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(io9)   Article on why Star Trek's vision of the future is out of date. "Because it was devised back in the 60s" surprisingly missing   (io9.com) divider line 157
    More: Obvious, Star Trek, United Federation of Planets, genetics, interstellar travel, cognitive sciences, Khan, genetic engineering, Craig Venter  
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5927 clicks; posted to Geek » on 02 May 2012 at 2:55 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-02 07:16:04 PM

rocky_howard: The guy who wrote that is an IDIOT

Check this out:

Now, while all this Star Trek canon is fine and well, the fact of the matter is that human civilization has not gone through any kind of cataclysmic event like the Eugenics Wars, and it's highly unlikely that we ever will. The idea that the presence of smarter, fitter, and happier people will result in a war that causes the death of 30 million people is a bit of a stretch.

HAHAHAHA. Just 70 years ago we had the mother of all wars that ended on the death of more than 50 million people. And what was the reason?

A bunch of guys THOUGHT they were better than the rest. And we went to war for that. Imagine what will happen when there's a group a dudes actually better than the rest of us.


Funny, I thought that war was caused by overly punitive WW1 peace conditions exacerbating a deep depression and hyperinflation causing a powerful populist uprising based on jingoism and old-seeded racial hatreds used to vent their economic frustrations. It was then created a potent military fueled by rapid expansionism claiming itself a blunt tool to solve self-determination, which was a permitted excuse for years due to the previous generation's war weariness.

But you're right, I think it actually because some people thought they were better then other people. Like how the civil war was only about slavery.

IMO, if a sufficiently intelligent master-class of people emerged, I would assume they'd be cunning enough to dominate the rest of the population gradually and through social/economic means, not war.
 
2012-05-02 07:20:50 PM

Nebulious: But you're right, I think it actually because some people thought they were better then other people. Like how the civil war was only about slavery.


There were many myriad reasons WWII and the Civil War occurred, but only racial suprematism and institutionalized slavery provoke horror.
 
2012-05-02 07:27:50 PM

GAT_00: DamnYankees: GAT_00: So, side note. Apparently every single episode of Enterprise is up on the official Star Trek website and it isn't anywhere near as bad as I remember.

No, its pretty decent. Not amazing, but certainly better than Voyager.

It's like they crossed TNG or TOS with DS9. I haven't gotten to Season 3 yet, which is the gigantic storyline, but there is actual continuity between episodes and evolving characters.

Also, holy God does that opening music grate after the first dozen episodes.


I am convinced that the theme song is why that show is so hated. It just digs in there and ruined any chance it had.
 
2012-05-02 07:29:48 PM

Magnanimous_J: MusicMakeMyHeadPound: Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: Although it would be interesting trying to convince the Amish to board spaceships...

Why? It's the idiot's belief that they are technophobes. They just don't like you, lardass (and, well, by extension "us"). The principle motivation in remaining an agrarian culture is their belief that they must remain separated from the world at large. Which includes anything that makes you lazy and rude, such as telephones (which promote gossip and are seen as highly impersonal) or internal combustion powered tillers (God gave man dominion over the beasts, that's good enough).

The Amish do have telephones, they do use electricity - especially where required by law (e.g. warning lights on road buggies, milk tank stirrers) - and they do occasionally fly on planes.

I would imagine they would actually be excited at the possibility of starting a new colony on a planet elsewhere with the promise of not being bothered by the English and various state governments.

/seriously dude, this is a significant culture in your own damned country. Study up.

You are thinking of poor people. Not only do Amish NOT embrace technology of ANY kind, but most of them don't even know they are Amish. As far as they are concerned, they are on the forefront of barn construction and black clothing technology. They are unaware the outside world exists at all because they believe that on the outer edges of their territory live monsters who will eat them if they venture too far out. They are not socially conservative and polite as we are led to believe, but actually foul mouthed wife swappers who settle most quarrels with a ritualistic duel that involves stripping naked and "sword fighting," so to speak.

The only ones who know the truth about the whole thing are the Elders. However, they are frightened into silence by the belief that telling the others will invoke the wrath of monsters. It's a surprisingly nudity and monster based belief system.

The people we think of as Amish are just poor and making excuses for their slovenly situation.

The elders


I hope you are not serious. The Amish use some technology sometimes, part of growing up involves getting drunk with outsiders, they sell a lot of stuff to outsiders, etc.

Saw some plain folk at the central Grayhound station in Chicago once. The were nice but looked really out of place
 
2012-05-02 07:38:58 PM

mat catastrophe: FTFA

"What Stross proposes is a system that utilizes machine-phase diamond-substrate nanotechnology, mind uploading, and artificial general intelligence. The end result wouldn't be much like a "ship". Rather, it would consist of a diamondoid data storage device (which would hold the data patterns of the uninstantiated space travelers) hanging below a light sail. The sail itself would be energized by lasers that are powered by huge orbiting solar power stations. "


Officially the dumbest thing I've read today.


Yet easily topped for stupidity.
 
