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Sun, Oct 6, 2013, 11:12am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Contagion

Ah, sorry, I see William B had already mentioned that.

Another thing though, it's one of the few times we hear Romulan spoken (the countdown on their ship).

I do love how Seymour does Romulans though...
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Sun, Oct 6, 2013, 10:36am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Contagion

The Romulan commander is the same actress who plays the commander on Face of the Enemy, although with a different fictional name...
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Sun, Sep 29, 2013, 5:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Unforgettable

I'm not a religious person myself, but I think if people are inspired or guided by their beliefs or their beliefs about their ancestors I'm all for it...

Without those things what do we become? Some sort of Borg collective where we all uniformly strive for perfection dismissing culture as irrelevant?

I'll phrase the following carefully, so as not to be misunderstood. It seems that you are Jewish, Michael (I think I read that in a previous post of yours) and the mere fact that you've mentioned it tends to suggest that it means something to you, even if only enough to mention it.

Everything we do is in some way influenced by our past... the language we speak, the way we debate in a forum like this, our humour. Knowing this helps us understand ourselves and each other better, and having a variety of cultures means we can have access to different ways to approaching problems that might just help us solve them. Losing these things means that we could lose these potential solutions: As the Vulcans say, infinite diversity in infinite combinations.
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Sun, Sep 29, 2013, 4:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Vis A Vis

Maybe if the astronaut was descended from people from that mountain village... Plus we know Paris is a pilot, and cars aren't too far removed as an interest from shuttlecraft...

I think a better analogy would be would an astronaut being interested in ancient theories about space or space travel, or even early aircraft? And I think the answer would be yes.

As for the chip on my shoulder... well, we all have a range of opinions, which we debate... no one needs to swallow mine if they don't want to, and neither are they fascists if they don't agree with me, I don't recall suggesting that. I try not to directly criticize people for their opinions unless I feel they need a civil rebuttal.

But I do feel honoured to have caught Michael's attention ;)
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Sun, Sep 29, 2013, 4:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Body and Soul

Um, azcats, what exactly does that mean, everybody is gung-ho about homosexuality? There are still a number of battles to be won in many, many places, least of all the "land of the free".

On Earth, homosexuality occurs in a number of species, some even forming long-term homosexual partnerships and raising young (Albatrosses). Why wouldn't it also be so in the rest of the galaxy?

If you think homosexuality is a recent fad, you are sorely mistaken... It has been common across cultures, time periods, even different species throughout history, and Trek's avoidance of it is one of its most serious oversights.

But I agree with DPC, the dialogue was tactfully chosen, and about Tuvok too.

But yes, brilliantly played by Ryan.
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Sun, Sep 29, 2013, 12:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Repression

While I have a certain amount of trepidation about getting involved in this "debate", there are certain things that must be said, and I'll try to say them while remaining civil and respectful to other points of view.

Firstly, there is a huge and very unfortunate amount of confusion about what "communism" is. A basic reading of Marx will clarify that communism is the when the State has withered away. In this regard, in fact, the most radical liberalism (what is mistakenly called "capitalism" or free market philosophy), anarchism, and communism actually have a huge amount in common.

Therefore, communism in its true state has never existed. Socialism is what existed throughout the cold war, which according to Marx is when the State owns or controls the means of production, distribution and exchange.

Correctly using these terms is so important in this debate, but unfortunately is exceedingly rare.

So. Communism is when the state has disappeared. Socialism is when the state owns the means of production, distribution and exchange. Liberalism is not "left wing" or communist ideology, or anything like that. Liberalism is when the economy is free from the control of the State. This is yet another misuse of terms in current political debate.

Now. What about Capitalism? Capitalism, as the name suggests, is an economic system based on the ownership of capital. Capital refers to the goods that may be used to produce more goods.

The nature of this ownership is not based on merit. The ownership of capital can come from inheritance, theft, confiscation, or it can indeed also be the result of merit. But it is certainly not only accumulated by merit.

This explains why some of the wealthiest people or highest salaries are the result of simple speculation on stockmarkets or currency markets. Unfortunately, as of yet, we have no way to measure merit. In many cases, "merit" is considered to be a person's professional or educational background, which is fair enough, but in many other cases, "merit" is considered to be how much money a person is able to generate, whether this makes the world a better place or net.

In turn, some of the poorest salaries go to people such as nurses, teachers, police, whose impact on our society is very tangible. As is that of doormen, cleaners, people who work in the service industry.

