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Peter G,
Sat, Aug 31, 2019, 12:00am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

@ Springy,

Aha! So the teaser is about Picard's final choice in the end. The crew is dumbfounded by the idea of cracking an actual egg compared to replicating it. What's the difference, they wonder. Riker brags about his 'cooking skills' by knowing how to fry an egg. Putting aside how unintentionally hilarious this is, and more worthy of Neelix than Riker (especially since he served a horrible plain egg with no seasoning at all), I think the moral is this: in order to make a 'real egg' he had to break it first; that way it could be uniquely his. Whereas a replicated egg is just someone else's version copied over and over. And the episode is about how the more personal a decision is the less we can tolerate the idea that we're just copying a procedure that's already happened. Picard 2 is the one who already did all this, and Picard 1 is the one who refuses to accept a replicated sequence of events. So he 'cracks' Picard 2 in order to make it his own. That old baseball slogan, I suppose. And yeah, I suppose the metaphor of the 'cracked eggs' in terms of psychology would be destroying your habituation to repeating things that have worked before, and even destroying your habituation to your own habits or your own self. Real exploration requires growth and risk, so I agree with you Q quote, Springy (mon capitain), since it would seem that Q's lessons mirror this one a bit.

Great analysis!
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Peter G,
Wed, Aug 28, 2019, 1:35am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

@ Booming,

"And of course you admit that Mirasta is right. In the setting of TNG she will always be right no matter how the other side is portrayed because Mirasta is pro Federation. She is basically pro us (fans)."

It's not that important that she's right, but rather *why* she's right. As I mentioned above, she's right because there is no logical course of action other than diplomacy for her planet at this point. I don't believe (unless I remember incorrectly) that she actually advocates for joining the Federation or anything so drastic. It's not that I want to agree with her because I'm a Trek fan; I agree with her because she is being rational and Krola isn't. Once they sat down at the table there would be much more room to agree with him, if he would be willing to do so. And I do think now that this is by design: she is right because dialogue is being advocated by the episode, and not just because we're always going to root for Picard no matter what.

"You view Krola's actions through your knowledge of the Federation and what you would generally see as reasonable behavior in an encounter with a superior civilization. You forget that Krola doesn't know anything apart from the fact that they are outsiders and that they have transporter tech. He doesn't know that their ship is powerful or how many other species are out there. He doesn't even know for sure that they have a ship."

If you're going to go based on blind gambling on his part then the 99.99% gamble is that if aliens came to your planet it's either on a ship, or using technology so terrifying that it's beyond a ship (like an Iconian Gateway). It becomes trivial at that point to trifle about whether it's a ship, or a teleportation pod, or anything else. And yeah, it's safe to assume they are more powerful *at first*. If they're not he'll have plenty of time to discover that later on.

As for your argument that if they're benevolent then interrogating RIker is "safe", have you seen Babylon 5? That show does a good job showing that "benevolent/malevolent" are really useless terns. SPOILERS for anyone who hasn't seen B5, but the incident with the Minbari comes to mind, and is actually quite similar in a way to this one. Not so much in scale, and not involving Earth's greatest leader, but still involving a senior officer's life and a race he knows nothing about. That show went through a few seasons fleshing out how much of a catastrophic mistake it is to open fire on an alien race without knowing their intentions. This is just as bad: imagine if the humans had a deep taboo against murder, and that the murder of one of their officers would be an unforgivable offence that could result in holy war. The stakes are so high that "protecting your culture" just doesn't stack up against the risks of pissing off this new race. And that's putting aside the ethical questions about shooting first and asking questions later, or diplomacy, and all the rest.
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Peter G,
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@ Chrome,

""I seem to remember that in Q Who the Enterprise was tossed to Beta"

Nope."

Huh. I went back and checked, and right you are. Scratch that, then!
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Peter G,
Mon, Feb 25, 2019, 11:46am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Death Wish

@ William B,

No, I know that Q was shown as rebellious already in TNG. But that was shown in more of a truant sort of way, where he had duties was sometimes played around for his own amusement, abusing his powers. It doesn't mean he was derelict in his loyalty, only that he was irresponsible. However I've even occasionally questioned this premise, and wondered whether it was all a test for the Enterprise anyhow. The one and only one convincing scene telling me it's legit is Q2's conversation with Q away from prying eyes, that does seem to confirm that Q was derelict.

