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Thomas
Wed, May 15, 2019, 12:25am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

"I'm saying that if Data, a being with a positronic brain of all things, can be truly alive, then that means that life *is* more than just an arrangement of molecules and is something far greater, something much more mystical than we'll ever know."

And yet Soong knew enough to be able to create it. You can't have it both ways: either life is completely demystified by Soong's ability to create it, or Data and any other arrangement of matter does not give rise to life on any other level than in appearance. If we accept that Soong can create life out of matter, we have to accept it is no more mystical than a machine.

These issues are all ones I find interesting and believe Star Trek is open to and encourages their discussion. That's why I watch it.
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Thomas
Tue, May 14, 2019, 11:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

@Lizzie

The problem as I see it is that you are not sufficiently distinguishing between appearance and reality. You say you can plainly see that Data is alive. But if a computer could appear to walk, talk and interact with others and yet still be completely unaware it is doing so, would it still under your definition be considered alive? Just because Data appears to do these things and appears to imitate life doesn't necessarily mean anything. Yes, Pulaski is prejudiced but that by itself does not mean she is wrong about Data. We treat computers as if they are 'less' than human and most people would say there are valid reasons for doing so. If in truth Data is no more than a extremely complicated and intelligent computer then by placing him on the same level as living beings we are devaluing life itself. And even leaving aside consciousness, perhaps Dr. Pulaski was aware that as of 2019, humans were yet to create anything more intelligent than the simplest living organism, and with good reason doubted Soong's ability to synthesize life in any form whatsoever.
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Thomas
Tue, May 14, 2019, 10:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

@Lizzy

What is it exactly you find objectionable about Dr. Pulaski's attitude toward Data? As far as I'm concerned, if we upgrade Data from a machine to a living thing, then by necessity we downgrade all living things to an assembly of matter and limbs. Do you really find nothing special about life that it can be described as an arrangement of molecules and nothing more than that?
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Thomas
Thu, May 9, 2019, 3:06am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

Well, as far as I'm aware, Christians believe the story of Jesus, including the miracles he was said to have performed. Miracles which contradict some of the laws of science, or at least suggest that those laws aren't set in stone.
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Thomas
Thu, May 9, 2019, 2:17am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

"Why would a higher being place us on an mid sized planet flying around a mid sized sun in one of the smaller arms of a mid sized spiral galaxy which is part of galaxy group which is part of a super cluster which is part of a super cluster complex.

I never understood how a rational person could know that and be religious."

I might be able to help you out there. I think you lack some understanding about Christianity. The question assumes that God has placed us, as bodies, on planet Earth. But the whole basis of Christianity is that we are not mere bodies, but that our real identity is Christ - perfect, holy, divine love. If that is true then our senses deceive us and bear witness to the absence of God - and to existence in a nihilistic, cruel and massive universe where life is meaningless and death is certain. Such a universe cannot be God's creation, but it can be a symbol of a "fall" or "separation" from Him, and therefore cannot be real because God is all there is and one cannot separate from Him.

If you had the choice between these two self-concepts, seeing yourself as beautiful perfect love or alternatively as a miserable speck of dust, you should be able to understand why the Christian finds theirs more appealing.
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Thomas
Tue, May 7, 2019, 10:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Force of Nature

You mean felis catus? I’m with you, Trish. ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ
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Thomas M
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 1:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

@Dave

You don’t know that. A National Socialist movement or something similar may have been inevitable in Germany, regardless who led it.
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Thomas
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 1:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

- Internet conspiracy theorists have come up with a way to validate my dislike for the show based on speculation and liberal interpretations of real news.
- The showrunners refuse to release potentially damaging information about their show.
- Since the showrunners don’t release news that validates my opinion, the internet conspiracies that do validate it must be correct.

Riker: What a perfectly vicious little circle.
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Thomas
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 9:25am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

"Everybody however, has a different threshold where it comes what level of complexity in their entertainment is no longer entertaining. If a story is entertaining to you, but not to me because of its inherent lack of complexity, should I consider it flawed because the creators deliberately made it to simplistic for my mind to find any engagement with it? "

This may be true when talking about Discovery alone, however when you consider the show as part of a 50+ year old tradition which, on occasion, sought to do more than entertain are we asking too little of it now when we reduce every aspect of it to how entertaining it is on a personal level.
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Thomas
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 7:13am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Alan Roi
"I've interpreted from day one and always pointed out that Discovery distinguished itself in a big way from other Trek series by being *very* demanding on its audience, that it can be a very hard nut to crack, and view this as a feature, not a flaw, and that it is the writers' intention to make it a relatively hard show to figure out when compared to past shows."

