27 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Star Trek: The Motion Picture as a Meditation on Cybernetics

Consider for a moment just how many times Star Trek: The Motion Picture lingers upon the important act of a man entering -- or connecting to -- a machine. We watch Kirk's shuttle pod "dock" with Enterprise after a long, lingering examination of the ship. We see Spock, in a thruster suit, "penetrate" -- in his words, "the orifice" leading to the next interior "chamber" of V'Ger. This terminology sounds very biological, doesn't it? Consider that Spock next mentally-joins with V'Ger, utilizing a...
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04 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Picard Defends Data as Life

Commander Riker has dramatically demonstrated to this court that Lieutenant Commander Data is a machine. Do we deny that? No, because it is not relevant: we, too, are machines, just machines of a different type. Commander Riker has also reminded us that Lieutenant Commander Data was created by a man; do we deny that? No. Again, it is not relevant. Children are created from the 'building blocks' of their parents' DNA. Are they property? [...] Your honor, the courtroom is a crucible; in it, w...
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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.

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.