tanithryudo: (IDIC)
Been reading a lot of KS fanfics lately, and coming across a lot of common tropes that got me thinking about just how justified they are by canon. Figured I'd jot down some of my ramblings so I can keep my thoughts straight. =P

Read more... )
tanithryudo: (IDIC)
Say what you will about TOS, but they sure had their data security down pat. I was watching a review of The Menagerie, and in order for Spock to hijack the Enterprise, he had to:

1. Falsify orders for the ship to visit a nearby Starbase
2. Ninja the starbase records officer and create false orders to be transmitted to the Enterprise
3. Pop back over the Enterprise and lock the computer into the new orders

Step 1 would've failed if anyone had called ahead to the starbase to verify orders. Step 2 would've failed if the records guy he jumped thought to call out an alarm rather than get into a fistfight with a vulcan. Also, the whole thing would've fallen apart if Kirk had believed the starbase Commodore's insistence that no orders were sent and thus Spock must've lied.

Now compare to how the Enterprise D was:
1. Hijacked by Data from the bridge by mimicking Picard's voice. (Seriously, the computer doesn't even check the location of Picard's combadge, much less biometrics?)
2. Hijacked by Ferengi, the comedic relief of the universe
3. The Binars...well ok, they had admin access for repairs, so we'll give them a bye.
4. Moriarty...who lived in the computer core, so I guess he can have half a bye.
5. Hijacked by Wesley's magic nanites, because nanites are the other Hollywood all-doing macguffin

And then in Star Trek Beyond, the villain was able to reverse hack Starbase Yorktown from light-years away with some stolen probes, and then proxy-hack the Enterprise via the connection to Yorktown. Ah, the double edged dagger of networked computers and cloud computing, how I loathe thee.
tanithryudo: (IDIC)
I've read several KS fics now where the author takes the chance to get all soapbox about defending nuKirk's cheating on the Kobayashi Maru test. Mostly it's all waxing poetic about how Kirk is smart and wise and better at designing tests than all of Starfleet, with a retread of the usual criticisms of the idea of the Kobayashi Maru test that I've seen floating around fandom/fanon...

IMO, the idea that the author feels they have to put themselves in nuKirk's mouth to defend him like that says a lot. (Then again, the excessively Mary Sue treatment I'm generally seeing of nuKirk in fanfics is a whole separate issue that I have.)

I agree with nuSpock that nuKirk completely missed the point of the exam. However, I also think nuSpock might have missed the point too. Or, at least, he was horrible at trying to explain it during the inquest (and not just because he hits on nuKirk's berserk button). The meta reason for this is obviously whoever wrote the scene failed to think things through and just wanted to stir up interpersonal drama between the two main characters. In-story however...

Look, the Kobayashi Maru as shown on screen in the reboot movie cannot be to experience "fear in the face of certain death", because the people taking it are aware that it's a simulation! This isn't Wesley Crusher's academy entrance exam in TNG where he doesn't know it's a simulation when he's psychologically tested. If it's fear the test taker is experiencing, then it's the fear of failing the test, not the fear of death!

On the other hand, I don't agree with nuKirk's argument that "the test itself is a cheat" just because the simulation is unwinnable either. Because the fear of failure is still a valid driving force and stressor, and the test itself is not asking for the testee to have a "correct answer". It's not asking them to find the "right" solution, it's trying to reveal the *method* by which the cadet approaches a problem, under stress.

I'm reminded of interviews I've done at work (for a sorta IT-ish position) where the question is an opened scenario of "the customer reports this thing is not working, what do you do?" Then as the interviewee goes through the things they'd ask or check for, the scenario builds with "and then what happens if this didn't work out?" and "what if you get this result back?", etc. The point is not to actually fix the hypothetical problem, but to test if the person knows enough about the technology to go through enough relevant steps, and if they can approach troubleshooting in a methodical way rather than just throw wild guesses at the board.

