Spoilers VOY: Atonement by Kirsten Beyer Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Aug 7, 2015.

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  1. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    ^ All animals are born with instincts that govern their perceptions and behaviours. Humans are extremely uniform, and as social animals dependent on group support are given to even greater conformity. Time and time again I see people en masse turn their back on their supposed principles and values because their base instincts won't support them. Blind spots and hypocrisies, with no apparent ability to even recognise that they should question their assumptions, yet alone actually succeed in doing so. A being responds, like any creature, to that which feels right, that which conforms to what millions of years of evolution have established as successful survival strategies, even if these are now inappropriate.

    Focusing on the differences and not the underlying similarities doesn't change the fact that those uniformities are there. "Highly" malleable, by what standard? I am quite familiar with the multiple factors that can govern gene expression, but it's all still there in the genes; changing which are expressed gives you options, but it won't change your essential packaging. Hardwiring is not a myth, anymore than bodily anatomy is a myth. Peoples' bodies may be different and may develop differently due to various stimuli and environmental factors, but they all follow the same plan. A person can't sprout wings or breath underwater no matter what you do. Odd mutations aside, some degree of malleability that initially surprised people in its scope aside, the brain and the abstract yet very real and impactful things that emerge from it, like instinct governing behaviour and perception, are limited in their diversity.

    If I'm to be convinced that it's possible to change, I want to see it. I want evidence that people are capable of acting outside of the tribalist model. I've encountered a handful, but only because they are hardwired differently.

    And of course, if you insist that everything is malleable, then any policies or perspectives built on this assumption swiftly lose contact with reality and we soon arrive at situations wherein nature is condemned for not being in synch with ideology, and square pegs are being bashed against round holes and then sneeringly condemned for being obstinate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  2. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    An increasing amount of evidence doesn't support the idea that Humans (or animals) have instincts.

    What you describe as 'instinct' is actually nothing more than a mechanistic property.
    Animals react to environmental stimulus in certain ways that differ compared to Humans (since we have different sensory inputs and experience the world differently).
    Our perceptions of the environment will differ from those of animals in a number of ways.

    I'm going to use a very basic example here:
    Why do birds migrate?
    Its because they are sensitive to changes in the Earth's magnetic field (among other things).
    Humans aren't sensitive to these changes on the same level like birds.

    Human babies for example grab adults fingers not due to instincts but rather due to sensory input - they react to the touch of another Human.
    Same thing is happening when they experience hunger... it's a reaction to other mechanical processes occurring inside the body - has nothing to do with 'instincts'.

    Are people seriously debating about 'insticts' in the day and age of increasing scientific explanations that trump outdated worldviews?

    Here's a little resource for you:
    http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/06/06/33neuroscience_ep.h31.html

    And I suggest you look into interviews with David Gabor and Dr. Robert Sapolski.

    Furthermore, changing the environment may not be enough.
    You also need to couple this with exposure to relevant education.
    Otherwise, if you change the environment/system without educating people into how it works, they will simply project what they DO know onto the new system and likely end up with same/similar problems they had in the past.
    It would be akin to putting a child into an aeroplanes control seat and asking them to fly you to another city.
    What are the chances of this kid successfully turning the aeroplane on, let alone taking it anywhere?
    And even if by some remote chance the kid stumbles on the proper controls via trial and error, will the kid be able to take off and stay in the air long enough to fly to another city?

    I don't think the probability factor is in the kids corner.



    P.S. Numerous animals can be domesticated and become non-violent if raised properly. Problem is, most people simply have little to no understanding on how to go about doing this, and they extrapolate usually from what they DO know - which cannot necessarily be applied to those situations.

