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Alan Roi
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

My prediction for how all this shakes down:

The squidified probe being sent back from the future and taking over Airiam ends up being revealed as as the timeline's McCoy/Edith Keeler moment and the consequences of its changing the past are what ultimately erases the future where Control took over the galaxy, just like McCoy's saving Keeler changed the future in a similar manner.
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Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@ Peter G.
These are all discussions that would be more fitting for a philosophy board. I'm also at risk of going into lengthy sermons from this point on. ;)
But let me say at least this.
For conflict to grow, inequality has to grow.
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Jason R.
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Peter your point is well taken. I am certain history must be littered with the corpses of theories that falsely promised to dig down to the true bedrock of 'human nature' but instead illuminated only the biases of a single culture (or individual).
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Peter G.
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@ Jason R. and Booming,

Indeed, there may be global forces at work badly educating people (if that's a factor). Just to be clear, by "education" I don't mean expertise in some field, but rather how one values others as worthy in themselves. In other words, we might call it social education, as opposed to technical education. And yes, I would completely expect there to be no difference in India or China; in fact I would expect it to be exacerbated there compared to North America, where mindsets are very much geared towards having to fend off others trying to take advantage of you.

@ Booming,

Yes there's an emotional component for sure, but part of that is a rational problem as well, because while it's true that we're goint to react instinctively all things being equal, I don't believe it has to be this way. But that is something that 'education' would have to overcome. Right now it seems it doesn't, and seems rather to incentivize bolstering one's own side. Socrates seems to have doggedly assigned himself the task of exploring the opinions of others, and yes, I do think this is a task that requires assigning; it won't come naturally.
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Jason R.
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 1:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Peter I can't answer your question. What I will say is that Haidt did travel to places like India in his research (citing some of that data). While there were significant differences found between Western and non Western countries (although mostly on educational and class lines rather than ethnic / national ones) Haidt takes great pains to avoid the trap of mistaking the cognitive behaviours of educated westerners for human nature (as he alleges others in the field did previously)

But that said, my response already presupposes that your thesis is aimed at the west. It is of course possible that certain cultural forces are *global* which means they may indeed be true everywhere and yet not, in fact, be truly inherent in human nature. This seems implausible but if true, it would obviously be extremely challenging to verify.
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Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 1:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@ Peter G.
I would argue that the problem here is not rational but emotional because really getting into the arguments of the other side could be challenging to ones own core believes which is not pleasant while believing that you are right is comforting.
That is true for most. Not me of course. :D
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Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 1:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@ Jason R.
I requested the study. It certainly has a lot of citations which is usually a good sign. I still need to read it though and cannot say anything about what you wrote. Thanks for taking the time. Oh and social psychology is not my field. ;) Political science (mostly. Haven't given up on sociology completely) is. They overlap at times, of course.
At a glance it sounds like confirmation bias.
Sorry guys for derailing the thread again.
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Peter G.
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@ Jason R.,

I wonder if whether, in a long-term fashion, we may see a link betwene these sorts of results, and cultural context. For instance, if a culture has as it's M.O. that you need to be right about everything, that others are there just to obstruct you, and that 'the other side' needs to always be either beaten or converted, then instead the mental heuristics would be well-trained to always bolster your own side, as the currency in play to reward helping the other wise would be minimal. And I think Socrates was even in some sense investigating whether the inability to care about the other side's argument is endemic, or the result of bad education and upbringing. I couldn't guess which it is, but I'm not at all convinced that what the studies you mention describe is something true of "people", or rather something true of badly educated people. I wonder whether it's because we are actually really bad at forming counter-arguments to our own positions, or whether we just don't care to because it seems like there's nothing in it for us to do so. As an excercise in imagination, seeing the other side equally to your own requires training and experience, like anything else. Professional actors have to do this as a matter of course; but does anyone else?
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Jason R.
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 12:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Hey Booming, since you were interested in the education factor specifically, I did a keyword search in the book just for the heck of it. It cites a study from 1991 by Perkins and Bushy which attempted to measure the ability of participants to provide reasons in support of or against various arguments on social issues. The idea being that the participant would tell you what his opinion was (for or against) and then list the "my side" arguments in one column and "other side" arguments in another column. The study used high school students, college and graduate students from different grade levels within the same institutions.

