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Peter G.
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 10:31am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

@ Booming,

You are not completely in touch with the spread of common beliefs among protesters and BLM in particular if you think "defund the police" is a mis-statement of "reallocate funds appropriately". For some it means that, for others it means what it sounds like: no more funds for the police, and no more police (that entire infrastructure presumably to be replaced by something else).

As for fistfights, you also have to be utterly tone deaf to think that the main threat coming to someone dissenting at this point in time is a physical assault. There are plenty of other ways to ruin someone, and the tools of the trade seem to include being cancelled, fired, doxxed, ostracized, etc etc. Death threats are a thing endemic all over the place right now so that's not unique to this, but probably happens also.
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Peter G.
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 9:56am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

@ Booming,

Let me help to explain one point Jason R is making (if I may):

"That sign really rattled you. A less emotional response seems appropriate."

It's only appropriate if the message is innocuous or benevolent.

But here is that Jason R said:

"You want to know why it's a threat? Because if saying nothing is "violent" then that means by saying nothing I am literally *attacking* someone."

You might want to ask why the sign said "silence is VIOLENCE" rather than something more agreeable like "silence keeps things the same" or "silence helps the wrong side." But no, it is 'violence'. You need to be tone deaf not to realize this type of phrasing is related to the language used on certain university campuses, where you hear talk of feeling "threatened" by something (e.g. a teacher stating a conservative opinion) and that this threat is reported as making the environment "unsafe", which results in a firing for 'endangering' the students. If you think the word "violence" in the poster is just an accident or a metaphor, you are mistaken; they mean it when they say they consider it as violence. I can see Jason R's POV to take that poster as basically meaning "either you're with us, or else whatever happens you to - you had it coming." And you do see semblances of that in both cancel culture and in internet mobbing/doxxing.

While I can see merit to both sides of the discussion on the protests and so forth, there's no need to play the motte and bailey game about plain language to try to say it means something even though it clearly wants you to understand it another way. These types of arguments tend to discredit even the good points the left makes, which is why they should dissociate themselves with these 'allies' asap.
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Peter G.
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

@ Jonathan Swift,

Aw, come on man, you're losing your ambiguous edge with that last post. It came across as clearly incendiary and sarcastic, losing the charm and incongruity of your first, more interesting post. If I don't have to scratch my head figuring out what you're saying then what's the point?
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Peter G.
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

@ Jonathan Swift,

Funny enough I was just reading about Jonathan Swift the other day, and your post reads like Gulliver's Travels (i.e. a lampoon). But even more funny, around half of your post can read clearly as a lampoon of what you're saying, while the other half sounds like a bona fide statement that people would actually made unironically. Maybe you're just taking the piss out of reality itself, or in the words of John Carpenter - "THIS IS NOT REALITY!"
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Peter G.
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 12:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

@ Anonymous Texan,

Nice write-up, this encapsulates some thoughts I've had before. The one aspect of it that didn't occur to me, that Starfleet itself is the marriage between Alixus' ideals and the technological age, probably didn't because it's not really part of the episode's narrative. I agree that we can *find it* between the lines, but the writers definitely did not go there. The fact that you noticed the Starfleet guy was the last to give in is quite interesting, and if it's pointedly deliberate by the writers to say what you think they're saying, then I have to just wonder at why they were so inept as to not take even one moment to show just how much strength Starfleet can provide to people who need challenge in an age of luxury. That would be a huge Trek message to put out there, and probably hasn't been stated clearly in that way since TOS.

I've spent most of my time in the threat arguing against the plot being silly and so forth, but if I'm being honest about an objective appraisal I think that the sub-plot with Kira and Dax was pure wasted screen time that could have fleshed out the philosophical problem more. Alixus is definitely supposed to be objecting to something *real*, something that really does bother most people and that for some is intolerable. But the important issue she observes gets lost beneath her character, which when assassinated kills the point she's making too. The writers needed to have more separation between her and her belief; or better yet, wait a bit to start to make us worried about her. It would have been cool if we were actually quite supportive of her at first.
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Peter G.
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@ Rahul,

"I think the key thing about STLD is that it needs to be understood as a parody primarily, though I don't think it was marketed as such -- at least that was not my expectation when I first started watching it. Strictly as a comedy, it does not work for me. When observed through this parody lens, it's better than a zero-star experience for me even when evaluating it like I would classic Trek, though that's where I was leaning after my first viewing."