I would ask - to what end is the complexity? What is its purpose? If it's a story about saving the galaxy and nothing more, aimed at entertaining us, then would a simpler storyline be just as enjoyable as a complex one? If so, then I would argue the complexity is needless and is a flaw. If it's there just because the creators intend to make it tough to figure out, and for no other reason, then I think most would say it's a flaw - and this is something that applies to just about every human endeavor, from art to architecture, mathematics papers, literature.
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Thomas
Wed, Mar 27, 2019, 3:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

“Empire is dark but as in any mythos, the characters are facing hardship and moral dilemas. They struggle, make mis-steps and then carry on the good fight for light. They choose light in the darkness. That choice to carry on IS the inspiration and hope.”

Se, I think most fans of this film would argue that this is exactly what’s presented in TLJ. The rebellion is thwarted at every turn, the hero Luke seems to have *almost* given up. But the heroes do keep up the faith and learn a lot about themselves. Even a young boy is inspired by the rebels in the end. Like Empire, grief is a primary focus of this film, but were ultimately left with a vision of a brighter future,

“Having my archetypal hero hiding and giving into despair, thinking of killing his nephew, not trying to reach the good in him...not inspiring.”

It just shows that while Luke is a hero, he’s also a human being. Heroes don’t need to be perfect. In fact, it’s easier to relate to heroes who are imperfect, as most of us are the same way. So, Luke has a lapse of rage which he fought internally and later regretted. That he can turn back from a dark temptation and learn from that mistake is very heroic in my opinion.
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Thomas
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

@MmeH

Are you sure you’ve seen Empire? It’s not exactly the most uplifting and positive entry in the series...
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Thomas M
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 1:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

@MadmanMUC

It really does sound like you need to watch it again. Pike mentions that Control is likely still out there waiting to strike and has advised all S31 to purge the Control system and stop using it. Later after the Red Angel appears, the S31 ship’s main systems go offline. Leland attempts to get them back online using his security overrides. The ship glitches for a moment then starts working normally at which point the controls gouge Leland’s eye sockets leaving him for dead while taking his security overrides. We then hear *Leland’s voice* tell Tyler that he’s ready to proceed containing the Red Angel. We’ve seen Control imitate officers before on com systems, so you can make your own conclusion what’s going on.
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Thomas M
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 10:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

@Artymiss, Madman

I thought it was pretty clear Control killed Leland as the next scene has *his voice* telling everyone the containment field is ready while the real Leland lies dead/unconscious. The implication of course is that Control is interested in stealing the Red Angel’s technology, and thus helps everyone contain her.
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Thomas M
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 5:10am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

The time crystals are just used to power the mechanism developed that actually does the time travel. What Alan Roi is describing could theoretically serve that purpose. It’s certainly more scientific than say, the Flux Capacitor, (and to be fair, BTTF does promote real science in other parts of the story).
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Thomas
Sun, Mar 17, 2019, 9:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

@Kinematic

Canon isn't much of a concern for me either. It's just that it's hard to feel any emotion upon, say, the occurrence of a shuttle explosion or any other life-threatening, when the resident Federation surgeon-magician at the nearest starbase can resurrect anyone involved with a bunch of cybernetic implants. Same goes with Culber's spore-womb revival. In this universe, the price of death it seems is rather cheap.
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Thomas
Sun, Mar 17, 2019, 7:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

The Airiam storythread still eludes me.

Airiam is supposed to be part human, part machine. After her shuttle accident with her husband the scientists were capable enough to mechanically reconstruct the part of her that thinks, remembers and functions, which is how she is able to interface with computers and function from downloaded algorithms such as the red lights virus. They've also given her an entirely mechanical face and probably (from the way she walks) most of her body. So why is it they can't rebuild the parts that "died" when she is ejected into space and reattach them to the core memories and functioning that the rest of her body is built around? It should be a piece of cake compared with the complexity of essentially building a mechanical brain which holds all the memories of her previous life.

