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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Alternate Timelines > Science Fiction

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Science Fiction Science Fiction as a means to discuss "future history."

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  #1  
Old 09 Sep 16, 17:31
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Star Trek - 50 Years

I maybe could put this in one of the other Star Trek threads, but thinking a fresh start maybe ...
.... About 50 years ago it debut, and a lot came out of it, this article gives a good start;
The Great Boor of the Galaxy
Column: The progressive visionary behind ‘Star Trek’ was an insecure misogynistic hack
EXCERPT:
...
Roddenberry died in 1991. You could argue that the franchise he created has been more successful in the 25 years following his death than it had been in the 25 years before. In 2009, Star Trek was reincarnated on the big screen, this time under the direction of J.J. Abrams. Two sequels followed and another is in the works. Meanwhile Star Trek: Discovery is being prepped for CBS. So omnipresent has Star Trek become that longtime fans are complaining, as fans tend to do. A recent op-ed in the New York Times asked, “Who Stole My ‘Star Trek’?”

But Star Trek is not something you can steal. Star Trek is whoever is writing it at a given moment. Roddenberry, like many great innovators, fused two elements—Westerns and the aspirations of the New Frontier—to create something that in retrospect appears absolutely necessary and obvious. Star Trek: The Next Generation writer-producer Burton Armus, whose credits include NYPD Blue, says, “Look, Roddenberry can’t write very well. He came out with a concept that suddenly got hot, so he moved his house into this spaceship and he lived on it for the rest of his life.”

It was the brilliance of the idea, and the psychological need it satisfies in audiences, that allowed Roddenberry to get away with being, in most respects, an incredible, insufferable jerk to his family, friends, and peers. After reading The Fifty-Year Mission, I know why Gene Roddenberry stuck so fiercely to his notion of a future where human nature has been transformed into pure good. It’s because he knew more than anybody how truly awful we can be.
...
http://freebeacon.com/columns/great-boor-galaxy/
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  #2  
Old 09 Sep 16, 18:42
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One thing to note is that Star Trek owes a lot in terms of plots, technology, and ideas to Irwin Allen's Lost in Space that preceded it...

There is more than one Star Trek episode that's a direct rip off of a Lost in Space one.
Sure, Star Trek did much better with the visuals and special effects, but that's to be expected. As ground breaking? Not so much...
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Old 09 Sep 16, 23:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
There is more than one Star Trek episode that's a direct rip off of a Lost in Space one....
"Voyager", right?
I just watched the 1st season on disk, and was mighty bored.

As dreary as much of the series were, the Movies (not the 1st one!!!) were watchable and fun. While Star Wars labored for 20 years to produce 3 disappointments, Start Trek gave us about a dozen sequels in the same period of time that... while rarely spectacular... gave a very satisfactory and consistent viewing experience.

Odd, one of my favs was Insurrection, but nobody else seems to have liked it very much.
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  #4  
Old 11 Sep 16, 17:00
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Originally Posted by The Exorcist View Post
"Voyager", right?
I just watched the 1st season on disk, and was mighty bored.

As dreary as much of the series were, the Movies (not the 1st one!!!) were watchable and fun. While Star Wars labored for 20 years to produce 3 disappointments, Start Trek gave us about a dozen sequels in the same period of time that... while rarely spectacular... gave a very satisfactory and consistent viewing experience.

Odd, one of my favs was Insurrection, but nobody else seems to have liked it very much.

The original Star Trek. Many of the episodes are variants of ones Lost in Space did.

Star Wars was predictable Saturday morning matinee stuff. Lucas might be a genus at special effects but he's an execrable story writer.

What worked for Star Trek was the right amount of special effects with a decent storyline for each episode, and a cast that had some chemistry. Lost in Space was just a bit too early to really have the special effects and budget necessary to pull of a good sci-fi show. That, and the characters weren't as engaging. Doctor Smith should have been killed off early and the problems posed becoming between the crew and "outsiders / Aliens" as with Star Trek.
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Old 11 Sep 16, 17:21
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Watched the first season. Second season, not until the sweet young thing down the block heard we had a color TV.
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Old 12 Sep 16, 06:30
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Found many of the plots very creaky and very predictable.

Isn't it funny that the Galaxy is populated by bipedal, two armed intelligent creatures? Parallel evolution maybe but one would have thought that there would be more variation! Some creatures like Niven's Moties and Pupeteers or Wells' Selenites maybe. Animal life seems to be minimal.

Different Western tropes have reached space in film - Outland for example being High Noon in zero gravity with Sean Connery in the Gary Cooper spot.
In literary fiction the film The Magniicent Seven has been translated into space in various guises as has True Grit
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Old 12 Sep 16, 10:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Found many of the plots very creaky and very predictable.
Hollywood rarely does anything original.
Quote:
Isn't it funny that the Galaxy is populated by bipedal, two armed intelligent creatures? Parallel evolution maybe but one would have thought that there would be more variation! Some creatures like Niven's Moties and Pupeteers or Wells' Selenites maybe. Animal life seems to be minimal.
They actually have an excuse for this: We're all related. Seems some elder race seeded the galaxy in such a manner that we only needed to slap some plastic on foreheads to make actors look like Klingons.
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Old 12 Sep 16, 14:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpanaPointer View Post
Hollywood rarely does anything original.