The thing about parody is that to be one it would need to do some very particular things. Spoofing a genre, and in particular one show in a genre, requires some pointers towards actual details in the original that you're making fun of. A good example of a TNG parody - probably the gold standard in my book - was MAD Magazine's TNG special back when TNG S1 was on the air. They include several vignettes making fun of TNG, including a funny segment lampooning Justice where a monster is eating the crew and Picard says that they can't interfere with its local customs and so have to let it continue. Not just anything silly or stupid can be parody, it has to actually parody *something*. Just doing anti-Trek in the style of South Park isn't a parody or a spoof all by itself; the content must be pointed. Otherwise it's just a zany childrens' version of the show, not while I would call a parody making mock of the actual content.
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Peter G.
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 1:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Hero Worship

Well I'll disagree with Jammer on this one, but I do maintain that we really need to get away from seeing this as a tech plot for it to work. Hero Worship does the two quintessential TNG things that work so well: 1) Has a story focused on Data, and 2) tells a 'tech plot' that is actually about character on a meta level. Booby Trap is an example of this same thing, a character-driven story where the tech plot tells us about the person's character. In Booby Trap the issue was Geordi as he relates to people, and how the technology gets him stuck. Here the tech plot is about how raising the shields (iirc) is what's causing the problem, and how counter-intuitively one needs to lower the shields to protect oneself from the crisis. That maps on Timothy's trauma, where eventually the shields must be lowered in order to face his problem. It makes sense to raise them initially, but after some time and reasoning is applied, must be lowered again lest the increasing shield power fuel your own destruction. I find this tidy and efficient as a tech plot, but works nicely with Timothy's meta-narrative.

The one sticking point I can sympathize with is the reliance on a young guest star for any TV series - a risk at the best of times. In this case because he was tethered to Spiner for most of it I think that they were able to work with each other nicely. If it was more of an Imaginary Friend type episode it would have suffered far more for it, trying to have multiple scenes only with the child.
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Peter G.
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 12:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Hero Worship

@ Booming,

"I saw it a as a psychosis. That the kid actually believes to be an android. I guess the borders between psychosis and very elevated make believe are fuzzy."

I think it might be more accurate to say that in regards to a TV show like TNG, which combines some degree of verisimilitude with some degree of meta-theme or mythical content, you need to pick your axis of examination before getting too literal about what is being portrayed on-screen. If the show is giving us a 'mythical' case of hero-worship, contrasting the desire to be human with the desire to be emotionless after a trauma, then what we have is an allegorical tale about different aspects of what we'd wish in different circumstances. If you wanted to look at it as, say, hard sci-fi, then you'd want the tech to make sense; and if you wanted to look at it as a realistic portrayal of trauma management, then you'd want the details to be accurate and the therapy to be sensible.

It sounds to me like you want to read the episode literally, that this is a portrayal of trauma and how it's being handled. Ok, if we're going down that road then you need to really stick to what's on-screen and not add anything. If this is meant to be a literal portrayal of psychosis (notwithstanding Omicron's opinion that this actually could be realistic as portrayed) then we would expect a delusional or psychotic person to be treated *for that*. You don't handle a schizophrenic person as if he's just depressed or upset, for example. If you are looking for signs of delusion or other psychosis then I would expect the therapy to match that in some way, shape, or form. This may be the realm of a therapist, but it strikes me as being unreasonable also to suppose this is an actually delusional or psychotic person who 'gets over it' in a few days of playing at being an android. Does a delusion go away that easily? I don't know, honestly, but supposing the literal content on-screen to be a bona fide delusion seems like quite a stretch to me.

I know your response seems to be something to the effect that the therapy doesn't match psychosis situation because it's bad therapy; but this seems a bit circular to me. It should be more likely to conclude that it doesn't match the therapy for a psychosis because it isn't a psychosis. And that's if we're being literal. I think this incongruity seems even more strongly to suggest that we shouldn't be going for a literalist interpretation of the episode. You may note that people with an interest or specialty will often tend to stick its nose into matters that don't relate to it; for instance someone in real estate will watch Seinfeld's first season and will want to criticize how Costanza is portrayed as a realtor, notwithstanding the fact that the show isn't about realty and doesn't even take him seriously as a realtor, even though it does contain scenes of him showing off homes. And of course we have plenty of shows with courtroom episodes where the lawyer in the room will boast that they got XYZ wrong, even though narratively it's beside the point. It's at least worth asking yourself whether you're doing that here.
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Peter G.
Wed, Aug 5, 2020, 10:37am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Hero Worship

@ Booming,

Since there is no sign here of a psychosis I'm not sure that any of that applies. It is never stated that Timothy is having an actual delusion that he is an android, nor is any emotional content in the episode indicative of a psychotic break. He's just hiding behind roleplay and imitating his hero, you know, just like the title of the episode says. It's not called hero psychosis, it's called hero worship. So no, it's not dangerous to allow him to explore being calm and at peace while he gives himself time to come to terms with what's happened. It's also not bad to let him develop a bond with someone he trusts (Data) so that he doesn't have to live the trauma alone.

