tuvix, their respective parts, and the Doctor. I delighted in the gem that only the computer-generated man could see the inherent wrongness in the Captain's decision.

Did I detect an accusatory note delivered in Tim Russ's line to Janeway, "Captain, greetings." seconds after she effectively murdered half of him? Tim Russ is as master.
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Nickyc
Fri, Nov 4, 2016, 4:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

200 + comments and no-one has mentioned the S-word. Science ! Since Enterprise finished real life science has given us a ton of new discoveries in Astronomy, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Neuroscience will any of these things be reflected in this new show ? Will we see Hot Jupiters, Pulsar Planets or indeed planets like this one :
www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2016/11/nasa-reveals-dazzling-blue-alien-planet-with-rains-of-terror-and-wind-at-seven-times-the-speed-of-so.html

Will we see anything new at all or is the name "Discovery" meant to be ironic ?
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Nick
Wed, Oct 12, 2016, 8:57am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Dark Page

At best, this episode shoes how Majel Barrett was misused in her previous half-dozen TNG appearances and her subsequent handful on DS9. Her performance almost salvaged a pretty terribly written episode.
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Michael Brennick
Thu, May 19, 2016, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

The casting of Jean Simmons raises this episode's profile substantially. Picard's facile grandstanding on his own "civil liberties" drumhead lowers the episode.
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Nick M
Wed, Feb 3, 2016, 10:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: He That Believeth in Me

On my rewatch and Roslin wants everyone to believe in her and her visions but Kara MUST be a Cylon. Yep. Way to be Madam President.
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Nick
Wed, Dec 2, 2015, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

This one has bothered me forever. As a Captain in the Army..."Cadet, thanks for holding things together. I'm taking command of the unit and we're going to do X now." And pretty much every cadet in the history of cadets is going along with that when a real officer shows up, probably even when a real NCO shows up too.
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Nick
Sat, May 2, 2015, 2:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Remember Me

I really enjoy the scenes of Crusher on her own, especially her conversations with the computer, but the entire concept of the traveler, people's minds making things possible in the physical universe, Wesley doing calculations with his eyes closed, are just absolute twaddle. Pure unadulterated nonsense that was at home in season one, but now that TNG has become consistently good it is beyond me why they chose to resurrect this half baked concept.

God I feel better.
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Nick Morrissey
Sun, Mar 1, 2015, 8:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

This movie just gained an extra shot of emotional resonance with Nimoy's passing...
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Nick Hughes
Thu, Jan 15, 2015, 4:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: A Taste of Armageddon

Kirk does not violate the Prime Directive in this story. There. I've said it.

As the Enterprise enters the system, it's told by Eminiar VII to go away because it's dangerous to go there. Kirk initially wants to comply and leave. Ambassador Fox orders him, very firmly, to proceed to the planet. So the responsibility of what happens next is firmly on Fox, not Kirk.

Next, Kirk is informed that the Enterprise has been declared a casualty and that the crew has to beam down to get disintegrated. That's an act of war. Eminiar VII and Vendikar aren't societies ignorant of space faring races, they are aware of The Federation and have previously destroyed other Federation vessels. Kirk acts to defend himself and his crew, from the threat of an aggressor. The Prime Directive is for the protection of cultures but not those who choose to attack the Federation. However he, like any competent commander, isn't using the weapons and tactics that his opponents want him to. He takes the initiative and protects his crew; his first duty.

Let's not make Kirk the Prime Directive violating maverick villain of the piece here: Anan VII shows himself to be quite devious, manipulative and insensitive to the anguish of others. It's only when he feels his life is threatened that he starts to lose his self control.
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Nick
Sun, Nov 23, 2014, 3:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

Well, DS9 started out well...early episodes were imbued with classic Trek tropes. Then ratings plummet and we get the 'Dominian War" ===which ultimately devolves into melodrama and soap operaesqe plot lines. I get it, the show was suffering, the writers needed something big, which leads to the classic battle of good vs. evil. Notice however, of the remaining dozen episodes, where is the challenge of convention, the exploration of humanity, the discovery of the alien? Nowhere, ziltch. All tossed out for a plotline better suited to :::gulp:::: ....Star Wars.

Lastly,

Ric - Wed, Feb 26, 2014 - 4:34am (USA Central)

My thoughts exactly.
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Nick
Sun, Nov 23, 2014, 2:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

Sloan was built up as the ultimate protagonist. An all seeing, all powerful menacing force secretly guiding foreign policy of the Federation. He was on the cusp of wiping out the founders! Imagine, in a matter of days in the DS9 world, the virus would have done its job and ended the war. The Founder's genocidal war upon the galaxy had caused, we are told, billions of deaths. Would not the wiping out of the Founders justified the methods? .... a question whose answer we are denied as the dynamic duo Bashir and Miles go forth once more into the breach, saving the day. What do we get? Sloan, brain dead...the federation's brightest and monomaniacal, factitious agent, reduced to a vegetable. A cop-out indeed.
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Nick
Tue, Nov 11, 2014, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: Interstellar

Jammer I know what you mean.
There was a scene early in the film where they are chasing the drone in the truck, and the music from the first trailer is playing. I remember feeling the way I used to feel when watching movies, where I didn't know exactly what would happen, but I wanted the film to whisk me away to it, and that music, editing, and shot composition could take me down a road of wonderment. It felt like I was watching a movie again, and not this stupid excuse for comic book crap that makes up the the so called Marvel Cinematic Universe (ironic since there is nothing at all cinematic about any of those films). Sure, I had many many issues with Interstellar, but when it works it really works!
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Nick
Mon, Nov 10, 2014, 7:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Child's Play

The main problem with this episode is the gaping whole in the plot logic: if Icheb naturally produces a pathogen that kills Borg, why doesn't he infect Seven and the other ex-Borg in this and the first episode he's in? This spoiled what was otherwise a decent episode for me. Classic lazy Voyager writing cop out...
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