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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 7:02pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

@Mephyve

So, all in all, did you like the Orville?

I'm asking because most of your reviews of the individual episodes seemed pretty negative, yet your summary review of the show (on this thread) was quite positive.

Left me totally confused LOL
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The Chronek
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 2:28am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I mostly agree with Jammer's 2.5 stars. Of the new trilogy, I think it was the weakest film. And though I haven't watched Lost, I've read about it, and Rise of Skywalker shows that Abrams has a pattern of tough times with endings.

To me, Rise of Skywalker was a lot of Abrams just flinging stuff against the wall, stuff that resembled better moments we previously saw, and hoping it stuck. My big example with that would be Luke's Force ghost lifting his old X Wing out of the water, complete with the same John Williams score, that literally copied note-for-note the scene in Empire when Yoda lifts Luke's X Wing out of the Dagobah swamp.

C3PO's line about this being the last time he would see his friends, to me, didn't carry the weight that it should have, because I didn't care as much about the people in the room with him in that scene as I did about characters in previous films. I'm sure the line was meant to be an aside for the audience, but to me, it just didn't click.

I liked The Force Awakens. I think Abrams did well with that. I also really enjoyed The Last Jedi. I know it gets a lot of grief, but I liked the portrayal of Luke as someone who withdrew from the galaxy. Sometimes, you can only fight so much before you feel like giving up and wondering what it's all about, even if you're a Jedi.

I was also ok with Rey being a "nobody" as hinted at in The Last Jedi. So what if she didn't have some huge family lineage? There were plenty of Jedis who weren't Skywalkers in the prequels, and some of them turned out to be pretty compelling characters.

I also liked Leia's ability to use the Force in The Last Jedi. She showed Force sensitivity before, and between the original trilogy and The Last Jedi, maybe Luke showed her a thing or two.

So, yeah, missed opportunity to do a good story ending.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 1:05am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

@Booming
"I'm neither a communist nor an atheist"

I'll rephrase:

Given your previous comments (which span years), it is clear that you're close enough to both views for my previous comment to be just as relevant.

"if you believe that Rahul and 2PacTruth are just well-meaning people asking questions then you are an idiot."

Sorry, but I think that in this particular discussion, Rahul and 2PacTruth showed more good faith than you did.

@Randall
"Atheists aren't the ones with the problem when it comes to respecting people with different beliefs. We don't ram legislation through states that strip people not like us of rights and dignity."

I don't support such legislation, and you'll find that many of the religious folks here (though not all) would agree with me on this.

The way you put all religious people in the same bandwagon and treat them as if they all share the exact same extreme viewpoint, say more about you then it does about them.

"There are theistic jerks and there are atheistic jerks."

Correct.

"The difference is, atheistic jerks are rude, while theistic jerks are rude, *and* try to make people they don't like second-class citizens by force of law."

History tells us a very different story (see my answer to Jeffrey Jakucyk below)

@Jeffrey Jakucyk

"Being an atheist means simply not believing in a god/gods. There are no tenets, no scriptures, no clergy, no pronouncements. It is not a belief system, it is a rejection of a belief system."

True.

But even atheists believe in *something*. Every human being has beliefs, and a person's primitive human nature does not magically change just because he is an atheists.

So the question is: Are atheists any less adamant/extreme/oppressive/violent in defending their views? Enter Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao and Korean Kim to tell you: Nope. Human nature just sucks, and power-hungry people will find excuses for their rotten behavior, with or without religion.

In short:

Religion is not the problem here. Dogma, prejudice and hate towards people who think differently - is.
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The Chronek
Wed, Sep 15, 2021, 9:14pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: BSG S4: Blood on the Scales

Great observations on this episode, whether you thought this was a classic or not.

I know Jammer mentioned it already, but I'll reiterate: if you can, look up Maureen Ryan's BSG writeups in the Chicago Tribune from early 2009. She had a very dedicated, smart following of commenters, and Richard Hatch himself made comments on her entries during the mutiny episodes. Those comments certainly showed that Hatch disagreed with the direction they took Zarek in the mutiny episodes. I didn't, and still don't, agree with Hatch, but I was interested to see his point of view and what he brought to the discussion.