Anyway, IMO this is what should've happened in the movie:

nuSpock would've reported that nuKirk cheated on the exam. Instead of a formal inquest, whatever admiral is in charge of the academy should've called Kirk in for a personal interview to determine why Kirk did what he did, and then set him right on what's the point of the Kobayashi Maru exam. Giving him a commendation for original thinking may or may not be in the picture, depending on Kirk's answers and/or attitude. No disciplinary actions are filed though, since extreme persistence in the face of overwhelming odds in and of itself does say something about Kirk's suitability for command - which is what the exam is testing for to begin with. Now, afterwards, Spock may protest the decision, in which case, the same admiral should also take *him* aside and explain what the Kobayashi Maru is supposed to be testing for, and why Kirk's actions is not so much cheating as a valid solution to the exam. And then of course both of them are ordered into silence on the specifics of what happened, as well as maybe forced to work together to secure the exam against future tampering (you can sneak in interpersonal drama that way much more organically).

(I also think nuSpock should've taken the exam too, before he's handed the job of programming it, since he's obviously changed over to the Command track once Pike chose him for his future-XO. IMO the Academy should not be setting precedents of letting students skip critical exams based on race, and rather should be adjusting said exams to non-humans. Prime!Spock not taking the exam is more reasonable since he was Science track all the way, and served more as CSO than XO to Kirk, honestly. He basically had to pick up "how to command" on the job, as seen in the Galileo 7 episode, and didn't have the luxury of a stint at the Academy in between deep space missions.)

For my own reference, some interesting and relevant online discussions of the Kobayashi Maru exam and it's treatment in original TOS and the reboot movie:

https://www.reddit.com/r/DaystromInstitute/comments/4kwqbq/did_they_keep_the_kobayashi_maru_test_around_for/
https://www.reddit.com/r/DaystromInstitute/comments/1xxdkf/abrams_idea_of_how_kirk_solved_the_kobayashi_maru/
https://www.reddit.com/r/startrek/comments/580cjo/the_kobayashi_maru_ethics_discussion/
tanithryudo: (Default)
Found this on the Daystrom reddit (a Star Trek reddit). A limerick that's also a math equation. Kinda neat.

tanithryudo: (Read)
Was directed to this article from reddit and found it an interesting read. But, I don't think I agree with all of it.

The thing is, the article comes into the argument from the POV that the original political beliefs that STTOS was created with must be the objectively correct one against which all subsequent movies, spinoffs, and reboots are measured against. But I don't think that's true, either in terms of real life or in-universe.

Meta-texually, times change, and the prevailing political view, and what is considered objectively "right" changes as well. For a drastic example, just go back a century or a millennia back in time to anywhere on the planet and compare the accepted common morality against modern day mores.

More relevantly, TOS reflected the ideals of a generation who was still coming off the victory of WWII and still confident in the superiority of the USA/capitalism/democracy versus the USSR/communism. In contrast, TNG came after the post-Vietnam and counter-culture disillusionment with those same values. DS9 dabbled even more deeply into realpolitik and modern cynicism (thank god it didn't go full grimdark like so many other franchises did). And Voyager... ok I have no idea what Voyager was supposed to be.

The thing is, is any one of those POVs more "correct" than the other? TOS Kirk's "liberty or death" attitude is a strong sentiment certainly, but where does it cross the line between humanism and manifest destiny? Is it really an "universal truth" outside of US political rhetoric? And, looking at the modern world and where it's headed... will it still be an "universal ideal" decades into the future?

Still, it would be nice to see the question itself explored in-story, somewhere. That's probably not happening in the reboot movies though. Maybe the upcoming Discovery series. Eh. Maybe.
tanithryudo: (IDIC)
No I didn't watch this in the theater. And for once I didn't bootleg it either. =P I watched it for $3.99 on Google Movies. After, of course, having already thoroughly spoiled myself on the plot already, so I already knew going in that it was supposed to be more like a normal TOS episode than the previous two.

And, y'know, I actually kinda liked it, as a Star Trek AU. And considering how much fanfic I read, I don't have anything against AUs in an of itself.

Read more... )

Vulcans <3

Nov. 4th, 2016 11:15 am
tanithryudo: (Default)
Ahahaha... after reading so much xenophobic comments whenever non-human species come up, I thought this was cute.

