The human adventure is just beginning: How the optimistic future of Star Trek is more likely than we may think | TrekMovie.com
jump to navigation

The human adventure is just beginning: How the optimistic future of Star Trek is more likely than we may think July 1, 2013

by Joseph Dickerson , Filed under: Editorial , trackback

“We are locally optimistic, and globally pessimistic.”

The creator of Star Trek Gene Roddenberry did not share this “globally pessimistic” point of view. Instead, he was incredibly optimistic about our future, about the human potential. “We’re just beginning,” he said in an interview shortly before his death. “We have wonders ahead of us. I don’t see how it can be any other way, with the way the future is going. We now have got a telescope up there, photographing the universe. We’re inventing the next life form, the computer. We’re in the midst of it. And it will happen.” According to Roddenberry, the future we see in Star Trek is not just possible but probable. How so? Read on…

The statement, “We are locally optimistic, and globally pessimistic” is a key point in the recent book Abundance: the Future is Better than you think by Pete Diamandis and Steven Kotler. The quote is from one of the many people the authors interviewed, a psychologist who then explains how our brains have developed to be mostly optimistic about our personal lives while we have a mostly negative view on events beyond our immediate control at the same time. This is why so many people think that things are “getting worse” in the world.

The authors of Abundance instead agree with Roddenberry’s outlook, and throughout the book they detail advances in technology and society over the past two centuries, and predict that future advancements will lead to “a world of nine billion people with clean water, nutritious food, affordable housing, personalized education, top-tier medical care, and non-polluting, ubiquitous energy.”


This clip from Star Trek: The Next Generation discusses how humanity “grew out of its infancy.”

Technology: The cause of, and cure for, all of life’s problems
In a previous article I covered many of the technological advances that are bringing us closer to the future tech envisioned in Star Trek. But technology is a double-edged sword – it can be used to produce weapons of mass destruction and it can also be used to save lives and better mankind. The authors of Abundance, like Gene Roddenberry, focus on the latter more “hopeful” application of tech.

The authors recount specific examples of how advancements in science, medicine and computing are (gradually) making people’s lives better. New and cheap technology to help supply the base needs of all people – food, water, and power – is being applied throughout the world. Water desalination tools, genetically enhanced crops that grow in harsh conditions, portable solar-powered generators and power plants – the stuff of science fiction just a few years ago are being rolled out to developing nations. And the computer chips that power these tools are cheaper than they have ever been, and getting cheaper by the day. We can now mass-produce a computer for the same cost as it takes to manufacture a Lego playset!


The Raspberry Pi is a mass-produced, credit-card-sized single-board computer

The world’s problems are not going to be solved overnight, but as economies of scale take place the cost of building and distributing such advanced tools will reduce significantly, improving the quality of life everywhere. More important, many of these world-changing innovations are not being done by large companies who are slow to execute and implement them, but by entrepreneurs and small companies. This “DIY Innovation”, powered by cheap computer power and open-source technology, is making a rapid impact in fields from biotechnology to space travel.


This TED talk discusses how things have gotten markedly better in the developing world over the past fifty years.

A base living standard… and the end of money?

Advances in technology are all well and good, but how can we have the utopian future shown in Star Trek? A future where “there will be no hunger, there will be no greed, and all the children will know how to read” (as Gene Roddenberry once told Trek actor Jonathan Frakes). A future that also had no need of that thing we call “money?”

Gene Roddenberry frequently stated that money would not exist in the future, that instead people work to “better themselves” and to “enhance humanity.” This was one of the “rules” of Star Trek, a rule several of the creative people who worked on the show (notably Ron Moore) disagreed with. While it is unlikely society will ever “do away” with money, the authors of Abundance claim at some point a base standard of living will exist for everyone, whether they have money or not. And this base will be better than the base standard from just two generations ago.

The authors of Abundance point out that the poor and starving in the world have, slowly, become healthier and had improved standards of living over the past fifty years. There are still problems, but organizations and those aforementioned “tech-philanthropists” are working hard to overcome them. They also note that the poorest in developed countries like the United States have more than many families that would have been considered “rich” just two generations ago (heating, air, gas, plumbing, vehicles, cellular phones).

“This generation of human beings has access to more calories, watts, lumen-hours, square-feet, gigabytes, megahertz, light-years, nano-meters, bushels per acre, miles per gallon, food miles, air miles, and, of course, dollars than any that went before.”

The standards of living in developing countries are still nowhere near that of developed nations. but more and more people are living lives of comfort where just one generation before they struggled to survive. The necessities of life (thanks to technology, capitalism, philanthropy, and innovation) are becoming cheap and accessible to all. We may never see the “end” of money, but with an increasing base standard of living that can be available to all, eventually we may lose the need to work to just “pay our bills” and instead apply our time to have opportunities to grow and “better ourselves”… just like on Star Trek.

Government, free enterprise, and “tech-philanthropists”
One of the primary philosophical arguments of our times is about the role and size of government. Some feel the role of government should be limited, and others feel that government should actively intervene in the lives of individuals to help people in need. The writers of Abundance argues that it isn’t one way or the other… there are things that free enterprise is better at and other things that is more appropriate for government to handle. They also point out a third group, a group that is impacting the world in remarkable ways. They are the “tech-philanthropists,” people like Bill and Melinda Gates, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and George Lucas.

Instead of spending their billions and purchasing luxury yachts (and islands to dock them at), these individuals created foundations to help people in the developing world and to fund innovations that will make a difference in people’s lives. Thanks to these tech-philanthropists, we are on the verge of a new era of privately funded space flight, the end of malaria, and a “laptop for every child”. They, along with “social entrepreneurs” using tools like Kickstarter and Kiva (www.kiva.org), will “fill the gap” that government and free enterprise can’t (or won’t) in an attempt to make the world a better place.


The X-Prize Foundation is another “tech philanthropist” that is offering incentives to innovators around the world

Gene’s dream
As the authors of Abundance remind us, while there are many groups actively working at solving the world’s problems, we can help too. Individual action and innovation is available to us all, and there is an “abundance” of knowledge and information at our fingertips through the wonderful thing you’re using right now called the Internet – which in and of itself is an amazing indicator of how things have changed from just two generations ago. We now have instant access to information that we can use to make informed decision of how to spend our money and time… and, if we are so inclined, how and where we can make a difference.


The authors of “Abundance: The future is better than you think” take the Roddenberry view of the future

If this all sounds somewhat “Pollyanna”… well, that’s because it is. A catastrophic disaster, a massive global financial crisis or another world war could occur and make much of these efforts for naught. There are still conflicts and strife in the world, and you’d have to be blind to not acknowledge that there are challenges ahead of us as a society.

But we all have a choice. We can be, like the quote at the beginning of this article. “globally pessimistic.” Or we can be hopeful, and make a difference by our choices and actions.

What would Gene do? It isn’t much of a stretch to state that if he was still around he would be a big proponent of the optimistic viewpoint Abundance details, as well one of those “tech philanthropists” donating his time and money to make things better…

To make sure the human adventure IS just beginning.

Joseph Dickerson will be speaking about this topic and Treknology at the upcoming official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas. He writes about technology design and pop culture at http://www.josephdickerson.com


Comments

1. TerranGuy93 - July 1, 2013

I love the idea of Trek, because its a fun escape from reality.

However, it is just that, an escape from reality. My observation of people is that they are inherently selfish. A world of inherently selfish people will never reach utopia status.

2. Pensive's Wetness - July 1, 2013

sadly im still of the mind that its morely likely to be (the future) like Battle Angel Alita (Gunmn) than start trek…

3. CmdrR - July 1, 2013

I think selfishness is still the rule.

I do believe technology is advancing, but with it ocmes the by-products of energy consumption. Namely, the poisons we’re pumping into every possible place on Earth. Even advances in medicine mean our water supply in Atlanta contains traces of gerontological pharmaceuticals from London. 7 billion of anything produces a dangerous amount of poisons. The goal cannot be Abundance, but must be 101. Creat 1% more than you use. Clean 1% more than you make dirty.

I recommend the book 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson on this topic. It’s a trip.

Roddenberry’s philosophy became more the focus of Star Trek after other people defined what he’s already put in place. OTHERS read into a professional military of TOS to say it means we conquered our base instincts. Only by TNG did you get the Brady Bunch in space. I’ve heard people say it’s just not likely that human nature itself will change and I agree.

Again, selfishness is the enemy. We need to find a motive that is self-serving but helps all.

Here’s to hoping.

4. BobZ - July 1, 2013

Maturity is the key.

5. Newdivide1701 - July 1, 2013

Even though money, despite what The Voyage Home and First Contact claim, still exists in the future, people still buy things and still have possessions. But their value is not driven by wealth. Take books for example, yes the older ones carry a very hefty price, but it’s more than an old book, it’s a book that was made centuries ago.

Treasure wasn’t gold, it was knowledge.

6. utterlee - July 1, 2013

I don’t believe humans are fundamentally either selfish or selfless, more that our environment inform the development of our personalities. There is certainly a survival instinct built into us, but that can be harnessed in the fashion that working cooperatively is more likely to further survival in our complex society rather than working against each other.

What we need are more inspirational leaders and a narrative from our governments and cultural leaders that there is a future to be had that revolves around more than simple and ultimately self destructive consumerism.

7. I am not Herbert - July 1, 2013

yes, our so-called society IS SOCIOPATHIC. =(

…but we don’t have to accept it! change it!!

I BELIEVE in Gene Roddenberry’s humanistic VISION of Star Trek! <3

WE have the POWER to CREATE what we ENVISION! Make it so!!

8. Red Dead Ryan - July 1, 2013

“Gene’s Vision” sounds good on paper, but it just isn’t realistic. People are selfish by nature, and egotistical to boot. There is the issue of capitalism as well. Most of the world’s wealth is controlled by a tiny percentage of folks, while poverty is on the rise, and cheap labour is becoming common practice not just in poor Asian countries, but also in the U.S and Canada, where companies are now allowed to hire people to work long hours for $5.00 an hour. These companies have bought out the politicians, ensuring that normal folks like us don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to pushing forward environmental, social, and economic change.

