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Star Trek: Amok Rhyme

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  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    the episode with the real Dr. Brahms is like 90% there, the problem is just that it never acknowledges that what La Forge is doing is wrong. You could make it a good story by changing like four lines near the end.

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  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    Indeed, I would submit that in the Culture, humans (and other sophonts) aren't "more evolved" so much as domesticated.

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  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    Has there been a Culture adaptation that didn't fundamentally misrepresent the core premise? Every time they try it always boils down to "but what if AI bad?"

    Phillishereoverride367
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    The Federation is the ultimate benevolent utopia. Shame all its admirals keep building death rays and making deals with space monsters.

    Um The Culture is standing right there

    I don't really feel like the culture and the federation are fungible for each other

    The Culture is essentially an AI society that has collectively made the moral choice to benevolently look after the little human pets that infest the ships. There's something a bit existentially disquieting about it, and it's okay to feel disquieted by it, because Banks absolutely reveled in that tension and took opportunities to kind of rub your the reader's face in it.

    The Federation is about the idea that humans can go out into space and solve our own problems while remaining fundamentally human and not being replaced or put in a little existential cul-de-sac by our own sophisticated tools. Star Trek says that social and technological change can (and maybe should) give people more power over their lives and fates rather than less.

    It's hard not to read the Culture as a literary reaction to the Federation, though. Banks looked at Star Trek and wrote what he thought a Utopian Space Empire would look like - not directly managed by humans, willing to engage in seriously sketchy black ops on foreign worlds to secure a better world for others, and utterly vicious in response to exterior threats.

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    The Federation is the ultimate benevolent utopia. Shame all its admirals keep building death rays and making deals with space monsters.

    Um The Culture is standing right there

    The Culture gives me a reason as to why their utopia can never fail: Machine minds, infinitely more intelligent than human minds, and with access to far more fire power, keep the utopia pristine. That's a preservative in two ways: First, it means that human mental fatigue won't allow the principles of The Culture to whither away over time, since machine minds do not experience that sort of fatigue. Second, it means that no human madman can gather together a cult to take over other parts of the Culture with superior fire power, since you not only have to convince humans, you have to convince the minds on ships to go along with your mad scheme, too - and because of the controls that go into allowing machine minds to have weaponry, you aren't going to get many ship volunteers. No human in the Culture can imprison another human against their will, since at everyone's beck and call are machines (sapient drones) that will instantly come to your rescue and prevent it.

    That's why the idea that the Federation must continually renew the faith, generation after generation, makes sense to me - there are no controls to prevent it and humans easily forget, or get tired, or falsely assume that the past was somehow better than today without having any evidence of that. Humans are too fallible, too much a victim of their emotions, to be able to continuously retain a utopia without always having to work at it.

    While it doesn't seem that any rich were eaten. It definitely feels like a soup course with broth made from rich stock - bouillonaire if you will - was had.

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  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    edited October 2019
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    the episode with the real Dr. Brahms is like 90% there, the problem is just that it never acknowledges that what La Forge is doing is wrong. You could make it a good story by changing like four lines near the end.

    It's worse than that, it actually has Brahms actively acknowledge she's in the wrong, when they start joking about the whole thing later.

    They very deliberately articulate the entire "Oh yeah the computer made an idealized love interest version of you on the holodeck and adapted it further and further towards that bent as Geordi encouraged the simulation." thing as just part of Brahms being too "cold" and the other assorted stereotypes of late 80s/early 90s professional women.

    She has very legit reasons for being pissed about this! and they just drop it and fold it into "Oh ha ha I was such a jerk to you needlessly, we're cool now!"

    Lanz on
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  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    The thing about TNG is that the enterprise is the flagship of the Federation; it's a real "best of the best of the best" situation, where Starfleet is sending out a crew that they feel best represents the highest federation ideals and values, so that's what we see most of the time.

    The trick is that isn't how the Federation operates all the time, and that it takes people, like those working on the Enterprise, to push back when things start falling from those ideals. Push back at enslaving Data; push back at show trials against non-existent conspiracies, push back against violating treaties for unjust reasons. (Destroying a weapon of mass destruction though; that's an OK reason to violate a treaty. >.>)

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  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    Going through TNG, there do seem to be a few... blind spots, very very glaring blind spots, the Federation seems to have by the 24th century.


    The repeating trend of "How do we declare Data and those like him property" seems to be a major one

    There’s a scene in the Picard trailer that looks like they finally figured out how to mass produce him.

    Also, the occasional witch hunt for officers with Romulan ancestry.

    The best thing DS9 ever did was look at TNG and go "We gotta remind everyone Utopia is not a place you reach, it is a work you perform, a lifestyle that must be consciously maintained if it is to avoid descending into gilded leaf oppression."

    I mean that was literally the point of a bunch of TNG episodes too

    I find the idea that DS9 invented this kind of exhausting tbh

    TNG is a lot more patronizing about it, though. When dealing with other races/cultures, it's almost always "We were like you, once. But then we grew up, solved all our problems, and are now free from petty concerns like money and ownership and whatnot. We evolved." Nearly every challenge to the Federation ideal is some admiral whose obviousness stops just shy of mustache twirling. The most nuanced episodes are probably the ones dealing with Data - "The Measure of a Man" and "The Offspring" - because they explore what personal rights actually mean... who has them, where protections end, what actually constitutes a person/life, etc. The opposing side isn't bad per se, just adversarial.

    But the rest? It's Admiral/Ambassador McBadPerson doing really egregious shit that's presented as being exceptional and completely out of step with how the Federation operates. That, or the plot is twisted in such a way that it doesn't make sense given everything else we've seen/learned about the Federation (see: "The Drumhead" with the guy with Romulan ancestry), thereby undermining the episode's thematic payload.

    DS9 is a lot more consistent in its message that this utopia is a conscious, concerted effort by everyone involved. There's a lot less complacency, likely because unlike TNG, they're actually on the frontier and can't just turn over their problems to the Federation Council and move on to the next system. The crew of DS9 had to lie in the bed it made. DS9 is also notable because not everyone buys into the Federation and what it stands for. The Bajorans, but also other races (mostly vocalized through Quark) have their own opinions on the Federation. We get to see what it really means for the Federation to push up against other viewpoints over the long term.

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  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited October 2019
    Lanz wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    the episode with the real Dr. Brahms is like 90% there, the problem is just that it never acknowledges that what La Forge is doing is wrong. You could make it a good story by changing like four lines near the end.

    It's worse than that, it actually has Brahms actively acknowledge she's in the wrong, when they start joking about the whole thing later.

