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Cake day: June 12th, 2023

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  • Irreparable brain damage is something the Federation remains uncomfortable trying to “fix” with advanced tech well into the TNG era, as shown by Bareil’s situation in DS9 Life Support.

    Knowing nothing of brain science, I’d extend your theory to posit that Pike also lacks the brain function to do any fine motor controls of his body: he can conceptualize simple things like “go to a place,” but cannot handle anything more precise. As such, the chair and beeper allows him essentially the same freedom of movement and expression that his damaged brain could have got out of a more “conventional” set of cybernetic replacements.

    Pikes chair still sticks out as a classic example of old Star Trek having moments of not-so-prescience, but viewing it as a solution to a damaged brain more than a damaged body definitely helps make it less absurd.


  • From the Washington Post piece:

    But the study doesn’t go so far as to say that Russia had no influence on people who voted for President Donald Trump.

    • It doesn’t examine other social media, like the much-larger Facebook.
    • Nor does it address Russian hack-and-leak operations. Another major study in 2018 by University of Pennsylvania communications professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson suggested those probably played a significant role in the 2016 race’s outcome.
    • Lastly, it doesn’t suggest that foreign influence operations aren’t a threat at all.

    And

    “Despite these consistent findings, it would be a mistake to conclude that simply because the Russian foreign influence campaign on Twitter was not meaningfully related to individual-level attitudes that other aspects of the campaign did not have any impact on the election, or on faith in American electoral integrity,” the report states.







  • As other posters have pointed out to you, blithely dismissing OP’s question because they are asking about the meaning of “nonsense words made up by writers” is completely missing the point of this community. We all know Star Trek is fiction constructed by writers; pointing that out while adding nothing else of interest is both pointless and boring.

    We don’t expect or require all answers to be from an in-universe perspective, but we do expect everyone to engage in discussion politely and seriously. If this is all you have to say on the subject, don’t comment.







  • This was an excellent finale (as all four of them have been, not at all a given with modern Trek or frankly modern television in general), and fully justifies the somewhat weaker setup episode before it.

    “A paywall on a bomb?” might be the best joke this show has delivered in it’s whole run. I don’t often crack up while watching these episodes, but this one really got me. At the very least it’s up there with “It’s a bomb! You can only use it once!” from Wej Duj. I’m sensing a pattern.

    In more typical lower key Lower Decks humor, Boimler and Rutherford arguing about if Locarno looks like Tom Paris was excellent.

    I do wonder what the plan is with Tendi. We’ve seen supposed major shakeups like this dropped into previous finales, of course, with Boimler leaving the Cerritos for the Titan at the end of season one and Freeman getting arrested at the end of Season 2, which were quickly reverted in the first few episodes of the subsequent season. Odds are that’s the play here. I hope so, because losing Tendi would suck. She’s a delight.

    Why was Boimler the acting captain when the command staff took off on the captain’s yacht? There was a full Lieutenant right behind him on the bridge, and surely tens of others on the ship who are more senior and more qualified. A little bit of a main character boost there.



  • This episode was okay, I guess? It feels very strange to be sitting on one half of an obvious two parter from this show, and recent Trek shows have left me with an instinctive suspicion of mystery-related plots. This is a good writing team so I have hopes they’ll carry this rather bizare setup into a satisfying resolution that actually makes sense, but I’m much more nervous than I usually am.

    To play it all out: why the heck is Nick Locarno flying around in a little ship capable of disabling the systems on larger warships, transporting(?) the ships and crews to some planet while leaving wreckage behind? If this turns out to be another figurative Kelpian dilithium tantrum I’m not going to be pleased.

    I like what they were trying to do with Mariner in this episode, but for whatever reason it didn’t land quite right with me. Her whole pivot into even-more-than-normal overtly reckless behavior three episodes after the supposed precipitating event felt very abrupt, and the scene where she talks it over and appears to resolve her issues with Ma’ah felt rushed, almost forced. The Sito Jaxa makes reasonable sense as a backstory component, but I found it distracting and it does add to the “small universe” syndrome that expanding IPs risk falling into. Further, the “your dead friend wouldn’t want you to have emotional problems” bit is a cliche that rarely lands with me, and this time was no different: these aren’t problems that people can typically resolve simply by recognizing that their emotional reactions are irrational, so being won over with a rational argument isn’t very convincing. It speaks well of Mariner and Rodenberry’s future humans that this worked, I guess, but it does make it less relatable.

    Maybe I’ll be sold more easily on rewatch. We’ll see.

    The B-plot with Freeman and her deception was decent, although as noted elsewhere Rutherford’s presence feels oddly tacked on. I guess they wanted an engineer around, just in case?

    The Jaxa connection does give us a better shot at nailing down Mariner’s actual age, which was presumably somewhere between 17 and 22 (and likely on the later end of that range) at the time of the Nova Squadron incident in 2368. That puts her in her early- to mid-thirties, and lines up well with her service record. We can also confirm that Mariner was not a young child aboard the Enterprise-D, which launched when she was in her mid to late teens.










  • I dislike cringe humor and watching characters be uncomfortable, so I didn’t love the Rutherford/Tendi plotline, but there were enough cute moments in there to make it worthwhile. It feels like the show is openly baiting “shippers” at every opportunity, and this is the most flagrant example yet.

    With that said - and making no claims about if romance is in any way necessary or inevitable here - these two being so close is adorable.

    For a therapist, Migleemo is either really bad at reading other people’s emotions, or deviously brilliant at appearing clueless. Possibly both?

    I appreciate the continued development of Mariner as a person who keeps getting in her own way, slowly coming to terms with that and trying to figure out what to do about it. It’s a problem I don’t relate to at all in the specifics, but the more general “why do I keep doing this” is very easy to connect to, and I know I’m not alone in that. Her Ferengi friend laying it all out for her here seems like an important step, and I wonder where she’s going to turn next.

    This probably deserves a deeper dive at some point, but the further we go the more I see Mariner’s path as a more realistic and relatable trajectory for Michael Burnham to have taken. Both are superbly talented people capable of great things. Both are also reckless, supremely overconfident in their own judgement, and prone to self destructive behavior, all of which combines to put them and those around them in dangerous situations. Burnham in S1 right before the Mirror Universe jump and Mariner in the first episode of Lower Decks are in fairly similar places, both having been recently bumped down from more senior positions due to major fuckups. This is where their paths diverge: both continue to display all the behaviors that got them in trouble, but Mariner remains a lower decker on relatively unimportant assignments, with both her strengths and weaknesses clearly recognized by her superiors. Burnham, meanwhile, is fully returned to her previous high station and even promoted beyond that because her most problematic behaviors are improbably rewarded by a universe which places her in the middle of multiple extraordinarily significant events. I strongly related to S1 Burnham, and really wanted to see her grapple with her weaknesses and develop into a better person and officer over time. I didn’t get that opportunity, but Mariner gives a second chance at telling that slow-burn story and thus far, Lower Decks has done very well with it.