S1E2: How Much Control Do We Have? Agency + Free Will
SHHHHH The Trekkies are Talking about how to find spiritual lessons in the ordinary stuff, like Star Trek. How can Star Trek teach us to have a better relationship with ourselves? That is all spirituality is, your relationship with yourself.
Be Open Minded
Be Willing to Change Course
In SHHHHHH The Trekkies are Talking we talk about the vision for the future Gene Roddenberry and other science fiction + fantasy creators gave us and how they can help us understand the human condition better. Self control, ethics + values, motivation, relationships with others, mastering emotions including rage — these all play important roles in your relationship with yourself, ie spirituality. What if Gene Roddenberry + his writers gave us some answers in the series he created over 50 years ago, that continues to this day, decades after his death? The title says Star Trek and we will also talk about + draw from other literature and entertainment genres, including Dr. Who, Star Wars, Tolkien, Twin Peaks and Stranger Things, Marvel and the super hero culture, among others.
This is a labour of love created + produced by me and Robert Pilkington and Lee Wiessman aka The Jihadi Jew has graciously agreed to join us each week. We will have guests and the discussion will be lighthearted and fun.
The second episode has now dropped. Please go have a listen and give us a 5 star rating on Apple and Spotify if you like us.
NOTES and LINKS
A Trip to Infinity. You can find this documentary about the concept of infinity on Netflix. From Mashable: In the trailer above for the streamer's upcoming documentary we see various space-y shots paired with smart people saying things like: "Is infinity a number, an idea, a place? Probably all of the above."
Borg Queen. From the official Star Trek site: The central locus of the Borg Collective is the amoral Borg Queen. Through her, like the queen of an insect colony, the Hive mind is granted order and common direction.
Zone of Interest. A movie about the banality of evil during the Holocaust
Solyent Green. A movie with a plot twist.
Rage Farming. A technique used by media and information operatives in which content is created to elicit rage.
“Let the tyrant walk right in” Is from the song Rain or Shine by Young Fathers
Bio power refers to the concept that Michel Foucault coined to describe state control over the human body, a thing modernity calls public health. Please take care and learn about Foucault from primary sources, of which there are many. Conservatives are notorious for their homophobic misrepresentations of him and his work.
Is resistance futile?
Who is vulnerable to conspiracy theories?
EPISODE SYNOPSES FOR THE FIRST SEASON'S DISCUSSIONS
There are seven episodes featuring the Borg in Star Trek the Next Generation. We watched them in preparation for our discussion, here are brief synopses of each. There will be 10 episodes produced based on these 7 episodes. We will move onto Voyager (there are 23 episodes) and Deep Space Nine (the pilot features Locutus of Borg) and Picard (in which the Borg have made a reappearance apparently) in succession for future seasons before moving on to another Star Trek topic.
S1E26: The Neutral Zone — Picard is away at as conference about the Romulans, a hostile alien race and The Enterprise discovers an old spacecraft with cryogenic chambers containing 3 20th century humans. The crew brings them aboard and Crusher cures them and they realise they are several hundred years in the future and things are very different. Picard returns and takes the Enterprise to the Romulan Neutral Zone, where there are reports of an attack on federation colony. The Romulans hail Picard and they report that they also had an attack on one of their vessels near the neutral zone. Each side initially suspects the other — The Federation and the Romulans have very strained diplomatic relations. The Romulans notice the attack left a technological trace that means the attack could not have been done by the federation. Which third party could be wagging the dog to create an intergalactic conflict? The episode ends with both sides agreeing to work together to investigate the source of the attack. This is the season 1 finale.
S2E16: Q Who — Our favourite omniscient alien entity, the mischievous Q, tries to convince Picard to let him join the crew of the Enterprise and Picard refuses. Q thrusts The Enterprise thousands of light years away, into an unexplored part of the galaxy and disappears. The nearest star base takes 2 years at maximum warp. In this act, Q has precipitated the Federation’s first encounter with the Borg. Neither the Federation nor the Enterprise crew has the resources or skill to out maneuver the Borg at this time, Q placed the Enterprise at risk to ingratiate himself. The Enterprise explores and discovers ruins similar to the ruins they saw at the end of S1. Guinan feels uneasy and she wants Picard to leave the area and head for familiar space. She tells the crew about an alien cybernetic species that destroyed her world and scattered her people across the galaxy. The Borg cannot be defeated, she warns. Q created a situation that forces Picard to ask Q to join the crew to help the Enterprise fight the Borg. This is the first time the audience sees the Borg, and this Borg is not the Borg we know in 2023. The Borg nursery and the absence of any familiar mantras such as “resistance is futile” tell us that the initial conception of the Borg as an enemy differed very much from the enemy we now know. Q reappears when it looks like the Borg will defeat the Enterprise and he saves them from destruction by flinging them back to their original co-ordinates. Q leaves them with a warning that the Borg will pursue them now that they know of the Federation’s existence.