They actually have an excuse for this: We're all related. Seems some elder race seeded the galaxy in such a manner that we only needed to slap some plastic on foreheads to make actors look like Klingons.
Lovecraft's elder gods were pretty horrible creatures as I recall
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Old 12 Sep 16, 15:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
....
Isn't it funny that the Galaxy is populated by bipedal, two armed intelligent creatures? Parallel evolution maybe but one would have thought that there would be more variation! Some creatures like Niven's Moties and Pupeteers or Wells' Selenites maybe. Animal life seems to be minimal.
...
We have a thread from a bit back that examined this;
Aliens will look like humans
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=161048

Not to short change the posts there, but the assumptions are that we are speaking of chemical based life and with the elements having universal traits, that will likely be an Earth like planet with hydrosphere, then biosphere, and most probably carbon based organics. Implies that RNA and DNA may also be similar features. Economy of design and bipedal with opposable "thumb", also suggest commonality of design. There is also the need to make fire and melt metal out of ores if one will ever evolve a technological culture able to make devices that can travel thru space, to the stars, etc.

In the case of Star Trek simplified costuming a likely factor. When I look at some of the "aliens" out of Star Wars I see much "imagination" but little practical design expression by "Nature/Evolution".
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  #10  
Old 12 Sep 16, 15:19
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An additional consideration is that "Earth Like" could mean in most cases a rather milder evolutionary path, as explained in this thread;
Earth is not the Metric ...
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=159630
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Old 12 Sep 16, 15:39
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As much as I enjoyed the star trek franchise I'm not about to watch the upcoming 'gay' trek.

I'll just watch Dr. Who instead...
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Old 12 Sep 16, 15:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G David Bock View Post
We have a thread from a bit back that examined this;
Aliens will look like humans
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=161048

Not to short change the posts there, but the assumptions are that we are speaking of chemical based life and with the elements having universal traits, that will likely be an Earth like planet with hydrosphere, then biosphere, and most probably carbon based organics. Implies that RNA and DNA may also be similar features. Economy of design and bipedal with opposable "thumb", also suggest commonality of design. There is also the need to make fire and melt metal out of ores if one will ever evolve a technological culture able to make devices that can travel thru space, to the stars, etc.

In the case of Star Trek simplified costuming a likely factor. When I look at some of the "aliens" out of Star Wars I see much "imagination" but little practical design expression by "Nature/Evolution".
Given that evolution has given us humans a poor back structure to support our bipedal way of life and missed out on all sorts of features that might have been useful today (like the spider's two sets of eye pairs - one to handle very small detail and the other for general vision) it seems depressing to think that all intelligent life forms will be near identical. Even quite small variations in the environment could easily have sent the evolutionary pathway in different directions. Perhaps we might have had better design knees for example - ones that don't wear out before our brains do. However it does knock the intelligent design idea - dumb design more like. I'm surprised the religious hierarchies haven't cottoned on to the realisation that to ascribe our construction to some divine creator is a form of blasphemy - in effect implying that the almighty couldn't even come up with an efficient human being.
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Last edited by MarkV; 12 Sep 16 at 16:13..
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Old 12 Sep 16, 16:18
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You know if you want to go to a really cool conference or just look around the web site about first contact and alien species go here.


What is CONTACT?

CONTACT is a unique interdisciplinary conference which brings together some of the foremost international social and space scientists, science fiction writers and artists to exchange ideas, stimulate new perspectives and encourage serious, creative speculation about humanity's future ... onworld and offworld.
Each year we meet to promote the integration of human factors into space age research and policy, emphasize the interaction of the Arts and Sciences and their technologies, and develop ethical approaches in cross-cultural contact, whenever and wherever it occurs.



http://www.contact-conference.com/index.html
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Old 12 Sep 16, 16:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Given that evolution has given us humans a poor back structure to support our bipedal way of life and missed out on all sorts of features that might have been useful today (like the spider's two sets of eye pairs - one to handle very small detail and the other for general vision) it seems depressing to think that all intelligent life forms will be near identical. Even quite small variations in the environment could easily have sent the evolutionary pathway in different directions. Perhaps we might have had better design knees for example - ones that don't wear out before our brains do. However it does knock the intelligent design idea - dumb design more like. I'm surprised the religious hierarchies haven't cottoned on to the realisation that to ascribe our construction to some divine creator is a form of blasphemy - in effect implying that the almighty couldn't even come up with an efficient human being.
First: not "all", but likely most. There likely are a few exceptions.

Second: You might actually look through those threads and read, then post there. Some of your concerns are being addressed in those threads. For example, one thread makes the case that Earth is likely an exception to usual evolutionary paths (more volatile surface and environment, more extinction level events, etc.).

Third: Would seem our natural lifespan was only meant to average about 30 years. Improvements in tech and civilization have doubled that. Likely not in "nature's" plan.

Fourth: We may not be the result of Nature/Evolution alone. Many have made a case for "Interevention" and I've presented some work along one version of such in this thread: Geminga Scenario
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=152502

As a boost to those whom can't click to the earlier linked thread, here's a copy-paste of the opening post of the "Aliens will look like humans" thread;
QUOTE:

Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
....
In his new book published on 2 July, The Runes of Evolution, the University of Cambridge academic builds on the principle of convergent evolution – that different species will independently evolve similar features, with the comparison of the camera eye of an octopus and a human eye a favourite example – and argues it will not just took place on Earth.

“An area of biology which is becoming popular, perhaps too popular, that the possibility evolution is becoming much more predictable than people thought,” he told The Independent. “The book is really trying to persuade the world that evolutionary convergence is completely ubiquitous. Wherever you look you see it.

“The theme is to try and drive the reader, gently of course, into the possibility that the things which we regard as most important, ie cognitive sophistication, large brains, intelligence, tool making, are also convergent. Therefore, in principle, other Earth-like planets should very much end up with the same sort of arrangement.”

Professor Conway Morris, a Fellow at St John’s College, said it follows that plant and animal life on other planets able to support life would also look similar to Earth’s.
...
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sc...-10358164.html
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=161048
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Old 12 Sep 16, 17:16
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So much woo.
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