    They very deliberately articulate the entire "Oh yeah the computer made an idealized love interest version of you on the holodeck and adapted it further and further towards that bent as Geordi encouraged the simulation." thing as just part of Brahms being too "cold" and the other assorted stereotypes of late 80s/early 90s professional women.

    She has very legit reasons for being pissed about this! and they just drop it and fold it into "Oh ha ha I was such a jerk to you needlessly, we're cool now!"

    It's even worse than that because All Good Things implies they get married eventually. *

    *Unless he married the hologram version which frankly isn't any better.

    Cambiata on
    While it doesn't seem that any rich were eaten. It definitely feels like a soup course with broth made from rich stock - bouillonaire if you will - was had.

    My Dragon Age Origins Let's Play

    Nightslyrwandering
  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited October 2019
    Eh... The culture treats sentiences as equal, really to a huge part. The Minds are superior in sheer physical and mental prowess, but they'd never think of another sentience as meaningless.

    It's a really fun way of looking at the future of society and its development, past humanity. The Minds are a product of humanity, its offspring. They very much see themselves as part of the family.

    The conflict comes from the fact that.. they kinda see every sentience as part of the family, and want to bring it into the fold, as shown very early on with the idrian war.

    The idrians
    Are shown as being deeply religious fundamentalists, which are opposed to AIs but only because they see themselves as superior. Their undoing being seeing only the surface of the culture, the apparent hedonism, but not seeing its core-

    It's an utter and total conviction to their ideal, so strong and deeply rooted, that hey would have gone absolutely, without a doubt, full out to defend to the last.

    And so in the end, the idrians lose, and their loss is only made greater by the fact, that they are not crushed, controlled by the culture, like they would've liked to do, but convinced to join it, the few who hold up to their old ideals long after being seen as absolutely crazy, and even those being treated in a way the culture dictates, denying them even their imagined heroic death, by a culture participant of some of the most vulgar parts of that war, no less.

    The culture is basically the best root beer of the galaxy, the refined product of the federation.

    I think the culture's "early years" are somewhat intentionally described in a way that fits the federation pretty much to a tee. As a trek fan, in my mind canon, the culture books are the best continuation star trek could have

    autono-wally, erotibot300 on
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  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    To be fair to Geordi, he never asked the computer to do that. It produced an avatar of Brahms based on a misinterpretation of request to "show him" something, and when the holo-Brahm's was a plank of wood, he asked the computer to generate a personality based on available information, but the available information was her gushing about her work so she popped out as a touchy-feely character. (Why the computer derived romantic intentions from a bunch of research papers and lectures, who knows) He didn't ask for that to happen, and while he didn't immediately shut it down, he didn't hang out there very long once the mission was over and there's no evidence Geordi ever returned to that simulation afterwards.

    It's not a good thing that happened, but it also was obviously not something Geordi went out of his way to create, it happened and Geordi moved on. Brahm's WAS in the wrong because she saw like a minute of out of context speech and immediately assumed Geordi had used her image to make a sex doll, which isn't at all what happened. She was absolutely going to condemn him for something he didn't actually do. Brahm's had every right to be "WTF?" but she should have at least let Geordi explain what happen and demonstrate "no, it was just this weird thing, we can run through the entirety of my interactions with the avatar to prove I didn't intend to create this and I never interacted with it again after it kissed me."

    Hardtarget
  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited October 2019
    Lanz wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    the episode with the real Dr. Brahms is like 90% there, the problem is just that it never acknowledges that what La Forge is doing is wrong. You could make it a good story by changing like four lines near the end.

    It's worse than that, it actually has Brahms actively acknowledge she's in the wrong, when they start joking about the whole thing later.

    They very deliberately articulate the entire "Oh yeah the computer made an idealized love interest version of you on the holodeck and adapted it further and further towards that bent as Geordi encouraged the simulation." thing as just part of Brahms being too "cold" and the other assorted stereotypes of late 80s/early 90s professional women.

    She has very legit reasons for being pissed about this! and they just drop it and fold it into "Oh ha ha I was such a jerk to you needlessly, we're cool now!"

    Trek was always pretty progressive in many things it did, but still very much a product of its time.

    TOS had a bridge crew that would make neo-nazi alt-righters sweat even today, but all women wore mini skirts at best

    autono-wally, erotibot300 on
    wandering
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Lanz wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    the episode with the real Dr. Brahms is like 90% there, the problem is just that it never acknowledges that what La Forge is doing is wrong. You could make it a good story by changing like four lines near the end.

    It's worse than that, it actually has Brahms actively acknowledge she's in the wrong, when they start joking about the whole thing later.

    They very deliberately articulate the entire "Oh yeah the computer made an idealized love interest version of you on the holodeck and adapted it further and further towards that bent as Geordi encouraged the simulation." thing as just part of Brahms being too "cold" and the other assorted stereotypes of late 80s/early 90s professional women.

    She has very legit reasons for being pissed about this! and they just drop it and fold it into "Oh ha ha I was such a jerk to you needlessly, we're cool now!"

    Trek was always pretty progressive in many things it did, but still very much a product of its time.

    TOS had a bridge crew that would make neo-nazi alt-righters sweat even today, but all women wore mini skirts at best

    The idea that women were too emotional to be captains was Starfleet policy back in TOS.

    autono-wally, erotibot300Commander ZoomDonnictonTofystedethCambiataNightslyrShadowenStrikorGONG-00MsAnthropySolar
  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    To be fair to Geordi, he never asked the computer to do that. It produced an avatar of Brahms based on a misinterpretation of request to "show him" something, and when the holo-Brahm's was a plank of wood, he asked the computer to generate a personality based on available information, but the available information was her gushing about her work so she popped out as a touchy-feely character. (Why the computer derived romantic intentions from a bunch of research papers and lectures, who knows) He didn't ask for that to happen, and while he didn't immediately shut it down, he didn't hang out there very long once the mission was over and there's no evidence Geordi ever returned to that simulation afterwards.

    It's not a good thing that happened, but it also was obviously not something Geordi went out of his way to create, it happened and Geordi moved on. Brahm's WAS in the wrong because she saw like a minute of out of context speech and immediately assumed Geordi had used her image to make a sex doll, which isn't at all what happened. She was absolutely going to condemn him for something he didn't actually do. Brahm's had every right to be "WTF?" but she should have at least let Geordi explain what happen and demonstrate "no, it was just this weird thing, we can run through the entirety of my interactions with the avatar to prove I didn't intend to create this and I never interacted with it again after it kissed me."

    I have a vague recollection that holo-Brahm was vocalizing the computer's love for Geordi or something weird like that. (Which just raises further questions.)

