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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 10:37am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Booming

"The Persians, the Romans and so on were very open to other cultures and included many elements into their own."

Empires that conquer and stomp every nation in their path are hardly good examples of tolerant societies. Not sure were you got the idea that the ROMANS (of all people) were somehow free of prejudice or dehumanizing those they conquered. They weren't any friendlier to their own citizens who practiced minority religions, either. Feeding non-pagans to the lions is hardly a behavior that we should try to emulate...

And I've yet to hear of ancient tribes that accepted everybody as their equals. In the harsh ancient world, such behavior would have been suicidal. If there were such a tribe, it would not live long enough to leave a mark in history.

Of-course today the opposite is true. Given the power that technology gives every single person on this planet, we better learn how to work together and accept one another, or we'll literally destroy ourselves.

With TNG-level technology, the pressure to correct our old ways would be even greater. Can you imagine the chaos that will ensue, if we gave present day humans the power of replicators and transporters? Yikes.
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Cody B
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 7:24am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tattoo

I can’t say I’m a big fan of this episode. It just didn’t do much for me. I do have a guess about why the hawk attacked Neelix. Neelix was the most “alien” to that land. The least native. His career was also scavenging and taking from lands he visited. So the hawk (symbol of the land/natives) viewed him as the most threatening and most likely to rape the land.
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P'kard
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 4:42am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Facets

I assumed that because Odo can take on other forms, he could in theory, replicate humanoid physiology and become intoxicated on ethanol or ethanol-like beverages.

Also the concept of Trill love is fascinating to me. Sad we only get one scene really exploring this in depth. This was great
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 2:39am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Nolan

You've convinced me... partially.

I loved your analysis, which could be a strong starting point for a new Trek series.

But I'm still skeptical as to whether ST:P is really going to follow this route.

The blunt way the issues were handled so far, leaves me worried. Why even go to yet another 9-11 allegory, when the events of DS9 were already enough to serve as a starting point for such a story? The entire Mars attack background story leaves me cold.

Not to mention that everything here, with the exception of the always excellent Patrick Stewart, doesn't exactly scream sophistication. If this is what they chose to show us in episode 1, are they really up to telling this kind of complex story?

Seems doubtful.

But like Nolan said:

"Whether it does we will have to see."

Indeed.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 2:05am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Quincy

You have this very ugly habit of distorting other people's words (like you did with Trent here) and turning them into strawmen. It's not the first time you've done that, and I'm not interested in this dishonest kind of discussion.

So I'm done talking to you.

@Booming
"Well, then using the term instinct makes even less sense. If you are racist towards people who dress differently or use a different language then that has nothing to do with instinct."

Of-course it does. Tribalism and fear of "the other" are hard-wired into the human brain. Just because the instinct itself existed before nations and languages and football teams, does not mean that it cannot manifest in those directions as well.

The question is: What do we do with this fact? Do we whine that humanity is doomed to a perpetual torturous existence because we're such flawed creatures? Or do we look for ways to manage these instincts and even focus them towards positive directions?

Reminds me of one of Kirk's famous speeches. To paraphrase: We are barabrians and killers, but we can decide that we are not going to kill today.

Gerontius was right on the mark, when he said that these instincts only pose a real danger when they're part of the system. That's one of the positive aspects of tribalism: If a person's "tribe" frowns upon these kinds of behaviors, they are far less likely to engage in them. Doubly so, if they've been taught from a very young age that curbing these instincts would make a better world for everyone (including themselves). After all, it's for the benefit of the tribe, isn't it?

And the reverse is also true. If people live in a society that believes humanity is sh*t and there's nothing we can do about it, this may turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is the reason that the current cynical trends scare me so much, and also the reason why - despite that fear - I'm not willing to abandon hope that the future will be better.
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P'kard
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 12:13am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Unnatural Selection

Awful episode. Mulder was an awful actor. Head shaking like a bobblehead is NOT a good way to "act emphatic" and the WRITING was even worse. it's like the writers never watched any of the movies and had never heard the phrase "eugenics wars" in trek canon!
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Dom
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 9:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Nolan, well said. I hope you type that up on a blog so people can share. I agree with your point. I would have been more disturbed if the Federation losing its way had come across as an excuse to throw in sex and gore (which I think did happen in Discovery Season 1). I'm much more interested in a show that actually tries to grapple with how a society like the Federation can reclaim its values.

I too hope for a return to episodic, theatrical Trek. Picard doesn't "feel" like Star Trek to me and probably never will. But at least it seems like the writers have a vision for the story.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 4:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Jason R

"I thought the whole point of the Rodenberrian vision was that humans don't let humans starve / die in wars / live in depravity. If not, then how is his "utopia" different from today, other than having a galactic map of planets instead of a global map of countries?"

The difference is that situations like that of Turkana IV are not the norm in the 24th century. One failed colony does not demonstrate a trend.

Also, remember that the planet willfully severed all contact with the Federation and threatened to attack all incoming ships. So what would you expect the Feds to do? Barge in and declare a war on the locals?