    P.P.S. On a side note, there has been a relatively short term experiment in Dauphin (Canada) conducted in the 1970-ies by giving people basic income ('mincome' as it was called). They discovered that people didn't become intricately lazy, were able to ease off the pressures of 'working for a living' and dedicate themselves to education and find better jobs for instance.
    Look up online for relevant sources.
    Also, Dutch cities are incorporating universal basic income on a larger scale to see how it pans out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  3. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Humans - and members of any species - generally react in certain prescriptive, consistent ways, responding to certain stimuli in predictable and innate manner. Their impulses, desires and reactions are governed by their physiology, particularly how the human brain is structured after millions of years of evolution bringing it to this point. That is: how they are hardwired.

    Your assertion that we are blank slates made into what we are by the environment around us has no basis in reality, and selectively promoting the influence of environmental factors and epigenetics does not cause them to stand alone and triumphant, does not allow them to support the entirety of the human experience. They demonstrate that the matter of who we are is a complex one and that environmental factors play what was considered by many to be a surprisingly large role - challenging some preconceptions - but they merely challenge the idea that people come entirely pre-packaged, they don't demonstrate the romanticism of the opposite conclusion. That's ideology substituting for understanding - the tribalist's need to wear a perceptual grid and filter the world through it.

    Why do people have different sexualities? Because their brains are wired in different ways: it's not a choice. What would you say, that it's all malleable? That environmental factors alone govern sexual preference? Can we change someone's sexuality by altering their environment? That you can change someone's nature?

    I am well aware of the plasticity of the brain, thank you. That doesn't mean the brain can do whatever it wants or form patterns that don't conform to certain core principles. I can use my body in various ways, I can train and exercise and diet in ways that will affect my body, give me a different body than I would have had, but my body will still work to the same general plan that my DNA is encoded for, and that plan is very, very similar to the plan of any other human's body. The brain is malleable, but there are limits, and focusing on the possibilities does not cause them to outnumber or invalidate the barriers and the limitations.
     
  4. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Perhaps more to the point, and regardless of how much is innate and how much is due to environmental factors and one's own governing of their brain's connections and responses (and since those changes to the brain stick, that's hardwiring, right there, it doesn't matter if you were programmed that way before birth or if your family and teachers or even you yourself did it as part of an ongoing process - both, really), I've spent years waiting for reason to believe that it's possible for people to turn away from problematic impulses and approaches and every time, people - including most prominently those who claim to want to change - fall naturally into the same patterns, the same priorities, the same perspectives. It doesn't matter what we think is causing that - be it nature or environment - the situation remains that I don't see change, I don't see challenge to primal biases and assumptions, I see their reinforcement. And if I can't trust the people like those who frequent the Trek BBS, who can I trust? People like you, Deks, like so many here - you say these things like the quote I originally highlighted above, and it would give me hope and make me feel like I had fellows I could trust to work on building something I would be proud to be a part of - were it not for the fact that every time it goes nowhere, every time it is an illusion. Tribalist instincts will govern you, and your values and principles and ideals are no match for them.

    When I was a young teenager, there was a fight in the school grounds - one of those silly posturing brawls that don't mean anything. As one, in a single wave of movement, all 1,200 adolescents in that school rushed over to crowd around and see what was happening. All responding to the movement and priorities of those next to them and around them with similar movement and prioritization of their own. Leaving me. The only one standing there, not rushing over. My sister reported something practically identical in her own school; again, she was the only one standing outside and not conforming like a fish in a bait ball. That's the simple example - the situation in wider life is more complex than that, but every time it's the social instinct that wins out over any supposed concerns and values. Ethics, reason, vision - always secondary to, in service to, warped by, the overriding tribalist instinct. The brain may be malleable, but you can't escape the underlying structure. You can train your body through exercise, but you can't make the beat of your heart secondary to your supposed values. It will be integral to your body's function for so long as it functions, and if your ideals and values are at odds with it then there go the ideals and values.

    Social posturing and politics is all it ever is. Well-meaning and genuine it may be, but always in service to tribal instinct, and tribal instinct is incompatible with the values and virtues I believe in, and has proven itself to be every time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  5. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Which has what exactly to do with anything?