2012-05-02 07:39:58 PM

Travis_Bickle: i09 is the lamest, dumbest Gawker site.


I disagree. io9 frequently, like with this article, has original content of some length. True, io9's articles suck, but at least they're trying.

The other Gawker sites, by contrast, post two sentences, link to someone else's site, and call it an article.

/oh, and Jesus Diaz is a coont
 
2012-05-02 07:45:30 PM

ArcadianRefugee: /oh, and Jesus Diaz is a coont


QFT
 
2012-05-02 07:46:51 PM

Jocundry: I hope you are not serious. The Amish use some technology sometimes, part of growing up involves getting drunk with outsiders, they sell a lot of stuff to outsiders, etc.

Saw some plain folk at the central Grayhound station in Chicago once. The were nice but looked really out of place


You only think of the Amish that way because they never let you into the Village.
 
2012-05-02 08:04:18 PM
Note: Most science fiction (especially ST) that takes place in an imagined future isn't trying to predict our future, or even a probable one - it's only trying describe a future that the audience can still relate to, while highlighting contemporary issues so that - just maybe - the actual future will be a little bit better for it.

But sure... lets just treat ST as "hard scifi" FFS, then we can discuss how Giraffes are just absolutely useless at being Iguanas.
 
2012-05-02 08:04:30 PM
I think DS9 portrayed our near future more accurately than any other Star Trek series. Dystopian events like the Bell Riots seem more likely than the Eugenics Wars.
 
2012-05-02 08:08:42 PM

McUnfKitty: GAT_00: DamnYankees: GAT_00: So, side note. Apparently every single episode of Enterprise is up on the official Star Trek website and it isn't anywhere near as bad as I remember.

No, its pretty decent. Not amazing, but certainly better than Voyager.

It's like they crossed TNG or TOS with DS9. I haven't gotten to Season 3 yet, which is the gigantic storyline, but there is actual continuity between episodes and evolving characters.

Also, holy God does that opening music grate after the first dozen episodes.

I am convinced that the theme song is why that show is so hated. It just digs in there and ruined any chance it had.


100% agree. Why the hell did they pick a sting song.
 
2012-05-02 08:19:41 PM

anfrind:

You only think of the Amish that way because they never let you into the Village.


Ha! I'm half Amish!

I don't want to be Amish but they are my people. It's annoying when some people make fun of them or compare them to that stupid movie.

/why am I talking about the Amish in a Trek thread?
 
2012-05-02 08:25:31 PM

Unoriginal_Username: Maybe some of the ST nerds can answer a probably stupid question. Why is it that ST: Enterprise klingons look the same as ST: TNG? what happened to the ST:TOS Era Klingons?

/Just started watching Enterprise, just kinda made me curious
//it may even answer the question for me, but hey, the internet is made for instant gratification (and answering of questions)
///yes..it's for pr0n too


It's just a budget thing. They redesigned the klingons' makeup for the first Trek movie since they could afford sets that weren't made of cardboard, and that's just what klingons look like now. Personally I think it was *incredibly* lame for DS9 to actually acknowledge the change in special effects in the dialogue, during the episode where they went back in time. They should have just bluescreened in new actors in modern klingon makeup for that episode.

Making up some lame reason about klingon genetics is like one of the 24th century characters pointing out how all the rocks in the 23rd century were made of cheap styrofoam.
 
2012-05-02 08:44:06 PM
So we won't explore the universe, nanobot reconstructions of our uploaded minds will? Bullshiat.
 
2012-05-02 09:02:19 PM

anfrind: Also, Data also seems a bit anachronistic once you've studied a bit of actual artificial intelligence. For several decades (including when TOS was on the air and when TNG was first being developed), it was believed that if you could program a computer with a large enough set of logic rules describing itself and its environment, you would end up with a human-like intelligence.


Wasn't Data's "positronic brain" supposed to be a neural net, not a rules-based system?
 
2012-05-02 09:06:25 PM

Nebulious: rocky_howard: The guy who wrote that is an IDIOT

Check this out:

Now, while all this Star Trek canon is fine and well, the fact of the matter is that human civilization has not gone through any kind of cataclysmic event like the Eugenics Wars, and it's highly unlikely that we ever will. The idea that the presence of smarter, fitter, and happier people will result in a war that causes the death of 30 million people is a bit of a stretch.

HAHAHAHA. Just 70 years ago we had the mother of all wars that ended on the death of more than 50 million people. And what was the reason?

A bunch of guys THOUGHT they were better than the rest. And we went to war for that. Imagine what will happen when there's a group a dudes actually better than the rest of us.

Funny, I thought that war was caused by overly punitive WW1 peace conditions exacerbating a deep depression and hyperinflation causing a powerful populist uprising based on jingoism and old-seeded racial hatreds used to vent their economic frustrations. It was then created a potent military fueled by rapid expansionism claiming itself a blunt tool to solve self-determination, which was a permitted excuse for years due to the previous generation's war weariness.

But you're right, I think it actually because some people thought they were better then other people. Like how the civil war was only about slavery.