    The real problem with Geordi's behavior wasn't the holo-Brahm, anyway, it was that he immediately went into dating mode instead of co-worker mode. Finding out about the holo-Brahm just made it obvious why he was acting unprofessionally.

    CambiataGnizmoshryke
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    Going through TNG, there do seem to be a few... blind spots, very very glaring blind spots, the Federation seems to have by the 24th century.


    The repeating trend of "How do we declare Data and those like him property" seems to be a major one

    There’s a scene in the Picard trailer that looks like they finally figured out how to mass produce him.

    Also, the occasional witch hunt for officers with Romulan ancestry.

    The best thing DS9 ever did was look at TNG and go "We gotta remind everyone Utopia is not a place you reach, it is a work you perform, a lifestyle that must be consciously maintained if it is to avoid descending into gilded leaf oppression."

    I mean that was literally the point of a bunch of TNG episodes too

    I find the idea that DS9 invented this kind of exhausting tbh

    It's also vastly overstated from the other side of things. DS9 is really utopian about the Federation as a whole, just like TNG.

    CambiataJacobkoshGnizmoMsAnthropyThorn413
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Oh yeah, Geordi was being unprofessional towards the real Brahm's. Forgot about that.

  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    Going through TNG, there do seem to be a few... blind spots, very very glaring blind spots, the Federation seems to have by the 24th century.


    The repeating trend of "How do we declare Data and those like him property" seems to be a major one

    There’s a scene in the Picard trailer that looks like they finally figured out how to mass produce him.

    Also, the occasional witch hunt for officers with Romulan ancestry.

    The best thing DS9 ever did was look at TNG and go "We gotta remind everyone Utopia is not a place you reach, it is a work you perform, a lifestyle that must be consciously maintained if it is to avoid descending into gilded leaf oppression."

    I mean that was literally the point of a bunch of TNG episodes too

    I find the idea that DS9 invented this kind of exhausting tbh

    It's also vastly overstated from the other side of things. DS9 is really utopian about the Federation as a whole, just like TNG.

    Yeah, I think it's important when gushing about DS9 to note that it's really just a natural evolution of what TNG started. Almost everything good in it comes from the notion of "let's explore this interesting concept or message from TNG more deeply".

    Cambiata
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited October 2019
    Nightslyr wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    Going through TNG, there do seem to be a few... blind spots, very very glaring blind spots, the Federation seems to have by the 24th century.


    The repeating trend of "How do we declare Data and those like him property" seems to be a major one

    There’s a scene in the Picard trailer that looks like they finally figured out how to mass produce him.

    Also, the occasional witch hunt for officers with Romulan ancestry.

    The best thing DS9 ever did was look at TNG and go "We gotta remind everyone Utopia is not a place you reach, it is a work you perform, a lifestyle that must be consciously maintained if it is to avoid descending into gilded leaf oppression."

    I mean that was literally the point of a bunch of TNG episodes too

    I find the idea that DS9 invented this kind of exhausting tbh

    TNG is a lot more patronizing about it, though. When dealing with other races/cultures, it's almost always "We were like you, once. But then we grew up, solved all our problems, and are now free from petty concerns like money and ownership and whatnot. We evolved." Nearly every challenge to the Federation ideal is some admiral whose obviousness stops just shy of mustache twirling. The most nuanced episodes are probably the ones dealing with Data - "The Measure of a Man" and "The Offspring" - because they explore what personal rights actually mean... who has them, where protections end, what actually constitutes a person/life, etc. The opposing side isn't bad per se, just adversarial.

    But the rest? It's Admiral/Ambassador McBadPerson doing really egregious shit that's presented as being exceptional and completely out of step with how the Federation operates. That, or the plot is twisted in such a way that it doesn't make sense given everything else we've seen/learned about the Federation (see: "The Drumhead" with the guy with Romulan ancestry), thereby undermining the episode's thematic payload.

    DS9 is a lot more consistent in its message that this utopia is a conscious, concerted effort by everyone involved. There's a lot less complacency, likely because unlike TNG, they're actually on the frontier and can't just turn over their problems to the Federation Council and move on to the next system. The crew of DS9 had to lie in the bed it made. DS9 is also notable because not everyone buys into the Federation and what it stands for. The Bajorans, but also other races (mostly vocalized through Quark) have their own opinions on the Federation. We get to see what it really means for the Federation to push up against other viewpoints over the long term.

    well like, okay, dismissing all the "crazy admirals" (there aren't actually that many) - why do that? they're people in positions of power abusing that power, which strikes me as a pretty important real-ass challenge for any society that wouldn't go away just because people's basic needs are met. I feel like TNG acknowledging that is a point in its favor, not the reverse!

    And usually these "crazy admirals" have reasons for what they're doing, reasons that might not be prima facie ethically good but which are coherent and which they articulate at length in the episode in question. They have what they think are good reasons or that people right here in the real world right now would think are good reasons (does anyone seriously want to argue that almost any government or military on Earth wouldn't try to disassemble and copy Data?), or reasons that are eminently understandable (covering up a previous fuckup, for instance); they're not arbitrarily nuts for arbitrary reasons.

    Like it's weird to me to say on the one hand that "this show depicts an impossible unplace" and then complain about all the times it shows people doing things that could realistically happen in that place.

    Words like "complacency" both strike me as buzzwords and weirdly hostile and again it's like, why. In what context does that even apply? What's the most "complacent" episode of TNg - is it the one where they stop an asteroid from hitting a planet, or the one where Riker reconciles with his dad? Is it the one where they go to an illusory casino and the lady has the really cleavagetastic dress and Data cheats at dice or is it the one where Geordi turns into a lizard?

    Like I've rewatched TNG in its entirety many, many times and am doing so again currently and the number of times it "condescends" to anyone is...tiny? Most stories are mysteries in space with the crew encountering exotic phenomena that give us a chance to see the characters in a new light (like "The Next Phase" lets Geordi and Ro live out the common fantasy of getting to see what people think of you after you died). Most of the rest are quiet, calm interpersonal dramas about people coming to terms with family members or loved ones, or about difficult issues like assisted suicide or euthanasia. Those aren't episodes that need to be about anyone "lying in the bed they've made" or whatever because they're not about big space wars but about small, personal stakes.

    That's why when people go on and on and on about how DS9 is "how it'd really be" I'm like, in comparison to what? Turning into a lizard? Repeating the same day over and over? This is beyond apples and oranges, it's apples and self-sealing stem bolts. Deep Space Nine isn't doing TNG, but right; it's doing a completely different thing! And I value that thing, but I also value what TNG did and it annoys me deeply how aggressively a certain clade of fans want to willfully misunderstand it.