No man is an island. And no success story happens in a bubble. We drive on publicly funded roads, we are protected by publicly funded police, we interact with people often educated in public schools, who are tended to in public hospitals. We benefit from good government, or suffer due to bad government. The business world (the famous capitalists) functions because of a publicly provided legal framework, overseen by a public legal system. And even though Ayn Rand might wish to ignore it, any real or imagined John Galt or any other 2 dimensional character created by her or some other equally uninspired philosopher is part of a society, and has benefited from being so, and is what he or she is because of the people around him or her.

So, under our current system, while nurses help to heal us, police protect us, and teachers form young minds; speculators on the markets gamble on chance, and even create the sort of circumstances that lead to the economic collapses we've seen in recent years, whereby the value of companies and goods are based on imagined rather than concrete value - leading to collapses when reality meats the fiction. But it is the latter who gain most spectacularly, and the former who live in poverty. A broker is paid millions for gambling with imaginary money, in the same investment company a janitor or cleaner earns a pittance, although he (or more likely she) ensures the broker doesn't get sick from germs in unclean places, to name just one example.

Moving away from the concepts, and to address another issue that has come up on this debate, what motivates people to investigate, discover, invent? Without wanting to offend Zephram Cochran, not all inventions are driven by the thought of tropical islands full of naked women. I would hesitate a guess that recognition is a key driver, or simple curiosity.

And this leads me finally to the Gene issue, which sparked this lengthy discussion.

I think what Gene was imagining was just that. A world where people are inspired by their curiosity or a thirst for recognition and acknowledgement or simply in order to better their world and to advance science and society. Someone has asked who does the grunt work? The way I see it what technology doesn't do, people do as part of their training or to learn more about their field, to gain expertise. People have also asked, well, what if everyone wants to have a restaurant like Papa Sisko - well, interplanetary emigration has probably opened up some space on Earth, and replicators and a replenished environment would take care of the rest. As for why there is latinum on DS9, well, that's probably because it's on the frontier dealing with other, less enlightened societies.

Unfortunately in a "capitalist" system, the struggle to stay alive means that many people cannot follow their passions, as they have to leave them aside to simply survive. Not to mention, the millions and billions of people who cannot pursue their interests just due to being born in the wrong place, or into the wrong family.

I do agree that communism in its true theoretical sense is an ideal, as is true liberalism or anarchism, and so is Gene's imagined universe. But let's be realistic about the system we have now. How many brilliant people who could make our world a better place cannot reach their full potential because of the restrictions created by the dog-eat-dog world that we live in... because their parents can't afford to give them a good education, because their life has led them to uninspiring jobs or insufficient pay has given rise to insufficient nutrition, shelter or whatever else blocking their potential.

And yes, shelter and food are human rights, ALL are entitled to. I don't care whether someone is lazy or not, but no fellow human being deserves to starve. THIS is why we are not animals. There is merit in merely BEING a human being. And if we are surrounded by people who are starving or driven mad by hopelessness, we're going to be living in a far worse world than a world where there are a few "looters" (to use Ayn Rand's charming turn of phrase) or bludgers. In that sort of world we really will have to fight to stay alive. However, if as seen so often in Star Trek, we show compassion and understanding for our fellow human beings (or aliens, forehead of the week or not), then maybe we can help them be better people, and become better people ourselves at the same time. That is the heart of Star Trek, and that has been Gene's gift to science fiction.
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Sat, Sep 28, 2013, 7:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Unimatrix Zero, Part I

Tee hee Cloudane, Harry's KPI's really were rather woeful.

One nitpick to Jammer... the mutation affecting 1 in a million doesn't necessarily mean that a million have to be infected before a mutation arises... averages mean that in 1 particular million you may have 3 or 4, and then none in the following millions.

As for the Queen... for me, sure, she's the embodiment of the collective as needed when needed. I don't know if I agree that the Borg have been neutered... if they hadn't been, then they would have assimilated the whole galaxy a long time ago. As consistent with earlier visions of the Borg as that may be, an absolutely perfect enemy is just as poor story-wise as an enemy who's defeated easily. And let's not forget that in BOBW 2 they were actually defeated rather easily. As for how the human got from Wolf to the collective, who knows? As fans, we could possibly imagine that there are many things that happened on that particular cubes adventures that we don't know about... perhaps some drones were sent off on a smaller vessel through a transwarp conduit back to the collective, for just one idea.

For me all of Voyager's "victories" over the collective are in fact setbacks and it remains as relentless as ever, growing like an out-of-control vine across the galaxy despite the efforts to prune it, even in Endgame. Therefore, they remain just as terrifying as ever, especially since they would probably learn from their defeats with Janeway.

And as has been said... story-wise, the original incarnation of the Borg would not have been interesting forever.
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Sun, Sep 22, 2013, 6:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

To drop back to a comment above, by Adam, unfortunately I'd have to agree.

I'm quite sure we won't really begin to explore space for new worlds etc until forced to by environmental or economic pressures.