IMO, if a sufficiently intelligent master-class of people emerged, I would assume they'd be cunning enough to dominate the rest of the population gradually and through social/economic means, not war.


You're talking about the Jews, aren't you?
 
2012-05-02 09:19:01 PM

Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: Making up some lame reason about klingon genetics is like one of the 24th century characters pointing out how all the rocks in the 23rd century were made of cheap styrofoam.


If they left it at just pointing it out in DS9 with a "We don't talk about it" thing, that would have been fine, it was ENT that had to go and explain it (and with the half assed joke reasons the writers came up with as being too stupid, seriously, they thought the explanations that Bashir and O'Brien had were too dumb to ever be seriously considered, if you don't believe me, watch the episode with commentary)
 
2012-05-02 09:48:18 PM

the_sidewinder: Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: Making up some lame reason about klingon genetics is like one of the 24th century characters pointing out how all the rocks in the 23rd century were made of cheap styrofoam.

If they left it at just pointing it out in DS9 with a "We don't talk about it" thing, that would have been fine, it was ENT that had to go and explain it (and with the half assed joke reasons the writers came up with as being too stupid, seriously, they thought the explanations that Bashir and O'Brien had were too dumb to ever be seriously considered, if you don't believe me, watch the episode with commentary)


Sounds like a classic example of what happens when a story universe runs too long.
One writer makes a 4th wall joke that becomes canon for every following writer that didn't get it.

Back to the topic tho: Trek guessed a few bits of technology right, but I think they got the social issues very wrong. Yes Roddenberry showed that we could move past hating the commies, because he took the Russian dream and made it work through the brute force application of tech. He presumed humans would then turn into idealists when freed from their day to day desires.
Me on the other hand, I think humans will always want something. If its not food, water, or items for their cave then its love, power, and whatever still can't be gotten easily in a post scarcity society. The values for things change but we'll still work, steal, or kill to get those things.

I don't think Roddenberry was ever right about the social future, even in his own time.
To that end, I don't think the world he made is out of date. It was fantasy to begin with and its still a fantasy we want to live in.

/Maybe it will happen someday.
/It sounds kinda nice, aside from the constant impending doom.
 
2012-05-02 09:50:33 PM

McUnfKitty: GAT_00: DamnYankees: GAT_00: So, side note. Apparently every single episode of Enterprise is up on the official Star Trek website and it isn't anywhere near as bad as I remember.

No, its pretty decent. Not amazing, but certainly better than Voyager.

It's like they crossed TNG or TOS with DS9. I haven't gotten to Season 3 yet, which is the gigantic storyline, but there is actual continuity between episodes and evolving characters.

Also, holy God does that opening music grate after the first dozen episodes.

I am convinced that the theme song is why that show is so hated. It just digs in there and ruined any chance it had.


It's making me watch ads now once I got to season 3. It was just skipping over them with Adblock earlier and now it won't. I may not begrudge one, but 3 ads? Nope.
 
2012-05-02 09:53:30 PM

Nebulious: rocky_howard: The guy who wrote that is an IDIOT

Check this out:

Now, while all this Star Trek canon is fine and well, the fact of the matter is that human civilization has not gone through any kind of cataclysmic event like the Eugenics Wars, and it's highly unlikely that we ever will. The idea that the presence of smarter, fitter, and happier people will result in a war that causes the death of 30 million people is a bit of a stretch.

HAHAHAHA. Just 70 years ago we had the mother of all wars that ended on the death of more than 50 million people. And what was the reason?

A bunch of guys THOUGHT they were better than the rest. And we went to war for that. Imagine what will happen when there's a group a dudes actually better than the rest of us.

Funny, I thought that war was caused by overly punitive WW1 peace conditions exacerbating a deep depression and hyperinflation causing a powerful populist uprising based on jingoism and old-seeded racial hatreds used to vent their economic frustrations. It was then created a potent military fueled by rapid expansionism claiming itself a blunt tool to solve self-determination, which was a permitted excuse for years due to the previous generation's war weariness.

But you're right, I think it actually because some people thought they were better then other people. Like how the civil war was only about slavery.

IMO, if a sufficiently intelligent master-class of people emerged, I would assume they'd be cunning enough to dominate the rest of the population gradually and through social/economic means, not war.



Regardless of the oversimplification of the start of WWII I still think their point, that the author's offhand dismissal of the possibility of genetic engineering to cause warfare and conflict to be naive at best, was valid. Human beings have started wars and bloody conflicts for all sorts of reasons. The idea of the master race may not have been the full measure of why the world went to war in WWII, but certainly the IDEA of a supposed "master race" was a major contributing factor and part of the rationale. The existence of an ACTUAL, factual, master race starting a war would not be fart fetched at all.

