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Yair
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 8:07am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Sanctuary

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi,

Ouch you're right (didn't see your post before I hit submit). I'll cut it out.
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Yair
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 8:06am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Sanctuary

@Booming,

Well, all these terms do shift a lot. I still don't quiet understand what 'neoliberal' means. Everyone seem to be using it with a different meaning. At the moment, my working assumption is that 'neoliberal' means just about everything ever, simultaneously describing every country on the planet that exists or ever was. Also all of the entities ever described in Star Trek, including sentient nanobots and non-corporeal energy being. But we seem to understand one another and that's enough.

As for the EU, I described how it's sold to its own people, based on my readings of its proponents arguments (e.g. Habermas). I did neglect to mention the 'avoid WW2' argument which is also quiet common but yet another form of a security dilemma which in my opinion is not enough to hold by itself.

As for Trump and Obama - IMHO, the revival of classical realism has as much to do with China's increasing power and Russian aggressiveness as with Trump. Obama's the TPP was meant to contain another state (China) and could just as easily be interpreted as a realist play. The Iran Deal was more of a special exception for Iran, but going into details would derail the conversation here ever more than this post. The Paris deal was started by others and isn't binding enough (I'd have loved a carbon tax, national or international, the trade schemes are too complicated and too prone to bad incentives).
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Yair
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 1:50am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Sanctuary

When I write "it [the EU] could go either way" maybe I should have also detailed that some institutions do seem to try to create something beyond simple cooperation or even "just" pooling of sovereignty. But the general direction is still unclear to me.
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Yair
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 1:36am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Sanctuary

@Booming,

Wouldn't a defensive realist also be fine theoretically with a Federation existing indefinitely? And even offensive realists could expect Federations to survive for some time.

Me, I'm just an inconsistent "whatever works" regarding IR. 'Realists' ignore entire dynamics by focusing too much on states and power while constructivists (IIRC that's the IR term) often assume norms that don't really exist or have much less power than they assume. A Federation can survive and function, but it needs a bit of "something else" to hold its members together or it eventually dissolves (eventually possibly taking quiet some time). "something else" being a bit hard to elucidate - maybe a shared unique ideal, maybe some special asabiyyah, but I'm sure it's not just raw power balance alone.

I actually had the EU half-in-mind as an entity which doesn't have that "something else", at least not *yet*, but didn't want to open that can of worms. Then you happily dropped by... When it comes down to it, quiet a lot of its internal messaging is 'we have to come together so those other big players don't decide everything for us' (external threat + will to power), and there's a level of internal selfish behaviour which would be a lot harder in a true Federation. It could go either way.

As for the US, you describe Trump accurately, but I'm unsure whether Obama was a 'liberal intergovermentalist' (as you put it) or used institutions as another carrot/stick. Constructivism requires shared norms and it's unclear how much they affected his administration.
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Yair
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 3:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Sanctuary

@Omicron,

The Xindi arc isn't just a 9/11 analogy. The Xindi Council is a dark mirror of the Federation created by an enemy, making it one of the more interesting villains. Several entirely different races coming together, sounds like the Federation, right? But the members are led almost entirely by fear and distrust (not always unjustified). Fear of mutual annihilation leads them to create the Council, fear of destruction leads them to attack Earth preemptively and prematurely, fear and distrust leads them to break the Council.

The Council is how the Federation would be like if it were constructed solely to solve the security dilemma - preventing a war between the Andorians and Vulcans, stopping either from fearing Earth's rise, and keeping the Romulans out - without having any higher purpose to go along with that. Eventually the members realize the biggest threats left are each other and nature does its course, especially if there's some manipulation "helping" from outside.

Perhaps the Sphere Builders did not understand the Federation. Or maybe they did and decided not to risk creating a possible rival to themselves in the Xindi.

ENT S3 had the possibility to become a classic season if only the writers took more care rather than treating it almost as a sidestory. *Sigh*
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Yair
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 5:59am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Alan Roi,

"When did I say the Discovery could kill off Control? Its practically imppossible to completely wipe out anything completely..."

Reading back:

"There have been hints that there is a plan being set in motion to use the situation to take out Control. [Notes how all the characters appear onboard the Discovery]"

At the moment, I don't see any satisfying ways of wrapping this season off.