It's a very nice episode, and I agree it's typically underrated. This is one of the 'watch anytime' ones.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jul 30, 2020, 1:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

Upon reflection, this episode ages well, it's even prophetic:

https://i.imgur.com/c2meXJO.gifv
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Peter G.
Thu, Jul 30, 2020, 1:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: The Reckoning

@ Booming.

"Yeah but this episode stands for a lot of the bad stuff DS9 started, like GOOD vs EVIIIIIL religious stuff."

I know this is a new flavor of storytelling even for DS9, but I have to say I think despite what some accuse DS9 of, Trek always was (until recently) a good vs evil show. The Federation was good, full stop, and humanity was living in an enlightened future, full stop. Any challenging of the Federation by foreign powers, be it Romulan, Dominion, Klingon at times, bottom line is they are wrong and Federation are the good guys. That Sisko should end up aligned with good guy wormhole aliens doesn't strike me as being off-brand, other than they're really Vorlon energy-beings. But I think Trek has always been a sort of retooled Western, cowboys vs Indians, where the heroes are not just protagonists but also morally and culturally superior. That's the franchise. Contrary to the opinions of some, I don't think DS9 changed that a jot. It's the new series that would love to portray the Federation as the bad guys, which makes them contemporary rather than progressive.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jul 23, 2020, 10:18am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Way of the Warrior

I don't normally post links, but I thought this stupid s***-post was funny:

https://i.imgur.com/1bbnWCH.gifv
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Peter Swinkels
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 3:16am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

A new Star Trek cartoon for the first time in over 40 years? Interesting. A third season for Star Trek Discovery? I gave up on that garbage pretending to be Star Trek related after season two and thought it had been canceled.
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Peter G.
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 10:19am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Breaking the Ice

@ Jason R,

Heck, we can go even further than that. If attraction is based on things like pheromones, DNA markers, biochemistry, and other such things (as data seems to suggest) then it makes complete sense that Vulcans would 'have it down to a science'. With enough data it might be completely doable to predict based on behavioral and biochemical data which person is a good match for you. And if experts can do that better that you can, you'd be most pleased for the harsh difficulties of the dating game to be taken away. So forget Vulcans, I bet you the vast majority of *humans* would opt in for matchmaking if the result was a better matched partner than they could find themselves. For a logical people it would be a no-brainer.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 6:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Emissary

@ Mr Peepers,

Worf is a full Klingon, he's just an orphan raised by humans.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 10:43am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

Maybe there's some kind of Nietzsche 101 going on in that argument; master vs slave morality. Except for one thing: slave morality in that sense is about taking a bad thing that you can't change and pretending it's good because you can't change it. But that's not what's happening here: Enterprise C had a decision to make and chose what they saw as the best future for the Federation. That is not a 'slave' role, and any idea that sacrificing yourself makes you some kind of slave has the notion of leadership backwards. Being in charge is supposed to mean that *you* are the one who has to take responsibility for those under you. Sacrifice to protect your people is the sign of a leader; it's the slave's move to let your own people go to the wolves and save only yourself (PS - I wouldn't actually use that term, but in context I'm retaining it to make a point).
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Peter G.
Thu, Jul 9, 2020, 1:26am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Brothers

@ james04,

"If Reg Barclay, or any other member of the crew, had done what Data did, they would have been thrown off the Enterprise & out of Starfleet"

Except for the fact that Reg Barclay *does* do almost exactly what Data did in The Nth Degree...and they don't throw him out.
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Peter G.
Wed, Jul 8, 2020, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: 'Til Death Do Us Part

@ Dave in MN,

"They should've killed off the symbiote and not bothered introducing a whole new main cast character this late in the game. What a waste."

Problem is if you do that Benjamin is lacking a significant relationship on the show other than Kasidy. Dax is his main 'friend' in the cast, and without her his scenes are relegated to professional briefings or else family scenes, which is a bit limiting.
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Peter G.
Wed, Jul 8, 2020, 10:02am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

@ Jakob,

"There is a weird sort of Christian morality underpinning this episode, this idea that it’s good and right to be a sacrificial lamb, to put yourself “on the cross” so to speak and spill your blood to save others, but that’s kind of ridiculous."

