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STAR TREK: DISCOVERY - S1, E2: "Battle at the Binary Stars".

Star Trek: Discovery Star Trek: Discovery: Season 1

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#41 Orpheus

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 07:29 PM

I really hate that PR choice. Good SF should present ideas and possibilities to provoke thought in the reader/viewer. They should have let the viewers decide how to interpret it.

Until the PR flacks spoke up, I actually respected the show's presentation for being applicable to so many political situations. Actually, I'll still try to ignore the PR and heed the Art.

#42 Christopher

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 07:54 PM

View PostCardie, on 03 October 2017 - 06:45 PM, said:

The actors and showrunners have been going on in the PR about T'Kuvma being a Trump figure but his movement is about recovering an ancient, theologically driven concept of what it is to be Klingon. He sounds more like an al Qaeda or Isis leader talking about the harmful effects of assimilating to Western, secular values and re-establishing something very like a Klingon caliphate. But reviewers have been guided by the PR to say that T'Kuvma=Trump. The only thing they have in common is being outsiders who take on the establishment. IMO, at least.

The Christian right in the US is just as hostile to secular values and cultural diversity, and would love to establish a theocratic state here in the US. Trump may not be one of them, but Pence sure seems to be, as are a number of other right-wing political figures in the US today.

Besides, T'Kuvma and Trump both desire to build cults of personality around themselves and make grandiose claims of their own special stature. The difference is that T'Kuvma does so by implying that he's the reincarnation of Kahless, whereas Trump is too much of a narcissist to see greatness in anyone except himself.
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#43 RJDiogenes

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 05:27 PM

View PostOrpheus, on 03 October 2017 - 07:29 PM, said:

Until the PR flacks spoke up, I actually respected the show's presentation for being applicable to so many political situations. Actually, I'll still try to ignore the PR and heed the Art.  
I agree. That's the power of allegory.

In any case, T'Kuvma's crusade is to unite the divided, while Trump's crusade is to divide the united (which is par for 21st-century politics.
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#44 QueenTiye

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 09:35 PM

View PostCardie, on 03 October 2017 - 06:45 PM, said:

The actors and showrunners have been going on in the PR about T'Kuvma being a Trump figure but his movement is about recovering an ancient, theologically driven concept of what it is to be Klingon. He sounds more like an al Qaeda or Isis leader talking about the harmful effects of assimilating to Western, secular values and re-establishing something very like a Klingon caliphate. But reviewers have been guided by the PR to say that T'Kuvma=Trump. The only thing they have in common is being outsiders who take on the establishment. IMO, at least.

WOW.  Well, so I owe at least somewhat of an apology to LotS, and the guy in the youtube video.  AND - I agree with you.  The pr here is really stupid.  AND - not credible.  And... stupid.  Seriously - there's nothing "Trump" like here, and given how long this thing has been in development, this was always likely to be an Al-Qaida/ISIL analog - the "anti-Trump" rhetoric is recently stamped on it for audience development.  Seriously - no one can believe it and have watched the show.  The only worry I have is - what about going forward - will they see an economic incentive to MAKE the Klingons the "trump analog"?  Have they calculated that "left leaning" folks are more likely to pay and so let's give them red meat?

Stupid.

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#45 QueenTiye

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 09:42 PM

View PostChristopher, on 03 October 2017 - 07:54 PM, said:

View PostCardie, on 03 October 2017 - 06:45 PM, said:

The actors and showrunners have been going on in the PR about T'Kuvma being a Trump figure but his movement is about recovering an ancient, theologically driven concept of what it is to be Klingon. He sounds more like an al Qaeda or Isis leader talking about the harmful effects of assimilating to Western, secular values and re-establishing something very like a Klingon caliphate. But reviewers have been guided by the PR to say that T'Kuvma=Trump. The only thing they have in common is being outsiders who take on the establishment. IMO, at least.

The Christian right in the US is just as hostile to secular values and cultural diversity, and would love to establish a theocratic state here in the US. Trump may not be one of them, but Pence sure seems to be, as are a number of other right-wing political figures in the US today.

