As a quick Sideband sidebar to the Star Trek holodeck article just published, I want to mention a metaphor I use to refer to a common science fiction fan phenomenon. The metaphor has a label: “Star Trekking it.”
A while back I mentioned another metaphor: “doing a Boston.” This is like that. It’s a specific reference applied to a general situation. In this case, the metaphor is a general idea in a specific context: explaining away ridiculous stuff in Star Trek.
And make no mistake, Star Trek needs plenty of explaining!
This is a rant about an aspect of Star Trek that always bugged me: the deadly, dangerous, ridiculous Holodeck!
If it seems familiar, you may have encountered it before. I wrote it back when the show (Star Trek: The Next Generation) was still running (1987-1994) and published versions of it then and later in various online venues (FidoNet, USENET, some websites). Long-time friends will certainly recognize the rant if not the writing.
If you were on the net before the web, and you hung out in Star Trek places, you might have stumbled over this.
Imagine standing on a very tall hill in middle of a thick forest. Your hill is tall enough to take you above the trees; when you look out over the trees, you can see for miles around you. Ahead you can see another hill sticking above the trees; this is your goal.
You want to reach that hill.
A question arises; you are asked, “How long will it take to reach yon hill? What will you need along the way?”