    Like DS9 both benefits from (and tbh would tank without) its serial presentation but that's hardly the only way to do things: case in point, I think most people wish Discovery would be less aggressively serial and more willing to do small, focused stories where the stakes weren't always MAXIMUM RED ALERT but were more, like, a character goes on a date!

    Jacobkosh on
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  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    Lanz wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    the episode with the real Dr. Brahms is like 90% there, the problem is just that it never acknowledges that what La Forge is doing is wrong. You could make it a good story by changing like four lines near the end.

    It's worse than that, it actually has Brahms actively acknowledge she's in the wrong, when they start joking about the whole thing later.

    They very deliberately articulate the entire "Oh yeah the computer made an idealized love interest version of you on the holodeck and adapted it further and further towards that bent as Geordi encouraged the simulation." thing as just part of Brahms being too "cold" and the other assorted stereotypes of late 80s/early 90s professional women.

    She has very legit reasons for being pissed about this! and they just drop it and fold it into "Oh ha ha I was such a jerk to you needlessly, we're cool now!"

    I think we agree, yeah. The moral of the story should have been that La Forge learns he was being gross and not that Leah should have lightened up or whatever. It's just that mostly comes up right at the end. You could keep the first like 3/4 of the episode the same and change the moral and I think it'd be fine - uncomfortable, but not offensive.

    CambiataChanus
  • BlarghyBlarghy Registered User regular
    Lanz wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    the episode with the real Dr. Brahms is like 90% there, the problem is just that it never acknowledges that what La Forge is doing is wrong. You could make it a good story by changing like four lines near the end.

    It's worse than that, it actually has Brahms actively acknowledge she's in the wrong, when they start joking about the whole thing later.

    They very deliberately articulate the entire "Oh yeah the computer made an idealized love interest version of you on the holodeck and adapted it further and further towards that bent as Geordi encouraged the simulation." thing as just part of Brahms being too "cold" and the other assorted stereotypes of late 80s/early 90s professional women.

    She has very legit reasons for being pissed about this! and they just drop it and fold it into "Oh ha ha I was such a jerk to you needlessly, we're cool now!"

    Trek was always pretty progressive in many things it did, but still very much a product of its time.

    TOS had a bridge crew that would make neo-nazi alt-righters sweat even today, but all women wore mini skirts at best

    The idea that women were too emotional to be captains was Starfleet policy back in TOS.

    I don't think that was overtly stated as Starfleet policy (though, the meta around the episode is probably what the writers at the time were thinking). I believe the line was "your world of starship captains doesn't admit women", which combined with the woman who said it (a murderously angry ex-Starfleet officer) failing in her scheme because she got over emotional is what gives the impression of that.

    Jacobkosh
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    To be fair to Geordi, he never asked the computer to do that. It produced an avatar of Brahms based on a misinterpretation of request to "show him" something, and when the holo-Brahm's was a plank of wood, he asked the computer to generate a personality based on available information, but the available information was her gushing about her work so she popped out as a touchy-feely character. (Why the computer derived romantic intentions from a bunch of research papers and lectures, who knows) He didn't ask for that to happen, and while he didn't immediately shut it down, he didn't hang out there very long once the mission was over and there's no evidence Geordi ever returned to that simulation afterwards.

    It's not a good thing that happened, but it also was obviously not something Geordi went out of his way to create, it happened and Geordi moved on. Brahm's WAS in the wrong because she saw like a minute of out of context speech and immediately assumed Geordi had used her image to make a sex doll, which isn't at all what happened. She was absolutely going to condemn him for something he didn't actually do. Brahm's had every right to be "WTF?" but she should have at least let Geordi explain what happen and demonstrate "no, it was just this weird thing, we can run through the entirety of my interactions with the avatar to prove I didn't intend to create this and I never interacted with it again after it kissed me."

    yeah like, she's wrong and unreasonable in that instance, but it's coming at the end of half an hour of him trying to get his mack on in increasingly distressing ways so I don't blame people for kind of lumping that bit in with all the rest

    I do think the previous episode was fine. If falling in love with a hologram that looks like a person (but also turns out to have none of their personality) is wrong it's wrong in a pretty milquetoast way next to like, cyberstalking an actual real person

  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    Blarghy wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    the episode with the real Dr. Brahms is like 90% there, the problem is just that it never acknowledges that what La Forge is doing is wrong. You could make it a good story by changing like four lines near the end.

    It's worse than that, it actually has Brahms actively acknowledge she's in the wrong, when they start joking about the whole thing later.

    They very deliberately articulate the entire "Oh yeah the computer made an idealized love interest version of you on the holodeck and adapted it further and further towards that bent as Geordi encouraged the simulation." thing as just part of Brahms being too "cold" and the other assorted stereotypes of late 80s/early 90s professional women.

    She has very legit reasons for being pissed about this! and they just drop it and fold it into "Oh ha ha I was such a jerk to you needlessly, we're cool now!"

    Trek was always pretty progressive in many things it did, but still very much a product of its time.

    TOS had a bridge crew that would make neo-nazi alt-righters sweat even today, but all women wore mini skirts at best

    The idea that women were too emotional to be captains was Starfleet policy back in TOS.

    I don't think that was overtly stated as Starfleet policy (though, the meta around the episode is probably what the writers at the time were thinking). I believe the line was "your world of starship captains doesn't admit women", which combined with the woman who said it (a murderously angry ex-Starfleet officer) failing in her scheme because she got over emotional is what gives the impression of that.

    I've never understood the point of trying to infer anything about the setting from Turnabout Intruder. It's always struck me as funny how huge swathes of stuff in TOS get cheerfully ignored or retconned or swept under the rug but people always want ot address that one, specifically, instead of just going "wow that shit was dumb let's never speak of it again"

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  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    To be fair to Geordi, he never asked the computer to do that. It produced an avatar of Brahms based on a misinterpretation of request to "show him" something, and when the holo-Brahm's was a plank of wood, he asked the computer to generate a personality based on available information, but the available information was her gushing about her work so she popped out as a touchy-feely character. (Why the computer derived romantic intentions from a bunch of research papers and lectures, who knows) He didn't ask for that to happen, and while he didn't immediately shut it down, he didn't hang out there very long once the mission was over and there's no evidence Geordi ever returned to that simulation afterwards.