So the idea being presumably the more educated a person was the more arguments would be generated on *both* columns - or that is what you'd expect if the thesis is that intellect / education serves a rational purpose versus merely buttressing a pre-existing conclusion after the fact.

Here's the money quote:

"Perkins found that IQ was by far the biggest predictor of how well people argued. But it predicted only the number of my-side arguments. Smart people make really good lawyers and press secretaries, but they are no better than others at finding reasons on the other side. Perkins concluded that "people invest their IQ in buttressing their own case rather than in exploring the entire issue more fully and evenhandedly"

The central thesis is that our underlying beliefs are *not* derived from reason, regardless of the iq or education level of the person. Rather, our reason acts as a kind of lawyer or press secretary whose job it is to explain and rationalize a belief that has already been adopted.

Anyway if this is your field I'm sure this stuff isn't anything groundbreaking. No idea if it's credible from an expert perspective, but as a layperson, I found it eye opening.
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Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@ Jason R.
I must admit that I forgot about that. Sorry. I really had horribly demanding month behind me and just tried to get away from all that stuff.
That book is certainly interesting but seems to be aimed at a broader audience. Could still provide useful sources. Thanks.
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Jason R.
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 11:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Booming, I think I already may have recommended Jonathan Haidt's book to you on another thread.

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0052FF7YM/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

One of the things I enjoyed about it was that it was good about citing credible sounding evidence to support its thesis (which I very crudely summarized above)

For full disclosure I am just a layperson who read a book that very much appealed to his inner "elephant" (again, Haidt's metaphor). I don't presume to be an expert of any kind on the subject.
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Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 11:05am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@ wolfstar
Yeah, when I think of tomorrow, I'm reminded of the season 1 ending...
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Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@ Jason R.
"Indeed, an educated smart person will only differ in that he'll come up with smarter (and more informed) reasons to justify his gut belief, but he's still using the same cognitive process to get there."
Could you provide studies that indicate that. I'm planning to write a paper about something where this information could be useful.
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wolfstar
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 11:00am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

"As you mentioned, you don't want to get bogged down by technical debates. My question is then why are people bringing this stuff up? Something is amiss... hmmm I don't know yet."

You're right, and as I see it, it comes down to the characters and storytelling again. People will excuse all kinds of oversights if they care about the characters and are emotionally invested in the story. Your example of the Inner Light is a perfect illustration. This is why, even though I've been really critical of the past few episodes, I had basically no criticisms of Project Daedalus - the emotional arc and the drama were so compelling that I was able to overlook any minor inconsistencies and contrivances. But if the characters aren't working and the story isn't gripping people, all the slip-ups and short cuts in the script become harder to ignore. If the story has earned your trust and you care about the people and what happens, it's much easier to excuse them. If season 1 had told an awesome emotionally-involving story with well-developed characters, people wouldn't have focused on things like the Klingons' appearance as much.
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Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 11:00am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@ Picard :)
Sorry because of two horrible days with very limited inet connection I didn't follow the debate that closely. I gave lost three and a half season, same with Voyager. Let's see if Discovery makes it that far. I have my doubts. It is also at this point pretty clear to me that Discovery will not reach BSG levels. That show really moved me. All these depressed people circling the maelstrom of human extinction. So awesome. :D

@ Mertov
Or think of the Iconian portals that could teleport infinite amounts of people instantly anywhere in the galaxy. Or the warp drive which is basically an anti matter-matter explosion that then flows through a crystal which crates a bubble that makes the ship go faster than the laws of physics. I always find it amusing when people defend it. :) As Daya said people, and don't call me misandristic please, but especially men have a harder time of connecting emotional states with rational thought. It gets less over the years (with which I mean birth cohorts) but yeah... nevertheless it remains statistically significant. So you feel that something is wrong but are incapable to engage your own feelings in a way that leads to the actual answer therefor you find something that is easily identifiable and focus your anger on that.
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Jason R.
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 10:53am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

"I have an observation about human beings in general. When humans dislike something, they are not really aware of why they actually dislike it. They are more likely to give the reason that seems most logical than the one that is the actual truth when explaining their distaste for something. Humans are not aware that they do this."