And while you may assume such a master race could, perhaps, be cunning enough to dominate the rest of the world gradually and relatively peacefully there's nothing to guarantee the rest of the world - the non master race - wouldn't panic and start a war to wipe them out before they had the chance. It's also certainly possible the superiority of the "master race" could result in hubris and aggression... after all they may be augmented, but they'll still be human. Humans don't wage war just because we're stupid. Plenty of smart people engage in violence, and many of them have been quite successful at it. Call it a hunch, but I'm betting Alexander the Great wasn't exactly a dummy.
 
2012-05-02 09:58:13 PM

GAT_00: McUnfKitty: GAT_00: DamnYankees: GAT_00: So, side note. Apparently every single episode of Enterprise is up on the official Star Trek website and it isn't anywhere near as bad as I remember.

No, its pretty decent. Not amazing, but certainly better than Voyager.

It's like they crossed TNG or TOS with DS9. I haven't gotten to Season 3 yet, which is the gigantic storyline, but there is actual continuity between episodes and evolving characters.

Also, holy God does that opening music grate after the first dozen episodes.

I am convinced that the theme song is why that show is so hated. It just digs in there and ruined any chance it had.

It's making me watch ads now once I got to season 3. It was just skipping over them with Adblock earlier and now it won't. I may not begrudge one, but 3 ads? Nope.



I watched the whole run of Enterprise relatively recently myself, and was likewise surprised that it was higher quality than I expected. But it did help that I'd torrented the show so I could skip the atrocious theme song, and easily fast forward if an episode seemed like it was going to suck to see if I should just skip ahead to the next one. I probably ended up skipping about 1/4 of the episodes outright.

My favorite episodes actually turned out to be the ones where crew members were largely just talking to each other and interacting. Particularly T-Pol and Dr. Phlox having culture clashes with the human crew. I ate that stuff up.
 
2012-05-02 09:58:57 PM

mongbiohazard: GAT_00: McUnfKitty: GAT_00: DamnYankees: GAT_00: So, side note. Apparently every single episode of Enterprise is up on the official Star Trek website and it isn't anywhere near as bad as I remember.

No, its pretty decent. Not amazing, but certainly better than Voyager.

It's like they crossed TNG or TOS with DS9. I haven't gotten to Season 3 yet, which is the gigantic storyline, but there is actual continuity between episodes and evolving characters.

Also, holy God does that opening music grate after the first dozen episodes.

I am convinced that the theme song is why that show is so hated. It just digs in there and ruined any chance it had.

It's making me watch ads now once I got to season 3. It was just skipping over them with Adblock earlier and now it won't. I may not begrudge one, but 3 ads? Nope.


I watched the whole run of Enterprise relatively recently myself, and was likewise surprised that it was higher quality than I expected. But it did help that I'd torrented the show so I could skip the atrocious theme song, and easily fast forward if an episode seemed like it was going to suck to see if I should just skip ahead to the next one. I probably ended up skipping about 1/4 of the episodes outright.

My favorite episodes actually turned out to be the ones where crew members were largely just talking to each other and interacting. Particularly T-Pol and Dr. Phlox having culture clashes with the human crew. I ate that stuff up.


You should read/watch more space opera if you don't already.
 
2012-05-02 10:15:20 PM

Unoriginal_Username: the_sidewinder: Unoriginal_Username: Maybe some of the ST nerds can answer a probably stupid question. Why is it that ST: Enterprise klingons look the same as ST: TNG? what happened to the ST:TOS Era Klingons?

Remember that DS9 anniversary episode where they went back in time to the Tribbles TOS episode? Where Bashir and O'Brien asked Worf why Klingons back then looked the way they did, and even offered a couple possibilities as to why? Turns out they didn't get an answer because the writers thought that any idea they would have would be considered ridiculous.

Then in ENT, the writers for that show decided to use a combination of the two half assed ideas that Bashir and O'Brien offered that were thought of as having been ridiculous

I remember that episode, and well, your explanation makes more sense then any that could be though up by hollywood writers.


Klingon Augments.. They did an episode in the 4th season of Enterprise about it. Affliction was the name of the episode.
 
2012-05-02 10:16:10 PM

Ambitwistor: anfrind: Also, Data also seems a bit anachronistic once you've studied a bit of actual artificial intelligence. For several decades (including when TOS was on the air and when TNG was first being developed), it was believed that if you could program a computer with a large enough set of logic rules describing itself and its environment, you would end up with a human-like intelligence.

Wasn't Data's "positronic brain" supposed to be a neural net, not a rules-based system?


It might have been, but I don't recall them ever explaining it in terms of 20th-century technology. And in any case, I always felt that his highly analytical personality was strikingly similar to the rules-based AI's of past science fiction (e.g. HAL in "2001: A Space Odyssey")--which is not what I would expect of an AI based on a neural network with human-like complexity. Although I certainly would not consider myself an expert in artificial intelligence.

That being said, the nature of Data's artificial intelligence was nowhere near as annoying as how often Voyager got basic computer concepts completely wrong--such as how if you downloaded something from Voyager's computer, somehow the data was no longer present in Voyager's computer unless you had the courtesy to make a copy of it beforehand.
 
