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Jason R.
Fri, Jun 21, 2019, 11:17am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Explorers

Thanks William that is a really great explanation. I wish I understood more than 1% of it but even the 1% is interesting.

Could I just ask: is this something that is a certainty, or does the hypothesis depend on a lot of speculation? I know time dilation has been proven by putting atomic clocks on airplanes but do we know for sure that it would work this way in practice? With enough energy I could literally travel 1 billion light years in less than a human lifetime from my own POV? It just seems like it can't be true.

And another question: I know getting to close to the speed of light requires ludicrous amounts of energy but is it feasible that one day we could accelerate a ship to some meaningful fraction of light speed (say 1/2 or 1/4) and would time dilation make any practical difference at that speed?

On the subject of Voyager it occurred to me that Janeway should have just accelerated to near ls, arrived at Earth 70,000 years in the future and then done the slingshot around the sun trick to go back in time. But then it occurred to me that even with antimatter she would never have had the energy to accelerate to that speed so no luck.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jun 21, 2019, 4:16am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Explorers

"If the ship accelerated to near light speed and did a circuit from Earth to the star and back, the space ship crew would experience it as a very short trip over which Earthers aged just over 20 years."

That was what I thought but I am just recently discovering this stuff as a layperson.

Correct me if I am wrong, but assuming you could get your ship to nearly light speed (dodging cosmic rays, deadly dust particles and using more energy than the entire world could produce ...) you could basically go gallivanting around the universe Traveller style touring the cosmos from end to end and come out young enough to enjoy early retirement?

(With the caveat of course that when you got home the sun would have burned out, and everyone you knew would be dust.)

But travelling at sublight you basically can (from your own point of view) do the 70,000 light year Star Trek Voyager tour more or less instantly - despite the fictional Voyager having warp drive and being able to travel faster than light!
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 20, 2019, 6:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Explorers

"Bloody hell I didn't realise how badly I want humankind to travel to another galaxy. Seeing Sisko and son get to Cardassia made me feel way more than I thought it would."

I used to take it as a given that mankind would one day reach the stars - it comes from growing up with Trek.

But even setting aside the risk that we might be destroyed by nuclear war or climate change or economic collapse before this could be achieved, the technical challenges of reaching Alpha Centauri, just a piddling 4 light years away, are daunting to put it mildly.

Unless someone pulls a warp drive out of their rear end (which might as well be sorcery frankly) it will probably never happen. We would be lucky to build machines capable of interstellar travel. For humans to do it? Maybe impossible.

But then there was something I thought pretty remarkable - if somehow you could get a ship to a significant fraction of the speed of light (which a human could easily survive in principle) you wouldn't need a warp drive to explore the universe. From the point of view of the crew you could explore our galaxy and every galaxy within a human lifetime - at sublight speeds!

We think Trek is stranger than reality but it turns out it isn't nearly strange enough!
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Jason R.
Sun, Jun 16, 2019, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

"Well guess what? Bev is his doctor so guess what she knows? That's right his peepee size. And then at the end of the episode that lady doesn't have one at all. Bet that makes you think huh."

Guess that explains why we never see Riker with the same woman twice. Bravo sir - you are wise indeed.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jun 14, 2019, 12:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

"Sorry, just saw your post. You have repeatedly shown the need to insult me. Could you stop that, please."

I do tend to be a bit of a bulldog in these debates and sometimes my style is acerbic.

But I never insulted you on this thread. Not once.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jun 14, 2019, 6:35am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

"To me this sounds like women, because they already leave for a while because of the pregnancy, should continue to stay at home instead of the father. If I, for some reason, misunderstood you then i sincerely apologize"

But that is not what you said and not what I objected to. You said:

""He said that there "is an obvious synergy" when the person who gets pregnant stays at home while the other person (the man) continues to work. Does this not lead to fathers *barely participating in the upbringing?*"

I placed an asterix around "barely participating in the upbringing".

"Barely" is defined as "only just, almost not".

This is the part I take issue with. I am a full time worker with my wife staying at home and I don't "barely" participate in my daughter's upbringing. Sociologist or not, that's a risible thing to say. It's ignorant.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

"I'm not debating that breastfeeding exists even though I find your view that fathers should barely participate in the upbringing of their newborn during the first month odd."

I said that fathers should "barely participate in the upbringing of their newborn during the first month"?

Indeed, that would be an odd thing for someone to say.

"He said that there "is an obvious synergy" when the person who gets pregnant stays at home while the other person (the man) continues to work. Does this not lead to fathers barely participating in the upbringing?"

Nope.

Now I am glad you acknowledge the existence of breastfeeding. Now acknowledge that there are some very practical reasons why women choose to take the lion's share of leave in many families that are not just arbitrary cultural manifestations of sexism.

