Star Trek Canon Database

Displaying 1 to 3 of 3 records.

Database started: 1999-07-27
Page generated: 2018-07-15

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TNG Season 2, Ep# 40: "The Icarus Factor"

PICARD: The captain of the Starship Ares is retiring. You've been selected as his replacement.

RIKER: The Ares... she is in Vega-Omicron sector.

PICARD: And she's picked up indications of an intelligent life-form ... but nothing conclusive.

RIKER: Starfleet will want to know more.

PICARD: That's why they're asking you, Number One. Not for your military proficiency, but for your skill as an explorer and diplomat.

RIKER: Vega-Omicron. It'll take months at high warp just to get there.

Propulsion: the distance between two points on the Federation frontier requires travel times of many months at high warp. We can't calculate velocities from this somewhat vague information, but it does help quantify the sort of travel times that are required for exploration in the Federation.

TNG Season 2, Ep# 40: "The Icarus Factor"

WESLEY: You try talking to Worf. I'm telling you, he's not ... normal ... for Worf.

DATA: There is, of course, a genetic predisposition toward hostility among all Klingons, although Worf does seem unusually out of sorts.

Culture: Klingons have a genetic predisposition toward hostility, eh? That's Federation science speaking, right? I would like to know what scientific studies the Federation conducted in order to arrive at this conclusion, and what scientific studies led them to classify this as a characteristic of Klingons in particular, since a genetic predisposition to hostility is present in most creatures, including human beings. Did they perform any such studies? Or are they simply going by "anecdotal evidence" and gut instinct, the same way Trekkies are when they defend the Federation's racist characterizations of Klingons?

Besides, if Klingon behaviour were genetic rather than cultural, I would ask how Worf could have turned into the interplanetary über-pussy that consorted with Troi and Jadzia later in TNG and DS9.

This sort of pseudoscientific racial generalization strikes me as eerily similar to certain nineteenth and early twentieth century European "medical evaluations" of non-caucasian races, in which numerous behaviours, strengths and deficiencies were described as genetically inherited traits by "medical experts" without a shred of meaningful scientific evidence.

One amusing example would be numerous pre-WW2 American military reports which earnestly explained that the Japanese people have poor hand-eye co-ordination, inferior night vision, and a predisposition toward covert tactics rather than direct attacks. These "medical analyses" were used, among other things, to prove that the Japanese would attempt to sabotage Pearl Harbour rather than attack it directly. Of course, these predictions had to be re-evaluated after December 7, 1941 ...

TNG Season 2, Ep# 40: "The Icarus Factor"

PULASKI: Troi's job is to keep us from deluding ourselves.

KYLE: Let me guess: Betazoid?

Culture: it would seem that the empathic abilities of Betazoids are common knowledge in the Federation. With this in mind, I find it curious that Troi does not experience any form of ostracization on the ship. This is an example of the sort of cultural and philosophical issue that is examined in depth by a show such as Babylon 5, but which is totally ignored by Star Trek.

How would you feel if you knew somebody who could tell whether you were telling the truth, whether you lusted after someone else, whether you were happy or whether you were sad? How would you feel if your emotions were laid bare for someone to analyze? How would you feel if you knew that many Betazoids are skilled enough to read specific thoughts instead of emotions?

If you were in a bar and a Betazoid walked in, would you happily sit there, knowing that he or she is surely able to detect your emotions and may also be able to listen to your thoughts? The Federation apparently has no laws whatsoever to restrict the telepathic surveillance activities of Betazoids; can they really be so casual about individual privacy? Or are they so accustomed to government intrusions in their lives that they don't give it a second thought?

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