    Let me guess, you're operating on an assumption that this is politics, that I disagree with you on some as yet unclarified but rather predictable point regarding general worldview, and you're trying to deconstruct something in me that doesn't actually exist. Namely, you seem to think I want to defend the Confederacy and the assumptions upon which it is based.

    My problem here, to put it crudely, is that in criticizing the Confederacy you think you're the Federation and my position is, no, no you're not, though you seem to think you are.

    Why don't people around here understand that I'm not on some "opposing side" to you, I'm annoyed at you because you're not living up to your supposed values. The problem isn't that you're not Confederacy enough for my tastes, it's that you're far too Confederacy and won't do anything about it because you're convinced you're not.
     
  6. Idran

    Idran Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Citation-free rhetoric is more pathos than logos itself, Nasat.

    Just to pick out one point, yes, evidence suggests that sexuality is both genetic and environmental. See "Genetic and Environmental Effects on Same-sex Sexual Behaviour: A Population Study of Twins in Sweden", Archives of Sexual Behavior, February 2010, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 75-80. "Not a choice" doesn't mean "can't be shaped".

     
  7. Kirsten Beyer

    Kirsten Beyer Writer Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Good evening friends,

    I'm going to go through a few posts fairly quickly here before I delve more into some of the larger issues/debates this story seems to be fueling.

    Also, I have no idea what is up with the UK ebook thing. I'm going to ask my publisher but as this is an issue that is completely outside my expertise and job description, it's likely I won't get a quick response. If I do...I'll pass it along.

    Hmmm....I'm hoping that's a good thing.
     
  8. Kirsten Beyer

    Kirsten Beyer Writer Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Okay, I have no idea what is going on here, but I can't get quotes or multi-quotes to work anymore. Argh.

    So...

    laibcoms
    Idran
    Stardream
    Kiwein

    Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm glad the novel worked so well for you and appreciate Kiwein's valiant struggle to read it in English. I'm honored.

    Regarding the Delta Quadrant/First Quadrant thing...

    The point of the exercise for me wasn't so much about indicating to any degree of certainty where the quadrant boundaries are for the Confederacy. It was simply that when they did divide the galaxy (and why not quadrants) they would place themselves in a primary position, just as the Federation did with the Alpha Quadrant. It's never made sense to me that so many native Delta Quadrant species seemed to understand and accept the Federation's label. In the case of the Confederacy, that would never happen. Their existence predates the Federation anyway.

    Suffice it to say, they divided up the Milky Way (probably calling it the Source-y Way or some such nonsense) and according to their charts, they are in the First Quadrant.

    Also...Kiwein asked about books beyond PFoL. Nothing is certain yet...meaning contracts aren't done....but it looks like I'm doing two more at this point.

    Best,
    KMFB
     
  9. laibcoms

    laibcoms Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Philippines, ASEAN
    Don't worry, I suddenly got lost too with the discussion. :D

    You're welcome. It's great, for me, I can relate to it. There's a lot in it that reflects our reality today, and I like how the Federation was shown as not exactly as a utopia that we usually see it to be, because of how the Confederacy was put into the mix. A good balance. They both overlap, agree on, and disagree on, a lot of different things it threw even the individual characters and their beliefs into test.

    I'm with you. I'm struggling how the DQ simply understood and accepted the label convention of the Federation. For the immediate neighbors of the Federation, it would probably be understandable considering how influential they are in history. But DQ is too far.

    And if we consider how the universal translator works, "Delta" will be translated as the Fourth/Number 4. A very good play by the way there when the Confederacy was first introduced, they corrected the Federation numerous times "First Quadrant". Haha. Really puts the Federation into their place (not that I'm against them).

    Oooh, then all prayers, wishes, and hope! A lot of things to explore in DQ. Not to mention, technically a sandbox! And I'd say, a good thing the series is not running at the same time as the AQ/BQ time period, it's beneficial in many ways.