"So you would argue that an employer should have the right to fire a woman who decides to have more than one child?"

I am going to field this one since Peter was kind enough to call you out for misrepresenting me.

Peter's point was not that women should be fired for having kids and going on leave - indeed he said nothing of the kind. The point was simply that this would be burdensome for the company, which is just obvious.

Is it "unsustainable"? Depends on the resources of the company. Bigger businesses with a lot of employees can certainly afford to accept this burden more than smaller ones.

I don't think feminists even would really argue that it's a burden to have an employee going on leave constantly for year-long stints. It's self evidently so.

It's why there is such a huge push to normalize paternity leave - to take the pressure off women. Yet men just aren't going on leave, no matter how many incentives are thrown at them or how hard governments try to arm twist this into happening.

Families are continuing to make rational choices on this subject, in keeping not just with "social" expectations but biological facts, like breastfeeding and child birth.

But I will say that I do think there is a big social component to the choices families make. As of right now, it is still not socially acceptable for men to be "house husbands" in most milieu and that plays a part to be sure.

But to discount biological facts like breastfeeding is delusional.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 5:40am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

"Having the babies and caring for them after birth are two different things men often confuse. "

I don't think anyone is "confused" about the difference between these two activities. It is just apparent that they're linked in a pretty non-trivial way. If you're a parent and your partner chose to breastfeed then it's asinine to suggest that the mother doing childcare is some arbitrary social construct.

Similarly, there is an obvious synergy in the person who is already taking time off work due to physical changes (which in some cases already led to an early leave) continuing with that leave rather than going back so that the other partner can go off on a second leave, especially if breastfeeding is taking place.

Note I am not discounting the fact that technology or other resources (breast pumps, formula, wet nurses, daycare...) can fill this gap. But that it is there and it is NOT purely socially constructed is pretty well obvious.

"One could very well make the argument that femininity is a social construct that is not beneficial to women's careers."

You're very good at making connections between social constructs (femininity) and physical realities (reduced typing efficiency) in one context, but not in others.
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Dr. Robotnik
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 3:59am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

This episode could have been done much better without the rape analogy. I understand what they were trying to do, but as it stands, it raises some really unfortunate implications about victim blaming.
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Jason R.
Wed, Jun 12, 2019, 5:48am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Charlie X

Peter I'll admit I thought your hypothesis was a bit out there. But then I watched the episode last night again for the first time in a while.

I still doubt that was what they were going for with it, but I enjoyed applying your filter to the action.

Kirk's utter inability to explain to Charlie why you can't slap a woman's behind (in essence, why consent is necessary to sex or simply no-means-no) may be just "ha ha sex is awkward" but one could wonder if Kirk simply can't address the question because it has never come up for him. In his universe, no woman ever says no to him. Kirk, like Charlie, exists in a universe where his will becomes reality.

In a meta sort of way Kirk and Charlie are mirror images. Kirk is the hero, and for that sort of hero, "no" is alien, unfathomable. Charlie is what happens when heroes fall into a 'real' real world and ot ain't pretty.
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Jason R.
Tue, Jun 11, 2019, 5:33am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Civil Defense

"I can almost understand the program getting missed if it was buried in some separate sub processor, but how has no one ever noticed the canisters of nerve gas secreted all about the place? They never got picked up by the ultra sensitive tricorders or weapons detection system? Its all a bit silly really."

We can assume that the station's life support system is, in essence, a replicator capable of producing any compound on demand. Nothing less would make sense given the technology they have. So there were no canisters of nerve gas. The computer simply conjured the gas on demand.

To me this episode makes perfect sense. It was a file hidden on a separate database for an obsolete system that the Federation staff had not even gotten around to inspecting. It was still a Cardassian computer running Cardassian software so it's understandable that some leftover military grade computer virus could wreak havoc once unleashed.

The funny thing about Trek is that so much of it severely underestimates the capabilities of the tech we take for granted. Loved the replicated gun turret - actually surprising we never saw something like that before!
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Dr. Robotnik
Mon, Jun 10, 2019, 12:29am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Random Thoughts

I believe that this was one of Voyager's better planet of week stories. The aliens aren't boneheaded and stupid, their culture is relatively plausible, and the circumstances regarding the plot aren't arbitrary or dumb. However, the scene where 3 random dudes from planet hippy somehow easily overpower and beat the crap out of Tuvok is ridiculous and reeks of plot convenience.