Pleasant enough ep., but like others I didn't especially buy the chemistry between Janeway and O'Donnell, although I'm generally in favour of these more quiet, background episodes.
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Fri, Sep 20, 2013, 12:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

Wow, seems like Voyager gets slammed the most when it does something original or follows up on its own logic.

As Elliott so often says (years ago yes, but still) NONE of it is real, not warp drive, not transporters... If we can accept those then it shouldn't be too much of a stretch to accept the rest. The premises for "The Inner Light" and "The Visitor" are pretty sketchy too.

I agree with those who say this was a good exploration of hopelessness, thus the destruction even of the "time capsule", and of what it means to be human - especially when it is a biomimetic fluid doing the exploring.

I didn't find the first part of this too offensive, and definitely was not offended by this one. I thought it was a bold and original idea, and deserves credit as such.

Having said that, yes, some minor details like the amazing resilience of biomimetic hair and uniforms could have been polished up, and the hard-headed aliens were frustrating, but I think that was what the episode was going for, the utter hopelessness of their fate.
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Fri, Sep 20, 2013, 10:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: The Disease

Although I've definitely not been in favour of some reviews from episodes previous to this one, well done, amusing, and not too harsh, while wittily parodying some aspects that deserve parodying.

I think that this episode shows that Kim is no Mayweather... that he has a bit more depth, and the story itself is probably more about the political repercussions of being imprudent than it is about Janeway being a prude, although it was interesting that she explored some feelings about being left by Mark in the process...

I think it was a solid 2, if not 2.5, in exploring those interspecies issues.

Although the leader of the generational ship was a real prick.

Still though, can't see why Kim couldn't have been promoted, while Paris went up and down like a yo-yo.
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Thu, Sep 19, 2013, 10:35am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

*off the fly
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Thu, Sep 19, 2013, 10:32am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

Yep, once again, really inconsistent reviewing from Jammer as far as Voyager goes.

There is a huge amount of precedent for this use of holograms in Trek.

I fully agree with Elliott and Onan and others.

Vic Fontaine's presence on DS9 is defended by Jammer because someone says "he's very special". The Geordi-Brahms episode gets 3 stars. For God's sake, Nog even lives with Vic and does his accounts, but that's OK.

The Cardassian doctor can't be a medical expert because he's a hologram created of the fly, but Brahms can be an engineering expert despite being created in an equally improvised way and also being the basis for the episode?

This episode explores an issue, doesn't do so in a black and white way.

The only arbitrary thing here is the nitpicking, which unfortunately isn't applied evenly to all the Trek series reviewed here.
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Tue, Sep 17, 2013, 2:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: In the Flesh

Looks like Voyager is damned if it does, damned if it doesn't...

Let's just accept it then as TOS of the nineties.

What was wrong with having a species imitate humans to figure out who we were and understand us? Besides, another shapeshifting alien wouldn't have been incredibly interesting, and it still keeps the Borg on the outside, that is, good humans, good 8472, bad Borg, some credit is deserved for maintaining trek ideals.

Plus it was a good use of Boothby and the other admiral, and an insight into us from the outside.

Evil aliens is only fun for so long, which is precisely why the Borg lost their edge - you just can't do evil forever.
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Tue, Sep 17, 2013, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

Well Jammer, it seemed like it got you fairly involved.

Imitating a ship with holo-technology does not require the powers of a God. And writing [TM] after something does not immediately make it witty.

Any other series would have got kudos for going back to check out the effects of the cast's interference, i.e. this episode, but since this is Voyager, when there is continuity, it isn't recognized but rather Cynically Ignored and Ridiculed [TM].

Hmm, how could this episode have got a 4? Ah, I know, the prophets transport Voyager to a battle between Jadzia Dax and the Jem Hadar during a Klingon wedding using a previously unknown orb and Weyoun recruits the Kazon and the garbage scow aliens into the Dominion. Because that's good science fiction. Who wants to see new aliens and new planets every week in a new part of Space? Heaven forbid we have "Gilligan's Island in Space" ... let's have the same aliens every week for the sake of "realism" or drag out a war over four seasons for the sake of continuity.
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Mon, Sep 16, 2013, 7:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Night

I think that this rating is really unfair.

Here you have a new concept, character moments, original aliens... and basically Voyager gets bashed for not being DS9.

So Janeway hasn't been gnashing her teeth about her decision in front of us for the last few years- as she herself says, she's had other things to do, now she's in pure blackness.

I wish that Voyager had been rated on its merits, not as a comparison with "the Sisko".
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Mon, Sep 16, 2013, 10:42am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Demon

And apologies for the tone of my comment, but after the tone of that review, I feel it's not out of place, especially since it didn't address the episode, and ignored it's merits totally.
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Mon, Sep 16, 2013, 10:28am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Demon

Come on, it at least deserves some credit for being something not done before...