    Again, thank you for the new Voyager relaunch novels. I wish the physical books will reach us here in the Philippines, but for now, I'll live with the eBooks from Google Play or Amazon. :)
     
  10. Idran

    Idran Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    That's good enough for me! Like I said, it didn't really hurt my enjoyment of the books at all, just one of those niggling thoughts that itched at the back of my mind. :p
     
  11. Kiwein

    Kiwein Ensign Red Shirt

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    Germany
    I know that I can't change the world and the world won't change itself either. People also don't. Maybe that doesn't matter in 2015, maybe all that matters is that I change and I do care about the planet and other people. That's a start and totally enough for me at the moment. :)
     
  12. Kiwein

    Kiwein Ensign Red Shirt

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    Thank you for an amazing novel. I knew I wouldn't wait for the translation anyway, so every time a new book is out I have my Kindle in the left hand and my mobile with a dictionary in the right. Quite a journey, really, but it helps a lot to improve my English! Thanks for that.

    Great news! I keep my fingers crossed for you and us and I agree that it's good the show isn't running anymore and you can more or less do what you want.

    I am still thrilled by the fact how many of the authors must have worked together to get the whole Borg/Caeliar story done and working out through all the different crews/books.
     
  13. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
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    Different species seem to behave in accordance to the environment they are in.
    Even Humans who were separated from Human culture as kids have not developed Human language or behaviours which link them to 'civilized Humans' - however, they were also successfully re-integrated into society for the most part - not every attempt was successful, but we are also learning new ways on how to educate Humans.

    For that matter, if you took a baby born in the USA and left it with the amazonian head hunters... that baby will (if no exposure to other cultures is present) likely develop their language, culture and probably to become the best possible head hunter there is - and from that point of view, there's nothing intricately wrong with it... its a different culture.

    How do you expect this baby from the USA to learn how to speak English language if it was never taught, or know Algebra, what a car is, etc?
    Or do you argue that this knowledge will somehow 'come to them' out of thin air?


    Where did I say we are blank slates?
    To my recollection, I did not.
    I argued that Humans can be born with tendencies towards some things, but whether these tendencies lay dormant, emerge and/or change is up to the environment.
    Big difference - also, tendency towards something doesn't necessarily equate 'knowledge'.


    Whoever said its a choice?
    I simply stated that environment shapes Human behaviour, our choices, tastes, what we like and don't like.
    And apparently, you hadn't read the section of my reply where I indicated that the womb is also an environment that impacts Human behaviour (hormonal impact for example?).
    Plus, there are heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual people (to name a few) who later on in their lives experienced other stimulations that prompted their interest in having sex with people they never considered before (gay men slept with women, gay women slept with men, bisexuals have done both sides of the spectrum and also even 'settled' on one or the other).
    I'm gay myself, and I don't see women as sexually attractive, but I don't discount the possibility I might become sexually aroused by a woman later on in life due to different environmental stimulus impacting my sensory input that might prompt this reaction.

    To illustrate further... are you aware that you are not the same person you were as a kid?
    You may have retained certain behaviours like most people, but you definitely aren't the same.
    What has changed in that time?
    Too many factors to count them all, but I'll name a few:
    your education, perceptions of life, how you conduct yourself in life, how you relate to people, where you live and how this environment impacts you, etc.


    Have I argued that there aren't limits?
    I'm just stating that those limits do not really extend to Human behaviour which seems to be constantly changing due to environmental exposure, new information and sensory stimulus in general.

    Magic mushrooms for example will create new kinds of neural connections in the brain which result in a 'hyperconnected brain':
    http://www.medicaldaily.com/pulse/h...higher-levels-awareness-hallucinations-325316

    Are you seriously telling me that these experiences do NOT impact Human behaviour?

    I can easily observe how environment shapes my sister's kids behaviour, and then I reflected on my own life and realized how much different environmental exposure affected my own behaviour that resulted in a different individual from the rest of my family - and I was able to trace environmental influence across my entire family.

