Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Arpy, Mar 19, 2021.
got to keep those togas bleached and tidy
Human Urine was a priced commodity for the Ancient Romans because of its use as a cleaning agent for clothes. People relieved themselves in special public vessels that then were collected by the various laundry businesses who used it to clean and bleach clothes.
How did it smell thooo
I don't think it was ever said outright that they didn't go to the stars until the 23rd/24th Centuries. Certain aspects may have implied it, but we don't really know that.
Bajor had been using those solar-sailer craft for several centuries by the time DS9 took place. So they clearly had experience with space travel.
What we know of those solar sails is pretty ambiguous, indeed frustratingly so.
Does this mean they explored their star system in somewhat different ships 1,200 years ago? Or that it is mere legend that any exploration took place even 800 years ago, and actual evidence of exploration is younger than that?
Oh, so now it's scholars rather than legends? But this is no longer directly associated with the "800 years ago" statement - might be the scholars believe in an interstellar sortie 350 years ago or something.
So it's a race between the two cultures. And Bajor would win of the scholars are right. Since we don't know when Cardassians went interstellar (ENT "Observer Effect" is our first real datapoint of them being outside their system on their own, assorted poets possibly hitching rides on Vulcan ships notwithstanding), we can't get much information out of this. But officially, Cardassia was considered to have won.
This is about the putative interstellar sortie, obviously, as Sisko speaks of "meeting" folks. "Ancient" is suggestive - but this is Sisko thinking in terms of the Bajorans having won the race. The accepted historical truth might have Bajorans first make contact when no longer "ancient". And the heavy suggestion is that the contact did not involve the use of these lightsails.
So the sortie was "ancient" (but we don't know how ancient - 800 years as with the apparent age of this specific model, or older, or younger?), and Sisko's little replica is associated with "first venturing into space" (but this is just poetic blah-blah, and Bajorans might have gone to space a thousand years before starting to build this specific lightsail model, after which it might take them additional centuries to reach the region of the tachyon eddies and get swept to Cardassia).
In the end, this episode tells us nothing much. Even in connection with "Accession", we're left with several main scenarios:
1) Bajorans have been milling about in their own star system for thousands of years, and Sisko's discovering of the blueprints to a specific lightsail makes him speak of 800 ybp specifically, even though this is not the startpoint or endpoint of lightsail use. The trip to Cardassia possibly took place long before Bajorans started using this specific model. Or then long after, but still in "ancient" times.
2) Bajorans first invented lightsails 800 ybp, and Sisko's model is in fact newer (and was fashionable during the time of Akorem Laam, only about 200 bp). The interstellar sortie probably took place farther back than 200 bp for it to be called "ancient".
3) Bajorans first invented lightsails only about 200 bp, and the "legend" about older achievements is bull. Bajorans still managed to get to Cardassia so many years before the Cardassians themselves went interstellar that the official Cardassian statement credits them with an "ancient" achievement.
They have a perfect planet and the means to protect that planet from natural disasters. Their system has other habitable planets they can expand to, if need be. For a species they're at a perfect point.
Not everything needs to be a constant drive to expand and consume. Bajor was self-sufficient and had no pressing need to expand. Their own gods were right there.
I always got the picture that Bajor did have a little bit of a federation era heyday but after dealing with that in their own time they just decided it wasn't worth the risk. And there's nothing wrong with that.
...Ah, one thing I overlooked in "Accession": Akorem Laam, who dates back 200 years, is surprised that the Cardassians occupied Bajor while he was away. He's not surprised by the fact that Cardassians exist.
So we can narrow down the scenarios a bit.
1) Cardassians got their interstellar propulsion more than 200 ybp, and used this for saying hello to Bajor. There was no interstellar capacity on Bajor at the point of the hello yet, but it may still have emerged before the days of Akorem Laam. So we have a time window: 800 ybp is assuredly before Cardassia got warp, and 200 ybp is assuredly after it. We still learn nothing about when Bajor got warp.
2) Cardassians were introduced to Akorem by third parties who practiced interstellar travel to both Bajor and Cardassia, before either had warp. So 800 bp is assuredly before Cardassian warp, but there's no other bookend to it, not until Cardassia occupies Bajor.
There's nothing wrong with that, it's just incredibly unlikely a planet of billions of people would agree on that for thousands of years unless there's some kind of suppression going on. Remember how restrictive the poet wanted to make the d'jara system.