Besides, T'Kuvma and Trump both desire to build cults of personality around themselves and make grandiose claims of their own special stature. The difference is that T'Kuvma does so by implying that he's the reincarnation of Kahless, whereas Trump is too much of a narcissist to see greatness in anyone except himself.

Great - a real debate. :)  I don't think that T'Kuvma was wrong to believe he is the reincarnation of Kahless and the evidence on screen suggests that he definitely was.  In spite of all - he did unite the Klingons, he did set off the beacon, and he did become a martyr.  Why would we overlook the facts, just because we don't want to have to believe in Kahless?

And while there IS a Theocratic Christianist movement in the US, I don't find it to be credibly represented by President Trump.  Perhaps Vice President Pence would be a better representative, but he's not the President, and therefore cannot be any kind of model for the Klingons.  When we see a Pence Analog onscreen, then I'll buy it, but for now, we have a more reasonable example - and given when this went into development - more likely.

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#46 Christopher

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 10:11 PM

View PostQueenTiye, on 05 October 2017 - 09:35 PM, said:

The pr here is really stupid.  AND - not credible.  And... stupid.  Seriously - there's nothing "Trump" like here, and given how long this thing has been in development, this was always likely to be an Al-Qaida/ISIL analog - the "anti-Trump" rhetoric is recently stamped on it for audience development.

Sorry, but that's not true. You're forgetting how long the presidential race took. Trump was considered the Republican frontrunner as early as July 2015, and was the presumptive nominee by May 2016. Bryan Fuller wasn't announced as Discovery's showrunner until February 2016, and the development and writing process took an unusually long time, because Fuller was dividing his time between DSC and American Gods, which slowed down DSC so much that CBS eventually asked him to step down in December 2016 -- after the election. So there's no way the writers weren't aware of the phenomenon of Trumpism throughout the creative process.

Heck, it was all the way back in January 2016 that Supergirl aired an episode that parodied Trump's racist campaign rhetoric by having an anti-alien politician rally her followers by promising to build a dome over the country to keep the aliens out. And its whole second season last year was largely an allegory on themes of immigration and intolerance, in reaction to current events. And my own Star Trek novel The Face of the Unknown, which came out this past January but which I wrote in the latter half of 2015 and early 2016, was informed by the alarming rise of Trumpism and fear-mongering, anti-immigrant rhetoric during that time. So this goes back further than you seem to think.

Besides, the resonances are clear enough to me. T'Kuvma is the self-appointed head of a personality cult, and he rallies his followers by encouraging their hostility toward other races and promising them that he and he alone can Make the Empire Great Again. Yes, there are resonances with bin Laden and ISIL's leaders too, but that's because kleptocratic authoritarian demagogues are alike all over.


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  Seriously - no one can believe it and have watched the show.  The only worry I have is - what about going forward - will they see an economic incentive to MAKE the Klingons the "trump analog"?  Have they calculated that "left leaning" folks are more likely to pay and so let's give them red meat?

It's oversimplistic to think this is merely about reducing this to "Klingons = bad" or taking sides in a polarized view of current issues. The producers have said in plenty of interviews that they intend to dive deeper into Klingon culture than ever before, to explore them not as black-hat baddies but as a fully realized culture that the audience can relate to and empathize with. The idea is to give the characters on both sides valid reasons for the choices they make, and to leave it to the audience to make their own decisions about who's right or wrong.

Also, being influenced by current events does not mean hamfistedly and literally copying them. A lot of TOS was influenced by the Cold War and Vietnam and the civil rights movement, but the parallels were rarely blatant or exact, or based on specific individuals. It's just that works of fiction written in politically charged times tend to be influenced by what's going on around them. The issues and questions that concern people in the real world concern the writers of fiction as well and inform what they write.



View PostQueenTiye, on 05 October 2017 - 09:42 PM, said:

I don't think that T'Kuvma was wrong to believe he is the reincarnation of Kahless and the evidence on screen suggests that he definitely was.

