June 19th, 2017

cass, can you not

An on/off switch for the limbic system would sell like pancakes

Suspecting you've screwed up something with a message and waiting to see if your next message unscrewed it would be much more bearable (i.e., would be bearable) with some way to unplug emotions in toto, or at least the social anxiety bit (not a lot of difference in my case).

Speaking of emotional control as a way of life and cosmic screwups, a few certainly unoriginal thoughts on Vulcans and nuTrek:

  • Vulcans being originally something of a stand-in for Jews (at least that's my impression), I wonder whether some sort of Diaspora would've been an opportunity to explore a planet-less society — something I think Star Trek rarely touches except with the Borg and a few assorted non-Federation oddities — as part of the Federation, and the social, legal, and even spiritual issues involved.

  • And of course, if you really want to tackle thorny real-world issues through thinly veiled metaphors (and you're doing Star Trek, so you should), what if the perfect New Vulcan turns out to be already inhabited by somebody who definitely doesn't want the Vulcans there?

  • (I suspect the Vulcans of being too Vulcan to deal with this like any pre-Federation human society would — no slight implied — so this might not go through recognizable paths. Although what if a subset of the Vulcans decides that this happened because they were too pacifist, and you have a second Vulcan schism?)

  • For that matter, what do contemporary Romulans think of what happened to Vulcan? About the fact that a Romulan did it? What's their attitude about the survivors?

  • Did Spock leave behind an interactive hologram version of himself like a point-eared Hari Seldon, most of his messages some form of JIM NO DON'T POKE AT THAT IT'S ILLOGICAL?

  • Why in hell does/did the Federation have a Temporal Investigations department but not one of Temporal Defense? Everybody and their Ferengi friend-of-a-friend can travel through time (I'm thinking of some sort of temporally shielded (I'm allowed to technobabble, this is Star Trek) facility with a small cloaked ship capable of time travel, all sorts of technology (including stuff from their future they've retrieved from people they stopped, or even donated by the Federation in their future... that might include personnel, which would be interesting (instead of the usual cross-species Federation team, a cross-eras one, with serious cultural mismatches)) and everything anybody in the Federation knows about history. Changes to the timeline are automatically detected, and they are sent to fix them. A la Rip Hunter, they should probably *not* be in any history file. As far as Federation databases and people knows, they are all already dead.

  • Stealing the spot-on idea from Midnighter, every damn single human with a time machine tries to kill and/or advise Hitler. Isaac Soong, resident android from the 26th century, always pretends to be offended by the fact that nobody tries to kill Noonian Soong and prevent the Federation from becoming the first society in the Quadrant where biologicals and androids cooperate as equals. Or is actually offended, who knows. Isaac has a tricky sense of humor (he also pretends to be bad at maths; everybody's almost entirely sure that's not true).

  • If there's a society that'd go along with arranged mating to preserve and enhance genetic diversity under those circumstances, that's the Vulcans. Lots of good/badfic can be derived from that. Also, I'm thinking about the Romulans as a source of genetic diversity (purely Vulcanoid, I mean; Spock proves you can get quite Vulcan people from a Vulcan-Human pair), and how convenient it'd be for weird plotting for Vulcans to have a cultural taboo about artificial insemination. Assuming the Romulans would even want to help.

Anyway. My gut feeling is that we're going to get a reclusive, conservative, hyper-managed, and endogamic Vulcan society wherever they settle down, with a small faction advocating for out-Romulianing the Romulans and taking over enough of the quadrant to be safe, killing all Romulans in the process just to be safe. You can make the logical argument.

That'd be an interesting movie. Although tbh I'm sick of all nuTrek movies being about dealing with things from the past or things they are the past of. Beyond was supposed to be about going back to exploration, and ended up being about a character so old he literally predated the Federation; heck, the theme ended up being about an argument they certainly had during those early days. He's a relic with implausibly convenient alien technology that was obviously more powerful than the McGuffin everybody was scared of, but that's another issue.

(Checks: still anxious, still no response. Dammit.)