But then again, a lot of peope keep re-electing corrupt politicians who cheat and buy their way into office. And others are willing to give up their individual and Constitutional rights in the name of “national security”.

I would argue that the future depicted in “Wall-E” is probably closer to what we will face in a couple of centuries. We’ll be in outer space, but only because we have ruined the planet, and that humans will only be able to move around in a weightless environment since we’d be too fat and heavy to get off our couches on Earth.

9. Anthony Lewis - July 1, 2013

Nothing wrong with being a humanist. I am one myself but I don’t see that becoming a world wide thing anytime soon.

Perhaps the discovery of life other than our own might be a building block to change perceptions but at the end of the day Utopia is impossible because it implies perfection and we are not perfect creatures.

10. dmduncan - July 1, 2013

I would LIKE to be able to agree with all this, but equating new and better stuff for more people with the outcome being universal happiness is tragicomically simpleminded.

No, this is where I think Star Wars actually beats out Star Trek. A republic collapsing under its own unmanageable inertia into a technocratic empire is what we’re turning into.

The Jedi represent that OTHER path and potentiality that the technocrats scoff at and try to obscure, and it is Star Trek’s great failure that there is apparently no room in its universe for real magic.

Let me make this clear: I am no Hermetist and I would argue, and I think wiin the argument, that following Giordano Bruno ultimately leads to the Sith rather than the Jedi, but he was right about one very important thing that the current evolution of science—not following him—does not believe in the existence of.

11. ME!! - July 1, 2013

Unlikely. Mankind will destroy itself.

It is in our nature.

Discovering life out there somewhere isn’t going to “bring us together”. It’s more likely to make us panicky and paranoid.

There will be NO man made “utopia”. It’s a nice sounding dream, but it’s not based on reality in any way, shape or form.

If anyone thinks the Hitlers, Saddams, Pol Pots, etc of the world really just want to be friends and are misunderstood, you’re delusional. Men like that are paranoid, fearful & power mad. They want control over society and don’t care how they get it even if it means killing everyone in their way (which they all often do). And there will ALWAYS be those kind of men. THAT is reality.

The only thing that could change any of that is God himself.

Wake up and smell the java.

12. utterlee - July 1, 2013

It always surprises me when Star Trek fans are pessimistic and down about the potential of people. It’s like you’ve missed what Star Trek is actually all about. Though I don’t really believe we can create a 100% perfect society, I do think we can do better for ourselves than what we have now, even though we may have a bloody tough time getting there.

Call me cynically optimistic.

13. CaptainDonovin - July 1, 2013

@ CmdrR – I actually started 2312, good one.

As for us getting our world to a Trek-like place where we (apparently) all get along & there is no hunger etc, if I can quote a great Klingon leader ‘it appears we have a long way to go’.

14. Disinvited - July 1, 2013

#9. Anthony Lewis – July 1, 2013

Precisely, and our concepts about perfection are as flawed as we are.

To Trek’s credit, this was explored in the characters of Khan and Nomad.

To paraphrase, “I am the creator of the concept and I am flawed and imperfect? How could I create such a perfect concept as perfection?”

We can approximate it. Get as close as is possible for us, but ultimately we have to remain cognizant of the fact that we could be wrong. Which is why it is sensible to remain vigilant against our tendency to obliterate alternative perspectives in our certainty, i.e. the Prime Directive.

15. CAPT KRUNCH - July 1, 2013

I like to believe that we indeed will survive and I beleive in humans. TREK does represent a future with the greatness of people in it, but only after WW3 that nearly wiped us out and the intervention of First Contact to help us on our way. I not sure that if left to our devises we will go on to end war disease and hunger, as our TREK brethern will do.
I’m not a negative thinker, but as Red Dead said: people are selfish by nature and egotistical, andas long as the mighty dollar is there so goes human nature. When humans actually become more important, then we may see growth toward a great society free from those horrible things.

16. cecil kain - July 1, 2013

Actually I think you’re all wrong. We’re evolving into the Borg. Technology has become a crutch for the mind an body –and it becomes ever moreso every single year. World powers already monitor our ever move, and soon our every thought –then will come control…

17. spock - July 1, 2013

#11 I have to agree. Man made utopias never work out, Star Trek even preached against them – Return of the Archons, The Apple, The Cage, etc.

Also in reality the Federation would never work, since the council is set up like the United Nations / Confederation of states, and not a federal system like The United States where the planets would equal the states, and the Federation Council acts like the Federal government.

Then of course there is Section 31 that can be corrupted like the NSA

18. Disinvited - July 1, 2013

FWIW Bloomberg had an interesting perspective on the current shape of the Trek ideal:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-23/why-star-trek-into-darkness-is-smaller-than-life.html

”While the movie delivers a Michael Bay-style amusement park ride, it lacks the mind and heart that made Star Trek an enduring franchise. The deeper forms of escapism are hard to pull off. They require greater artistic coherence and empathy. They demand a willingness to let the imaginary seem real, and to acknowledge that the real often feels inadequate. They can be executed with humor and knowing winks — as both Quentin Tarantino and the much-beloved Star Trek parody “Galaxy Quest” demonstrate. But they can’t be achieved without conviction.

“I would love to live and work in that universe,” wrote a Phoenix fan in the survey. It’s hard to imagine anyone saying that about the latest version of Star Trek. ” – Virginia Postrel, “Why STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Is Smaller Than Life”, Bloomberg View, BLOOMBERG

#16. spock – July 1, 2013

What I found odd is with the Vulcans involved from the git go that its structure wasn’t more logic-based?

19. dmduncan - July 1, 2013

12. utterlee – July 1, 2013

How? Through laws? Politics? Coercing through places like Washington DC and their media apparatus how and what people think?

The things people do to create U-topia are actually creating DYS-topia.

That’s what happens when the problem tries to solve itself.

The only answers those in power have are MORE FORCE and MORE PUNISHMENT!

20. Disinvited - July 1, 2013

#15. CAPT KRUNCH – July 1, 2013

But the dollar was just a concept that was adopted and could just as easily be discarded for another. Once, it was allowed to change value through inflation and later no longer being backed by something tangible some would argue the current usefulness of it is just as pie in the sky.

21. Colin - July 1, 2013

Cracked.com had an article called “5 Insane Theories About Why We Haven’t Discovered Alien Life”. One of these theories is that intelligent species have an finite lifespan. According to the Doomsday Argument, there is a 95% chance that humans will go extinct in 9,000 years.

http://www.cracked.com/article_20216_5-insane-theories-about-why-we-havent-discovered-alien-life_p2.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_argument

Our extinction is guaranteed. The question is, when will we become extinct?

22. Buzz Cagney - July 1, 2013

If we are to make a better world then it falls to us all, as individuals, to be better people. Personally I try to take the lessons that Trek has taught me and to act on them each day. Namely, to be honest, loyal, inquisitive and interested in the World and people around me. As much as possible to have a positive outlook too.
Its not always easy when we have so many people around us that don’t give a hoot for any of those things but I do feel my life is the richer and better for living that way.

23. Disinvited - July 1, 2013

#20. Colin – July 1, 2013

Actuarial tables show that even if some reading this have their DNA expiration dates eliminated – and research indicates this may indeed come to pass – that the average life spans such organisms can attain before some accident or cataclysm makes that life cease is 500 years.

The biggest threat to the human race could be an unlimited lifespan because we likely would lose the skill of maximizing successful reproduction with a minimum of resources by the time such a planet-wide cataclysm would occur. However if we spread to other heavenly bodies and star systems this will minimize the effects of such as there will always be humans living on the edge somewhere who will have the ability to take up the slack.

24. Vultan - July 1, 2013

#21

Well put, Mr. Cagney.

As for extinction, how about those dinosaurs? The big dumb animals ruled the Earth for millions of years and then were all wiped out. Except… they weren’t.

What, you mean you haven’t seen a real life dinosaur? Oh, they’re around. Everywhere, in fact. And usually aiming for your windshield or the shoulder of your new blazer. *Chirp*

Time changes everything.

25. Weekes - July 1, 2013

We are predators and we will strip mine this planet and eradicate any life we don’t care about and the only life we care about is us – and that not very much.
There is a reason we do not hear much from aliens. It is because, like us, they are either on the path to self-destruction or have already destroyed themselves.
There is no life in the universe. Just death and ashes. Soon we will be ghosts on a dead planet – bones for the archaeologists of a future Earth – based lifeform to dig up and wonder about – before they too destroy themselves.

26. Captain Karl - July 1, 2013

Raspberry Pi’s are fantastic! I have one set up as my home theater PC. Works like a charm and easy to use. It is literally small enough to fit in an original Nintendo Game Boy and is pretty easy to set up with a battery power source. I can see it being the guts of many items used on Trek. The applications are really only limited to your imagination.

27. Kev - July 1, 2013

No Communism/Socalismn and I’ll keep my money thank you very much.

those dont and will never work

and I always thought that was one of the DUMBEST changes between TOS and TNG, how the hell do you buy things for your appartment if your Kirk, a Kudos Credit card showing what you’ve done for the world?

PURE BS

and there was actual Pay involved in the Doomsday Machine, Mr Scott you’ve earned your pay for the day

and people will act accordingly to there gifts/abilites, and well some people will just always be bad guys and others always good guys and they must be treated accordingly, sometimes severely

and the goverment should be heavily regulated and forced to abide by the statement Innocent until proven guilt and not to penalise the majority because of the minority.

basically, stay grey/neutral and OUT of our daily lives and leave it up to the invidiuals about how they want to live, not force everyone to live one way just because they dont like you having a nice car, boat or home or the ability to defend yourself and your property.

a very current problem all over the world thanks to the EU and Our Goverment that is trying to police the world out of fear and ignorance.

and blatenlty ignore almost all of the amendments in the constitution.

and to think that this is all going to go away when its been this way for centuries is ignorant and stupid frankly, we work to better ourselves and saying everything will just get better over time is just frankly wrong

its getting much worse and hoping for change to this mystical miracle world of S1 TNG would frankly be horrifiying with how dull it was!