    Besides, how do you explain a person who picked up swearing from his parents and peers, but then later on decided that he does not want to be like them, and changed his behaviour by eliminated swearing from their vocabulary and aligning their way of thinking to reflect a more scientific point of view by using meditation to get him started?

    So here we have a Human who grew up in a specific environment and learned to behave in a certain way like most people around him did, then altered his own life by actively retraining the brain to think differently which altered his responses.

    Now granted, this is my own personal experience and one cannot extrapolate this to a population of 7.2 billion necessarily.
    But it raises the question: if my brain wasn't/isn't malleable to an extent allowing such a radical change as I became more and more informed, why did the change in question take place?

    And saying one is an 'anomaly' is not a good enough explanation.
    The same question applies to people changing their diet from omnivore to vegan for example.

    Both instances needed exposure to information and transition. It didn't happen overnight.
    It happened due to exposure to more relevant information and an arrival at a decision to make it happen.
    Star Trek was a relatively big influence in my early life and I liked how it showcased evolved Human behaviour - that was my initial exposure, along with some other lessons.

    If you couldn't change Human behaviour, we'd never evolve to the point we have today.

    Incidentally, there's more and more Humans who turned away from how they previously behaved themselves and emerged with different patterns of behaviours and responses.

    Unless you think its all pretence... or that they represent a 'contained' minority?

    The global population also thought at one point that the Earth was flat.
    This perception was eventually altered, resulting in different behaviours.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  14. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I read English Star Trek novels as paperbacks with an online dictionary. And it helped to improve my English, too. I also like the new covers by the German publisher Cross Cult, especially with Tom Paris (on Full Circle) and B'Elanna (on Unworthy/Unwürdig). The German version of Children of the Storm is due September 23, Eternal Tide is due February 2016.

    Looking forward to PofoL. I'm going to start with Atonement this evening. :)
     
  15. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    That's culture, which is entirely different. Of course they're not going to automatically acquire culture and language - but they are all wired for its acquisition. You keep responding as though the differences are paramount and ignoring the underlying similarities. The human body, and the human mind, works to a particular plan. The actual acquisition of language, or a language, is environmental: the underlying capacity for language, and tendency to respond to that stimuli in certain ways, is innate to the human animal as it has evolved.

    I can break a baby's arm in three places and it will grow up with a deformed arm. That doesn't change the fact that all human DNA encodes for the growth of healthy arms. The fact that humans growing up away from contact with other humans utilizing language will never acquire language skills, or at least have great difficulty doing so, doesn't mean that the human brain is not innately structured in such a way that language will emerge with the right stimulus.

    You implied it very strongly, particularly as I never challenged or disagreed with what you say here, yet you keep stressing environmental factors and epigenetics to the point that you flat out deny there is any such thing as human nature. How is what you say supposed to read other than as a defence of the blank slate?

    You were consistent, which I appreciate. No backtracking to preserve political status.

    I'm quite aware that environmental factors will have an effect on sexuality.

    But my underlying nature has not changed - I have worn these different clothes over time, but my body remains my body. My body itself has grown and changed over time, but it remains my body. You keep insisting that change can override that, that people can essentially cease being what they are. A human is a human and not another animal, and carries with it certain capacities and possibilities while not carrying certain others.

    Do you think I of all people need to be told how environment helps make you what you are? I've frequently banged my head against peoples' refusal to understand that experiences in early life, whether remembered or not, have very real and substantial effects on people as they grow; on their developing physiologies and so on their developing psychologies, developing personalities. My entire problem here is that no-one is doing anything to change the environment, but instead exposing the young to, and reinforcing and promoting, the exact same social environment that I was exposed to. While insisting and believing that they represent change. While they defend the idea that people can change wildly while never actually showing any indication of it. Because they will not act against their social, political and sexual instincts, and all other concerns are secondary to these, which means that reason and ethics and ideals don't mean a thing, because they last only so long as they don't conflict with those needs. People act and think on the basis of what feels right to them, and what feels right is that which satisfies the impulses and drives that feed that animal's particular needs.