    It's not a good thing that happened, but it also was obviously not something Geordi went out of his way to create, it happened and Geordi moved on. Brahm's WAS in the wrong because she saw like a minute of out of context speech and immediately assumed Geordi had used her image to make a sex doll, which isn't at all what happened. She was absolutely going to condemn him for something he didn't actually do. Brahm's had every right to be "WTF?" but she should have at least let Geordi explain what happen and demonstrate "no, it was just this weird thing, we can run through the entirety of my interactions with the avatar to prove I didn't intend to create this and I never interacted with it again after it kissed me."

    yeah like, she's wrong and unreasonable in that instance, but it's coming at the end of half an hour of him trying to get his mack on in increasingly distressing ways so I don't blame people for kind of lumping that bit in with all the rest

    I do think the previous episode was fine. If falling in love with a hologram that looks like a person (but also turns out to have none of their personality) is wrong it's wrong in a pretty milquetoast way next to like, cyberstalking an actual real person

    I mean it's a lesser problem than stalking, sure, but I don't think it's as milquetoast as you're implying.

    Like compare it to something you could do today: Someone takes your face and photoshops it onto the body of an actor wearing a bikini (male or female). That'd be unsettling, right? And if they then didn't seem to recognize how abberant that was once you met them, it'd be kind of creepy.

    Or another example, if someone you never met, who was nevertheless a fan of yours from Youtube or Twitter or something, carefully molded your face onto a video game character - say they replaced Miranda Lawson's face with your face, but kept all her other features the same, then played Mass Effect with You-anda Lawson, including romancing that character. Then you met the person and they showed no embarassment about their mod. I don't see any way to view that except alarming.

    While it doesn't seem that any rich were eaten. It definitely feels like a soup course with broth made from rich stock - bouillonaire if you will - was had.

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  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    edited October 2019
    Nearly all of TNG's condescension is in its first season, aka "Maximum Roddenberry", where the crew spend several episodes being Very Smug at the "less evolved" culture of the week, who are there for that and to provide conflict because there can't be any whatsoever within the crew, because they're all perfect now, they (and the writer's bible) say so!
    Things change significantly, and IMO for the better, once Q introduces them to the Borg (and other things change behind the scenes).
    And you can say it's unfair to blame/judge/characterize a whole series for its first season, but TNG S1 was that bad. (If people weren't desperate for more Star Trek, and willing to cut it a lot of slack, I'm not sure we would have gotten a second.)

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  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    To be fair to Geordi, he never asked the computer to do that. It produced an avatar of Brahms based on a misinterpretation of request to "show him" something, and when the holo-Brahm's was a plank of wood, he asked the computer to generate a personality based on available information, but the available information was her gushing about her work so she popped out as a touchy-feely character. (Why the computer derived romantic intentions from a bunch of research papers and lectures, who knows) He didn't ask for that to happen, and while he didn't immediately shut it down, he didn't hang out there very long once the mission was over and there's no evidence Geordi ever returned to that simulation afterwards.

    It's not a good thing that happened, but it also was obviously not something Geordi went out of his way to create, it happened and Geordi moved on. Brahm's WAS in the wrong because she saw like a minute of out of context speech and immediately assumed Geordi had used her image to make a sex doll, which isn't at all what happened. She was absolutely going to condemn him for something he didn't actually do. Brahm's had every right to be "WTF?" but she should have at least let Geordi explain what happen and demonstrate "no, it was just this weird thing, we can run through the entirety of my interactions with the avatar to prove I didn't intend to create this and I never interacted with it again after it kissed me."

    yeah like, she's wrong and unreasonable in that instance, but it's coming at the end of half an hour of him trying to get his mack on in increasingly distressing ways so I don't blame people for kind of lumping that bit in with all the rest

    I do think the previous episode was fine. If falling in love with a hologram that looks like a person (but also turns out to have none of their personality) is wrong it's wrong in a pretty milquetoast way next to like, cyberstalking an actual real person

    I mean it's a lesser problem than stalking, sure, but I don't think it's as milquetoast as you're implying.

    Like compare it to something you could do today: Someone takes your face and photoshops it onto the body of an actor wearing a bikini (male or female). That'd be unsettling, right? And if they then didn't seem to recognize how abberant that was once you met them, it'd be kind of creepy.

    Or another example, if someone you never met, who was nevertheless a fan of yours from Youtube or Twitter or something, carefully molded your face onto a video game character - say they replaced Miranda Lawson's face with your face, but kept all her other features the same, then played Mass Effect with You-anda Lawson, including romancing that character. Then you met the person and they showed no embarassment about their mod. I don't see any way to view that except alarming.

    Neither of those things are what happened though.

    Like, absolutely if Geordi dug up this woman's likeness and made a sex doll out of it, that'd be fucked up. But, like it's something that accidentally popped out of a computer based on 100% innocent requests.

    As mentioned, his behavior towards Brahm's herself is still bad either way.

  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    To be fair to Geordi, he never asked the computer to do that. It produced an avatar of Brahms based on a misinterpretation of request to "show him" something, and when the holo-Brahm's was a plank of wood, he asked the computer to generate a personality based on available information, but the available information was her gushing about her work so she popped out as a touchy-feely character. (Why the computer derived romantic intentions from a bunch of research papers and lectures, who knows) He didn't ask for that to happen, and while he didn't immediately shut it down, he didn't hang out there very long once the mission was over and there's no evidence Geordi ever returned to that simulation afterwards.

    It's not a good thing that happened, but it also was obviously not something Geordi went out of his way to create, it happened and Geordi moved on. Brahm's WAS in the wrong because she saw like a minute of out of context speech and immediately assumed Geordi had used her image to make a sex doll, which isn't at all what happened. She was absolutely going to condemn him for something he didn't actually do. Brahm's had every right to be "WTF?" but she should have at least let Geordi explain what happen and demonstrate "no, it was just this weird thing, we can run through the entirety of my interactions with the avatar to prove I didn't intend to create this and I never interacted with it again after it kissed me."

    yeah like, she's wrong and unreasonable in that instance, but it's coming at the end of half an hour of him trying to get his mack on in increasingly distressing ways so I don't blame people for kind of lumping that bit in with all the rest

    I do think the previous episode was fine. If falling in love with a hologram that looks like a person (but also turns out to have none of their personality) is wrong it's wrong in a pretty milquetoast way next to like, cyberstalking an actual real person

    I mean it's a lesser problem than stalking, sure, but I don't think it's as milquetoast as you're implying.

    Like compare it to something you could do today: Someone takes your face and photoshops it onto the body of an actor wearing a bikini (male or female). That'd be unsettling, right? And if they then didn't seem to recognize how abberant that was once you met them, it'd be kind of creepy.

    Or another example, if someone you never met, who was nevertheless a fan of yours from Youtube or Twitter or something, carefully molded your face onto a video game character - say they replaced Miranda Lawson's face with your face, but kept all her other features the same, then played Mass Effect with You-anda Lawson, including romancing that character. Then you met the person and they showed no embarassment about their mod. I don't see any way to view that except alarming.