No thanks lol

after all one persons heaven is another persons hell, who are we to say which one is which based on a stupid piece of paper, all we can do is allow for it to safely co exist without it spilling over into thinks it wasnt ment to.

28. Vultan - July 1, 2013

The no money thing was established just before TNG in The Voyage Home. Kirk mentions it in passing at the restaurant.

29. Chain of Command - July 1, 2013

“Star Trek” (1966-1991) represents an escapist and optimistic vision of what might happen in the future if we put aside our pettiness and stupidity as a race for more than five minutes.

Granted, we may never meet Klingons, Vulcans, or Andorians, but we have the potential to be so much more than we are now and we could achieve more if we could get past our own inhibitions, fears and self-imposed political and religious limitations.

30. Disinvited - July 1, 2013

#26. Vultan – July 1, 2013

Actually he mentions it before that when decides to hock his birthday present: “They’re still using money.”

31. Dom - July 1, 2013

‘Gene’s Vision’ is a myth perpetuated by the likes of Rick Berman, who never really understood Star Trek. It was simply a way for him to force ‘Rick’s Vision’ onto an audience by claiming to speak for a man who is no longer with us. I also dislike the way some people seem to canonise Roddenberry as some sort of prophet: he was a canny TV producer who only had one successful show and managed to make a living off it. Most of what the audience embraced with Star Trek was built by other people from that foundation.

The future seen in Star Trek (the 60s show) isn’t a utopia: it’s one where people have made an effort to get along, but it’s still imperfect and the likes of Kodos, Roger Corby and Doctor Adams can still exist. But, humans (always a very adaptable – often ruthlessly so – race) are trying to learn and assist rather than conquer in that era, even though they make foolish mistakes like almost killing the Horta race.

TNG and its successor series turn the positivity into a repressive Soviet-esque nightmare, where arrogant humans travel through space telling other races how much better they are than them. At the same time, the characters (forced by Rick Berman to be underplayed) have become robotic and dehumanised to the extent that they’ll stand by and let a civilisation die rather than save lives, abusing the point of the Prime Directive, in Homeward.

Also, until JJ’s Trek, we saw precious little civilian life in Star Trek, with the focus being on the military. By the TNG era, the repressive Federation, which has removed its citizens’ right to have money, will have prevented most of its population from running a non-military, commercial exploration programme.

I embrace the future aspirations seen in the original Star Trek, but reject the ‘utopia’ of TNG. Utopias require everyone to be on the same page and, as we saw in the last century, if they aren’t, these ‘people’s’ states have a habit of crushing any dissent. Indeed, modern political correctness is a tool to do just that by making people afraid to say anything lest a word they use has become verboten. TNG’s humans have thrown out the baby with the bathwater, banning free enterprise, freedom of religion and free thought. In order to wipe out the different religions, they must have killed a lot of people between Kirk’s era and Picard’s. And at almost no time do we see much evidence any kind of human counterculture: rock stars, painters, radical sculptors. One assumes that in TNG’s era that the Tate Modern gets turned back into a powerstation.

I suspect we’ll end up with a world closer to that of Neuromancer or Ghost in the Shell than Star Trek, as biomechanics and the Internet change our perceptions of what life (an even reality) is about. The ‘liberal’ ivory tower academics can spout what they want, but Star Trek is ultimately just a multimedia franchise and really no different from (and far less influential and widely embraced than) the likes of the Marvel and DC universes and Star Wars.

I love Star Trek, but I’m realistic about its limitations and just how important in the scheme of things it isn’t! I know there’s money to be made by liberal academics studying pop culture icons, but, really, most of it’s just a load of old cobblers to justify their institutions paying them, as the name ‘Star Trek’ on a book will get more purchases than a genuine book about, say, string theory.

End of the day, just watch the show, enjoy it, then go out and try to enjoy what’s good in the world we live in now.

32. Dom - July 1, 2013

28. Disinvited

That was a joke made in a comedy culture clash movie. Typical of Trek to turn comedic banter into the basis of TNG’s Soviet federation. It would have made more sense to talk about cash, since we’re already trialling Contactless payments and buying on the Internet. Indeed, how many of us carry cash at all these days? I pay for almost everything by card!

33. Disinvited - July 2, 2013

#25. Kev – July 1, 2013

But that’s just it. If you try such a foolish thing as just holding on to your money, i.e. keeping it, then it loses value through no fault of your own. When I was a child a fresh baked loaf of bread could had for a mere 25 cents. Now, I’m lucky if I can find a machine made loaf with some real nutritional value for $2.50!

This is the problem when you have no control over how much is printed. Benjamin Franklin discovered printing more as a way to practically eliminate the debt incurred in forming and funding the new government.

This is a factor that leads many US citizens not to save: may as well spend it now because next week it won’t buy as much.

34. utterlee - July 2, 2013

I wonder if it’s more the government and socialism mistrusting US fans which don’t like the TNG representation of the future the most?

To me the 24th century Federation looks like a paradise, where you can do pretty much what you want, in terms of career and personal growth. Whilst I don’t think that level of “perfection” is likely to be possible, I don’t think that should stop us working towards it and trying to do better.

35. Vader_the_White - July 2, 2013

I keep reading here that “humans are in nature selfish.” I would like to point out that humans are so by their nature compassionate. Humans are not good or evil. True, some have done great evil, but what about the many who have done good.
While we won’t become perfect, I do believe that as a whole, humanity will be better and try to live in peace with each other and, maybe, what ever else is out there.
To quote Back to the Future Part III, “The future is whatever you make of it.”
Or in my own words, “Stop complaining about how humanity sucks and start trying to disprove your hypothesis!”

36. I am not Herbert - July 2, 2013

…sad to see so much entrenched cynicism on a so-called Trek site… =(

…but then people here also like JJ-trek… (eyesroll)

…”first contact” will be the first step in awakening from “the illusion”… ;-)

37. Marja - July 2, 2013

Vader the white is right, and thank you so much for your post! Until I read hir post I was getting a bit depressed! My goodness we can be compassionate and live in harmony. Sure, human disputes arise, but can be settled, either by mediation or violence [it's up to us to choose, and we should choose wisely]. We always need to be ready to defend ourselves against unreasoning hatred, fear [Admiral Marcus], or violence [MirrorVerse], or total selfishness and greed [the Ferengi]. Also against technology [the Borg]. But we have “better angels [in] our nature,” to paraphrase Lincoln.

I feel personally that many corporations exist purely to achieve profits and self-perpetuate without consideration for the needs of the planet [BP, EXXON, Massey Energy] and thus her people. Some of us try to stem this tide by defending Earth’s environment, or by opposing the perception of corporations as “people” with inherent rights. Once we get the money and the stink of corruption out of politics worldwide, we may achieve the ends of defending the ecosphere, the helpless, and “the least of these,” as a great philosopher once said, against cynics and users. In the words of Oscar Hammerstein, “You’ve got to be carefully taught to hate and fear” what you do not know.

But we can advance by uplifting each other and humanity past those things. Fear and greed and selfishness will always be human impulses but they need not determine our future. The difference between a sociopathic human and a well-adjusted human is that one has no compassion/ sympathy and pursues hir goals disregarding the needs of others. Well-adjusted humans consider other people and treat them with decency in a non-judgemental way. They keep others from harm and want to learn new things about each other and about our world. This latter is how I see Starfleet ["a peace-keeping and humanitarian armada," per Pike and "explorers" per Scotty], and the post-reform Vulcans [along with FDR's and LBJ's Great Society].

Our ideals are often compromised in selfish or fearful moments. Below anger and rage is fear. If we can stop appealing to the worst in people, exciting fear and rage in them, and appeal to the best in people, using compassion and empathy to innovate and find peaceful solutions to our problems, rather than constricting our minds in the old fearful ideas, we will achieve a beautiful future.

With our better instincts we can always remember to care for the poor, the disabled, the elderly. The powerful interests and thus our US government are disregarding or neglecting this, which makes me rather fearful, which fills me with anger toward certain politicians, so-called religions, and businesses. We must guard against the inroads of the selfish and fearful among us into the ideals of our society. We must guard against our own desire for revenge against those who have wronged us. [That's part of what STiD was about, Herbert.] I am still learning.

I hope for a future with no Vengeance and lots of Enterprise :)

38. Vultan - July 2, 2013

I don’t think you can apply socialism or communism to Trek. In a world where matter and energy have been mastered, where transportation, food, water, and healthcare are secondary issues controlled with the press of a button, the “old” economic models are rendered obsolete.

Like comparing our current economy to the feudal system of the Middle Ages—different eras, different ideas.

39. Weyoun_9 - July 2, 2013

I find some of what’s on here really fascinating and here’s why. While by no means an expert in economics, capitalism (to me) includes a concept of supply and demand. However, if we were able to develop technology such as replicators, then that would do away with this concept. When food, clothing, and material things are available in limitless supply…meaning everyone can have anything…then you don’t have a situation where one party sells and profits from supply and the other buys and loses from demand.

It’s not communism. As I understand basic communism, it’s a government-run philosophy where limited resources are “evenly” distributed among the population.

But the Star Trek future isn’t communism because there are NO limited resources. Technology has provided a solution to that. When energy is sustainable and hunger doesn’t exist…the rules of society would change. Not to communism, or socialism…but to something new.

“The Neutral Zone” gets part of it right. Offenhouse states that it’s not about collecting material things, but “It’s about power.” When there are limited resources, the people who control those resources have power over those that don’t. When resources are limitless, the rules change and the resulting society is one we don’t necessarily have a term for.

But we will when it happens.

40. Marja - July 2, 2013

I am not Herbert – July 1, 2013

yes, our so-called society IS SOCIOPATHIC. =(

…but we don’t have to accept it! change it!!

I BELIEVE in Gene Roddenberry’s humanistic VISION of Star Trek! <3

WE have the POWER to CREATE what we ENVISION! Make it so!!