I mean, watching Journey to Babel, my impression is that Amanda wasn't exactly suffering in her inter-species marriage. I didn't even get the sense that she was all that bothered by the strain between her husband and son other than in a sort of tolerantly exasperated kinda way.
tanithryudo: (Read)
Because of posts like this.

Warning: 20,000 words of mental gymnastics that actually makes a creditable case for the STXI reboot and the mainstream Trek shows/movies to actually occur in the same universe. Destruction of Vulcan and all. I am impressed.

Summary )

TL;DR: Future!Spock lied, Past!Spock tried, Future!Kirk survived, and Romulus died.
tanithryudo: (IDIC)
I guess one thing that I'll give for the reboot Trek films is that they've inspired a new generation of fans into the general franchise. I'm seeing a fairly large demographic range on various reddit threads and so forth, which is cool...even if sometimes rage-inducing.


Take this thread on reddit speculating on how the major races in ST would view homosexuality. My god, the number of people who immediately jump to "Vulcan's wouldn't approve because having sex without making babies is not logical" makes me want to *stab* something.

In case anyone cares, I personally feel most Vulcans wouldn't care, in the way that they're already closeted heterosexuals who mentally treat the whole topic of sex as anathema and taboo, so any closeted or non-closeted homosexuals wouldn't even stand out next to that. I feel that they also wouldn't "logically" equate sex with reproduction, since their biology is literally screw or die. If someone screws another person of the same gender or alien or whatever for the purpose of *not dying*, why wouldn't that be "logical"?

As for reproduction, I feel that modern Vulcans would prefer to do family planning "logically" outside of pon farr, which means they can essentially have babies by mail if they feel like it, and the whole thing can be "logically" divorced from the mentally taboo subject of pon farr, not to mention optimized for scenarios such as race-rebuilding in the reboot universe, or general population planning in the prime universe.


Another topic that comes up a lot is the Prime Directive. Generally, a lot of people are critical of Starfleet's non-interference code. Granted, there are also a lot of controversial (and sometimes baffling) on-screen depictions of the PD, such as why it even applied to the Klingon Civil War during TNG given the Klingons were a empire of technological parity to the UFP.

But IMO the core idea of it was based on the anti-colonial sentiments that followed WWII, and the stricter interpretations of it in TNG onwards was influenced by Vietnam. The "White Man's Burden" is an incredibly tempting slippery slope, and it's quite visible from how much that is evident in the criticisms against the PD.

I think it also helps that for me, I've also seen the POV of the recipient of such "well-intentioned intervention", which characterized China in the 19th and 20th centuries. I've read many alt-history fics by probably-Caucasian authors covering those time frames, and inevitably when they get to China, it's "and now our uber-wanked alt-UK/USA/Russia/Germany/etc. will now civilize the corrupt/powerless court or lawless/savage warlords of China by reprising the Alliance of 8, seizing more concession areas to civilize modernize..." ...And then I want to stab someone, again.

*long breath* Back to Star Trek. Occasionally, though, there are well written posts that don't immediately get my hackles up on behalf of intervention. This one is a very relevant modern day example.

In my honest opinion, I am actually fine with the stricter Prime Directive as it's shown in TNG (and as it applies to primitive societies, not advanced ones!)...as a Starfleet directive. (I'm less impressed with some of the rhetoric that the various characters use when discussing it, whether for or against breaking it for any specific episode case.)

I think that the formal "rule" should be "don't intervene". HOWEVER! It should still be within the prerogative of the individual captain to break that rule if the captain felt an exception should be made. HOWEVER! The captain should also be fully aware of the fact that they will then have to justify any intervention before a court martial panel. If they are indeed justified in their intervention, they will have to prove it.

This will allow there to be an form of automatic legal protection of less advanced planets from potential well-intentioned colonialism. It will also allow exceptions to be made in exceptional cases such as when the alternative to intervention is extinction. Further, it will give captains who are tempted by "White Man's Burden" an extra impetus to pause and really think before they act.