    I mean, this is scifi... You can't map the problem 1:1, but you can map the person. Would it be strange to be attracted to a computer construct of a personality attached to a body you like? Hell yes.

    Would it be directly comparable to something we have today? Probably not! It's more like.. An externalization of the internal fawning over the construct of a person you don't know, but imagine.

    Today, people kinda dream of popular people, the image they have of them. What if you could, almost, live that out?

    It's not exactly comparable to the inceldom of today. It doesn't go there all the way, and I'm not even sure if it was meant that way, but it's a problem not exactly like we have, just shining a light in the general direction of a problem we know.

  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    I mean what Geordi did with a hologram people do all the time on the internet with people they interact with on twitter or on a forum or whatever.

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

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  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    The complacency of TNG is that the utopia just is with no real effort from the crew to maintain it.

    Now, that's not 100% the case all the time, but there's an underlying assumption that this utopia they've created is self-perpetuating, and that Admiral/Ambassador McBadPerson is very much an outlier from the rest of their society. The challenges provided by McBadPerson aren't really a statement of the Federation, or really a test of its purported ideals (McBadPerson always loses at the end, and is almost presented as being obviously wrong, with no validity in their true motives whatsoever - again, the Data episodes are an exception to this norm, not an example of it), but are set up as shallow reflections of our real world issues and are purposely designed to be defeated neatly in the span of 40-50 minutes.

    Some of that is due to the structure of TV back then, but it's still, I think, a legitimate take/criticism. Adversaries are presented for Picard to defeat via "This is what our ideals are" speeches, and that's it. And, it's not like it's terrible - I live for SirPatStew delivering impassioned dialogue - but it is noticeable. There's no real opposing ideology to the Federation that exists in TNG. The other main cultures are either vague (Klingons, Romulans, etc.), played up as comic relief (Ferengi), or are unknowable (Borg). There's nothing real to challenge the utopia in a meaningful way. It just is.

    Like, if you wanted to make Admiral McBadPerson a real threat, then they should have followers and/or benefactors... something that not only helps explain how and why they've become Admiral in the first place, but a mechanism that shows that even if they're thrown in the brig the underlying threat remains. That there are people who believe in what they espouse and/or there are others with the means and temperament to fill their place.

    To get really real here for a moment, someone like Trump isn't absolutely terrifying only because of what he says and does in office... he's terrifying because he has a rabid street level following as well as powerful people at all levels of our various institutions who have a vested interest in supporting him. Some of them are true believers, some of them see him as a means to a desired end, but there's an entire apparatus and cult of personality supporting him. And potentially removing him from office doesn't remove those other aspects of the problem, nor does it erase the damage caused.

    Which is why I find the various Admiral/Ambassador McBadPersons in TNG to be pretty ineffectual antagonists. They pop out of the ether, have some particular pet issue struck in their craw, are defeated, and are never heard from again. They have no support of any kind. Their existence is momentary, in a vacuum, and has zero lasting results. Their philosophy or motivations are declared wrong, and that's it. It's off to the next adventure, the next Picard speech.

    And, to reiterate, it's not terrible. But it is noticeable.

    DS9, in contrast, had an entire structure devoted to challenging the Federation from the outset. Bajor, in particular. A religious culture who had dealt with, what, a generation or so of occupation, only to have the Federation waltz onto the station and sit in the same seat as the oppressors? That's pretty heady stuff. And a lot of the first couple seasons were about Sisko and the Federation part of the crew trying to earn the trust of everyone else... that they weren't just a different kind of occupier. And then, during the war, there's the (typical, but still unique for Trek) questions about warfare itself, how to wage it, where the lines (if any) should be, etc.

    Throughout it all, there's a constant theme of showing that the Federation's ideals are something that must be constantly worked towards, whether it's by earning the trust of the locals or engaging in war in about as ethically a manner as possible.

    Again, the difference isn't bad. I'm not one of those people who goes "DS9 was like, really real maaaaannnnnn, and everything else sucks... " and TNG still has some of my favorite Trek moments ("The Inner Light," "BoBW," just about anything with Q, the aforementioned Data episodes, and a ton of others). But it hardly ever challenges (or, really, examines) the ideals of the Federation. The most it does is give us a short parade of McBadPersons for Picard to beat up on.

    Regarding Discovery, yeah, it really needs to be paced better. It's the Max Power of Trek - every episode is more important/bombastic than the last - and it's just tiring. It's okay to let a show breathe, and to have quiet character moments. Those moments are what make it possible to have "Oh shit" moments later on.

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  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    Don't we all assume our life will go on like it did before?

  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    edited October 2019
    Don't we all assume our life will go on like it did before?

    It's a matter of degrees.


    The planets will continue to spin in their orbits, the suns will burn until they run out of their fuel, etc. etc.

    But there's something a bit Francis Fukuyama "End of History" about the way TNG viewed the Federation and the Natural Endpoint of things. It's an issue the franchise has had throughout it, and is baked in at varying levels*. But there is a certain degree to which the franchise, TNG especially, has seen the Federation as something incapable of backsliding or going anywhere but "Ever better" thanks to that interpretation that everything is on this direct path to it's ultimate form and it's only a matter of time till the society gets there. It's a very latter 20th Century American ideal about what progress means and a dangerous one because it leaves you unprepared for setbacks and can, in some cases, even be traumatic when those setbacks do occur.

    As others noted, in TNG, things like a corrupt admiral aren't systemic issues within the Federation, despite the fact the question becomes "wait, how did this crazy bastard rise to the rank of Goddamn Starfleet Admiral." They're just obstacles to be overcome, temporary inconveniences to be ironed out in the larger whole that is progressing ever onward.

    DS9 on the other hand tended to grapple with the systemic nature of things more readily than TNG did, or thanks to its format, could. Its part of why Section 31 works there but is so abysmal in other Trek ventures, because Section 31's narrative and thematic role is to be a systemic form of corruption within starfleet, to erode the ideals that the Federation is supposed to embody ostensibly for the sake of its preservation (that is, the body of the Federation is preserved, but the soul is sacrificed for that preservation). And it heavily dealt in what happens when societal systems come into conflict in ways that aren't simply the risk of war as two ships stare each other down in deep space, when you have to deal with the messy cleanup that comes with trying to court a society that's been the victim of oppression, enslavement and genocide when your own society has been working hand in hand with their oppressor for decades to prevent the outbreak of another war between them (The Federation and Cardassia, in this case, with Bajor caught in the middle), a partnership that has seen the Federation's ideals erode as they allow and even order injustice of varying forms to occur within their sphere of influence (like, say, "whoops, we're gonna evacuate these folks descended from indigenous Americans who finally found a new place to call their own, because the Space Nazis say their planet is theirs.")