I think the mutiny episodes were perfect. Humanity thought they would get to Earth, only for it to be a nuclear wasteland. The leaders had failed, and they knew it. And those who followed those leaders? Well, why continue to follow them if their efforts were for nothing?

Gaeta's transformation from loyal, idealistic officer who believes in the system to mutineer was perfect, as was Alessandro Juliani's performance. What has his loyalty got him? What has his belief got him? A burned-out planet, a lost leg, a near-execution by several folks who turned out to be Cylons. And yet, for all that, just enough belief, just enough goodness remains in him to order the weapons hold just as Adama and company retake CIC. It's a perfect response to Zarek's split-second decision to murder Laird in part one, showing how quick, incremental decisions can affect the outcome.

I don't mind Zarek being shown to be a ruthless jerk. He'd been previously portrayed as someone who would use violence to advance his own ends. Sure, he talked the talk of being a "man of the people," but he would often use violent means and excuse himself.

I don't think the episodes are necessarily character assassination on anyone. I think, especially the episodes from Sometimes a Great Notion through Blood on the Scales, are a fantastic exploration of what happens when leadership fails so completely. Roslin checked out, and why not? She thought her efforts were for nothing. Adama checked out partially, and largely for the same reasons as Roslin.

Four stars from me.
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The Chronek
Mon, Sep 6, 2021, 9:00am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

What more is there to say? It's a classic film; not just a Trek film, but a classic of the science fiction genre. Arthur C. Clarke, who knew a thing or two of genre, famously regretted not ranking it higher after he wrote a list of his favorite science fiction films.

After decades of seeing TWOK on cable, VHS and DVD, I finally had the chance to see it on a big screen during Gen Con 2010, when the downtown Indy movie theater showed a double feature of this and The Search for Spock. That it could still evoke such reaction and such emotion from an audience who had likely seen the film multiple times before is a testament to its quality and staying power. It still remains one of my favorite experiences of seeing a film in a theater.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Sep 6, 2021, 4:23am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

@Booming

The part of 2PacTruth's comment that Rahul quoted and supported is 100% true.

OTOH the second part, where he claims that militant atheists are like that because they submit to some kind of post-modernistic viewpoint is 100% wrong. I agree with you completely that *this* part is "pure and utter nonsense".

"using words as honey or darling is not a sign of scorn..."

Please don't insult my intelligence.

Every single word in your comments towards both 2PacTruth and Rahul reeked with scorn and disrespect. And I don't particularly care whether you own up to this fact or not.

"Aren't you a scientist?"

Yes, and I don't see any "anti-science crusade" in Rahul's post.

Pointing that there are problems in the academia is not synonymous to an attack against science. You *do* remember that science is - first and foremost - a quest for truth, right? So if certain practices in the academia are not conductive to this final goal, then pointing these flaws out is *a good thing*.

"Here a few statistics about religious fanatics. They killed more than 20000 people in 2019 alone only in terrorist attacks. How many did the militant atheists kill?"

I'll keep this question in mind, next time I'm tempted to join a radical Islamic terrorist movement.

It's also a bit strange to hear this argument from a person who is a self-professed communist. How many tens of millions of people were killed/tortured/maimed/psychologically broken in the name of communism? And is citing this "statistic" a good argument against communism as an economic system (short answer: No, and neither is it a good argument against religion).

In short:

Yes, I agree with you that joining a murderous cult is a bad idea. Not sure what this has to do with the discussion we're having, though.

@Randall

There are two irreconcilable viewpoints in the debate, and it's not the "religious" vs the "atheists". If you are in favor of protecting human rights and caring about the prosperity of your fellow human beings, then we are on the same side of the fence.

Are you?