Your observation is consistent with the latest evidence on this subject. People generally come to conclusions from the "gut" and then employ reason to justify what they already believe after the fact. This is pretty much universal and transcends education and intellectual capability. Indeed, an educated smart person will only differ in that he'll come up with smarter (and more informed) reasons to justify his gut belief, but he's still using the same cognitive process to get there.

I think this topic is very much related to the use of terms like "Mary Sue". I agree with what others said, which is that this type of term is especially unhelpful. It is a dog whistle designed to signal a "gut" reaction in the listener, either positive or negative. It simply serves to polarize and shut down any chance of rational debate. To use a legal parlance, its prejudicial effect vastly outweighs its probative value.
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Tim C
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 10:19am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

I don't know about the rest of you, but anytime an argument devolves into back-and-forths over terms like "Mary Sue", I switch off. As with other pejorative labels like "SJW", it's lazy criticism and the frequent abuse of it by online shitheads* has tainted it by association.

That said, I will confess that I find it mystifying how anyone could apply it to Burnham, the character who has first billing in the credits. Of course she's involved in everything; she's the main character of a heavily serialised narrative.

The question of whether or not this blows out your suspension of disbelief in a narrative sense is another matter. (As Jammer mentions in this review, the show has pushed it to the limit with Burnham-worship in the first half of this finale.) Personally, I like SMG's performance, and I find the idea of her character - a human raised by Vulcans - to be an intriguing one, but after this season I'm ready for the show to broaden its scope beyond Burnham, purely for variety's sake and because this show has a talented cast and other interesting characters that aren't being tapped to their full potential.

*Not specifically aiming THAT pejorative at anyone here ;)
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Daya
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 10:04am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

I have an observation about human beings in general. When humans dislike something, they are not really aware of why they actually dislike it. They are more likely to give the reason that seems most logical than the one that is the actual truth when explaining their distaste for something. Humans are not aware that they do this.
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Mertov
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 10:04am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Booming, good points.
Let's not even mention the most revered episode in Star Trek, featuring the ridiculous portal resembling a giant-shiny picture frame with silver-magenta-ish border, called Guardian of Forever (!) through which you can just jump to travel through time. Suuure..
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 9:57am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Booming
"I agree with Daya. You asked for an example, Omicron, of smart writing and subverting the whole Mary Sure issue would certainly be an interesting concept."

No. I asked for evidence for the Alan Roi's specific earlier claims.

Subverting the Mary Sue issue is indeed an interesting concept, but it has nothing to do with the bold statements that Alan made. At least, that's the way I see it. YMMV I suppose.

At any rate, you're right. In a few hours, we'll be much wiser. I just hope that if the season finale doesn't live to the expectations, people won't just brush it off and say "no biggie. they'll resolve everything in Season 3".
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Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 8:35am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@ wolfstar
So it is about not giving enough explanations even though these explanations themselves would be complete fantasy. Fair point.

About the time crystals being useful for everything. Compare that to Inner light.
The probe makes no sense from start to finish:
- How did the probe travel that far? It doesn't have faster than light travel.
- How did a not really well defined industrial but apparently also agrarian society create rockets that could not only go into space but transport heavy equipment?
- How did such a society create a probe that could incapacitate a completely unknown species and then transmit some kind of complex simulation over thousands of kilometers? That is far beyond anything we can do. It seems needlessly complex and also illogical because many would perceive the behavior of the probe as an attack and destroy it. Get the flute and a nice CD in there, let it fly and wait for V-Ger to contact you. Simple.