Maybe I'm overthinking it, but it often seems like the tech in this era is more advanced than it should be, but only when it is convenient to advance the plot.
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Thomas
Fri, Mar 15, 2019, 10:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

I was prepared to say that regardless of the plot, this was the best directed episode yet in terms of clarity, pacing and balance. However there are few things I don't understand:
-The shields were turned off and yet the mines still didn't affect the ship? In one scene you saw blue flashes of light, which I assume were the shields.
-The transporter, as many have mentioned, would have been the obvious solution to the Airiam problem.
-What exactly was the nature of Airiam? They made it seem like she was just a bunch of memories in a cybernetic shell, which should have made it possible to survive the vacuum of space. What is it in her that 'died' and could not be revived when she was portrayed as basically a computer?
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Thomas M
Wed, Mar 13, 2019, 10:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

When the show hinted that the Red Angel was from the future, my first reaction that it might tie into the Short Trek “Calypso,” since that episode seemed so far removed from anything the show was actually doing (and the Saru short tied in directly to the season).

Rewatching “Calypso,” it still doesn’t seem to connect to anything, although the main character in it, Craft, who is human, has a big tattoo on his back that looks somewhat angelic (turns out its a cyclops owl, a native species from his colony planet).

Otherwise, the idea of time travelers from the future intervening in the past reeks a lot of the temporal Cold War from Enterprise, so much so that I’m inclined to wish it was tied into that. At least that would provide a decent sense of continuity I suppose.

However, I suppose if this Red Angel is trying to stop the destruction of all life in the galaxy then that means the show is creating the future that leads to Kirk and Picard and Sisko et al. from a natural timeline where everything was destroyed (not unlike when the temporal agents saved Enterprise at the end of season 1, I suppose). This would supposedly preclude the 29th century time cops from intervening.

In thinking about what the future machine fleet that did this was, my first thought wasn’t about the Borg, but the planet-killer from the episode “The Doomsday Machine.” What if Discovery retcons it so that the weapon that Kirk later encounters was actually from the future, a remnant of however Discovery ends up stopping the destruction of the galaxy? Just a passing thought. (Though it means requiring Spock not to know what it is. On a side note, Peter David wrote a pretty great novel that imagined the Doomsday machines in an ancient war with the Borg.)

On the other hand, Spock’s curiosity over the Red Angel reminded me a lot over his desire to mind meld with V’Ger.

Also, the “Interstellar”-type black hole was a neat visual, though anyone familiar with The Cage (as Spock was) would have realized pretty quickly it was an illusion. Likewise the final twist where they fake out Section 31. It basically puts the episode in a catch-22, as the legacy viewers will only appreciate the nostalgia as the story will seem predictable, while the new viewers who know nothing of The Cage might enjoy the tension, but the episode isn’t made for them.

Finally, still no mention of Sybok despite some moments he could have been name-dropped. Not that they need to, but I found it interesting that Burnham chastises the Talosians for wanting to see her and Spock’s pain, and seeing (and releasing people from) personal pain later turns out to be Sybok’s shtick. If the Discovery writers ultimately choose to completely sidestep the Sybok issue, it may be fodder for some future novel that Sybok learned of Talos from keeping an eye on Spock’s adventures, ended up going there, learned some of his mental tricks from the Talosians.
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Thomas M
Mon, Mar 11, 2019, 2:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

The upcoming Airiam story is actually the perfect chance to fill us is in more on the character. They've been doing this pattern in season 2 where different characters will start the episode with a narration or log and then the episode more or less centers an A or B plot on that character. Not saying they'll do this for Airiam for sure, mind you, but I think the character is becoming popular enough to warrant that kind of story treatment.
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Thomas
Thu, Mar 7, 2019, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

The JJ Abrams treatment is giving an old franchise new life, then parlaying that experience into other big franchises. This is not to be confused with the Berman treatment which involves a grave at least 5 years deep.
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Thomas M
Mon, Mar 4, 2019, 10:12am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

I suppose there needed to be something that necessitated the advent of synthehol.
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Thomas
Thu, Feb 28, 2019, 9:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

Why would S31 want to kill Burnham’s parents...or is Leiland personally responsible?
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Thomas M
Fri, Feb 22, 2019, 11:48am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Sound of Thunder

For those criticizing Ash in this episode, I think he's going to be vindicated later. It's easy to see the Red Angel's actions as altruistic, but you have to wonder if, as Ira Behr would put it, there aren't some "weasels under the coffee table" here.
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Thomas
Thu, Feb 21, 2019, 9:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Sound of Thunder

One of Star Trek’s best shows in the last 20 years. An extremely fun and engaging watch! Go Saru!
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