What "evidence" could there possibly have been to prove something so abstract? Besides, Star Trek is science fiction, not fantasy. It's not the kind of fictional universe where reincarnation is a real thing. Sure, some species have the ability to transfer or preserve their consciousnesses after death, but that's always explained as a physical, scientific phenomenon, and is specific to species with telepathic ability or the technology to preserve consciousness. Klingons have never been portrayed as telepathic.


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  In spite of all - he did unite the Klingons, he did set off the beacon, and he did become a martyr.  Why would we overlook the facts, just because we don't want to have to believe in Kahless?

Just because he did similar things, that doesn't make him literally the same person. If I got 762 home runs, it wouldn't make me Barry Bonds.



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And while there IS a Theocratic Christianist movement in the US, I don't find it to be credibly represented by President Trump.

Of course not, which is why it's so hypocritical that they endorse and embrace him as their representative anyway. The one thing they actually have in common is white supremacism, which says a lot about the religious right's true priorities.

Edited by Christopher, 05 October 2017 - 10:18 PM.

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#47 Cardie

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 12:12 AM

This is a moment in history in which the march of globalist, multicultural secularism and the much accelerated migrations of populations and production of destabilizing technological advancements have made populations all over the globe say, "Whoa! Time out." They look backwards to when their cultures were more ethnically homogeneous and more fundamentalist in their theologies. That's why you can map T'Kuvma and his movement over many a current political situation and tribalist rhetoric. I'm sure we will see some of that affecting the Federation, too, going forward. So the show is certainly about the forces that animate Trumpism and other such ethnic nationalism but it is not saying that the Klingons are only a Trump analogue and strictly the bad guys. Not by a long shot. So the creatives should watch their marketing pitch.
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#48 Christopher

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 08:36 AM

View PostCardie, on 06 October 2017 - 12:12 AM, said:

This is a moment in history in which the march of globalist, multicultural secularism and the much accelerated migrations of populations and production of destabilizing technological advancements have made populations all over the globe say, "Whoa! Time out." They look backwards to when their cultures were more ethnically homogeneous and more fundamentalist in their theologies. That's why you can map T'Kuvma and his movement over many a current political situation and tribalist rhetoric. I'm sure we will see some of that affecting the Federation, too, going forward. So the show is certainly about the forces that animate Trumpism and other such ethnic nationalism but it is not saying that the Klingons are only a Trump analogue and strictly the bad guys. Not by a long shot. So the creatives should watch their marketing pitch.


That's all true, but it's hard to convince the average person that the forces of white Christian radicalism in this country are effectively identical to the forces of Islamist radicalism that the media have spent the past couple of decades painting as something anathema to America. Look at how mass shootings are never labeled "terrorist" in the news unless they're committed by brown people (even though the Las Vegas shooting qualifies as terrorism under Nevada state law).

Anyway, the things that creators say in interviews are often shaped by what questions the reporters choose to ask them. There are plenty of so-called journalists out there who are trying to manufacture their own narratives rather than just letting the facts speak for themselves. So it could be that this is the reporters asking "are the Klingons Trump?" and the interviewers saying "Well, they kind of are in some ways" and the reporters selectively quoting them in a way that supports their desired narrative.
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#49 QueenTiye

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:10 AM

View PostChristopher, on 05 October 2017 - 10:11 PM, said:

View PostQueenTiye, on 05 October 2017 - 09:35 PM, said:

The pr here is really stupid.  AND - not credible.  And... stupid.  Seriously - there's nothing "Trump" like here, and given how long this thing has been in development, this was always likely to be an Al-Qaida/ISIL analog - the "anti-Trump" rhetoric is recently stamped on it for audience development.

Sorry, but that's not true. You're forgetting how long the presidential race took. Trump was considered the Republican frontrunner as early as July 2015, and was the presumptive nominee by May 2016. Bryan Fuller wasn't announced as Discovery's showrunner until February 2016, ...