Maybe one person would decide it wasn't worth the risk, but a billion people agreeing on that? Deciding against expanding their creature comforts and technologically advancing with no dissent? There would absolutely be dissent, and some of those people would have the means to develop technology. They would have to be suppressed.
Rememer in Parallels there were universes where Bajor was expansionist and aggressive, and none of those worlds seemed to diverge more than a couple decades ago.
If their sun goes nova or their world attacked, they're fucked....oh
This suppression need not be particularly excessive, though. All sorts of societies do it here on Earth, including some stuff that all of them do. Having a global goverment undivided on certain issues is no more oppressive or sinister than having a nation undivided: agreeing on a choice is how societies work.
Say, today we rather arbitrarily agree that the solution to overpopulation isn't wholesale slaughter, even though wholesale slaughter would be extremely logical, and likely to provide good results to meet certain really acute and pressing needs. We didn't always agree on that, but we today have reasons to suppress all dissent on that issue, even though nobody in recent history has really tried to make ends meet by killing large numbers of competitors (there are plenty of other reasons to kill!).
Bajorans by and large agreeing that progress is evil and should be stamped down wherever it crops up is not particularly implausible or sinister. It's not even indicative of the system of governing: the majority stopping the minority is the very essence of democracy, and the majority having to believe in things they don't personally have an interest in believing in is the bread and butter of it, too (especially when the majority has to be stopped from utterly crushing the minority despite having the democratic power to do so!).
Billions today agree that murder is bad, even though millions of them are murderers, sometimes by profession. Agreement is simply another word for compliance.
Just like we today suppress those who think theft is justice, say. It really isn't a big deal.
Bajor when we meet it just happens to have had a collapse of societal order, is all. Dissent is rampant, and religious warlords and opportunists rule the planet and spit on previously tried and true ways of keeping things stable and happy. Not just in "Emissary", but at the conclusion of "What We Leave Behind", too.
You’re comparing making technology to mass murder? So I guess when you watch Paradise, you see Sisko as the villain? When you read about witch burnings in history books, do you make the same defense?
I hope I don’t have to explain the difference between figuring out how science works and mass murder.
In What We Leave Behind, Bajor is a major power in control of their own destiny. Stability in a tried and true religious dictatorship is not better than prosperous freedom by any reasonable measure.
Blah. We (and supposedly all Trek players, too) have our odd ideas about morality, "odd" being in the very definition. After all, morality is all about having people do things they wouldn't do by themselves, or stop doing things they rather would do - all for the good of the society.
If overpopulation leads to suffering, it hopefully gets banned. If invention leads to suffering, it hopefully gets banned. We have managed neither yet, but then again, we aren't old and wise as a society like Bajor supposedly is... The banning need not be particularly inhuman, but the more attractive excesses one wants to fight, the more severe the required condemning of them. Hence extreme bans on certain types of sexuality in our society - and no doubt almost as extreme bans on progress in the Bajoran one, because progress is almost as attractive as sex.
In "What We Leave Behind", there is no indication that Bajor would be any different from what it was in "Emissary": a former theocracy whose population has lost its way and remains in internal turmoil, now stirred further by a second round of occupation by a cruel enemy, and led by a warlord (elected just like the earlier theocrats were). Prosperity may be in the books, but we hear of no such thing explicitly. Freedom... would depend. The warlord at the top is a former freedom fighter, that is, wanton killer: he might not see much point in letting others be free. And we hear of no connection between freedom and prosperity on Bajor: to the contrary, what's wrong with the life of a small-time farmer is the lack of proper government intervention!
^ Invention leads to decreased suffering. It’s not getting banned. Not by all the people, all the time.
I know she hasn't been here in awhile but our own @Nerys Ghemor has an interesting take on that universe. She suggests that in that universe, the Occupation happened exactly as it did in the prime one - except in reverse (i.e. the Bajorans invaded and occupied Cardassia). I highly recommend her Cardie fanfic ("Catacombs of Oralius" in the alternate 'verse, "Sigils and Unions" in the regular one).
That's just because Earthlings are still immature. Give it a few more millennia, and we'll learn better. Or die before we can learn.
Really, all change is bad if you're in a good spot, by the very definition. This should be obvious at a glance! Refraining from inventing won't take away your ability to invent in a tight spot, though. It's just the "keeping on inventing for a rainy day" mentality that drives change and makes things worse.
So long as there is death, disease, pain, yearning, and question, there will be invention.
And murder, rape and theft. Doesn't mean we shouldn't oppose all of em.
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