Spoilers Yeah... I give up - Star Trek has abandoned philosophical naturalism - it's depressing/juvenile

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by INACTIVEUSS Einstein, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. XCV330

    XCV330 A Being of Pure Caffeine Premium Member

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    There is an off button on your remote and a cancel button on the cbs page. You can just de-canonize it in your head. Myself, I find Discovery to have been surprisingly good.
     
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  2. Mechanoid1

    Mechanoid1 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Already canceled, all thanks to Discovery.
    Live long and prosper.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  3. lawman

    lawman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Personally, the main thing I associate with Fuller is Pushing Daisies... which was a wonderful, quirky, colorful, downright whimsical show... even when it was dealing with what would normally be seriously dark material. Not that I'm saying it offered a template Trek should or could follow — just that it demonstrated Fuller is capable of handling a wide range of material, in terms of tone and theme. So I'm honestly nor sure how much of DSC's shortcomings to lay at his feet, especially considering how (relatively) early in the production process he was out of the picture.

    Well, in all fairness, every one of those shows pretty much sucked "when it first came out." Some of them got better later, and some didn't, but certainly none of them deserved to be immune from criticism out of the gate. The only Star Trek series that was ever genuinely awesome in its very first season was the one that premiered in 1966.

    Speaking strictly for myself, I would enjoy seeing a somewhat more optimistic and values-driven depiction of Starfleet than DSC has been giving us, but that definitely doesn't mean I want "cookie-cutter... perfect humans" in the TNG mold. I prefer something more in the TOS mold, where the characters were human (well, at least half) and their challenges were real, but the show still managed to be colorful, idealistic, and upbeat.

    The notion that we need to see a darker backstory in order to justify that idealism a few years down the line is frankly unconvincing to me. It's the same kind of post hoc rationale that was offered up for the darkness of the movies Man of Steel and then Batman v. Superman... that they were just "setting the stage" for the more upbeat idealism to come later (about Superman, for heaven's sake, whose defining characteristic has always been that he's the perfect hero!)... when really it just came down to the fact that Zack Snyder doesn't much care for that heroic ideal and thinks darkness is kewl.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  4. Agony_Boothb

    Agony_Boothb Commodore Commodore

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    That is a fair critique. From what i have seen of TOS, i feel like they showed the human ideal. Flawed to still be relatable but idealistic enough to be inspirational. I guess I'm seeing Starfleet in Discovery as a transition between the starfleet of enterprise's time where starfleet officer were borderline racist to vulcan, and the starfleet of TOS. In that context I can understand why the show runners would have gone for a darker back story.

    I agree with you about the DCEU movies, though. I hate them for the exact reasons you've mentioned.
     
  5. INACTIVERedDwarf

    INACTIVERedDwarf Commander Red Shirt

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    Thanks for saying this.
     
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  6. Smoked Salmon

    Smoked Salmon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Do you know what? I am sick and tired of reading “you don’t have to watch it”, and variations thereof, from people. It’s not one that is limited to Trek fans either.

    When are people going to understand that we here are all Trek fans for one reason or another. That means if there is a new movie or TV episode we want it to be good in the manner that we individually like our Trek. Simple saying “don’t watch it” to a fan is idiotic because it ignores the investment that fan has in the franchise. It’s about time people stopped with this hand waving nonsense and started accommodating different opinions.
     
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  7. Serveaux

    Serveaux Tasteless and unnecessary Premium Member

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    This paragraph is precisely what's wrong with this show's writing - has nothing to do with whether it's called Star Trek or not:

    It's not all that's bad on the show, but it nails a central failure.

    Discovery is exciting and not much else.

    Oh, in paragraph three the piece gets into a lot of the usual Trek-specific complaints that folks may or may not care about. I don't; not much.
     
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  8. GeekUSACarl

    GeekUSACarl The Last Starfighter Fleet Captain

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    Yes

    It's a new installment of Star Trek, The only real similarities to Sliders and Dr. Who is that they are sci-fi shows..
     
  9. Serveaux

    Serveaux Tasteless and unnecessary Premium Member

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    It doesn't seem much like a new anything.

    Robert Hewitt Wolfe had his own "The Federation has collapsed" Star Trek pitch, which he eventually grafted on to Roddenberry's failed Genesis II concept to create Andromeda. The thinking behind it was pretty entertaining, although Andromeda itself suffered first from really spotty visual design and, after not too long, the kind of budgetary creative limitations that fucked up every MBR Productions attempt to leverage the Roddenberry name.
     