~SNIP~

Besides, the resonances are clear enough to me. T'Kuvma is the self-appointed head of a personality cult, and he rallies his followers by encouraging their hostility toward other races and promising them that he and he alone can Make the Empire Great Again. Yes, there are resonances with bin Laden and ISIL's leaders too, but that's because kleptocratic authoritarian demagogues are alike all over.

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And while there IS a Theocratic Christianist movement in the US, I don't find it to be credibly represented by President Trump.

Of course not, which is why it's so hypocritical that they endorse and embrace him as their representative anyway. The one thing they actually have in common is white supremacism, which says a lot about the religious right's true priorities.

The final point negates the first, in my opinion.


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  Seriously - no one can believe it and have watched the show.  The only worry I have is - what about going forward - will they see an economic incentive to MAKE the Klingons the "trump analog"?  Have they calculated that "left leaning" folks are more likely to pay and so let's give them red meat?

It's oversimplistic to think this is merely about reducing this to "Klingons = bad" or taking sides in a polarized view of current issues. The producers have said in plenty of interviews that they intend to dive deeper into Klingon culture than ever before, to explore them not as black-hat baddies but as a fully realized culture that the audience can relate to and empathize with. The idea is to give the characters on both sides valid reasons for the choices they make, and to leave it to the audience to make their own decisions about who's right or wrong.

Also, being influenced by current events does not mean hamfistedly and literally copying them. A lot of TOS was influenced by the Cold War and Vietnam and the civil rights movement, but the parallels were rarely blatant or exact, or based on specific individuals. It's just that works of fiction written in politically charged times tend to be influenced by what's going on around them. The issues and questions that concern people in the real world concern the writers of fiction as well and inform what they write.

We can hope, but I consider naming T'kuvma a "Trumpian figure" to be quite hamfisted, and basically wrong.



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View PostQueenTiye, on 05 October 2017 - 09:42 PM, said:

I don't think that T'Kuvma was wrong to believe he is the reincarnation of Kahless and the evidence on screen suggests that he definitely was.

What "evidence" could there possibly have been to prove something so abstract? Besides, Star Trek is science fiction, not fantasy. It's not the kind of fictional universe where reincarnation is a real thing. Sure, some species have the ability to transfer or preserve their consciousnesses after death, but that's always explained as a physical, scientific phenomenon, and is specific to species with telepathic ability or the technology to preserve consciousness. Klingons have never been portrayed as telepathic.


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  In spite of all - he did unite the Klingons, he did set off the beacon, and he did become a martyr.  Why would we overlook the facts, just because we don't want to have to believe in Kahless?

Just because he did similar things, that doesn't make him literally the same person. If I got 762 home runs, it wouldn't make me Barry Bonds.


That's quite a literal interpretation of a spiritual concept.  Reincarnation doesn't have to mean "the same person" in outward form - it can also mean the same spirit rebirthed in a person.  And while you're quite correct that hitting 762 home runs doesn't make you Barry Bonds, if there's a baseball prophesy that Barry Bonds will return, and the hallmarks to know when it happened are this this this and this thing... and then this this this and this thing happen - it is at least justified for believers in that prophesy to accept the terms as having been fulfilled, and it's at least justified for them to point to anyone outside the belief system and say - this was the prophesy and this was the fulfillment... and it's a reasonable proposition for someone looking at the objective facts to say... yeah, if there's a such thing as reincarnation - this meets the criterion.

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#50 Christopher

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 10:32 AM

View PostQueenTiye, on 06 October 2017 - 09:10 AM, said:

The final point negates the first, in my opinion.

The point is, it's all part and parcel of the disruptive forces in society and politics right now. No, Trump himself is not a Christian evangelical, but he's become the symbol of all the forces on the extremist right including those, because they themselves have chosen to make him their symbol and the leader of their political coalition even though he's a mockery of everything they claim to believe. So the comparison to him is not just about him, it's about the larger factors that he's become the focus of. As I said, fictional allegory is not about direct one-to-one copying of any single thing, it's about telling stories that reflect the overall concerns and problems of society.