That being said, I wasn't referring to Q-as-rogue in the sense of being juvenile or a prankster. I was referring to the end of Death Wish where Q feels inspired by the incident to un-Cuckoo-Nest himself, and reclaim his rogueishness. But this time it wont' be as a juvenlile prankster, but as someone with something to actually say about it. It's supposed to be a learning moment. But how can a being who knows everything have a learning moment? And if Q isn't really omniscient, and can have a learning moment, then it completely destroys the credibility of the argument that Quinn needed to die for the Q to learn anything. If they're smart enough to learn from a death then they should be smart enough to learn from the idea of a death too, without an actual death being necessary. And anyhow, even Quinn's premise that the Continuum *can* learn already undermines his argument that his life can never change. None of it makes sense!
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Peter G,
Tue, Feb 12, 2019, 5:01am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

Just for clarity in my last post, "quick close quarters encounter" was meant to describe the first surprise incident with a Klingon when Burnham defends herself.
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Peter G,
Fri, Nov 16, 2018, 3:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Qpid

Don't worry, Daltone, this one seems to swing wild on scores. If you have no taste, neither do I :)
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Peter G,
Tue, Sep 11, 2018, 6:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Search, Part I

@ Elliott,

"Full disclosure, with some exceptions, the more sarcastic my remarks, the less I enjoy the episode. I think Jammer is about the same in his reviews, same with a lot of video bloggers like SFDebris, too. That’s a facet of my personality. If that’s upsetting to you, I’m genuinely sorry. "

Oh, I don't have a problem with sarcasm. When done right it can be quite amusing and take the piss out of a subject in just the right way. But a wrong way can include what sounds like bitterness (not necessarily pertaining to you). That said my object, if you want to call it that, is that I feel like the sarcasm ends up *replacing content* rather than being a commentary on content. Like, for instance, I just watched Plinkett's review of SW: The Last Jedi, and boy was it sarcastic at times. But I never felt like he was being sarcastic just to pass the time; his critique seemed always on point and a reflection on what he saw on the screen. That's what makes the sarcasm funny: it's a humorous way of being confronted with an observation that I recognize. He says a thing in a funny way and I think "Yeah, that's true!" and the sarcasm makes it funny. Seinfeld used to do that a lot, where they'd point out something immediately recognizable as "real". The key thing is that we actually recognize the thing that the sarcasm is describing to us. But in your review (just this one) I can't say I observed most of the things you mention.

Let's say, for example, I wrote of review of The Search Part 1 that contained the following objection:

"Here we see a prototypical white cultural stereotype of a black man, where the black man is shown cruising around someone else's neighborhood with his big space gun looking for trouble with his posse. This racist and vile representation furthers cultural abuse towards an oppressed people, depicting them as little more than hooligans and not respecting private property. And what's worse, his accomplices are all white people (even the aliens are white people in disguise!!) which is meant to legitimize this portrayal, as if to say "you see! we were there to vouch that this black man really is a criminal." This episode should be ashamed of itself for both villifying 'the other' and portraying a black man as fundamentally being afraid of his neighbors, when in fact in real life it is the black man's neighborhood that is invaded."

I'm not saying you wrote something like this, but imagine reading a review of this type. In theory its content is "coherent" insofar as it makes internal logic. The problem is that this account of what the episode portrays simply doesn't match up with reality, nor with any realistic interpretation of what the authors intended and the actor's portrayed. So this is a 'real objection' in terms of it's identified a potential problem and shown where in the episode that problem occurs, except that I don't think this example in particular is a reasonable objection. I doubt many readers will read this objection and immediately realize "yeah! that's exactly what I saw too!" Not that every objection must be about something obvious; but nevertheless one sometimes gets the impress that objections of this sort reflect more on the writer than on the material the review is supposedly about. Again, that was an abstract example and not meant to represent any particulars of how you framed your particular objections. My point is that I think it's important that the reader identify with what you say you saw, and I can't say (certainly in the examples I provided in my last comment) that I saw the same episode you did. For the record, while I may disagree I am totally supportive of views that disagree with mine as long as they're backed up by facts.

"Oh and by the way, if you think my DS9 reviews are sarcastic, just wait till we get to Enterprise."

I will look forward to it, then.
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Peter G,
Thu, Jul 26, 2018, 5:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Family

@ Chrome,

That's more or less in keeping with what I meant. My 'resistance is futile' line isn't just meant to convey pessimism, but that the only way to look it forward. Robert's version of pretending to stay in the past is untenable in the long-run, but on the other hand racing towards the future with no thought to the destination is just as dangerous. The balanced message, as you put it, seems to say that the Robert side of the equation mustn't be lost if the Federation is to stay human and avoid becoming a technological terror. I think Picard is the exemplar of that balance, and it took spending time at home to remind him that despite the dangers posed by the future he actually is equipped to meet them.

One can almost look at it in larger terms, thinking back to Encounter at Farpoint, where Q ordered the Federation back to Earth. Family shows us that between hiding on Earth on going out there to perhaps become a terrible thing, there really is no option. One must both go out there, and also avoid becoming the terrible thing. I think the Trek message is that this can really be accomplished if we have a common goal to that effect.
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