————————————

You also posted something inspiring, Herbert. I appreciated reading it, too! And I agree on our society – at least certain aspects of it :)

41. Marja, optimistic but sometimes forgetful - July 2, 2013

Oops, Cmdr R, I didn’t credit your post either, early in the thread. One of the few posters with a positive vision, thanks for sharing it :)

42. dmduncan - July 2, 2013

All I’m saying is you can’t pass a law instituting peace on earth, and yet politics is the secular religion of many people here. Which is to say that you have no road map to get from here to there. You are in the business of creating problems not solutions. You think that by changing the external world, you will change yourselves, when it’s actually the opposite that is true.

Until you understand that to all things there is a season, that things have a place that is possible to get out of, then you won’t have any future wonderful world. You may have a more technologically advanced world, but it will still be a variegated mess of oppression and blowback.

That is where Gene Roddenberry got it wrong with Star Trek, and where Star Wars has the core of something more profound which I think helps to explain it’s much greater popularity. Many of us have an instinctive appreciation, if nothing more, that there is a balance that our world must have for us to describe it as a harmonious or wonderful place.

We don’t have that. Instead, we have overcompensation after overcompensation to perceived injustice after perceived injustice.

We are stuck, in other words, in a negative feedback loop where each response we make to “fix” something else puts us more, not less, out of balance.

If you think that makes me a pessimist, think again. I’m actually optimistic for the world we will have AFTER the transhumanist nightmare your technocratic leaders are going to try and create for you dies its deserved death.

43. dmduncan - July 2, 2013

Hey, 3D printing is great. The question is, are people now on the whole too stupid or intellectually lazy to exploit the technology? Hard to see how that revolution happens if 3D printing/CNC machining remains the hobby of a fringe economic group.

And then if it DOES happen there’s the possibility that our militaristic police state may declare 3D printers terrorists and national security threats who have to be stopped.

44. louisb - July 2, 2013

@36

Hey I loved jj’s trek and I’m not a cynic. I don’t think gene’s utopia (or any utopia) is possible, but it can definitely be a lot better than what we have now.

45. Keachick - rose pinenut - July 2, 2013

Many of the more positive technologies have to do with trying to undo the environmental harm that past technologies have produced. I’m not sure if humans are taking two steps forward and one step backwards or one step forward and two steps backwards or simply running fast on the same spot.

Then again, I suspect that most people are probably in a state of “future shock” right now, as described by the author, Alvin Tofler, in his book “Future Shock”. I read it way, way back when, so I cannot recall a lot, but I think that many people are now so overwhelmed by the sheer pace of everything.

The number of people who cannot go without a cell phone for even an hour or so while watching a movie or those who window shop while talking into a cellphone or texting is amazing and scary. Perhaps this may be one of the reasons why so many action movies have so much that is repetitive, especially violence and can go at such a pace, is because many of the audience are distracted by the ubiquitous cellphone and so do not give their full attention to the movie and therefore do not find them as fast paced, monotonous and boring.

I do not own a cell phone. There are times when I have considered getting one and learning to use, just as a matter of personal security and convenience. However, that passes fairly quickly. I try to take all reasonable precautions re my safety and that of others, but I have never really felt that afraid – not sure why. Perhaps we do have guardian angels – oh but wait, that’s just superstition, is it not?

46. Vultan - July 2, 2013

#41

I’ve been rewatching DS9 lately. The series dealt with a lot of real world issues concerning government, war, religion, the balance between freedom and security, etc. Many of the episodes are more resonant today than when they first aired, often times challenging Roddenberry’s utopian ideals.

47. Disinvited - July 2, 2013

CNET has something to add:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57591534-1/intergalactic-exchange-bureau-converts-sci-fi-currency/

LIVING THE STAR TREK LIFE:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13512_3-10236322-23.html

48. Marja - July 2, 2013

dmduncan, I cannot say I look to politics for the “cure” to humanity’s ills. I believe we are each part of an interdependent web of all existence, and that to serve our own needs, we must serve the needs of others in a spirit of Unity.

Using the Force, if you will, not force, to be in harmony with one another. Being humane while being human and forgiving ourselves and moving ahead when we stumble.

It may sound airy-fairy but I do believe in it :)

Keachick, The Rush-rush technopeople give me pause as well. I have seen people out eating dinner together (supposedly a chance to socialize and converse with and focus attention on each other) each busy texting in isolation, ignoring each other. It makes me very sad. Technocracy seems like a way to isolate people from one another, and that people give in so easily to it is disappointing.

I have a cellphone but it is what I like to call a DumbPhone; it’s my only telephone and I generally use it only to make and receive calls. As you say, though, I can remember the days when, if your car stalled out, you either walked somewhere to use a phone, or you waited for someone to stop to help. Nowadays help is closer (I once had a kind-hearted person stop and offer their cellphone so I could call a friend for help with my car, so this helpful human capacity is still there, even with the techfolk).

I hope parents will always emphasize the importance of human face to face interactions. I think part of the reason coffeehouses are thriving these days is because people are social animals.

Hmmm perhaps I need to go move among the real live humans now … love sharing opinions here on TrekMovie though (it’s my mentally stimulating discussion arena when my “f2f” friends are not available, so thank you all for the chats)!

49. Marja - July 2, 2013

we are each part of an interdependent web of all existence, and that to serve our own needs, we must serve the needs of others in a spirit of Unity.

*addendum,

and sometimes we can employ government to do this when individuals are too selfish to share.

50. VulcanFilmCritic - July 2, 2013

Does Star Trek (TOS) really portray a future utopia?
As Dom #31 and others have pointed out, the Star Trek universe is not really a happy one.

Why is there such a need for escape, as in Rigley’s Pleasure Planet?
Why do so many starship captains go completely bananas?
Why is the body count so high? ( About 20% of all of the crewmen aboard the Enterprise died during the run of the series, most from conflict rather than from the rigors of space travel.)
The majority of the inhabited galaxy outside of the Federation is under the whip of the slavery and imperialism of the Klingon and Romulan Empires.
Racism (or I guess species-ism) is alive and well in Starfleet. How many times has Dr. McCoy called Mr. Spock names that would make even Paula Deen cringe?
Why do mining officials have so much power over Starfleet? It seems the major purpose of the fleet is to control commerce and the supply of dilithium. Peacekeeping is necessary to ensure the orderly flow of trade, with exploration being secondary.

Sure, they’ve cured many diseases, but they’ve encountered even more. Sure hunger and illiteracy is a thing of the past, but at what cost? It seems that civilians that appear on the show are often quite unhappy. Tight-lipped and cranky, we hardly even meet anyone who’s truly joyful. The criminals, con men and swindlers are the only people with smiles on their faces.

Or maybe it only seems that way because we see life from the standpoint of the crew of the Enterprise. Like some sort of monastery or convent, it’s occupants all seemed to be running from something in civilian life:
The massacre of thousands of innocent people at the hands of Kodos the Executioner and a life of boring farm work (Kirk)
A repressive and xenophobic society and a controlling father. Oh, and a really unsuitable fiancee. (Spock)
A failed marriage and who-knows-what in his medical career (McCoy)

Is their universe really so different from our own?

51. dmduncan - July 2, 2013

47. Marja – July 2, 2013

we are each part of an interdependent web of all existence, and that to serve our own needs, we must serve the needs of others in a spirit of Unity.

*addendum,

and sometimes we can employ government to do this when individuals are too selfish to share.

***

Well you can employ government to do that but then you’ll have to live with the consequences.

People have been spoiled into thinking that there are no consequences to anything outside the worlds of physics or chemistry.

To get that harmonious world you all want, you need people like me to play along, but we won’t play along unless you give something up in return.

You can’t just foist YOUR idea of what that ideal world looks like and expect everyone to defend it.

It has to be a world that we universally agree on is worth defending, and the only foundation upon which to build such a thing is some kind of truth—not politically charged BS driven by emotional derangement or the desire for individual gain.

52. I am not Herbert - July 3, 2013

Marja: you are a beautiful person <3

thank you for daring to dream… ;-)

LL&P

53. Jeyl - July 3, 2013

“Mankind is no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things. We’ve eliminated hunger, want. The need for possessions. We’ve grown out of our infancy.”

Hey Gene. How did you get credit for Star Trek Theme again?

54. Marja - July 3, 2013

53 Jeyl, He jotted down the words (which are seldom sung) … but I’m pretty sure it was after the musical theme was composed ;)

51, dmduncan, “People have been spoiled into thinking that there are no consequences to anything outside the worlds of physics or chemistry.” ………………..Au contraire; I am quite well aware of the cost of divisive politics and hatred, and the costs of starting unwaarranted wars, and the fact that my taxes go in directions I don’t want them to, in spite of my voting in every local, regional and national election. I am also aware of the costs of an uneducated and disadvantaged underclass.

“To get that harmonious world you all want, you need people like me to play along, but we won’t play along unless you give something up in return.”
………………..Hmmm, what would you suggest?

Also, do you happen to subscribe to the Chicago/Milton Friedman school of Economic Theory?

50, VulcanFilmCritic, it’s time for another [all in fun] episode of …
………………………………FUN WITH RETCONNING!……………………………..
That’s right, silly and possibly reasonable answers to all your sensible questions!

And now … heeeeeeeere’s your host! Cyrano-o-o-o-o-o Jo-o-o-o-o-ones!

“Why is there such a need for escape, as in Rigley’s Pleasure Planet?”………Let’s say Wrigley’s is a place for politically incorrect behaviour, sexual and recreational, and leave it at that, friend Vulcan! ;)

“Why do so many starship captains go completely bananas?” ………..That IS a good question; this, in spite of all the Psych evaluations that Starfleet candidates supposedly undergo … shall we say, unanticipated high stress brought on by incredible, nay, nearly impossibly awful, happenings? [To wit: Commodore Decker]

“Why is the body count so high? ( About 20% of all of the crewmen aboard the Enterprise died during the run of the series, most from conflict rather than from the rigors of space travel.)” ……….These are not conflicts brought on from within the Federation though. Starfleet personnel undertake a dangerous profession to keep the Federation populace safe from outside harm. Imagine the crew of one of today’s Coast Guard high-endurance Cutters is off to rescue survivors of a shipwreck and meets a … I don’t know, Big Giant Hostile Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, and the crew rescues the people and most of the crew live to tell the tale. Again, incredible, nay, nearly impossible, happenings, &c.