* I don't see any credible ways of killing Control, so it must live.
* The data must be denied to Control, but simply keeping the Discovery in current timeline while Control is alive resolves very little.
* Destroying the Discovery will also be unsatisfying, given we've established the characters can't/shouldn't do that for 4 episode straight.
* Jumping the Discovery to the future creates its own problems (I've noted that we will have to ask why nobody used a Spore Drive later on). That seems to be the current plan according to this episode.

Hopefully the writers will surprise me, but most likely they'll just have a Big Battle and then jump to the future.
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Yair
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 5:05am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Alan Roi,

I don't see how the Discovery could kill off Control.

Going into the past? Burnham's mother tried that, it doesn't work.

Lets say the Discovery destroyed all S31 ships. So? Control is ultimately software, and is quite able to have copies throughout the Galaxy (the notion of what "I" means for AI must be quiet complicated). If it's not completely stupid, at least one of copies is not present.

Most likely is that the S31 ships are destroyed (next episode or offscreen), and the S31 series gets a villain to work against.
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Yair
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 12:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

All this time, we've assumed something would happen to make the Spore Drive go away. If the arc keeps its current direction, I don't see that happening.

There's no time for any new, well, discovery during the Big Battle awaiting us. The only thing left is for Discovery to go into the far future. Given all we know, Starfleet and others will try developing a Spore Drive, and they should eventually succeed in replicating 23th century tech by whenever the Discovery jumps to.

Starfleet has every motivation to get a ship to replace the Discovery, so useful in the last war. There are multiple characters who are well aware of the drive and will stay in TOS era, including Discovery's own captain during S2. Doubtful the crew hid the drive's workings from its own captain or from Starfleet. Starfleet must also have some information from the Glenn.

There's also Control, which had access to everything on Starfleet's computers and possessed Airiam. S31 must also have access to anything Starfleet has. The Empress and the Klingon Empire are at very least aware of what the ship can do, and knowing something is possible goes a long way towards doing it. That the Glenn existed tells us that other people can figure out the drive and the Tardigrade even without Discovery's data.

The only way I see to not make this an rather unpleasant problem (I might not be creative enough) would be to keep the Discovery cast in TOS era, and come up with some reason why the Spore Drive is unused some later season, but that would be a rather disappointing end to S2, e.g. this particular episode turning into a non-evacuation leading to non-goodbyes.
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Yair
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 3:28am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Alan, Daya

Now I understand everything. Just about all of DIS is in Michael's head, an extended hallucination following the nasty radiation poisoning she got during the Pilot.
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Yair
Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 5:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

@Mix,

They aren't addressing their 'logic hole' this time. They're adding two.

We might have had some babble explaining why they couldn't scuttle the Discovery, but now that it is established this is possible, we still have to ask why they didn't do it last chapter.

Also, Michael claims this is the only logical choice - but it obviously isn't. They still have the spore drive (Stamets is congratulated for a jump earlier during this very episode), and could jump far away from the S31 ships.
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Yair
Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 1:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

There's a typical A/B plot structure, and surprisingly enough its the fantasy/Klingon plot that works better, while the 'regular' action-adventure plot fails completely. I'll get to the ending in a moment.

The adventure part starts with poor dialogue** continues with even more poor dialogue in the Spock-Michael talk***, followed by the universe's most obvious trap, which is sprung most badly**** ending with an unexciting firefight, whose only notable scene is its end. At which point the characters just pretend the nanites don't exist anymore despite being them being able to give information about Control.

The Klingon plot works because the regular characters who do Klingon plots are mostly uninvolved, so we get Ansom Mount who can sell his role (DIS works surprisingly well when the temporary cast is involved in a story that mostly outside of its arc). The dialogue is slightly corny, but this is perfectly fine for Fantasy.

Once both plots are done, they finally understand that they could destroy the ship to delete the data (something they should have figured out last time), precisely in the situation where it wasn't the only logical choice - can't they just use the spore drive to get out? The episode even mentioned explicitly earlier that Stamets can still do that!

