[-] [email protected] 1 points 4 months ago* (last edited 4 months ago)

Huh. It occurs to me that the writers were treating the passage of time as though they were frame rates of film/ video.

I'm not sure there's anything to this but the concept of matter and energy in our observable reality "vibrating" at a certain frequency might have something to do with the episode. Putting this in film terms we would say that the universe runs at 120fps (or more) while the Enterprise, crew, et al, reside/ experience reality at 60fps, and the orifice aliens experience it on the alternating frames also at 60fps. We're seeing two different narratives taking place on alternating frames.

This doesn't explain why the same planet is still there on the alternating frames.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 5 months ago

More of a stir than Darhe'el, who they were willing to arrest? (Though obviously that situation was much more complicated in light of who he actually turned out to be, it just serves as precedent)

submitted 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

A who's who of Cardassian officers and Bajoran collaborators (Darhe'el, for example) were persona non grata at best, and arrested to face charges of war crimes at worst. I can imagine that, if there were no specific incidents which could be linked to Gul Dukat, perhaps he and other Cardassian officials would be tolerated... But as he was the head of the occupation, I'm not sure this makes sense.

Is the best explanation that this is merely a matter of convenience to normalize relations between Bajor and Cardassia, or is there a plausible justification for his semi-frequent visits to DS9 and/or Bajor in the early seasons? What real historical examples are analogous to his relationship with the Bajoran (provisional) government?

Edit: 'Bajor' for the planet, not 'Bajoran'

[-] [email protected] 3 points 10 months ago* (last edited 10 months ago)

De facto slavery exists for women in Ferengi society, but the fact that no other apparent slave caste exists along with how quickly Ferenginar's patriarchy was restructured, if not quite dismantled, I think one possible barrier to an effective slave industry (certainly chattel slavery) is that there would be no concept of a person or group of people who should not be trying to earn profit, and the power structures that exist would not punish an enslaved person who was able to skim profits from any labor or administrative work they performed, nor would it necessarily reinforce their status as a slave if they were able to buy themselves out of their position.

I think Ferengi probably thinks that a person or business can own another person, but I don't think they can conceive of a person who can't/ or shouldn't own anything. This is like how it's not illegal to attempt to escape prison in some countries - There's a recognition of the desire to be free.

Now, that's all a huge problem when Ferengi develop interstellar travel and encounter full-blown slavers like the Orion Syndicate and other criminal elements, because 1) they'll not only participate in the slave trade for all the reasons you said, but they'll be really good at it, and 2) they won't fully understand the power structures beyond wealth which makes enslavement so egregious.

I wonder: Quark's weapon trading may not have bothered his conscience because of him adopting human ethics, as he feared, but because he was parsing his own ethics with a fuller understanding of the implications of what he was participating in as he was learning more about alien cultures.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 11 months ago

Thanks for the clarification

[-] [email protected] 0 points 11 months ago

You might still disagree with this, but I guess the main thing I mean by efficiency in the case of biology is that natural systems seem to take the shortest route in response to stimuli. So perhaps there is a difference between optimization and efficiency in the case of the Borg, and I would say that an unintended consequence of their advanced tech is that it would start to behave like an organic system as they adapt to new circumstances.

I think there is a problem the Borg maybe haven't acknowledged which is that they want an organized and optimized system, but progress or evolution means having a system which is good at responding to favorably to current conditions which may or may not exist in the future. Obviously the Borg are trying to also control their environment to be as predictable as possible, but they still encounter the unexpected (species 8472, for example) and have had some HUGE weak spots/ liabilities (Data can put a whole cube to sleep, their ships are subject to easily being infiltrated, etc). The Borg may believe in perfection, but I think they are on a fools errand.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 11 months ago

On this note, part of me wonders if some of the Ferengi encountered by the Federation early on weren't already outlaws looking to make profit outside the constraints of Ferengi ethics, such as they are.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 11 months ago

I think we can use the term environment instead of habitat to cover more ground - The Borg or their precursors certainly created a different environment in the macro sense by living in spaceships, but their tech is still navigating systems -biological and otherwise - on a microscopic level (nanoprobes are developing/ functioning in a humanoid body in space just as on a planet - that's their environment/ habitat)

submitted 11 months ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Couple of thoughts in response to this thread:

  1. I think the Borg, as a concept, somewhat falls apart when we considering that natural, biological systems are actually often perfect models for the efficiency that the Borg claim to strive for. And, to clarify, I'm not saying the concept falls apart from a doylist perspective - I think that the fact that Borg technology evolves independent of any particular intent and is highly automated to take the most efficient route to its endpoint kind of reveals the folly of the Borg, which would be super interesting to explore. They're just recreating systems which already exist in nature, from a certain point of view.

