My gripes with Asian casting and character naming in Paramount+ Trek

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' started by Enterprise1701, Jan 2, 2023.

  1. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk A Spock and a smile Premium Member

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    So? Asian means a lot of different things. It not limited to being born in a particular region.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But that is obviously not what "Asian" means in this context. It's being used as an ethnic category, for members of the Asian diaspora such as Asian-Americans, Anglo-Asians, etc. Surely that's been self-evident from the start of this thread.
     
  3. USS Artorius

    USS Artorius Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I apologise I never meant to insinuate that white people have it worse than any other ethnic background. It's still obvious in many places around the world that minorities are still treated the same way they have been for hundreds of years. I was simply trying to say that there are still minority groups preaching racial superiority under the guise of racial empowerment but it's true they are a marginal minority.
     
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  4. El Maestro

    El Maestro Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Do you mean “rough” as in being victims of racism and Jim Crow style oppression? Because obviously the notion that white people have experienced anything like that is pretty laughable. But in terms of poverty and socioeconomic malaise? White people can experience this just as acutely as ethnic minorities can, it just looks different.
     
  5. HotRod

    HotRod Commodore Commodore

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    Obviously.
     
  6. HotRod

    HotRod Commodore Commodore

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    Fair enough. And I apologize for my... somewhat heated response.

    My neighbours have me kinda on edge over the whole race issue, as of late.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Of course they can, but that's not the point. As some have said, "White privilege doesn’t mean your life hasn’t been hard. It just means the color of your skin isn’t one of the things that makes it harder." There may be other things holding you back, but that hasn't been one of them.

    It's not a competition for whose life has been worse. It's about recognizing the systemic biases that make things intrinsically harder for some than for others. And there are a lot of those, some racial, some gender-based, some class-based, etc. The existence of one does not make the others irrelevant or unimportant to acknowledge.
     
  8. vulcancicada

    vulcancicada Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't want to get all postcolonial in here, but 'lingua francas' emanate from a power structure and it is important to acknowledge that. Many people speak English or Spanish or other colonial languages not because they want to, but because they have to and many associate those languages with oppression.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You could say the same about major world religions, or calendars, or measurement systems, or what side of the road people drive on. Of course anything globally or semi-globally used comes from colonial or imperial origins, because that's a major part of history. That doesn't mean continuing to use them is endorsing or denying past oppression; it's just that those are the universal things we have now, and any attempt to invent some new universal system unconnected to that history is likely to bomb as completely as Esperanto did.

    Besides, things with bad origins can be redeemed for better uses. When I was a kid, "gay" and "queer" were insults; now they're terms embraced with pride. Their continued use rejects their harmful origins rather than perpetuating them. History is messy and ugly in all sorts of ways, but what matters is what we do in the present and future.

    Besides, as long as people aren't compelled to use a single language, as long as they're free to embrace their own languages and cultures in their own communities and homes while using the lingua franca to communicate with other communities, I don't see how that's a bad thing. Like I said, most humans are bilingual.

    When I say that English is already the universal language of science, space, engineering, and commerce, and that it's therefore plausible to depict a future where it's the lingua franca of spacegoing civilization, that is not saying that English is a superior language or that it's morally right for it to dominate; it's merely saying that it's a believable conjecture. It just so happens that our space age began in the English-speaking world. If history had unfolded differently, the universal language of space and science today might be Chinese or German or Spanish. But that's not how it happened.
     
  10. vulcancicada

    vulcancicada Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, your perspective is that English is universal. That is a western perspective. English is not 'universal' and it may not be as prevalent as it is now in the future. Also pretty sure the USSR (where they spoke...Russian) was actually the first to launch into space and whose competition, it could be argued, furthered technology development on both sides.
     
  11. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    I can't deny that the ubiquity of English is primarily due to the centuries-long geopolitical tendrils of the Empire. But I think the point is that, at this point, the vernacular core of so many industries -- especially those revolving around science and technology -- is so rooted in English that it would be impossible to change.
     
  12. vulcancicada

    vulcancicada Commander Red Shirt

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    That was also thought of Latin, which used to be the language of science - Newton published in Latin; it was considered vulgar to talk about science in English at that time. I get what you guys are saying and I'm not trying to be obnoxious but since this thread is about representation, just thought I might point out that English is only universal in certain contexts, it's not literally universal.
     
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  13. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    The big difference between English and Latin is the preservation and accessibility of documentation.
     
  14. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    As my friend who studied Latin for seminary would say,"Latin is a dead language; as dead as dead can be. It killed the Greeks, it killed the Roman's and now its killing me. "
     
  15. vulcancicada

    vulcancicada Commander Red Shirt

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    Having also studied Latin at seminary, I would tend to agree.
     
  16. vulcancicada

    vulcancicada Commander Red Shirt

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    Sure, but I think my point was just that things do change over hundreds of years in a way that a human being with a single lifetime can't really foresee. And currently, English does not have the most speakers worldwide either as a first or second language. This universality exists only in certain contexts, certainly in the academic publishing world, definitely the perspective from english-speaking countries and Trek definitely comes from an American perspective.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, it is not. Please do not twist my words. Read my last paragraph again: "When I say that English is already the universal language of science, space, engineering, and commerce, and that it's therefore plausible to depict a future where it's the lingua franca of spacegoing civilization, that is not saying that English is a superior language or that it's morally right for it to dominate; it's merely saying that it's a believable conjecture."


    Yes, obviously, but that's exactly the point. The specific fields in which it is used as a lingua franca -- including space, science, engineering, and commerce -- are the ones that would come most importantly into play in the emergence of a spacefaring human society. If we'd gone into space centuries earlier, that primary language might have been Latin or German (which was the lingua franca of the scientific world for a long time), and if it were centuries later, it might be, say, Hindi or Mandarin. But since the dawn of space colonization happens to coincide with the era of history where English dominates scientific, technical, and commercial fields, it stands to reason that, due to that accident of historical timing, English could plausibly become the universal language of space-dwelling civilization, as distinct from Earthbound civilizations.

    At the very least, as a science fiction writer working in English, I find it convenient to postulate that English is the primary language of starfaring civilization, and it is helpful that there is a plausible justification for that. Although it's not the only language, of course. The spacefaring communities in my main SF universe are culturally and linguistically diverse, and in my novel Only Superhuman I depicted linguistic evolution starting to take place, e.g. a pidgin of English and Mandarin that would be the first step in the evolution of a creole of the two. My current Patreon serial, continuing the setting of that novel, focuses on a character from a space habitat that's linguistically and culturally Japanese, and there are a number of Martian nations in my universe where Mandarin is the dominant language.
     
  18. vulcancicada

    vulcancicada Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't think I had an argumentative tone, I apologise if you read it that way but I am not looking to get into heated discussions on here so I am going to go ahead and stop replying. I wish you luck with your work!
     
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  19. USS Artorius

    USS Artorius Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    When the universal translator is invented, none of this will matter :techman:
     
  20. ReddishAlert

    ReddishAlert Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I didn’t think they were all speaking English. I thought it was the universal translator. So shows what I know!
     
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