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That's quite a literal interpretation of a spiritual concept.

Exactly, because Star Trek is a literal universe, a universe ruled by science rather than magic and mysticism. Characters in Trek can believe in supernatural or religious phenomena, and the occasional story has been ambiguous enough to suggest there could be something there, but always in a way that it could also be interpreted as a scientifically comprehensible phenomenon. The Bajorans believe the wormhole aliens are their Prophets, but they're essentially an advanced alien intelligence. VGR: "Coda" depicted something akin to an afterlife, but it turned out to be the energy matrix of an incorporeal predator. VGR: "Barge of the Dead" showed B'Elanna having a near-death experience of the Klingon afterlife, but there was no evidence that it was anything more than a hallucination. The Klingons revere Kahless as a divine figure who might be reincarnated one day, but there's nothing to prove that's anything more than just a cultural belief. So you can't just casually talk about reincarnation as if it were something that actually existed in the Trek universe.



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it is at least justified for believers in that prophesy to accept the terms as having been fulfilled, and it's at least justified for them to point to anyone outside the belief system and say - this was the prophesy and this was the fulfillment... and it's a reasonable proposition for someone looking at the objective facts to say... yeah, if there's a such thing as reincarnation - this meets the criterion.

That is not reasonable at all. In order to meet a reasonable standard of proof that something is true, you not only have to show that it fits the evidence -- you have to show that it's the only thing that fits the evidence, that every alternative theory can be ruled out. That's exactly what "reasonable doubt" means in a court of law -- if there's any realistic chance that there could be more than one explanation for the evidence, then the proposed explanation is not proven. And the burden of proof is on the one making the claim.

In a case like a prophecy, where everyone already knows what parameters would have to be met, it would be very easy for a con artist to arrange to fulfill those parameters for oneself in order to fool people. This happens all the time. Lots of religious leaders throughout history have contrived to make themselves look like the fulfillment of some prophecy, or have had their biographies retroactively rewritten by disciples wanting to convince people that they were the fulfillment of prophecy. If people already know what the prediction is, then fraud is absurdly easy to arrange.

And of course, there's always coincidence. Most prophecies that seem to come true are the result of coincidence. We often have forebodings or fears or dreams of things that might happen in the future, but most of the time, they don't happen and we forget them -- but sometimes reality will coincidentally resemble what we "foresaw," just by the luck of the draw, and that often leads people to think they've had moments of precognition, or that some old prophecy has actually come true because its wording was vague enough to be matched to some recent event.
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#51 Orpheus

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 03:31 PM

"Mystical" or "Spiritual" things are not fluff to be disregarded by Real Science. They are phenomena that do not yet fit into our main scientific framework.

I'll cite a hardcore physics example, which many of you, including Christopher, may have already have heard. since I was a kid, I've asked certain key question to illustrious scientists by mail or in person (kids can get away with a lot, and even get indulgent mail replies from Nobelists). One question I've asked top physicists is "We all know mass and energy are equivalent and interconvertible, but what is the difference between them?" I have always gotten hemming and hawing. Steven Weinberg dismissed it, saying "that's really just a philosophical question", which bothered me quite a bit, but by the time Carlo Rubbia gave me essentially the same brush-off about a decade later, I had an answer: "But you do believe there's a difference, right? And when we know that difference, we'll call it 'science', not just 'mere philosophy', right?"

You may not believe in souls. I totally agree that there is not enough empirical scientific evidence to define the term, much less include it in the framework of 'science'. However, you absolutely CANNOT dismiss it as "that does not exist" or "reincarnation doesn't really happen". Science can only speak to what it knows (or the best approximation of current knowing). On everything else, it is silent.

You can't say "Star Trek isn't about mysticism/fantasy" because WE don't get to decide what mysticism and fantasy are. Yes, we all make our personal determinations --of necessity-- but we have no more idea of Klingon neurobiology than we do of the energy-sucking "Junior" in TNG's Galaxy's Child. Trek is full of pure-energy beings, beings that inhabit or traverse higher dimensions, beings that inhabit corporeal bodies -- temporarily as husks or quasi-permanently with a strong personal identification ("this body is me, even if I can live without it"); even bog-standard humans have had their "consciousness" transferred. In such a universe, it's parochial to declare that Klingons can't have Actual Reincarnation of some form, for some --even exceptional-- conditions/individuals. "Consciousness" as an object is no more scientific than "soul".