Ultimately, the episode succeeds when it does something not quite related to its arc. In retrospect, DIS is at its weakest when it does the things it is supposed to bring to the Trek storytelling: serialization to an arc which isn't quite interesting (if its not a disaster like in S1), the regular characters like Tyler and SMG - look, we're not making the captain the main character! But we'll make all the other characters do what our main character says, at which point her rank doesn't really matter - and this time, poorly done action-adventure.

DIS is better when it is outside its 'innovations': We've seen it can refer to TOS successfully and it can do episodic not too badly, the temporary characters like Pike and Spock. I suspect the showrunners put themselves in a hole in S1 and are slowly trying to dig themselves out.

** Michael rudely interrupting Pike, Tyler telling Michael "noone could stop her".
*** "I'm not angry. I'm enraged." said in a completely flat voice by SMG. There are some very rational reasons to follow the signals, Pike himself gave a few earlier, so this isn't a 'faith' debate.
**** A computer program can't be 'trapped' that way and Michael/Spock should have noticed that. Control must have had, oh, twenty opportunities to 'assimiate' Michael before he makes her suspicious, and given the way he showed some immunity to the shots in the end, should have just ignored her shots and walked up to her.
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Yair
Mon, Apr 1, 2019, 11:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

The RSS feed is also clear.

We were debating earlier why Control decided to turn on its operators. Obviously such pranks convinced it Humanity wasn't worth preserving. #ControlIsRight
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Yair
Tue, Mar 19, 2019, 7:48am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

From what I'm seeing, just about every fan wants Saru promoted to captain in S3, and that's also the right call for DIS. The problem with Saru now is that the show took away his biggest characteristic. Perhaps there's one more episode returning to Kaminar, and then what?

DIS needs a new touch for the character lest he turns invisible. So far the showrunners concentrated on Saru's super-vision and that's nowhere near enough (apparently, computers can't zoom or do UV analysis in the future). Promotion would be the ticket for putting him in the spotlight again.
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Yair
Mon, Mar 18, 2019, 10:39am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

@Mertov,

I agree Saru did not change permanently in "Si vis". My understanding was that the anger was already inside him (there was no good reason to be angry otherwise), and being without fear simply released it. So I'd have expected Saru to feel that anger again once he was again released (this time permanently) from that fear. Judging from the dialogue he doesn't feel that anger or any need to repress anything beyond the usual (Saru being quite good at repressing emotions like fear and pain already), and that is why I argued "dropped plot thread".

If I am reading you right, you are arguing Saru needed to learn how to control aggression and anger specifically, and he might not have been able to handle them otherwise?
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Yair
Mon, Mar 18, 2019, 6:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

** Did the "Vulcan Hello" really work for Vulcans? After all, they are part of the Federation, the Klingons don't hesitate to attack it...
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Yair
Mon, Mar 18, 2019, 6:43am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

@Booming,

We don't know all of the background for what happened with Spock and she was nine, but there's a repeated pattern here and she doesn't seem to get better.

Her actions in the "Vulcan Hello" can just as easily be read as satisfying her inner rage at Klingons, better IMHO and Sarek certainly suspects this. Burnham has to repeatedly implore Sarek to get him to tell her what the Vulcans did, and he tells her to not let her history colour her judgement and that what worked for Vulcans** may not work for Humans. My reading is that Sarek does everything to dissuade her except openly hiding info from Burnham or telling her what to do (either would show distrust in Burnham), but his clues falls on deaf ears.

Her action with Airiam is understandable, but note her disconcern for Nahn and the opinions of the crew and her captain.

And another example: her actions in the MU, where she's fine with killing people for someone who isn't really Georgieu (but no Starfleet officer ever faced consequences for what they did in the MU so...).
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Yair
Mon, Mar 18, 2019, 6:04am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

The key characteristic of Burnham isn't her 'saviour complex'. It's her complete disregard for others when she's set on something, not matter how much it hurts them.

From her childhood (the incident with Spock) to the pilot (where everyone she asks, *including* Sarek warn her against the "Vulcan Hello"), to her actions in the current episode (where everyone tell her to shoot out Airiam but she ignores them all).