“The majority of the inhabited galaxy outside of the Federation is under the whip of the slavery and imperialism of the Klingon and Romulan Empires.” ……..Whew, glad most of “our” civilians live in the Federation.

“Racism (or I guess species-ism) is alive and well in Starfleet. How many times has Dr. McCoy called Mr. Spock names that would make even Paula Deen cringe?”…………..Yeah, unfortunately TOS was written before the days when military and business people were brought up on charges or sued for hostile language in the workplace. I HATE seeing that now, MCoy does sound like a total racist. He grew up not far from Paula Deen’s neighborhood btw … hmmm, maybe he ate one too many hamburgers with Krispy Kreme Donut “burger buns”… arterial plaque isn’t pretty, especially in the brain … could it have affected McCoy’s social centers? Yeah, that’s it

“Why do mining officials have so much power over Starfleet? It seems the major purpose of the fleet is to control commerce and the supply of dilithium. Peacekeeping is necessary to ensure the orderly flow of trade, with exploration being secondary.” ………… This is indeed food for thought, though without the delicious Krispy Kreme donuts. Seeing as the precious resource Dilithium is also demanded by Klingons and Romulans and other hostiles to power *their* warp drives, mining planets could be subject to pirate operations, hostage situations and more from the *known* population of the galaxy (additionally, the more the hostiles are deprived of resources necessary to space travel, the more likely they’ll stay on their own patch); then you have Horta … I don’t know if the mining officials wield extraordinary power over Starfleet, but it seems similar to our world today, with dangers to our supply of fossil fuels and so on. It seems UNCOMFORTABLY close to the world of today. But Roddenberry did want to tell allegorical stories.

“Sure, they’ve cured many diseases, but they’ve encountered even more. Sure hunger and illiteracy is a thing of the past, but at what cost? It seems that civilians that appear on the show are often quite unhappy. Tight-lipped and cranky, we hardly even meet anyone who’s truly joyful.” ………Like police, Starfleet personnel probably seldom meet individuals whose lives are in great shape. In between exploring, which face it, a lot of that is boring ol’ cartographic or planetary surveys, they answer the call for help or the need for order. And who knows, maybe crankyass pompous Nilz Barris had his whole family killed by the flying-fried-egg critters on Deneva [whose population also had cause to be unhappy], or lost a brother to the Horta, or family members to Romulan or Klingon incursions across the Neutral Zone or other boundaries. I bet the Karidian Players were joyful, doing what they loved for a living, until the Terrible Truth was Revealed about their lead player. And those Space Hippies, wow, except for Dr. Severin, a happy if rebellious bunch, till they got to Eden. And hey, for a logical Vulcan, T’Pring may have been happy as heck getting it on with Stonn ….

“The criminals, con men and swindlers are the only people with smiles on their faces.” …………But wouldn’t you smile if you were a naughty pussums who liked the idea of screwing over the sort of people you probably find goody-goody and puffed up? Especially if you were, say, a sorta selfish type who didn’t want to play along with the established society [Harry Mudd]? Or a type who was bitter because all his sisters were Starfleet security and met the inevitable horrid end? Yeahhh, stick it to The Man [Starfleet]! But heck, Cyrano Jones, our host, probably enjoys being a Free Spirit, and certainly enjoyed talking with the lovely Uhura … “as who would not, friend Vulcan?”

“Is their universe really so different from our own?” ………..Ehhh, maybe not so different, but a step or two ahead of where we are now, maybe? It’s only what, 200-250 years down the road.

I had fun playing …

55. dmduncan - July 3, 2013

54. Marja – July 3, 2013

I am quite well aware of the cost of divisive politics and hatred, and the costs of starting unwaarranted wars, and the fact that my taxes go in directions I don’t want them to, in spite of my voting in every local, regional and national election.

Also, do you happen to subscribe to the Chicago/Milton Friedman school of Economic Theory?

***

To the first thing: I don’t know what your politics are, but IF you think of yourself as a progressive or liberal, then you probably think reality is whatever you can vote into being, and that’s why you put so much faith in the state. And then that after you have voted your world into being, the only thing you have to worry about is the wicked republican destroying the beautiful thing you have created. How what you create actually works doesn’t matter because..well…because you want it! And what you want, save for chemical reactions and which way things fall when you drop them which you have the good sense not to challenge, always works out the way you want because the rest of the universe has no say in the matter of the world you create so long as you respect chemistry and physics.

That’s the peculiar fairy tale of the modern world which is the direct consequence of some false beliefs propagated society-wide through every portal of consciousness.

And since you never quite get that world through the vote, because the wicked repubs keep foiling your plans, you keep trying and trying and trying, because it’s the only process you have, and you believe that the day will come when everything will click into place and it will all finally come true. Your faith and effort will be rewarded if you just don’t give up on the process.

But while repubs may take a lot of heat for standing in your way all the time it is a huge mistake to believe that their standing in your way is the problem. It’s the quality of the things you want that is the far bigger problem.

Also, no, I am not a republican. Pointing out here that repubs are the least of your problems does not make me one. Besides, the difference between liberals and repubs is frequently the difference between one side of a split hair and the other. So…that’s how that is…

To the second thing: I am beyond all that left/right economic nonsense and the specific ways you folks argue about how to divide up and count who gets what. I’m not a bean counter and my disdain for money and the people who worship it is rather strong, though not as strong as my disdain for those who think my life is for more “powerful” people to shape and control.

You see, I’m just in that group of people who knows that you can’t have the world you want without our participation. Not because we have money or power, but because we have the knowledge that just saying no, that is, merely by remaining unconquered and unconverted to your faith, is enough to eventually make you lose yours and spiral whatever society you create out of control.

56. Harry Ballz - July 3, 2013

dmduncan

I’m curious…..you should write books. I’m serious. You are THAT good.

Have you ever considered it?

57. harry mudd - July 4, 2013

I think alot of people who post on this topic have alot to learn about capitalism. The elephant in the room here is that the alternative to capitalism is communism,… Along with a few stops between the two along the way. They don’t come out and boldly say in Star Trek that this is the system that we live under here in the 23rd and 24th centuries, but essentially, isn’t that what it is??? Socialists believe that why the things they want to do doesn’t work is because they haven’t been allowed to do “enough” of it yet. They never consider that what they want to do is just plain wrong to begin with. The goal for utopian society may be an admirable one, but their methods of achieving it is not sound. And all the things that we have now?…… Make no mistake,…. Capitalism paid the bills for it.

58. dmduncan - July 4, 2013

56. Harry Ballz – July 3, 2013

Thanks Harry!

I may turn out a few, in time.

59. Melllvar - July 4, 2013

Optimism I believe is crucial in realising any superior future because, clearly, if we continue thinking that selfishness is an inherent quality of the human condition, I think that belief effectively removes the responsibility from people to work toward making the better future.

If you say ‘people are selfish, hence nothing I can do will make a difference’ then that is precisely correct; but it is only so because you yourself believe it to be true. There are indeed living examples of cultures and groups of humans in our world who live selflessly and do not experience emotions like greed or a desire for ownership — watch the first 5 minutes of the film ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’ for a perfect example of this!

The false promise of materialism has many people searching for outside influences or possessions to make them feel happy, but in my view, any thoughtful person can clearly see that happiness comes from the inside and simply the act of drawing breath is most beautiful exhilarating than anything that money can give you. The responsibility is ours to look past these illusions and recognise that these values are being imposed upon us by the very very rich, who have the obvious ulterior motive of keeping everyone blinded to the truth and thus preserve their position on the top of the pile by ensuring that everyone will continue working for decades but never truly acquiring enough things to actually experience the happiness they are promised by the advertising industry, which by it’s very nature is inherently dishonest! This system may give joy to the Ferengi but it will be shortlived on Earth in my opinion.

‘Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery’ — Bob Marley

The future is just beginning. There is no reason to think that a group of dedicated citizens can’t bring about change in the world — this is, in fact, the only way that this has ever happened, anywhere, ever.

We know what we have to do — any claim that ‘humanity is selfish’ is a total cop-out and removes any responsibility to pitch in and build a better future. It doesn’t have to be this way ;)

60. VulcanFilmCritic - July 5, 2013

@54 Marja Thanks for answering my (rhetorical) questions. My point being merely to show that the universe described in Star Trek:TOS is NOT a utopia.
The planet of the people of Vol is a utopia, and utopias are generally dramatically boring.

61. Jeyl - July 5, 2013

54. Marja – “He jotted down the words (which are seldom sung) … but I’m pretty sure it was after the musical theme was composed ;)”

The words were never sung in Star Trek because Gene never intended them to be used at all. Why? Because if he writes lyrics and submits them, he will get half of the royalties whenever it’s used. The man who used his show to preach about how greed is evil and that the mere idea of possessing things is infantile, is not above ripping off an artist who was simply using his talents to earn a living. And now every time we see “Star Trek Theme by”, it has to include Gene Roddenberry’s name even though his contributions are nowhere present in the actual theme.

62. Neal - July 5, 2013

I have always tried to be an optimistic person. It would be nice to go a day without hearing about money being squandered, people being killed, no one dying of incurable diseases, or people going hungry. It’s hard to see Gene’s vision these days because how….bleak things are at this time. There is so much civil unrest in the world, you begin to wonder how long it will be before it’s more like something out of any and all of the post apocalyptic story we had seen or read over the years. The thing that we need to remember is that the universe of Star Trek is still two or three hundred years away. That’s a lot of time for things to change. Remember, there was a 3rd World War in the Star Trek ‘verse that killed 600 million. There was the Eugenics War with Khan before we finally got to Gene’s vision. Spock said, “There are always possibilities.” I think hat is something worth keeping in mind.