I agree that other Trek franchises (written by secular humans) have a substantial body of dialogue between Klingons which suggests that, as a pragmatic matter, many of them believe their primary religion is symbolic mysticism -- corresponding to (surprise, surprise) the beliefs of Trek's contemporary human audience. There's also a lot of 'mystical' stuff, in various books/eps/etc. -- equally "real"  It's folly to assume our personal beliefs/epiric observations of humans at our current level of scientific inquiry in any way dictate what is true of other species, in other conditions (Warp-capable fungi are plausible!) -- or even the ultimate Scientific Truth about humans on Earth

#52 Christopher

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 04:07 PM

View PostOrpheus, on 06 October 2017 - 03:31 PM, said:

"Mystical" or "Spiritual" things are not fluff to be disregarded by Real Science. They are phenomena that do not yet fit into our main scientific framework.

Who's talking about our scientific framework? We're talking about the rules of a fictional universe and what phenomena it acknowledges as part of its reality. There are fictional universes that depict reincarnation as a concrete reality. It's a core premise of the Avatar: The Last Airbender/The Legend of Korra franchise; it's part of the backstory of certain versions of Hawkman and Hawkgirl, including the ones from DC's Legends of Tomorrow; and it's common in just about any show that wants an excuse to cast its lead actors as their own ancestors or descendants, such as Dark Shadows, Xena, or Charmed. But Star Trek has never depicted reincarnation as a real phenomenon, because it's not a universe that treats supernatural phenomena (other than psionics, which at the time of its creation was believed to be a potentially valid science) as part of its reality. The one and only time any form of the word appeared in Trek was in "The Savage Curtain" when Kirk expressed disbelief that Abraham Lincoln could have been reincarnated (spoiler: he wasn't).


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I'll cite a hardcore physics example, which many of you, including Christopher, may have already have heard. since I was a kid, I've asked certain key question to illustrious scientists by mail or in person (kids can get away with a lot, and even get indulgent mail replies from Nobelists). One question I've asked top physicists is "We all know mass and energy are equivalent and interconvertible, but what is the difference between them?" I have always gotten hemming and hawing. Steven Weinberg dismissed it, saying "that's really just a philosophical question", which bothered me quite a bit, but by the time Carlo Rubbia gave me essentially the same brush-off about a decade later, I had an answer: "But you do believe there's a difference, right? And when we know that difference, we'll call it 'science', not just 'mere philosophy', right?"

Energy is a property possessed by particles. Mass is an expression of the inertia/momentum that a particle's potential energy gives it. It's not that hard to understand. We have a bias to assume that "matter" is concrete and tangible like a tabletop and "energy" is intangible like a ray of light, but the perceived solidity of the tabletop is itself an energy effect, or rather a field effect, the result of its surface electrons repelling the surface electrons in our hands. So the distinction between the tangible and the intangible is illusory. There are just particles, their properties, and their interactions. Mass and energy are two ways of measuring the properties of a particle, depending on what kind of interaction you want to describe. No philosophy involved, and certainly no mysticism.


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Yes, we all make our personal determinations --of necessity-- but we have no more idea of Klingon neurobiology than we do of the energy-sucking "Junior" in TNG's Galaxy's Child. Trek is full of pure-energy beings, beings that inhabit or traverse higher dimensions, beings that inhabit corporeal bodies -- temporarily as husks or quasi-permanently with a strong personal identification ("this body is me, even if I can live without it"); even bog-standard humans have had their "consciousness" transferred. In such a universe, it's parochial to declare that Klingons can't have Actual Reincarnation of some form, for some --even exceptional-- conditions/individuals. "Consciousness" as an object is no more scientific than "soul".

