The Shuttle Pod Crew Visit “New Eden” And Ponder The Properties Of Dark Matter

Like we did last year for the run of Star Trek: Discovery season two, the Shuttle Pod will again transform into Shuttle Pod At The Disco with weekly podcasts discussing each new episode.

Shuttle Pod At The Disco – Season 2, Episode 2 – “New Eden”


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Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, Episode 2 – “New Eden”

Jared, Kayla, and Matt crew the Shuttle Pod this week, as they discuss the second episode of the season, “New Eden.”

There was much to discuss about the season’s themes of science and faith coming to the forefront, with the Discovery being in the right place at the right time to help the displaced residents of New Eden. Tilly gets serious with dark matter, and Saru continues to show his leadership skills. The Prime Directive is always a subject of debate, and it was no less the case in this week’s episode.

Listen along and see if you agree with the Shuttle Pod crew.

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Elrond

Great discussion, guys! Thanks! Two comments you’ve inspired:

1. Dark matter as a McGuffin in both Trek and real astrophysics: yes! As was said, there’s more gravity in the universe than can be accounted for by the known amount of matter. Dark matter is sort of a placeholder until this mysterious source of curving spacetime can somehow be studied, maybe on the quantum level. But it ain’t normal matter and one wonders why tractor beams can affect it. Fine. Even worse: apparently despite the much higher than calculated gravity in the universe, everything in it is accelerating faster and faster away from everything else under the influence of some unaccounted for force. And some call this mysterious accelerative force dark energy. Probably it will also make a McGuffin appearance in Trek. In any case, this all sort of demonstrates another one of Clarke’s laws: the universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it’s stranger than we CAN imagine.

2. Which touches on the theme of science and religion, and how well Disco will handle it (maybe in the characters of Burnham, Spock, and Pike). I’m a little wary, too. As I argued in another thread, they should not be thought about as dichotomous categories. There’s a rich undercurrent that could be mined about the ways human beings respond when confronted by inexplicable mystery. We’ll see what happens.

Thanks again!

There’s a rich undercurrent that could be mined about the ways human beings respond when confronted by inexplicable mystery.

Well said. Really hope they can pull off showing that.

Haven’t listened yet, but I’m looking forward to it. This was handily my favorite episode of “Discovery” yet — the first one that genuinely felt like “Star Trek” (meaning my idea of “Star Trek,” of course) to me. Hopefully not the last!

Karl

Interesting discussion on the pod about the term “Luddite Community” (though you called it colony in the podcast). Strangely I got it immediately and didn’t find it remotely confusing. I wonder if that’s part of a difference between now Americans use and understand some words and how Europeans (well, Irish and English anyway) do. It’s something I’ve occasionally encountered with American and Canadian friends – how we use words or at least our relationship with some words and expressions can actually be quite different. There’s an expression about America and the British isles being separated by the Atlantic Ocean and the English language.

Anyway, good work as usual guys!

I don’t think we found it confusing per-say, we knew what the word meant. However, here in the US it’s often said about people who refuse to get with the latest tech trends, typically in an eye rolling way. So we were saying it’s a strange choice both because the term itself is a very old and somewhat archaic term in general, and it often has a negative connotation.

Karl

Used similarly here, but largely (though not always) without the eye-rolling aspect. I find it interesting that the writers used it with its “purest” intent, whereas linguistic development would suggest that the word’s common usage will continue to evolve into a more derogatory term, particularly as we’re in a phase where where the “official” definitions of many words are being altered due to their new uses and contexts in the internet/chat age

Yep. Good point about the language evolving. Even more reason they should have just used something else.

I feel like it was someone was trying too hard to conserve words on the page. So they were doing the teleplay and said “why spend a sentence describing what using the Thesaurus function tells me can be done in a single word?” But of course a thesaurus doesn’t really understand context or connotations.

Karl

Hah! Yep! Somebody had definitely been spending too much time on Thesaurus.com!

On the language front, it’d be interesting to see an episode where language was as developed/mutated/changed as it most likely will be in the 23rd century. After all, how different is English now to 200-300 years ago, let alone other languages!

Of course, that’s not possible. But as we also know that scientists predict that people with distinctly “white” or “brown” skin will also be a rarity a few hundred years from now as migration continues and “cross-racial breeding” continues, we also know the skin-tones of the crews are also pretty inaccurate.

Michael Hall

Just not getting what was so strange or inappropriate about the usage of the term, which was presented in a pretty neutral fashion (and in fact as a point in favor of including the person in question in the landing party). Given the evidence of “This Side of Paradise” and subsequent episodes of DS9 and VOY, groups of humans who reject the full rush of scientific and technological change are a thing in the 23rd and 24th centuries.

Given the evidence of “This Side of Paradise” and subsequent episodes of DS9 and VOY, groups of humans who reject the full rush of scientific and technological change are a thing in the 23rd and 24th centuries.

I’m not saying that having a more traditional group is strange, as you mentioned, we’ve seen that a number of times. I’m specifically talking about the word choice of “Luddite.” Note that those groups of humans you mentioned have never been referred to as “Luddite.”