    One particularly cannot work to change their behaviours and parameters when they refuse to acknowledge that those behaviours and parameters exist to begin with.

    Except there is a consistency in that behaviour that makes human reactions mostly predictable, across cultures and across environments. There are also obvious trends, customs and patterns within any given society. To claim that human behaviour is not restrictive or confined by limits is to ignore the social dynamics around one. That is my central point here - that the vast majority of humans exist within a social dynamic that was evolutionarily advantageous for the species and thus which is rarely questioned or challenged.

    In general, whether a change or a distinction is a meaningful one is mostly a matter of perspective. If a Christian, a Muslim and a Jew sit down and discuss theology, they may, from their perspective, be massively different and contradictory, with yawning gulfs between them. But from the perspective of one who is not religious, say, there is little difference, and that apparent gulf is no division at all. It's too easy to focus on the differences and the malleable aspects and so ignore the fundamental similarities.

    Humans are, when you get down to it, all essentially the same and all working to the same innate plan; variety and environmental influence and plasticity aside. Like all species, they have the capacity and the imperative to adapt, and to experiment. But if there exist consistent behavioural tendencies across environments and across cultures - and there do - then these tendencies stem, in some measure, from what we might call human nature. This, in turn, is the consequence of the shared genetics and similar physiologies of all humans; we are all products of the same environmental pressures and thus are encoded for similar behaviours that have proven beneficial.

    Of course people change; like everything, they exist in motion and are never consistent; they develop from one moment to the next. Again, I am not disagreeing with any of this. But they hold the same general shape, and no amount of change can be realistically expected to make people into something they're not.

    The vast majority of humans will never challenge or discard the tribalist mentality, and thus will never acknowledge that they are reinforcing an abusive system that destroys lives and other beings. They apologise for and defend the system, and talk change while obstructing it at every turn. One cannot solve a problem by reinforcing the cause of the problem.

    The only possible explanation is that they are naturally hardwired for this. There's no point in being angry about it, it's who and what they are. If you disagree - if you think that people in general can be something other than that - then show it. I want to be proven wrong here. But the years have instead just piled on ever more instances of people prioritizing their status in the social group over the very reason and ethics they otherwise defend and exhibit so eloquently. You say people can choose to change - indeed, yes, but it would never occur to them to change or to want to, it likely wouldn't register with them that they were working within a certain system anyway, because they are given to certain behaviours that satisfy the instinctual needs and drives of the human animal, statistically insignificant outliers aside.

    Constantly, for me growing up, there was the binary - in history, in politics, in academia, in science, there were the behaviours and attitudes that were identical to those that left me in the state I was in, and the values and virtues I aspired to. It used to confuse and demoralise me to see the two so closely intertwined, but I still assumed that you could separate one from the other. But eventually I realized that the civilization I was a part of emerged entirely from the social instincts of tribalists - the same instincts that caused them to relate to me the way that they did. The entire thing was a sham. You can't separate them, you can't tell yourself it's all a big misunderstanding, that people can turn around and demonstrate those worthy qualities without marinating it in the same assumptions and behaviours that led to me losing my grip on life. I've been waiting for years to be proven wrong, but always there is the same implicit message - that you can't have civilization without kowtowing to social, political and sexual dynamics, and those dynamics render all virtues, in practice, meaningless.

    What does objectivity and reason and compassion matter when you'll exhibit them with such admirable commitment only to turn your back on them whenever they threaten to challenge tribalist instinct?

    Again, these distinctions are irrelevant. To swear or not to swear is on a level far removed from the basic nature I'm talking about. Pointing to different clothing styles or hair styles doesn't make the underlying similarity in body plan go away.

    Obviously. Because people change. That is not in dispute. What is in dispute is the idea that these superficial changes mean that there is no innate human nature that governs behaviour and perception, and more specifically the idea that people will question the assumptions their nature gives them.

