Eddington's vitriolic assessment of The Federation

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Ragitsu, May 10, 2022.

  1. Picard578

    Picard578 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Gene's original idea was that humanity will overcome its shortcomings and achieve enlightenment. And that is a problem on multiple levels.

    First, it is completely unrealistic. Humans have not changed, on a basic psychological level, for the last ten thousand years or so. The only reason why we aren't bashing in each other's heads on a regular basis is because a) we never did that and b) there is no need. But overall, Deep Space Nine has far more realistic assessment of human nature than anything from Gene's era:
    And then Quark proceeds to prove that he is no different from humans. And that is just natural, because if you are unable to kill, you will be killed. There is no way around it.

    Second, it makes for bad storytelling. Any story, to be interesting, requires conflict. But if you assume that humans can overcome their flaws, this removes one of main sources of conflict. Because all good stories had not only external conflict, but also internal conflict, one that is fought within human heart (One Ring is a good example of physical manifestation of such).

    Third, preachy shows are just bad. That is why most modern movies and shows fail, because they are pushing politics and ideology onto people instead of telling stories about human beings. End result is a hollow story, flat, two-dimensional characters, and a completely uninteresting world.

    That is not what I'm talking about. Early TNG has as much physical conflict as any other era of Star Trek. What it lacks is the very core of Star Trek: exploration of human nature. It assumes humans will become enlightened to a rather ridiculous degree, and frankly, it lacks humanity.

    Gene's idealism nearly ruined Star Trek then and there. Much like George Lucas, he had an outstanding fundamental idea, but had he been left to make decisions on his own, he would have turned that idea into something completely unwatchable and unrelatable. Both Gene and George required other people to literally hold them by hand in order to make their ideas into actual art.

    Maybe, but early TNG also had more problems than just finding its footing - see above.

    I will give SNW a try, but considering what I have seen from modern Trek, I frankly don't expect anything but disappointment. Granted, I haven't watched that much of post-Enterprise materials (except for movies), but from what I have seen, it has been a constant downward trajectory for Star Trek ever since Deep Space Nine.
     
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  2. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I will say that out of all the live action shows of the current era, STRANGE NEW WORLDS is by far the best one. There's still 2 episodes left, but it's looking to be the best first season of a series since TOS.
     
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  3. Arpy

    Arpy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sure there is. We just don’t do it because we know there are consequences and we like how cozy this more civilized world. We don’t do it because we choose to live a better way. We like our internet and Burger King and having friends who like us for us, and generally not being on our guard 24/7 like animals in the wild. Well, follow that principle forward centuries and luxuries still.

    If anything it’s sci-fi like Star Wars or Dune that thinks humans will remain the same for tens of thousands of years without massive progressive changes to their societies, norms, and indeed their very forms. Trek too while we’re at it. The society that has their level of tech and they’re still living to about 150? Signing things with styluses and thumbprints? Genetic engineering, trans humanism, advanced AI’s, combined consciousnesses…I mean, buckle up.

    To their credit a lot of these are science fantasy more than science fiction. And the point of Trek for me is an ethos of a better future, one just beginning for the human race, wherever/however it might find itself, than a literal continuation of 18th century warfare and Westward expansion. It’s allegory.

    There is no disparity there. Genes humans don’t kill because they don’t have to, not because they’re incapable of it. Lots of people died in both Gene’s TOS and TNG.

    Well if you’re going to ignore what I said about conflict why shouldn’t I do the same? Plenty of good storytelling without a Khan in every picture. The universe hanging in the balance but first we have to air our grievances.

    Modern movies fail because tv and the internet is more interesting. The spectacle or sophistication with out the price tag and commute. Plus there’s a lot more out there to cater to individual over collective tastes. And, I think cultural and especially political (follow the money/power) tribalism divide us for higher ups gain.

    I dunno. I think they’re was something aspirational about it. For me I don’t think they knew how to dramatize the setting well enough given how new Trek was again.

    I’m used to being disappointed with Trek, and it started with DS9 way back when. I’m guessing your older than me and started with TOS. For me it was TNG. Every series and movie since and taken effort for me, but I have enjoyed things from most of them. They’re all interesting parallel universes, and all fodder for the head canon I think; and I’m appreciative of that.

    (And I’d love to bitch about Discovery if you ever make it to the head smacking parts of that. :hugegrin::bolian:)
     
  4. Picard578

    Picard578 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    As I said: we don't do it because there is no need. But if you place a modern human and a human from ten thousand years ago in the same circumstances, their reaction will be fundamentally the same.

    We change because external factors change. But human nature stays the same. We will always screw each other over, backstab each other, screw ourselves over... that will never change, only the manner in which we do it will grow ever more sophisticated.

    TOS was not really in Gene's control. Early TNG was, and it... wasn't good.