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  10. INACTIVERedDwarf

    INACTIVERedDwarf Commander Red Shirt

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    He wasn't the only one who felt that was a silly thing, I hope Christopher Bennett doesn't mind me quoting a post he made on TOR.com's comment section, but I noticed he found the "head-Culber" over-the-top - I don't want to misrepresent his words, because he didn't feel as strongly about the episode as the OP, but:

    Anyway, I’m reluctant to believe that was actually Culber’s “soul” or whatever in the network. I don’t want Star Trek to be turned into blatant fantasy, and I don’t want the mycelial network to be the afterlife or whatever. I’d rather believe the Culber we saw was just a construct of Stamets’s subconscious telling him things he hadn’t consciously sorted out yet. But he did seem to know one or two things Stamets shouldn’t have been able to know, which is a problem.

    Also, oh, joy, one more “You’re in your mind but it conveniently looks exactly like the standing sets for mumblemumble reasons” story. Twice in one week, since Supergirl did it last Monday — and it felt more plausible there, because it was explicitly her own mind doing it, not “the network” doing it for Stamets’s benefit as if it were sentient.
     
  11. XCV330

    XCV330 A Being of Pure Caffeine Premium Member

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    Then don't read it.


    Fair enough, I see your point.
     
  12. INACTIVERedDwarf

    INACTIVERedDwarf Commander Red Shirt

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    Also, when when Farscape did "head-Scorpius", or Buffy did head-stuff, it was almost never played straight. Buffy is famous for self-parody, despite it's tropes actually having real emotional resonance, and being used well. Farscape clad the concept in believable enough neuroscience; a chip in the head causing actual visual signals. Buffy and Farscape both treated the idea with levity. Ever since, it has been used by markedly less well written shows, with far less self awareness.
     
  13. Serveaux

    Serveaux Tasteless and unnecessary Premium Member

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    The idea of moving an individual's essence from one "container" to another is blatant fantasy. Trek's been doing it for fifty years and I haven't seen Christopher complain about the precedent...

    Mind you, I'm not talking about the idea that a version of "you" might be recreated in another medium - can human beings be copied into computers, for example? Maybe, probably. But Star Trek has always embraced the old mind/body dualism thing. When Kirk and Spock and This Episode's Muldaur vacate their bodies so that Sargon and company can borrow theirs, they actually get moved. And then swapped around and piggy-backed into Christine Chapel (how did This Ain't Star Trek miss exploiting that incident)? And then home again, home again...
     
  14. INACTIVERedDwarf

    INACTIVERedDwarf Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, but, katras (Star Trek III probably being the most fantastical of all the original films by far), are implied to be someone just imprinting memories on someone else's neurons.

    EDIT: I'm just leaving work so can't make a long post, but mind-body dualism isn't inherently incompatible with humanism or naturalism. Even the Greek concept of the "soul" as defined by Plato was originally quite secular, meaning something more akin to "personality".

    Actually, as long as it was grounded in physical reality, the concept of a katra, while stretching believability in terms of how one could be imprinted through touch, isn't too bad. Just more of sci-fi's examples of "telepathy".

    The Culber created by the mushroom network is also possibly naturalistic, but the problem is the sillyness of it's use; a trope you would expect in something like Smallville.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  15. Serveaux

    Serveaux Tasteless and unnecessary Premium Member

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    I don't know where there's any such "implication" in canon. Seems more like an assumption.

    No one's ever treated KatraSpock as anything other than the (wait for it) real McCoy.

    Kirk even refers to it at one point as Spock's immortal soul.
     
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  16. Kate Kane

    Kate Kane Admiral Admiral

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    In what way? Bones exhibited facets of Spock's personality.
     
  17. AlanC9

    AlanC9 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What would count as "new"? Something that's never been done by anyone, anywhere? Tall order.
     
  18. Serveaux

    Serveaux Tasteless and unnecessary Premium Member

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    Something thoughtful with a little novelty would be a nice start.

    Well, if Trek is just macaroni and cheese now, there's really no reason for them to aspire to anything more than serving big helpings of the Kraft boxed variety to whatever long-time fans aren't completely sick of it.
     
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  19. AlanC9

    AlanC9 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I can never tell if the problem with Discovery is supposed to be that it's not Trek-like enough, or too much like the rest of Trek.
     
  20. zenophite

    zenophite Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't really understand why it's considered 'silly' by so many. The appearance of Culber could have a number of interpretations but it's main purpose is to explain some aspect of the Mycelial Network that can be visualized easily. as such I simply took it as some combination of the network appearing in a familiar form to Stamets for that purpose.

    Now with that said I also find it perplexing why so many people seem so offended or off-put by something with a possible spiritual or mystical interpretation. This overly emotional objection is not really based on Science so much as Scientism. Mainstream Science has nothing meaningful to say about such experiences because it simply cannot account for them - there is nothing to measure. There is also no generally accepted theory about how such phenomena might work. There are plenty of things that are poorly understood and cannot be measured - at least not reliably - this does not mean that they don't exist only that we, at our present level of understanding, cannot fit it into our models of the universe. That's all you can say about it from the scientific perspective. Saying anything 'spiritual' is 'silly' is not Science - that's simply a metaphysical statement based on a particular belief system.
     
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