If they still feel it's a cause they are willing to potentially sacrifice their career for... well, that means they would have done it anyways PD or no. And this system would give Starfleet a way to quickly weed out captains who are wrong about their intervention, while retaining those who are able to make a valid case. In other words, the person choosing to intervene should bear the full burden of consequence for that intervention.
tanithryudo: (Read)
"Star Trek is one of those happy, clean, bright futures which means there is a high ratio of adults to children in adult bodies."

Came across this comment - actually an author's response to a comment on a fic - and the sentiment kinda just struck me. It does seem to be one of the aspects of my dissatisfaction with the reboot Star Trek film - the playing up of angsty manchild trauma as the main fill-in for character interaction.

And, even looking beyond just the Trek franchise, it's a little pervasive in Hollywood films as a whole, isn't it? I mean, the reboot Superman and Batman are all about revisiting their childhood traumas over and over again in every film and reboot. Perhaps this is also the reason why Iron Man is not my favorite MCU film/character.

I think it says a bit about my personal tastes...
tanithryudo: (IDIC)
So I've been reading more TOS fics. Including the reboot Trek stuff since beggars can't be choosers. Been noticing a lot of fanon poppping up that didn't make sense in context of the new series. Then I went back and looked over some episode transcripts of TOS and lo and behold, it wasn't really canon there either.

Read more... )
tanithryudo: (Default)
Source

Comment 1: "My personal and admittedly macabre theory is that human transporter chiefs exist primarily because the transporter is fully capable of reconstituting a subject from new base matter when the pattern of a subject has been recieved, but the matter stream is completely or partially lost.
When this occurs, no record is kept, and the computer isn't called upon to note the action in any way. The chief makes the call, which is too morally complex to be left to a computer, and he/she adds new matter to the stream.
Everyone prefers not knowing. There's nothing to be gained from knowing.
Only the transporter chief knows that the person stepping off the transporter pad isn't actually the same person who left on the away mission. Part of his/her duty is to never speak of it to anyone."

Comment 2: "Explains O'Brien's PTSD. Among many other reasons."

XD
tanithryudo: (IDIC)
Been going back over the Star Trek fandom lately, reading some fanfics and playing STO (trying to get my shiny Vulcan D'kyr decked out for a spin). It's pretty obvious to see the influences of the nuTrek franchise and other more recent military-oriented sci fi shows in the fandom. A couple of things always starts to pop up in discussions and I'm getting a little tired of them.

1. Carriers and fighters.

The influence from the newer Battlestar Galactica series is obvious. Also evident are the fans of modern carrier doctrine. Now, I'm not going to argue what makes sense in terms of military doctrine or 'realism', since any writer can twist the universe to suit the argument either way. Instead, I'm going to argue based on the kind of story telling for why this is a bad idea.

What do we get when we have carrier/fighter based ships? Ace jockey characters along the line of Top Gun, Starbuck...or Tom Paris. You get a bunch of stories where there will be a reason for your starship and the majority of your characters/crew to not be able to be on-scene while the ace fighter makes his daring run on the death star. Again and again and... yeah.

I watch Star Trek for the exploration and the culture clash/meeting of minds between the cast and the rubber aliens of the week. Even DS9, it was more fun when the story was about political machinations and social commentary of how far a moral person/society can sink to when the situation gets desperate. If I want to read/watch about the pluck of the typical anti-authoritarian maverick (and I don't), it's not going to be in my Trek.


2. Bigger/more is better.

You see this a lot with the nuTrek Enterprise, now with like 10x the size of the TOS Enterprise and 20x the guns. I have to wonder how much of this is due to fanboys and production crew waving their epeens at each other and trying to throw better numbers out for the next Star Trek vs Star Wars debate. Or I'm giving them too much credit even for that, and it's just about how much CGI they can throw onto the silver screen.

And:

3. Militarization, militarization, militarization; no peaceniks allowed.

I see all these forum posts going on and on about how the TNG era was a bunch of hippies went 'Peace at any Price', and that if the TNG Federation had been better armed and militarized, they wouldn't have had the hard time they did with the Borg, the Dominion, etc. I have to wonder if this is a generation disconnect between the generation that came out of WWII and was still feeling the stings of Vietnam, versus the current post-911 generation who're feeling the pressure of the USA's sole superpower status slipping away.