2012-05-02 11:41:26 PM

mongbiohazard:
Regardless of the oversimplification of the start of WWII I still think their point, that the author's offhand dismissal of the possibility of genetic engineering to cause warfare and conflict to be naive at best, was valid.


But is that sufficient reason to make the practice illegal? Because of the temptation for violence it can indirectly cause? Current US laws allows treatments proven to be safe that let adults augment their own bodies.
 
2012-05-02 11:48:04 PM

PIP_the_TROLL: Fish in a Barrel: DamnYankees: No, its pretty decent. Not amazing, but certainly better than Voyager.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is called "damning with faint praise." :P

/I gave up at after the episode that included time travel and Nazi aliens.

That was a mistake, because the best episodes of Enterprise comes once they're past that shiat.

"In a Mirror, Darkly" Parts 1 & 2 are (as a single unit) in the top 10 Star Trek episodes ever. Possibly Top 5.

In usual tv fashion, they cancelled Enterprise just when it was getting good.


Well, season 1 started out sort of OK, then they decided to do 9/11 in space with time travelers, culminating in time-traveling nazi aliens for seasons 2 and 3, then as you say season 4 was like "holy shiat, this is actually good Star Trek again" but it was too late, and so ended what was suddenly a very promising series.

/next movie better have less lens flare and the camera crew needs to not have Parkinsons
 
2012-05-02 11:50:02 PM

mat catastrophe: FTFA

"What Stross proposes is a system that utilizes machine-phase diamond-substrate nanotechnology, mind uploading, and artificial general intelligence. The end result wouldn't be much like a "ship". Rather, it would consist of a diamondoid data storage device (which would hold the data patterns of the uninstantiated space travelers) hanging below a light sail. The sail itself would be energized by lasers that are powered by huge orbiting solar power stations. "


Officially the dumbest thing I've read today.


Why? Assuming that you're stuck with lightspeed and some reasonable level of power output, a starwisp is about the only way you get from point A to B over interstellar distances. Building a slower-than-light ship that can carry meat bags isn't a good option unless you're willing to wait generations. When your payload weighs less than a kilo you can actually get reasonable speed.

Read Stross' Singularity Sky for a hilarious take on this- the starwisps carry the equivalent of interstellar phone repairmen. Cultures that aren't ready for interstellar phone repairmen have interesting failure modes, especially when there's a God watching who cares a lot about causality.
 
2012-05-02 11:54:53 PM

GAT_00: So, side note. Apparently every single episode of Enterprise is up on the official Star Trek website and it isn't anywhere near as bad as I remember.


I tried it on Netflix and the first 6 or so episodes were so bad I just couldn't continue. How far would I need to stick with it before it gets decent?
 
2012-05-02 11:56:58 PM

Nebulious: mongbiohazard:
Regardless of the oversimplification of the start of WWII I still think their point, that the author's offhand dismissal of the possibility of genetic engineering to cause warfare and conflict to be naive at best, was valid.

But is that sufficient reason to make the practice illegal? Because of the temptation for violence it can indirectly cause? Current US laws allows treatments proven to be safe that let adults augment their own bodies.


I like to think that what Bashir's parents did was illegal because they did it a child that couldn't consent to it. That is to say, a mature adult could choose to mess around with his genetic code if he chooses to, but experimenting on a child - when it could go horribly wrong - is a no-no.
 
2012-05-03 12:01:13 AM
i172.photobucket.com
 
2012-05-03 12:08:01 AM

GAT_00: You should read/watch more space opera if you don't already.


My favorite subgenre, though not really consciously... It just tends to be what I like the best in scifi.


Nebulious: But is that sufficient reason to make the practice illegal? Because of the temptation for violence it can indirectly cause? Current US laws allows treatments proven to be safe that let adults augment their own bodies.



Maybe, maybe not... but that's a different question. Essentially, "is it wise" as opposed to what we were discussing before - "could it lead to conflict or warfare".

Personally... even if it DOES lead to warfare and conflict I still think it would be worth pursuing human augmentation in the long run. It wouldn't be the first new technology that led to war.
 
2012-05-03 12:51:40 AM
GAT_00: So, side note. Apparently every single episode of Enterprise is up on the official Star Trek website and it isn't anywhere near as bad as I remember.

Watched in order, without the bad taste of VOY lingering, it's good to great most of the time.

There's still a few Berman and Bragga stinkers in there, but much less. And where they had some stupid ideas for season archs, the writes saved individual episodes this time.

The worst thing is Bakulas hammed in acting.
 
2012-05-03 12:59:26 AM
clovis69: Cythraul: I think they mention in the Khan storyline that the reason why human GMOs aren't not common is because genetic enhancement of humans / intelligent species is basically illegal. Or at least, thought of very negatively.

Yea, they talked about it in the TOS when Khan shows up, then in Enterprise when they talk about the Eugenics War and some in DS9.


GMO is illegal and considered dangerous but by TNG gene therapy for medial needs was seen as ok again. TNG even had it's own illegal augment episode where it almost killed an entire station and the crappy doctor.
 