Maybe that would be the right thing to do. Maybe the fact that the Feds won't go in guns blazing and save everyone is a flaw. But it's a flaw that makes sense in the context of what we know about the Federation of that era. It makes sense that a society which is extremely pacifist and abhors conflict at all costs, will hesitate to help a colony that would openly attack them if they tried.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 3:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

No Trek series ever could be called "rainbows and butterflies".

The optimistic vision of Star Trek slowly evolved and matured over 40 years, from the first baby steps of TOS to the impressive-yet-somewhat-naive view of TNG to the coming-of-age inspection of DS9 to the "let's show an intermediate step between present day and our vision" of ENT.

It was a wonderful and complicated process, and it most certainly had room for varying degrees of "grittiness" (as long as this was in a proper context). People who confuse Trek's general optimism and idealism with "rainbows and butterflies" simply don't understand what Trek used to be about.
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Dave in MN
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 1:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@ Bold Helmsman

Thinking back, "good" admirals still far outnumber "bad" ones. How many walk-on/bit part admirals did we actually see over the series?

As far as Section 31 goes, that was not also part of the Trek mythos during Roddenberry's lifetime .... it is obviously part of canon, but not part of the creators intention nor any of the Star Trek before 1996. Another point: Section 31 isn't is beyond top secret and the dialog has clearly stated it has to be secret because the Federation wouldn't tolerate it if it were known to actually exist.

I also question how the Federation has firmly set far-reaching legal precedents about Data and The Doctor's rights, yet somehow that's all negated when some robots go rogue (or did they? bwa ha ha!) B4 committed no crime, yet he gets turned off and disassembled because of a galactic treaty?! How is that legal or fair? How can long-lived species like Vulcans and Trill go along with such a massive realignment of what it means to be in the Federation?

One last point: the practical nature of televised entertainment is such that scripts generally aren't about "good" admiral guest characters: they make lousy antagonists.
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Baron Samedi
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 12:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

This discussion shows that it's easy to get caught up in the utopia as a given but not really consider the hard work and principled stances all the show's captains had to take to make it a utopia. Someone mentioned Star Trek VI above - an excellent example of Kirk *overcoming* his bias towards Klingons. The work Kirk takes to get over his human bigotry can inspire people in our time who might be in Kirk's shoes right now. If Kirk just started out as an "I love all and accept all aliens" type of character because he lives in a utopia, there'd be no Trek message left to give.
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Bold Helmsman
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 8:12am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Brad Hinds
Speaking for myself, I have no problem with optimism in Star Trek, or in any kind of media at all. What I have an issue with people behaving as if any version of Star Trek that does not show the Federation as a utopia where humans have outgrown their baser natures isn't really Star Trek.
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Brad Hinds
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 11:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Has anyone actually posited a serious argument that the Federation is or should be "rainbows and butterflies"? I find this questionable at best and reminds me of Sisko's equally specious remark in DS9 that Earth in the 24th century is a paradise.

I find it strange how some of you are quite hostile to even the faintest sense of optimism or idealism, especially the kind exemplified throughout Trek. What is it about it that triggers you so?
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Bold Helmsman
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 11:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Dave in MN
Problem is, that 1% represents the very top of Starfleet, the guys who are shaping policy and have widespread discretion to do as they please. They have power that is wildly out of proportion with their numbers.

@Quincy
Amen. I really hope people will stop with the whole "Sekrit Klub" nonsense, but like those other stupidities you mentioned, it'll be with us forever, I suppose.
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Brad Hinds
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 11:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@ovaduh

On the contrary, I would argue that Trek has explained quite convincingly how greed has been - well, I wouldn't say eliminated because that would be a stretch, but certainly tempered. For one, the humans of the 24th century live in a post-scarcity society in which everything they could need or want is readily accessible. How would greed as we perceive it even manifest in such an environment?

@Quincy

How dismissive and myopic. Human failings are not immutable. They are not fundamentally encoded in our DNA - they emerge from the many inadequacies and imperfections of our socio-economic structures. Who are you to say that in a future as depicted in Star Trek where the nature of those structures has shifted radically would not also radically change humans and for the better?
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ovaduh
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 8:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Nicholas Meyer recounted a story where Gene Roddenberry erupted after a screening of Star Trek VI (it may have been a different Roddenberry eruption but I can’t recall); Roddenberry was in disbelief that his beloved Star Trek characters were racist. Meyer said this is as it should be because 1) nothing in real-life history or logic suggests humans will evolve past racism; and 2) Trek itself never explained how it became that greed and bigotry were eliminated; how humans no longer succumbed to revenge; and how money no longer motivated them and instead humans just decided to work for the betterment of humanity. Picard shows that recognizable human behavior persists into the 24th century and has been criticized on those grounds. Please.
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Dave in MN
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 7:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

A few Section 31 officers and a dozen admirals out of how many hundreds of Federation characters over the many series?

Yeah, I'm comfortable saying 1% (or less) of all the Federation officials we saw over 700+ episodes were "bad".
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Bold Helmsman
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 7:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Dave in MN
So Section 31 can run around without transparency, and there can be what, dozens of shady admirals in Starfleet but refusing to help refugees is where you draw the line about what Starfleet officers can tolerate? Those things don't exist in a vacuum, you know? If Starfleet was as utopian as people think, those shady admirals would have been drummed out long ago.