    Internal conflict goes far wider than having a Khan there. Excellent example is Sisko's dilemma about... well, everything regarding Dominion: assassinating the Romulan ambassador, not giving cure to the Founders, etc.

    Not what I was talking about. What I meant is that they are artistic failure: just compare the original Lord of the Rings trilogy with modern iterations, or the original Star Wars with their sequels. Modern productions have literally no artistic value, and are more often than not nothing more than a jumble-bumble of things literally stolen from older iterations (half of new Star Wars is plagiarizing old Star Wars), things stolen from other movies (new Star Trek movies being half-Star Wars, new Star Wars stealing from both old Star Wars and couple dozen other things) and forcing their ideas onto the audience.

    Aspirational, sure, but it didn't make for good or immersive story. If it weren't for Patrick Stewart's performance, I don't think I would have been able to stomach it.

    I started with TNG, actually, back in early 2000s when it was being broadcast over here in Croatia.
     
  5. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What about “Shut up, Wesley!” and Wesley’s constant whining that people would listen to him if he were an adult? Isn’t that interpersonal conflict?
     
  6. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Dude, that is how art has always worked. Star Trek from Forbidden Planet, Lost in Space from Star Trek (if Gene is to be believed), Star Wars from Hidden Fortress and Dune. Lion King from Hamlet. Star Trek from Shakespeare.

    Let's not pretend that the originals were the first ones to do what they did. Cribbing from past art is what humans do.

    On this point I do agree. This is why old poems and stories and songs, including Shakespeare, still resonate with us mere mortals today.
     
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  7. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sisko should have asked Eddington which non-Federation species he admires the most.
     
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  8. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    This is the stupidest thing I have read all year.
     
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  9. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Eddington can seriously screw himself. He might be among my five most disliked Star Trek characters.

    "yUrE gIvInG uP yUoR Freedomz!"

    Freedom to what? What exactly doesn't the Federation allow you to do? You are even allowed to secede and turn your planet into Mad Max world, like Tasha's planet did!
     
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  10. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Welcome to the modern art critique. Nostalgia has become the benchmark of evaluating art, vs. regarding art on it's own merits. If it is Star Trek it cannot just be Star Trek but must be stacked against the greatest Treks. If it is Star Wars it cannot be Star Wars but must be as great as Empire Strikes Back. And on and on it goes to the point that few pieces of art could withstand actually being evaluated under this model.
     
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  11. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Don't you want to relinquish a stable life for fresh tomatoes :mad:?

    ...tomatoes you could have otherwise normally grown on your Federation world/space habitat/ship?
     
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  12. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh god, his damn tomatoes. You know...I'm pretty sure with the advanced technology the Federation has they could have transplanted his silly little tomato plants into some hydroponics bay and he could have planted them on whatever Federation planet he would have chosen to settle.
    Also...what is he even on about? It's not that hard to grow tomatoes. Or Corn.

    I mean what on Earth? There's this new invention called a "watering can" and this other new invention called a glasshouse.
    I mean it's possible that Eddington doesn't know about them, since he spends all his time writing Les Miserables fanfiction and forcing his wife to dress up as Javert in bed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2022
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  13. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Even better: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Weather_control_system

    Some unusually charitable individual ought to introduce him to the cult leader from "Paradise".
     
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  14. kkt

    kkt Commodore Commodore

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    Tomatoes are really hard to grow in Seattle. Oh, the plants will grow okay... if you water them in the summer they may survive to September. But the plant will succumb to fungal diseases in September or so, guaranteed, well before the tomatoes ripen. It's an exercise in frustration. The air and the ground are just too damp.
     
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  15. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's where the glasshouse comes in. Either one of those little ones people sometimes have in gardens or a big one that's shared by the colony.
     
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  16. kkt

    kkt Commodore Commodore

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    Glasshouses make it possible to grow a lot of things, but they don't make it easy. The gardener has to provide everything the plants need. The glass cuts down on the light reaching the plants, so they will either be less happy or you could put in grow lights. Obviously you must do 100% of the watering and fertilizing. You must also maintain appropriate humidity to avoid those fungal diseases.
     
  17. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Seattle and humidity? Oooh.
     
  18. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I dunno, we had one full of tomato plants when I was a child/teenager, and it never seemed that hard to grow them.
    Definitely not the miracle Eddington tries to turn it into.

    Plus in larger glasshouses such as a colony might use collectively there can be automatic irrigation and such. Plus they have hydroponics!
     
  19. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed. My parents never want for tomatoes and they are just potted and put on the deck.

    I know, I know, different environments but environmental controls are possible now! So much for advancements, I guess...
     
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  20. Arpy

    Arpy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ exactly. They can warp through space and conduct matter-energy teleportations….I think they can grow tomatoes in difficult environments.
     
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