  2. Considering the miracle of dermal regenerators and similar technology, I actually think Assimilation is highly reversible. Just still really traumatic.

PS - I'm not really sure on what the policy is on linking topics from the subreddit but I'm trying not to post on Reddit so.i guess this is my way of transitioning. Remove if not ok, I guess?

[-] [email protected] 16 points 11 months ago

Oh definitely. I think everyone writing Ferengi episodes had this in mind.

But at some point in DS9's run, I think someone (probably Ira) realized that the worship of the "free market" was becoming even worse than the fictional and cartoonish economics that they invented for the sole purpose of making fun of capitalism, to the point that they somehow got away with giving Quark, of all characters, the moral high ground when criticizing human history.

[-] [email protected] 7 points 11 months ago* (last edited 11 months ago)

Although this would be a densely layered and hilariously pedantic scenario, I kind of doubt that Ferenginar has lawyers, as such.

Obviously someone must arbitrate disputes but I wonder if it wouldn't just be like;

Plantif: I want to file suit against my accountant!

Counsel: Alright - My consulting fee is 70 slips a minute.

Plantif: Fine - My accountant embezzled from me!

Counsel: And you just let him? There's no case here. By the way, I charge by the hour; that'll be 2 bars 2 strips. Next client!

[-] [email protected] 1 points 11 months ago* (last edited 11 months ago)

I'm sure the writers understood that synth/ AI would conceivably mean more than just Soong-like Androids and would include holograms as well as other advanced programs which possessed sapience or from which sapience could emerge, but it is another weakness in PIC's storytelling that it feels like the show doesn't understand that these entities are similar and would have been included in the ban.

A few lines of dialogue addressing other kinds of AI would have been satisfying in terms continuity, and would have also emphasized how unjust the ban was. Even tech-augmented individuals may have been unfairly impacted (poor Rutherford!), and while the show does show how former Borg are treated poorly, this is strangely not linked to the synth ban in any meaningful way.

Soong Androids and The Borg are used to explore the the concept of technological singularity (or at least early iterations en route).The (real) fear of the convergence of technology and society/ biology is leveraged as a metaphor for prejudice in TNG. PIC continues those threads... but does not connect them. Like, guys, this is a show about Picard and Data - TNG: Descent and Star Trek: First Contact are right there.

submitted 11 months ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Which is not to say that it is perfect or superior to Earth and the larger Federation's comparatively egalitarian post-scarcity economy, or even particularly ethical.

However, from what we're shown, the Ferengi political structure (which is clearly part and parcel with it's commercial structure) does not, with the one HUGE exception of it's treatment of women, make use of divisive social issues to distract its work force from the disadvantages of capitalism. Unlike contemporary Western capitalism, everyone on Ferenginar from the wealthiest to the poorest appears to operate from the same transparent, if morally bankrupt, ruleset, and the powerful, importantly, don't pretend otherwise.

This is a dark but kind of brilliant aspect of the rules of acquisition - All members of society, including laborers, are taught from birth to operate from a position of mutual distrust and can operate comfortably with full knowledge that the person on the other side of the table will disregard all other concerns in order to take complete financial advantage of them, and they will do the same. This bypasses a lot of steps that would otherwise be required in terms of building trust or engaging in any kind of sales or negotiation, although there is likely a lot more onus on each individual to do the calculus on any given business transaction internally to ensure that all of their vulnerabilities are accounted for. The phrase 'trust me' must be a complete joke in all contexts.

Furthermore, because greed is not just a social value but a desirable and marketable job skill, the playing field, which is horrific from the perspective of most 24th century humans, may actually be more level than even modern capitalism. There's evidence to suggest that if even the poorest worker can successfully skim profits without leaving immediate evidence behind, this is almost blameless. Quark knows that Rom shaves the latinum, for example.

This is not a complete theory and I'm sure there are plenty of counterexamples, but mostly I just wanted to gripe that shit is so tough irl right now that even working as a Ferengi waiter seems like a dream by comparison.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 11 months ago* (last edited 11 months ago)

The butterfly effect is overcome by something in Star Trek. But what characters perceive as time 'correcting itself' or 'pushing back' may be an emergent property of whatever mechanism allows them to manipulate events outside the constraints of normal spacetime in the first place. I'm not even sure the math involved in chaos theory applies when operating non-linearly. Math and physics nerds; Feel free to correct me.

I'm also not sure that Anarox's perception of time as having moods or intent is correct, but it may be useful to believe and act as though it does, in lieu of an explanation that is not forthcoming, even in-universe.

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