63. Marja - July 5, 2013

61 Jeyl, Gotcha, I remembered something about his never intending to use the lyrics in the broadcasts but couldn’t access the accurate info at the time, thus my use of “jotted down” and “after the music” ;) Gene was quite the capitalist in his day; Nimoy recounts his discomfort at having to wear and explain the IDIC symbol in [I think the episode was] “Is There in Truth No Beauty” not for plot advancement but so GR could sell the symbol thru Lincoln Enterprises.

60, Vulcan, I had fun :) Absolutely you are right; I feel strongly that some humans will advance in spite of their basic nature, while others remain entrenched in the ideas that hold us back. An unfortunate part of our nature is the idiosyncratic desire to differ from others, either by cynicism, some philosophy, or simply the desire to control others by denying what could advance the cause of humanism or simple humane-ness [sic, not sure it's a word.] Those who firmly believe they are right in their view of humanity and human goals can be directly opposed in their beliefs; witness myself and others on this board.

As a Progressive/Green I am depressed by the politics of suppression and restriction, but my opponents, be they Liberterians, Anarchists, Republicans, or “other,” may have a completely different view of what is being suppressed and what, restricted, from mine.

While I would favor an “Occupy Wall Street” type of people’s revolution, others might favor an NRA-type of revolution. Who can say what would happen then.

So long as we can remain civil in our discussions, I have hope; however I have noted that Progressives often lose elections because they aren’t as good at defining issues in stark terms as their opponents. And nor are they as good at the command of money, which is now endemic in politics, governments local, national, and international and the discussion of human interests.

64. Dswynne - July 5, 2013

My problem with so-called progressives is not their desire to improve the human condition, is that they tend to insult people who wish to maintain their their own traditions. There is a qoute from Woodrow Wilson that perfectly illustrates the contempt that progressives have for those who espouse contrary views from them: ‘A conservative is someone who makes no changes and consults his grandmother when in doubt.’ This highlights the idea, as far as progressives are concerned, that lessons cannot be learned from history, or that there are reasons why older ideas have endured.

I am for an egalitarian society, I rather achieve one through deliberation, rather than be emotion.

65. Phil - July 5, 2013

I suppose to understand what utopia might be, it’s not a bad idea to understand what it isn’t…from the WSJ

The idea, says Mr. Park, is that even in North Korea “the truth can set you free”—but only if you have access to it. “We don’t want the South Korean government or the U.S. government to start a war,” he says. “What we’re waiting for is to change the [Pyongyang] regime by the hands of North Koreans who are educated with the truth. . . . That’s the only way we can give freedom to the 24 million people in North Korea.”

Here’s the full article…
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324853704578585961242121902.html?ru=yahoo?mod=yahoo_itp

The point being, perhaps we are closer to it then we think. Freedom doesn’t necessarily mean equality, but access to opportunity. The individual, when free to improve themselves, can achieve great things. The operative work is can, and there are no guarantees of equal outcomes. So, even in Trek’s future, there will be captains, and presidents, and skilled professions…living and working well with welders, craftsmen, and lounge singers. As long as there are no barriers to change, and all are happy, who’s to say that’s not a step in the right direction. Each has it’s own value, but it has to have value. When law strips value from skills and possessions, when it says a bag of gold has no more value then a bag of s**t, why pursue anything if nothing has value? That’s not utopia, that’s oppression.

66. Ivan_The_Tribble - July 6, 2013

In my opinion, Star Trek manages to merge communist ideals and democratic values – an admirable achievement, in itself. A dialogue is always better, than a confrontation. One of the reasons I like Trek, is the fact that it reminds a lot of the type of SF I grew up with (I’m from Russia, and I’m old enough to remember the soviet days). Trek only made it to the Russian screens after the fall of communism – it’s emphasis on respecting human rights, democratic society, etc didn’t fit in the soviet worldview. Nevertheless – lots of things in Trek look familiar to someone, who’s grown up in the USSR..

Speaking of optimism – it reminds of a song, which is set to loud music, yet with barely-audible vocals. We can *feel* optimistic, but – it’s difficult to put that feeling into words/apply it to generate useful ideas. In my opinion, Roddenberry had the ability to make out the words amid the music. Not many people can.. And I think that his belief in humanity is justified.. In any case – all attempts to build a brighter future should be based on respect for human life and human dignity…

67. Marja - July 6, 2013

I am neither in favor of communism or a utopia.

I am more in favor of socialism, and a society where effort is still rewarded. But should it be effort predicated on greed, or the effort that comes from a desire to express the highest urgings in oneself?

I do not agree that “capitalism has paid for” all of society. The cost of *unfettered* greed in capitalism [not all capitalism] to the working poor [who are certainly expending effort, simply to survive and feed their children] and the infirm and elderly, has been considerable and has led to misery and premature death.

The cost of tax subsidies going to corporations and the huge earnings of CEOs and others [who nowadays often make 28 TIMES what their workers make, when in most countries the ratio is about 8:1] has reduced funding fot the public good. Funding for the public good doesn’t equate to supporting “lazy” “welfare queens” – it goes to public works projects, which can train the untrained to learn the habits of a good working life, funds road building and dams and fire departments and police, which are used by EVERYONE, even the oligarchs; also to our Coast Guard and military folk who are there to defend our country and its interests [unfortunately those "national interests" lately seem often to be in freeing up commerce, as in Iraq, where we "had to" insure the flow of oil to the West, and were told it was to take down Saddam, who 15 years earlier had been one of our "friends" in the region. My statement is not meant to defame, demoralize, or denigrate those who served there. They had laudabel goals to serve in the military - it is those who make decisions about making war who are to blame.]

Yes, Utopia would be boring. But a country in which artists would be granted the same respect as CEOs et. al.; where workers are honored with decent working hours and a decent standard of living; where CEOs are not paid for corporate piracy and laying off thousands of workers to increase profits to shareholders; in which taxes are garnered equally from the elite rich as they are from the middle and lower classes, in which people are not dying for lack of medical care, would be a wonderful country indeed.

So Ivan, I agree so much with this “In my opinion, Star Trek manages to merge communist ideals and democratic values – an admirable achievement, in itself. A dialogue is always better, than a confrontation.[and] And I think that his belief in humanity is justified.. In any case – all attempts to build a brighter future should be based on respect for human life and human dignity… ”
[btw Ivan, you have also made me curious about the term SF.]

That is the sort of thing I mean.

68. CmdBremmon - July 6, 2013

The revisionism surrounding the original ideals behind Star Trek is unfortunate; especially the revisionism shown by Gene Roddenbery himself who seemed to get caught up in the idea of becoming a near messiah for a new socialist movement. Gene Roddenbery the 60s former cop writing “Wagon Train to the Stars” was simply more fun and more optimistic with respect to today humanity than the socialist Roddenbery of the 80s.
When one views the Original Series and reads “The Making of Star Trek” (TOS) and even the novel adaption of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” (credited with Gene Roddenbery as author) one sees that the “optimistic future” of Star Trek is that today’s humanity can and will succeed in tomorrow’s future! The whole concept of Star Trek in fact was “Wagon Train to the Stars” i.e. this is a “Western” in space where the core ideals of man (need to explore, need to grow, ego, love, competitiveness, etc) are still there however have led to a future where we are exploring space and have conquered disease, poverty, etc. Above all in the original series was the idea that the capitalist United States has succeeded (Roddenbery’s proposed pilot was the Omega Glory where the freedom loving “Yangs” defeated the “Kohms” with Kirk preaching the glories of the American Constitution. He then writes “A Private Little War” in support of the Vietnam war and in the “Star Trek writers guide” compares Kirk to that of a US Destroyer Captain. There is money – the miners are getting paid, Tribbles are bought with “credits”, Scotty comments on his salary and the Federation and Klingons (the evil empire equivalent to the Soviet Union) compete over dilithium crystals (economics are alive and well). And there is religion – The Enterprise has a chapel, people get married, Kirk and bridge crew smile when they hear a planet isn’t worshipping the Sun but “The son of God” in “Bread and Circuses”. And Starfleet is like the armed forces, with ranks and Kirk exclaiming “I’m a soldier, not a diplomat!”. And what is fantastic is that humanity has succeeded – capitalism and democracy have channelled humanity’s competitive nature to exploring beyond Earth, ending hunger, solving diseases, putting aside differences and boldly going where non have gone before.
And it is exciting! Individualism is alive and well in addition to drama. There is conflict, it just has to get resolved. Indeed in “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” Roddenbery notes that “new humans” who have learned to reject competition are UNABLE TO HANDLE SPACE EXPLORATION and end up going CRAZY to the point that Starfleet decides only to hire “old humans” like Kirk!!
Unfortunately Roddenbery seemed to love all the exposure he was getting as a “new age humanist” at the same time he became a strident athest. The end result was TNG where he attempted to erase TOS – the Enterprise and Starfleet were just explores (families on the ship), the capitalists were the evil Ferengi (who were supposed to be the real bad guys of the series), the Klingons were now in the Federation and religion was out with no conflict among the crew. Ironically TNG ended up so boring in the first season that as he stepped aside that the writers created the Borg as a replacement for the Ferengi , the supreme irony of course that the unimind collective where the individuality is sacrificed for the common good . The ultimate lesson is that the former Wagon Train to the Stars writer turned semi-messiah for the socialist movement ended up indirectly creating the ultimate socialist bad guys (and in rejecting the socialist movement made TNG semi watchable!).

69. dmduncan - July 7, 2013

Our Freemason/Rosicrucian/Hermeticist founding fathers saw America—the New World—as a kind of chance at utopia. It was to be a “new order of the ages,” an idea that those of us who are familiar with the words of GHW Bush knows has a remarkable constancy considering the dates those words were first created and the dates that he so often used a version of them.

And Washington DC was to be a kind of “Civitas Solis” where the hermetic-scientific ideal was to be realized in the very design of the city.

As above, so below.

And what happened was that instead of getting heaven on earth we got one of the biggest centers, if not the biggest center, of corruption on earth.

Sic itur ad astra.

