STTNG – Violations (Review)

Whatever Violations was trying to achieve, it failed at it. I mean, I guess, since it’s sort of hard to know what the point was. But that doesn’t keep it from being interesting. Keiko O’Brien, in her only ever episode without Miles, is having her memory probed by some aliens on board who do that.…

Hell is Other People

"Hell is other people" – the most famous thing Jean-Paul Sartre "never said." That’s in shock quotes because one of his characters says it, and that character just happens to be most probably a bit of self-satire on Sartre’s part. So, did Sartre really never say it? I think what’s fair to say is that…

Two Minimalist Bones

Norbert Hornstein gives a very good overview of the perceived successes of the Minimalist Program here. (WARNING: this post won’t make a whole lot of sense unless you have a background in Generative Syntax.) One of the complaints you hear a lot about Minimalism – especially, for some reason, from the people who lament the…

Blowback

Matt Palumbo makes an important point about "blowback" as it relates to Islamic terrorism, but in, I think, the wrong way. The thesis: The "blowback" explanation for Islamist terrorism is masochistic nonsense. And the argument: Why is it that no other group of people "Western imperialism" has harmed has responded in the way that jihadists…

Witness for the Prosecution

Another two weeks go by, another islamist attack in Europe. This time, too, nothing changed. There are lots of vigils, lots of expressions of solidarity, and of course lots of reminders that not all muslims are violent extremists. Theresa May did break rank a bit and call out radical Islamism as an ideology, but this…

STTNG – Hero Worship (Review)

In a lot of ways Hero Worship feels like a reimagining of New Ground as a Data-centric episode. It’s not, of course. There’re very different stories. But the fact that they share so many elements and aired consecutively makes it feel like the showrunners are inviting the comparison. Both focus on a single character’s relationship…

Peril at End House (Review)

Peril at End House is the book Agatha Christie claims she can’t even remember writing. At least, that’s a rumor I’ve heard repeated a number of places. It rings a bit true: the machinery is a little more visible in this book than most. You’re rarely presented with a clue unaccompanied by instructions on how…

Freedom is Slavery

Todd Seavey, ahead of the curve back in 2009 in noticing that Will Wilkinson wasn’t really a libertarian, put it like this: "you have to admit that [Wilkinson’s] shtick is arguing that libertarians ought to accept elements of the welfare state." A socialist could say something similar about Freddie DeBoer I think. His shtick is…

STTNG – New Ground (Review)

Captain’s Log – number number number nubmer point number number number number number. The Enterprise has been asked to participate in a fascinating experiment that could revolutionize warp technology. If past performance is any indication, it will appear to work, then go off the rails, threatening a nearby colony planet before Geordi has a chance…

Chaos on the Bridge (Review)

Chaos on the Bridge is must-see TV for any Star Trek fan – or even people who are just interested in Star Trek as a cultural phenomenon. It’s a 2014 documentary by (as in "produced and hosted by") William Shatner about the office politics behind Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s first two seasons. This was…