I'm not saying they can't. I'm saying there's no precedent for believing that they can. If a story came along and established that reincarnation were something that could exist in the Trek universe, then that would make it a canonical fact. But it's never been mentioned at all as even a possibility. QT was talking about it as if it were already a given that it really, concretely existed in the Trek universe, and there's absolutely nothing to base that assumption on. If she had treated it as a given that, say, Vulcans could levitate, or that Kirk was a serial murderer, or that 23rd-century Earth was governed by a triumvirate of mimes, I would've been just as confused to see something completely unprecedented talked about as though it were already a known fact.
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#53 Orpheus

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 05:31 PM

I know you have a background in physics, Christopher, but the question "what is the difference between mass and energy" [note: "mass", not "matter", so "tangibility" isn't even an issue] is a good deal more subtle and fundamental than you give it credit for -- probably because I "sound-byted" it, depriving you of the context in which I'd previously discussed with a few of the top physicists of the 70s/80s. I'm certain you'd "get it" with a little more context. I'm merely noting this for the sake of the many readers who may not have as strong a science background as you do.

It was merely an example of a topic outside current investigations which was dismissed as "not really science" by minds far better than mine, but which (I believe) even they will accept as 'science' when a cohesive answer emerges in our narrative (I believe an answer will "fall out of the equations" someday, without us having to actively look for it). I wasn't positing any mystical properties to it.

Trek's science provides ample basis for something that could be called "reincarnation" to be one script away from becoming canon. (though, like you, I doubt that script will ever be produced)

It's weird in hindsight: Kirk swapped consciousnesses with Janice Lester at the end of TOS. He'd previously been split into 'good' and 'evil' bodies. His mind and body(!) returned from an 'afterlife' 78 (Federation) years after his death to help Picard fight Soran...in 1994 (our time), 30 years after TO premiered! Really, can we put anything past them?

Edited by Orpheus, 06 October 2017 - 05:39 PM.
: trimmed some fat


#54 Christopher

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 07:13 PM

View PostOrpheus, on 06 October 2017 - 05:31 PM, said:

Trek's science provides ample basis for something that could be called "reincarnation" to be one script away from becoming canon. (though, like you, I doubt that script will ever be produced)

It's weird in hindsight: Kirk swapped consciousnesses with Janice Lester at the end of TOS. He'd previously been split into 'good' and 'evil' bodies. His mind and body(!) returned from an 'afterlife' 78 (Federation) years after his death to help Picard fight Soran...in 1994 (our time), 30 years after TO premiered! Really, can we put anything past them?

Again: I am not saying it couldn't theoretically become possible in some future episode, although it would have to have some kind of secular, technobabble explanation to fit into the worldview of the Trek universe. I'm saying it's surprising to hear QT talking about it as something axiomatically real, as if it were already confirmed to be part of that universe's rules, when in fact it's never even come up before.
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#55 Cardie

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 08:56 PM

It seems to me that the transmigration or possession of individuals by incorporeal consciousnesses that is all over Trek ("Return to Tomorrow," "Wolf in the Fold," "The Lights of Zetar," just to stick to TOS) make what might look like a reincarnation perfectly believable. Just as a Prophet rode along with Sisko's mother to ensure his birth, so Kahless could have been animated by some sort of entity that eventually found T'Kuvma a suitable host and helped him appear to be the reincarnation of Kahless.
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#56 Orpheus

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 10:02 PM

Cardie:
Of course, the question of whether Kahless' philosophy would have driven him to chose such a candidate and goal is worth exploring.

I'm not too familiar with that. As I recall, he was a great unifier, and did (metaphorically?) fight non-Klingon entities (deities), but I don't recall him being purist/xenophobic.

