Saturday, September 21, 2013

All That One Should That Know They Can Learn From Star Trek:The Next Generation

                                 Star Trek The Next Generation was a defining reference point not only in my life,but in the lives of many people I know. I've already discussed that here of course. One thing I did do recently was go onto YouTube,probably the most pronounced social media site online alongside Facebook to see how the modern day public will respond to a program that has passed the quarter century mark in age a year ago. Living in an age when high level cynicism has become very much the mainstream attitude of most people,its very satisfying to note most people still respond to Star Trek: The Next Generation as an important sociopolitical guide post as opposed to merely an entertaining television program.

                       When this blog was first started, I openly bemoaned the lack of a new Star Trek on our TV sets-that society had since de-evolved seemingly to a never never land of no return. Even though that was intended quite seriously with no overdo melodrama, it has become clear in some of the responses that I've gotten since starting this blog that any seeds of positive change among human beings,of any sort has very strong roots within those who appreciated Star Trek beyond its entertainment value. So some might argue that makes Star Trek a religion? Not to me. As already stated more a healthful alternative to religion: an obviously fictional universe with just enough grounding in our own reality to make it educationally effective.

                     Just a few moments ago I was watching a video on YouTube that used the Star Trek The Next Generation episode 'Symbiosis' as an example of current American foreign policy. The episode of course resolves around a culture being exploited by another by use of narcotic trading. The final five minutes of this episode depicts the two cultures as Afghanistan and Iraq-with Captain Picard and Doctor Crusher as the liberal and conservative ends of US foreign policy. In the end Picard of course gives the doctor a speech that greatly inspired me at every stage growing up-as it apparently did this particular viewer. And it involved a law within the Star Trek universe's United Federation Of Planets known as the Prime Directive.

                      To paraphrase Picard's speech,the Prime Directive basically points out how history has time and time again shown that when a more sociologically and technologically advanced culture interferes with the affairs of another with lesser understanding,the results are invariably disastrous. The captain continues by pointing out that this Prime Directive is not merely a set of laws,but also a philosophy that has been proven quite correct. The fact that dialog is open among these people about such topics-whose mere mention would still be a preamble to war in contemporary society,says quite a lot for its influence in society.

                        So perhaps its easier to some cynical people to think Star Trek's influence in modern society is confined to the presence of iPhone's, tablets and advanced laptops in our daily lives. Yet the fact that these technologies are often used wrongly might also serve as an indication that humanity at large has not yet achieved the sociopolitical wisdom depicted across the Star Trek universe. Perhaps that is the factor that bread such cynicism in the first place. Even if that cynicism is about Star Trek itself. So for any of you reading this are admirers of Star Trek The Next Generation in particular,I would like to ask all of you to keep this mind while watching it. Does it encourage hatred or cynicism as opposed to the Christian bible,the Quran or even your local newspaper? The answers you find may just brighten your day.

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