Heh, If we look at all the examples, her mutiny count must be in the double figures by now. Which is why in "New Eden" we have to had a special scene to mark the fact she followed orders for once! But it's her disregard and not her mutinies per se that is the problem with her. This isn't entirely 'fixed' by S1's end, which why I don't consider the character redeemed.
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Yair
Mon, Mar 18, 2019, 5:47am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

@Mertov,

That's not how Saru described his feeling is "Obol". It was "I feel power", not "I feel anger". Later on, we rarely see Saru get very aggressive or very angry (his behaviour in "Thunder" has a more mundane explanation, and all other appearances have him being calm). This looks more like a dropped plot thread.

Even if it wasn't, the show could have shown Saru has repressed anger in S2 with only a bit of effort (a few lines in "Obol" and "Thunder"), so my point about S1's "Si Vis Pacem" being easily replaceable stays. Ultimately, DIS had a lot of time for minor characters - the showrunners just made a choice not to do so and center the series about Burnham. This may or may not change in the future.
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Yair
Sun, Mar 17, 2019, 4:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

Perhaps my initial pharsing was unclear, I meant they ignored what happen with Saru in S1's "Si Vis Pacem" afterwards in S2...
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Yair
Sun, Mar 17, 2019, 4:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

@Booming,

We're talking about S1's "Si Vis Pacem", right? That chapter ended with Burnham telling Saru "that wasn't you" (which all but obviated any character development Saru had during the chapter), and the "Saru gets aggressively angry without his fear" idea definitely wasn't the case in S2's "Obol".

So I'd say the showrunners ignored that episode anyway - which was fine by me, since I didn't like it anyway at the time...
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Yair
Sun, Mar 17, 2019, 3:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

DIS has had more than enough time to develop its minor characters.

S1 needs a whole rewrite, but lets write what DIS could have done while keeping its general plot and structure. In S1, we could have shortened the MU arc to 1 episode, rewrote "Magic" (don't focus only on Burnham), and ditched "Si Vis Pacem" for something else (The L'Rell stuff never made any sense, and the showrunners themselves ignored what happened with Saru in S2). That's 4 episodes' time, without going over other smaller changes they could have made.

It's a bit early to say about S2, but "Point of Light" isn't needed or wanted (just write Tyler out already), and "The Sounds of Thunder" could probably have been delayed to S3 (Most of Saru's development occurred at "Obol" already).
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Yair
Sat, Mar 16, 2019, 3:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

@Alan Roi,

You're the one that argued that Airiam posed a threat to the Discovery and therefore wasn't teleported. That wasn't 'asking a question', that was 'providing a bogus answer', because it's incongruent with the Discovery's crew own past behaviour.

That said, I'm not getting going to reply more to you on this issue. Judging by your behaviour in AVClub, you'll make this a 1000 comment fight, and I'd rather not monopolize the thread.
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Yair
Sat, Mar 16, 2019, 2:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

@Alan Roi,

So you're saying that Control let the Discovery be, when he could simply hack the computer and get whatever he wanted? Look, we have a plot hole, it happens, lets not introduce a bigger hole to cover for that.
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Yair
Sat, Mar 16, 2019, 2:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

@Alan Roi,

I'm referring to the Discovery's past behaviour. In S1, no one had any idea of Tyler's loyalties and he already killed before. In S2, he explicitly works for S31. Despite that, they have no problem accepting him.

This doesn't make much sense, since Tyler doesn't bring anything special with him that 1000s of other Federation officers could do. He could be happy anywhere else in the galaxy which isn't the Federation's only Spore-drive enabled ship.

I was saying that the Discovery would surely act the same towards Airiam. Airiam, by the way, couldn't take control of the Discovery's computer back when the crew was unaware of her problem, and surely would be even less capable once the crew was aware of it.
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Yair
Sat, Mar 16, 2019, 1:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

@Bill,

The crew did a thorough search after the engine was compromised, and they never found any transporter breach. Besides, if the transporter was compromised, the easiest way for Control to win would have been to use it before and ensure that Burnham and Nahn never materialize, letting Airiam complete her part in peace.

I'm sure that we'll soon see the Discovery using the transporter again without regard to what happened here.

@Alan Roi,

Given everything we've seen from the Discovery so far, they'd take the risk of a compromised crewmember rather than killing a crewmember. They took a larger (and far more illogical) risk with letting Tyler onboard.
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