Can you respect people who believe differently than you do? Is your world big enough for people who disagree with you on the God question? Or do you prefer to be socially coddled by people who parrot that religion - in all kinds and forms - is a moral depravity that belongs in the dark ages?
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Snootybaronet
Sun, Sep 5, 2021, 4:07pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

Sito would have made an excellent replacement front line character. I would have much preferred her as a character for 7 years besides Geordi and Troi.
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Snootybaronet
Sun, Sep 5, 2021, 3:52pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S7: Sub Rosa

This episode had me yearning for the return of Dr. Pulaski.
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Snootybaronet
Sun, Sep 5, 2021, 3:44pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

Picard should have been jailed for terminal stupidity.
Pressman should have received highest Starfleet honors. Of course ,Riker has "grown" since his ensign days, and is very eager to betray Pressman. The idea that unilateral disarmament against an adversary like the Romulans will engender respect and adherence to treaties is a superstition only a Picard or a Neville Chamberlain could believe
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Sep 5, 2021, 1:27pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

Perhaps, Booming, if you stopped regarding other posters with such scorn
("honey", "darling"), people like Rahul wouldn't feel the need to defend them? And then there's your reply to Rahul himself... why do you always have to pick fights?

Next time you wonder why militant atheists have such a bad reputation... well, food for thought.

To be fair: fundamentalist nuts are just as bad. It's funny how much the extremists of both sides have in common with one another: They both blindly follow their dogma and regard other viewpoints with scorn.
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The Chronek
Sun, Sep 5, 2021, 10:52am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: BSG S3: Exodus, Part 2

Four star episode for me. One of the best of the series, and it was a FANTASTIC series.

Yes, the episode is almost pure payoff, but what a payoff. Lee comes to his father's rescue in superbly dramatic fashion. Kara twists the knife into yet another Leoben. Roslin takes her place in Colonial One. My god, Saul and Ellen. Just heartbreaking.

The Adama manuever. WOW. Forget the plausibility of it. Forget the science of it. The sight of Galactica plunging like a stone into New Caprica's atmosphere brought a very heightened sense of drama and risk.

Oh, my goodness. And that brief moment when it looks like Galactica wouldn't make it. "Then that's it. It's been an honor." There was a not-so-insignificant part of me that really believed it, especially as the camera pulled out, showing Galactica getting bombarded by four basestars.

And then I jumped off the couch screaming YEAH LEE GET 'EM GET 'EM GET 'EM as Pegasus came to the rescue. Forget the tactics. Forget the plausibility. Just great drama.

And yet, for all of that payoff, there's still that "where do we go from here" on the hangar deck at the end, as Adama is carried off in celebration. And that's right after he congratulated Tigh on bringing them all back home, only for Tigh to weep "Not all of them." Oh. And Starbuck's haunted expression as Kaycee's real mom found her? Gold. Just gold.

Again, four stars. Not just for the events of this episode, but for setting up other threads that would be picked up later in the series.
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Brontodon
Sun, Aug 29, 2021, 9:11pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S1: Operation--Annihilate!

I've been rewatching the series from the beginning. I just noticed that in this episode, McCoy is wearing a pinky ring! I don't remember ever seeing any jewelry on any of the male characters before. Did I imagine it?
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Khyron
Fri, Aug 27, 2021, 9:41pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S2: Dreadnought

Some vibes of the Ray Bradbury short story "Night Call, collect", in the interaction of B'lanna with "herself"
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Aug 18, 2021, 6:05am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Transfigurations

@Booming

"Most religions, including the abrahamic ones, already know how reality is because they have a book..."

That's downright false. The vast majority of religious denominations don't work that way. Doctrine evolves and adapts, and the place of scriptures in it has changed throughout history (as well as from one denomination to another).

This has always been so.

"every time science makes a discovery that is not in line with religious doctrine, religious people are up in arms."

Yes, because change is difficult. This is human nature, and religious people don't have a monopoly on resisting change or attacking ideas that threaten their worldview.

Followers of secular philosophies also do this.

Even scientists do this, despite the fact that modern science has a gazillion safeguards in place in order to prevent such bias. We human beings are notorious for this.

