Tag Archives: Captain Picard

Replicator Redux

Earl Grey

Earl Grey. Hot!

I’ve written about the Yin-Yang of analog versus digital, a fundamental metaphor for how reality can be smooth or bumpy. I’ve applied the idea to numbers, where we see two types of infinity — countable (discrete, digital, bumpy) and uncountable (continuous, analog, smooth). There is also how chaos mathematics says that — the moment we round off those smooth numbers into bumpy ones — our ability to use them to calculate certain things is forever lost.

I’ve also written about Star Trek replicators and transporters, as well as the monkey wrench of the hated holodeck. According to canon, all three use the same technology (which raises some contradictions for the holodeck).

Today, for Science Fiction Saturday, I want to tie it all together in another look at transporters and replicators!

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Liebster Award

If you read my Disclaimer you know I’m a little uncomfortable with awards. They are obviously very pleasing to receive, and I appreciate the social aspects involved, but I just find I have somewhat mixed feelings. That said, sometimes I’ve been awarded by a blogger I know and regard, and it’s very hard to be my usually curmudgeonly self.

And given that my nominator, the blogger artist Sheikah on Dark Link/Light Link is one of those young people who gives me hope for the future, I cannot turn my back. In particular this young lady is smart, educated and capable, and if there’s anything I revere in people it’s those very qualities.

So let’s get to it: some Liebster Award fun!

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Drake’s Equation

Earth Mostly HarmlessThe other day I was Wiki Walking and ended up reading about the Rare Earth Hypothesis in reference to the Fermi Paradox and the Drake Equation. We’ve discovered that most stars in our galaxy appear to have planets of some kind, although ones with human-friendly environments may be quite rare.  The presence of a plethora of planets presumably provides a potentially large factor for at least one part of the professor’s pretty problem.

But it’s possible that some of its other factors are extremely small. They may be much smaller than anyone had imagined. They may be so small as to ensure that we are alone in the galaxy.

It’s even possible we are alone — or nearly alone — in the universe!

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Captain Shatner

Shatner0Submitted for your consideration: the case of one man, by the name of Bill, who has accepted a role on a new TV show little knowing he is about to become extremely famous. He is about to step onto the path of becoming a cultural icon; he stands unknowing at the beginning of something that will endure and be loved for (at least) 47 years.

Join me on a journey through a dimension of space and time, of light and shadow, of science and superstition. Let us descend to the pit of man’s fears and ascend to the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination.

Up ahead, the signpost — Your next stop: The Star Trek Zone!

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ST:TNG Happy 25th Anniversary!

When I lived in Los Angeles, the usual mode was that Friday nights were for hitting the bar with work friends to shake off the work week. Saturday nights were for parties and/or date nights.

Here in the Midwest, it seems a lot of parties are held on Friday nights (although Saturday nights are still date nights). The thing about that is:  (a) I miss those after work outings, and (2) Friday night parties are often kind of low-key because everyone’s tired after a work week. Saturday night you’ve had a chance to charge your batteries, and you’re ready for what comes before Part B.

Part A!

So tonight I just got home from a good and proper after work outing. And (bonus) it was held partially in my honor, so I didn’t pay for most of my drinks or hors d’oeuvres (sah-weet). It was held in honor of three of us who are changing jobs, so it was a celebration. Plenty of laughter, good snacks, good beer, more laughter, and I seem to now have a bet riding on the Gophers–Hawkeyes game tomorrow.

Long story; I’ll tell you later. Right now it’s time for another celebration! Twenty-five years ago today, Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered on CBS.

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ST: Did I Do That?

Before the age of blogs (or even web pages), those of us on the internet had other places to hang out and exchange thoughts. In fact, in many regards, the “Bulletin Board Systems” (BBS) and “internet news groups” (USENET) were more conversational than blog or Facebook comments. They were more like chat rooms where conversations took place over days and weeks (and months).

Like chat rooms, they involved a group of people having a conversation. I miss those days… blog comments are too brief and passing to be a conversation. At best, brief remarks are exchanged for a half-dozen rounds or so, and then the river flows on.

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Sideband #39: “Star Trekking It”

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!

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Why I Hated The Holodeck

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.

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