@Quincy
I was thinking of The Drumhead myself after watching that episode. I'm going to recommend all my Trekkie friends watch that one before watching Picard.
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Daniel
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 5:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Next Phase

Hmm....if they are "phased out" ... what are they breathing? How does their phased-out diaframs suck that regular, in-phase air?

Seems relevant... the romulan goon was, after all, dispersed into space "choking" ....
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Elderberry
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 1:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

The Federation (or at least the Earth end of the Federation) has always been closed-minded about genetic engineering as a not particularly rational reaction to a long-ago war. Julian Bashir's story, of a child so damaged that he couldn't tell the difference between a tree and a house, being forbidden treatment, and his parents being criminalised for seeking it, is an ugly one that goes unchallenged. There's a dark heart there and always has been. I don't have a problem with that limiting mindset extending itself to synths, or to Romulans, after the wars with the Borg and the Dominion.
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Drea
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 1:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@Dave:

"Are we sure that Dahj's "death" wasn't some elaborate deception? This is my speculation, as I have seen nothing beyond the first episode. The kidnappers/Romulans had a transporter lock on the guy who got thrown over the side of the steps to beam him out before he even hit the ground, so we know that technology was there and functioning. Could the overloading phasor have been a cover to make Picard and everyone else think she was dead?"

Considering that their objective at the start of the show is clearly to abduct her, and not to kill her which they could have easily done, it's very strange that they would then shift plans to killing her so quickly. We don't know if that phaser explosion was as destructive as it looked--it only knocked Picard back, after all. Maybe Dahj has some shielding around her positronic brain, which the abductors now have.

I have to agree with Jammer that building connection with Dahj only to apparently kill her in the first episode was the only significant narrative misstep. It's like Picard is Dixon Hill, with a mysterious woman who comes to him for help dying at the start of the story, but she has a twin sister. It's a dime-novel plot twist that doesn't serve us well.
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Dave in MN
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 12:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

I have to say that I'm agree with the assertion that Starfleet abandoning it's core principles is slightly problematic.

Yes, we've seen badmirals before who sold out their ethics in the name of expediency, but 99% of the Starfleet officers we have seen since TNG have echoed the Federation's principles in words and deeds. I do find it hard to believe that the Federation (and all those officers we've previously seen) would completely abandon their moral ethos in the span of 18 years.

It feels more like the writers are trying to score a political point than actually embracing realistic storytelling. At least that's the impression I got upon rewatching.
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Dave
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 12:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

I don't see this speculation above, but I may have missed it above. Apologies if this is a re-tread.

Are we sure that Dahj's "death" wasn't some elaborate deception? This is my speculation, as I have seen nothing beyond the first episode. The kidnappers/Romulans had a transporter lock on the guy who got thrown over the side of the steps to beam him out before he even hit the ground, so we know that technology was there and functioning. Could the overloading phasor have been a cover to make Picard and everyone else think she was dead? Maybe this wasn't their first plan to kidnap Dahj, but it was an outcome that they had planned for if they couldn't capture her again, like they failed to accomplish in Boston.

Absent this, I agree with Jammer that to build her character up and then have her die was a problematic part of this episode. I did enjoy it, but I am hoping something more was going on there.
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Drea
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 11:55am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

If Trek has always been about allegory and social commentary, let's consider the ramifications of this allegory.

Star Trek: Picard posits that a resource-rich nation faced with refugees fleeing danger has a moral responsibility to build whatever ships necessary to rescue them and bring them in. Not simply to allow them in should they somehow come, but to rescue and bring home, en masse and pro-actively. Failure to do so is a betrayal of ideals and responsibility. Even if the refugees belong to a government that has long been an enemy.

Can we imagine this proposition in the United States or Europe right now? Real-life debates center around what proportion of refugees to keep out when despite the odds they make the journey on their own.

Starfleet ceased to be Starfleet because it didn't rebuild its evacuation boats after the first fleet's destruction. That's the fall from grace that ST:P depicts. It's exactly where we saw the Federation heading with the moral compromises of the Dominion war and the enslavement of synthetic people as seen toward the end of Voyager.

And it's still worlds better than anything happening today. If we scrutinize the allegory of ST:P, it raises the moral bar on our political debates. I have previously argued as if removing internal barriers against refugees were adequate, and now I will argue that our wealth (not to mention our hand in creating many contemporary crises) obligates us to send boats to lands with fleeing refugees and bring as many people as want to come.
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Bold Helmsman
Mon, Jan 27, 2020, 11:20am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@OmnicronThetaDeltaPhi
The utopian worldview we see in TOS and TNG didn't appear in a vacuum. It's a direct mirror to the mindset that the United States was in during that time period when those shows were made. People believed that the future could be like that because they thought that they themselves were on that same path. The problem is that same worldview was ignoring a lot of the issues present back then.

In the current day and age, it simply feels unearned for Star Trek to act as if humans have evolved beyond the issues we're seeing in Picard when we haven't done it in real life.
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