This of course opens the door to a familiar Trek trope: the entity or possessed body that wasn't who it seemed/claimed. (Though other shows used that much more)

Christopher:
I agree that reincarnation is not an established occurrence in Trek, and the high-ranked Klingons we've seen don't treat it as a pragmatic reality. (We really don't know any "standard middle class" klingons well.) I vaguely recall an episode or two where the prophecy was raised, Didn't Worf encounter a potential reincarnation of Kahless? Though I'm sure that instance was shown to be 'not real', the depth/character of Klingon belief might well be relevant as this series unfurls. Of course, the writers can posit whatever Klingon beliefs they wish, so many generations before (Earth-raised) Worf and the Klingons we know best.

#57 Christopher

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 10:07 PM

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Just because some demagogue claims to be a reincarnation of Kahless, that doesn't make it automatically true. People do lie about such things. Heck, the last time (from our point of view) that someone claimed to be the reincarnation of Kahless, he turned out to be a fraud, a clone created by the priests of Boreth. And at least they had the DNA of the original to clone him from, though his education was strictly from lore and legends. Here, all we have is some guy showing up and saying "Hey, guys, form a cult around me because I'm the next Kahless." By far the most probable interpretation is that he's lying to gain power, or that he's suffering from delusions of grandeur -- or, generously, that he's leveraging the mythology and metaphor of Kahless in order to mobilize a revivalist movement in Klingon society.

Edited by Christopher, 06 October 2017 - 10:09 PM.

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#58 Orpheus

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 12:03 AM

I'm with you there.

Could someone clarify the background of the "sacred ship", if that was covered in one of the new DSC books, or if I missed it in the show?

Is it the same ship that T'Kuvma arrived in, which I presume was "his father's ship", and which I presume was the (architecturally different) ship that Rammed the Shenzhou?

Is the "sacred ship" a separate ship of a different construction style? Was it brought to the binary system by T'Kuvma, or did he find it there?

It's also not clear to me what was meant by "his father's ship". He does not seem to be the scion of a House that is wealthy/powerful enough to have owned such a mighty ship, nor does the High council treat him as such. He seems to have gathered his followers together, rather than having a pre-established power base. Further, there is a lot of indication that the ship is ancient, and different from the other Klingon craft. Is it possible that it is his father's ship by proxy (e.g. his father was the priest in charge of the sacred ship, not its owner), or that he is not using "father" in the usual literal sense?

I know that I'm flailing. I really feel like I'm missing some things about T'Kuvma's movement and backstory -- as if my recording glitched and I didn't see some key scenes that others did. I believe that he would have found this ship as a young child (How? Where?) and that it was used as a playground by other Klingon children (Who? Where?) I believe it was a long struggle to refurbish it, and that it has cloaking technology -- but there's lot missing from my understanding of the context of all that. So much that the more I think about what I "know" the less cohesively it hangs together.

#59 Christopher

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 07:33 AM

View PostOrpheus, on 07 October 2017 - 12:03 AM, said:

Could someone clarify the background of the "sacred ship", if that was covered in one of the new DSC books, or if I missed it in the show?

There's only one book so far, David Mack's Desperate Hours, and that's a Shenzhou story set a year before the pilot and teaming up Burnham and Spock (and Pike's Enterprise crew from "The Cage"). There is, however, an upcoming IDW comics miniseries focusing on T'Kuvma's backstory, co-written by Mike Johnson (author of IDW's Kelvin Timeline comics) and Kirsten Beyer (my friend and fellow Trek novelist who's a staff writer on Discovery and the show's tie-in coordinator, though she personally prefers the title "Queen of All Media"). Its first issue (of four) comes out on October 25.

I get the impression that we'll learn more about the sarcophagus ship as the season unfolds, though I'm not certain.
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#60 Cybersnark

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 09:57 AM

The cloned Kahless was just that (a clone with fabricated memories), but his existence (and the existence of the Boreth monastery in the first place, in the solar system Kahless supposedly picked out of the sky and promised he would be reborn) could at least be taken as evidence that the concept of reincarnation is firmly established in Klingon culture.

T'Kuvma clearly expects his claim to carry weight, and he might even believe it himself --in which case it makes no practical difference whether or not he's carrying Kahless' soul (which, from everything we know about either historical or legendary Kahless, he isn't).

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