While I wouldn't want to comment on why you do or don't like Christian-type morality, you really don't see how it would be a good thing to go to the defense of people being attacked by Romulans and die trying to save them? Having served, you would really argue that there is literally no point in participating in a rescue or defense action even if there is little chance of success? You don't see the value - both for morale and for honor - in finding it unacceptable to let defenseless people be gunned down, Klingon or otherwise? Because that's what this is about: how when the Klingons see Enterprise-C die fighting for them it cements the Khitomer Accords into a real alliance, because they realize it's not just a detente but that they're dealing with people with values.
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Peter G.
Mon, Jul 6, 2020, 9:56am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

@ Mr Peepers,

"And if it isn't military, why are members putting their lives at risk on missions? Also, if the current society is not based on the accumulation of things, but to better ones self and not get paid, why would anyone want to join Star Fleet, and fight like the devil to keep from getting kicked out?

Sito, almost got kicked out of the Academy after covering up a classmates death. She was almost in tears as she told Picard how she no longer had no friends, and almost quit. What would actually happen to her if she did? It seems like you would live an easy life if you weren't in Star Fleet."

I think you need to give a lot of thought to these questions, more than I suspect you did when you wrote the post. If you're a Trek fan, try to answer for yourself why someone would want to make enormous sacrifice if there was no personal material gain involved. Ask yourself why someone would want to join an elite organization if it's not easy and carries risk. Why do anything at all unless you're paid for it, once we're on the subject? These are pretty central questions to Trek's vision of the future. It is *not* supposed to represent how our lives are now.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jul 3, 2020, 5:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

Haha, the firestorm has begun again! I love it. This is TNG's For the Uniform.

For what it's worth I think it's pretty indisputable that Geordi did nothing wrong in Booby Trap. The entire episode is about how technology can be your undoing without you realize it, and it makes Geordi have a tough time with people. It's no accident he got it on with the computer, he knows computers!

To me the 'wrong' stuff is all in this episode. He needn't have had any guilt about the holoimage *if not for the fact* that in this episode he was acting entitled to a relationship with the real Leah on account of his encounter with the hologram. Not only that, in so many words he flat out tells Guinan that they're totally gonna get it on when they meet, and she rolls her eyes. That is the problem.
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Peter G.
Mon, Jun 29, 2020, 1:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Innocence

@ Top Hat,

"Are there any indications that Vulcans believe in an afterlife? Clearly a kind of transmogrification of the soul is possible but that's extremely rare. So is it generally assumed that a Vulcan's katra dies with its bearer?"

We don't know anything about what they do with katras after they're saved. Maybe it's better we don't know! Now that I think about it, putting katras in jars reminds me of the Soul Hunters in B5.

Sarek seemed clear that without someone being present at a Vulcan's death the katra is lost, so it doesn't just (according to them) go to the afterlife by itself. That being said, the fact that intervention is required to continue the katra past death doesn't imply it isn't an afterlife, it just means conditions must be fulfilled in order for that to happen.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jun 19, 2020, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

@ Cameron,

"I never understood this episode. Was the ending supposed to be a homage to 1984? Shamelessly ripping off a classic book? "

How can something be a shameless ripoff if you need to ask what the ending is supposed to be? Seems pretty questionable that you "never understood the episode" but are still pretty sure it's a shameless ripoff.

The answer, btw, is yes this is pointing towards 1984. But other than the torture scenes it doesn't bear much resemblance. It might therefore be more relevant to suggest that this is a reference to a real phenomenon, which 1984 was describing but which is only meant as an example in that book.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jun 19, 2020, 8:03am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

There is even already a precursor to the 2-minute hate, it just doesn't happen all in the same two minutes for everyone; it's more of a tune-in-when-you-can 2 minute hate.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jun 18, 2020, 7:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: First Contact

"There was one episode in all of Trek that seriously attempted to address the allure of collective consciousness (rather than portray it as unmitigated horror) and that was Voyager's Unity."

Yep. The Borg are not a collective consciousness in any sense of unity (that is, bringing people together). What the Borg do is destroy your individuality, not connect it to others. Picard didn't come out marveling at what it was like to share thoughts with others; he was effectively submerged and nearly destroyed, and replaced essentially by a machine running his body. In VOY's Unity we got a little look at a *real* collective consciousness, i.e. where all members are actually conscious. I wouldn't have minded some exploration in Trek of how the one might lead to the other, but as I see it these are separate technological phenomena.
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