Maybe that's why they went extinct. Instead of using their apparent technical genius for survival they put all their eggs into the remember probe project. :)

As you mentioned, you don't want to get bogged down by technical debates. My question is then why are people bringing this stuff up? Something is amiss... hmmm I don't know yet.
And no, Discovery is not good drama. I still believe that Discovery mostly fails at being inspirational and that is why people dislike it so much.
Well, in a few hours we will be much wiser. Maybe.
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wolfstar
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 8:09am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

All time travel is fantasy (as is most science on Star Trek), but I prefer either explanations that at least try to ground themselves in science (the Okuda approach) or that present time travel as an exceptional intervention by a godlike being (Q, the Prophets, the Guardian) or the result of a freak phenomenon. On Discovery, they've just said "time crystal" as if it's self-explanatory - there's no further attempt to explain what they are, how they work or why, we're just supposed to accept them as magic. I'm fine with the idea of them plugging them into the ship (or into a suit) to facilitate time travel (similar to dilithium crystals and warp travel), but the fact that they also give you visions (Burnham, Reno) when you touch them and apparently lock you into a certain destiny if you take them from Boreth (Pike) is too nonsensical. It's woo. It'd have worked slightly better if the time crystals had been introduced via a new alien race, as something unknown to the Trek universe, but locating them on Boreth and retconning the Trek universe so that the Klingons have had access to this stash of magic time crystals all along is messy. As someone said before, it's 1980s Saturday morning action cartoon writing. (Not knocking those, they're great, but they have a different sensibility to Star Trek.)

Like any Trek series, Discovery has to be judged first and foremost on whether it's good drama, so I don't want to get too bogged down in technical aspects like this. It's just messy writing, and it makes it harder to suspend your disbelief when the crystals are basically capable of anything the writers want them to be.
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Trent
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 8:03am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Liam said: "I wouldn't worry, everything is related to everything else on this show."

Which is itself the chief theme of the season: a god-like hand intervening, reaching through time and space, to orchestrate and organize every little thing and relationship in the season. The season itself begins with Michael telling the story of an ancient African myth. A myth about a "girl who tosses stuff into the air" which "becomes the universe" and "contains a message in a bottle" visible "only to those faithful few whose hearts are open enough to see it."

Pre-season buzz made this sound like a season about faith and religion, but the faith angle is doing something a bit creepier; faith in a kind of predestination or super-determinism. The guiding hand of Michael, Michael's Mom, or some other future agent we don't know yet.
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Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 6:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Lynos
Discovery or the critique of it always forces me into strange positions because I am not a big fan of Discovery but the criticism to me often rings hollow and hyperbolic. This has often to do with people assigning value to something while denying it somewhere else. I often look at these two things and find it hard to see real differences at least in respect to the ordering categories that are chosen. Like as mentioned flying around the sun (good time travel) time crystals (bad time travel).
To me both sounds like lunacy. I guess people need some sciency explanations even though these explanations are complete fantasy and maybe Discovery isn't providing that. Or maybe they need a certain positivity/hopefulness that Discovery certainly lacks to be more forgiving when it comes to made up science.

@Wolfstar
Yeah, ok but look at the other instances of time travel. They are all complete fantasy.
https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Time_travel (under events)

time travel happens because of
- an emergency cold start of the warp drive
- an encounter with a black star
- the Guardian of forever. A a mysterious construct of an unknown, ancient alien race. (memory alpha quote)
- the flying around the sun (two times, once in the movie, once in the show)
- The Nexus. An extra-dimensional realm in which one's thoughts and desires shaped reality. (memory alpha quote)
- a time distortion because of...
- Q
- chroniton particles
- Kemocide pumped into the engine
- the Prophets
- an energy barrier with quantum fluctuations
and it goes on like this. I had to stop. It is so crazy. :D
Why is any of this more rational or logical then a time crystal???
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wolfstar
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 6:13am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

What I'm saying (submitted comment too soon) is the "time crystals" shouldn't be defended based on the Orb of Time, as the Orb of Time wasn't a particularly good precedent, and its usage was also different (it was just used to tell two standalone stories set in the past).
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