2012-05-03 01:06:21 AM
Burr:
I predict a dystopia that thins out the current human population and gets everybody on the same mindset. That would be a base for a society that might lead to a utopia.


Thats actually 1005 Trek mythology. Thing got pretty damn bad for humans in the 21st century, and we almost wiped ourselves out with nuclear WW3, genetics wars, and massive inequality, segregated city ghettos, and an almost return to serf / elite class based system. They got their act together after the nuclear war / thinning of the herd, and had a lot of alien help, guidance and inspiration from the Vulcans it seems.
 
2012-05-03 01:12:59 AM
stevetherobot: " .... But the age of Machine-entities swiftly passed. In their ceaseless experimenting, they had learned to store knowledge in the structure of space itself, and to preserve their thoughts for eternity in frozen lattices of light. They could become creatures of radiation, free at last from the tyranny of matter.

Into pure energy, therefore, they presently tranformed themselves; and on a thousand worlds, the empty shells they had discarded twitched for a while in a mindless dance of death, then crumbled into rust.

Now they were lords of the galaxy, and beyond the reach of time. They could rove at will among the stars, and sink like a subtle mist through the very interstices of space. But despite their godlike powers, they had not wholly forgotten their origin, in the warm slime of a vanished sea."

A.C. Clarke, 2001

If this is actually possible then there must be countless other life forms from other planets and other galaxies that have already achieved this.


Misuse of the void that binds will not be tolerated. You will be allowed access again when you have proven yourself mature enough.
 
2012-05-03 01:15:59 AM
If there are multiple alien races in the Universe, what are the odds that they reached space travel within a couple hundred years of each other? Not very likely. So if humans reach outer space and find Klingons and Romulans already there, probably those Klingons and Romulans have been out there for tens of thousands of years. Think how far our technology has advanced in the last 10,000 years or so. Humans would be militarily outclassed upstarts, not able to hold their own with any other race out there, let along able to take leadership of a Federation.


(see David Brin's "Uplift" novels for a vision of a universe that takes this into account)
 
2012-05-03 01:41:44 AM
way south: the_sidewinder: Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: Making up some lame reason about klingon genetics is like one of the 24th century characters pointing out how all the rocks in the 23rd century were made of cheap styrofoam.

If they left it at just pointing it out in DS9 with a "We don't talk about it" thing, that would have been fine, it was ENT that had to go and explain it (and with the half assed joke reasons the writers came up with as being too stupid, seriously, they thought the explanations that Bashir and O'Brien had were too dumb to ever be seriously considered, if you don't believe me, watch the episode with commentary)

Sounds like a classic example of what happens when a story universe runs too long.
One writer makes a 4th wall joke that becomes canon for every following writer that didn't get it.

Back to the topic tho: Trek guessed a few bits of technology right, but I think they got the social issues very wrong. Yes Roddenberry showed that we could move past hating the commies, because he took the Russian dream and made it work through the brute force application of tech. He presumed humans would then turn into idealists when freed from their day to day desires.
Me on the other hand, I think humans will always want something. If its not food, water, or items for their cave then its love, power, and whatever still can't be gotten easily in a post scarcity society. The values for things change but we'll still work, steal, or kill to get those things.

I don't think Roddenberry was ever right about the social future, even in his own time.
To that end, I don't think the world he made is out of date. It was fantasy to begin with and its still a fantasy we want to live in.

/Maybe it will happen someday.
/It sounds kinda nice, aside from the constant impending doom.


Roddenberry's vision worked because scarcity is completely gone and human ambition is all that's left. There's still crime, but a hell of a lot less when every basic necessity is provided from unlimited energy to mater conversions, and real estate is plentiful. We literally have no way to conceptualize it yet, because it really hasn't been invented nor the culture moores laid.

It be like humans 50,000 ago trying to understand the technology and culture impact of something as simple, yet game changing, as a written language. Literally same brains and DNA, but a whole new perspective and culture brought on by innovation. Hell, we've had the written word around forever, and it's dramatically effected our culture and world, yet we only recently started boosting literacy rates.

Anyways, way I see it is there's not a lot to pine for via crime when you don't have to worry about anything, and can literally apply yourself at any point in your life towards something. Economic scarcity, uncertainty and getting ahead holds TONS of people back. Lots of talent is wasted on "jobs" to convince you to buy "our" scare goods.

It's not joke when people say a lot of the most creative and talented writers, musicians, and story tellers are in marketing now a days. Or why the best mathematicians, logistics, or programmers are in finance.
 
2012-05-03 01:51:46 AM

thornhill: Before The Borg were bastardized by Voyager, it brought up the theme of humanity and technology being in conflict and merging.


Well, it addressed the notion of bionics or cybernetics, which was finally starting to bleed into mainstream culture at about that time.
 
2012-05-03 02:58:41 AM

Diogenes: Where are all the human GMOs?

[www.freedomsphoenix.com image 263x400]

Didn't quite work out as well as they expected.


God, I would just go to town on those epic pecs. Dive right in and never come up for air.
 