Speaking of which: 15th century science was just as bad in correcting itself as 15th century Christianity. Thankfully, today, both mainstream religion and mainstream science are doing better on this front.

"Religion and science can only have a harmonious relationship if religions give up on their holy texts because those were written at times so far removed from modern times that they will constantly come into conflict with reality."

That's like saying that Trekkies must give up on the message of Star Trek, just because the science on the show often makes no sense. Or because the show sometimes betrayed it's own ideals.

"For example the Christian religion should only be: Jesus loved all no matter what religion, pacifistic, humble, cared for the poor and probably a few other things. Behave like that and you are Christian. No book needed and no conflicts with science/reality as a bonus."

Again taking the Trek analogy:

There is a huge advantage in having a canon that everybody can refer to. Even if it means pointing out a certain passage/scene and saying "this is morally wrong", the whole point of such canon is to give us something concrete to discuss and learn from.

Of-course there are always those who nitpick the details while also completely missing the big picture. :-)
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Aug 17, 2021, 8:57pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Transfigurations

@Jason R.
"This claim that science and religion answer different but equally valid questions is the desperate rearguard position of the religious as humanism powered by science has supplanted and swallowed up most of its former territories banishing it to tiny reservations of human thought."

Science and religion don't answer "different" questions. But they do answer the same questions from very different perspectives.

Religion views the Universe as a conscious being, and tries to shed light on our relationship with that being.

Science views the Universe as a clockwork of physical laws, and tries to decipher how this mechanism works.

The two disciplines, of-course, speak about the same universe. The scope of one does not - in any way - come at the expanse of the scope of the other. There may be occasional conflicts, of-course, which means that our understanding of either the spiritual realm or the physical realm is faulty. But there shouldn't be any rivalry between the two approaches. On the contrary: When done right, science and religion should inspire and enrich one another.

"Any Christian denomination that takes the bible literally would find it impossible to accept evolution, that is just a fact."

Any Christian denomination that takes the bible 100% literally would also find it impossible to accept that the earth goes around the sun. Remember the story where Joshua stopped the sun? You can't stop something unless it was originally moving, right?

Of-course, we could argue that Joshua stopped the earth and the story is told from the point of view of a person on the ground. But that's not what the Bible literally says, is it? See, even the majority of the creationists don't take their Bibles 100% literally.

@Tidd
"Wake up. Open your eyes. The Old Testament creation story is just that: a poetic story dreamed up by the primitive Israelites to explain what they didn’t yet have the science to understand."

I agree that it is a poetic story.

But is it *only* a poetic story? I don't think so. Because the parallels between the events of Genesis 1 and the modern scientific account are too striking (in my view) to be a coincidence.

This goes nicely with what I said to Jason:

Religion and science have different goals in their explanation. Genesis 1 does not make sense as a scientific text, nor does it read like one. But it does makes perfect sense as a mythical telling of actual events: The events that happened from the Big Bang to the dawn of man.
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Brontodon
Tue, Aug 17, 2021, 7:33pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S1: Court Martial

Having recently reviewed the episode with the upgraded computer-generated special effects, I noticed the damaged "ion pod" on the starboard flank of the Enterprise's engineering hull; but I haven't seen the pod or any indication of it in any other episode.
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Brontodon
Tue, Aug 17, 2021, 7:28pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S1: Dagger of the Mind

I rewatched this episode recently and what stood out for me was that there didn't seem to be any motivation for Adams to do what he did.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Aug 17, 2021, 6:40pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Hollow Pursuits

@Randall

"It's a shame that Dwight Schultz himself can't be the kind of hero to those people his character is..."

It's funny how half a dozen people here said this over the years, yet nobody could provide any evidence. Sounds like baseless slander to me.

Meanwhile, in the past year or two, many other veteran Trek actors became toxic loudmouths whose rhetoric is downright frightening. From Kate Mulgrew to Marina Sirtis to Patrick Stewart to... Well, let's just say that if we had a problem seperating an artist's flaws from their work, then Dwight Schultz would be the least of our problems.

