Star Trek

Ethics of our Robot Overlords


Data-Aida (2)

Is Data a person? Should we feel bad about Han Solo kicking C -3PO around? And whose fault is it that Ultron and Aida turned out so bad?

On this episode, Jacob and Matthew dive into the ethics of artificial life.



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Why I’m a Fan, and Why I Write this Blog

hidingI’ve seen this comic going around, and I like it and think its pretty accurate. But I want to add one more panel- one where the fan comes back out of the Tardis, and starts walking toward that big messy ball of conflict and says something like “ok, I’m back, and now I’ve got some ideas on how to deal with it all.”  Even better if the art shows him seeing some other fans who weren’t able to get away from the conflict the way he did.

Escapism can be pretty great, and is often a pretty basic need, whether you’re escaping the troubles of the world, or just your own home. As a kid, I would re-read roleplaying books or re-watch my favorite scenes from Star Wars as a way to drown out my parents fighting. To this day there are movies and TV shows I will turn on because the conflict between the Vorlons and the Shadows makes more sense to me, and feels less hopeless, than what I read about in the news. And when I need that, I do my best to let myself have it without shame, or judgement, something I still struggle with. Nor is anything I write here meant to shame others who need that escape- this is about my own feelings only.


The Danger of Fear: Star Trek DS9 & the Need for Villians we can Relate to

This post contains spoilers about Star Trek: Deep Space 9 episodes Homeland and Paradise Lost.

DS9I’m four seasons into a binge watch of Star Trek: DS9, and I’m enjoying it far more than I thought I would.  The characters and stories show a bit more depth and maturity than I am used to from Trek, and the break from episodic story telling is a welcome relief.  But it’s still Trek, with all of the camp, the 2-dimensional non main characters and middle school approach to love, sex and relationships that I have come to expect.

So I’m not sure I can describe how surprised I was to get to the end of Homeland, the first in a two-parter in the middle of season 4 and realize I was watching a complicated, nuanced take on an issue with as much, if not more, relevance today than it had when it first aired. Even more surprisingly, the characters were in conflict and I didn’t know who I wanted to win!

This was something pretty new. And after getting to the end of the two-parter I’m comfortable saying its some of the best story telling Star Trek has even done.