2012-05-03 04:35:34 AM
io9 sucks.
 
2012-05-03 05:34:18 AM

Unoriginal_Username: Maybe some of the ST nerds can answer a probably stupid question. Why is it that ST: Enterprise klingons look the same as ST: TNG? what happened to the ST:TOS Era Klingons?

/Just started watching Enterprise, just kinda made me curious
//it may even answer the question for me, but hey, the internet is made for instant gratification (and answering of questions)
///yes..it's for pr0n too


We don't discuss that with outsiders.
 
2012-05-03 07:05:21 AM

Glockenspiel Hero: mat catastrophe: FTFA

"What Stross proposes is a system that utilizes machine-phase diamond-substrate nanotechnology, mind uploading, and artificial general intelligence. The end result wouldn't be much like a "ship". Rather, it would consist of a diamondoid data storage device (which would hold the data patterns of the uninstantiated space travelers) hanging below a light sail. The sail itself would be energized by lasers that are powered by huge orbiting solar power stations. "


Officially the dumbest thing I've read today.

Why? Assuming that you're stuck with lightspeed and some reasonable level of power output, a starwisp is about the only way you get from point A to B over interstellar distances. Building a slower-than-light ship that can carry meat bags isn't a good option unless you're willing to wait generations. When your payload weighs less than a kilo you can actually get reasonable speed.

Read Stross' Singularity Sky for a hilarious take on this- the starwisps carry the equivalent of interstellar phone repairmen. Cultures that aren't ready for interstellar phone repairmen have interesting failure modes, especially when there's a God watching who cares a lot about causality.


1. It's still a goddamn spaceship.

2. When it comes to accelerating to near light speed, the difference between a kilo and a thousand kilos is peanuts compared to the difference between a kilo and individual subatomic particles (where we are today).

We may pass through a stage where we send interstellar CARE packages, but we won't stop there.

3. The idea that our ability to transfer our consciousnesses to external media will happen on a timescale anywhere near the same as macro FTL travel is outlandishly unlikely.

TFA boils down to "I like these extreme SF ideas more than these other extreme SF ideas therefore the other ones could never become reality".
 
2012-05-03 09:29:49 AM

Dwight_Yeast: thornhill: Before The Borg were bastardized by Voyager, it brought up the theme of humanity and technology being in conflict and merging.

Well, it addressed the notion of bionics or cybernetics, which was finally starting to bleed into mainstream culture at about that time.


It's a bit more than that. The Borg are consumers, and they consume both technology and biological life. And because their quest is perfection, in their view everyone would want to be assimilated. And it's purposely unclear if The Borg started out as purely technological or biological.

And the whole collective consciousness thing is very forward looking. Is there really any doubt that some day someone is going to try and do this?
 
2012-05-03 10:46:25 AM

Aar1012: and call Spock a 'Green-blooded son of a biatch'


He would never say that, he's a Southern Gentleman and moms are off limits. SRSLY.
 
2012-05-03 10:49:56 AM

TyrantII: Roddenberry's vision worked because scarcity is completely gone and human ambition is all that's left.


Which I contest is the impossible part when human ambition can be the sole cause of scarcity.
For example, We could feed the world with the technology of today. We don't because people want to either make money or control on every facet of the process. When citizens want to give money or food to the needy, con men will intercede to take their cut. Even when you give the stuff away by government mandate (here it is, this is a truck of food, eat it!), there will be a man at the distribution point trying to cut off the supply to boost his own power.
A self appointed scarcity enforcer.

Saying that, Rodenberry did one thing I would have done in his position: Put a half dozen horrific wars between where we are and where we need to be for this to have a chance to happen.
A whole lotta people gonna need killin to make the future a wonderful place.

TyrantII: Anyways, way I see it is there's not a lot to pine for via crime when you don't have to worry about anything, and can literally apply yourself at any point in your life towards something. Economic scarcity, uncertainty and getting ahead holds TONS of people back. Lots of talent is wasted on "jobs" to convince you to buy "our" scare goods.


I think that you are correct in saying alot of people will find a new kind of freedom when money is no longer required. I just don't agree they'll be free to loaf about forever when ditches still need digging. The "I must serve the federation" attitude was never explained to my liking.

There will still be limited commodities when food and water are plentiful.
Someone has to have a hard day sorting out all those wires for the ship to blast its fancy photon torpedoes of peace. They obviously still have wars and warriors, doing dangerous and difficult jobs for no pay. Things like Romulan ale are contraband. Which means a replicator future still has scare supplies of things the government wont let you have.

What would make an interesting Star Trek story is a deep exploration of what drives the people with non-glorious and non-paying jobs. But I'll wager that's where Rodenberries future tends to fall apart fastest.

It sounds more like some people can get by without money because the federation treats them better than those who still punch the clock. Its all too government-centric for my liking.
 
2012-05-03 11:35:06 AM

way south: the_sidewinder: Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: Making up some lame reason about klingon genetics is like one of the 24th century characters pointing out how all the rocks in the 23rd century were made of cheap styrofoam.