As for the argument about continuity, I believe the big difference between Voyager and TOS is that you expect it from the former. I don't just mean from the context of the time it was produced, Voyager constantly teases continuity and serialization, through the plot of certain episodes, and even through it's very premise. On the other hand, on TOS there is no reset button, the show is just content to tell stories that are fully resolved within an hour. Another big factor is internal consistency. Although TNG for example is pretty light on serialization, whatever bits are sprinkled in, like the Worf/Klingon civil war plot, or Data's quest to become more human, or even the recurring Borg threat, are consistent, even if they are limited. Meanwhile, Voyager is happy to disregard or outright contradict previous episodes when it's convenient, sometimes blatantly so.
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Jason R.
Sat, Jun 8, 2019, 2:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

Well Chrome to be fair Thomas went well beyond saying we shouldn't do manual work. He said we shouldn't "strive" for things outside ourselves and be content from within. I feel like I need to channel Kirk on this one because I think I know what he'd say about it. Indeed, when I mentioned being high I was thinking about the Landru worshippers and other so-called "arrested" cultures (the Organians would be perfectly on point if they weren't uber energy beings incidentally).

But I will admit I don't really understand what Thomas is getting at so I'll leave it to him to explain what he means.
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Jason R.
Sat, Jun 8, 2019, 1:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

"Asking whether that's really true, whether my searching and striving has ever brought me true happiness, would be an example of looking within."

I can't speak to "true happiness" because I don't know for certain what that is and how it is differentiated from the everyday kind.

But nothing I have in my life that makes me happy, from my wife and daughter at the top of the pyramid to close friends and down to material possessions, came into my life without striving, struggle, dare I say "work".

Whether it's getting up the nerve to ask a woman out, to giving a presentation to clients, to pressing on trying to get pregnant after a heart-breaking miscarriage - it's all "work" some paid some not. Some pleasant (but no less difficult!) and some boring.

What you describe sounds like being high or stoned. I truly don't understand.
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Jason R.
Sat, Jun 8, 2019, 6:09am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

Thomas I don't understand what you mean by a life of "looking within" versus working. Could you please explain this concept? Even in TNG, where mankind only seeks to "better itself" people clearly work in the same manner they do today. People obviously still have jobs. They just don't work for money. Is that what you are getting at?
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Jason R.
Fri, Jun 7, 2019, 7:10am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

Agreed Thomas - except what if that road leads to 90% unemployment, depression, social disintegration and resulting chaos?

I confess I don't have a solution to this problem. Other than wishful thinking answers (automation will create new opportunities for people!) universal basic income is the only one that comes to mind. But to me it comes across as desperation - a shot in the dark, rather than a real plan. Nobody actually knows what a post-employment society would look like or how humans would adapt to this.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jun 7, 2019, 5:20am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

Since we are on a scifi forum I'll take this opportunity to quote the Min'bari from Babylon 5:

"You see, we create the meaning in our lives, it does not exist independently."
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Jason R.
Fri, Jun 7, 2019, 5:18am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

Thomas a small correction : we do not see work as an end in of itself but working as the end.

In your scenario of course the person who got the job found it meaningful and not the person who didn't. Meaning is incidental to the specific work being done.

There are people whose job cleaning toilets gives them more meaning than some doctors get from saving lives in an ER.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 11:27am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

But how do you do that in practice Chrome? In my local pharmacy now they have a bunch of auto checkout machines. The human employees mostly just stand there and help the customers use them. In effect they are training the store's customers to make their own jobs obsolete. It is kind of sad. The kinds of people who do these jobs (most of them are middle aged or older) aren't going to be retrained to become accountants or computer programmers - that's fantasy talk, wishful thinking. They are going to find something else (until it gets automated!) or go on welfare. And for what? So the store makes a little extra profit? A couple dollars on the stock price justifies destroying the economic fortunes of hundreds of thousands of workers?

But then you try to imagine the solution in your mind. Ok smash the checkout kiosks? Ban them? Make it illegal to computerize retail? Ok but what about ATMs? Why haven't we banned them? Should I be waiting in line for a teller every time I need a $20 bill? And what about online banking? And why not movie theaters too? They have been automated for years. Hell why aren't we using human telephone operators? Milk men?

Should we ban the automobile to bring back the buggy whip makers? This isn't slippery slope reasoning; this is just the inevitable logic of the situation. Trying to cram the genie of automation back in the bottle while trying to have a technically advanced society? This is more fantastical than warp drive and replicators.

The balance depicted in a show like TNG isn't just utopian, it's impossible. They can manufacture sentient holograms that can act as surgeons or lecture you on astrophysics or dance ballet with the knowledge and processing power of a scifi uber computer behind them but somehow only a person can pilot a ship? Uh huh.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 8:46am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

Thomas in addition to work I also pursue certain hobbies rather passionately. I also have a family and take my leisure time seriously. I am not for second advocating for a life that *only* involves work, which seems to be the false inference you have made.

Yet meaningful work (as opposed to pure leisure) is a necessity to regulate, structure and enhance human behaviour. It is a part of a balanced life.

Eliminating it will, more often than not, destroy a person rather than free him.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 7:39am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

"Sounds great. Bring it on. I can't see any downsides to a future where our time no longer needs to be taken up by menial tasks."