    There's just overall this sense in DS9 that the Federation is mortal in a way that it never seems to be in TNG. It's an organization that might not just have parts that make errors, that it's something that ultimately could fail because it had a systemic breakdown because it failed to stand up for its ideals in the drive to preserve and grow itself as a political entity. And when you take both TNG and DS9 together as this holistic snapshot of the state of the Federation in the 24th century, TNG has this feeling of not being aware of just how much trouble the Federation actually is in.


    And, perhaps, in a way it looks like Picard and, to a much further down the line extent, Discovery are going to be exploring that. And in a way, it works, given the place America stands today and how the Federation has always had that sense of "What if the idealized image of what America is and could be, but on a galactic scale?


    *such as whenever the Prime Directive is defended through the idea of the "natural evolution" of a planet, even after contact and relations develop between the subject culture and the Federation, as though somehow as long as the Federation doesn't give them technology, or pick a side in a political dispute (See: The Narcotic Pusher Aliens and their LITERAL ENTIRE PLANET FULL OF VICTIMS) then the "natural evolution" will proceed accordingly, even if they're still in some kind of diplomatic relationship, utterly ignoring that by making even that level of interaction they become a player in that culture's development.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited October 2019
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    The Federation is the ultimate benevolent utopia. Shame all its admirals keep building death rays and making deals with space monsters.

    Um The Culture is standing right there

    I don't really feel like the culture and the federation are fungible for each other

    The Culture is essentially an AI society that has collectively made the moral choice to benevolently look after the little human pets that infest the ships. There's something a bit existentially disquieting about it, and it's okay to feel disquieted by it, because Banks absolutely reveled in that tension and took opportunities to kind of rub your the reader's face in it.

    The Federation is about the idea that humans can go out into space and solve our own problems while remaining fundamentally human and not being replaced or put in a little existential cul-de-sac by our own sophisticated tools. Star Trek says that social and technological change can (and maybe should) give people more power over their lives and fates rather than less.

    Too many people on the internets like to use the Culture as a like "What the Federation would really look like" thing to throw shade at Star Trek for being ... unrealistic or something?

    And it just kinda always misses the point. The very humanness of the characters on Star Trek is the point. Both from a storytelling perspective (relatable characters) and a philosophical standpoint (we can be better without changing what we are).

    shryke on
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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Nightslyr wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    Going through TNG, there do seem to be a few... blind spots, very very glaring blind spots, the Federation seems to have by the 24th century.


    The repeating trend of "How do we declare Data and those like him property" seems to be a major one

    There’s a scene in the Picard trailer that looks like they finally figured out how to mass produce him.

    Also, the occasional witch hunt for officers with Romulan ancestry.

    The best thing DS9 ever did was look at TNG and go "We gotta remind everyone Utopia is not a place you reach, it is a work you perform, a lifestyle that must be consciously maintained if it is to avoid descending into gilded leaf oppression."

    I mean that was literally the point of a bunch of TNG episodes too

    I find the idea that DS9 invented this kind of exhausting tbh

    TNG is a lot more patronizing about it, though. When dealing with other races/cultures, it's almost always "We were like you, once. But then we grew up, solved all our problems, and are now free from petty concerns like money and ownership and whatnot. We evolved." Nearly every challenge to the Federation ideal is some admiral whose obviousness stops just shy of mustache twirling. The most nuanced episodes are probably the ones dealing with Data - "The Measure of a Man" and "The Offspring" - because they explore what personal rights actually mean... who has them, where protections end, what actually constitutes a person/life, etc. The opposing side isn't bad per se, just adversarial.

    But the rest? It's Admiral/Ambassador McBadPerson doing really egregious shit that's presented as being exceptional and completely out of step with how the Federation operates. That, or the plot is twisted in such a way that it doesn't make sense given everything else we've seen/learned about the Federation (see: "The Drumhead" with the guy with Romulan ancestry), thereby undermining the episode's thematic payload.

    DS9 is a lot more consistent in its message that this utopia is a conscious, concerted effort by everyone involved. There's a lot less complacency, likely because unlike TNG, they're actually on the frontier and can't just turn over their problems to the Federation Council and move on to the next system. The crew of DS9 had to lie in the bed it made. DS9 is also notable because not everyone buys into the Federation and what it stands for. The Bajorans, but also other races (mostly vocalized through Quark) have their own opinions on the Federation. We get to see what it really means for the Federation to push up against other viewpoints over the long term.

    Yeah, but you know what DS9 says happens when the Federation's viewpoints push up against others over the long term? The Federation "wins". These people become better.

    Like, Quark and Ferengi are a huge example of this. And while Quark ends up as the conservative hold-out at the end of the series, mostly as a joke, he's still a bad ferengi by traditional standards because the Federation has rubbed off on him too much over the years. And he even basically admits he likes it.

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  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    Humanity...what a bigot term.

  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    The thing is that I'm honestly not sure what episodes folks are even referring to.

    Like "The Drumhead" - Picard makes a speech at the climax. That doesn't defeat anybody; it just provokes Satie into going on a tirade that reveals that she's brittle and dangerously paranoid, which are real, not-made-up things to be. Her point isn't treated as obviously wrong from the get-go; the whole story of the episode is that a lot of people find her reasonable initially.

    "The Pegasus" is about a guy who commits a crime to cover up a previous crime that he committed because he thought his world and its institutions were in jeopardy. Was he right? No. Is that a problem? I don't feel like it is? Like, what matters to me is that his motives are human and believable.

    In both cases the characters explicitly have supporters (Satie because she seems reasonable and the threat seems nominally real; Romulan infiltrators are a thing) and in the Pegasus the guy comes out and says that he has allies within the fleet.

    I mean, could they have pivoted the entire TV show to being about those people? I guess. But why? To make TNG more like DS9? Why is that a thing I ought to want?

    Here's the thing: I find this idea of "challenging" to be a usenet truism. It's just this thing that people say because they saw Ronald Moore say it in an AOL chatroom in 1997 once. For me, the idea that TNG is "complacent" because it isn't constantly fighting against its own premise - a premise meant as a backdrop to a space adventure and drama show - feels kind of like a solution in search of a problem.