Trying to establish stability from unstable footing guarantees that you will eventually be twice as disappointed as you would have been had you done nothing to “right” things.

That is to say, you cannot reach a “sacred” ending by “secular” means, yet that is precisely what utopianists invariably try to do, time after time. They believe that the end sanctifies the means. But in fact, the worthy ending you intend is destroyed by the awful means you use to (try to) create it.

The ending will take care of itself if individuals focus on being themselves the right means. Instead, people who cannot govern themselves seek and are rewarded by you with the power to govern everybody else.

How you think you are ever going to get to anyplace worth being by doing that, is a mystery to me.

But then again, there is nothing sacred to so many of you people; you are doing your best to render the idea obsolete. And to the extent that you are successful you no longer even have the vocabulary, the concept, of what it is that you need to be the means to a happy ending—you are like mice that forgot they eat cheese, trapped and starving in a maze made of cheese.

70. Exverlobter - July 7, 2013

Star Trek is an Utopia Bla Bla Bla,
i just cant hear it anymore!
Star Trek was always a space-adventure show first, but some dudes who take it way too seriously see some sort of vision in it which is just laughable. At least from the standpoint of of TOS before TNG was shot.

I agree some episodes of early TNG were quite pompous and preachy about the supposed “better future” but you can count them with just one hand. After Season 2 Gene lost more and more his strict creative control due to his illness and the successors tried to approach the whole show again a little bit more realistically.
I never cared about the no money, better future stuff etc. some fans claim the show is primarily about.
I watched the show for the characters, the friendhip, the adventure but not because of a supposed better portrayal of mankind.

71. Marja - July 7, 2013

CDR Bremmon “Ironically TNG ended up so boring in the first season that as he stepped aside that the writers created the Borg as a replacement for the Ferengi , the supreme irony of course that the unimind collective where the individuality is sacrificed for the common good .”

… annnnd open for interpretation to each of us. I believe the Borg were a symbol of a society run amok with technology, in which the technology took over and “believed” itself perfect, thus everyone had to be technically improved.

To me that is a satiric comment on the “need” for iPhones, iPads, and other technology that is stripping people’s minds away from what it means to be Human with an imagination [because it can all supposedly be ABSORBED thru technology].

72. michael K - July 7, 2013

The documentary “the venus project” adresses a moneyless high tech society with a resourced based economy. I do want to point out the the bill gates foundation is one we better do away with because of its strong ties to monsanto.

73. VulcanFilmCritic - July 7, 2013

@ michael K. Yeah, Jacque Fresco is an interesting guy, but I’d rather visit one of grand projects rather than live in one.
Syd Mead’s view of the future (the US Steel stuff, not the “Blade Runner” stuff) is where I’d like to live.

74. Dom - July 8, 2013

68. CmdBremmon

Brilliantly put! I totally agree. I loathe the Soviet Federation of Planets that Rodders and his gang propagandised in TNG. It makes me wonder what horrors got committed between the Kirk era and Picard era to cause it: to abolish all religious thought, there must have been mass exterminations of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus . . . you name them, they must have been murdered, arrested or exiled. Rock stars obviously are verboten and the only kind of 20th century music anyone seems to listen to is classic Jazz. Clearly no one listens to The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Madonna, Guns’n'Roses or even Hole!!! Look at the evils committed by communist societies in the twentieth century and you realise the same thing was likely done to make the ‘Federation’ of TNG.

Then you have the Starfleet’s move from exploration to ‘teaching,’ as humans were no longer learning, but busy telling other races how much better humans are than them.

I cringed from the moment I saw what Rodders had done when I saw Farpoint and I haven’t changed from that. What he did was make a nasty, preachy, piece of communist propaganda and stole the Star Trek name to do it.

Even worse, TNG fans pushed out the original show’s fans, with even the original characters steadily being retconned into the TNG mindset as they popped up in TNG. While TNG fans out there moan about JJ Abrams’ new Trek not being ‘intellectual’ enough (‘Oh my atheist non-deity! Carol Marcus has girl parts!!) I see Star Trek now being redirected away from the horrors of TNG and brought back to its action-adventure roots.

Before TNG, TOS and its subculture had a much bigger, more exciting universe, more dangerous, definitely with darker aspects and was full of merchants and prospectors, entrepreneurs and people out to make something out of themselves, rather than existing in a smaller universe where money has been made illegal, esoteric thought forbidden and conformity the requirement (look at how Barclay is sneered at and abused.)

The best thing about Star Trek: Nemesis is that the scales fell from the eyes of the general public with that film and they realised what rot the modern Treks were and turned away from Berman’s shows and movies en masse.

Academic types love the idea of communist utopias, but, at the end of the day, they’ll be the ones sipping champagne while statistical anomalies (ie people who disagree with them) are being locked up and ‘cleansed’ in death camps!

75. Cmd.Bremmon - July 8, 2013

@71 Marja Re: The Borg as “socialists” vs “society run amok with technology”

To each their own however I hope you can understand that I find your interpretation is in line with the idea that revisionism is taking place where the TOS “Wagon Train to the Stars”/”today’s humans succeed in tomorrow’s future” is out of step with the arguments of the socialist movement (TNG’s utopia).

TOS had people running around with iphones (communicators), Ipads (PADDs), computers, food replicators, etc. TNG took that to a whole new level where everyone ALWAYS had their communicator badge, did not drink non synthetic alcohol and some lived their lives in a holodeck. I hope you can forgive me then when I just don’t see the Borg as crossing the line into “society run amok with technology” especially with respect to the quote “need” for iPhones, iPads, and other technology that is stripping people’s minds away from what it means to be Human with an imagination [because it can all supposedly be ABSORBED thru technology].” TOS showed that humanity could use new technology as a tool and never stop growing. The TOS writers guide even argues that a phaser should be looked at like a gun, the Enterprise as a frigate, etc – that humanity will survive, adapt and proposer (yes, TOS Roddenbery even ends up naming his ship after a US aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise… and ironically his original name “Yorktown” not only a warship but a tip of the hat to the Amercian revolution, something I am sure his TNG self would later regret!).

As for the Borg socialist connotations (which TNG Roddenbery would probably never have approved of).. the Borg come along and force all individual liberties to be given up for the collective good (“the collective”), taking all the best of the individuals and supposedly ignoring the worst. They have no money, they work only for the “collective” good and bettering themselves, they believe what they are doing is right regardless of the cost to individuals, they will achieve intellectual perfection, etc. I don’t know how more socialist a society could get….

And dare we compare how scary the after-TNG Roddenbery Bog became vs the planned bad guys for TNG when TNG Roddenbery was around (the capitalist Ferengi). Both in my opinion however were never half as fun as the Soviet Klingon’s of TOS Roddenbery (more even match). Again TOS Roddenbery, the ex-cop turned writer with “Wagon Train to the Stars” was at the very least just way more fun.

76. Xplodin_Nacelle - July 8, 2013

Idk, I hope society gets to utopia, but it seems to me that there are too many people out there that are narrow minded (and that’s just in the U.S.).

77. Dom - July 8, 2013

It’s not that people are ‘narrow-minded:’ rather they have their constitutionally-enshrined right to disagree. The trouble with a Utopia is that everyone has to be on the same page. If you’re not, how do the Dear Leaders and Great Leaders deal with you? Usually it’s death camps, pogroms and mass exile. Believe me, prosperity is something to hope for, while Utopia is not!

78. Marja - July 8, 2013

Dom, Bremmon, dm,

Just seems like there’s more of a way to meet in the middle than seems to be expressed here.

I’m not looking to ban religion, if you like religion, that’s fine, just don’t make me swallow it whole and don’t kill others who don’t believe the way you feel they should. That includes the religion of money and capitalism. I don’t object to money [obviously, I need it to live in contemporary society, but I happen to remember that others need it to live also] and I am fine with capitalism, as long as it’s *regulated.* I don’t want to live in a world polluted by the selfish, ruled by the selfish, for the benefit only of themselves.

Again, I’m not arguing for Utopia, because I know how quickly things can become perverted by the selfish elite to benefit themselves while ripping off the proles.

I’m in favor of a reasonable society where concern and compassion for our fellow beings is the model rather than “getting mine” and “getting over on You People.”

Libertarianism is as much of a dream of a utopia as Communism. Neither truly serves human beings.

79. dmduncan - July 8, 2013

Yeah, “narrow minded” is code for not being open to doing whatever is necessary to achieve some highly dubious end.

Native Americas had their land stolen from them and they got sheltered on reservations because they were in the way of some utopian plan for America as the New Atlantis, by men who transplanted european-hatched ideals of universal brotherhood, or cosmopolitanism.

Words are cheap, and never more so than when they come from liars.

80. Stefano G - July 9, 2013

the point is: what we can do for the others and what for ourselves…when the second point is over the first…we solve the problem and go (boldly) in the future.

81. Dom - July 9, 2013

78. Marja

‘Dom, Bremmon, dm, Just seems like there’s more of a way to meet in the middle than seems to be expressed here.’

The ‘third way’ usually just ends up with busybodies telling us how to behave in our own homes.

‘I’m not looking to ban religion, if you like religion, that’s fine, just don’t make me swallow it whole and don’t kill others who don’t believe the way you feel they should.’

Globally, most religious people don’t force their beliefs on anyone. Even most ‘religious wars’ in the past were a result of unscrupulous people using religion as an excuse, when really most of the battles were over land ownership. Communist states based their very existence on persecuting religious people and the extermination of religion. You want to see the true mass-murderers of the twentieth century, it’s the men who worshipped the human form and sought to perfect it: the communist states and the left wing black magic cult of Nazism who are the ones you should look at. Roddenberry’s obsession with the perfectibility of the human race, naively, reflects that.

‘That includes the religion of money and capitalism.’

Money isn’t a religion. Capitalism is a philosophy or concept. Let’s keep things away from getting to ‘smiley, hippy dippy!’ ;)

‘I don’t object to money [obviously, I need it to live in contemporary society, but I happen to remember that others need it to live also] and I am fine with capitalism, as long as it’s *regulated.* I don’t want to live in a world polluted by the selfish, ruled by the selfish, for the benefit only of themselves.’

