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Old May 13th, 2010, 10:07 PM
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Ed Kolis Ed Kolis is offline
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Default Star Trek Cultural Archetypes

So I got thinking about the different alien races in Star Trek and what inspiration they might draw from real-world cultures... sorry if this hits too close to home for some people!

The Federation is supposed to be an idealized America, I'd assume - a melting pot of various races working together with liberty and justice for all, and all that jazz...

The Klingons? Well, I used to think they were Cold War Russians (the "evil empire out there, waiting to get you"), but someone I know said that he thought they might represent Muslims... seemed kinda crazy at first, but think about it - Klingons are obsessed with glory, to be attained by honorable deeds and honorable death in battle... Islam calls for holy struggle ("jihad"), no matter the risk to oneself or others...

Romulans I used to think of as the Roman Empire... In SPAAAACE!!! Which is how they were originally conceived, of course... but the more I see (especially of the later movies) the more they appear like Nazis... and the Nazis did trace themselves back to the Roman Empire! Surely it's not a coincidence that Romulans think they're intrinsically superior to all other races, or that the later Romulans like to shave their heads BALD??? (Skinheads anyone?)

Ferengi? I'm tempted to say they're a horrible caricature of Jews... they wear head coverings, they follow pro(fi)ts for spiritual guidance, they have big noses, they have lots of money and "influence"... but surely the writers couldn't be THAT insensitive... COULD they???

As for the Borg, I'd say they're the dark side of America, what it could become... or maybe communism... ruthless expansionism, making everyone "equal" by taking away anything that gives one an advantage over another... they provide a fitting adversary for the Federation, which has similar ideals but completely different methods!

Any thoughts?
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Old May 13th, 2010, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Star Trek Cultural Archetypes

You forgot a point. Apparently under the federation people dont work for money anymore. They work for satisfaction, there is no poor or homeless, etc etc.

One of my long time sig lines says:
Its easy to understand.
Under the Democrats we will be the Federation.
Under the Republicans we will be the Ferrengi.


As for the BORG thats definitely coming but less abstract than that. More exact to the image. Ive seen more and more "borging" in my life. Not just prosthetic limbs. I know one women who was always busy. So she had to get a cell phone (borg v0.00). Her conversations were short because she was always busy. Then she got one of those bluetooth things in her ear (borg v0.01) and now she has trouble hanging up. She basically THINKS into the phone as she is doing things.

What are the next steps to borgdom? Check out terms like "enhanced reality" (overlaying computer info onto your vision) or skinput (keyboard or touchpad on your arm with no mechanics) or body-as-network (microsoft patent to have things you wear share power and input/output thru your body without wires). Those are here, now.

And there have been experiments lately with integration. Having prosthetic limbs being controlled directly by nerve signals. And having prosthetic eyes and ears feed data directly to nerves.

Whats left? Oh yeah. The Borg Mind. The Collective. The instantaneous sharing of minute facts and thoughts. The group mind.
(Been on twitter yet?)

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Last edited by Gandalf Parker; May 13th, 2010 at 10:45 PM..
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Old May 17th, 2010, 09:16 PM
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Azselendor Azselendor is offline
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Default Re: Star Trek Cultural Archetypes

I always viewed the species of star trek as reflections of different aspects of america, not the world beyond America. That part of star trek was the great unexplored unknown they never really spent any time explorer, but always liked to talk about it.
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