The thing is, it doesn't matter how over-militarized or well-armed the Federation or its ships are on paper. From a story telling perspective (and this applies to both canon and any well written fanfic), their enemy is always going to be bigger and better if there is actually going to be suspense. At no point were they ever going to "fare better" against the Borg or the Dominion or the alien enemy of the week, or those stories would suck!

Also, the 'moar dakka' adherents are missing the whole point to those stories. None of them were about resolving conflict through force. The Borg were defeated in TNG by lateral thinking (TBOBW) and via the theme of individuality versus blind conformity (I Borg, Descent). The Dominion were defeated by cowboy diplomacy (wormhole aliens), normal messy diplomacy (Klingon alliance), moral sacrifice (Romulan alliance), and a stumble on the slippery slope (Section 31). As in the real world, unilateral militarism is not the answer, and shouldn't be the answer.

Windows 10

Sep. 13th, 2016 11:30 am
tanithryudo: (Default)
Finally got a PC refresh at work. My new laptop is running Win 10. So far the only problems I've had were some issues with sound (found the setting to fix it), and desktop icon positions resetting on restart (not sure if fixed...). The navigation for the most part are similar enough to Win 7 to be fairly painless.

We'll see how it goes.
tanithryudo: (Default)
Just passed the first of 3 exams for the CCNP certification. Score was 790/1000, exactly at the pass threshold. XD

Funnily enough, I had no problems with the actual routing stuff (RIP, EIGRP, OSPF, BGP, etc.). It's the other stuff that stumped me. Like, what is even PPPoE and TACACS/RADIUS to do with ip routing? Meh.
tanithryudo: (Default)
This is pretty neat. I didn't know ancient chinese had so many rolling R's.



Y'know...usually in time travel or crossover fics to settings in ancient eras never consider the dialect barrier. Of course it's so you don't want to bog down the plot. But still...

Other awesomeness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdO3IP0Pro8
tanithryudo: (Default)
Great QOL additions:
- Salvage-all options
- Recipe unlocks are account wide (YESSSS!! I don't have to keep a spreadsheet of who has what insignia/inscription unlocks anymore!)
- Search box for material storage
- Facepalm emote

Otherwise, the new hairstyles are all kinda meh aside from maybe the asura double-braid one.

Skill balance update...
- Rangers got the pet name system fixed!! ZOMG! Some pet buffs and utility buffs here and there. No major nerfs which is nice.
- Eles got nerfs across the board, looks like; though how much of it only impacts optimal build/rotation versus casual play I can't tell yet.
- Mesmer got tiny buffs to utilities and phantasms here and there
- Engi got some buffs and some nerfs, mostly to scrapper it looks like; not many of the changes affect my usual build though.
- Revenant was de-bugged, lol; seems to be a net buff though.
- Guardian got buffs on melee and utility skills, but a slight nerf to scepter range.
- Thief seems to have gotten a buff on condi builds, and a slight nerf to staff which is boo.

Did LS3 start? I can't tell...
tanithryudo: (Default)
Yes it's good. It didn't disappoint even though I had fully spoiled myself on the plot before walking into the theater. (Aside: And a nice theater it was too; a new AMC at the New Park Mall which had large leather couches for seats, with an electronic foot rest. Nice.)

Read more... )
tanithryudo: (Default)
I still couldn't find anything online about the actual contents of the Accords aside from that one page which appeared in the trailers. I suppose it's a good idea not to show it so that movie watches wouldn't nitpick the thing to death instead of enjoying the movie itself, but still, that prevents me from nitpicking the thing to death. =P

Also, it seems that even internally, Marvel isn't very consistent about what the Accords do. Pretty sure movie canon takes precedence over TV canon though.

Anyway, I found this article online which pretty much explains a lot of my feelings about what we do know of the Accords, better than I can. Of course, this would be in a realistic USA in a realistic universe...so of course that wouldn't include the MCU. -_-!
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