    The issue is: it is not a "radical" change. You keep making these changes out to be more important than they are. Moreover, you can only become "informed" if you want to be. If stimuli go against your instinctive preferences or threaten to challenge your social and political status, you would likely ignore them - indeed, when presented with information that conflicts with the beliefs that bring them security, people will usually double down on those original beliefs and aggressively reject the new input.

    Again, these are superficial differences and changes that say nothing regarding the capacity to actually change one's nature. Flexibility in diet in response to perceived needs is hardly some daring challenge to innate human behaviour - it is innate human behaviour.

    Exactly. And when one's instinctual nature will not permit them to break ranks or question certain understandings, they will not look for that information, or will not accept it when presented it, and will not make the decision to change - though they'll probably wrap their general conservatism in the rhetoric of change and insist that they're altering the way they function, that they're "progressing". That because they've painted it a different colour it's now a different object entirely.

    Slow change, over millions of years. An individual can change much of the superficial detail, but a change to the underlying humanity requires widespread environmental shift and most likely generations. Yes, I am aware that certain changes can happen in what many would have called surprisingly short periods. But can you demonstrate that all these gradual changes in behaviour were not made in accordance with certain universal human requirements and attributes?

    Has the Christian converted to Islam, or has he actually rejected monotheism or organized religion? These are very different degrees of change.

    My problem is this: why speak of change if you're not going to change? If you're going to constantly replay the same perspectives and biases and social dynamics? If you're going to be reasonable and responsive to objective realities and new revelations in one breath and then slam the door on them the next? This is exactly what I mean about people here - you're a cruel trap that promises so much, but when we get right down to it there's no escaping the tribalist system: the same system that is the cause of the things you're ostensibly trying to change, and the same system that unapologetically destroys lives, that neglects and abuses and exploits. That is mired in blind hypocrisy.

    Show me the capacity for change. Show me that ideology that strokes and conforms to innate assumptions won't be embraced, that instinct can be successfully overturned in favour of something better. Show me allegiance to ideals and not to status. Show me the understanding of what innate qualities you need to be aware of so you can challenge them, rather than refusing to acknowledge their existence. Show me that you can think outside of the tribal system.

    Show me that I can join and learn from you, and not have every lesson rendered meaningless.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  16. Kiwein

    Kiwein Ensign Red Shirt

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    I also love the German cover artwork very very much. They are filled with love and passion for the whole genre. They are much better than the US version. I am looking forward to every new German novel, though I already read them. I have the Janeway artwork as a background photo on my phone right
    now.
     
  17. John Clark

    John Clark Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There
    I believe region locking is still an issue with e-books from Amazon to some extent. Haven't actually tried it yet though.

    Simon & Schuster UK seem to offer some links but I can't see a way to buy it from the directly and a quick glance at the partner sites doesn't seem to offer this one:(
     
  18. SAS

    SAS Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    I got a reply from S&S on the 17th saying it was a internal issue and had been delisted by mistake, Kate the agent who responded assured me that it had been fixed and would show on sites shortly, unfortunately since then emails and calls to S&S have been ignored.

    the Amazon page just shows not available: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Trek-Atonement-Kirsten-Beyer-ebook/dp/B00P42LTWW

    As Monday is a Bank Holiday in the UK hopefully S&S will respond on Tuesday/Wednesday and put it up.
     
  19. laibcoms

    laibcoms Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2014
    Location:
    Philippines, ASEAN
    Hmm, not sure if your readers are compatible but give the Google Play copy a try: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=QFEjBQAAQBAJ

    It's supplied by Simon and Schuster.

    You can download a PDF and ePub version (both with Adobe DRM) to read in another device. https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/1062502?topic=1187416&ctx=topic (Although, when I tried it, I can't get it to work, something was wrong with Adobe Digital Editions.)

    They're on time too with new releases. EDT/EST time though.
     
  20. SAS

    SAS Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    yeah it's not available in the UK, no purchase option, change my region to US and it will show.