21 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Anecdote of Shamans Responding to Star Trek

DI for documenting his journey to shamanism in the 1994 book Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of African Shaman. He writes about the proverbial dive into the rabbit hole as he was studying with the elders of his community and balancing his newfound wisdom with his Western education. Some paints a picture of a different path to knowledge that contradicts the norms of Western conventions. According to him. the Dagara have no word for the supernatural. "For us, ...
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03 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 Prejudice Against Transhumanism in Star Trek

Star Trek’s greatest villains are, almost without exception, the products of human (or whatever-the-original-species-was) enhancement. For example Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, universally regarded as the best Trek movie, has as its villain Khan Noonien Singh. [...] In Star Trek: The Next Generation, of course, we get the Borg, cyborgs from the other side of the galaxy who exist as part of a single collective consciousness which they continually seek to forcibly add other species to. And ...
Folksonomies: transhumanism bioism bioist
Folksonomies: transhumanism bioism bioist
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A reoccurring theme of bioism in the series.

20 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 IDIC - Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

IDIC basically states that we should delight in the differences amongst people, not hate people because they are different. It seems that the human race has found a large number of ways to hate (different sex, color, religion, nationality, political party, social class, etc) and has emphasized hate over co-operation, caring, and compassion. The result has been a world torn by big and small wars, religious and philosophical differences, and alienation of one person from another. This has take...
Folksonomies: diversity tolerance
Folksonomies: diversity tolerance
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A good overview of the Vulcan philosophy from Star Trek.

20 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Star Trek is About Diversity

Moses Maimonides, who lived nearly 900 years ago, wrote a book called The Guide for the Perplexed. In it, he said: "The human race contains such a variety of individuals that we cannot discover two persons exactly alike in any moral quality or external appearance. This great variety and necessity of social life are essential elements in man's nature." These are the same principles, the same philosophies, which are inherent in "Star Trek." But let's go back to what "Star Trek" really is. It...
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Rodenberry's philosophy was to respect and cherish diversity.

05 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 How Science Fiction Tackles Social Issues

Now science fiction movies are mostly just shoot-‘em-ups, but back in the day sci-fi was a medium to explore social issues. SF allowed us to examine the core elements of controversial issues without all the emotional baggage that went along with them. It’s easy to dismiss the genre when you have grown-up fans walking around in costumes and silver make-up, but SF employs disarming tools to tease core arguments from their tired rhetoric. Here pundits, smoke screens, and slogans are stripped...
Folksonomies: science fiction humanism
Folksonomies: science fiction humanism
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SF allows us to take a step back, drop the baggage of associations we connect to an issue, and see it in a completely new light, testing our preconceptions.

05 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 Star Trek is Atheist

On the subject of faith, Trek had a very clear position. Of everything in my past, it is this one show that I most credit for being able to identify myself as an atheist. There was a recurring plotline in so many episodes that it almost became a running theme—some all-powerful being would set itself up as God but would eventually turn out to be nothing more than an advanced alien or megalomaniacal computer. As a little kid watching episodes like “Return of the Archons” and “The Apple,...
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The show has a reoccurring theme of finding planets of aliens worshiping powerful beings that are pretending to be gods, which are usually evil and which the crew must take out.

22 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 Science Fiction and Science as a Two-Way Street

Science fiction like Star Trek is not only good fun but it also serves a serious purpose, that of expanding the human imagination. We may not yet be able to boldly go where no man (or woman) has gone before, but at least we can do it in the mind. We can explore how the human spirit might respond to future developments in science and we can speculate on what those developments might be. There is a two-way trade between science fiction and science. Science fiction suggests ideas that scientists...
Folksonomies: science science fiction sf
Folksonomies: science science fiction sf
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Hawking observes that SF inspires science, but science often turns up things that are stranger than fiction.

22 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 Decibel Scale is Logarithmic, Like the Richter Scale

In fact, a physics colleague, Mark Srednicki of U.C. Santa Barbara, brought to my attention a much greater gaffe in one episode, in which sound waves are used as a weapon against an orbiting ship. As if that weren't bad enough, the sound waves are said to reach “18 to the 12th power decibels.” What makes this particularly grate on the ear of a physicist is that the decibel scale is a logarithmic scale, like the Richter scale. This means that the number of decibels already represents a pow...
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Krauss describing a particularly egregious science-blunder in an episode of Star Trek.

22 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 The Borg and Ants

"Restless aggression, territorial conquest, and genocidal annihilation ... whenever possible.... The colony is integrated as though it were in fact one organism ruled by a genome that constrains behavior as it also enables it.... The physical superorganism acts to adjust the demographic mix so as to optimize its energy economy.... The austere rules allow of no play, no art, no empathy." The Borg are among the most frightening, and intriguing, species of alien creature ever portrayed on the t...
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Krauss presents a quote about E.O.Wilson's book on ants and how it works perfectly to describe the Borg in Star Trek.

22 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 The Picard Maneuver

Speaking of time, I think it is time to introduce the Picard Maneuver. Jean-Luc became famous for introducing this tactic while stationed aboard the Stargazer. Even though it involves warp travel, or super light speed, which I have argued is impossible in the context of special relativity alone, it does so for just an instant and it fits in nicely with the discussions here. In the Picard Maneuver, in order to confuse an attacking enemy vessel, one's own ship is accelerated to warp speed for a...
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The captain of the Enterprise has the ship travel faster than light, leaving an image of itself traveling at the speed of light from its previous location; meaning Star Trek's universe would be filled with such apparitions.