S3E26: The Best of Both Worlds part 1 — The Enterprise responds to a distress call and discovered the colony has disappeared. They suspect The Borg. Admiral Hansen and Commander Shelby arrive on the Enterprise and brief the Captain on The Borg. Riker is being pressured to accept command of a ship and he does want to leave, Shelby wants his job, tension exists between them. Hansen reports that another ship encountered a cube-like vessel before sending a distress signal that abruptly ended. Enterprise intercepts a Borg cube and tries to escape their with evasive maneuvers. Borg flush them out, board the Enterprise, abduct Picard, assimilate him into the Collective— him becomes Locutus of Borg. The Enterprise has to plan to thwart the Borg and rescue him as the Borg speed toward Earth. Only the Borg now has all the strategic knowledge that Picard possesses so they have to strategise to out maneuver Picard himself. Shelby and Riker have to overcome the tension between them in order to complete the mission to save Picard.
S4E1: The Best of Both Worlds part 2 — We learn about ways to out-maneuver the Borg. Riker completes his first successful mission as captain of a starship. Riker has to let go of everything familiar in order to defeat Picard. The Enterprise separates itself into two sections in order to defeat the Borg. The away crew retrieves the Picard drone and returns him to the Enterprise for rehabilitation. The Borg ship hurdles toward earth and The Enterprise cannot follow. They use Picard’s connection to the Collective in order to send a sleep/regeneration command and a feedback loop causes the cube to explode. The audience learns about the ominous threat the Borg poses and they get an inkling of the trauma that Picard suffered having been taken by the Borg and had cybernetics implanted into his body against his will. Picard suffers after effects from his experience with the Borg — being abducted and held hostage and violated and enslaved.
S5E23: I, Borg — The Enterprise recovers an injured Borg drone abandoned by the collective. They bring it to the ship, treat it and they befriend it. They name the Borg drone Hugh. The initial plan is to implant a virus in the drone and send it back to destroy the Borg Collective. The crew has second thoughts about doing that — what are the ethics of this? Should they have killed the Borg, wiped out the entire race? The audience learns about Borg drone technology and the power of the hive mind for the individual Borg drone. The Enterprise crew decide to ask Hugh what he wants, he chooses to return to the Collective because to stay would be to endanger his friends at the Enterprise. The Enterprise sends Hugh back to the Borg collective with the idea of individuality in his consciousness, hoping to effect some kind of change in the Collective to weaken it as a hostile enemy threat.
S6E26: Descent, part 1 — The Enterprise encounter The Borg on a distress call to a star-fleet outpost, the Borg seem like serious space terrorists, bent on destruction at all cost. Data experiences an emotion when killing a Borg during combat. The Borg unit withdraws when it see Data. This Borg unit behaved differently than Borg normally do. Did the Borg unit named Hugh have some kind of effect on the Collective when he was returned. Data becomes fascinated with emotion and fixated on his quest to become human and he tries to recreate scenarios to evoke another emotional response. The Enterprise receive another distress call and the crew answers it, they take a drone captive. The captive Borg drone convinces Data to leave with him and they hijack a shuttle. The Enterprise follows the shuttle through a space wormhole. The away team arrives a location where they discover Lore, Data’s evil brother, has taken over a rogue sect of the Borg and together the brothers announce they will destroy the federation.
S7E1: Descent, part 2 — The away team is surrounded and taken hostage, they will be used as experimental specimens for Lore to conduct his experiments. Lore has harmed many Borg drones doing failed experiments. The crew meet Hugh and he tells them what happened after he returned to the collective. The introduction of individuality into the Collective injected some chaos into their main programming. It weakened the Collective. Hugh is part of a group of drones that went rogue, they encountered Lore, who promised to make them fully cybernetic and wants to indoctrinate them to hate all organic life forms and to wage war against them, cult style. Lore dreams of a Cybernetic Intifada, if you will. Like all cult leaders, Lore is a liar and incapable of empathy or remorse and demands complete fealty and inflicts abuse on those he leads.
We learn that Lore gave Data the emotion chip and disengaged his ethical program and then turned Data against the Federation, convincing him that he was a slave etc etc and implanting hurtful angering thoughts. The crew find a device that can engage Data’s ethical program. Data is asked to conduct a procedure on Geordi that will cause him brain damage and Geordi asks him at the last minute to check his conscience. Data stops. Lore grows suspicious and forces Data to prove his loyalty by asking him to kill Picard. Data refuses and disables Lore, who says “I love you brother” before shutting off. Lore is to be dismantled. Data wants to destroy the emotion chip and Geordi convinces him to keep it until a future time he is ready.