I have never understood this idea of "menial work" being this terrible thing that people should seek to avoid. I am an educated professional, but whether it's been busboying, picking weeds or just cleaning my own house, I never considered simple work to be degrading. Maybe I'd feel differently if I had it as a full time job, but I think I know myself enough at this point to doubt that. If I am honest, if you took away the financial factors I might be happy working outside in a more physical "menial" job.

It's also true in my experience that the people who work in their old age, regardless of occupation, live longer and seem happier to me than people who retire. I would rather pick up trash or man a cashier in my old age than relax in a retirement home (even a nice one).

Work of any kind gives people dignity and purpose, not to mention income. The Daystrom idea of "freeing" man to do greater things isn't just wrongheaded, it is a trap that would enslave us, not make us free.
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Jason R.
Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 5:43am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

"Those are some great questions, and I think you, Jason, and William addressed them very well so I didn't want to get too much into it. I suppose my two cents would be that computers are great at following instructions but terrible at judgment (this episode even goes to far as saying the computer needs to utilize Daystrom's judgment in order to function and even that's still pretty buggy). So my thinking is the human brain's power to make the "right" decision is still unparalleled."

I wanted to address this point because it's an important one. The assumption that humans will always find something else to do that computers / machines can't or that innovations like m5 will inevitably open up new opportunities for the human population is wishful thinking.

Note I don't say with certainty that it's wrong in any every instance - in the past it has held to *some* extent. But there is no real reason to believe that it will always be true, as if it's some law of the universe that human ingenuity will always triumph.

It's a fact that automation, more than outsourcing, more than any other factor, is squeezing humans out of the job market. There are certainly other forces at work to be sure but automation is the only factor that seems to only point in one direction. Faith in the triumph of the human spirit isn't a plan for a future where AI may be able to do everything from driving trucks to filling out your tax returns and writing your legal contracts. We are already very close to that point as we speak.

So when someone like Daystrom claims that he's freeing humans to do other things more suited to humans, that's no answer to Captain Dunsel, it's a hollow platitude, like telling someone "everything happens for a reason" after their wife dies. Or telling a 55 year old laid off factory worker that he should see it as an "opportunity" to start a whole new better career as he teeters into bankruptcy.

Whether M5 was truly the end of human spirit or perhaps a waypoint where men like Kirk could still carve out a shrinking niche is besides the point. It was the writing on the wall - or else it would have been if M5 hadn't gone insane homicidal because whatever.
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Jason R.
Tue, Jun 4, 2019, 5:53am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

"Ok, let's just assume the computer turns female holodeck characters into willing objects and Geordie is not to blame for that behavior."

Well we don't need to assume - it's what literally happened on screen in Booby Trap.

But I agree with you on re-watching - his behaviour was atrocious. And while I do think the episode calls him out *to some extent* I think it does not go far enough.

The scene that bugs me the most actually isn't the final dinner scene where she apologizes but the confrontation scene in the holodeck where Geordie goes from "sorry! Let me explain!" to "sorry for trying to reach out to you b$$$" I the space of 8 seconds.

But you know what, I am still okay with how it turns out. I like that the show does not need all of its characters to be perfect people. It let's the audience judge without being heavy handed.

I still don't agree, on the balance, that Geordie is a "creep", any more than, say, Barclay in Hollow Pursuits (who does far worse). Geordie's a pretty imperfect character and through Guinan and Brahms I don't think he gets let off the hook for it. Maybe he should get called out more, but the stuff from people on this thread about firing or whatever is just so sad and depressing. It's the time we live in.
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Jason R.
Mon, Jun 3, 2019, 8:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Night Terrors

"Haven't been able to find this anywhere. Whose voice (actor's name) was used to say "two eyes in the dark"?

More importantly, was Keiko really cheating on O'Brien? Just because he was paranoid delusional at the time, doesn't he wasn't right.
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Jason R.
Mon, Jun 3, 2019, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

Just watched this. I think it is pretty clear that nothing sexual happened between Laforge and the hologram. My interpretation of Laforge's comments in the confrontation scene is that everything that happened was what we saw in Booby Trap, period. Any suggestion that it did makes Laforge a flat out liar in that scene, and I am just not buying that was the intention - especially since we saw in Booby Trap exactly what happened and know to the extent anything happened it was the computer not him.

So the question is: did he behave inappropriately? Yes. Was he a "creep"? Sort of. I'd say he was guilty of being ridiculously presumptuous. Not because of the hologram (which was basically an innocent comedy of errors) but based on his awkward attempt to come onto Brahms.

If I would change one thing in the episode it would be to have Geordi apologize a second time to Brahms as he owes her one. She owed him one too mind you - she was a complete a-hole to him from the get go.
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