The ability to create something and sell it to people to improve your life and not be taxed for it is the greatest example of freedom in the world. Capitalism can facilitate that. Oversized welfare states destroy that by stealing all your profits. A degree of regulation is always an option, but less is generally more.

‘Again, I’m not arguing for Utopia, because I know how quickly things can become perverted by the selfish elite to benefit themselves while ripping off the proles.’

Yep. Utopia is an unachievable concept. Incidentally, the original concepts in Utopia, when written, involved killing off the sick, the elderly and disabled. When people talk of a ‘Utopia,’ they need realise what they’re signing up for.

‘I’m in favor of a reasonable society where concern and compassion for our fellow beings is the model rather than “getting mine” and “getting over on You People.”’

That doesn’t really happen that much. Most people are pretty easygoing. The ‘selfish’ stereotype is used by people who are envious of other people who are faring better than they are. Casual, yobbish disrespect for others is, sadly, seen in all classes and walks of life.

‘Libertarianism is as much of a dream of a utopia as Communism. Neither truly serves human beings.’

Libertarianism is the doctrine of free will. Communism is about slavery, essentially wiping out the middle class to create a rich elite of leaders (who ‘always’ know best!) and keeping everyone else ‘equal’ at the bottom of the scrapheap with no social mobility and using a network of spies and secret police to maintain order.

As I say, the Roddenberry world view has to be forced on people, which is selfish. His idealised Trekverse sees religious freedom curtailed, the right to make money banned, effectively making everyone subject to a welfare state and preventing trade and transport outside of Federation borders. I mean, if there’s no money allowed in the Federation, how do you buy a beer in a non-Federation bar? It’s a place without hope and not a future worth living in. The universe of the original Trek was infinitely scarier and more dangerous, but it was a place of freedom, hope and adventure.

82. Star Trek: Nemesis blows, is the point - July 9, 2013

Everybody forgets this:

To get to Roddenberry’s utopia, World War III has to happen first.

83. dmduncan - July 9, 2013

More murder has probably been committed “for the good of mankind” than for any other cause.

As long as you have centralized power you are going to attract riff raff who want it. The greater the power you centralize, the riffier the raff you will get.

84. Phil - July 9, 2013

Dear old dad, God rest his soul, often mentioned that the road to hell is usually paved with good intentions. Centralized power has snaked it’s tendrils into just about every aspect of daily life, and we continue to deny it’s true cost….until one day, the freedom we claim to cherish is gone in the name of safety, compassion, and confusing equal opportunity with equal outcome.

85. Cmd.Bremmon - July 9, 2013

@ 82

To be honest those getting their worldview from a TV show over history, while TOS is certainly “Wagon Train to the Stars” you should not decide to dislike socialism simply because of it (or like socialism because of TNG).

More relevant to this form is just how boring TNG is because of it’s worldview in contrast to TOS. In TNG the Enterprise ship can’t really defend itself because “we’ve moved beyond violence” to the point a single shot disables the warp nacelles. The ship is full of family members too so it would really be unethical to take her into battle. The crew can’t really contrast or have unique points of view because “we’ve moved beyond individualism”. People aren’t taking crazy risks because there is no reward, everyone is already rewarded because we are on the road to perfection of course. They can’t see the good in unique individual civilizations because anything different doesn’t fit into the utopia. The bad guys are the.. wait for it.. Ferengi because they have money, what a threat. Starfleet Command is always right because a central bureaucracy always does everything right. And since humanity is so enlightened why even explore the universe, we can just sit in our holodecks with our infinite energy.

Dare we compare that to “wagon train to the stars” where risks are taken every day, the Federation needs dilithium to power the ships, the Enterprise is a heavy cruiser, we are out to learn everything because we want to grow the Klingons are out to conquer the Federation, it’s a miracle the Federation is bringing everyone together and succeeding and the crew is often at odds with each other. It’s just more exciting. It’s more fun to watch.

TNG writers of course figured that out, ditched Roddenbery’s utopia and brought in the Borg. DS9 then brought back religion, war, galaxy on the verge of destruction, etc. Unfortunately the damage of TNG first season was done and the prime universe was destined to boldly bore itself to extinction.

Regardless of the politics, the TOS worldview is more fun and exciting. Since Star Trek is an entertainment, let’s stick with the more fun worldview please.

86. Marja - July 9, 2013

Actually, CdrB, I learned a lot of my values from peaceniks in the Viet Nam war [John Kerry, most notably] and even from Star Trek, Spock, most notably, who did not generally go into battle or use his phaser except to defend.

But I agree wholeheartedly. TNG was quite unpalatable in the first two seasons and only revived when they brought on Ron Moore as a writer. His very first episode revived my hopes that the show might become more interesting.

Just saw “Trek Nation” last night on Netflix, the reflections of his dad by Rod Roddenberry. At times near hagiography, but the question of TNG and the Utopia premise was addressed, and by Ron Moore, no less. :)

But in TNG – this is, admittedly, in Season 3, the TNG crew has some differences, e.g., Crusher and Picard clash over the rebellion led by Kyril Finn in “The High Ground”.

But the adherence to the Prime Directive was maddening in TNG. It did sometimes serve to introduce plot complications against which writers [and characters] had to strive and thus increase the drama, but most of the time, AGGGHHH!

Your third paragraph reflects not only why I enjoyed much of TOS, but why I also enjoyed “Enterprise.” I haven’t seen DS9 beyond about Season 3 or 4, sadly, but will do eventually, I think. I do like its dangers, Dax, Garak, Kira, Odo, O’Brien, and Sisko, not to mention listening to Avery Brooks’ superb bass voice.

87. Vultan - July 9, 2013

#86

Marja, you can watch DS9 for free on CBS.com, along with the other series.

http://www.cbs.com/shows/star_trek_deep_space_9/video/zbYJuXEpNDasxVJf48I7BRo3vg5ogjuF/star-trek-deep-space-nine-the-emissary-pilot-part-1

Enjoy!

88. Joe - July 9, 2013

And so Trek Movie goes into Darkness for the next two years.

89. Phil - July 9, 2013

@86. The Prime Directive lectures in Voyager were horrible, too. Janeway would give some lecture about leaving no stone unturned to get the crew home quickly….unless it involved some violation of the Prime Directive. Never mind that, 70,000 light years from Federation territory that they were no where near the Prime Directive’s jurisdiction….

90. Cmd.Bremmon - July 10, 2013

86. Marja

Ironic that you would learn from the peaceniks in the Viet Nam war while 60′s Roddenbery along with Kirk and crew were pro-Vietnam War as evident in “A Private Little War” (screenplay written by Gene Roddenbery). There Kirk reluctantly orders Mr. Scott to manufacture and beam down a hundred of the flintlocks and ammunition for the tribesmen to put them on even footing to fight the Soviets *cough* I mean Klingons.

Again, not saying who is right and wrong, but it made for a fun controversial episode with lots of action.

91. Disinvited - July 10, 2013

#90. Cmd.Bremmon – July 10, 2013

I do recall extreme similarities to the U.S. beginning involvement there but I don’t recall Kirk providing troops. However, I do recall some mention of the need for instruction on using and maintaining the weapons and the providing of “instructors” and “observers” has been used to get the foot in that door before.

92. Vultan - July 10, 2013

#89

“Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching.”

93. Marja - July 11, 2013

#90, Cmd B,
It’s not ironic at all; a lot of my values are reflected by Spock and McCoy :)
Plus, in “A Private Little War” many aspects of the war in Viet Nam were explored ever-so-briefly in the episode … Spock’s injury (a neutral party to the conflict, damage done) … McCoy’s condemnation of Kirk’s decision … Kirk’s conflict over making it … and that it was the worst kind of violation of the Prime Directive (which directive turned out to be a huge pain in the ass for TOS writers, too).

94. Marja - July 12, 2013

89 Phil, Oh, god, there was so much about Voyager that was horrible. It had its good points, but the technobabble and the constant plot device of “10 minutes before we’re all blown to smithereens” got SOOOooo old. I think I stopped watching at the end of Season 3 … “Belanna! How much time do we have?”

95. Greg - July 12, 2013

This fallen, depraved world has no future of it’s own merits.

Only God can save us.

96. Ed - July 13, 2013

Very true Greg for anyone religious. Truth of the matter is we are a flawed imperfect people at the moment of birth. All throughout human history we always try to control, divide and fight one another. Government does this best, however as long as we live in this current world, we will always try to control and manipulate and no matter how much we strive toward a libertarian society, there will always be those who want the state around. We are to dependent on central powers, too lazy, to hateful, to fearful and a small handful may make it through at best. There is no evolving toward a one hundred percent stateless utopia, nor some silly notion of a peaceful state collective, nor a government somehow making promises, taking care of us while behind the curtain going to war, taxing us to death, creating a police state and dividing families through the welfare state.

97. I am not Herbert - July 15, 2013

A short introduction to the Galactic Federation of Light…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Jn05E0KEdpY

Sharing this video would be a great contribution to the First Contact Mission… very inspirational! <3

"The different names mentioned – Galactic Federation; Galactic Federation of Stellar Nations; Galactic Federation of Planets; and United Federation of Planets – refer to the same organisation, although the latter designation of United Federation of Planets is taken from a well-known fictitious movie and TV series that “Trekkies” will recognize!"

"The captions have been translated from the original French and contain a few minor grammatical errors."

98. Basement Blogger - July 18, 2013

It’s been said by many Trekkers that Gene’s vision of the future is one we want to live in. While watching scenes of San Francisco in Star Trek Into Darkness, I was reminded of that optimistic future. The city looked like a modern utopia. Many of our problems such as poverty looked to have been conquered. Maybe we will solve over population, global warming, war and starvation. Let’s hope it Gene’s vision comes true.

99. Exverlobter - July 30, 2013

@98 Basement Blogger

San Francisco looked like Dubai, thus an architectural nightmare!

TrekMovie.com is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.