If they left it at just pointing it out in DS9 with a "We don't talk about it" thing, that would have been fine, it was ENT that had to go and explain it (and with the half assed joke reasons the writers came up with as being too stupid, seriously, they thought the explanations that Bashir and O'Brien had were too dumb to ever be seriously considered, if you don't believe me, watch the episode with commentary)

Sounds like a classic example of what happens when a story universe runs too long.
One writer makes a 4th wall joke that becomes canon for every following writer that didn't get it.

Back to the topic tho: Trek guessed a few bits of technology right, but I think they got the social issues very wrong. Yes Roddenberry showed that we could move past hating the commies, because he took the Russian dream and made it work through the brute force application of tech. He presumed humans would then turn into idealists when freed from their day to day desires.
Me on the other hand, I think humans will always want something. If its not food, water, or items for their cave then its love, power, and whatever still can't be gotten easily in a post scarcity society. The values for things change but we'll still work, steal, or kill to get those things.

I don't think Roddenberry was ever right about the social future, even in his own time.
To that end, I don't think the world he made is out of date. It was fantasy to begin with and its still a fantasy we want to live in.

/Maybe it will happen someday.
/It sounds kinda nice, aside from the constant impending doom.


I dunno, if a true replicator-like device is ever produced, capitalism will face significant challenges. Open sourced cars, anybody?
 
2012-05-03 11:50:18 AM

Geotpf: I dunno, if a true replicator-like device is ever produced, capitalism will face significant challenges. Open sourced cars, anybody?


Fark yea!
But I suspect the prices of other things will change.

Assuming the car, the energy to drive it, and the roads to drive it on are all free, the price for the hookers one needs to fill it will increase.

...and they wont accept an open source car as payment.

/The markets shift, but capitalism will survive.
 
2012-05-03 12:05:14 PM

TyrantII: way south: the_sidewinder: Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: Making up some lame reason about klingon genetics is like one of the 24th century characters pointing out how all the rocks in the 23rd century were made of cheap styrofoam.

If they left it at just pointing it out in DS9 with a "We don't talk about it" thing, that would have been fine, it was ENT that had to go and explain it (and with the half assed joke reasons the writers came up with as being too stupid, seriously, they thought the explanations that Bashir and O'Brien had were too dumb to ever be seriously considered, if you don't believe me, watch the episode with commentary)

Sounds like a classic example of what happens when a story universe runs too long.
One writer makes a 4th wall joke that becomes canon for every following writer that didn't get it.

Back to the topic tho: Trek guessed a few bits of technology right, but I think they got the social issues very wrong. Yes Roddenberry showed that we could move past hating the commies, because he took the Russian dream and made it work through the brute force application of tech. He presumed humans would then turn into idealists when freed from their day to day desires.
Me on the other hand, I think humans will always want something. If its not food, water, or items for their cave then its love, power, and whatever still can't be gotten easily in a post scarcity society. The values for things change but we'll still work, steal, or kill to get those things.

I don't think Roddenberry was ever right about the social future, even in his own time.
To that end, I don't think the world he made is out of date. It was fantasy to begin with and its still a fantasy we want to live in.

/Maybe it will happen someday.
/It sounds kinda nice, aside from the constant impending doom.

Roddenberry's vision worked because scarcity is completely gone and human ambition is all that's left. There's still crime, but a hell of a lot less when every basic necessity is provide ...


Then why were the Ferengi so greedy?
 
2012-05-03 12:55:56 PM

stevetherobot: Then why were the Ferengi so greedy?


Because Roddenberry needed a capitalist boogeyman for his brave utopian socialist heroes to oppose.
 
2012-05-03 02:46:05 PM
Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: stevetherobot: Then why were the Ferengi so greedy?

Because Roddenberry needed a capitalist boogeyman for his brave utopian socialist heroes to oppose.


But Trek wasn't socialist either. And the Ferengi weren't capitalists. They weren't too keen on producing anything of value, just acquiring wealth through legal and illegal commerce. Plus their entire culture was set up on it, which means they were more likely plutocratic in the extreme.

I always did wonder why anyone would be a miner in Trek, or do any other dirty work, even if 1000X better than today. Or how real estate still worked, since even though land is not scarce, that specific spot of land is. But there was still hints that businesses were around, and even currency. The big thing was consumerism was dead. People acted more like they probably did in their local villages 1000's of years ago, finding things to keep busy that would better the community. Only difference is all the crap things were provided by lack of scarcity, so they focused on art, food, science, music, writing, entertainment, ect.

Like I said, I don't think we even have a word for what Roddenberrys post-scarcity culture really entails, and the concept is damn foreign. Imagine not needing a job to provide yourself a home, food and clothing. Where all your day to day electronics are made from thin air. You have a choice of what you want to study and how you want to work, and don't have to worry about the other things, because they are not scarce. And if it doesn't work out, it's no big deal.

Plus, there's a giant frontier out there for more boot strappy people looking to do their own thing and find their own way.
 
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