I do agree that Barclay is a great character though.
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Gerontius
Mon, Jul 19, 2021, 7:04pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S6: Ship in a Bottle

My favourite fun episode. With some disturbing concepts at its heart.

What would also have been great fun would if they had made this a kicking off point for a spin-off series about the Voyages of Moriarty and the Baroness.

In the end it's arguable whether his universe in a cube is any less real than Picard's in the Enterprise. Or in The Inner Light.

Or ours. Or any of the others in an infinite Multiverse.r
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RonB
Tue, Jul 13, 2021, 10:00am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S4: The Aenar

@Daya let’s just pretend that the awful very last episode never existed and that this episode was indeed where we parted with Shran. A great ending for that character.
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RonB
Sun, Jul 11, 2021, 3:41am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S1: Veritas

Comments #2, 3 and 4 (Patrick D, Nick and Sxottlan) are so obviously part of the marketing for the show it’s actually funny.
Having read thousands of comments on this website, these types of posts clearly stand out as disingenuous PR fabrication.

@Jammers, I know you rarely consider deleting posts, but in this case I would not hesitate one second if I were in your shoes.

Made me think how cool it is that you have this site with all these comments on these old shows, devoid of such corporate pollution, no likes or dislikes etc. Everyone can submit their thoughts and reactions and readers have to consider them without bias or prejudice based on ‘social’ judgements. Such luxury.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jul 7, 2021, 2:44pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

@Peter

The Gideons are not immortal or even nearly-immortal. Hodin stated explicitly that they die of old age:

HODIN: Death became almost unknown to us. It occurred only when the body could no longer regenerate itself, and that happens now only to the very old.

Replace "self-regeneration" with the advance of modern medicine, and you get a situation which clearly parallels earth: The population here started to explode because life expectancy increased. So this part of the episode, at least, makes sense.

Also, the misery on Gideon has nothing to do with the problems that are normally associated with immortality. They aren't tired of life. Their problem isn't some existential terror of eternity.

As for the intended moral of the episode... When Kirk suggests the idea of birth control, Hodin answers:

HODIN: We are incapable of destroying or interfering with the creation of that which we love so deeply. Life, in every form, from foetus to developed being. It is against our tradition, against our very nature. We simply could not do it.

And we are to believe that this, basically, is the reason that Gideon is in such a predicament.

Does that answer your question?
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jul 7, 2021, 10:48am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

@Peter
(yay! we're back on topic!)

I think the episode makes it pretty clear that we shouldn't find the chosen "solution" to make logical sense or be dignified. Kirk clearly doesn't think so, and he is supposed to be the avatar of goodness and justice in TOS.

As for why the Gideonians haven't chosen a different way to reduce their numbers, could it be that they lack the space to do so? A virus has the advantage of being carried by an already existing person. It doesn't need any additional space to reproduce, either.

Then again, the entire episode doesn't really make sense. How could such a society, where people are packed like sardines, even function?

It sorta works as an allegory, but the premise crumbles down under any kind of scrutiny.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jul 7, 2021, 10:11am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

I doubt it, given that they didn't have paper back then and you don't speak a word of Assyrian.

And I'm not sure why you're turning this into a joke. Aren't you curious? It's like having first contact with an alien civilization. I think it's fascinating to see what changed and what remained the same.

Don't you agree?
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jul 7, 2021, 9:48am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

@Jason R.

I began doing so while you were writing your comment :-)

I decided to take my own advice and started going down this rabbit hole. Took me less than 5 minutes to find the first text - a love letter from 1680:

https://folgerpedia.folger.edu/Love_letter_from_Philip_Williams_to_Elizabeth_Nalson_circa_1680

Isn't that sweet? So far, it seems that the people of the past aren't that different than us at all. Maybe other texts will prove otherwise, though. This is going to be a fascinating ride, I can already tell :-)

By the way, if Pedro (or anybody else) can recommend specific documents to read, I'll be happy to do so. I bet he knows of some really great stuff.
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