There have been some surprising reports on ways in which the Star Trek television series has influenced the evolution of technology. William Shatner hosted a show on Star Trek tech, and has written a book, as well. I’m providing a couple of links to articles on some of the technology that has resulted from the flights of fancy behind Star Trek (including a Modern Marvels episode - I have linked it but it's over 40 min!).
And the contributions to technology are continuing. But is technology the only way in which Star Trek can help us along? What about with our humanity? Are there answers we can find in Star Trek that can help us in human terms? In our relating?
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We anthropomorphize. Look at Tard, the Grumpy Cat (And from Chrislove's fine recent diary on Tard!). How we ‘interpret’ facial expressions by human standards, though the ‘editorials’ we read from Tard’s expressions are without question NOT what she intended. However cool and funny it may be. We anthropomorphize when it comes to humor, and sometimes in other situations. But why not when doing so would bring us totally, absolutely, utterly historic changes and improvements in our world and our lives?! There is very little stopping that idea from helping us. Only adequate imagination and the will to apply it.
Sometimes we have done the equivalent of that. Once upon a time the world decided to work on the elimination of smallpox. It had been a scourge for centuries, until an effective vaccine was found. in 1979 it was considered eradicated. Human will can achieve remarkable things, sometimes.
But war has resulted in the death of human beings since the beginnings of time, affecting every society in like measure. War. The employment of violence against other human beings.
Two or more nations don't have to be involved for it to be war. Thousands upon thousands of soldiers don't have to be involved for it to be war. I know very little about Adam Lanza. Never met him, almost certainly never met anyone like him. And yet, this I know. War lived in his heart on that fateful day. War lived in his actions on that day. And the consequences left behind for others to try to clean up and cope with ... are the consequences of war. No positive fruits, no silver linings.
What does Star Trek have to do with this? There was an episode of Star Trek I have written about in comments at least three times since I joined Daily Kos. Here is what I wrote in one of those:
I think of an old Star Trek episode entitled Day of the Dove (first airing 11.1.1968). In it, a group of 'Earthers' and a like-sized group of Klingons are isolated on the Enterprise without modern weaponry. They find themselves equipped with cutting and stabbing weapons, swords, axes, spears, and they have at it. Eventually, since injured or killed warriors grow back lopped off limbs and heads and heal fatal wounds, it occurs to Kirk and Spock that something rather artificial is happening.Anyway, that’s the idea for tonight - to view the choice to engage in war anthropmorphically, as if it were a human adversary, there to be beaten. To commit to its defeat as if it were an entity in its own right. To not let IT win. As, sadly, it did last week in one of the most terrible events any of us can recall.
He finally arranges a pow wow with the Klingon leader, and they coordinate an end to hostilities, in some desperation, because they understand that the desire for revenge and the lust for blood is about to reach the point of being too overpowering to resist, at which point, presumably, they would be locked into an endless and irresistible bloodbath.
A scan reveals a malevolent entity on board which has staged the artificial conflict, and the cessation of hostilities is sufficient to drive the entity (depriving it of its energy source) from the ship.
Of course, we have no evidence that such 'entities' really exist, but it is easily possible to view violence and bloodlust itself as such an entity, with the warring parties essentially united by a common cause to serve and gratify that entity, even if it means killing each other to do so.
Why is it our species has nearly endless tolerance for blaming other human beings when scourges like cancer and vehicular death and war kill so many? Why can't we seem to muster the same passion for eradicating those our common foes that we generate against 'groups' of our fellow human beings?
Those invested in killing SHARE a belief in the legitimacy of that endeavor, as if it were possible to kill our way to a safer world. It isn't. It is a possible path for human beings to choose, to take, but it isn't the answer, and it never will be. I grieve for our species that that belief is so prevalent, even within those who argue the 'rights' and 'wrongs' of a dispute so passionately in a blog.
One final thought. I am on the side of those looking to reduce the ... unimaginable convenience of weapons of war in our society. But, though I am passionate in my thoughts and feelings about the issue, my feelings toward those who ... disagree, are not warlike. I don’t wish war upon those who have a different view. In fact, I wish them phenomenal experiences of peace, precisely in the hope that the importance and significance of those weapons will ever subside in their lives, and those of their families.
On to tonight's comments!
From kestrel9000 (Also submitted moments later by LilithGardner):
This comment from FishOutOfWater in AdamB's recommended diary, wins three internets.
Binders full of women..., buckets full of dicks...
Definite top comment, by grumpelstillchen!
Wow. The fact that comments like this one (by teacherjon) are no longer drawing knee jerk HR's says a lot about where we are at today. It's always darkest before the dawn.
From raboof:Tonight's Top Mojo, courtesy of mik!
This comment by stevej distills the gun debate to the simplicity it should have!
1) Not mass murder by docterry — 145jotter!)
2) Where denial ends by david mizner — 140
3) Robert Reich wants us to call the WH by C88 — 117
4) He has to stand up to them. by Onomastic — 115
5) The White House by Joan McCarter — 105
6) NRA=No responsibility association by Ismay — 98
7) REC this diary up, guys! by slinkerwink — 88
8) No, taking up arms against the gov't is treason. by leu2500 — 87
9) Nah by Sagebrush Bob — 86
10) The only explanation for SS being on the table by Penman — 82
11) Call the White House every day by Dallasdoc — 81
12) There is no justification for Obama to by Murchadha — 80
13) I am tired of being played for the fool and being by Wendys Wink — 78
14) Great news. Congrats to all by ericlewis0 — 76
15) What's the best way to advocate? by Dallasdoc — 75
16) Throw in medicare for all by chuckvw — 73
17) American politicians by recontext — 73
18) Before Comparing Israel's by Dburn — 71
19) HONOR â™¥ RESPECT â™¥ REMEMBER by KelleyRN2 — 70
20) Outrageous by therealcervantes — 70
21) I'm sure I'll get blamed by Dallasdoc — 70
22) Guns are the only thing I can think of by pat of butter in a sea of grits — 70
23) This is beyond revolting. by nzanne — 69
24) Good riddance by chicago minx — 67
25) Congress sanctioned the CDC by Hugh Jim Bissell — 66
26) Orwellian by joanneleon — 66
27) Engal is one of the few sane journalist we have... by Mr SeeMore — 66
28) Your racist, BS comment has no place here. by Onomastic — 66
29) No....We Will Not Consider This! by snapples — 66
30) Seems Like by bink — 64