    But more importantly, I feel like nobody ever discusses the many, many episodes that just show the characters and society on TNG quietly walking the walk. Not constantly facing existential threats to their ideals and values, but just practicing those ideals and values like real-ass adults. Like "Remember Me," where everyone's first instinct is to believe Dr. Crusher and try to help her instead of mistrusting her crazy wahmen emotions (a feat that TV still sucks at doing, thirty years later!). Or "Suddenly Human" and "Hero Worship", where the characters try their best to put their ideals in practice in difficult circumstances when their decisions will hugely impact the life of a child.

    I don't think it's a coincidence that these are all stories that will never make Collider's Top 50 Most Explosiontastic Star Trek Episodes. They're often the ones that are most orthogonal to the demands of action-adventure genre fiction because they're almost never about society-wide existential peril. But to me, they're often the heart and soul of TNG.

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  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    shryke wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    The Federation is the ultimate benevolent utopia. Shame all its admirals keep building death rays and making deals with space monsters.

    Um The Culture is standing right there

    I don't really feel like the culture and the federation are fungible for each other

    The Culture is essentially an AI society that has collectively made the moral choice to benevolently look after the little human pets that infest the ships. There's something a bit existentially disquieting about it, and it's okay to feel disquieted by it, because Banks absolutely reveled in that tension and took opportunities to kind of rub your the reader's face in it.

    The Federation is about the idea that humans can go out into space and solve our own problems while remaining fundamentally human and not being replaced or put in a little existential cul-de-sac by our own sophisticated tools. Star Trek says that social and technological change can (and maybe should) give people more power over their lives and fates rather than less.

    Too many people on the internets like to use the Culture as a like "What the Federation would really look like" thing to throw shade at Star Trek for being ... unrealistic or something?

    And it just kinda always misses the point. The very humanness of the characters on Star Trek is the point. Both from a storytelling perspective (relatable characters) and a philosophical standpoint (we can be better without changing what we are).

    I also feel like there's an element of...the Culture gets to be the way it is because it's so wildly advanced. It has better beeps and bigger boops. That feels like a very nerdy, technophilic, Silicon Valley way of looking at social progress. Star Trek wants to be about people choosing to be better, even in TOS where the sci-fi elements were really just the standard things you'd get in any robot invasion movie from the time.

    Commander ZoomDanHibikiAuralynx
  • HardtargetHardtarget There Are Four Lights VancouverRegistered User regular
    Remember Me is such a fucking good episode.

    If there was a crime TNG commited it was under utilizing thier amazing female leads.

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  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    To be fair to Geordi, he never asked the computer to do that. It produced an avatar of Brahms based on a misinterpretation of request to "show him" something, and when the holo-Brahm's was a plank of wood, he asked the computer to generate a personality based on available information, but the available information was her gushing about her work so she popped out as a touchy-feely character. (Why the computer derived romantic intentions from a bunch of research papers and lectures, who knows) He didn't ask for that to happen, and while he didn't immediately shut it down, he didn't hang out there very long once the mission was over and there's no evidence Geordi ever returned to that simulation afterwards.

    It's not a good thing that happened, but it also was obviously not something Geordi went out of his way to create, it happened and Geordi moved on. Brahm's WAS in the wrong because she saw like a minute of out of context speech and immediately assumed Geordi had used her image to make a sex doll, which isn't at all what happened. She was absolutely going to condemn him for something he didn't actually do. Brahm's had every right to be "WTF?" but she should have at least let Geordi explain what happen and demonstrate "no, it was just this weird thing, we can run through the entirety of my interactions with the avatar to prove I didn't intend to create this and I never interacted with it again after it kissed me."

    yeah like, she's wrong and unreasonable in that instance, but it's coming at the end of half an hour of him trying to get his mack on in increasingly distressing ways so I don't blame people for kind of lumping that bit in with all the rest

    I do think the previous episode was fine. If falling in love with a hologram that looks like a person (but also turns out to have none of their personality) is wrong it's wrong in a pretty milquetoast way next to like, cyberstalking an actual real person

    I mean it's a lesser problem than stalking, sure, but I don't think it's as milquetoast as you're implying.

    Like compare it to something you could do today: Someone takes your face and photoshops it onto the body of an actor wearing a bikini (male or female). That'd be unsettling, right? And if they then didn't seem to recognize how abberant that was once you met them, it'd be kind of creepy.

    Or another example, if someone you never met, who was nevertheless a fan of yours from Youtube or Twitter or something, carefully molded your face onto a video game character - say they replaced Miranda Lawson's face with your face, but kept all her other features the same, then played Mass Effect with You-anda Lawson, including romancing that character. Then you met the person and they showed no embarassment about their mod. I don't see any way to view that except alarming.

    Neither of those things are what happened though.

    Like, absolutely if Geordi dug up this woman's likeness and made a sex doll out of it, that'd be fucked up. But, like it's something that accidentally popped out of a computer based on 100% innocent requests.

    As mentioned, his behavior towards Brahm's herself is still bad either way.

    Ok, I used bad examples.

    Supposing you put your Twitter celebrity crush on Suvi's face, from Mass Effect Andromeda, and romanced her in the game. Suvi is not a character you can have sex with in game, and she doesn't dress in a particularly sexual way. Then when you happened to meet your Twitter celebrity crush, you explained about your special mod, do you think the celebrity would be squicked out? I think that's pretty close to what Geordi did.

    While it doesn't seem that any rich were eaten. It definitely feels like a soup course with broth made from rich stock - bouillonaire if you will - was had.

    My Dragon Age Origins Let's Play

  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    Hardtarget wrote: »
    Remember Me is such a fucking good episode.

    If there was a crime TNG commited it was under utilizing thier amazing female leads.

    tbh this is my secret wish for Picard. If at all possible I want to see more of Sirtis and McFadden showing what they can do.

    MsAnthropy
  • MonwynMonwyn Apathy's a tragedy, and boredom is a crime. A little bit of everything, all of the time.Registered User regular
    You know, one thing that Trek has never really tackled that I think would be really interesting is seeing how the little guys in the Federation feel about the big players - all the little member worlds that didn't have significant colonial holdings before they discovered warp tech and the Federation stopped by to say hello. The closest we get to this are the Bajorans, and given the context it's not a particularly good fit. It'd be interesting if, in the aftermath of the Dominion War, there was a fairly sizable number of civilizations who were righteously pissed that they got occupied because the Federation was more concerned with protecting Vulcan and Earth than the equivalent of flyover country.

  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Hardtarget wrote: »
    Remember Me is such a fucking good episode.

    If there was a crime TNG commited it was under utilizing thier amazing female leads.

    tbh this is my secret wish for Picard. If at all possible I want to see more of Sirtis and McFadden showing what they can do.

    oh... I thought you meant that it's all Wesley's fault somehow and Picard's gonna have to kill him.

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