People seem to be demanding literary and scientific orthodoxy from what is a TV show inspired by another TV show that was quite frankly utterly bizarre (TOS).

Someone came up with an original idea in the constraints that the show imposes, and I think in that respect it did fine.

At least it tried to be Sci Fi rather than a sterilized, invisible war in space with so-called political intrigue which actually went little above soap opera standards a la DS9, which is frankly military porn for people who know nothing about war, and religious porn for people who know nothing about religion.
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Mon, Sep 16, 2013, 10:19am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Living Witness

Someone in the Voyager writing squad likes attacking PC truths... First we get "rape victims are imagining things" now we get "the oppressed are really the oppressors". What's next, a planet where whites are oppressed and blacks are the oppressors? I'm sure everyone here would love that one.

Not surprising at all then that most of the comments here are fully in agreement.

Having said that, it was an amusing take on Voyager's impact on the Delta Quadrant, but I'm troubled by the underlying idea, as I was in the Seven gets violated episode.
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Mon, Sep 16, 2013, 10:12am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Unforgettable

Interesting that one of the comments above gives the other characters their names but ridicules the only indigenous character by mocking his language (and not for the first time).

Wonder why?

As for the episode itself, yes, rather unfortunate.
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Mon, Sep 16, 2013, 10:06am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Omega Directive

An interesting sci-fi idea.

As I see it, 7 of 9 retains some aspects of being Borg, which is why she retains this obsession with the particle, even though she is now disconnected from the collective.

I thought this was an interesting exploration into the Borg, making them a little deeper than just locusts, giving them a motivation. The Borg seek perfection, Omega is perfection, totally plausible that it could represent a religious experience

As for the renaming, why wouldn't 7 put in practice the organizational system she is most familiar with, if she feels its more efficient? Frankly I agreed with Kim's demotion.

For me the Federation's reaction to Omega makes sense: it could eliminate their ability to travel by warp, it could be a terrible weapon, and the more who know about it, the greater the chance it could fall into the wrong hands.

As for Janeway's reaction, she's been indoctrinated by Starfleet to react to Omega in a certain way, so she does.
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Mon, Sep 16, 2013, 9:06am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Vis A Vis

Woah, take it easy on the Voyager hate fest! Sure, this wasn't pure gold, but neither was TNG or DS9 in every single episode.

Tom's "sudden" existential crisis does have some background history in the character. Just because it's not "subtly" hinted at over 10 previous episodes doesn't mean it's not there.

And as for his interest in 20th Century cars, what, he has to be interested in something more high brow? Russian literature? Renaissance art perhaps? Leonardo Da Vinci like Janeway? Come on, we all have our interests... for example commenting on Star Trek pages from over a decade ago.

As for the story and the alien, well, not ground-breaking, but it did explore some interactions between characters, and as I said, not every episode can (or should) be pure gold.
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Mon, Sep 16, 2013, 8:32am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Killing Game

I think people have overlooked the positive message here... that a Hirogen (a previously 2 dimensioned alien if ever there was one) seeks to advance his species by moving the hunt to the holodeck...

Gives us some more depth on Hirogens, shows them interested in learning about their prey's culture and mindset (which is why we're in WWII).

And I think Neelix as Klingon was amusing.

This was a good, message-based episode.
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Mon, Sep 16, 2013, 8:27am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

Now, if some say, the message is false accusations, it could have been far better done.

As some others have commented above, blowing yourself up because you've been accused of something, especially when your accusers are rescinding themselves, is hardly a logical course of action, as Tuvok would say.

And to repeat others above, the failure of an airtight case does not prove innocence.

Which is why I would say this is a failed and confused idea, and which would seem to have some unsavoury consequences if taken to its "logical" conclusion.
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Mon, Sep 16, 2013, 8:21am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

It's not that I don't accept that false accusations can happen, but I think they are a tiny minority of rape cases, and I'm unsure why Voyager would want to jump on the "false rape" bandwagon.

I think that that particular cause does not need any help from science fiction, and that it kind of flies against Trek trying to give us moral messages about our time on behalf of oppressed or weaker groups (for example, the diversity on the TOS bridge). What's next, an episode in favour of fathers' rights against the terrible mothers who gain custody of their children?
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Mon, Sep 16, 2013, 7:43am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

I must admit I find this one quite disturbing.

What is the message supposed to be? That we should doubt rape victims?

A bit of clarity might have helped, it all seemed rather jumbled. The supposed criminal killed himself, even when Voyager admitted they could be wrong.
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